Germany Strategy- Taming the Bear
Template:GermanyStrategyGuides Russia has massive manpower and military potential and often hostile terrain. You must carefully plan your attack to reach definable objectives before adverse environmental effects start to make your life difficult.
- The Russian army can be dealt with by motorized encirclement and destruction warfare.
- The Russian environment can be dealt with by careful timing and preparation.
All other military options are meaningless distractions. Russian industry is widely dispersed and is impossible to deal with by strategic bombing. Naval blockades, for a nation as self-sufficient as Russia, are totally useless.
This is one of the most difficult invasions as Germany. As you can see, USSR's land mass is huge and it has a large army. However, you should have much higher quality troops. Before the invasion, try to have 1941 infantry and improved medium tanks.
It is vital that you define your objectives and lines of attack clearly in advance. You can predict likely defensive positions and break through to surround and destroy them decisively. If you do not your offensive formations will be engaged piecemeal and may suffer the risk of encirclement themselves.
Every year the Russian military churns out more and more modern infantry units. In sufficient mass they can make your life very difficult indeed. If you have a plan and the units to implement it, do not wait another year just to make sure your armour is all Medium rather than Light tanks, nor to make sure your air support is all the latest models. Be bold and strike early.
Two Offensive Seasons
Observe weather map behavior year-round. As historically, Western Russia suffers from heavy mud in the Spring and Autumn. Mud is more fatal than any other condition to the progress of armored and motorized formations. Your best time to attack is immediately after the clearing of the 'Rasputitsa' - this gives you the longest campaigning season. Because air support is more effective in the summer, the ideal time to attack is May - watch the mud dry out for yourself on the weather map.
Deploy for maximum effect
Deploy your armed forces sensibly.
Your strategic plan will include the likely locations of defensive obstacles, e.g. major cities, swamps, forests, etc: and obstacles that limit enemy movement (e.g. the sea).
You must deploy armored and mechanized groups en masse so as to get the highest chance of achieving one or more decisive encirclements. They need to be deployed flexibly, i.e. in relatively small Corps. There are no benefits to large unit size - if the mechanized units encounter a serious obstacle they must either encircle it or wait for reinforcements.
The armored units must be assisted by the infantry. Their role is:
- To provide overwhelming force at the initial point of breakthrough of enemy lines
- To pin in place enemy forces that are subsequently to be encircled
- To assist in the destruction of Soviet pockets, in particular in bad tank terrain (cities, marshes)
- To move up in support of the spearhead.
Multiple Axes of Attack
Ideally, you'll have enough troops to divide them into three or more large army groups. The Northern Army Group should try to capture Leningrad and Moscow. The Center Army Group should try to capture Stalingrad and Sverdlovsk. The Southern Army Group should try to capture Baku and help the capture of Stalingrad.
Single Axis of Attack
If you assess that you have relatively few armoured/motorised units it may be best to aim for a single axis of attack. In this case you must ensure that you infantry and artillery keep other areas of the front under continual pressure so that the enemy is not able to concentrate all their forces on your principal axis.
Russia's Natural Offensive Limits
There are areas of Russia in which it is impossible to conduct a mechanised offensive. The roadless Arctic forests, the Caucasus mountains, and the Central Asian deserts. These terrain features are a natural defensive limit - when you have pushed te Russians back that far, the balance of combat tips back to the Russians favour. Ensure that you have destroyed enough of their forces so that you can achieve your strategic objectives before becoming bogged down here.