The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: May 1999

JUN I 1938

INSURGENT JUN I 1938

The Nationalist onslaught continues unabated. Having cleared the Ebro bend, Franco’s troops attacked across that river and the lower Segre near their confluence, gained a substantial bridgehead, took Maials (13:3330), and are approaching Lerida from the south. Once again, however, the Loyalists managed a retreat in good order (DR one one chance in three).

In the Ebro delta, another strong corps crossed the river and overwhelmed the badly outnumbered defenders of Tortosa.

Operations against the Valencia pocket continued. The Navarrese Corps (1, 4, and 5 InfDivs) pushed forward along the coast road as far as Orpesa de Mar and Benicassim (13:3734), within sight of Castellon de la Plana, where labor brigades are busy demolishing harbor installations. The advance into the coastal mountains of the Sierra de Gudar, slowed as much by the difficult terrain as by resistance from rearguards, made little headway. The People’s Army 2nd Shock Brigade held a crucial mountain pass near pass near Villafranca del Cid (13:3534), surrounded and outnumbered ten to one against unbelievable odds (a 2% chance of survival!). If the situation in the pocket has become hopeless, someone forgot to tell those guys.

The front north of Lerida saw no action. Also, despite signs of impending disintegration of the Loyalist front facing Teruel, no attacks were launched here as yet. “Let them wither on the vine,” the local Nationalist commander was heard to say.

Insurgent aircraft supported the operations at Castellon and in the mountains, taking care to stay out of range of Barcelona-based Ratas, while Italian Fiats provided some protection for the submarines blockading Valencia. Unwilling to risk his ships while squadrons of SB-2 bombers roamed over the Catalan coast, Admiral Sanchez kept them safe at anchor in Cartagena.

Raids on factories in Barcelona and Valencia continued, and some additional damage was done at the latter city. Also, Messerschmidts and Fiats attacked Lerida and put its airbase out of action.

COMMENTARY

To have got across the Ebro at Mequinenza is an important Nationalist success: The bridgehead is south of the Segre estuary and therefore amounts to a first breach of the strong Segre-Ebro river position. It also poses a threat to Lerida from yet another direction. On the other hand, the Loyalists luck in avoiding losses will enable them to put up a very strong defense around Lerida, the presumed next target.

The second bridgehead, at Tortosa, is strategically less important. While Tarragona certainly is a shining goal for an advance along the Catalan coast, this avenue is narrow and relatively easy to obstruct, for the Loyalists good enough a reason to make no serious effort to hold on to the outflanked Tortosa position. Of course, the final conquest of that famous city has propaganda value. (Tortosa is said to be the world’s seond-largest city, after Madrid: It took Franco’s soldiers months to advance through the suburbs.)

In isolated Valencia, the Loyalists had suddenly decided to hoard their remaining supplies rather than parcel them out to the troops holding the pocket’s perimeter. The intent appears to be to concentrate exclusively on holding the city proper with a few elite units as long as these can be kept in supply. This has not been well-received in the front lines, where morale is at its lowest. An implosion of the pocket onto the city now seems to be a matter of only days.

LOYALIST JUN I 1938

With help of shipments from the Soviet Union, the Loyalists were able to field new artillery units to strengthen their Cataluna front. Labor brigades and civilians from Barcelona worked feverishly to construct fortifications at the coast to forestall any Nationalist attempt to advance toward Reus and Tarragona, and reserves were fed into the front line around Lerida.

The perimeter of the Valencia pocket is collapsing. Except for a few hold-outs–among them the valiant 2nd Shock Brigade in the mountains near Villafranca del Cid–units are disbanding, soldiers are deserting. By a rough count, the equivalent of about 12 infantry divisions have ceased to exist, and the number of prisoners has exceeded 100,000. A few favored elite units have been pulled back into the city and are preparing for a protracted siege. There is resentment that preference was accorded to International Brigades over Spaniards, militarily a sound decision, but one that did not go over well with the natives.

