Part 92: Turn 92: March 18, 1943
A guards mechanized formation!
My next batch of artillery is ready to be deployed to the front but there's a problem. Those 4 rocket brigades on top of the stacks only have enough rockets between them to equip one counter let alone 4. I think I'm going to just leave these here through the mud to finish outfitting and then not build any more rockets for a while so my pool can recover.
Gonna burn that port to the ground.
If the repair rate holds steady at 3 that will be 80 damage for the German turn and 100% damage next turn. I'm pretty pleased with that.
2 armies and with 1 in reserve are committed to rooting the Germans off these offshore islands. This is massive overkill but if the Das Reich is still over there I want it. I really need to get a foothold on Osel before the mud hits or they'll be able to fortify the crossing and turn this into a stalemate.
Riga is occupied in force, the Germans will not be taking it back again without dramatically over-committing mobile forces to take a useless city.
The rest of my forces continue to re-organize into corps and advance towards the Baltic coast. I've got 2 snow turns left and I intend to take as much territory as I possibly can.
Every time I take a screenshot of this region I'm struck by the huge difference between the Kalinin front, which is basically done converting and the Central front which hasn't even begun since it was stuck in the swamp. The really scary thing is the Kalinin front actually has about 150,000 more troops than that huge mass of green does.
The Bryansk front forces the surrender of 2 panzer divisions and a motorized infantry and then advances towards the pre-war border. Only 40 miles to go up here in the north, I may reach it before the mud hits.
With the swamps mostly behind us the center of the line needs more troops than a military district can supply so the Central front swings down to cover it. This front has been run absolutely ragged over the last few months so I'm going to set the whole thing on refit for a turn or two and slow down their rate of advance. Once they're back in shape this front will become priority #1 for conversion to corps, a lot of the troops in the Central front are the best the Red Army has to offer.
Hmmm I might be able to soop up those formations but can I hold them? I doubt it.
There are troops in Brest Litovsk and I don't have the strength to force them out. It will take me a few turns to muster up enough of the understrength counters I've got around here to assault the city.
The Volkhov front takes Lublin and that group of Germans is re-encircled, barely. The mobile units might be able to escape depending on their fuel situation but the infantry are stuck unless another Panzer force swoops in and smashes apart my pocket.
The southern front begins the invasion of Slovakia and garrisons the Carpathians against Germans attempting to escape the pocket into Soviet territory. I don't expect them to actually make it out of the mountains but I don't want them messing up my rails either way.
The Germans are abandoning Hungary and are pulling back to form a line running northeast by southwest.
I'm going to go ahead and call this secure. The trouble is going to be forcing these formations to surrender in these mountains, they might very well still be here when the mud turns end.
More Germans stuck in bad terrain. I'm not expecting to catch these but denying them some supply and scaring them a little is enough.
Budapest falls and the western front pushes forward to keep the Germans from having a chance to entrench. There's enough strong German forces here that they could get a local superiority here if they go on the offensive but with only a few weeks of good weather left it wouldn't be worth it.
And in southern Hungary there's a scattering of weaker German forces that seem intent on just slowing me down a little.
My bombing has had an effect as most of these divisions are now isolated from supply. The question now is whether the Das Reich managed to catch a boat out of here before I leveled the port.
I like my odds on scooping up most of these, the only one I'm skeptical about is the motorized division way out in front.
Well this is a mess. The panzers have decided to mess up my lines rather than retreating into Slovakia. The trick now is to get those airborne formations back in supply while also cutting off the panzers.
Hungary has surrendered and the Italians will begin pulling troops off the Eastern front in May. Before the end of '43 Germany will stand alone.