Over the past few turns, I’ve made a dramatic shift in how I’m conducting this war in Europe. Up until this point, I had focused my resources on staging large, isolated offensives. Examples of these are the offensives in Egypt, Astrakhan, Yelets, and the Rzhev Salient. As you can see from this entire AAR, the strategy hasn’t yielded the kind of gains I had hoped to achieve. However, now my strategy has shifted to a “all fronts” effort. That means I’m keeping the pressure strong and consistent on Mark in almost every region of the theatre. The battle for Italy is taking valuable troops away from the Eastern Front. The offensives in Karelia (TITAN) and Stalingrad (URANUS) are now creating flashpoints for Mark to deal with in an urgent fashion. All the while, my relentless attacks in the Vyazma and Yelets sectors are grinding up his once-experienced German divisions like chop meat.
Just this past turn, as I revealed my new strategy to Mark in our email thread, he replied that it was indeed working much better than my previous approach. His units are getting more tired than ever. He is running low on replacements for the first time. And, most importantly to me, he is virtually out of available reserves. That means if he wants to focus his firepower on any of my offensives, he will have to take units directly off the front lines, weakening other sectors in the process.
Sector: Karelia - OPERATION: TITAN
Progress continues south, with the 3rd Guards Tank forcing the Fin divisions back more easily now that they’re knocked out of their fortified positions. I’ve been able to repair the rail line as I go, so the 4th Guards were transported by train the couple hexes south to save on movement attrition. Once disembarked, they can take up the western flank of the advance to protect against counterattack. The 3rd Gds Tank will then shift to focus on moving south to capture Petrozavodsk.
To the south, the 42nd Army continued attacks in their crossing of the Svir River, while the 7th actually made a bridgehead across the river. This will really help the offensive in the north, with two full Russian armies (maybe more, depending on success level) moving up from the opposite direction as the northern advance.
I’ve stayed away from regular attacks, in favor of limited attacks in this sector. But the German lines are becoming much more worn down, so I took the advantage. My forces here were able to evaporate one German division, while pushing back three more and an SS PzGren division. I’m expecting strong counterattacks from Mark next turn, but with fresh reserves available in this sector, I could keep the pressure up while he runs out of ready line divisions.
Sector: Stalingrad - OPERATION: URANUS
The advance has gone much better here than initially thought, with two of the previously German-controlled hexes now either captured or vacant. Even if Mark pushes me back this turn, it means the hexes won’t be occupied by units in fortified positions as they were previously. The 69th Army is now disembarked from the Yelets sector, joining a mechanized op group just arrived south of Frolovo. That German panzer division still looms over my southern bridgehead, but it’s not invincible. With the right amount of firepower, I’ll hopefully push them back once again this upcoming turn.