Part 40: Turn 37: February 26, 1942
So this is the last turn of the Blizzard. Next turn we're going to have a string of 4 snow turns before the spring mud starts which means I'm going to have to switch over to a defensive footing for the time being. We bashed the hell out of the Germans but the Red Army simply isn't built for offensives right now and we're hurting because of it. Once we get out of the mud it'll be easier to figure out what our plans for the Summer are, whether we need to fight a defensive action or whether we can continue limited offensives in areas where we have an advantage.
While I'm rejiggering our lines for the coming mud I'm also going to take this opportunity to fix our armies again. In a few turns when the snow ends the command point cap of every army will drop from 21 to 18 meaning I'm going to have to strip the equivalent of a brigade and a division from every army before April to prevent my armies from becoming overloaded.
There were no rifle formations promoted to guards status this turn and this is why. Over 11% of our standing rifle forces are guards so we probably won't get another guards formation until the cap raises from 10% to 17% in July.
Ah the perfect way to end the winter of '41. Zhukov took over STAVKA at the start of the Soviet turn 1 when Stalin sacked the old commander and so he's been with us for basically the whole bloody affair. Kind of fitting that he gets promoted and he's going to break 1,000 victories on the last turn of the blizzard.
I've built up a pretty big stockpile of AP over the last few turns of blizzard and decided it was time to invest some of it by reassigning my front commanders. All the leaders of my fronts are now handpicked so when some idiot gets promoted I'm the one you can blame. The reason I'm doing this now and not 30 turns ago is because I'm planning on getting all my fronts under their CP cap before the end of the mud so I'd like to have some jerks who can actually pass checks in charge.
This front is still very much in flux. The lines have not settled down after I captured that army so it's very difficult to predict what I need to do here. My plans are for the Leningrad front armies to dig into the city and await reinforcements while the rest of the front takes attacks of opportunity where they are presented while digging into the marshes and forests up here.
Digging into the city, most of these units are in refit but I don't think it will make much difference. It doesn't seem like there's a whole lot of reinforcements flowing in here so it's going to be awhile before these formations are all back to full strength. For now I'm just going to dig in, no way am I moving up into those hexes the Germans are offering me.
You can also see the northwest front continuing it's work on opening up the gap into the city. If I can get another ~20 miles I can repair the rails running into Leningrad and really get supplies flowing.
The 13th army is pulled off the line, they're going to refit then head west and join the defense of Leningrad to relieve the battered defenders.
The 4th shock army is pulling off this front entirely so they're booking it for the nearest intact rail lines and catching a ride south.
The Volkhov front continues to deploy towards the line. Ideally what is going to happen as they finish deploying is they'll accordion out to the west allowing the Northwestern front to take more of its divisions off the line to refit.
We also force those 2 Finnish formations that got caught by our recon forces to surrender.
Switching to the defensive is going to have the largest impact here, my line is weak in places and needs to be shored up before the Germans can take advantage of it.
The weakest part of the line was near Rzhev so I shift the cavalry over to cover it. I had been planning on pulling these 2 cavalry armies off the lines but I don't have any infantry armies to take their place just yet so they'll have to hang around for a few more turns.
Looking at things defensively doesn't mean we're going to stop launching attacks where we can though. I'm going to keep launching attacks of opportunity wherever I can, the Germans are reeling right now and letting off the pressure completely would be one of the worst things I could do.
This front is kind of a disorganized mess right now. I need to get this sorted so I can actually make sense of what I've got here.
The 44th and 41st Cavalry armies get pulled off the line to refit at Orel.
The 1st shock pulls off to refit at Kursk and the 18th (in purple) pulls off to refit while railing south.
We do launch a few attacks but my priority is getting the line into shape.
More reorganizing to do here but there's also more attacking to be done.
First off the Southwestern front gets back together for the first time in months.
Down here you can see the shape my lines are going to take over the next few weeks. A hardened front with a reserve of refitting and mobile units a few hexes back. As the frontline units become exausted or undermanned they rotate into the reserve and one of the reserve units takes their spot on the frontline.
And the Transcaucasus front continues their drive for Odessa.
Snow! Goodbye blizzard, you will be missed. Also I'm not planning on turning the weather overlays back on, they're ugly and make it hard to play the game.
The Germans open up the snow season with a wildly unsuccessful assault on Leningrad, good show boys. Along the rest of the line there are scattered attacks of opportunity until we get to:
A panzer army appears spearheaded by none other than the L.A.H., back again for more.
In the far south the Germans attempt to halt the advance of the Transcaucasus front by reinforc...
We launched 29 attacks this turn with 26 succeeding and the Axis responded by launching 46 attacks with 15 succeeding. This snow isn't particularly advantageous to either side, our forces are tired and understrength and will have difficulty launching attacks without the blizzard modifiers while the Germans have been beaten to hell and back and they desperately need the mud to set in so they can fix their line and refit some troops.
That blizzard was wildly successful and I'm looking forward to seeing what the Germans are capable of come the summer campaign season.