Part 81: Turn 81: December 31, 1942
A few new guards promotions to celebrate the war starting to pick up again. Just a few more turns for the rails to catch up and then most of the front will start advancing again.
With great rails up here the only thing holding me back is the German army. Since they've decided to hold their ground I actually have to fight for my gains, a novel concept.
With German reinforcements up north I can't break through the line but I can push it out a little. As more and more Leningrad troops make it out of the chokepoint I'll be able to keep stretching this line until it snaps.
The rest of the front takes some hexes and prepares to fuse rifle corps next turn. The German line is much weaker than it looks, some continuous pressure and it should shatter.
Going to move up a tiny bit this turn, see if I can find that German line.
This might be a line but it's hard to tell without recon flights, I imagine the real line is further back and these are just here to slow me down.
The Bryansk front pushes a division out of the way and advances on Minsk. There's definitely a large number of Germans here just beyond my lines, the question is if they'll stay here or not.
No Germans here either, I think they're only 20-30 miles out there but that's far enough right now.
Light resistance in the swamps, mostly regiments still. The Germans will have to commit a little more troops than this to stop me.
Rovno is liberated by the Voronezh front while the Stalingrad M.D attempts to encircle a well-equipped infantry division. I really doubt it will let me encircle it but forcing the division to abandon its fortifications is good enough.
The Crimean front pushes out from Tarnopol and meets only weak resistance. Have the Germans stripped this front of defenders or is there a real line a few miles behind the line?
A few recon flights reveal that there might be a line about 20-30 miles deeper but it's so hard to tell in this blizzard, those counters could be anything.
Time to apply some pressure and see if the Hungarian border can hold fast.
The guns of the Western front open up and sweep aside the forces holding the Hungarian border. The Axis forces are pushed back 10 miles along the entire line and near the border town of Salonta the line fails completely. 3 tank armies leap into the gap to wedge it open and prevent the Germans from bottling me up next turn. Off to the right you can see the Grossdeutchland motorized division and what is presumably the rest of the reserves down here.
All in all a pretty successful opening. The real question now is do the Germans have enough reserves down here to stop a breakout.
North of Tarnopol a panzer army with 400+ tanks slams into the Stalingrad M.D. and drives it back 30 miles. There's at least 2 more panzer divisions behind the lines that didn't participate in the battles so I can't count their tanks, meaning this army might have as much as 25% of Germany's tanks. I'm curious as to what the Germans are trying to accomplish here, did they just see a weak point in the line and wanted to punish me or is there something else going on here?
Further south the Germans retreat deeper into Hungary in an attempt to prevent me breaking out. It might work in the short term but this dramatically lengthens the line, something that greatly favors the Red Army.
I'm pretty skeptical about getting an encirclement in Hungary like I wanted but forcing the Germans deeper into Hungary is a nice consolation prize.