Part 37: Turn 34: February 5, 1942
A new month! This is the last month of blizzard so any plans we have need to start wrapping up so we can settle in for the snow.
Actually the blizzard has already ended in the European zone but since the front is 130 miles from the Crimea I don't really care.
In February the SAD airbases start to disband and will eventually become more useful types of airbases. What this means for me is I'm going to have to invest some time in the airforce. I meant to do this about 12 turns ago but I keep putting it off.
And the Caucasus front gets renamed to the Crimea front. Unfortunately for them they're nowhere near the Crimea and when we get pushed back that far it'll be the Southern front's job to hold it. Sorry guys, Stalin named you wrong.
So I've been mulling over what to do with these brigades for a long time. They're not large enough formations to be any good at digging fortifications, I've got way too many of them to organize into armies and I can't turn them into divisions for another dozen turns or so. What I need right now, and what these brigades all have tied up in them is armaments points to reinforce my frontline divisions.
I could disband the lot of them but that would be incredibly wasteful, so what I'm going to do is use a game mechanic I don't think I've shown off yet to free up some of the guns and men from these divisions.
We've got the option to set the max % for ToE for every formation in the game. So by setting the ToE on all 66 of these brigades to 50% we'll free up a bunch of men and weapons for the front. Luckily the ability to set ToE levels is one of the functions you can control en masse with the commander's report so we don't have to click on every brigade.
I don't know why, but it amuses me that the submenus show up in the German gui's color. I'd estimate this will probably free up enough points to equip 60,000-80,000 men and more importantly these brigades will stop siphoning supplies and guns I want to go to my frontline divisions. The downside to doing this is when I convert these to divisions they're going to have to pull in replacement men to fill our their divisional ToE meaning they won't be as highly trained as they would otherwise be.
While I'm dicking around in the commander's report I pull up my total manpower of rifle formations (top) and guards rifle formations (bottom.) The reason why this is important is from January to June of 1942 I'm limited to having ~10% of my standing rifle force as guards. So we're probably going to get ~6-10 more Guards rifle formations at the current rate before we hit that cap and the promotion rate slows dramatically.
That's a shame because a well cared for Guards formation is a thing of beauty. These guys have won 9 consecutive battles and have never once lost a fight so their morale has skyrocketed to 62. Even with 40% fatigue and at half strength they're pushing out 4 offensive CV. Morale is a hell of a drug.
Well now that I've dug myself out of the rabbit hole of information that is the commander's report let's get to the front.
Look at that pocket!
On the approach to Leningrad we only launch a handful of attacks. German CVs are climbing higher and higher here and our troops are exausted.
Here's what we're interesting in up here though. The pocket snaps shut as the 57th cavalry and the 3rd shock armies meet up with the Northwestern front. It doesn't look like the Germans will escape this one so the German 9th army will probably surrender next turn.
I'm curious what the Finns are up to so the 7th Independent army crosses the no-attack line to find out.
We're still not in great shape here but we'll do what we can. There's still a few turns left before we need to start thinking about defense.
And this is about all we can do here, drive the Germans back another 10 miles and refit beat up divisions.
Well this front is slightly more exciting, but not much.
The twin cavalry armies on this front encircle the 2 infantry divisions that escaped us last turn and then push forward and retake the city of Orel.
I also pull the 40th army off the line. They're not doing any good on this overcrowded front so they might as well fall back and get some training in.
We're in better shape down here, but that's mostly because the Axis allies we're opposing are in worse shape than us.
First things first we bag a Panzer and an infantry division. I really doubt this pocket is going to hold, that mountain division is goddamn terrifying.
Further down the line the L.A.H. activates when we try to attack a Romanian division. Looks like they aren't doing so well on the tanks front.
The rest of the front we beat up any weak division we can lay hands on and secure our position on the western side of the river. Another army from the Transcaucasus front will be forming up down here next turn for a final drive before the blizzard ends.
The Germans are trying to push me back into the city. I'm having trouble dislodging the divisions around here so I might very well get cut off again in the spring.
The pocket holds.
Nothing else really happens, just a few scattered attacks.
We've been on the offensive for 2 months now and it's starting to show. It's difficult to keep our troops in supply and German CVs are rising. We're going to have to shift gears soon and start refitting and preparing for the end of the blizzard. In the meantime I'm going to reduce that pocket.
We launched 53 attacks this turn with 44 succeeding. A good success rate but you can clearly see our troops are becoming exausted.