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1942 Case Blue - AAR!


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Bets are on, I vote for a panzer move on Yeltis to encircle the entire soviet Kursk front ^^ .

That's exactly what I have been expecting, however this is going to be a Red Spring! The next Soviet move may force the Axis to rethink their strategy and call off the Kursk offensive all together;)

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SICKLE OF VENGENCE IN THE COMMUNIST PARADISE

The 27th of April 1943 will be remembered as a turning point of this great war. On that day Red Army launched it’s great offensive in the south. The success of our air campaign “Hammer of Justice” allowed STAVKA to make the next move and initiate the land campaign known as the operation “Sickle of Vengence”. The three soviet fronts – Stalingrad, Caucasus and Southern take part in the attack and the scale of the operation is just unprecedented!

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Some enemy units have been shattered and forced to retreat, while one Romanian corps has been completely destroyed near Rostov. At the same time the operations of our strategic bombers continue with a great success. Our frontline units have already reported, that in some areas the enemy supply is down to as low as 4. A severe blow has been dealt to the Heeresgruppe Süd because an experienced HQ of von Kleist has been overrun by our tanks near Morozovsk. This will further affect the supply and combat effectiveness of the Wehrmacht units in that sector of the front.

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A see-saw battle still rages in the vicinity of Kursk with neither side willing to make the first, decisive move. Nevertheless our skilled and well led troops managed to destroy one more enemy infantry corps in that area.

In the north our Lenigrad Front mauled and forced to retreat two more German corps near Luga.

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The main question right now, is of course what the German reaction will be. Will the Fuhrer continue to insist on the offensive near Kursk or will he allow to release some units, so they could face our onslaught in the south? STAVKA is prepared for either eventuality and the contingency plans are ready to be implemented in order to counter the any enemy moves. Lets wait and see!

***

Our soldiers before the attack.

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Alright, the rodeo has started again and frankly, I’m glad Ivanov attacked me because I didn’t intend to do attack him. Our plan for the Soviet offensive in the South is the simplest as it can be: withdraw slowly in order and delay their advance. I intend to keep mechanized and armor units in the second line and counterattack locally to lower Soviet offensive potential. Probably I will lose some terrain in the south but I don’t care much. Finally the Soviets will have to overextend the front or weaken the flanks or both :).

Okay, but first things first. This turn finally I received Waffen SS units and I must say I am disappointed. They are more experienced than other freshly produced units (one level), but still they are “bare metal” and I will have to invest a lot of MPPs to advance them to the highest tech level. So in result, they will cost me around 1000 MPPs. Additionally in my opinion there should be an HQ coming with these units. Otherwise I have to buy one to use my Waffen SS units efficiently, cause currently all my HQs are managing the maximum number of units and there are no free “slots”. So in my opinion I’ve made a bad deal. Next time I play this scenario, I will use the MPPs to buy additional Infantry and Panzer Corps.

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Moving along to the Army Group ‘South’. We abandoned our positions moving westwards. Local counterattacks were ordered and proceeded successfully. Many Soviet divisions and armies retreated with heavy losses, some of the were destroyed. Here is how the situation looks like north of Morozovsk…

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…and here west of Morozovsk:

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In Kursk region, OKH decided to use the concentrated panzer forces and attack Kursk. Soviet armies defending the city were wiped out, the other one retreated after suffering 70% casualties. However we do not advance, we will stick to the current defense lines, rather expecting the Soviets will try to harass us.

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In the north, there was no major fights. We used heavy rail guns to destroy Narva. We also ordered some local attacks against advancing Soviet units, making two Soviet armies retreat with over 50% casualties.

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The Operation Sickle Of Vengeance slowly gathers it’s momentum in the south. The main fighting on 07th of May took place near the Donets crossing, between Milerrovo and Morozovsk. The fascist Army Group South lost three corps here, including one mechanized. But our troops had to admit that the panzergrenadiers put a gallant fight before they got overwhelmed by our tanks. On our northern flank, near Borisoglebsk, our Stalingrad Front is facing once more the Italians and it’s quite obvious that they are no match for the Red Army!

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Near Kursk we managed to recapture the city and our troops are gradually approaching Voronezh! There will be not a step back from here – we will march only forwards – towards the victory and the international peace ( a communist one )!

