Sector: Southern Italy
The British now have the better part of two full corps on the Italian mainland, with additional divisions like the 5th “Ball of Fire” and two more armoured brigades. The US is holding back its V Corps until the VI Corps can come up from Sicily. The 2nd Armored Division is the main front line unit at this point, which will be relieved within a few turns. I’m not crazy about launching a winter offensive here, but I might not have a choice.
Sector: Stalingrad - Astrakhan - OPERATION: HARVEST
This is a dummy operation I just came up with to conceal my real intentions to attack in the Baltics. As you can see from the slides, I’ve built up considerable force in both Stalingrad and Astrakhan. First in Stalingrad, I now have several Guards infantry armies, in addition to shipping down the 4th and 13th Air Armies from the Moscow region.
To the south, near Astrakhan, the Guards armor is massed with two Guards infantry armies. I’m hoping my one tell here--all the Guards armies remain stationed on rail lines--won’t get noticed by Mark. But in his communications to me recently, it sounds like he’s taking the bait, moving the Luftwaffe in force to the southern areas. Of course, it could be a double-cross, too. I’m remaining always skeptical, but confident in my deception plans for OPERATION: CALLISTO in the north. The plan moving forward will allow Mark more time to react to OPERATION: HARVEST. Once I see he’s moved more actual ground units into the area and off the rail lines (so he won’t have easy access immediately after I make my moves), I’ll ship all these Guards armies by rail up to the Baltics, simultaneously bombing the crap out of his rail network. All I need is about 2 turns to get OPERATION: CALLISTO off the ground before he reacts.