The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: July 1999 (page 1 of 3)

Analysis – or “What went wrong”

From the Axis players point of view I honestly thought up until May II had the game in the bag, particularly after the devastating attacks on the American forces in Algeria and the British infantry in Tunisia. unfortunately I neglected the fact that the Allied player had lots of RPs available. I also deluded myself into thinking I could hold the line west of Algers. Unfortunately the terrain just isn’t suitable for this, especially once the weather becomes clear again. I had spent much of winter
constructing a series of forts running along the reasonable terrain from Bougie to Bordj bou Arreridj. In retrospect I should of headed there in about March, but I didn’t and paid the price getting caught in the open (rough?) by the Allies. This shortened line and better terrain could have freed up a couple of units to back up the Gabes Gap line and prevented the explosive motorised movement that occurred in May in Tunisia. This failure to provide a wicket keeper to the troops in Gabes meant disaster when the gap was breached.

Oh well, next time I’ll get to be the Allied player and kick some butt.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the reports.

Jun 1943

The 7th Armoured XX and Greeks attack the Ariete cadre and force it
back (DR result) while elsewhere in northern Tunisia various speed bumps are
swallowed up by the advancing allied main force. Bone is taken by Armoured
and recon units, who, although unsupplied, rely on armoured superiority to
drive the blackshirts out. (2:1 +3 AECA = EX) Philippville is hit by
forces switched from outside Constantine (hey there’s massive tanks in that
city!) and despite also not having a supply line destroy the defenders (4:1
+3 AECA = DE) Following on from the main battle zone in Algeria, the US
Armoured units attack the 164th Cadre in the middle of their retreat and the
Germans, footsore and tired, throw up their hands, convinced the war is
over. (4:1 -1 rough, +3 AECA = DE) The British 6th Armoured bypassing the
city of Algers, stuffed full with the remnants of Panzer Armee Africa and
assaults Bougie, defended by the 115 *III and 190 Pz II. The defenders are
in a fort which helps tip the balance to make it a bloody battle for the
British (3:1 = HX) At Medea, US Infantry and armoured units surround and
attack the 334th XX with various Italians attached and force a brutal
exchange result (3:2 (no AS) -1 rough +2 AECA = EX) Surrounded the Germans
throw up their hands and are marched off to the rear. Around Algers, the
port city is surrounded by the mass of British infantry of the 1st Army.
With overwhelming air support the fight is short and brutal and the
defenders soon buckle and surrender. (4:1 = DH) In the exploitation phase,
mechanised patrols of the 1st and 8th army meet at Djidjelli to the flash
photography of numerous war correspondents. Bizerte is cut off by 8th Army
motorised forces.

The German CinC is bitterly disappointed at the news flooding into
his tactical HQ at Constantine. Bizerte is evacuated by air to Sicily. He
orders his last few Panzers and Motorised forces to gather at Bone (now
unoccupied). Pausing only to tell the local mayor to take down the bunting,
he boards a transport plane for Rome to report in person what exactly went
wrong in the past six weeks to his superiors. The remaining members of the
once glorious DAK dig in a shallow defence line around Bone and await their
heroic end. Sniff.

May 1943

A Royal Commission is called for in the House of Lords! Congress demands
the resignation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff! Local unit commanders demand
increased beer ration!

Algeria – The US 1st Armoured is rebuilt and thrown back into battle. US
units attempt to pummel the 2nd Pz and 131 XX’s. The OSS Sage Mech unit is
used again but a faulty map ends up with them shelling a local Chinese
restaurant by mistake, giving their position away to German tanks who blow
them to oblivion (rolled F* on success table). Massive Axis AT causes the
attack to go awry and the US troops are forced to retreat again from their
positions. (3:1 -4 ATEC, -1 Rough, +3 AECA = AR) Along the coast the
British 6th Armoured and 44HC XXs fail to dislodge the defenders and are
paused in their attack (2:1 +2 AECA, -1 AECD, -1 rough = AS) South of this
attack, the 4th Mixed, 51st XXs and odds and sods force back the 334th XX
and Italian odds and sods. (3:1 +1 AECA, -1 rough = DR) South again from
here, the 46th, 78th XX, 5th Cdr and various units hit a mixture of Axis
forces, mainly regiments and brigades. This attack succeeds and destroys
them, but for the loss of the 5th Cdr and the 10th infantry X. (2:1 = HX)

Tunisia – Bitter at the loss of so many comrades, the remaining 8th Army
infantry gets to grip with the Axis defenders. Ignoring minefields which
take so many lives, ignoring barbed wire which holds up the attacks and
channels them into fire lanes, ignoring the aircraft overhead, the infantry
at last break the western sector of the Axis defence zone, although the cost
is heavy (2:1 -1 fort = EX) Immediately following the news of the gap in
the line, the numerous British mechanised and motorised forces push past the
remaining defenders to exploit through. Several airfields built close to
the Gabes Gap are seized and overrun – catching Me 109s on the ground. The
German CinC is heartbroken. It now appears with this battle and
breakthrough that a withdrawal from Gabes is needed.