A strong collection of still loyal troops has been assembled around Castellon de la Plana, where engineers and civilians are blowing up the harbor installations. All positions in the high mountains were given up, but a screen is forward of Valencia, Sagunto (23:3703), and Castellon is still maintained.

COMMENTARY

The end is near for the Valencia pocket. The city itself is still well-stocked with supplies and its garrison (25CF) should be able to hold out for a long time, but all else is bound to be ground up in short order.

This will lead to an end game for the patch of Cataluna still held by the Loyalists. The front between high mountains and sea is very short–4 hexes or less–entrenched, and in part obstructed by the Segre river and the mountains near Reus. The Loyalists have still about 120 CF, enough for a defense with 20+ CF per hex and overrun-proof back-up forward or at the crucial 3-hex distance from Barcelona. There is no room for maneuver, and all will depend on the luck of the die: Two or three HX, EX, or even DH results (DE is out of reach) and the front will collapse. If these do not materialize, the Loyalists can still avoid capitulation.

By comparison, the fate of Valencia is relatively unimportant. Capture of Valencia alone is unlikely to change the victory level, and Catalan collapse will lead to capitulation even if Valencia survives.

 

After Thoughts – Central Powers

I think I would have been better in 1914 to bypass Lille and continue my offensive towards the coast with the thought to cut Lille off from the rest of France. It would have still captured Lille with a lot less casualties for me. Those divisions I lost in capturing Lille never did get replaced. The equipment points are just too dear for everything else to spend the large amounts needed to replace divisional cadres.

This does point out the fact that losing a cadre is close to losing the use of that division for the rest of the war. The Germans need all of the equipment points from CR #1 (mobilizing the 0 movement artillery) for their upgrades and the field artillery units that are just placed into the replacement pool. Although the field artillery units are not very useful with entrenchments, they do have to be sent to the East front so they have to be paid for sooner or later. In addition, almost all of the equipment points produced during production cycles in 1915 are used in reorganizing the German army. The reorganization is really very necessary since it increases the number of divisions available to the Central Powers by about 50%.

If I had been able to keep the divisions whose cadres were eliminated in 1914 and the Lille battles in 1915, I would have had a better reserve to have sent down to Italy or used in an offensive against the French during 1915. This was really impressed on me when I was trying to put something together during 1915. The 1916 offensive also pointed out that Germany could have good effect against the French in 1915. My next game will see me be very careful with cadres.

The key to the game was the opening of the war in 1914. The destruction of the French 5th Army was the destruction of French morale. None of those units were ever replaced and the losses of divisional cadres meant that the Entente used their equipment points from CR #1 went to replace the divisional cadres rather than building their artillery units. Without artillery units, an offensive against entrenchments is just not going to work well.

The key to attacking entrenchments is artillery. Use the artillery in massive amounts of small bombardments (preferably on the 9 column at least) and the defenders will lose enough defense strength to make it worthwhile. This means that you have to have decent weather as the bad weather modifiers make bombardments harder.

The key to defending entrenchments is to have some good reserves. Don’t place everyone in the front line. Keep a strong mobile reserve, complete with artillery. Artillery just does not last long in the defensive line. They do not cadre and are usually easily destroyed. The only time to place artillery in the front line is to use them offensively. Although they can be used in defensive bombardments, they are best for this purpose if they are in the flanking corps, not the target hex.

Air is very useful – particularly for the tactical recon missions. Use more than a single air unit for recon if at all possible. This game saw several cases where three air units on tactical recon in 1916 (success on a 4+) still did not give the DRM. You really get to depend on that +1 DRM.

Our next game (probably starting in September) will see us switch commands. I hope to be able to come up with a good Entente plan that will see the French survive 1914 with a good National Will.

