In terms of military might, the Russians had the advantage. About 2 million men, over 10,000 tanks, 25,000 guns and mortars, around 3,000 aircraft, and most importantly the home advantage. All these factors made the defending Russians an extremely difficult opponent to deal with.Especially since they could call on a million more men easily. This sim is easier for the defending side to win.
However, this didn't mean that Baron and Meng Tian didn't have advantages either. The attacking German side had quite a few capable generals that could hold their own for a little while without help should they be in such a situation. Almost 800,000 well-seasoned soldiers, hundreds of panzers that could blitzkrieg, around 10k guns and mortars and thousands of aircraft.
In history, the German forces tried to pincer the Russians along the north face and south face of Russian territory. Many German divisions attempted to break through these two faces and meet at Kursk to deal the finishing blow to the Russians. This plan had varying levels of success, but after the Russian counterattack, the German forces could not beat them even with more reinforcements.
Baron and Meng Tian had also decided to launch their troops to try and break through the north and south face to finish it off in as little time as they could. Of course, committing all of one's forces for an all-out attack was not the smartest move to play right at the beginning of any war. Instead, Baron had decided to personally take a portion of their forces to try and capture a strategic location that was further south of where they were sending the rest of their troops.
Since Baron was going to personally lead this group of men, he had already spent some time drilling them on certain procedures that he deemed would be useful. Right at the beginning of the first day of the war, Meng Tian was in charge of leading their men to break through the north and south face while Baron would slip further south into Russian territory and try to take over the oil mines.
There was a whole host of reasons why Baron decided to go through with this plan instead of just helping out Meng Tian up north. This cluster of oil mines made up quite a percentage of Russia's total oil mines. If these were to fall into Baron's hands, the oil production of Russia would sharply fall. As an additional plus to Baron, the Germans would be able to move the oil to the main body of tanks and this added oil could be used to gain an incredible advantage.
The matter of it was that these mines were undoubtedly going to be fairly heavily guarded. After all, who would let such an important resource go undefended? Baron had gambled on his intuition that Meng Yi, Yue Fei, and Guan Yu would not be here to lead the troops themselves. This is why he made haste to get to these mines as fast as his small division could go. This small detachment consisted of about 2k men, a few hundred heavy artillery, 50 aircraft, and around 100 tanks.
If all went well and he was able to successfully get the series of oil mines under his control, then there would be another detachment sent to secure these mines while Baron would make his way to the front lines of the war. Time was of the utmost importance since he had no confidence that he could do anything if the other side decided to send reinforcements to these mines. For this reason, he had already sent in a few spies ahead to soften up the defences.
For the first few days, Baron stealthily made his way toward the oil mines. He made it to the first target after three days of travelling and was able to take it without much trouble. Drop a few bombs, surround the place with tanks, then send in the infantry to subdue anyone inside. All while trying not to hit the reserves of oil of course. It would be pointless if they couldn't use the oil after they had spent so much manpower to take it in the first place.
Once the first mine was under Baron's control, he radioed for the other army to come in and transport the reserves and transport it back to base. These fellows would take another few days to come so Baron decided to leave a few men behind and proceeded to make their way to the next mine.
There were twelve in total and before the news even reached the enemy's ears, Baron had already taken control over all of them and was in the process of transporting all the oil out. Baron had two choices to choose from at this point. He could divert part of his total army, inferior compared to the Russians, to defend and maintain these oil mines or to just destroy them right after all the oil in reserves were taken out.
There were pros and cons no matter which path he decided to go down, however, he ultimately decided that keeping the mines, for now, would be the best course of action he could take. As soon as he made this decision he assigned 50 aircraft to have rotating shifts in order to circle an area of 100 km around the oil mines to scout for any and all enemy attacks.
If any such armies were to encroach on this border, the pilots were to radio each oil mine. There was a leader assigned to each mine and they were ordered to destroy the entire mine and get out as much oil as they could should an enemy appear. The most important order they were given was to not, under any circumstance, engage the enemy. This was because Baron knew that if Russian reinforcements did come, these few men would have a very miniscule chance of winning. Therefore, it was best to just burn everything up so the Russians could not reclaim the oil mines.
With this successful campaign under his belt, the German forces had boosted morale when they heard the news. Baron only took two weeks to complete this endeavour, yet he could not shake the feeling that something was off during his ride back to central HQ where Meng Tian was.
Something unexpected happened in that Meng Tian contacted Baron first.
(MT) "Baron, things aren't looking too good on my end. The three of them have surprisingly disappeared overnight."
(BM) "What do you mean disappeared?"
(MT) "Last night they were still there patrolling their borders, doing routine stuff, but this morning, they had all seemingly just packed up and left."
(BM) "It shouldn't be possible to move something as large as an army in one night."
(MT) "If it was only one of the enemy army pulling this stunt then I wouldn't feel the need to contact you at all. All of them have just seemingly up and gone away in the course of one night."
(BM) "Now that seems to be some sort of ploy to divert our attention somewhere else."
(MT) "That's the point, I don't have any clue where they are. Radar stations show no sign of any of them. Scouting planes aren't seeing any movement either. It's like they weren't even there to begin with."
(BM) "Perhaps they just moved all their forces further inward toward Moscow?"
(MG) "Either that or they somehow managed to get behind us to launch an attack."
(BM) "No that's impossible, best to meet up again before we decide on anything that would impact our entire army."
(MT) "Sure, just get here as fast as you can."
Baron was racking his brain trying to think of how Meng Yi, Guan Yu, and Yue Fei were able to even manage something of this scale without either him or Meng Tian noticing. Once the two of them met up again, they decided to hold a war council with all of the other commanders.
They all decided the best course of action was to move the majority of their forces further into Russian territory and see if there were at least some tracks that were left behind that could help lead them to a clue as to what happened to so many troops and machines. Baron and Meng Tian spent half a day just restrategizing and how they were going to move their troops as efficiently as they could.
Once they moved most of their forces though, something began to stir behind them. Baron and Meng Tian were blissfully unaware of such a development and continued to get closer and closer to the heart of Russia unopposed.
The reason that they couldn't find where the enemy army had gone was that the enemy forces all went underground. With this single move, Baron and Meng Tian were about to be pincered by Russian forces from the front and back in the very middle of Russia.