Tunisia – A general retreat is ordered. Units fall back to Sfax and
Kasserine. A couple of units breakdown and spreadout to try and slow any
rapid allied advance. As usual, the Italians are left as speed bumps.
Planes redeploy north towards Tunis.

Algeria – The lines are pulled back with the 90th PG XX and 2nd Pz XX
hurried towards Tunisia. This may have the effect of fatally weakening the
Algeria defences, only time will tell…….

May II 1943

Tunisia – Several units are hastily rebuilt while the remaining 8th Army
forces attack northwards, breaking the thin Axis line in numerous places.
Tebessa is taken by the 1st HCR and 1st Dragoon recon units. Nearby at
Kasserine, several armoured brigades smash into the Italian 17th and 22nd
XXs with 9B Mot III attached. The superior armour might destroy the
defenders. (3:1 +3 AECA, -1 Rough = DE) The Greek Motorised Mountain
Brigade swings through Kairoun to seize Sousse and overuns an Axis airbase,
destroying three air wings caught on the ground there. The Indian, French
and British Infantry catch the Ariete Division and through superior numbers
destroy it as a fighting force. (4:1 -2 AECD = EX) At Sfax, the Allies
main armour body hits the Italian 1st XX out of the woods they are
defending. (3:1 +3 AECA, -1 woods = DR) With his line a smoking ruin, the
German commander can only shake his head and think what will happen in the
exploitation phase……

Algeria – The loss of the 90th PG and 2nd Pz XXs seems to have fatally
weakened the Axis defences. The US hits the 164 LA XX and 165 III, despite
Luftwaffe DAS the Americans are too strong and the infantry units are
overwhelmed (7:1 -1 rough, +2 AECA = DE) At Marengo in the north, the
British try to drive out the 15th Pz and attached AA and Rocket support.
The Luftwaffe is unable to aid the defenders, hunted down by the RAF and
sent crashing into the ground. The result is good for the allies with the
15th Pz cadred and the town falling. (3:1 -2 AECD = EX) The importance of
this attack is underlined when it is realised that the advancing British
units now lay across the Axis retreat lines if the main attack east of
Cherchell is successful. The German commander watches fearfully as the
Allies prepare their battle. The main British forces, with the French in
support slam into the defenders. Again the RAF and USAAF dominate the skies
and there is no Axis air cover. The attack is a success and the retreating
axis defenders are snapped up into the bag. (3:1 -1 rough, -1 ATEC, +2 AECA
= HX) The advancing Allied forces are pleased to capture a supply depot
from the Germans, especially considering this round of battles has burnt up
all of the available supplies in Algeria.

Exploitation Phase:
Tunisia – An armoured brigade, 1 HCR and motorised artillery beetle along
unopposed through the Tunisian highlands to reach the outskirts of
Constantine where the local French population are setting up the bunting for
the liberation parade. Other Armoured units are forced to stop just short
of Bone. The 7th Armoured Division heads into Sousse, overrunning an
Italian AA unit on the way. This allows the Greeks in their truck to enter
an undefended Tunis, taking everyone by surprise and capturing a massive
supply depot at Enfadiville (2 AS captured, 2 blown up by surprised German
Logistics officers). The news is spread throughout the theatre by radio and
many celebrations are held. The House of Commons votes the Greek commander
the thanks of Parliament and King Constantine sends the order of St George
in the mail to all Greek soldiers.

Algeria – Unable to overrun the cadre of the 15th Panzer, a push is made by
motorised units to take Blide and Boufarik. In doing so another supply
depot is seized and the last Axis AS is captured. The weeping German CinC
is offered a cup of tea and a Tim Tam biscuit by the Allied CinC.

The paratroopers in Setif are flown into Bizerte to man the fort
there. All remaining units in Tunisia are retreated towards the port for a
valiant last stand. Italian infantry once again….. yep, speed bumps by
positioning themselves west of Sousse. The 2nd Pz XX enters Constantine,
making the local mayor take down the bunting and put the fasces back up
again. The 1st CCNN (yep, still one of Mussolini’s bully boys around)
marches to reach Bone, but falls short of it. The 90th Light AA III and 23C
Artillery III sets up its defences in Philippville. The 90th PG XX breaks
down into sub-units to hold the line of prepared forts around Bougie and
Bordj bou Arreridj. Unfortunately it is now clear to the German CinC that
the withdrawal should have been made a month ago. Oh well, c’est la guerre
de papier. Retreating from the maelstrom in the west, the 131 Centauro XX
and 164 LA cadre try and reach the line but fall short.

