Part 103: Turn 110: July 22, 1943
Gotta seal that pocket off again and then continue grinding down the German line. I don't think I've got the ability to cause large breakthroughs right now but I can bleed the Germans instead, time is on my side.
The pocket is resealed, this time with rifle corps which should hopefully hold fast. I would very much like to start reducing this pocket faster just so I can get 2 of these fronts back to the fronline. I've got something like 1.4 million men (10x as many men as the Italians have in-theater) back here pinning these Germans in and I've got better places for these guys to be.
Another pair of infantry divisions are trapped by the Leningrad front as they move up to complete the line by making contact with the Baltic coastline. Keeping these guys moving forward is going to be difficult until I manage to get their entire strength on the line so getting rid of those Germans behind my line is a huge priority.
Just to the south the Volkhov front blows a hole in the German line but lacks the troops to do much with it. Same problem the Leningrad front is having but on a different scale, all my troops are on the line because I've got 3 fronts behind it so there's not many troops in reserve to advance when the Germans are forced to retreat.
The Bryansk front takes a single hex west of Bromberg but is unable to force a crossing of the Netze to continue advancing. They're going to have to rely on the Steppe front to the south to roll this line up and force the Germans back to the next river.
I have a feeling it's going to be a horrible grind down here for the next few weeks, I really need some more artillery.
Speaking of which, the Steppe front launches 5 attacks with this one succeeding. They're going to have to take a week or two off if this continues, they cannot sustain the level of casualties they're taking at the rate they're taking them.
The Central front is not having a good week.
The one upside is the North Caucasus front manages to force a crossing of the Oder, this one hex will allow us to slowly begin taking the entire western bank and drive the Germans back into Bohemia.
The action down here is really starting to slow down. I need to decide soon if I want to bring in some more troops or if I want to pull some of my armor out of here for a more active front. Bringing in more troops down here would cost a lot of AP so I'm leaning towards stripping the transcaucasus front of its tank army and railing it north for the push on Berlin.
The other option besides re-activating and railing in a reserve army would be to rail in one of the fronts holding the Koenigsberg pocket. Half a million rested, well equipped men would make a huge difference down here so I might do that even if I strip the armor from this region. The transcaucasus front is and has been kind of a disorganized mess and isn't contributing a whole lot besides holding sections of the line so the western front can concentrate force, having another real front down here would be huge.
A few hexes are taken, all I really want to accomplish down here is to slowly continue to advance north while keeping all the Germans in the region in this region. There's a shitload of German counters down here and I'd love for them to stay down here.
I'm also not seeing many reserve activations down here. My recon is reporting that there are panzers out there but they aren't joining in for some reason.
The pockets hold, time to start taking prisoners.
Across large stretches of the line the Germans abandon their undermined positions and fall back 20-30 miles to dig new forts along rivers.
Another German withdrawal was unexpected but I can see why they did it even if I don't agree with it. Oh well, it's a good opportunity to refit some of my more battered armies and reorganize the front for the next big offensive.