Sector: Rzhev - OPERATION: GUILLOTINE
The first wave of attacks got off to a rocky start, but finished the turn having punched holes in both sides of the German salient. Provided the Airborne divisions aren’t swallowed up in the ensuing German counterattack, this operation is off to a great start. On the western slope of the curve, the 5th Guards Tank led the breakthrough, followed up by the remainder of the 5th Guards Army, which detached three divisions for the airborne drop. To the east, the 3rd Guards Tank and 3rd Guards Army are at the tip of the spearhead, with the 4th Guards Army in support. The 8th Guards Army to the north hasn’t even been committed to battle, and will provide valuable reserves for any problems that arise to the south. The Germans have a decent immediate reserve in front of the eastern breakthrough, so I’ll have to watch that section carefully. My objective for the next turn will be to link up the 5th Guards with the Airborne units.
Sector: Crete - OPERATION: CARRIAGEWAY
This operation was so successful, I’m going to alter my HUSKY plans to include some of the British Corps that weren’t used in CARRIAGEWAY. All but two brigades of the XXX Corps are landed on Crete, now sweeping the island for remaining defenders. Once this is done, the South African division will become the garrison force here, with the rest of the XXX Corps moving to other actions. The capture of Crete will be critical for any invasion of mainland Europe, not excluding landings in the Balkans or the boot of Italy.
Sector: Sicily - OPERATION: HUSKY
Crap. Crap crap crap. Did I say “crap”? The ENTIRE V Corps has failed to get onto the beaches. This is disastrous on many levels, not only for the seaborne units off the coast of Syracuse. The airborne operation was designed to work directly with the beach landings. Now, with no support from the infantry, the British 1st Airborne--was added at the last minute to cover the northern flank of the landings--is a sitting duck for German counterattacks. I’m dreading what Mark is going to do to the seaborne units and Naval support squadrons. This next update could be the ugliest of the scenario. To the west, however, the VI Corps landed without a hiccup, and the 82nd Airborne has cut off the western rail line. The problem I now face here is that the 82nd was scattered on the drop, and could be eaten up piecemeal. If that happens, the unit will no longer be capable of airborne operations for the rest of the scenario. That is one TOAW rule I’d like to see changed.
Sector: Batumi - Black Sea Coast
Not much action again this turn. Just some local attacks/counterattacks. The Armies I pulled off the line earlier (44th, 45th, 46th, 53rd) are nearly ready for battle. That’s a huge help to my cause here.