I’m slowly building up strength north of the Karelian Peninsula. Now the 70th Army, 2nd Gds Army, 5th Shock Army, and the lead elements of the 3rd Gds Army. There is no plan for this sector. But I’m not leaving anything to chance. Now that Leningrad is almost gone, I have to be prepared for an offensive by the Axis from Finland. Either that, or I have to be ready to strike from here into Finland, should an opportunity present itself. I’ve learned some lessons from previous exploits into Finland, so it would hopefully be more successful than the last time out.
The Leningrad perimeter is now a withering pocket. This might be the final update for this sector.
The Germans have lead a counter attack right into the gut of the Russian Guards. In the process, a small pocket of the 4th Shock Army has been bitten off, and will likely be forced to surrender. Beyond the pocket, the Germans were only able to push back my front line a hex on average. The 7th Guards are staging just north of the German spearhead. Should the 3rd & 5th Gds Tank, and 4th Shock need help, this will be a valuable reserve to punch back. That counter punch might come sooner than later, as the Germans are extremely tired, with their readiness levels shot and in the red. While the bulk of their force is made from the XI and LXXXVIII Korps to the north and south, with the XLVII Panzer in the middle, the Germans have a patchwork assembly of units from all along the Russian Front.
Sectors: Grozny-Black Sea Coast
No movement in either of these sectors, which leads me to believe the Germans are simply too tired to make a decent push. It’s a nice reprieve for my troops here, though once the Germans are ready, I’m afraid Grozny is a goner.
Sectors: El Alamein-Tobruk
I’m seeing decent progress on the flanks, but the center isn’t moving as quickly. That’s partly due to my concentration on collapsing the Axis flanks, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The I&X Corps strike force is extremely beat up at this point in the offensive, and might soon have to retire to the rear to recoup. The V and XIII Corps are moving forward and will soon be in a good position to relieve the I&X Corps. To the north along the coast, the 7th Armour had been cut off, but not eliminating the 7th Armour looks like a big blow to the Axis cause here, while giving a boost to my own. Now it’s all about knocking out the Axis forces in Egypt-Libya quickly enough to regroup and recapture Tobruk. Then it’s on to Tripoli and Tunisia.
With such minor resistance after the Vichy surrender, progress in western Africa has been flawless. The US V Corps is approaching Bougie. The II Corps just received the 9th and 34th Divisions from England, nearly doubling the corps’ combat strength. It’s finishing off the two Italian divisions left in the mountains. Once the British II Corps moves up from southwest of Algiers, it will take over clean-up operations along the coast and keep the supply line open.