Part 60: Turn 57: July 16, 1942
Back to a more normal guards recruitment schedule now that the first wave is out of the way, what a shame.
The 19th army's commander gets recognized for his rather impressive W/L ratio and the 49th army gets the greenest general in the Red Army as a replacement.
Back to the Leningrad front for the first time in a while, but what has changed?
This, 3 extremely over-strength rifle corps have arrived with the intention of destabilizing this front and getting things rolling again.
Success! They will be joined by a second army of corps in a few turns. Progress will be slow but the goal is to just keep the pressure mounting. I don't want there to be a single spot on the line where the Germans feel they're stable.
Straight lines like this are very rare in this game, normally an angled line is much better defensively because you only present 3 hex sides to the attacker at the edges of the front where a straight line like this allows for 3 hex sides every other hex. The only reason this is staying so static is because I'm not interested in devoting a lot of manpower here and the Germans are scrambling to get more units south.
Even so, I'm able to take a little bit of territory with the forces I've already got here. It's not much but I want to lengthen the line absolutely everywhere I can.
Near Orel I keep the pressure up, taking 3 hexes from the Germans. There's no real fortifications from here down to the fortlines near Odessa so I really want to keep pushing the Germans back to prevent them digging in.
Speaking of forts, do you guys want me to play with them on or off? I've been playing with them off and just turning them on to check levels while planning stuff. I could just leave them on but I think it kind of clutters the screen and makes it harder to follow what's going on. What do you guys think?
Time to rescue those tank corps before the Germans make me pay for my hubris.
The northern edge of this front has suffered from the dash to rail German units south. A frontwide attack commences, pushing the Germans back everywhere and cutting off some entrenched infantry divisions. They're going to escape because I don't have the MP to encircle them but I might be able to catch them again next turn.
Further south we take the eastern bank of the Desna but lack the MP to occupy it. Next turn the river will be ours and I can concentrate on either forcing a crossing or moving some of these assault troops to other areas. If I can hold a riverside hex for a turn or three the Germans will never take it back from me.
The push for Kiev continues. With most of my rifle corps pushing northwards to the riverbanks this area is advancing at a slower pace but still making good progress. I should have complete control of the eastern banks within a few weeks. I also rescue those tank corps, these things are extremely fragile and are going to need to be babied for a while until they get a better ToE.
Down south a STAVKA cavalry army swoops in and takes the city of Cherkassy and encircles 2 German and 1 Hungarian infantry divisions while they're at it.
There were too many attacks on this front for me to post all of them but this one in particular caught my eye. A '42 panzer division with less than 10,000 (probably less than 6-7,000) men and less than 30 tanks. Most of the panzers aren't this bad but I've only seen 1 with anywhere near 100 tanks, most are floating around 50. A panzer division with a full ToE would have over 140 tanks and 15,000 men right now.
Right now the Germans have got ~20 panzer divisions that each want 140+ tanks, 10 motorized divisions that want ~50 each, and 3 SS panzergrenadiers which are calling for 55+. So if the Germans wanted to fit out all their mobile units with tanks they would need around 3,500 tanks which is pretty unreasonable, a healthy number would be 2,500-3,000. What they've actually got after the attacks on this front is 1,350 and falling, they're fucked.
The line here is looking weaker than ever, the Germans are leaving the defense of Romania to Romanians and it isn't going to end well.
Just cleaning up the northern end of this front and I uh, found this:
I'm a panzer division!
This line is collapsing, enormous gaps are forming that can only be filled with Romanian counters that have been repeatedly routed and stomped on since December. That's if they can be filled at all.
I've broken through the fortline, Odessa will be mine before the end of the month.
Near Kalinin we see a few attacks from better equipped German units but they don't accomplish much.
On the Bryansk front the solo counters I pushed forward to hexes get punished, not a big deal.
The Germans ahve finally realized I'm taking this river no matter how badly they cripple the rest of their fronts and decide to cede the eastern bank and entrench on the west. Crossing this river opposed will be nearly impossible so once I take the eastern bank I'm going to have to come up with a new plan to get across, maybe rail my rifle corps south to join the Crimean front.
The Germans realize the futility of trying to keep me out of Odessa now that I've broken the fort line and fall back leaving only a token force in place to slow me down.
The German line is collapsing from Bryansk to Odessa, the Germans need to trade land for time to refit their battered counters. The question is do they have enough land to trade? I've got the rest of July, August, September and half of October in the clear before they get a 4 turn break. Then the blizzard starts.