1.     Pregame Notes

 

As Rennenkampf, commander of the Russian First Army, I plan to advance cautiously along the Kovno-Konigsberg rail line.  My main concern is that, by advancing too quickly, I will expose my supply line and Southern flank to a German raid or worse.  Most of the German army is initially deployed against me, so it is quite likely that I will be hit early and hard from the front.

 

As for the pace of my advance, my objective is to capture Gumbinnen in the first week (turn 2) and Insterberg in the week after (turn 3).  Once I have secured a line between Insterberg and Angerberg (at the top of the lakes), I intend to secure my northern flank by capturing Tilsit (turn 4), and then deploy the IC corps in the woods to the East of Labiam, which by that time will be of little use because the cavalry will be fatigued.  By then my reserves will have arrived and they will be committed to securing the territory to the East of the lakes, including the town of Lyck.  The last two turns of the game will see a continued push towards Konigsberg (if the Germans are weak) or to the South West (if the Russian Second Army appears to be in trouble).   

 

2.    Turn 2

 

·        First Impulse (2 days).  Despite my urging to the contrary, Nakhichevan, commander of the IC Corps has insisted on a cautious advance.  Lacking significant cavalry reconnaissance, the rest of the First Army advanced only to the outskirts of Stalluponen.  The Germans, however, retreat before my superior (?) force, and we occupy the town.  Air and cavalry reconnaissance fails to pinpoint any real concentrations of Germans other than some activity near a rail station.  I requisition the II Corps from the South to join the First Army and protect its flank.

 

[First Army City VPs = 0; SP Losses: 1 (German); 0 (Russian)]

 

·        Second Impulse (2 days).  Summer heat slows the various armies down.  All of my Corps are now advancing.  The IC Corps has overcome its initial hesitancy and aggressively scouts forward, penetrating approximately 40 km into Prussia.  The III and XX Corps, augmented by the 2c div advance on Gumbinnen, which appears to be held by a lone German cavalry regiment.  The German cavalry withdraws and Gumbinnen is occupied after only 4 days!  We are ahead of schedule and advancing faster than I had hoped or planned.

 

[First Army City VPs = 5; SP Losses: 1 (German); 0 (Russian)]

 

·        Third Impulse (3 days).  Our advance is picking up speed.  All my leaders advance forward.  A light rain, however, prevented aerial reconnaissance, but the newly inspired IC Corps moved forward aggressively again and discovered various elements of the German 1c division.  We overran a motorized battalion, but the rest of the division slowly withdrew and screened my advance.  A concerted effort by XX captured Insterberg.  My army is now a little too spread out advancing on a front 65 or so km wide, but I don’t believe the Germans are pressuring my front, so we will continue to advance quickly.

 

[First Army City VPs = 10; Losses: 1 (German); 0 (Russian)]

 

3.    Turn 3

 

·        First Impulse (4 days).  We win the initiative and I opt for two big impulses on the theory that there are fewer opportunities for the Germans to force march (and fewer combats to kill Russians).  Well, the best laid plans of mice and men!  Our first big (4 day) impulse and virtually every unit in my army is on hold!  Only IC with two and a half attached divisions is flexible.  My ability to advance is so restricted that not too much progress is made.  On a positive note, IC did sweep through Tilsit and reached the outskirts of the woods and swamp East of the Konigsberg fortress area.  The III Corps located the Kg lw division, but came off the worse for it (2 SPs lost).  The Germans continue to pull back.  Given my lack of mobility, I entrench my troops in a line between Insterberg and Angerberg to await a German repost.  Three reserve divisions move quickly towards the front to provide additional security and a reserve against further attacks.  Having obtained all of our objectives in the North, in our countermarch phase, the First Army begins to reorient itself to the South.  The IC screens the Germans in the woods in the North; III Corps falls back towards Insterberg and reorganizes; XX and IV Corps move towards Angerberg at the top of the lakes; and II Corps swings around the East side of the lakes to set up a surprise attack on the Boyen fortress complex – the key to the German lake position.  Finally three reserve divisions anchor the flank to the South between Goldap and Sulwaki.  I have heard no news, but I must now assume that the Second Army is tangled up with the German Eighth Army.  With luck, my attack on Boyen and aggressive moves around the lake will distract the Germans.

 

[First Army City VPs = 15; SP Losses: 0 (German); 2 (Russian)]

 

·        Second Impulse (3 days).  Finally, the Russian army resumes its advance!  Moreover, IC adopts a flexible defensive posture in the North.  The Army’s reorientation to the South is now complete.  The IC Corps screens the woods between Konigsberg and Insterberg from Nordenberg to the coast.  The III Corps acts as a central reserve just Southwest of Insterberg (the Germans will show up soon, won’t they?).  The IV and XX Corps attack the German IR Corps on the lake just West of Angerberg.  Although the Germans are entrenched, a preliminary bombardment followed by a two-corps assault netted some prisoners, with no losses to speak of!  If this is the vaunted German Army, we should be in Berlin by turn 10.  Our goal now is to fix the German IR Corps in place and crush it against the lake.  II Corps then attacked a lightly defended Boyen fortress complex and made excellent headway by destroying the garrison and crippling the fort.  A follow up attack took the fort.  II Corps then followed up with an attack on Lotzen and repulses a counterattack from the German IR Corps.  Forced marching by XX and IV around the West side of the lake to pursue the German IR Corps resulted in significant (3 SPs) straggler losses.

 

Given this impulse’s unexpected successes, I am going to have First Army seize the central lake position over the next week and the have the reserve corps swing around South to take Lyck and establish contact with the Second Army.

