The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: October 1998 (page 1 of 2)

Feb I 15

Another scramble to put fresh Belgian troops in the front line, fresh French troops to defend Lille, and fresh British troops to their front line. All three Entente nationalities were hit around Lille during the last turn. All held their ground, but the losses had to be made up to prevent another assault by the Central Powers succeeding.

A low odds attack on the Belgians north of Lille sees only a single full strength division remaining as the Central Powers react and roll an AX result. Another assault on Lille results in another AX – much to the Entente’s dismay. The Central Powers lost 23 German Manpower, 24 Saxon Manpower, and 89 Equipment points. The Entente lost 11 Belgian Manpower, 12 French Metropolitan Manpower, 8 French Colonial, and 27 Equipment points.

The Entente decides not to reinforce Lille with the French heavy cavalry since a full strength division is still present in the hex.

Tom: Talked too soon last turn. He lost 47 Manpower and 89 Equipment points to my 31 Manpower and 27 Equipment points, about two to one in losses, but the Belgians are going to have to pull back to only one hex and the French or British will have to take over, probably the French. This does not bode well for holding around Lille, although the city is still holding, I think I will probably let the Central Powers have it after Italy enters the war. I can’t afford the French losses. It is like Verdun was – bleeding the French manpower and morale.

The Zepplins attack London again, this time the KLM L3 registers the first terror hit on London, and history is made. All of the available Central Powers resource points are now present around Lille. Some minor troop movement allows the Central Powers to prepare in the area and renew the assault. The Belgians are crushed and retreat from the hex. This is the first hex captured by either side that was entrenched. The French are also forced out of Lille with heavy casualties. The Central Powers rubs it in further by capturing the factory.

Total losses are 1 German Manpower point against the Entente total of 7 Belgian Manpower, 5 French Metropolitan Manpower, 13 French Colonial Manpower, 8 French African Manpower, and 10 Equipment points. A very successful Central Powers turn.

The Entente reacts by sending what few reserves they have towards the coast and Lille. The Central Powers have taken two hexes this turn and the Entente will have to stop the advance with some very worn out troops.

Carl: A very good turn for me. After rolling all those ‘1s’ last turn, I finally got turned around and rolled two ‘6s’ on the critical battles, destroying the defensive forces and being able to advance into the hexes. I should be able to defend Lille and Ypres for the turn to get over the contested hex problem and entrench at Lille during the next turn. I am now satisfied to wait for better weather and more troops. The victories have come very hard and many of my spare divisions are cadred or destroyed. It will take a while for me to build up enough troops to really launch another good series of attacks to bleed the French, British, and Belgians more. The Belgians are now down to 22.5 morale points while the French have dropped to 153. I will take the time to rebuild my spare divisions and build up the resource points. The next attack will probably include a bombardment, something I have not really been able to afford the resource points for. Replacement points and production capability increases in the Mar I 15 production phase, something I truly need to rebuild my battered army. Of course, the Entente will benefit from the same type of increases, but I am confident that I will be able to resume the attack before they can.

MAY I 1937

INSURGENT MAY I TURN

With order completely restored in Madrid, General Franco triumphantly entered the traditional capital and established himself and his government in the largely undestroyed palaces in the western part of the city overlooking the Manzanares river.

The Nationalist steamroller continued on in Aragon. With concentration of force and under fighter cover to fend of Republican ground-support aircraft, Franco’s troops gained a bridgehead over the Cinca river north of Barbastro and reached the Catalan border. Although badly outnumbered, the Loyalists managed to retreat in good order. Also, the Nationalist attackers now face difficult terrain on their way to Lerida, supposedly their next objective.

At the extreme other end of the front, Nationalist forces took to the offensive at the Mediterranean coast east of Lorca. Thanks to massive gunfire support by the Italian Regia Marina, the second blatant intervention by Mussolini in this civil war, they broke into the heavily fortified Loyalists positions and made headway toward Catagena. The Italian fleet then broke up into three squadrons to blockade all the Loyalist port including Mahon on Minorca.