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In the north our mechanized units attacked from the Narva bridgehead forcing one enemy corps to retreat. Also the rail gun battery has been destroyed – a well deserved payback for the siege of Leningrad!

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The Western Front on gen Rokossovsky has been also activated and it’s units moved towards Bryansk, probing the enemy defences there. The key to our strategy is to exert pressure on the enemy in all the sectors simultaneously in order to exhaust the enemy reserves. STAVKA believes that if the German front colapse in one place it may simply cause the domino effect on the other sectors of the front. Let's wait and see.

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The night sky is lighten up by the glows of fires, the air is filled smoke, dust, explosions and humming of the engines. The battle rages on!

In the north, OKH decided to withdraw from Soltsy in order to build more secured defense line. We also caused severe casualties and lowered the morale to the advancing units, north from Lake Peipus.

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In Kursk perimeter, we destroyed Soviet Mechanized Corps and Division. We abandoning the city, as Soviet reserves seem to be inexhaustible in this area. It will be impossible to keep the city secured.

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Further south, we withdraw, as planned and we destroy advancing Soviet units. This turn we avenged the Mechanized Corps destroyed by the Soviets during the last turn by crushing Tank Group and Cavalry Army. Soviet Southern Front is advancing on Rostov, but in our turn they suffered serious casualties and had to fall.

WWS air raids against the cities are real pain and neither Fighter squadrons, nor anti-aircraft units are able to stop the Soviet heavy bombers. I can only hope that they also suffer some casualties, during the attacks.

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****

Meanwhile in Afrika… :(

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Our glorious operations in the south start to gather pace and the fascists continue to suffer tremendous loses on that front. The counterattacking enemy armour is simply sucked into the whirlwind of our advance. In the recent fighting, the Germans lost one Panzer Corps and another one has been forced to retreat with the heavy loses near the Donets crossing. Also our advancing tanks managed to overrun an airbase, where an experienced fighter group was crushed under the tracks of out T-34’s!

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It’s worth noting, than unlike during the 1942 campaign, this time our Red Falcons held a clear numerical superiority over the Luftwaffe and contribute greatly to the success of our troops on the ground.

On the Kursk front we managed to destroy an enemy mechanized corps and our army commanders have been advised to maintain a vigilant posture and keep the troops alerted. The orders to move forward may arrive any moment!

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In the north, STAVKA has revealed the code name of the current operation which is taking place near the Narva bridgehead. Apparently the highest political echelon was insisting on the “Operation Red Commissar”. It is believed that the name will inspire our troops to perform even greater and more heroic feats on the battlefield. No wonder – in the Red Army of today, there are a political officers in every infantry company and our troops hold them in a very high esteem, often sharing with the Commissars their doubts and worries of everyday, frontline life.

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***

Our tankers inspect the wreckage of an enemy tank:

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Another day and another turn of Titanic struggle against the Soviet hydra which seems to attack us with all its heads at the same time!

In the north Führer decided to change the person in charge and sent experienced Gen. Hoepner to command the wholly Army Group ‘North’. Hoepner’s objective is to stop Soviet forces from capturing Baltic States. He has limited resources, because facing major Red Army’s offensive in the south, OKH treats Baltic front as secondary. And because of strengthening Sicily and Waffen SS decision event, we still get 100 MPPs less every turn. Yep, definitely May ’43 has been the worst time on the Ostfront since the beginning of Fall Barbarossa.

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In Kursk region, OKH decided to abandon Voronezh as defending the city under these circumstances is pointless. Army Group ‘Centre’ will be withdrawing along with Army Group ‘South’ to keep the frontline.

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Soviet attack focused on the Army Group ‘South’, therefore it received the biggest blows. Nevertheless they managed to withdraw in order and struck back many times, in this turn destroying Soviet Mechanized Corps and making Cavalry Army to retreat (after they suffered 80% casualties). OKH sees that the situation is becoming more and more crucial at this theatre of war and reported this many times to Führer. Germany should focus on strengthening the Ostfront, not some God forsaken Sicily! However Führer has a different opinion and probably nothing will change in terms of MPPs distribution. Therefore it has been decided to withdraw from Borisoglebsk for the same reasons as in case of Voronezh.

