I had really, really wanted Trebian to be able to be present at this, the third of three closely grouped evenings in The Den, but alas, he was unable to be present. Why? Because for the last twenty years he has bourne the vicissitudes and misfortunes of the Red Army with equal amounts of good grace and grumpiness; fighting off the Fascist hordes with little more than rifle ammunition and a pistol to the back of the neck.
Tonight was to have been your night, but YesthatPhil stole the glory that was rightfully yours: Trebian, this battle report is for you!
1st Shock Army crashed over the hastily assembled defences around the rail junction west of MOSCOW. The battle was brief, bloody, and it resulted in the line breaking and falling back after three days of fighting.
The remnants of 20 Panzer Grenadier Division, although not properly reorganised , were thrown into the battle in the hope that they would plug the gap. They did not.
As the siege of MOSCOW closed it’s iron grip around the beleaguered Wehrmacht defenders, a weary resolve manifested itself inside the city. Herman Goering had boasted of his ability to supply the encircled defenders until spring, but had not reckoned on losing the airport. Parachuted supplies gave only the basics of ammunition and some essential medical supplies; the garrison was running on empty.
18 Guards Rifle Division spearheaded the assault on the Kremlin….
but as the perimeter shrank under heavy bombardment*, it was 102 Rifle Division that led a final futile counter attack out of GORKY PARK**
Peace of sorts descended over the shattered ruins of MOSCOW as long lines of prisoners trudged east to an uncertain future.
Soviet advance dressing stations collected casualties. Alas there were no such luxuries for the defenders.
* The plant pots decked out in Bundes Republic Deutschland colours are the new replacements for my party balloons (Pins).
**At this point, I put Ride of the Valkyries on to the record player. Enjoy the war whilst you can … the peace will be terrible!