All other front sectors remained quiet. The Zaragoza airport has now been upgraded to a major base, well protected by AA batteries and within bomber and ground-attack aircraft range of juicy targets in Barcelona and Valencia. Nationalist, volunteer Italian, and Kondor Legion wings continued their raids, but now against stiffened anti-aircraft defenses. Targets were industrial installations and airfields in the Barcelona area, rail lines in Cataluna, and the port of Valencia. However, the results of this massive effort were very disappointing as no damage to speak of was done.

Meanwhile, the Nationalist merchant fleet kept busy as usual trans-shipping imports from Galician ports to Bilbao and S.Sebastian. Also, making good use of protection provided by the Regia Marina, transports ferried troops from Palm di Mallorca to Aguilas.

LOYALIST MAY I TURN

The revolt in Cataluna turned out more bark than bite. Guadia Civil moved into northeastern Barcelona to root out last die-hard POUMists. While the city is still under martial law, the Army barracks are firmly in Republican hands, so that new units can be outfitted without delay. Catalans and Anarchists are holding their peace and continue to flock to the recruiting stations.

The blockade by the Italian Navy proved only partially effective. Some ships with contraband (artillery pieces, tanks) from the Soviet Union were seized, some others met with mysterious mishaps, but many still got through to Barcelona, notably including a three freighters carrying new aircraft.

Despite the revolt in Barcelona and a shrunken population base (less than 20% of the country still held), the Loylists managed to field another seven new infantry divisions and four brigades, thanks in good part to Soviet arms deliveries. The new troops were rushed to the front in Aragon, now bristling with heavily manned entrenchments (15-16 CF per stack).

At the Mediterranan coast the People’s Army began to dig in under the umbrella of the heavy guns of the Fleet, which is still riding anchor at Cartagena.

The Airfirce abandoned its forward bases and concentrated fighters to protect Barcelona and Madrid from renewed Nationalist raids. Po-540 and new SB-2 bombers attacked rail yards in Madrid, doing a better job than their Nationalist counterparts in Barcelona and Valencia.

COMMENTARY

This is a trying time for the Nationalists. Massive reinforcements have enabled the Loyalists to strengthen their front to an extent that World-War-One trench warfare has developed. The Nationalist have numerical superiority, better units, no manpower shortage (empty pool and 80+ InfRpl accumulated), but shortage of artillery and supply severely limit offensive power. Even if they can assemble more “killer stacks,” there is little they can do with them for lack of attack supply. At this stage, the name of the game is attrition, and attrition does not become an effective weapon until the reinforcement and replacement rates start to dwindle. To add insult to injury, the Loyalists to date have been remarkably successful in avoiding losses (DR results one 1/3 chances).

The lopsided Loyalist reinforcement and ArtRpl rates for spring of 1937 probably reflect history pretty well as this was a time when the reorganization of the military bore some fruit. However, the Loyalists at that time still held Madrid, Bilbao, and a much larger portion of Spain than in our game. Whether they could have fielded so many new divisions when commanding only Cataluna, Valencia, Murcia, a small and scarcely populated part of Aragon, and a sliver of Castilla Nueva is open to question. Perhaps more of the reinforcements (of both sides!) should be listed as arriving in specific cities, so they’d be lost if the respective city is enemy-owned. But this is a delicate design problem: too much of it could destabilize the game, magnifying too strongly a small advantage once gained by either side.

 

Jan II 15

The Entente reinforce Lille and continue to entrench their second defensive line. Some slight movement occurs to maximize the second line and improve the placement of reserves.

The Central Powers are unable to react with an attack on Lille, however they do manage to pull a surprise attack on the Belgian 3rd Corps adjacent to Lille. The Belgian reserves are unable to move up to reinforce the line in the bad weather and one Belgian division is cadred. The Entente lost 7 Belgian Manpower Points versus the Central Powers loss of 3 German Manpower and 1 Equipment Point lost.