MAY II 1938

INSURGENT MAY II 1938

Still riding the wave of their successes, the Nationalists at the Ebro kept pounding away at an opponent now reeling from their blows. A massive, tank-supported attack cleared the Ebro bend, taking Flix and Asco (13:3430) and eliminating the last Loyalist bridgeheads. This time the Loyalists managed an orderly evacuation with only minimal losses (a lucky DR). Meanwhile the Navarrese Corps pushed forward along the coast road against scant opposition and reached Alcala de Chivert (13:3633), halfway between the Ebro estuary and Castellon. Loyalist rearguards in the Maestrazgo mountains were rounded up, and forward elements reached Morella (13:3533). The corridor to the sea now appears safe.

Farther north, Franco’s troops closed to the Catalan border, mopping up remnants and advancing on Lerida, which by now has been heavily fortified.

The Republican airforce switch tactics and began aggressive patrolling of the coastal waters, which are still beyond interception range of Insurgent fighters. They scored no hits, but caused Franco to recall the Fleet and halt the ferrying of troops from Cartagena to the fishing ports of the Ebro delta. The loose blockade of Barcelona was lifted, and that of Valencia and Castellon is now left to submarines.

Bombing raids on industrial targets in Barcelona and Valencia continued and caused moderate damage. To the delight of the populace, some hated Italian Savoia-Marchetti bombers were felled by unusually accurate anti-aircraft fire (snake eyes for an “A” on the 3-column +1).

LOYALIST MAY II 1938

The Loyalists sent strong reinforcements to Lerida in hopes of turning it into a hero city. They also shored up their defenses along the Ebro south of that city. Troops were pulled back from outflanked positions in the Ebro delta, and the defense of Tortosa and the river crossing were left to a single infantry division that stayed behind as a rearguard.

In the Valencia pocket, a gradual and cautious retreat from positions north and northeast of the city was ordered. Here, too, rearguards were left behind as the strongest units were pulled out of the front lines into a tighter perimeter. the supply situation has become critical: Front-line troops complain of shortage of food and ammunition as resources are being horded for a last-ditch defense of Valencia city.

The airforce received additional reinfrocements, but kept to their now heavily protected fields in and around Barcelona.

COMMENTARY

With the cleaning out of the Ebro bend and the Loyalist retreat from the exposed positions nearest to Tortosa, the corridor to the sea is now rock-solid. However, the Nationalists still have no convenient line of communications: The only way to their positions on the coast is via bad roads along the Ebro past Tortosa or even poorer ones over the Maestrazgo mountains. This will make it hard to sustain any further drive toward Castellon.

The successful evacuation of the Ebro bend has given the Loyalists in Cataluna a new lease on life (a stack of 19 CF escaped unharmed on a 1-in-3 chance). They still hold a very strong front that runs largely behind rivers and is by now securely entrenched at all critical points. The Insurgents will have to take their chances with odds that give no guarantee of success. They can afford losses and even retreats, but until late fall they will suffer from an acute shortage of attack supply.

Franco’s other option, of course, is to treat Cataluna with benign neglect and concentrate on squashing the Valencia-Castellon pocket. With supplies running low, the ports blockaded, and U4 status to start in another two weeks, that should not pose too much of a problem, but would not force the Loyalist government to surrender. That ultimate goal can only be achieved by an advance on Barcelona.

 

Final War Status

Just shy of two years of war in Western Europe before the French surrender. The following are the end totals:

Entente Status

Belgium has 17.5 Morale Points for a National Will of 1. They have lost a total of 103 Manpower points.
Britain has 156 Morale Points for a National Will of 3. They have lost a total of 410 British, 15 Indian, and 83 Canadian Manpower points. This is a grand total of 508 Manpower points.
France has 0 Morale Points for a National Will of 0. They have lost a total of 107 African, 143 Colonial, 13 Foreign, and 1190 Metropolitan Manpower points. This is a grand total of 1453 Manpower points.
Italy has 63 Morale Points for a National Will of 2. They have lost a total of 320 Manpower points.
Entente Equipment points lost are 1305.
Total Manpower points lost are 2384.

Central Powers Status

Germany has 484.5 Morale Points for a National Will of 3. They have lost a total of 190 Bavarian, 1070 German, 114 Saxon, and 73 Wurttemburg Manpower points. This is a grand total of 1333 Manpower points.
Austria/Hungary has 163.5 Morale Points for a National Will of 2. They have lost a total of 78 Manpower points.
Central Powers Equipment points lost are 850.
Total Manpower points lost are 1411.

