Sector: Rzhev - OPERATION: GUILLOTINE
The 110% Shock has taken full effect now, as not only have I received added boost to the attacking power of my units, but also extended battle rounds. This has allowed me to really grind into the German salient position south of Rzhev. The big problem, however, is that all three (!) of my airborne divisions were destroyed in the German counterattacks. That’s a huge loss for me, particularly in terms of the operational plans. Now it will be up to the main ground forces to move quickly and with more aggression than if the airborne drop zones were still in Russian control. I’ll need to transfer at least two more armies into this operation now that the airborne element is gone.
Sector: Sicily - OPERATION: HUSKY
After the sheer terror at group HQ last turn, things are turning slightly more positive this turn, as the V Corps is all but two divisions (5th & 29th) ashore, with two British divisions (6th Armour & 46th Infantry) of the V Corps added to the beachhead for support. Since the US V Corps took such a pounding just getting onto the beaches, this will be the first beachhead to receive British reinforcements in the form of a full corps (V Corps) from Tripoli. Following the V Corps will then be the British I Corps, also waiting in Tripoli. At Agrigento, the VI Corps added its recon group and HQ unit, with the remnants of the 82nd Airborne covering the beach hex.
The big development this turn came with the capture of Palermo, after which Mark indicated to me caught him by surprise. The capture of the biggest city in Sicily triggers the capitulation process for Italy. In 4-12 turns, all Italian military forces will lay down their arms. The problem is, however, the 9th and 34th divisions failed to come ashore, leaving them critically vulnerable to attack. Without their support on land, I was forced to use two brigades from the Malta Garrison to help cover the western flank of the beachhead. The Malta units were the smallest available combat units to be transported by the sea transport I had remaining. In the next wave of landings, I’ll have a bunch of support units from the Fifth Army and Fifteenth Army Group, as well as the Canadian I Corps, which will likely land at Palermo. If necessary, the Canadian II Corps will be called up to support any beachhead in danger.