Welcome to September when massive numbers of Russians show up and forts sprout like weeds all over the front. It is a big issue with the game right now imo.
Also, please turn on fort levels when you do screen shots so we can see who is dug in where, etc.
I don't claim to be an "expert" anything on this game, but a few observations from what I have also learned, etc.
First, I think you are correct in your assessment that your advance was slower than it should/could have been. Congrats; this is what newer Axis players generally do. It takes experience and work to learn what to do when, etc for good results. I have no doubt your next campaign will be better from the lessons learned in this one.
Second; I would urge you to hang in there. One of the most important lessons for the Axis is the first winter. While prep work and plans are helpful, there is nothing like going through it first hand and learn what happens. Should you resign now, you will not get that experience and will have to face it in a future game.
Third: While you have not caused a lot of Russian casualties, you have not taken much for casualties either. The winter can change that, depending on what your opponent does and how well you make it through the winter.
As far as winter itself goes, there are several other AAR's to look at for tips on what the Axis may do along with War Room threads. For this particular situation, some suggestions I would have would be to pull a "Pelton" and start digging for winter. You will want multiple lines of level 3-4 forts and fort digging doesn't work as well in bad weather. You want your lines as straight as possible, etc. The other thing is to identify some elite moral level (86+ moral) units to withdraw and winter in Germany. This should include mostly panzer/motorized units (those that are not withdrawn are preferable over those that get withdrawn), but having some infantry units there as well is helpful too. I would also look to withdraw your two German mountain divisions to refit up to full strength and then add in 3 support units to each. Pioneer and/or Stugs work the best. These will be the only two German units not blasted by the blizzard effects and can actually be beasts during the winter to help counter attack Russian spearheads. The Rumanian mountain brigades and Hungarian mountain brigade should be pulled, put on refit and rested as well. While they can't have support units attached to them, they are more than a speed bump to deal with since they are not affected by the blizzard either.
Hang in there and welcome to the school of hard knocks on the Eastern Front. The advance course (blizzard) is just around the corner.
Thanks for the encouraging note... I needed to dig deep to find my hidden Soviet/Nazi persona, and carry on regardless of losses, casualties, daft plans, rug chewing, etc!!
Will be posting updated AAR tomorrow!!
Our lives may be more boring than those who lived in apocalyptic times,
but being bored is greatly preferable to being prematurely dead because of some ideological fantasy. - Michael Burleigh