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The German HQ claims that May of 1943 has been the worst month for Wehrmacht since the beginning of the war. Well, STAVKA sincerely hopes that June will be even worst – we still have some aces up our sleeves and not all of our forces have been committed yet to the fighting!

In the north gen Hoepner suffered a major blow because our mechanized units managed to destroy the sole panzer unit of the Army Group North. Also one more enemy infantry corps was destroyed. The Baltics may be a secondary front for the Germans ( as they are for us aswell ), but having strong Soviet mechanized group roaming there practically unopposed is certainly not a pleasant experience for the OKW

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The Western Front of gen Rokossovsky managed to overcome weak German defences near Bryansk and the city itself has been captured by the Red Army. Also the HQ of gen Bush ( not that Bush – we are talking a different one ) has been nearly overrun but managed to survive. The attack against Bryansk could be also seen as a secondary operation but STAVKA is practicing a death by a thousand cuts strategy and believes that every enemy defeat and loss will contribute to his final defeat:

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In the south our intelligence spotted a considerable panzer and mechanized force behind the river Donets and for the moment an more vigorous advance is considered too risky. For now a series of limited attacks has been undertaken and our Red Falcons pounded heavily the enemy armour just to keep the fascists off balance

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***

All in all the German strategy of careful retreats and shortening of the frontline is pretty sound. The best Soviet tactics to counter it, is to conduct attacks on many fronts at the same time (especially there where the enemy frontline is weak and overextended ), taking a full advantage of our numerical superiority. For the first time during this the Red Army managed to achieve a numerical superiority if it comes to the total number of the units. Right now there are 145 Soviet units vs 126 German ones. There are also 25 Red air units vs 15 German ones. Up until now there were more Wehrmacht units but at least 20 of them were performing garrison duties. Right now there are probably about 110 actual combat units on the German side and the current casualties are simply irreplaceable due to the tempo in which the current loses occur. Das krieg ist verloren and if Fuhrer does not recognize this fact, his more sober generals certainly do. It’s just a question for how long the Wehrmacht will manage to hold and in game terms, if the Soviets manage to capture the victory objectives. The MMP charts clearly indicate the current balance of power:

SOVIET:

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GERMAN:

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The total MPP’s lost by the sides are practically equal but if we look at the MPP’s spent on the units, the Soviets hold already almost 2:1 advantage. What is more this gap is expected to widen even further.

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The numbers may be against us, but numbers are not everything, Kamerad Ivanov! During the next few months we will prove it.

OKH was quite surprised with the Soviet production over the winter 1942/43. We didn’t expect them to build armies that large so quickly. In this situation it would be pointless to perform major offensive actions, we should continue withdrawal westwards. This tactics should bring us success, as we need to persevere till the end of 1944 (the game ends on 1.1.1945).

Here is the overall situation:

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Soviet steamroller pushes our main forces in the South from two directions: Kursk and Stalingrad. However the main part of the battle took place between Stalingrad and Rostov. So far we manage to withdraw orderly to the west, however the losses were quite high (as you see from Ivanov’s graphs). The plus is that Ivanov didn’t destroyed completely that many units, so we will be able to reinforce them quickly. That damn decision events are not helping but from this turn on, we don’t need to pay 75 MPPs per turn for the Waffen SS units, so again we will earn 460MPPs per turn. This turn we managed to destroy many advancing divisions and armies. We also heavily damaged Soviet Tank Group near Pavlovsk which seemed to advance too quickly. Probably it was not commanded by any HQ and its readiness fell below 50% even before we started to attack it.

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We expect Soviets to attack Rostov in the next turn, as they are gathering many forces on the other bank of Don (including heavy artillery). We’ll see how they manage our defense lines. Especially that from the last turn we have advanced in anti-aircraft defense, therefore Soviets won’t attack our cities so eagerly.

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Our situation in the Baltic States is not good but Gen. Hoepner will receive some reinforcements in the next turn (as promised by OKH). It was observed that the morale and readiness of the attacking Soviet mechanized forces was not very high. It looks like their forefront units may have some supply problems. Army Group ‘Centre’ withdraws smoothly, counterattacking the units of the Red Army. In Kursk perimeter we keep the steady frontline.

