Part 91: Turn 91: March 11, 1943
The first on-map artillery gets promoted to guards and another cavalry corps gets promoted. I'd like some of my mechanized formations to get promoted but I'm happy with this.
Really just want to finish mopping up this mess in Estonia so I can get the Leningrad front down to Riga but I don't think the Germans are going to make it that easy.
So, since I took Parnu and then the Germans took it back the port is actually destroyed and I don't think the Germans are pulling in enough supplies to repair it. To ensure this I launch a series of bombing raids on Kuressare, the only other port the Germans control up here and destroy 30% of it. Is this enough to cut off the Germans up here or will they pull in enough supplies to continue fighting? Either way I'm going to rail in some more airbases with enough planes to level Kuressare, first wave of planes is going to be 1,100 PE-2's with 500 Yak-9's and P-40's to escort them.
I'm unable to budge the Germans out of Parnu so I'm going to have to settle for trying to destroy their ports. If I can prevent supplies coming through the ports then these troops will surrender.
Not much else interesting happens. The Northwest front retakes Riga and encircles an infantry division and the Volkhov front pushes forward and encounters a weak line. I'm fairly positive this line is just a screen to slow me down while the real line entrenches.
I'm pretty sure the Germans made a very large mistake with those panzers.
Zzzz no Germans.
The Luftwaffe divisions surrender and the panzer corps is surrounded by a fairly strong pocket which I don't think they'll be able to escape. Once I force them to surrender the Central front is going to start swinging southwest to take Brest Litovsk.
This front is a huge mess, way too many divisions. Not much I can do about it right now, I should have it sorted before the mud ends.
The battered Urals M.D. marches on Brest Litovsk and the Volkhov front continues un-opposed into Poland. Both of these forces are pretty battered, once they make contact with the Germans it will probably be a week before they're able to launch real attacks.
Bleh, nowhere near re-encircling these forces. I didn't expect to but it would have been nice. Barring something weird happening all these Germans should be most of the way back to the German line next turn.
The Germans have mostly abandoned eastern Hungary, now it's just a matter of trying to encircle that panzer force and moving to engage them in Slovakia.
That security brigade in the west has an infantry division under it and I'm completely unable to budge them this turn. Unfortunately that means most of these counters are going to slip away into Slovakia, there might be a few leftovers next turn but the juicy counters are going to be gone.
Consolation prize: I manage to bag that infantry division that eluded me last turn. Not bad.
North of Budapest the German line collapses and my armor is committed to wedge it open. My hope is that this will convince the Germans to abandon Budapest but they seem determined to keep Hungary in this.
South of Budapest there isn't really a line, just a light screen to prevent me from blitzing across the entire country in one go. I am curious however where that line of troops in the south is coming from, are they evacuating Yugoslavia or are they reinforcements?
The Germans are pulling back to Kuressare to evacuate via ship. Unfortunately for them the port has only repaired 3% so I'm going to burn that town to the ground and then march in there and force all these troops to surrender. My counts put this pocket at around 8 divisions but I'm not sure how evacuating via ships works in partially damaged ports.
Stop taking Riga back you jerks. You gave it up, let me keep it.
Budapest is abandoned to maintain the integrity of the line, Hungary will surrender shortly.
Well with Hungary leaving the war next week that means that the Italians are the most reliable ally Germany has.