It is obvious from the numbers above that the Central Powers won the war mostly through attrition. The drastic changes from February, 1916 to the end of July, 1916 show the effects of the prolonged German offensive which started in January, 1916 and kept up until the French surrendered. The final counts show that the Central Powers had a 50% edge in casualties over the Entente.

MAY I 1938

INSURGENT MAY I 1938

In an attempt to prevent the Loyalists from digging in, the Nationalists
stepped up their attacks between Lerida and the coast. Strong forces
crushed the Cinca bridgehead opposite Fraga (13:3230), clearing the entire
western bank of that river of enemy troops and edging closer to Lerida. In
the Ebro bend, Gandesa and the hills in its vicinty (13:3431) changed hands
for the third time in two weeks as they were recaptured in a tank-supported
attack. Both sides took heavy losses in these Ebro battles (two EX with
large stacks).

The Condors bid farewell to the seashore to join the fray at Gandesa,
having been relieved by reinforcements brought in over land and by sea. In
their place the crack Navarrese 1st Division with support from ships’ guns
pressed forward along the coast road toward Castellon and took Vinaros and
Benicarlo (13:3632), the towns where their brethren in an alternative
history first reached the Mediterranean.

The corridor to the sea still has an only about 15 kilometers wide
bottleneck opposite Tortosa, but this position (13:3532) has been
strengthened. Moreover, attackers from the Catalan side would have to
contend with the Ebro river, and those from the Valencia side would have to
wind their way through the forbidding Maestrazgo mountains, and even a
success here would still leave the coast road blocked at Vinaros. However,
there is no telling what the Loyalist in their desperation might be driven
to try.

The fronts north of Lerida and around Valencia and Teruel remained quiet.

The Republican airmen lay low licking their wounds, so their Nationalist
counterparts were free to roam the skies over Ebro country and provide
effective support of ground attacks. (Well, sort of. I had jumped the gun
with stating the Insurgent attacks and having them resolved, misreading a
“no air” message as referring to the combat phase instead of the initial
phase. The Loyalists might have attempted ground support with their lone
SB-2 despite having to fly into interception range, but the way the die
rolls turned out, this could not have changed the combat results, so they
wisely passed.)

Savoia-Marchetti and He-111 bombers resumed their raids on Barcelona and
Valencia. The night raids on Barcelona proved ineffective, but some damage
was done at daytime at Valencia. Also, fighter bombers attacked Tarragona.
While Ratas and Me-109s tangled indecisively, Fiats wrought havoc at the
airbase, but caught no planes on the ground.

The blockade of Valencia and Castellon was intensified, but this was
possible only by loosening that of Barcelona and Tarragona. The idea seems
to be that a blockade of Barcelona, no matter how tight, would remain
futile if the French border opens again.

LOYALIST MAY I 1938

Despite pleas by another delegation from Barcelona, the French government
decided against opening the border to Spain.

Judging the mounting risks to have become unacceptable and discouraged by
constant fighter-bomber strafing of the Catalan coast, the Loyalists gave
up their attempts to link the two pockets. In Cataluna they consolidated
their main defenses into a practically straight-line front from the slopes
of the Pico de Aneto along the Noguera river to Lerida and on to the Ebro
estuary at Tortosa. One infantry division, the 20th, was left behind at the
lower Cinca for a suicidal stand to buy more time for improving the
defenses of Lerida. That city is now under artillery fire from the
northwest and south. The northwestern half of the Ebro bend was evacuated
without a fight, but a strong bridgehead at Flix and Asco 13:3430) was
retained–the last toehold anywhere on the mighty river’s right bank.
Tortosa was reinforced.