Apr 1943

Algeria – Clear skies allow the massive air armada to be unleashed onto the
Axis rear areas and in ground support for the latest and last offensive for
the campaign. Many airfields are strafed and bombed but the Luftwaffe
fighters take a heavy toll on the USAAF P-400s. Four of these groups are
butchered in mid-air or shredded by airfield AA defences. The Allied Air
Commander demands an enquiry. From here on in, the allies know they must
break the axis or face defeat. The US forces in the south battle zone
attack the 90th PG and 15th Pz XXs. Axis AA fire is weak and ineffective
with the USAAF dominating the skies. Despite overwhelming numbers, the
attack fails in the face of anti-tank fire and harsh terrain. (4:1 +2 AECD,
-4 ATEC, -1 rough = AS) In the middle of the front the French and British
odds and sods, with heavy air support try and hammer the stoic 2nd Pz and
131 Centauro XX’s, but the Axis easily see of the piffling threat (4:1 -2
AECD = AS) North along the line, the British battle the Italians to gain
Cherchell. The British infantry rename the town after their political
leader as an added spur to win the battle. After heavy hand to hand combat,
the town is seized and the battered defenders withdraw (3:1 -1 rough = EX)
This battle is the only success for the Allied Commander along the line as
the US Armour attack on the airfield south of Boughari is beaten off by the
Luftwaffe soldiers of the General Goering Regiment and AA gunners of the HG
III (with attached Whermacht riff raff). (1:3 +3 AECA -4 ATEC = AR)
Recognising more strength is needed to take Boughari, motorised units
quickly join the 1st Arm XX HQ Task Force.

Tunisia – In the sky over Gabes, the biggest air battle of the campaign to
date erupts as 1000 allied planes attempt to escort or bomb the Gabes Gap.
350 Axis interceptors try and defend the skies, loses are heavy on both
sides, but the Axis Commander is pale when he receives the casualty list
from his staff. With ongoing loses of this amount, he will soon be
unprotected in the air.

Fearful of Allied paratroopers, the Germans position their own
paratroopers at Setif, with Italian Glider troops and Engineers landing
also. With the line bowing at Cherchell, replacements are positioned around
the town, the arrival of the criminals of the 999 unit putting the wind up
the tommies in the trenches opposite. At Boughari, the local commander
takes the attack to the Americans and drives them further away from the
airfield (3:1 -2 AECD = DR) The late arriving HG Panzer battalion is
greeted with jeers and raspberries by the victorious foot sloggers. The
15th Panzer is withdrawn from the line and sent to Cherchell.

Apr II 1943

Tunisia – Another offensive is launched on the Gabes Gap, again the results
are a stalemate with the 8th Army failing to break through. Again air craft
losses are heavy on both sides.

Algeria – The British drive into Miliana, pushing ahead of them the fleeing
334th XX and attached Italian odds and sods. (4:1 -1 rough +2 AECA = DR)
The Americans drive in hard against the 90th PG XX and 102 Hvy AA III and
push it back from the line. (4:1 -2 ATEC, +2 AECA -1 Rough = DR) The
German CinC is beginning to see cracks appear in the Algerian defences…..

Sealed orders arrive from Berchtesgarten. “Hello Rupert, the view
from my balcony is wunderbar! I can see into the back yard of Herr Goebels.
He’s such a funny chap, limping about and all. I think you’ve wasted enough
time splashing about in the sea off Bizerte, please pull your finger out and
give the home population a nice victory in the desert to take their minds
off Stalingrad. Cheerio, Adolf. PS – Eva says hi.”

With such steely orders, the German CinC issues the command for a
counterattack! “Operation Kick the yanks about for a bit” is launched.

Algeria – Taking advantage of the US Army’s greenness in tactics in the
desert, the Italian 131, 2nd Pz and 90th PG slam into the battlegroup based
on the 3rd US XX. Despite lots of tanks, artillery and other bits and
pieces, the Axis catch the division with its pants down and administer a
firm mugging. (2:1 +2 tac roll, +3 AECA, -2 ATEC = DH) Swinging south
through the Axis rear areas, the HG Battlegroup is joined by the 15th Pz XX
who helps the Luftwaffe to smash the 1st Arm XX HQ Task Force. The American
tanks are punctured by superior fire power and tactics and are left at the
end of the battle a greasy stain in the highlands. (3:1 -4 ATEC, +3 AECA =
HX) Following from this battle, the 15th Pz XX swings back into the line
skirting the mountain range overlooking the Cheliff valley. A tidy pile of
green gathers in the replacement pool.

