This scenario, though the same, is actually quite different from the previous versions. You can check out the scenario notes for whatís changed, but it will definitely have an impact on how I approach this one.
The first area of attention, as always, should be the air power. Iíve consolidated, organized, and assigned all of the movable air units. In England, the RAF Fighter Command is much better this time around, with longer range planes from the start. This will allow a greater capacity to bomb German industry. In Russia, Iíve concentrated much of the air power around Leningrad and the Voronezh - Rostov corridor, which is basically the Ukraine-Don Front. Obviously the southern sectors are the most vulnerable, but Iím planning on not giving Mark any room to breathe in the north. Iíll try to hold Leningrad at all costs, even if that means an offensive there soon. The UK air presence in North Africa is also better this time around, as Iím concentrating the bombers and long range fighters near Cairo, while stationing the shorter range fighters near the Egypt-Libya border.
All naval units are restricted for now, so no movement for them.
Ground forces will be addressed in their respective sectors in a moment. However, my overall strategy this time will be to avoid sitting back and waiting for Mark to just throw himself at my defenses. Thatís pointless, and will only result in another loss for me. The only areas where Iíll make planned withdrawals will be in the southern Russian Front, and in North Africa. From there on, Iíll begin making plans to begin my long march to Berlin. As Patton said, ďweíre not holding anything. Weíre advancing constantly.Ē
Rather than sending the 2nd Shock down to the Don Front, Iím keeping it here. Leningrad it too valuable to lose. So what Iím planning on doing here it opening up the corridor between my main line, and the Leningrad pocket. Itíll be tough, but with Mark likely concentrating on the south and capture of the Caucasus oil fields, I should have an opening to succeed here. With adequate supply, and the ability to rotate fresh divisions in and out of the Leningrad pocket, I should be able to hold the city much longer than in previous tries.
Last time, it took me half the scenario to finally take care of this pocket. Iím not waiting this time. Within the first 20-30 turns, I will begin an offensive to lop off the Rzhev pocket, hopefully converging on Vyazma.
As usual, Iíll stage a ďmanaged withdrawalĒ here. But this time, I wonít head all the way back to the Volga River at once. I nearly lost Yelets and Voronezh last time, because I gave up too much ground too quickly. So Iíll try to form my lines a few hexes in front of those cities, then pivot south to whatever defense I can muster up to hold Rostov. The immediate benefit from this version of the scenario is that, for a price of minus-40 VPs, I can release the 45th and 46th Armies early from their sectors in the lower Caucasus. Two full armies immediately available for the defense of the north Caucasus could add another few turns before Mark can break out into the open south of Rostov. That time will be critical. However, once I start to get more reinforcements, Iíll have to watch out for Turkey, as they can activate as an Axis ally.
The UK X and XIII Corps are charged with delaying the Italians and Afrika Korps, while also trying to hold Tobruk as long as possible. This should allow the rest of the Commonwealth troops in Egypt to form a defense along the Libyan border.
Now that the British have increased fighter ranges, bombing of the German industrial complex will begin early and continue non-stop. Without the fighter escorts, I was really beaten up last time. It should be very different now.
I guess thatís all for now. Hostilities will begin next turn. Iíll offer up screen shots at that point.