The Valencia front began to feel the strain. A good portion of the
stockpiled supplies were spent to prevent a breakdown. Civilian men and
women of all ages were drafted into labor battalions, hastily armed, and
rushed to the front forward of Castellon. To add depth to the defense, the
most exposed positions in the Maestrazgo mountains closest to Tortosa were
thinned out and are now only lightly held by rearguards.

The Republican airforce received new Ratas and spare parts from the Soviet
Union, but made no attempt to contest Nationalist control of the air.

COMMENTARY

What a turn! After so much tedious slugging, the contest has suddenly
turned quite lively and bloody. Between Lerida and the sea the Insurgents
managed to have their opponents on the run with no time for digging in, and
to provoke counterattacks that achieved little and cost much: While both
sides suffered losses, the Insurgents can take them in their stride, the
Loyalists can ill afford them. Moreover, the counterattacks consumed a good
number of supplies which the Loyalists may soon desperately need to feed
their troops. On the other hand, the Insurgents paid for their successes
with a profligate expenditure of attack supply (8 to 9 ASP per turn the
last three turns), a rate they cannot possibly sustain.

Franco’s two key priorities now are obvious: to make the corridor to the
sea immune to Loyalist counterattack, and to take Lerida. With Valencia
separated from Cataluna, the loss of Lerida would deprive the Loyalists of
a general supply source unless the French border is open, and that border
will close for good in September no matter what. In this respect, the
failure of the attack out of the Cinca bridgehead north of Lerida end of
April was a serious set-back for the Nationalists because it gave the
Loyalists time to dig in around that city and strengthen its defenses.
Thanks to mountains and rivers, a straight-line, well-entrenched, and
strongly manned front along the Catalan border from the Pico de Aneto to
Lerida is hard to crack, and so is its continuation along the Ebro from
near Lerida to the sea. If Lerida falls, the northern portion of the front
still has the even stronger Segre river position to fall back to, but
resistance may then erode rather quickly for lack of supplies.

Despite the heavy losses the Loyalists suffered in the last four
weeks–over 60 CF or about one fifth of their strength), including a good
share of precious artillery and more than half their tanks–, the ample
reinforcements raised in that time have made it possible to keep the
Cataluna front almost as strong as before. However, the regime has scraped
the bottom of the barrel, and reinforcements will now slow to a dribble.
Another Verdun on the Ebro as at Gandesa and Fraga might spell the end.

The Insurgents’ dash to the coast has split the Loyalist forces about
evenly between Cataluna and Valencia. However, the Valencia front is about
to turn brittle for lack of supplies (U2 now), and any hope of reconnecting
the pocket with the fleshpots of Cataluna has faded for good. The great
question now is, will Franco exploit that weakness and accord priority to
mopping up the Valencia-Castellon pocket, or will he keep concentrating on
a “Cataluna first” strategy?

Spirits in the Loyalist camp have plummeted. General Miaga, the supreme
military commander and the most rational and realistic of the Barcelona
leadership, allegedly gives his cause no more than another two to three
months, less if Barcelona should be declared an open city as Franco’s
soldiers approach.

A perverse situation has developed: At this stage, the only Anarchist
supply base is Barcelona, the only city at which Anarchist replacement
points arise is Valencia. If the corridor and naval blockade hold tight,
reinforcements raised with such points can only be brought in where they
start out of supply. Also, not having read all the fine print of the rules,
the Loyalists had done their best to shift Anarchist units to Valencia,
believing that city rather than Barcelona could provide supply for them.
And in Cataluna, where they would have remained in supply even when the
People’s Army no longer is, the only two Anarchist units left behind just
bit the dust, giving the Loyalists 1.0 special replacement points in the
Barcelona district where they can’t be used. Shake a clenched fist at a
design that adds insult to injury!

APR II 1938

LOYALIST APR I ADDENDUM

Because of a misunderstanding, the previous report went out prematurely, before the turn was finished. It was not: The Loyalists still had something up their sleeve.

