The German line has stiffened since I lost my shock advantage, but I’m still confident in my artillery’s ability to blast the enemy out of his fortified or entrenched positions. There was one small advance by the 307th Rifle Division to the southeast of Yelets, but it could be forced back quickly with enemy reinforcements I’m sure are ready for a counterattack. I have yet to commit the 4th, 7th, or 30/10th Guards Army to battle, so really, this sector is just starting to heat up. I might have to give the artillery units a turn or two to recoup readiness, but not all at once. That SS Panzer division sitting quietly along the rail line isn’t making me any more comfortable about this sector.
Good progress here as the 3rd Guards, 1st Guards Tank, and 2nd Guards Tank have all gotten through the German front lines. Of course, when this happens, there is the chance of a counterattack that cuts off any overextended units (I’m looking at the 3rd Mech Division) and blows them away. In this sector, I have yet to commit the 66/5th Guards, 5th Guards, and 1st Guards Army. Depending on how Mark’s counterattacks pan out, I’ll rotate out one or two of the current front line armies and replace them with the reserve armies I just listed. There are also two tank armies (3rd & 4th) that had been rotated off the line the turn before this one, so they are also about one turn away from being ready for combat again. This seems like a plan that could work, as it will keep constant pressure on the Germans, eventually forcing Mark to call for help from other sectors. But it’s still early.
The 2nd Armored Division was called up from its attachment to the US V Corps, teamed up with the 1st Armored, and actually rolled into Salerno following a sharp clash with the resident Germans that moved in last turn. The 36th Division is in reserve after being in need of replacements and time off the line, while the 82nd Airborne was also called up as an infantry line division on the right flank of the US section of the main Allied line. The British on the east side of Italy will have to start making some moves soon.