Part 74: Turn 74: November 12, 1942
The start of the winter campaign season. The plan now is to spend the next few weeks preparing the Red Army for the coming blizzard months. In the meantime I'm going to continue to try and engage the German line but I'm not going to be in shape to really exploit any breaks I find or make. Most of my cavalry is rotating off the line to rest after the mud turns where they endured the brunt of the fighting and all my of armored formations are way behind the line as I mechanize them.
The only front on the entire map that is currently in contact with a large German force.
A few hexes are taken up here but not much progress is made. The Germans are still building up their forts and not every hex is held by a fully reinforced division. The real weakness of this line isn't the troops holding it though, it's how the line is setup. A line that goes straight along a cardinal direction, north/south in this case, is much weaker than an angled line. This straight line exposes every other hex to attacks from 3 hex sides where an angled line only exposes 3 sides on the very tip of the formation. That said there really isn't much room to do a proper angled line up here, they needed to fall back and with those lakes coming up to the west there's just not much room to give up.
Further south the Northwest front finds the German line and the Volkhov front moves to take possession of those 2 trapped panzer divisions. Finding out how many tanks they've got is going to have to wait for next turn but I've got a feeling they won't have much.
Behind the lines the Moscow M.D. forces those 3 motorized divisions to surrender. Unfortunately they don't appear to have had many tanks, oh well. Does anyone know if we've forced the Wiking to surrender before? I honestly can't remember.
Most of this front should engage the German line either this turn or the next. Mostly I'm just interested in actually maintaining contact with the Germans everywhere to ramp up attritional damage.
Some contact here, mostly along the Dvina above the landbridge.
Finally reducing these pockets, they'll be wrapped up next turn. Look at all those fucking tanks.
The Bryansk front begins to make contact with the German army. This line looks pretty anemic compared to what I'm seeing elsewhere and I should be able to punch through it relatively easily. That 2=34 regiment is pretty amusing though, I wonder what SU is attached to it to cause that. Also, first picture to include Minsk since like turn 2.
This fucking swamp. That border on the far left of the screenshot is Greater Germany aka the border before this war started.
The Don front forces a Hungarian division to surrender before diving deeper into this godforsaken swamp. I've got 1 army on each flank hugging the edge and 2 driving directly through the center. This is a dramatic over-commitment, I could probably clear this swamp with half as many troops. The hope is that once the swamp freezes over in a few turns I'll be able to make better progress with the extra troops and clear this stupid thing.
The Voronezh front makes contact with a weak German line and drives it back a hex, it appears that up here on the edge of the swamp the line is composed of mostly regiments.
Further south is a mixed bag. Some of these hexes are extremely strong to the point where I can't shift the Germans with the forces I have this far south. Others are extremely weak, held only by regiment sized units that should be very easy to evict. I'm still at the extreme edge of my supply lines down here so progress will be slow no matter how weak the German line is.
These mountains are hellish for getting supply out but there's not much I can do about it. Onwards!
The Romanian border is now secured and I begin to push across it where I can. It's pretty obvious the Germans are having as much trouble with these mountains as I am, atleast I've got some mountain divisions to wade through this mess.
On the other side of the mountains the Transcaucasus front encounters a solid German line preventing them from making it out of the foothills and int the clear territory beyond. Dislodging Germans in this terrain is going to be difficult to say the least, hopefully I'm able to go around.
Down by the Yugoslavian border the 1st Romanian and 4th Shock armies continue to clear the northern half of the country. I've got a feeling I won't find any real German forces until I get to Hungary.
From the gulf of Finland to the Pripyat Marshes the Germans fall back about 20 miles, keeping just ahead of the Red Army. It seems they're not keen on keeping contact with me just yet.
South of the marshes is another matter, more and more Germans are showing up here every turn. They're clearly not interested in giving up another inch and they intend to make me pay for it.
They also seem intent on keeping Hungary in this as more Germans show up denying me access to the lowlands where I can run roughshod over them.
Tank numbers plummet again as I start reducing pockets and the Red Army breaks the 9 million mark.