Part 78: Turn 78: December 10, 1942
With the front struggling to catch the retreating Germans the number of battles has dropped off over the last few months. The net result of that is there aren't any guard promotions going out anymore. The upside is the rails have caught up in the extreme north and south and the rest of the front is slowly improving. I think I'll start making real progress in mid-January through March. Then the spring mud will roll in and I'll really have a chance to fix my rails, the spring mud is much much longer than the autumn one.
Air recon is goddamn useless in the blizzard. I flew basically every plane I had up here and all they can tell me is there's probably Germans somewhere. On the other hand this means German recon is useless as well, which should help me hide the fact that I'm moving over a million troops onto the Hungarian border.
The Leningrad front is one of the best supplied forces on the map with rail lines only a few miles behind the front. They're also basically the only force on the map that's being held back by the terrain, the weather and Germans rather than a lack of supplies. I should be into Estonia proper before the end of the month and then I should be able to move much faster since the Germans will have to disperse their forces into a much longer line.
The Northwest and Volkhov fronts make contact with the German line but are too tired to launch any attacks. If the Germans stick around next week I'll be able to lay into a few of them but I have a feeling most of these counters won't be here next turn.
Supply is awful here. I'm actually not going to advance on this front this turn, instead I'm just going to consolidate my line and wait for the rails to catch up. I'm simply unable to advance everywhere right now even if I'm unopposed and this front is going to be the first casualty of my stretching supply lines.
Supply is a little better down here but it's still going to be a few turns before it really improves.
In the swamp the Don front runs into a line of German regiments. I don't think these will be here next week but if they are I'll be able to beat up several of them.
The rest of the front takes up positions roughly parallel to the German line. I'm not interested in taking any more territory down here until supply improves. Right now the railheads are bout 150 miles behind the line but I've got my RR corps running a line up from Romania that should hopefully alleviate some of the problems. I really just need a few weeks for the truck pool to recover. Offensive operations in the south are going to eat up a shitload of trucks and I don't think the pool can bear the pressure if the rest of the fronts keep advancing 10-20 miles every week.
There are a lot of RR units down here though so the wait shouldn't be too long. If these guys all repair 1 hex a turn I should be back on the move by February at the latest.
And finally some real action. Troop buildups are continuing this week, next week I should be able to deploy and the week after that the fighting starts.
Stalingrad front continues to shift south as the Transcaucasus front moves into the mountains. The only real thing of note here is the sheer number of Germans in the Carpathians.
And the invasion force assembly point. A light screen of Romanians is holding the line while the armies unload off the trains. At the moment there are (not including the Romanians) 1.2 million men, 19,000 artillery tubes, 3,800 tanks and over 2,000 bombers waiting to strike along a line that's barely 100 miles long. Next week the Romanians are going to pull off the line and the armies will move into place. Week after that the German line will hopefully shatter and then the operation will begin.
For now though I just push an over-extended Italian division back and then end my turn. These turns are almost like mud turns, I'm so low on supply everywhere that I can't do anything.
In the north the Germans hold fast, intent on denying me access to open country.
The south is quite the opposite with the entire German line falling back a few miles to keep away from me. What they don't know is I couldn't follow them if I wanted to.
And down on the Hungarian border the Germans launch 2 attacks, driving back the flank of the Romanian army stationed here.
Almost ready to attack, just a little more time to get everything into place. The rest of the front is going to remain mostly static, I really want the rails to catch up so I can relieve some of the pressure on my motor pool.
These turns are going to be a little short because most of the Red Army is resting/out of supply.