The Mud has dried up, and action begins once again.
North - Attacks by the 4th Guards Tank Army against the 6th SS Geb Nord division are intended to simply keep that crack German unit tired and in constant battle. Mark has used the SS divisions perfectly in this scenario, spearheading any major offensive with these elite units.
South - I had expected a complementary offensive from the Finns to the south, but nothing has materialized, yet.
This was a very successful turn for the Russians, cutting off the entire 24th Panzer Division north of Yelets, while completely destroying an entire infantry division south of Yelets. The opportunity for the envelopment of the 24th came upon me by accident, as the 2nd Guards Tank Army was able to punch through the line south of the now stranded division. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to destroy the division, or follow up on successes in the south. This turn will set up my next offensive here, OPERATION: MEGAPHONE II, which will feature the newly arrived Guards Airborne Divisions. They will land behind the German lines, while the ground forces continue the assault. It’s basically a beefed up version of MEGAPHONE I.
Sector: Black Sea Coast
The 4th Guards Army has positioned itself in front of Batumi, digging in with the 40th Army on its right flank. As I’ve stated repeatedly, more reinforcements will be needed here to really secure the region, but this will serve as (hopefully) a decent barrier until the help arrives.
The naval combat off the Tunis coast has been surprisingly sharp, as I’ve lose a few heavy and light cruisers, at least one battleship, and a few destroyers. The Italian Navy hasn’t fared better, as they’ve been nearly decimated by the ship-to-ship fire, and my carrier based air attacks from the Ranger Squadron south near Mareth. The V Corps and Canadian I Corp have successfully pushed the Axis into a tighter pocket, but weren’t able to crush them. It’s likely a few important German units will escape to Italy.
The British I Corps and V Corps are slowly moving on the defenses, using sustained but light attacks to wear down the defenders. The city should fall next turn.