Part 88: Turn 88: February 18, 1943
I'm so sick of chasing these Germans but I'm extremely curious as to what this new line is going to look like. Recon reports look horrifying but it could just be lots of weak counters.
Like so. It's very difficult to tell just how many units are there from this far away but it sure looks like a lot.
The Leningrad front pins 2 more divisions on the coast and threatens another 2. I think there's also another 3-4 divisions running west to escape via ports or hold the offshore islands against me. Probably both.
Those 3 trapped formations surrender and their would-be rescuers are encircled. This is a pretty paltry force to try to break a pocket with and the Germans are paying the price.
The Northwest front is creeping up on Riga, I'm curious as to if the Germans will try to hold the city or abandon it and fight on the river.
And the mobile elements of the Volkhov front pour across the river. The tanks sweep out in front converting hexes and the infantry follows up. Moving through Soviet controlled hexes is much cheaper than pending or Axis hexes so the infantry will be able to leap forward next turn when all the hexes the tanks grabbed swap sides next week.
So much ground to cover here and I'm already at the edge of my supply, bleh.
No supply here.
Or here. Also visible here: the worlds slowest encirclement.
Better supply down here but there's still a lot of ground to cover.
The pocket is sealed, 4 infantry, 1 mountain and 1 panzer division are trapped and will be reduced next turn. Incidentally, while I was encircling these formations the 13th Cavalry corps converted 3 hexes on the other side of the pre-war border. With the Germans apparently content to give up this land for free I'm going to be capturing a handful of Polish towns over the next few turns.
2 more divisions surrender and the Southern front marches for the pre-war border. Rails are pretty good this far south, my only concern is it's very difficult to deploy a lot of these troops due to these awful mountains.
Some possible pockets to form and just in time too, it looks like there's a shitload of troops railing in from the west.
The SS division routs instead of surrendering because I don't want to wait a turn for it to become isolated. I'm sick of these mountains and I want to be out of them before the mud hits.
7 German infantry divisions and a Hungarian security division with basically no hope of rescue. The Germans might be able to break this pocket but I really doubt their ability to get these counters behind their line before I re-encircle them.
The airborne divisions join the war and attempt to dislodge an infantry division but are repulsed by a reserve panzer activation. Oh well, there's always next turn.
And on the western front the German line is basically shattered and driven back to the Danube. I've turned on the weather overlay here since this is on the edge of a weather zone, yellow is Blizzard clear is snow. This blizzard is really becoming a problem for me, my mobile units are just unable to properly exploit this weak German line in this weather. Anyways I would not be surprised to see the Germans give up another 10-20 miles here, they've got a shitload of counters railing in and they just need to time to deploy them.
If I can see this many counters there's probably a bunch more I'm not seeing.
In the north an old friend with a new name swoops in and fails to rescue the trapped divisions. Say hello to the Das Reich Panzergrenadier division and get a good look since they won't be around much longer. Priority #1 for the Northwest and Leningrad fronts is now to prevent that division from reaching a port.
The large pocket on the North Caucasus front is broken from the inside but nothing makes it very far and they will all be re-encircled next turn.
In Hungary a Panzer corps swoops in and fails to break into the large pocket here. I'm glad I moved up those cavalry last turn, their presence means I might be able to punish this force.
The German OoB is stronger than it was at any point in 1942 with a healthy number of infantry and tank numbers soaring to new heights, their strategy of never letting me maintain contact and hovering way out of range seems to have paid off. The real question is if the German line will be able to hold through the summer of '43 after my rail lines catch up during the spring.