I can tell Mark is growing more concerned with the North Africa situation, as he’s dispatched two divisions of the LXXXI. Korps from Italy to Libya. There are no shock or offensive theater options affecting either side this turn, so it’s what I like to call a “clean” period in the game. Both sides have no real advantage over one another, other than the tactical and strategic skill of their leaders.
The Eighth Army continued attacks this turn, pushing back the main Axis line at several points. The reinforcements from the LXXXI. Korps won’t be ready to deploy fully until next turn, so I’m confident I can really hammer the Afrika Korps and Italians by the time they can get decent assistance. The XXX Corps received the 44th “Home County” Division this turn, but it won’t be ready for combat deployment until likely after next turn.
Don Front - Rostov
Plans for Operation Orion
This one could take a few turns to put together, but I think it’s possible to make a dash for Rostov. Intelligence confirmed a few turns ago that the Axis have left the river east of Shakhty very lightly defended, even with huge gaps in the line. It is a super river and marsh at this point in the river, but it’s not impassable with the help of bridging engineer teams. Right now, I do not have the manpower to undertake such a risky operation. I’ll need, at minimum, four more armies to pull this one off. One of those extra armies will have to be an armored/mechanized army. Speed will be my best weapon here, to go along with what I expect will be complete and total surprise that I would do such a thing. I’d use the 3rd Shock and other forces east of the Don to pin down the German and Romanians within the “triangle” section on my side of the river. If all goes well, I could possibly not only capture Rostov, but destroy a significant portion of the Axis forces in the Northern Caucasus. It would also force Mark to recall a good part of his forces currently bearing down on Grozny. If I can do this right, it could change the trajectory of the battle in this part of the Russian Front.