Part 38: Turn 35: February 12, 1942
Lots of Germans to capture this turn, I'm looking forward to seeing how many we've got.
Vostrukhov is a garbage commander and is commanding on of the armies on the flank of Leningrad. Purkaev is a great commander who is holding part of that huge pocket. I still need to page through the Red army and cull our some of the worse commanders, maybe this turn?
Also I missed it earlier but we can now build on map artillery and howitzer brigades. I will not be doing this just yet because these early versions are pretty shit and don't pack enough of a punch to justify them costing 5x as much as a support unit artillery, taking up space on the map and costing command points to attach to armies/fronts. I probably won't make an on map artillery formation until the end of '42, maybe this summer at the absolute earliest.
Oh boy Oh boy.
The city is in terrible shape, these troops are all exausted and low on supplies. I launch a few attacks with the stronger divisions but mostly we just sit still.
And the pocket, we've got 18 infantry divisions and 2 panzer divisions to capture.
Delicious. This dramatically reduces the length of the line up here so we're pulling 3 armies off the line to refit. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet but having highly trained, fully equipped, well rested troops in reserve is never a bad thing.
Oh yeah, my recon in force has managed to cut off a Finnish brigade and division I guess? I'm not really sure how this happened, I think the Finns are all napping while they wait for the Germans to take Leningrad. Even cut off I'm not sure I can kill these, they're going to need to be cut off for several turns before before the brigades that make up my forces up here are able to take them on.
The Germans aren't doing so well on this front but honestly we're probably in worse shape. I'd estimate about 1/3rd of our forces here simply aren't fit for combat and need 1-2 weeks off the line and the troops that are 'fit' usually aren't much better off. For the past 2 months I've been prioritizing attacking over maintaining the quality of my formations in most cases. With the blizzard winding down I'm no longer in such a frenzy to do damage and I'm going to pull divisions off the line to refit much more aggressively.
Most of the front looks like this. We're taking what attacks we can and pulling tired units off the line so they can get a week or two of rest before rotating back in.
I don't normally pay much attention to my rifle brigades but while I'm clicking through various divisions trying to figure out who needs a break I run into these guys. These are the guys that need a break. On the plus side their morale is pretty high so atleast they're having a good time.
The last of our encircled Germans are on this front and I very much doubt we're going to get any more for awhile.
It's a long shot but that triple stack has a motorized division in it so I wanted it. Unfortunately I can't muster up the CV to cut it off so it's going to escape.
I take out my frustration by forcing the 2 encircled divisions to surrender and then attacking the motorized stack with some cavalry. If I can't capture it I'll settle for sapping their morale and bloodying their nose.
While working my way down the line doing the usual routine of beating up anything that looks weak this happens. If a unit's morale is particularly bad it might surrender even if it's not surrounded. These Italians decided they didn't like the direction this war was headed and surrendered to my cavalry rather than retreating with the 2 German divisions they were sharing their hex with.
I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that the 1st shock army is now composed almost entirely of guards. Every unit in the army except for a tank brigade and a single cavalry corps are guards. While investigating this I notice this army has never once committed it's Engineer-Sapper brigades to combat. I stuck these on here as an experiment, I normally use just plain sapper regiments which get committed all the time.
Anyone know what's going on here? I assumed since Engineer-sappers have something like 130 sapper squads they were a combat unit that could get sent out but that doesn't seem to be the case. Either way I disband them and replace them with regular sappers.
Fuck you reserve activations, that was a 1=1 Romanian division.
Oh well, time for revenge. Shattered units dissapear from the map, and since this was a Romanian formation they will never come back.
Units shattering is pretty rare, you almost never see it except on the German June 22 turn.
Time to capture one last panzer division and then beat up some Romanians.
Hey aren't panzer divisions supposed to have some panzers? Come on guys get your act together.
I'm pulling the 26th army off the line completely, they're barely strong enough to stand on the line and occupy hexes let alone attack Germans. While I'm rotating them out though I notice something neat.
The army replacing them, the 47th, has managed to hang onto a real tank division that hasn't been downsized into a brigade. This monster has basically a full ToE and a rediculous 12 offensive CV. If I commit this thing to the frontlines I would predict I could get 3 turns of combat out of it, the rate at which this thing would bleed tanks would be horrific.
To put it into perspective how many tanks are concentrated in this single counter: This division has 232 tanks in it. Right now there is another formation on the map that has the exact same amount of tanks, the entire Western Front. Yup, an army consisting of more than half a million men has the exact same armor complement as a division of 6,000 men.
On the southern flank of the front the second Transcaucasus army deploys. These guys are well equipped/trained/rested since they've been spending the entire war so far 'guarding' the Caucasus. They're also composed almost entirely of mountain divisions which are goddamn deadly. The plan here is for them to tear into this southern flank and force the Germans to devote a stupid amount of forces to stop me, but I can see some panzers behind the line so maybe they're one step ahead of me.
Hey I found the Finns, time to run away.
That goddamn mountain division that's been a pain in my ass for the last month finally retreats. Now I can hopefully start to open Leningrad up further and get some supplies in there.
We launched 78 attacks this turn with 67 succeeding. In doing so we captured or destroyed 24 German divisions, one Italian division and one Romanian division. If you put that in numbers of men we killed, captured or disabled a quarter of a million German soldiers this week.