Spurred on to make a supreme effort, new Russian tanks that had been ferried by ship to Tarragona moved into the Ebro bend for a wild charge, coordinated with a cavalty and armor foray out of Alcaniz (13:3432). The pincers were to close at Caspe (3332) and pinch off the Nationalist spearhead at Gandesa (3431). However, despite strong artillery support the operation fizzled (a “1” on 1:1 +2) and the disorganized attackers streamed back, not even stopping at their jump-off positions where they were heaped with scorn by their comrades.

COMMENTARY

True to form, APR I turned out to be an all-fools’-day affair. Elias overlooked that I could block his land route to Tortosa by harassment. I wasted a good bomber on that mission, thinking abatement would negate a bombing factor rather than a two-factor hit. I also underestimated what he could ferry in by sea and how respectable a pincer attack he could launch with his armor. Moreover, he had commented that all but retreat and concession of my corridor would invite disaster, and I had taken that as an indication that he would not attack, and so I did not bother to assign defensive air support. But after looking things over, he decided to attack after all. Then, through no fault of his other than a poor die roll, the attack gave an AR, costing him 2ASP for nothing and weakening the positions it was launched from. So my laxness gained me an advantage. Well, that’s gaming, and it beats the hex-by-hex slugging we have been at for so long.

INSURGENT APR II 1938

Eager to capitalize on their successes, the Nationalists pressed on with their offensive without pause and regardless of risks.

The new thrust out of the widened Cinca bridgehead at Barbastro and Monzon (13:2929 and 3029) met with determined Loyalist resistance and ground to a halt at least temporarily. Lerida appears safe for the time being.

Farther south, Nationalist forces closed to the Cinca river, mopping up stragglers in the process and reducing the Loyalists to a bridgehead opposite Fraga (13:3230).

The main action was at the lower Ebro. The mechanized taskforce reinforced by two infantry divisions pushed forward from Gandesa (13:3431) along the south bank of the river. Although again suffering substantial losses (EX), tanks and infantry reached the coast road opposite Tortosa in strength. The Condor 88 Flak Regiment, as usual in the van, raced on and reached the coast at Sant Carles (3631) in the Ebro delta to jubilant shouts of “das Meer, das Meer!” Meanwhile massive infantry attacks widened the breach by taking Alcaniz (3432). Loyalist losses were heavy. Cataluna and Valencia are split apart for now, but whether the Insurgents at the coast and on the coast road can hold out until they are reinforced is still anyone’s guess on even money.

All other fronts remained quiet.

Over the Tortosa sector, a battle for control of the air ensued. Nationalist Fiats bravely took on superior Ratas and held their own (1 A on each side) while Me-109s chased off Loyalist bombers and kept the sky clear for Nationalist ground support aircraft.

The Nationalist Fleet sortied from Maddalena. A surface taskforce stands off the Ebro delta to support the Condors at the coast while submarines blockade the ports of Tarragona, Castellon, and Valencia.

LOYALIST APR II 1938

As was to be expected, the Loyalists collected all their armor in a new attempt to break through again at the coast road and reestablish communications between Barcelona and Valencia. However, once again the Soviet tanks were stopped in their tracks by the Insurgent mechanized taskforce (AS on 1:1 +2).

Farther northwest in the Ebro bend, another fierce Loyalist attack was mounted against the weak Nationalist group holding Gandesa (13:3431). This attack succeeded with some losses (EX at 4.5:1 -1) and Gandesa is now firmly in Loyalist hands. However, the Insurgents still have a secure line of communications to the coast through Alcaniz (3432) and over the mountains.

Untouched by all the brouhaha farther inland, the Condors at Sant Carles enjoyed peace and quiet under the protection of the guns of the Nationalist Fleet, and many a soldier relished a swim in water not as cold as at home.

Some inconclusive engagements were fought in the air over the Tortosa front, resulting in no losses to either side. Both Loyalists and Insurgents called in ground support, but not to much effect.

COMMENTARY

This was a dramatic turn. The Nationalists risked a dsh for the coast instead of opting for a safe but tedious further push into the Ebro bend and toward Lerida. They succeeded in getting across the coast road and then holding their ground on even chances against the inevitable counterattack by armor. The corridor to the sea was held and can now be reinforced. This is bad news for the Loyalists in the Valencia district: They will be U2 next turn and isolated.

