Part 107: Turn 114: August 19, 1943
I feel like I've finally got the Germans back on their heels and in striking range so let's get to it, I want to ruin them from the Baltic to Bohemia.
Plan is to spend the week absolutely ruining the line north of Posen, the Germans seem particularly weak up here and they're out in the open.
Another hex is taken from the Koenigsberg pocket, if the Germans retake it from my tank brigades they won't have any fortifications and will easily be evicted again. If I hold onto the hex then I can begin wearing down the level 3 fort in the Koenigsberg hex.
On the Baltic coast the Leningrad and Volkhov fronts make good progress, driving the Germans completely across the river and grinding down forts all along the line. Next week I should make it across the river completely and then I'll be in the open.
The rest of my forces in this region also make some progress but at a high cost, these Germans are a bit better equipped and are in better defensive positions so I pay a heavy price for every hex I take.
OK, here's where the action is this week.
Stage 1: The Steppe front forces its way across the river, shifting several German formations and soaking up a lot of panzer-grenadier activations. Perfect.
Stage 2: Cavalry swoops in south of the city and clears out the river bend of Germans, less and less panzer activations as the assault goes on, by the end I'm able to launch hasty attacks against divisions without a response.
Stage 3: Army rolls through the shattered German line and routes unattended airgroups and HQs and before being stopped by reserve activations from panzers in the far north. Normally this would be where this ends, my tanks are way behind German lines and beyond any hope of resupply. However last week I did an HQ buildup on 3 of my tank armies which means their HQs have huge reserves of fuel to keep this going for another week and I've airdropped an additional ~300 tons out there. With luck I should be able to maintain 40+ MP on these tanks next turn as they either loop north and wrap up all of Army Group Center or they push across the Oder for Berlin.
HQ buildups are extremely expensive, building up a tank army like this costs 22 AP per army (more than forming a mech/tank corps costs) and damages a huge number of trucks. Thankfully my motor pool has been running stable at about ~80% of optimal so I can take the hit.
I've also got the Kalinin front coming up behind the lines, these guys will push forward and occupy the territory my cavalry is currently holding so the cavalry can continue moving west and covering my armor's flanks.
With no panzers left in reserve to slow them down the rest of my fronts here easily brush aside the German defenders and advance 10 miles
With a third front joining this region I might finally be able to wrap this up and concentrate on winning the war.
Trying to straighten out the line here and re-organize my forces. My armies here are some of the most disorganized on the map and they'd be much more effective if I got them into shape. It would also help if some of these Germans pulled out to deal with the situation in the north but we shall see.
Western front continues to grind through the German line. These guys remain one of my better fronts but they're tired and need a break, I'm going to see if I can't start pulling an army or two off the line to get them a week of refit.
And the Southwestern front joins the push for the western edge of the map in Austria, only about 100 miles to go.
There were a few pullbacks in response to this all along the line, mostly the Germans pulling back to prevent an encirclement but all the really important things are right in this screenshot. 6 divisions are poised to be cut off outside Posen and the Germans didn't pull all the way back to the Oder (which would have been ridiculous but with the AI who knows.) With my cavalry well rested and in range to blow another gap nd my tanks sporting 75-90% fuel I might be able to make a drive for the Baltic coast and encircle 3/4 of Army Group Center. The real question is there anything guarding Stettin and can I burn through another round of panzer activations and still make it to the coast.
With the last Polish city, Posen, falling under Soviet control this turn I'm now officially in range of winning the game. Berlin is 3 hexes worth a total of 16 points, if I capture all 3 I would have 37 VP and win the game, the trick now is cutting Berlin off and capturing it.
(Yeah I technically captured Posen last week but I never look at this stupid screen so sue me.)