Part 98: Turn 105: June 17, 1943
Well it would be pretty shameful if I let the in-game date pass me up so let's get back to this. I don't think I'll be able to maintain my 1 a day schedule anymore with work picking up and the fact that I'm just not interested in running 1-2 turns a day every day right now. I will however try to keep a steady schedule for this, it'll be better once I get out of these mud turns.
2 large German forces here, once in and around Koenigsberg and a second behind the Vistula. What I would like to do is bypass Koenigsberg entirely and contain these Germans with 1-2 fronts while the rest of my forces make a push for the Vistula. If I can get across the river quickly I might be able to end the war this year.
And this is why I want to bypass this for now. Level 3 forts 2-3 deep and well equipped Infantry divisions manning them. Digging the Germans out of these fortifications is going to be incredibly bloody and costly and frankly I don't want Koenigsberg that badly.
The Volkhov (purple) front comes off the line and the Kalinin and Northwestern fronts move in to contain this German army against the coast. The Volkhov is one of my better equipped fronts right now so I'd like them further south where I can force a decisive result, rather than up here where all their big guns would go to waste reducing useless fortifications.
The rest of my rifle formations in the area make a push for the Vistula, the entire eastern bank will be mine by the time the mud ends and with some luck I might have the western bank too.
Some of my armored formations have finished redeploying from Hungary and they take advantage of this clear week, darting forward to convert some hexes on the western bank of the Vistula and snipping the only rail running towards Koenigsberg. The troops now pocketed in the city will not become isolated since the city is considered a permanent supply source, but cutting this rail does prevent them from escaping west to help defend Germany. They can still escape via the 2 ports in the pocket but that will take a lot longer.
The Central Front will be re-joining the war by the next clear turn. These few weeks off the line have done them a lot of good.
The Central front was once my best front, originally named the Southwestern front they held Kiev for weeks in '41 and forced the surrender of a panzer corps which crushed the German offensive in the south. Then I condemned them to several months of attrition and starvation in the Pripyat marshes which reduced their strength by nearly half.
Now they're free of that and have spent a few weeks refitting which has brought them nearly up to full strength. Due to their high morale their replacements are quickly training up and the average experience level for the front is very high which means this front is going to rejoin the line stronger than ever. Also, this shot is just of the corps sized formations, the total strength of the Central front is approaching 700,000 men, 10,000 guns and 1,350 tanks.
The German line is located. Small forts, minor river, weak formations, this line will be brushed aside unless there's a mobile reserve hiding to bloody me.
Further south a few weaker German formations are pushed around. The Germans don't have much down here but I don't either, the North Caucasus and Southern fronts aren't in great shape and they aren't able to condense enough to actually launch many attacks against even a weak German line. At my current rate of ~3 corps a turn these fronts will be fully condensed before summer is over which will allow me to keep up momentum.
Well this is kind of a mess.
First things first, gotta rescue those Cavalry Corps. Not difficult but it had to be done and it ties down most of my forces in Slovakia for a week and prevents me from re-encircling those Germans.
To make up for that disappointment I punch a small hole in the German line allowing the 5th Mechanized to roll into Vienna. The 5th Mechanized has a full ToE and is reporting 115 defensive CV because of the heavy urban hex, Vienna is mine and the Germans are never getting it back. Vienna was my major objective down here so I'm not really sure what I'm going to do now. Tie up as many Germans as possible and start pushing into Czechoslovakia I suppose.
My notes were wrong, the mud ends on June 19th, not July, so we are now officially in the summer campaign season. Strategic objectives are to beat the ever-loving shit out of the German army and race west: Berlin by Christmas.
Unable to break out to the west due to the Vistula the army trapped in Koenigsberg pulls back in on itself and prepares for the siege. The Northwest and Kalinin fronts will be left behind to babysit these Germans, I'm doubtful of my ability to actually reduce this pocket unless I take the city of Koenigsberg itself.
In the far south the Germans have abandoned the last remnants of Hungarian territory and pulled back into Austria. Without Vienna to anchor this region this southern section of the line is very vulnerable.
Summer is here a little earlier than I expected so I'm not 100% prepared but I'm going to make the best of it all the same.