Tom: It is strange how this CRT works. The DX result on the 8:1 odds on the Positional CRT caused the Belgians to lose half of their defense factors and the Germans to lose half of my losses. A DL result would be the same to me, but the Germans would lose only a quarter of my losses. The DD result is the deadly one, but is very hard to get, even at maximum odds. Consider, though, that if the German assault had been at only 4:1 odds, the result would have been a BX which would have caused me to lose all of my defensive strength and the Germans to lose the same, although I still would hold the hex, I would be too weak to hold against another BX result. Thus, it costs more casualties to attack with the lower 4:1 odds, but it is more effective on weakening my hold on the hex. What I really fear is an AX result. The attacker loses one half of his attack strength while the defender must lose half of the attacker’s losses. A quick way to die if the attack is a 3:1 or 4:1. Fortunately, Carl has not yet made the adjustment, but it is only a matter of time.

Another ineffectual bombing raid on London by the Zepplins. The Belgians are attacked again for another division cadred. Lille is attacked and the French defenders lose heavily while the German attackers are equally bloodied. The British 1st Corps adjacent to Lille is also attacked with bloody results on both sides.

Total losses for the Central Powers were 32 German Manpower, 2 Bavarian Manpower, and 86 Equipment points. The Entente lost 7 Belgian Manpower, 16 British Manpower, 46 French Metropolitan Manpower, 8 French African Manpower, and 10 Equipment points. The British National Will was reduced to 4 in result of their losses, negating their slight benefit over the German National Will.

The Belgians react and reinforce their front lines. The French use their reactions to strip any excess from the front line and their reserves and start sending the troops towards Lille.

Carl: I have started widening my attack on Lille to the adjacent Belgian and British troops. The Belgians will never have a high manpower replacement rate (at 0.5 Manpower Points per production phase because of the loss of their native major city) and the British are low at the moment. I think he may have spread the British too thin trying to free up French troops to hold Lille. The British NW is now equal to the German NW, removing his brief advantage there. The French lost another 10 morale points this turn, down to only 185 left. If I can continue reducing his morale by 10 each turn, by fall of 1915 he will be in BIG trouble. While I would like to capture Lille for the factory, railroad deterioration effects, and the adjustment on the Italian entry, perhaps keeping it as a place to bleed the French dry would be nice. Instead of bleeding them at Verdun, I will bleed them at Lille. Eventually something will have to give, and with German morale at 765, I hope it is not the Germans.

APR II 1937

APR II INSURGENT

With dry spring weather here to stay, the Nationalist Aragon offensive along the Huesca-Barcelona axis kept grinding on and reached the Cinca river at Barbastro. This time the Loyalists took heavy losses. However, the Nationalists failed to exploit the gap in the front they had created (only the Kondor Legion’s motorized 88AA had sufficient mobility to sally into Cataluna to wreak havoc, but was apparently judged too valuable at the front to send it on such a suicide mission). Near the French border, Nationalist mountain troops and cavalry made good use of their mountain savvy to bypass, trap, and wipe out the POUM Maurin Brigade on the slopes of Monte Perdido. All other fronts remained quiet. With no cargo to ferry, the Nationalist Navy took the week off. Their Airforce, however, made a determined effort launching strikes against factories, airfields, and rail lines. Barcelona experienced the heaviest attacks. Savoia-Marchetti-81 bombers caused damage to plants, and Heinkel-45s of the Legion Kondor sank several ships in port. Also hit were airbases in Valencia and Albacete. Aircraft were destroyed at both locations and the Albacete field is out of commission. Heinkel-51 fighter bombers damage the crucial Barcelona-Huesca rail line north of Lerida. However, another raid against Valenica’s rail yard failed to find the target.

APR II LOYALIST

The Barcelona government’s worst nightmare has become reality. Barcelona and much of Cataluna rose in open revolt, instigated by the Partido Obrero de Unification Marxista, Andreas Nin’s anti-Stalin communists. Reaction was swift. At the front, all POUM units were disarmed. Uprisings in Lerida and Tarragona were quelled by Guardia Civil. Negotiations eventually ensured an uneasy truce with Anarchists and Catalan separatists. However, parts of Barcelona are still held by die-hard POUM militia. The Loyalists marshaled all available reserves including two new infantry divisions to patch up their front in Aragon. A few units were withdrawn from Castilla to help out and to begin to reestablish order in Barcelona. To guard against any Nationalist breakthrough, security forces were deployed at some distance behind the actual front. Anti-aircraft units were moved to Barcelona in response to the devastating Nationalist air raids. While the Republican Fleet remained at anchor in Catagena, fighter bombers attacked rail lines in Aragon and caused damage between Zaragoza and Huesca.