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Our “Operation Red Kommissar” in the north, turned out to be great success and the mechanized and tank units of gen. Konev, continue to wreak havoc in the Baltics. Rakvere and Tertu were liberated and the HQ of Gen. Hoepner came under a direct attack. It is clear that the enemy front in Estonia is quickly disintegrating. At the same time our Leningrad Front has been heavily pounding the enemy defenses in Pskov. Surprisingly the town is still held by a bunch of fanatics from the German and Latvian Waffen SS, who refuse to surrender or to give up the ground. Anyway we don’t offer surrender terms to Waffen SS…

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Near Bryansk, Gen Rokossovsky, according with the “Deep Battle” principles ordered a tank army to exploit the breakthrough achieved by the infantry. The German units under Gen.Bush look particularly depleted there and their frontline seems to be pretty feeble:

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Near Kursk the Heeresgruppe Mitte suffered heavy loses due to the Red Army creeping offensive. Note that apart from the artillery, one Panzer Corps has been already destroyed and the anti-tank near Kursk was also removed from the German order of battle.

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Still there has been no major action in the south – just regrouping, reinforcing, few probing attacks, heavy air strikes against the enemy armour… And yes – our Katyushas begun reducing the enemy defenses in Rostov. Still there has been no direct assault against the city...

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This turn there is not much to report. We continue our withdrawal and counterattacking enemy units which are too much ahead. OKH is worried about the situation of the Army Group ‘North’ and sent some reinforcements for Gen. Hoeppner . Unfortunately we are unable to send any Panzer units, which, I afraid, may be used by the Soviets. STAVKA behaves like a shark when it feels blood in a water : they pursue without any break with their minds set on one thing :). Anyway, we will continue the evacuation towards the West.

Also, though Army Group ‘South’ is a formidable force and the Soviets do not risk frontal assault, our situation between Army Groups ‘North’ and ‘Centre’ is becoming more and more dangerous, as the gap between them is growing. From the next turn we will start strengthening of their flanks.

This turn we also used the fact that there was a bad weather on the Soviet side of the front and Red Sparrows couldn’t defend their forces :). All in all, maybe it wasn’t coincidence but our new ‘Wunderwaffe’? Maybe from now on, the Soviets will suffer from the bad weather all the time…

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Each passing day brings more and more tragic news for the fascists, while our glorious Red Army marches firmly towards the ultimate victory!

The situation of Army Group North can be only described as calamitous. Units of the First Baltic Front under Gen Konev struck south from Tertu and the unfortunate HQ of Gen Hoepner along with one infantry corps have been destroyed in the process. At the same time the our Leningrad front has finally managed to capture Pskov. Right now the German units in the area have to simply run for their lives because the mechanized units of gen Konev are posing a serious threat to their rear. Also Talin, capital of the Estonian SSR has been captured thanks to the surprising maneuver of one of our divisions.

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In the center the situation of the enemy doesn't look much better. Our Western Front once again managed to inflict heavy loses on the Army Group Center, destroying yet another panzer corps. Worst of all, the First Belarussian Front of Gen. Rokossovsky has turned south towards Kantop and is now threatening the rear of the whole enemy army group

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Pretty spectacular action took place in the south because the Soviet paratroopers and marines went into action for the first time during this war. Their main objective was Taganrog and the secondary Melitpol ( both have been captured )

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Even more importantly the troops under Gen Timoshenko managed to recapture Rostov after a heavy, preliminary bombardment of our fearsome Katyushas.

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Another day of struggle against the Soviet War Machine. It turns out that this time it is going to be a struggle for life :).

Army Group North lost its leader, Gen. Hoeppner, but the situation is not that bad. The Soviets are not as numerous as in the South. Additionally this turn their advancing panzer forces have been cut off and severely weakened (they lost a Mechanized Corps). Their readiness and morale will be much lower in the next turn.

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The airborne and marine operation was daring and unexpected, though Soviet troops were actually convicted to death (not the first time during this war when STAVKA decided to do so). Most of the attacking forces were destroyed and we managed to capture Taganrog. In the next turn we will destrouy the forces defending Melitpol. Though one thing is sure: STAVKA managed to distract our Panzer forces from the frontline.

