From: Living in the fair city of Melbourne, Australia
Turn 41 – 26 March 1942
March has left me a metallic taste in the mouth, since I've got quite a few bloody noses over the last four turns. And this one, while hasn't entailed anything really catastrophic, it's ripe with ill omens for the summer. This turn Q-Ball has launched 43 attacks, only 5 of them being successful defenses, for a cost of 10,000 KIA and 10,000 disabled, along with 340 artillery pieces and 46 AFV's. The Red Army has got thoroughly pummeled, with 18,000 KIA and 50,000 disabled, over 2,500 artillery pieces and 244 AFV's. Besides that, Q-Ball has netted 73,000 further POW's. German POW camps swell with Soviet citizens.
Q-Ball has sent his tactical aviation back to the Reserve, this turn air combat has only involved German fighters and recon airplanes. The VVS has lost 123 airframes in air combat, and the Luftwaffe just 28.
Operational Situation Report
Q-Ball has been conducting quite a few “oportunistic” attacks on soft spots in my lines. Nothing too worrying, to be honest, as he maneuvers for position in several sectors. The bad thing has happened in the south
not only he's got a bridgehead over the Don, sweeping to one sides three armies, but also has left Rostov ripe for the taking. The situation here is appaling. Fortunately I've substantial reinforcements concentrated to the southeast, around Salsk. It's also very interesting that he's established a bridgehead over the Aidar river, near Starobelsk. This gives me a general idea of what Q-Ball is planning for summer.
Logistics and Organization
This turn I get four more Cavalry divisions attaining Guards status, increasing the count of Guards Cavalry Corps to three. One of the very few positive things this turn, to be honest.
There's been a substantial reduction in the number of recruits the Soviet Union generates, this turn it's down to about 97,000 replacements. At least Support Squads production has reduced by half, gobbling just 22,000 men.
It's been a long time since I showed you the status of air and hard ground elements pools
while AFV pools look to me – there's only a scarcity of KV-1s – airplane pools are a complete disaster. I can't maintain my IL-2 regiments, although this turn finally my factories have started to grow anew. I think I'll take most of the VVS to the National Reserve and thoroughly reorganize – and optimize – my tactical aviation deployment.
Nothing worth showing with a screenshot. I reorganize my lines northeast of Orel, to pull back from the front the 1st and 2nd Shock Armies for resting and refitting. I'd like to do the same with 3rd and 4th Shock Armies, but until I can consolidate brigades into divisions, I'm lacking enough divisions. Perhaps I should build Rifle Divisions, but I think I need more the Tank Corps.
Q-Ball has obtained a handsome victory this March. He's pushed me more than 200 miles in the Donbass, destroying over 20 division equivalent units, and inflicting the following losses:
which are quite important, almost double than the ones I got during December 41. The cost for him hasn't too high, I think:
almost a 4:1 exchange, which is very positive for the Axis.
I must admit I'm a bit sad right now seeing the state of the Red Army. I don't see the Red Army able to withstand the summer onslaught, in any way other than fighting a flexible defense, which means giving away a lot of ground. And that kills me: I'm not someone who likes to run, I want to play. Will this mean that I can get Q-Ball to overextend himself? Sincerely, I doubt it. He'll probably play the Meat Grinder card, and there's not really anything in the Soviet arsenal to stop that, until I start getting Rifle Corps.
Fort levels were low... but were as good as weather allowed. And these aren't going to stop the Wehrmacht. Fortification will take place, but well to the rear on the chokepoints leading to Baku and Stalingrad. Another top priority area is Voronezh. I doubt that Moscow is on Q-Ball agenda for next summer, since it doesn't serve much of a purpose to strike me there, other than to create a diversion.
The only place where I think I've been able to do well has been in the Orel sector. Certainly, there weren't as many powerful motorized units up there as in the south. But having a 2nd echelon about 40 miles behind the MLR where able to keep the Panzers in check. Of course, this 2nd echelon basically consisted of the cream of the crop in the RKKA ranks.
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