STRATEGIC COMMENTARY

In Aragon the Nationalists have reached the Cinca river, a major obstacle. Whether they are strong enough to breach it remains to be seen. The success of the raids against Republican airbases have swung the balance of forces in the air back in the Nationalists’ favor. Although at this time their fighters are still outmatched by the Soviet “Ratas” (I-16s and I-15s), their bombers and ground attack aircraft now outnumber their counterparts about 2:1. Especially noteworthy is the destruction of the Albacete base and the Po-540 bombers it served. Until these are replaced, the Loyalists find themselves without a strategic force whereas the Nationalists can count on their SM-81s and Ju-52s.

 

Jan I 15

The new year has begun. A massive reorganization occurs among the Entente front line troops. The British now form the 2nd Army and adds another hex to defend south of Arras. The French still hold Lille with their 5th Army. The reorganization will allow the Entente to have a chance at reinforcing almost any hex in their front line. The second line is also preparing to dig fieldworks and entrenchments when and where possible.

The Central Powers decline to react and assault Lille again. The DRM’s are just too steep in winter weather for a good assault without artillery HQs included.

Tom: The new year is here. Soon I will be able to increase my production multiplier (as will the Central Powers) and get more equipment and manpower points to begin to rebuild the French army. I will even begin to get an air force! I hope that my building up a reserve line is worth it. I had to weaken the main defensive line to build it, but the chance of reinforcing the attacked hex may keep him from attacking along the entire French line at once. I am still afraid of French casualties and the French morale level is getting too low for me.

The Central Powers celebrate the new year as the coal resource center in Liege is repaired and all of the factories can produce at full capacity. In addition, the Central Powers expends their last 5 resource points on repairing another 3 coal sites in Belgium and France and the captured Belgian factory in Antwerpen. The Central Powers also take advantage of the snowing weather to reorganize their front lines and pull back units for replacements. The new replacements received this production cycle are gone before enough cadres are back to full strength or new units are brought in. The first air raid of the war is finally pulled off as the Central Powers has a successful Zepplins air mission over London. Unfortunately, the bombs fall wide for no effect. At least this time they found the city!

The Entente do not react and the Christmas truce stretches on.

Carl: The new year brings the realization of just how many units have been chewed up in the war so far. I have a hard time collecting full strength divisions to assault Lille again and leave sufficient full strength divisions to maintain the defensive line and keep full strength ZOCs into the Entente line. I hope to be able to attack and capture Lille sometime before the end of February, 1915. In March, the rolling for Italy to enter the war begins and the capture of Lille would help keep them out for a while. The longer the better.

APR I 1937

INSURGENT APR I 1937

Unseasonably brisk and dry spring weather continued throughout all of Spain. This helped the Insurgents with their offensive in Aragon, where they gained further ground along the Huesca-Barcelona axis on a narrow front against stiffening resistance. Although badly outnumbered, the Loyalists retreated in good order (DR on 6.50:1(percentiles) in clear terrain). Insurgent spearheads are now within 40 less than miles of the Cinca river, the next major obstacle at which the Loyalists are expected to make a firm stand. In a smaller action, Catalan infantry was evicted with losses from the last mountains that overlook Huesca and the highway to the Somport Pass.

All other fronts remained quiet, except for a reshuffling in the Albacete sector, where Italian and Falangist forces emerged from the Segura mountains and concentrated in the foothills without as yet attacking.

Nationalist merchantmen were busy transshipping imports from LaCoruna and ElFerrol to Bilbao S.Sebastian, where international neutrality patrol is stricter. The Italian submarines, still concentrated in a strong Wolfpack, shifted their patrol area to the Catalan coast, blockading Barcelona and Tarragona. SM-81 and Ju-52 aircraft attack the Valencia rail yard and CR-32s strafed Albacete airfield, but no significant damage was done to either target.

