Sector: Sicily - Southern Italy - OPERATION: SLAPSTICK
With Taranto and Calabria secured, OPERATION: SLAPSTICK is now closed. It was a small operation relative to the original AVALANCHE, but with the Salerno beaches so heavily fortified with tanks, a historical plan for invading Italy was unrealistic. First contact has been made with the Germans along the Ofanto Line, where the 999. Leitche Division is entrenched in a somewhat advanced position. Recon has confirmed the following strength of the enemy:
1 SS Panzer Divison
1 SS Mountain Division
1 SS Hvy Panzer Btn
1 Fallschirmjager Division
999. Leichte Division
2 Hvy Panzer Btns
1 Panzer Division (Herman Goering Div?)
That doesn’t include the units that are likely manning the line between Salerno and the Apennines. This will be a tough nut to crack, but with enough artillery support, hopefully progress can be made within a few turns.
Sector: Velikie Luki - Plans for OPERATION: CALLISTO
The Russian Front is starting to piss me off. I can’t seem to get a decent offensive going that really destabilizes the Germans in more than one or two sectors. So I’m hoping this will help. The idea behind OPERATION: CALLISTO is to use an offensive strike force at least the size of the one used in OPERATION: GUILLOTINE, attack directly west through Kholm and Velikie Luki, and capture the rail junction at Pskov. My initial estimates for the Order of Battle:
4 Guards Armies
4 Guards Tank Armies
2 Shock Armies
2 Regular Armies
10-12 Artillery Divisions
6-7 Air Armies
My target launch for this offense will be after the mud season. Logistical problems have delayed the start date because of lack of sea transport getting some of the participants up from the Caucasus/Baku. If for some reason I can get this thing off the ground sooner, so be it. But for now, it’s best to carefully plan this one, since I need something to finally break on the Russian Front.
This might be something... or might not be anything. But I’ve found a crack in the German line. A lone anti-tank unit ventured out one night and soon realized they were behind two German divisions. Scrambling back to the Russian HQs, this information could help spark something in this sector.