 

[First Army City VPs = 15; SP Losses: 4 (German); 5 (Russian)]

 

4.    Turn 4

 

·        First Impulse (4 days).  We take the initiative and sweep around the northernmost lake from the West, while forces from the East move South of Lotzen, pocketing the German IR Corps in between the lakes!  The trapped German corps tries to escape and hurls itself at the surrounding Russian divisions, but is stopped cold by the entrenched 26th division.  The IR Corps must be close to running out of ammunition and has been incurring substantial losses.  Fierce counterattacks by the surrounding Russian corps drive the German IR Corps into cul de sac, the only exit from which is now guarded by my IV Corps.  The German IR Corps bravely entrenches and awaits relief, but the prisoner points are already starting to trickle in.

 

In the South, Lyck falls and our reserves close in on Johannisberg.  Soon we will link up with the embattled Second Army (I hope).  I intend to transfer a full reserve corps of three divisions to him when we link up if he is in bad shape.

 

[First Army City VPs = 20; SP Losses: 17 (German); 3 (Russian)]

 

Second Impulse (3 days).  The German IR Corps is repeatedly attacked and holds out for a couple of days before a mass surrender.  The XX and III Corps push through the lakes, capturing various German rearguard formations.  All in all we netted 19 prisoner SPs this turn with only minimal losses.  The II Corps takes some replacements and the First Army surges Southwest past the lakes to link up with the Russian border.  It is unclear where the other Russian army is.  Unfortunately, our supply situation is stretched to the max, but I will continue to hunt for the rest of the German Army. 

 

[First Army City VPs = 20; SP Losses: 19 (German); 2 (Russian)]

 

5.    Turn 5

 

·        First Impulse (2 days).  My army consolidates and pushes forward through the lake district to the edge of the swamps North of Ostroleka.  No sign of the Russian Second Army.  Still only minor skirmishes with the German rearguard.  I am in a very dangerous and exposed position.  The IC Corps is holding a line approximately 100 km long stretching from the coast all the way down to the lakes.  If the Germans hit me in the North my entire army could be cut off from its supply line.  However, I am counting on the fact that he may assume my army is still up around Kongsberg, which may give me a chance to fall on his flank or rear – assuming I can find him.

 

[First Army City VPs = 20; SP Losses: 1 (German); 0 (Russian)]

 

·        Second Impulse (2 days).   Despite my urgings that the First Army move forward as quickly as possible, the entire First Army holds its position with only small advances.  I assume the commanders’ reluctance to advance is a result of the fact that the entire army is struggling at the end of its supply tether.

 

[First Army City VPs =20; SP Losses: 3 (German); 2 (Russian)]

 

·        Third Impulse (3 days).  Still struggling at the end of our supply tether, the Army continues to hold and only modest gains are made.  A combination of logistical constraints and the innate caution of my Army and Corps commanders has prevented us from penetrating further into East Prussia.  I can only hope that the Second Army is holding its own.  I have to assume that it is not doing too badly since the Germans have yet to reorient towards my army.

 

[First Army City VPs = 20; Losses: 3 (German); 2 (Russian)]

 

6.    Turn 6

 

·        First Impulse (2 days).  My army consolidates and pushes forward through the lake district to the edge of the swamps North of Ostroleka.  No sign of the Russian Second Army.  Still only minor skirmishes with the German rearguard.  As we are struggling at the end of our supply line, we reorient towards the West with the goal of taking Bischofsburg and (with luck) Allenstein.  A reserve division that is posted at the end of my line by the swamp reports fleeing Russian soldiers in some disarray heading East.  That is not a good sign for the Russian Second Army.

 

[First Army City VPs = 20; SP Losses: 0 (German); 1 (Russian)]

 

·        Second Impulse (2 days).  Struggling at the end of our supply tether, we take Bischofsburg and Bischofstein.  Still encountering only light German resistance.  More German units are identified in front of our line.  Nevertheless, we still have not found the core of the German Eighth Army.  A report from the Russian Second Army tells of large series of battles inside the Russian border.  Apparently, the German Eighth Army is still in Poland.  I send a message to the Russian Second Army Commander to advance through the swamps to link up with my army.   I will continue to push West, which will eventually force a German withdrawal from Poland as I threaten to cut his supply lines.  My army has very high morale owing to all the prisoners we took in the lake region, so I think I will be able to give some damage to the German Army when it turns to confront me.

 

[First Army City VPs =20; SP Losses: 3 (German); 2 (Russian)]

 

·        Third Impulse (3 days).  In a fierce battle with mixed German units, including a landwehr division, we take Allenstein.  Our line runs from the edge of the Konigsberg fortress complex in the North, down to Domnau, Heilsberg, to Allenstein and the South to the Russian border.  The German Eighth Army appears to be coming at me from the South from Mlawa and Przansnysz.  Two corps entrench preparing for the onslaught.  Their morale is high, but the Germans do not attack.  The rest of the Russian First Army prepares to push for Dtsch. Eylau to cut the German supply into Poland.  Reports from the Second Army indicate that, although it has taken a beating, it is now preparing to counterattack the Germans in the marsh to the Northeast of Przasnysz.

 

[First Army City VPs = 25; Losses: 12 (German); 6 (Russian)]


Game Totals for the Russian First Army

 

Russian VPs for German cities = 210 VPs

 

Total German Losses = 63 SPs  (Approximately 94,000 men)

 

Of which:

 

Total German Casualties =  38 SPs    (Approximately 57,000 men)

Total German Prisoners =  25 SPs   (Approximately 37,000 men)

 

Total Russian Losses =  25 SPs (Approximately 37,000 men)