Part 102: Turn 109: July 15, 1943
If it pleases the thread, anime with russian tanks spam:
I'll update, just make it stop
More mechanized guards is a great thing, I don't have enough armor to go around right now so getting more out of what I have is essential.
Two things to deal with here primarily. One is to prevent that panzer army from causing too much damage, I cannot sustain the losses I took last week for an extended period of time. Second is to cut off half of that pocket and get the Central and Kalinin fronts heading west again.
The pocket comes first and I open up with the Red Airforce. I haven't been making very good use of my airforce but it's so much stronger than the Luftwaffe right now it would be criminal to neglect it. 1,200 bombers take to the air against this single hex and cause over 1,000 German casualties. Besides the rather stunning losses from an air attack my hope is that this will severely disrupt the Germans and allow me to just roll over this hex and it's fort.
Yup, crushed them.
I follow that up by taking another hex below the target hex to allow my tank brigades to roll in and occupy the hex. The Germans may be able to dislodge my brigades to open the pocket up but they certainly won't be able to get any forces out, there's simply nowhere for them to go. 24 divisions with an estimated 150,000 men are now cut off from Koenigsberg.
The Leningrad front forces the surrender of the Germans trapped outside Danzig and then forms up to oppose this panzer force. I doubt the Germans will attempt to assault me again now that I'm prepared for it but here's hoping.
Panzer and panzer-grenadier activations continue to plague my probing attacks. Some turn out all right like this one where the German defenders are swept aside with light losses.
And others turn out like this where a pair of armored divisions swooped in and absolutely butchered 2 corps.
The Bryansk front runs headfirst into more of the same. This is telling me that if the Germans are going to start holding their ground like this I'm going to have to either make a lot more artillery and armored formations or get used to losing 4 Soviet solders for every German. I've got another tank army under construction right now and once that is finished I'm going to see if I can't get some more breakthrough artillery divisions out to the frontline. If I start running into larger forts than these level 2s I may also invest in a handful of on-map sappers to force breakthroughs.
The Germans are sticking to rivers absolutely everywhere down here which will make it even more difficult to make progress against the panzers.
Advancing into dug in divisions across even minor rivers is causing nasty casualties even on battles I win handily, luckily the Germans take similar losses and they can't afford them.
A weak section of the line with no river to hide behind is blasted open and my tanks advance to within 20 miles of Breslau before being stopped cold by the SS Das Reich Panzergrenadiers. With the central front in green mostly across the river I'm all set to win a lot of battles next week if the Germans don't give up 20-30 miles on their turn.
The rest of my forces in this area continue to reorganize and meet the Germans along another minor river which I am not prepared to cross just yet. I'm not in much of a rush down here, getting across this river quickly would just get me bogged down in the Czechoslovakian/Bohemian/Moravian mountains that much faster.
There are an obscene number of Germans preventing me from advancing north towards Prague. Luckily though it looks like most of these counters are understrength so I should be able to continue gaining ground as I push north.
Beautiful. Way less panzer activations than in previous weeks and the frontline troops are easily brushed aside. Now it's just a question of what the Germans have got behind the lines to stop me doing this next week. It should also be noted that there's a dearth of rivers in this area which is letting me get some very nice casualty ratios.
Looks like they really haven't got much behind the lines to slow me down. Not a terribly impressive break but it will destabilize the entire German position here and allow me to push further north much more quickly.
And down in Austria the Germans hang out in the mountains and I leave them to it. Also visible: one of 2 Italian counters I can see on the map.
The other visible Italian counter on the map, currently hanging out in Italy itself. A huge contribution to the war effort. Allied landings in Sicily started roughly 5 days ago so even this level of support from the Italians will soon fade.
The sub-pocket is easily broken and will just as easily be resealed next week. Annoying but not unexpected.
The panzer force in the north withdraws back behind the German lines.
And near Breslau they withdraw back 20 miles to prevent me rolling up the line. I think this is the first reasonable response I've seen from the Germans in months.
All I need to keep doing at this point is continue bleeding the German Army. Soon enough their losses will become unsustainable and then their entire line will begin to collapse. Perhaps finally liquidating (half) of the Koenigsberg pocket will be the last straw.