Tunisia – The Infantry units attacking the Gabes Gap are surprised by the
sound of engines revving up from behind the dug in Axis positions. Suddenly
the tanks that have been waiting for the past few months facing the 8th Army
are allowed once more onto the attack, re-living their glory days of 1941.
The Luftwaffe and Italian air force throw in massive air support, catching
the Allied Desert Air Force off guard – only the Hurricane Mk IIs can
intercept! AA fire from the Allies fails and the Allied soldiers are beaten
badly, with no loss to the Axis who return to their fortifications. (2:1 +3
AECA = DE) The Axis CinC offers the Allied CinC a cup of tea to make him
feel better.

Mar 1943

In both Tunisia and Algeria the Allied CinC pauses to build up unit
strengths and reorganise his formations. Supplies are trucked into forward
dumps and airfields repaired and rebuilt. In a closed meeting, the Allied
CinC instructs his US unit commanders to pull their fingers and get their
units organised. Pearl handled revolvers are confiscated until this is

Mirroring his counterpart, the Axis frontlines are also prepared
for the oncoming good weather and battle. Supplies trucked in and plans

Mar II 1943

Again poor weather sets in, much to the disappointment of the
allies. One ray of sunshine, eager to get their sidearms back, the US
divisional commanders are finally able to form up fully their units. To
celebrate this event, the HQ of the 1st Armoured XX, CCC 2 and attached AT
IIs begin to swing south through the desert and mountains towards Boughari.
Something cunning appears to be planned by the Allies. A US Construction
unit begins to march towards Laghout.

Again the front is silent although a small all arms task force is
sent scuttling down the road into Boughari to block whatever nefarious
schemes the US are planning…..

Feb 1943

Tunisia – The Greeks and French pull back to the main line to the delighted
jeers of the Italian infantry. Back at Gabes, there is large scale
reorganisation of the 8th Army to cover for ongoing loss of units to other

Algeria – The battle for Tebes rages as the 1st Army drives the Axis holding
force out of the town and seizes it. (5:1 -2 mud, -1 rough = DR). The
victorious six divisions are proving a thorn on the Axis coastal flank.

Algeria – Again the frontline is reinforced and the German CinC orders unit
chaplains and padres to hold weekly services that include a special rain
prayer. The weather is now the greatest ally for the Axis.

Tunisia – No movement.

Feb II 1943

Algeria – Long range weather forecasts indicate no change in the conditions,
much to the frustration of the Allied commander. He elects to continue to
drive the British forward in the coastal hills. Their superior numbers
overcome the Axis defenders, forcing them back to the town of Cherchell and
the German CinC confides to his AdC that he is becoming a bit worried with
the ongoing progress the British are having. (4:1 -2 mud, -1 rough = DR)
US forces still suffering tactical deployment and command issues, much to
the frustration of the Allied CinC.

Tunisia – No significant events. War correspondents apply for reassignment
to Algeria.

Algeria – In a slight tactical readjustment of the lines, the Axis pull back
their southern flank towards Orleansville, beefing up their defence strength
along the line. Berlin is furious and demands an immediate explanation.

Jan 1943

Algeria – Another attack is launched in foul weather on the 133 Littorio by
six British units (5, 44HC, 51, 78 Inf XXs and 6 & 8 Arm XX), again with air
support. This time the strength of the allies is too great and the battered
Italians are forced to fall back after mauling their attackers. (6:1 -1
rough, -2 mud = EX). Further south the Americans launch their first
offensive against Axis units based around the command of the 2nd Pz XX. A
surprise commando attack by the Mechanised SAGE unit fails to aid the attack
and the 3rd XX with attached armour and artillery is roughly handled. The
retreating American units disappoints the formation commander resorts to
pistol whipping his retreating soldiers with his pearl handled revolver. He
is subsequently disciplined. (4:1 -2 mud = AR). In the follow up to this
series of battles, the British Tank units overrun the remnants of the 133
Littorio and swing towards Orleansville.

Tunisia – The frontline is reorganised to cover for the withdrawal of the
AIF, who are waved off by the CinC ME with a tearful farewell. Several tank
formations are rebuilt with the loan of US Armoured RPs. The defenders of
the Gabes Gap are not bothered by the Allies who send a task force of
motorised Greek and French units with the 2 Household Cavalry Regiment and
2nd Support X towards Nefta. Behind them, clanking along in trucks across
forbidding terrain is carried valuable supplies to support the planned
attack on the extremity of the Axis line. The HCR spends it days and nights
on its journey haw-hawing and drinking G&Ts while polishing their belt

Tunisia – No movement.