Behind the Nationalist lines, pacification has continued apace and is now complete in Andalucia and approaching completion in Madrid and the Biscay provinces. Also, almost all damage to rail the rail net has been repaired, the exceptions being the area around Santander and the secondary line from Merida to Ciudad Real.

LOYALIST APR I 1937

The Loyalists intensified their recruiting and equipping efforts. They managed to dispatch six new infantry divisions as well as Soviet-delivered tanks, armored cars, and artillery to the fronts, mostly in Aragon.

Having lost their supply line to the positions at the Pourtalet Pass, the Loyalists pulled back their flank in the Pyrenees to the headwaters of the Cinca river. However, they are still attempting to brave it out forward of the Cinca in strongly reinforced positions across southern Aragon, roughly in the line Barbastro (33:2930)-Montalban (23A:3134).

All other front remained quiet.

While the Republican navy remained inactive, the airforce concentrated on the Insurfent rail net. Calatayud, Madrid, and Cordoba were attacked. The Cordoba marshaling yard suffered significant damage.

Despite Leftist lobbying in the French Parliament, the French border remained closed, with no hope of reopening in the near future. This, however, will have scant inpact since the Valencia government can no longer pay for French materiel after having handed over all Spanish gold to Stalin in the hopes of ensuring his continued support with tanks, field guns, aircraft, and supplies.

COMMENTARY

The Republican Aragon front has now been strengthened to 11+ CF per hex, with back-up to prevent exploitation by motorized units. This still allows the Insurgents to obtain 4:1 odds, but only at an expenditure of 4 or 5 supply points per attack, which practically limits their offensive to one attack per turn. Having failed this turn in scoring a knock-out (DE, HX, EX, or even DH) as well as in interrupting the rail line at Valencia, they seem to have missed the chance of crossing the Cinca “on the run” and will now find it hard to crack that position. Moreover, behind the Cinca, the Segre river offers another excellent defense line, although falling back to it would require giving up Lerida.

Also, at this particular time the Loyalists receive new infantry division and artillery points in large numbers whereas the Insurgents get few reinforcements and suffer under shortage of artillery. Despite a large Insurgent superority that all but condemns the Loyalists to defense, a stalemate may well be in the offing

 

Dec II 14

Snow has arrived. The Entente is almost completely entrenched, only two hexes in the Verdun area remain to finish. Reinforcements are rushed to the defense of Lille, putting 6 full strength divisions into the city. The British and Belgians continue to ensure that their portions of the line are well defended with ample reserves to help defend any attacked hex.

The Central Powers are unable to react in any organized manner.

Tom: 1914 is almost over and it looks like I was able to dodge the bullets in some respects. The major victory of holding Lille is necessary for the French rail net. It currently stands at 36 (not counting supply depots) which will only be reduced further as more British armies come to the mainland. The British have survived with a NW of 5, above the current German NW of 4. The Belgians are 5 full strength divisions. The French, on the other hand, are extremely battered. They are down to a NW of 2. This does not look good going into the new year. The French could be in big trouble in late 1915 if the Germans are able to continue to batter their morale. I am hoping to have the British stage a counter attack in the Lille area to try and capture at least one of the hexes adjacent to Lille and cut down on Lille’s exposure. Right now, Lille has become a major sinkhole for French troops.

The Central Powers line is quiet for the end of the year. Another attempt at a Zepplin raid results in them getting lost before reaching their target. The Central Powers do not launch any attacks, preferring to move their three remaining resource points into position to attempt the repair of some more coal resources.

The Entente is not able to react with any of his armies.

Carl: 1914 is ended with a whimper. The arrival of snow and a lack of resource points to spare, has prevented me from another assault on Lille. It is best to be able to do one attack during the reaction combat phase and another during my normal combat phase. If the results work out right, I should be able to take the city during my normal combat phase. It is time to rest the troops and build back up my strength for spring. I hope to be able to take Lille sometime before the winter is over and keep the French morale going down. This is the only place for me to concentrate on the offensive for now. By the time summer arrives, I hope to be able to pressure Reims again and perhaps one of the fortifications in the south, either Toul or Epinal. Once again, these fortifications are worth too much national morale for the French to afford to lose. He will have to defend them and lose the troops.

