Another somewhat slow turn as both sides try to recover from the initial wave of offensives by Mark. Compared to the last game between us, I’m in a much better position. Part of that is due to the increased replacement rates for Russian rifle squads. Part is due to the key theater option to make the 45th and 46th Armies available from the early stage of the scenario. Some is also due to my avoidance of “run like hell,” instead using a partial withdrawal plan for areas like the Don Front. Falling back all the way to Stalingrad would have been disastrous for me just the way it was last time. It opens up the Caucasus for the German Panzers to sweep in and capture the oil fields with little or moderate effort. By forcing Mark to fight his way toward the southeast from Rostov, I’m adding weeks/turns to his timetable for capturing the main chunk of the oil fields at Grozny.
A quick counterattack has at least stunned the German expeditionary force here, pushing them back to the river crossing. At the Leningrad supply corridor, lines have returned to the original starting point.
Disembarking from their long trip south, the 30/7th Guards Army has formed the western half of my planned defensive line from Voroshilovsk to the river. Elements of the 49th Army have also arrived, but haven’t yet deployed. The next army I have scheduled to arrive here is the 30/10th Guards, which are beginning the transfer from the Kalinin Front. I’m very concerned that I didn’t act quickly enough to get troops into position here. It could compromise my entire defense of the central and southern Caucasus.