We're officially in mop-up duty here. Unfortunately, I'm the one being mopped up. The Fins are holding at the northern stop line, while the Germans squeeze from the south. There was a 95 shock level following the fall of the city, but that only lasted one turn. It wasn't too bad.
Sector: Astrakhan - OPERATION WATERFALL
German reinforcements arrived quickly by rail, taking advantage of my blunder of not blowing the bridges along the Don River. Had I done that, those reinforcements--including several panzer divisions--would have been delayed at least another turn or two. Now, as you can see in the slide, they have swept around a large chunk of the 4th Shock and 1st Gds Tank, cutting them off from the rest of my force. The only safety valve here is the reserve of the 7th Guards and 5th Gds Tank. They should be able to counter the German move, but it's not a guarantee. The Germans are well-rested from not having to travel very far off-rail before entering combat. Mark said here that I have a shot to break out. I'm not so sure. Some of his units from the Grozny sector have pulled out of there to reinforce his line to the south of Astrakhan. So now OPERATION: WATERFALL looks to become a minor failure. Depending on whether or not I can rescue the pocket, it could very well become an outright victory for the Axis.
The 2 SS Panzer Division took the reigns and pushed back the 67th Army even farther, capturing the first of two airfields west of the city. The right wing of my defenses, manned by the 8th Army, is holding firm against little pressure. it will be up to the 67th to hold back the Germans. The 54th and 60th Armies might have to withdraw into the mountain pass to T'Bilisi.
Sector: El Alamein - OPERATION TURNPIKE
My over-extended offensive was caught with its pants down, and the 1st and 10th Armour have been destroyed by the hard charging 15. and 21. Panzer Divisions. Before that, however, the 10. Panzer was enveloped and forced to surrender. While the British losses this turn were severe, the Axis are less able to absorb that kind of hit. The V Corps and O'Connor's newly arrived VIII Corps will move to support the
exposed I & X Corps north of El Qattara. To the north, the XXX Corps rushed out of its trenches, capturing handfuls of Italians in the process. I'm expecting Rommel's force to try to batter my I/X Corps as
much as possible, while pulling back to the west. It's not worth it for them to stay and fight my five corps.
Sector: Algeria - OPERATION TORCH
The V Corps forced the surrender of the Italian unit guarding the coast road and rail line, opening up the critical path to Tunisia. The II Corps will hold back and finish off the Italians, while its 9th and 34th Divisions are boarding transports back in southern England. The British First Army units are forging a supply route from Casablanca to Algeria. However, due to the mountains/distance, supply will be at low levels by the time it reaches the Americans pushing on Tunisia.