Part 76: Turn 76: November 26, 1942
Things are starting to come back under control. The AI RR repair units are beginning to make good progress towards the front and Romania will get hooked up this turn which should relive some of the pressure in the far south.
The Western front is now ready to be re-deployed to the frontlines. Now I just need to pin the Germans down somewhere long enough that I can blow a hole in the line and exploit it. I'm thinking near Minsk but as the supply situation in the south improves I might head down there instead and pulverize that newly formed German line. Next turn is the first turn of blizzard and I'll have 2 tank armies online so I'll make my decision then.
The Germans really aren't eager to fight me up here which is a shame since this front has by far the best supply situation.
The Leningrad loops north around the lake in search of Germans to fight. None yet, I was expecting them to try and hold this isthmus against me.
Further south Pskov is liberated without any resistance from the Germans. If Finland had been able to keep her borders secure against me taking Pskov here combined with the Leningrad front's progress in the north would have triggered surrender checks. Progress is slow due to my chronic shortage of trucks and the poor terrain up here. The latter will improve as I push further west and the former might get better as the rail lines in the south get fixed.
It's been weeks since I've had a good fight here, I'm getting more and more curious as to the strength of the German line that I'm chasing. Air recon makes it look like it has some depth or at least reserves but gives no details.
The supply situation is grim on the Kalinin front and won't improve for some time. The closest rail head is about 140 miles away and the trucks have to cross several minor rivers to bring the supplies this far out. I'm going to keep pushing west slowly but I don't expect to be able to do much fighting once I get there.
Contact! The Bryansk front pushes a few German counters around but doesn't make contact with the main German line. Supply is getting worse and worse here and this has decided it for me, it would be pointless to deploy more troops here now when I can barely keep these troops supplied. The western front will be railing south next turn to crack the German line south of the marshes.
And the only place on the entire map where there's a large German force in contact with the Soviet line. We're so close to Germany here that they can't afford to trade space for time so this whole line is going to get torn apart.
Moving through these swamps one hex at a time. I bet these Axis counters are going to pull back next turn so I can't attack them.
Very little progress here, I'm simply too far out from the railheads to be effective.
A little better, 2 attacks blow a hole in the line near Tarnopol. Unfortunately I lack the MP to take advantage so the line is just going to reform next turn.
My rail-repair corps is ready to start running a rail up to the line in preparation for the offensive down here. Ideally the line highlighted in red will be repaired within 4-5 turns but it should be close enough to launch an attack within 2-3. Only having 1 rail repair unit I can control is really putting a damper on my ability to launch offensives now, I cannot wait until I get a second one in March.
This has all ground to a halt but that's alright, I've basically accomplished my objectives down here for the time being.
Holy shit that's a lot of Germans in the mountains. Absolutely nothing I can do here, just gonna sit tight and not let the Germans take back any territory.
Digging in on the Hungarian border. The town I have occupied on the north bank there is Arad, one of the surrender conditions for Hungary. From now on Hungary is going to make surrender checks every turn until they either surrender or take the city back. With the city taken and the campaign in the mountains ground to a halt I'm basically done here. I've got no real interest in invading Hungary right now, there's way too many Germans defending it for how useful it is. I'd much rather just sit right here and wait for the Hungarians to surrender while forces further north push for Germany.
The '42 blizzard starts in earnest, it's a shame that I probably won't be able to launch a real offensive during December though because:
The Germans pull back again, this time in the south. How am I ever supposed to attack them if they keep running away Honestly I don't really mind, the closer we get to Germany the shorter the line will get and short lines will allow me to produce a very dense frontline with minimal AP investment. In the meantime I'm going to start rolling out Red Army 2.0 to the frontline armies once I finish setting up my mobile formations. I really want to be able to exploit a breakthrough if I can ever get the Germans to sit still long enough for me to make one.
After looking at the map for a while I realized there is one area where I can launch a major offensive and actually get something for it besides a few cities.
Hungary. My supply lines into central Hungary are the best on the map and if I'm quick about it I could encircle another German army and trap them in the Carpathians. While mobile forces drive for the mountains the Western front can swing west taking Budapest, Bratislava and maybe Vienna. I really wasn't planning on launching another offensive this far south but this new German retreat has forced my hand, there's literally nowhere else on the map I can commit more troops this month or maybe even next.