On the other hand, the failure of the Nationalist attack in the north out of the Cinca bridgehead has given the Loyalists time to consolidate their front and dig in. Although Lerida already seemed within grasp of the Insurgents, it now looks at though it will be tough nut to crack.

 

Jul I 16

One of the French factory at Lyons is damaged and cannot produce this cycle. The Entente do manage to produce 18 resource and 12 equipment points, one more each than the historical production. The French call up their Training & Replacement Garrison. They will not be in the game long enough for the loss of replacement points to matter.

The French deploy forward, maxing out as many of their corps as possible, using the Training & Replacement Garrison units. The British put together another group of units capable of offensive actions in the Soissons area and rebuild their Lens offensive units for continued action. The Italians begin to strengthen their defenses of both Verona and Milano.

The bombardment on Lens completely misses – six rolls of 1s and 2s! The attack goes on anyway and a bloody exchange results. The attack towards Soissons is on the Mobile CRT as the Germans have not bothered improving the captured fieldworks. This rare occurrence (the first in at least 18 months) on this front sees the British hit with a Cavalry charge! The charge actually succeeds for a final of 4.8:1 with a DRM of -1. Unfortunately, Tom then rolls a 1(0) for a modified 0 on the 4:1 column – and the British retreat! The German defenders jump forward and capture Compiegne and only one hex separates the German front line from Paris.

The Zeppelins mass over Lyons and get a terror bombardment hit on the city. The German 3rd Army reacts and presses the advantage given to it by the British. The German 5th Army reacts and does a fast build up against the French 12th Corps. The German 5th Army attacks the British 8th Corps across the Marne and gets a DL result. The German GR Corps advances over the Marne River.

The Entente lost 36 British, 14 Canadian Manpower, and 16 Equipment points. The Central Powers lost 16 German, 2 Wurttemburg Manpower, and 52 Equipment points.

Tom: As you can tell, the French cause is hopeless. Since it is, things are really breaking out all over. A successful cavalry charge in 1916! Of course, I would have preferred to have the ‘6’ I rolled for its success switched for the ‘1’ I rolled for the combat. I would have had to cadre a cavalry division, but the combat result would have been a DR instead of the AR. To add insult to the injury, the German 5th Army reacts with the German’s area reserve corps just sitting there waiting for something and able to help push back the British 8th Corps to cross the Marne River. It almost seems like 1918, only the game date is only 1916. I do not expect the French to last the turn. They will most likely surrender during my next initial phase. The only thing now is to cause those pesky Germans some casualties and morale point losses for the final tally.

The Central Powers produce 22 Resource and 20 Equipment points, one more of each than was historical. The Zeppelins do their job raiding Lyons and score another terror bombardment hit. The Germans mass for another set of attacks against the French. The Austrians mass for another crack at Verona, hoping to capture the city before the French surrender and end the war.

The Austrians attack across the Adda River near Lake Como and capture the mountain hex from the Italians. The joint Austrian-German attack on Verona starts with a bombardment. The attack ends in a BX result. The Germans now attack the French 15th Corps just south of Epernay. The bombardment is partially successful and the French retreat from a DL result. The next attack is against the French 16th Corps on the other side of Epernay. The actual bombardment and attack are called off as the air battle is resolved with the French losing a fighter unit and their morale hits zero.

The British fail to react and the turn now ends.

The Central Powers lost 12 Austrian, 10 German, 8 Bavarian Manpower, and 17 Equipment points. The Entente lost 20 Italian, 16 French African, 10 French Colonial, 4 French Metropolitan, and 26 Equipment points. The French will surrender in the next Initial Phase as their morale has hit zero for the second time.

Carl: In a little short of two years of combat and the great European War is over with the Central Powers victorious. There are not too many things I can say here that I will not cover in my final notes, so see those for further details. In the meantime – – – – I WON !!!!!