Okay, the mud has dried up, and action is ready to explode with renewed fury. This might be the last turn before I launch an offensive operation on three fronts: The Caucasus from Astrakhan; El Alamein; and a new front in Morocco. The initial outline for this offensive is as follows:
Disband +15 Recon @ 4 Turns
Disband +5 Shock @ 2 Turns
Disband Operation Torch Sea Transport (30k)
British Land in Morocco
British Attack from El Alamein
Russians Attack from Astrakhan
Americans Land in Algeria
The perimeter around Leningrad has stiffened against the German onslaught. Contracting inward worked well enough, not that I had a choice here, but the troops on the front lines are getting tired quickly. The Germans are constantly shuffling fresh units in and out of the attack, keeping their readiness much higher than my own troops' levels. At this point, having held against the Germans for more than a month, any more success in defending the city is gravy.
My initial ambitions in this area have been foiled due to the mud season, as it allowed the Germans here to dig in and reach the all-valuable "fortified" entrenchment level. By all estimations, it seems the Germans are focusing all efforts on the Caucasus oil fields anyway, so keeping a ton of men and hardware in this area won't do much good. I've pulled three of four Guards armies from the front line, leaving the 1st Guards Army to cover the vacated section front. The 1st, 3rd, and 7th Guards armies will board trains for the Astrakhan sector. The buildup there will allow me to launch an offensive right into the flank of the German offensive toward Grozny. more on that in the next slides.
Funneling this much strength into the Astrakhan sector serves two purposes: 1) protecting a critical supply crossroads; and 2) allow for possible offensive toward the Germans near Grozny or Stalingrad. If Grozny holds--doubtful without help--and Stalingrad is threatened, I can use this staging area to relieve the latter with pressure from the south. But as I expect, an offensive toward the southwest into the German left flank will be the likely course of action here. The Germans are being screened by the Romanians and a few supporting Wehrmacht divisions. If I can assemble a large enough force around Astrakhan, I should be able to handle the Romanians, and push the supporting Germans far enough that it would relieve pressure on Grozny. But time is very sensitive right now. More on that in a moment.
My count is three German corps moving on Grozny, including the II SS Panzer Korps spearheading the assault right into the centre of my defenses. The 60th Army has been moved from the Voronezh sector and is now digging in to support my left flank. The 67th Army has landed from Astrakhan, and after staging for a week, will move to Grozny. Judging by the strength comparison, this force alone cannot withstand such a push by the Germans. But it could come down to how quickly I can organize and launch an offensive from Astrakhan.
Sector: Black Sea Coast
This area has been more difficult to defend than anticipated, as I've had to commit three armies to simply slow down the German advance. Now that that 46th Army has arrived in force, I'm hopeful I can mount a decent defense before the Germans reach Sokhumi.
Sector: El Alamein
I've lost contact with the southern flank of the DAK and Italian, causing some concern that my offensive will run into trouble. The bulk of the DAK panzers and support units remain along the coast road. But the last recon showed at least one mechanized regiment supporting the Italians on the southern flank of the Axis force.