Berezina is the second campaign in the Army General mode in Steel Division II. It has a level 2 difficulty/complexity.
The German front is broken. Soviet mobiles forces are racing into Army Group Center's rears to isolate and capture its command and logistical centers. Meanwhile, the Germans are cobbling together whatever forces they can to hold the red tide long enough for powerful reinforcements to arrive.
Vitebsk has fallen and its garrison, an entire army corps surrounded & destroyed. The same fate awaits, in the hours to come, the last defenders of Orsha still fighting.
The German front has been smashed and Soviet exploitation troops have already been inserted in the breach and are racing toward Minsk.
German high command reacted to the crisis has it could, mobilising whatever rear-area units it could to act as breakwater to stem the red tide, protect Minsk and re-establish a defensive line to give survivors from Vitebsk & Orsha a chance to return to friendly lines.
Orsha is about to fall. Army Group Center's front has broken, and what remains of the 4. Armee is in full retreat. No major German unit now stands in the way of the Red Army's march towards Mińsk and Molodocheno. Thir railroad link is vital to the Wehrmacht - it is the Army Group's lifeline. Cutting it is one of the major Soviet objectives. The Berezina river is the last natural obstacle the Germans can use to slow down the Red Army, especially the bridges near Borissov. The 5. Panzerdivision has been dispatched as reinforcements, but its lead elements are arriving piecemeal in Minsk. Meanwhile, the river is only defended by a weak screen of security troops.
Your objectives are twofold: To capture Minsk and the major train station at Molodocheno on July 2nd at the latest. Stavka also expects you to capture Borissov before July 1st, in order to allow our troops to the south to trap and capture the remains of the German 4. Armee.
Historical outcome[edit source]
Despite 5. Panzer's heroic rearguard action along the Berezina river, what was left of Army Group Center was unable to rebuild a coherent defensive line ahead of Minsk, especially when the Soviet 3rd Guards Mechanized Corps, helped by partisans, managed to cross the Berezina north of Borissov.
By then utterly spent, 5. Panzerdivision could not prevent the fall of the Belarussian capital city, and retreated toward Molodocheno. With the Berezina line broken, and the Soviets already driving on Minsk from the northeast, German High Command ordered the evacuation of the city on July 2nd, pulling all the troops back to Molodocheno.
The next day, July 3rd, the Soviet vanguards entered and liberated Minsk without firing almost a single shot.
- Hold Molodechno until July 2. There are three other objectives scattered on the map and it can be a challenge to hold them for the Axis player... Unless they break through and seize the Soviet airfield to the southeast, near Radischa and Ljubanitschi. In general, the Axis is at a severe disadvantage, as the Soviets have a tremendous amount of reserves and high quality, standardized units at their disposal, whereas Axis battalions tend to be scrappy, cobbled-together units held together with duct tape and the few remaining quality NCOs. Forcing the Soviet player to overextend and isolating their spearheads, rather than confronting them up front and trying to win through attrition is necessary.
- Furthermore, the Axis has limited reserves and few free ones: Holding Begoml until Evening June 28 will grant a free RONA battle group to deploy at Begoml.
- For the Soviets, the principal challenge is breaking through entrenched positions at Bobr and Krupki, through to Borissov, and crossing the Berezina. The dense forest in the Begoml sector, Studenka, and Borissov are the only ways to negotiate the mighty river and the swamps. Once broken through, the Axis player has little chance of actually stopping the onslaught, true to history.
- Morning June 26, 1944 (0): Soviets storm Orsha. Its garrison is in its last hours.
- Evening June 26 (1): 5. Panzer lead elements arrive in Minsk.
- Morning June 28 (4): Generalfeldmarshall Busch is relieved of command. Generalfeldmarshall Model replaces him.
- Evening June 28 (5): Mogilev falls to Soviet troops.
- Morning June 26 (1): 5th Guards Cavalry division is available.
- Morning June 28 (4): 9th Gds. Fighter Rgt. is available with 1st Air Army.
