Never expect your enemy to do what you want them to do!
The weakness of your proposed G2 Barbarossa is that you move into the Soviet Union at top speed with minimal infantry, maximum armour and no flank protection. It’s not really interesting if the Red Army can hold in Belarus against a massed German attack, but a lot more if the Wehrmacht can hold Belarus if the Red Army concentrates behind it and counterattacks once the Germans have moved in.
Well first, thanks for the feedback
That’s a very a very valid point, that the Russians would be most happy to destroy a large German stack on Belarus. It is possible for Russia to do so, depending on what it buys during its first 2 turns. However, Germany has a few options to prevent that from happening. I’ll go over them over the rest of your post.
After a quick count (might have missed a few) the Germans can move 13 inf / 6 art / 13 arm into Belarus on G3 and the Soviets can have a maximum of 33 inf / 6 art / 2 mech / 2 arm / 2 ftr / 2 tac ready for them in counterattack position behind Belarus. Though in reality they will have some of those guarding flank and threatening German open positions (which the Germans should be guarding as well by the way!).
G can move to E. Poland/Slovakia/Romania 19 inf, 5 art and 3 arm, if it doesn’t attack Yugoslavia. Lets assume 1 inf dies killing the Russian inf on E. Poland and another is killed by the Russians on taking Belarus, leaving 17 inf, 5 art and 13 armor on Belarus.
The Russians have initially 24 inf, 3 art, 2 arm, 2 mech, 2 ftr, 1 tac and they can add 2 rounds of builds to the attack, less 4 inf used to garrison Baltic/E.Poland/Belarus/W.Ukraine. If they purchase solely based on the offensive, they can buy 6 art on R1 and 3 art for Karelia, 2 arm and 1 mech on R2, maximizing their attack on Belarus and that will leave them with 20 inf, 12 art, 4 arm and 3 mech (plus the 2 ftrs and 1 tac), which would give them odds of 73% attack (including the shots by the German AA).
But there’s another one possibility when taking Belarus: let the Italians take it on I2 (on I1 you’d have to move the 2 armor from Albania/N. Italy to the Eastern front. It is something it should be done always since they can act as can openers for Germany). Then the entire German stack can move to Belarus, including all the planes. Odds for a successful attack by Russia? 19%, just by landing 2 German ftrs and 2 tacs there.
But let’s imagine G decides not to move to Belarus: the Italian attack failed or the Russians left more than 1 inf behind, preventing the fighters from landing.
Then G simply moves its stack to W. Ukraine. It cannot be attacked by a Russian stack on Smolensk and if the Russians pull back the stack to Bryansk then it may be attacked by the Germans. The UK fighters can’t reach Bryansk by UK3 just the 17 inf, 5 art, 13 arm of the German stack has a chance of 57% of taking Bryansk on G4. Add the Luftwaffe and the odds go higher, depending on the AA shots. So essentially Russia either risks an all out defense of Bryansk or pulls back into Moscow, essentially giving up most of Russia to the Germans. Decisions…
What other options for the Russians? The scenario above implies that Russia would focus its production in artillery to prevent the Germans from moving into Belarus. There are probably other options, such as abandoning completely Novgorod and focusing on preventing the Germans from moving their stack to Smolensk/Bryansk by G4. Meanwhile a 2nd German stack of close to 20 arm/mech (the ones used France and G3 production on Romania) will arrive at W. Ukraine by G4. Decisions…
The moment you move forward, you will lose your infantry screen. After that you can either wait for new troops to take the hits, losing a lot of time while the UK and US fleets are making their first landings in the West … or start trading armour for infantry against the Soviets, which is also a recipe for disaster.
The answer is not to waste infantry or tanks taking 1 IPC territories that are not in the path to Moscow (blitzing through empty territories excluded) - the Germans don’t have to fall for that Russian tactic if they don’t want to, it is a waste of resources for minimal gains. And any enemy infantry left behind the German stack can be killed by the armored reinforcements.
You also mentioned on the beginning that I am not protecting my flanks. Well, the 4 inf from Bulgaria can cover the southern flank while the Finnish infantry can push towards Leningrad - if the Russians attack them they are merely diverting units from their defensive efforts on the center.
By the way, not saying that a G2 Barbarossa is always doomed from the start, but that quick massed armour push to the north will fail against an experienced Soviet player.
I’m trying as well to come up with ideas for the Soviets to defend against this. Above is only a possible scenario. The Russians might decide to abandon Novgorod on R2 to concentrate further against the Germans. The UK might land on Greece on UK1 to activate those infantry, creating a thorn for the Axis on the Balkans. Who knows?