Dec I 14

The weather is still mud. The BEF takes over the responsibility for another hex while the French 5th Army is only defending Lille now. The French 4th Army consolidates its line behind Verdun by retreating one more hex. The rest of the line continues to entrench and prepare for the winter season.

The Central Powers react with another assault on Lille which reduces the defense to only two cadres remaining. Verdun falls to another assault. The French are almost reduced to a NW level of 2 (morale is 201)! The Central Powers lost 36 German Manpower, 4 Saxon Manpower, 4 Bavarian Manpower, and 8 Equipment Points. The Entente lost isolated 5 Equipment points in Verdun and 13 French Metropolitan Manpower, 11 French Colonial Manpower, and 30 Equipment points in Lille.

The French use exploitation movement to reinforce Lille with some cavalry and motorized troops. These are unsupported troops and will not add much to the defense, but it is something.

Tom: It looks like Lille is about to fall during the Central Powers turn. The French morale situation is extremely poor. It looks like it may hit bottom during 1915 if I am not careful. The British are still at NW 5, but they will not last there for very long. The British will have to bear the brunt of the attacks during 1915 to save French morale.

The Central Powers begin to switch to a defensive mode along the front lines. The third attempt to raid London with Zepplins fails again as they get lost yet again. An assault on Lille occurs, but once again the French defenders hold with heavy losses. This forces the French NW to 2. The Central Powers lost 8 German Manpower and 8 Equipment points. The Entente lost 8 French Metropolitan Manpower and 8 French African Manpower points.

The French are able to react and start two corps moving to the rear to rail up to Lille during their next turn.

Carl: Lille is still in French hands. It is bleeding the French to hold it and French morale is falling to dangerous levels. Things are looking up for a French collapse during 1915. It is the French need to take their losses in brigades and regiments while the Germans cadre their divisions that is really pressing the French down. The French have not been able to send enough full strength divisions to Lille’s defense to minimize their morale exposure while maximizing their combat strength. I hope the Entente continues on this path, it will make it easier to continue to reduce the French morale.

MAR II 1937

MAR II INSURGENT

Unusual atmospheric conditions brought sunny skies and crisp spring weather to all of Spain (die roll “1”). The Insurgents made good use of dried-up ground to forge ahead in Aragon. With maximum concentration of strength they achieved a deep though narrow penetration north of Ebro river in the Alcubierre hills (33:2932). Also, a concentric attack eliminated the salient at Herrera de los Navarros (23A:3001), from where the Loyalists had shelled the Jiroca valley road, the supply artery of the Teruel front. Loyalist air support in Aragon was strong, but took command of the skies over the wrong sectors. The change in weather was also cheered by the Insurgent outposts in the Pyrenees near the French border, some of whom received their first full replenishment of goods and ammunition since the onset of winter. In a small, local operation, Italian volunteers and Falangists attacked out of the Sierra de Segura in southwestern Murcia and pushed weak Anarchist defenders out of one of their last toe holds in the foothills and back toward Hellin. All other fronts remained quiet. While the Republican airforce was busy with ground support in Aragon, the Nationalists launched air attacks against rail lines in Aragon and airfields at Valencia and Murcia. Damage was light, except at Valencia, where some aircraft were destroyed on the ground. Sea traffic in the Bay of Biscay continued unmolested as Italian submarines kept the Republican fleet bottled up in Cartagena.

MAR II LOYALIST

Faced with being outflanked in their forward positions, the Loyalists in Aragon gave up Huesca and withdrew from the environs of Zaragoza to consolidate their forces in a shorter, stronger front. All other fronts remained quiet. Reacting to growing unrest in Cataluna, the Loyalists pulled several of their Guardia Civil units out of line for transfer to strategic points in that province. While the Republican Fleet remained inactive, the People’s Airforce attacked Insurgent communication lines, but failed to do damage. A bombing attack on Madrid’s railway station angered the authorities, who are now demanding reprisal raids against Valencia or Barcelona. The French had a change of heart again and closed the border. This, however, will have little effect on events.

