The fourth session of the grand campaign started with the first half of October 1941 and finally, after more than two months of nice weather, the floodgates of heaven were opened. The entire Soviet union north of the Crimean peninsula was drenched, and the once traversable roads turned into fields of deep mud.
The fast German advance, with its focus and main thrust aimed at Moscow, was brought to an abrupt halt as the Wehrmacht were forced to bring out their raincoats and reorganize their lines to compensate for the hampered supply routes.
Down south this caused a delay in the German attack on the besieged city of Kiev - the only action taking place down there. In fact the German High Command withdrew the leader of Army Group south at the start of October, thus weakening that front somewhat.
The German confidence was severely shaken as the weather changed and they actually started building fortifications in some places. Meanwhile, over in the Soviet camp, we were dancing joyfully in the rain. Zhukov's arrival meant plenty of reinforcements and more time to fortify the Moscow area. The paralyzed Germans boosted our courage.
We spent the first half of October pondering when and where to lauch a counter attack - something we'd thought impossible in September. I had come to realise that the armoured spearhead of AGC had somewhat outrun its infantry support and that such an operation might be possible if we were given a few days of sunshine.
The second half of October saw a brief return of the sun and the Wehrmacht started up its engine once again. The aroured spearhead thundered east to strike at one of our key positions on the way to Moscow; a large forest on the west bank of the northern part of the river Don overlooking the eastbound railroad. We had placed an entire army there - well fortified.
Since the infantry was falling behind, not only because their slower pace, but also because the frontline had become severely streched along AGC's salient towards Moscow, the two panzer armies were forced to clear the areas surrounding the forest before they could strike. This gave us time to transfer Zhukov to that area and further more: the unprotected flanks of the Panzer armies meant that a counter attack was possible. The Luftwaffe had air superiority in this region, but they were busy elsewhere - supporting a (successful) crossing of the northern bend of the river Volga, between Moscow and Leningrad. Which meant that we could support the attack on the Panzers with every available aircraft. The German High Command probably thought that an attack on the armoured spearhead was nothing more than a madman's fantasy (he must have forgotten about Stalin...)
My companion Fredrik sent his best troops from the Moscow area west ( about 120 miles) and managed to form a half cirlce around Panzer Armee Guderian while the bombers roared overhead. We sent a few minor infantry corps ahead as cannon fodder to tie up two of the German panzer corps while our armor and Guards attacked the last one and managed to destroy it. The first counter attack had been a success and the sharp edge of the German sword was blunted for now.
The first half of November saw the return of the heavy downfall. The rain poured down everywhere. Disheartened by their loss of an entire panzer corps, the Germans actually withdrew from the Moscow area to consolidate thier lines and prepare for winter. In the south they manged to take Kiev, but advanced no further and even withdrew some advance troops to better defensive positions behind the Dnepr.
Realising that time was on our side we took no action apart from further strengthening our lines and actually advancing(!) in the south, where the Germans had withdrawn. Trust me, that was a strange feeling - driving westward in 1941!
November also meant the arrival of our Siberian elite forces, as Soviet intelligence have learned that there will be no Japanese attack on the motherland. They will come in handy as the snow starts to fall. Our plan is to use them as a moblie strike force and cause havoc in select parts of the German lines.
Another interesting thing is that the Soviet aircraft reserve is flooded with aircraft. We have tons of aircraft, but not enough pilots and/or resources to use them.
In the second half of November the mercury fell. The icy cold winds acompanied by tons of snow blew across Mother Russia. The Germans took no action apart from building some more fortifications. We followed suit and unloaded our angry, inbred Siberian troops in white overalls and told them to go put some hurtin' on them Germans.
December will see the declaration of war against the USA by Germany - American lend lease will be gladly accepted. The winter is here to stay, followed by a muddy spring. I doubt we will see any German offensive operations until May 1942. Perhaps onto Stalingrad?