From: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
26th July - the true cost of Rostov
Well, I will receive my first significant prestige points next turn with managing to hold onto Rostov until the start of this turn. But the true cost of this is revealed. The German panzers continue their thrust to the south east and reach the railway line, swatting aside any Soviet units in their way. This means that the 56th army is totally trapped in Rostov with no way out, another 60k troops will soon meet their grizzly end. Once the encirclement is completed the whole of the Caucasus is an open door, there are no more troops to defend the line.
Elsewhere on the front there are no units left to hold the line as it rapidly stretches. As a defensive line we are now looking at Stalingrad and the Volga as my troops retreat as fast as possible to escape the trap of the Don bend, further north I am clinging on to the Don in places but there is nothing available to counter attack so once the Germans breach it will be full scale retreat.
Realistically I think my objectives now must be to try and hold onto one of the Black Sea Ports on the western front. In the centre I dont think I will get my lines together enough to hold Maikop, but may look at the possibility of making a stand around Grozny. Apart from that it is trying to hold Astrakhan to make sure my entire southern front is not cut off along with my oil supplies. Realistically Stalingrad cannot hold, but I shall make a stand there with infantry units only to give me time to hopefully build up a line behind the Volga and maybe around Astrakhan to keep supplies going to the Caucasus.
Troop numbers are not looking good, the unfortunate truth is that overall numbers will drop below 300k once the encircled 56th army meets its fate.
The only bright spark I can find is reading a bit of history, this was around the low point for Soviet forces, so I am still optimistic that I will hold the advance at some stage. The lack of prestige means that the most I have been able to do is build a fortification each turn, with holding Rostov I will hopefully have a few more turns of these before the minus prestige from the 'no step back' order begin to dig in.
If you get split in two I hope you saved enough points to activate the Tilbisi supply center.