Part 55: Turn 52: June 11, 1942
Almost there and then we get some back to back clear turns! I don't even care that this favors the Germans, anything but mud is all I ask.
You don't even have a face.
The rifle corps are fitting out nicely, after a single turn in refit these 6 counters are already have the highest CV in the red army. They're going to refit/train for another ~2 turns, I'm not putting them on the front before the last mud turn and once we get into the summer season proper I'd like to see what the Germans are doing. I'm not in any rush since I've got another winter season coming to do the real damage in, anything I can accomplish here is just a bonus.
The Germans are shifting their lines around up here but I don't think it's enough for me to really make any progress.
Nope, not enough. Thankfully my diligence in making sure I've got sappers everywhere means that close losses like this at least buy me a reduction in fortification. What I'd really like to do is convert some of the infantry divisions up here to corps and try to force wedges into the line to force the Germans to abandon some of these forts. Honestly though I'm in no rush to do anything up here, I'm going to continue to concentrate on the south and maybe we'll get some AP to spare up here in a month or two.
Not a whole lot we can accomplish here either. Unlike in the north there are a few areas where I am concerned though.
Near Kalinin recon reports 3-4 motorized/armored formations. This isn't really enough to do anything and the only reason I even mention them is because:
Of this, just a few miles south. There are at least 15 panzer/motorized divisions in this screenshot and there's probably a few more lurking behind the line that my recon can't find. This is a huge concentration of force and is even scarier than the one in the south since this one looks like it has some extremely well equipped and rested formations. That 22=X triple stack towards the southern end of the picture is a 13=65 panzer division sitting on 2 infantry divisions which frightens me since it's the panzer I have the best scouting reports on. Most of the other panzer and motorized divisions I've got worse recon scores on so they may be stronger than they appear.
Worst case scenario, I've got 2 infantry, a cavalry and a tank army all on call for this front, another 3 infantry armies with rifle corps refitting to be shipped off south that could be re-allocated for containment here and another 3 infantry armies waiting on AP. So if when the last mud turn ends the Germans shred my line here (which I don't think is going to happen,) I've got 7 armies ready to go right here, another 5 on other fronts that can be railed in for an emergency and 3 more that can be made ready to go within a week.
On the other hand nothing says German offensive like weak flanks and this is no exception. It's open season for the western front and they rip into this weak German line. With all their forts gone the Germans will have to devote some stronger German units here to stop me breaking through the line in the coming weeks.
There are a couple hardpoints here where either rested German infantry or weakened panzer divisions are holding the line. Most of this line will disintegrate under any real pressure and once it does the stronger units will have to abandon their fortifications to stay safe and then that's all she wrote.
Hardpoints like this, 5 attacks on some German regiments and Romanians and that's 2 divisions for me. With next turn being the last mud turn these guys are locked in, I'll be able to reinforce this pocket and then they'll be mine.
These guys have been waiting so patiently for the mud to clear and now I finally get a chance to thank them for it. While I'm at it something new happens!
This has actually happened once before when the 9th Army surrendered up near Leningrad but this is the first time I've managed to snag a screenshot of it since this only pops up for a few seconds. This happened because there was a HQ in the pocket and leaders have a not-insignificant chance of biting it if their HQ is forces to relocate out of a pocket like this. I'm not exactly sure what the chances are, it doesn't happen every time I pocket a HQ but this didn't surprise me.
The rest of the front simply pushes out, routing a few Romanian formations and pushing the German ones back. The Romanians are in really bad shape, some of these counters probably need to get pulled off the line for a few weeks to get back into shape.
Unwilling to leave a Romanian counter un-routed the Coastal army commits to a pair of rather bloody battles to first reduce the fortification of, then drive out a German and Romanian counter on the southern flank of this front. With that fort crushed I'm able to cross this minor river (the Sula) unopposed and should be able to push for and take the eastern bank of the Dneipr after the mud clears.
More and more Germans every turn, this area was so nice 3 weeks ago and they just had to crash the party.
The Crimean front launches a trio of attacks to clear the way to Cherkassy. I may be able to take the city during the mud next turn if it isn't reinforced, which would make it very easy to encircle those 4 divisions on the eastern bank.
Still a lot of German armor floating around here, it looks like there's less than last turn but it's hard to tell when they're not actively attacking me.
More foreign regiments
I'm playing a dangerous game down here. I want to take hexes where I can then cram them full of strong formations so the Germans can't take them back straight away. The problem with this is that my forces are incredibly dense down here and with things packed so tightly it doesn't take much to turn a simple retreat into a rout. So to maintain my concentration of force down here without throwing away morale on free routs I fuse two of the rifle divisions in the 1st shock into a guards rifle corps.
Now isn't that pretty. With this corps to break down forts I might finally take this goddamn hex above Odessa and get past these impassable hex-sides that have been driving me nuts for the last month. I've got enough troops that once I crush or at least encircle Odessa I can just keep pushing the German line further and further back until it's too long for them to cover and it snaps.
The final mud turn, Germans launch no attacks.
So close to being done. These clear turns are almost worse in a way, you get into a rhythm of the tedium of back to back mud turns and then these clear turns come along and say 'Look! This game is fun, remember?' And then you hit end turn and the whole front turns to mud again and
The front map is interesting, I made a lot more progress during the mud turns that I thought I would, especially on the southwestern front.