STRATEGIC COMMENTARY

Despite the arrival of fair weather, fighting has still been sluggish and is apt to remain so. The fronts are now continuous and strong (up to 11 CF/hex), except in mountain areas. In Castilla and Murcia, where the front has been stable for some time, both sides are almost completely entrenched. Although the Nationalists can achieve high concentration of force (up to 36 CF/stack of 14RE), attacks at favorable odds against so strong a front consume attack supply at a high rate. As a result, only very few attacks can be made per turn. The Nationalist have adopted a tactic of deep penetration that lengthens and thereby thins the Loyalist front unless the Loyalists pull back voluntarily from positions that have become exposed. The Loyalists are forced to choose between sacrificing real estate for troops or troops for real estate. With the end of the MAR II turn the period covered by the Early War scenario is over. With ten dot cities (LaCoruna, Gijon, Santander, Bilbao, S.Sebastian, Zaragoza, Valladolid, Cordoba, Granada, Malaga) and the major cities Sevilla and Madrid, the Nationalists have garnered 35 victory points, more than twice the 15 needed for a decisive victory. However, the count toward the Grand Campaign stands at 122:46, quite a bit shy of the 3:1 ratio a decisive victory requires. It remains to be seen whether the Nationalists will be able to reach that ratio even if they can force the government to surrender.

 

Nov II 14

The Belgian Army relieves the French at Dunkerque while the BEF relieves the French at Arras, allowing the French 5th Army to defend Lille and Lens. More Corps entrench along the defensive line. The French 5th Corps is left to defend Verdun while the other French troops withdraw to the main defensive line.

The French decline to attack near Verdun at a 6:1 -4 on the Mobile CRT but do attack on a 6:1 -3 near Reims. This attack goes home and forces the German 4th Hv Cav Corps to pull back behind the main German line. This eliminates the thrust towards the Marne that has been the cause of so much combat over the past few turns. Neither side suffered any casualties in the combat.

The German 1st Army reacts and stages another assault on Lille. The attack results in light casualties on both sides. The German Fal/A Army reacts and attacks Verdun with a much bloodier result, but the French hold on to Verdun. Total losses are 43 French Metropolitan Manpower and 18 Equipment points for the Entente. The Central Powers lost 32 German Manpower, 8 Bavarian Manpower, and 17 Equipment point losses.

Tom: I decided I could no longer hold onto Verdun, it was getting too dangerous. Lille is still too valuable to lose and I have given as much of the line to the British and Belgian armies as possible to strengthen my defense of Lille. The elimination of that thrust near Reims has stabilized that section of my line. I think I will end up withdrawing further in the Verdun area, but the rest of the line should be fairly stable now. Hopefully, winter will be here next turn and it will be too costly to attack on the Positional CRT for the CP to gain much more ground. Resource points for both of us are getting to be real slim.

The German 5th Army completes its isolation of Verdun. Resource points are shifted to the Verdun and Lille areas and attacks are launched at each. The French are very bloodied in both battles but manage to hold on to the fortifications.

The Central Powers lose 30 German Manpower and 13 Equipment points. Entente losses include 9 Equipment Points lost in isolation, 23 French Metropolitan Manpower, 2 French Colonial Manpower, 4 French Foreign Manpower, and 14 Equipment points. The losses also reduce the German NW level to 4.

The Entente is able to react with his armies in the Verdun area and reorganize a better defensive line. Everywhere else along the line is reorganized for better defense.

Carl: Lille is not falling very fast, nor is it in danger of falling right away. It is, however, a good place to bleed the French more since the French cannot afford to lose the city, factory, or railroad benefit. Verdun should fall next turn, allowing me to consolidate in that area and go on the defensive everywhere but near Lille. The lack of resource points are becoming a major issue for both of us. I may not be able to assault Lille until the new year, depending on the weather and resource point availability. Overall, I am pleased with my current status and I will begin to repair the factories and resource centers I have captured as soon as I can.

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