- Morning July 1 (10): Two days left to take Molodechno comrade, or the 1st Belarussian Front will beat us to it and take all the credit.
- Morning July 2 (12): The other fronts are advancing on schedule while we're stalling. We need both objectives under our control before nightfall.
- Victory: The liberation of Minsk and Molodechno seals the fate of the 4. Armee - trapped east of the capital, the Germans have no option but surrender.
- Morning June 27 (2): The Red Army liberates Orsha.
- Evening June 27 (3): The surrounded German garrison at Bobruisk is attempting a breakout. Panzer-Regiment 31 is available with 5. Panzerdivision.
- Morning June 28 (4): Luftflotte 6 reinforcements become available.
- Evening June 28 (5): Begoml had been held long enough for the collaborationist RONA brigade to evacuate most of its troops. A detachment from this unit is fighting as its rearguard. Panzerregiment 14 is available with 5. Panzer.
- Morning June 30 (8): The enemy's aim is clearly focused on Minsk and Molodecheno. Hold them at all costs.
- Morning July 1 (10): Hold on Minsk and Molodocheno for two more days, and we'll have enough troops to beat back the Soviets.
- Morning July 2 (12): Hold on more one more day, reinforcements are on their way.
- Victory (13/14): Holding on to Army Group Center's lifeline, the Germans managed to bring enough reinforcements to put an early halt to Red Army's race to the Vistula.
Order of battle[edit source]
- Morning June 26 (0)
- 134. Gv. Bomer Rgt. (1st Air Army, 20)
- Fighter Regt. 'Normandie' (1st Air Army, 20)
- 19-ya Gv. Tank. Brig. (3rd Guards Tank Corps, 25)
- 31-ya Tank. Brig. (29th Tank Corps, 25)
- 35-ya Gv. Tank. Brig. (3th Guards Mech. Corps, 25)
- Evening June 26 (1)
- 10th Gds. Bomber Rgt. (1st Air Army, 20)
- 74th Gds. Assault Rgt. (1st Air Army, 20)
- 53-ta Gv. MSBr (29th Tank Corps, 30)
- 5. Gv. Kav. Div. (3th Guards Cavalry Corps, 60)
- 8-ya Gv. Mekh. Brig. (3th Guards Mech. Corps, 20)
- Morning June 27 (2)
- 900th Fighter Rgt. (1st Air Army, 20)
- Reserve (29th Tank Corps, 25)
- Reserve (3th Guards Cavalry Corps, 20)
- 9-ya Gv. Mekh. Brig. (3th Guards Mech. Corps, 20)
- Evening June 27 (3)
- Reserve (3rd Guards Tank Corps, 60)
- 6. Gv. Kav. Div. (3th Guards Cavalry Corps, 60)
- Morning June 28 (4)
- 9th Gds. Fighter Rgt. (1st Air Army, 20)
- 135th Gds. Bomber Rgt. (1st Air Army, 20)
- Reserve (3th Guards Mech. Corps, 50)
- Evening June 30 (8)
- 135th Fighter Rgt. (1st Air Army, 20)
- Morning June 26 (Start):
- s.Panzer-Abt. 505 (5. Panzer, 30)
- SS-Polizei-Abt. (Gruppe von Gottberg, 20)
- Evening June 26 (1):
- Vorgarde (5. Panzer, 30)
- Morning June 27:
- Panzergrenadier-Regiment 13 (5. Panzer, 25)
- Evening June 27:
- Panzer-Regiment 31 (5. Panzer, 50)
- Morning June 28:
- Reserve (5. Panzer, 40)
- Panzerartillerie-Regiment 116 (5. Panzer, 70)
- Evening June 28:
- Panzergrenadier-Regiment 14 (5. Panzer, 30)
- Battle group Kona (if Begoml is still held; RONA, 0)
- July 1st:
- Kampfgruppe Florcke (Gruppe von Gottberg, 25)
- Kampfgeschwader 4/III and Jagdgeschwader 11/III (Luftflotte 6, 30 each)
- July 2nd:
- Kampfgruppe Metz (Gruppe von Gottberg, 20)