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Overall situation looks alarming after the recent movement of Gen. Rokossovski’s forces on the left flank of Army Group ‘Centre’. Now they are a great threat for our main forces in the South, which may be cut off from the mainland. We will surely have a tough nut to crack in the coming turns.

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On 30th of June 1943 the German Army Group North still falls back towards the line of river Dvina. In the meantime our First and Second Baltic Fronts ( previously Leningrad and Volkhov Fronts ) continue to press forward after the fall of Pskov. Unfortunately our drive is not as fast as STAVKA would like it to be. Our troops in Estonia are extremely tired and plagued by poor supply. It will take some time before the new, secure supply lines are established there.

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The center of gravity, of the whole Easter Front, is right now where the front of Gen. Rokossovsky operates. The First Belorussian Front is moving south against a negligible enemy opposition. The Soviet tanks have already managed to capture Kanatop. Some may remember that almost two years ago, the panzers of Gen Guderian also captured the town and shortly after that the Kiev pocket was sealed. Right now the situation is very different, because it’s the Army Groups Center and South which are facing a grave danger of being encircled in a gigantic cauldron. Her Adolf -the time has come to wake up and recognize the seriousness of the situation. An order should be given for once. Not to withdraw but simply to run!

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In the south the German armour has been busy mopping up the pockets of resistance formed by our paratroopers and marines. STAVKA believes that it’s simply a waste of the precious, enemy mobile units. They should be rather employed somewhere else… Well – we are yet to see how this will end. In the meantime our southern fronts have been consolidating their positions. The fascists lost another panzer unit in the process and the town of Millerovo has been liberated by the Red Army after a savage urban fighting.

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***

RED ARMY ASSAULT GUNS ON THE STREETS OF MILLEROVO:

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Not many interesting news to report. We continue our withdrawal towards the west.

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This turn we also managed to solve our little problem with the Soviet airborne/marine attack on our back.

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Also we try to create new stable frontline in the north, but currently the Soviets are really numerous and it’s pretty hard for us.

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******

The Soviets have already proven in 1942 that they fight till the last man, now the Germans show that they are fighting till the last bullet (and the British are fighting till the last Aussie and New Zealander, but the British are not in the scope of this campaign).

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On 6th of July Gen Konev decided to immobilize his armoured spearhead near the Estonian town of Tertu. His tanks had to be halted in order to rest and reinforce. Nevertheless our current position in Baltics is good and there are few potential attack routes that can be exploited, when the advance resumes once again:

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At the same time, further south, the situation of the German Army Groups Center and South if changing rapidly for worst. The troops of Gen Rokossovsky managed to capture Lokhvisto and Polatava. The shortest route, which could be used by the enemy to withdraw to the west, is now sealed.

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The best units of the Army Group South are still positioned around the Stalino Salient. This is probably due to the Fuhrer’s insistence on holding the important mines in that area. As for now still Stalino remains in German hands but the clock is ticking. The potential withdraw behind the Dnepr line is still possible but if the German armies continue to hold their ground, it may mean a complete disaster for them…

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Summer 1943 ? Feels like it's already 1944 -_-' . Sheer numbers are favoring Soviets so much I have to congratulate Ghost for not being demoralized ;) . It's true there is still ground to give and somehow I expect a very strong defensive line being prepared near the polish border...

P.S.: @ Ivanov, well done managing those red masses :) .

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Summer 1943 ? Feels like it's already 1944

The current situation in the south actually reminds me what happened there after the Battle of Kursk - the Soviet operations Rumyantsev and Kutuzov and the subsequent drive towards the Dnepr. It's July of 1943 in our game, so we are only about 2-3 months off if we compare it to the historical events. My Soviets managed to succeed much more than in reality, only in the Baltics, but the Germans still have plenty of ground to give up there. All in all, I am amazed how accurate this scenario is in terms of representing the historical balance of the Eastern Front.

I have to congratulate Ghost for not being demoralized

The truth is that Fuhrer threatened Ghost with a court-martial and urged him to fight to the last man. So there are only two options left for my opponent - continuation of the fanatical resistance or secret and disgraceful emigration to Argentina :eek:

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