Algeria – Italian and German units gather at Tebes and the 101 Motorised
rebuilds at Tunis and marches into Algeria. A quick shuffle of units allows
an attack on US forces on the southern edge of the frontline . Lots of Axis
armour and air power hammers the US Battlegroup built around the units of
the 3rd XX. USAAF planes try and block the Luftwaffe from bombing the
ground troops but the battle omens poorly when in a surprise result, a lowly
Stuka flying ground support destroys a wing of P-40Ks flying interception.
The US forces are battered into the mud and the Allied commander is heard
muttering about the need for cadres. (3:1 -2 mud = EX)

Jan II 1943

Algeria – US Forces begin to rebuild at Oran while the British continue
their attack, this time against the 164th XX. This time the odds aren’t so
good and, combined with the weather, the British are routed by vigorous
counter-attacks. (3:2 -2 mud = AR)

Tunisia – An attack is launched at the Gabes line, but the results are as
expected. Heavy AA sees off most of the GS that got through the interceptor
net and as a result the battle is inconclusive (2:1 -1 fort = AS) Deep in
the desert, the Greeks and French launch their attack on Tozeur to try and
break the line but the Italian garrison is dug in and determined, well aware
of the potential results if the allies turn the line. The result is a
failure and the Guardsmen of the 2nd HCR blame the French. (1:1 = AS)

Tunisia and Algeria – Movement of troops into the frontline. The German
CinC begins to husband his forces.

Dec 1942

(Mud in Algeria/North Tunisia)

Algeria – The French scrap together enough men to reform the Casablanca and
Alger Infantry XXs and feed them back into the frontline. The US strengthen
their sector of the line with AT and AA units but are unable to sort out
their tactics. The German CinC sniggeringly points out this may be due to
excessive wearing of pearl handled revolvers by unit commanders, but the
Allies ignore him. The battered British cadres are rebuilt with fresh faced
recruits straight from England and Scotland, who are rather over awed by the
hard bitten veterans of the retreat from Bordj bou Arreridj. More and more
the Allied strength builds, but weather closes the front down.

Tunisia – The bulk of the 8th Army begins to cross the border and closes on
the Gabes Gap.

Algeria – The 90th Motorised XX is linked with newly arrived Panzer forces
to form up as a fully mechanised Panzer Grenadier XX, and marches past the
review stand of the German CinC in Algeria on their way to face the British
along the coast. In Rome, the Commando Supremo wipes off its records
several units who are scrapped in the replacement pool to provide some extra
recruits for other Italian XXs. The 2nd Pz XX is rebuilt and the troops in
the area take it easy in the rain, free from Allied fighter raids.

Tunisia – In the bright sunshine troops relax in their bunkers at Gabes
while engineers continue to fortify the region around them. The salt pans
on their inland flank guard them against any Allied attack and the air bases
behind them begin to fill with Italian and German fighter cover.

Dec II 1942

Tunisia – Using the relatively undamaged facilities of Tripoli port, the HQ
of the 56th XX and a couple of Infantry units land, much to the annoyance of
the Axis Air Fleet commander who’s aircraft at Malta failed to intercept and
sink the convoy. The commander of the AIF volunteers to the CinC Middle
East to try and break the Gabes Gap with his Corp of five XXs before they
are withdrawn for service in the Pacific and South East Asia. Unable to
resist allowing his compatriots the opportunity to provide one last chance
to add to their glowing list of successes in this campaign, the CinC ME
throws his forces into battle, determined to make good his promise to take
Tunis by Christmas. Italian defenders to the north of Fort Tarahoume are
hit by allied forces who surround them and destroy them in a ZoC DR result.
In the retreat from the battle, the Italians are unable to find a gap in the
lines and are swallowed up by the 8th Army. This opens up a supply line to
the NZ and Indians XXs with Armoured support from the British 1st Arm XX, SA
1st Arm XX and Aust. 1st Arm XX which smash into the 101, 102 XXs, 1st and
32nd Lt Arm Xs and assorted artillery. The Italians are forced back towards
the Australian infantry units who eagerly shuffle them into PoW camps before
hitting the main Gabes defence positions themselves. (3:1 = DR ZoC scam)
The Australian attack goes in under heavy air battles and the Hurricanes of
the Desert Air Force are unable to escort through ground support planes
against the superior machines of the Luftwaffe. This causes the odds to
remain low for success and the Australian attack falters and fails. (2:1 -1
fort = AS). To follow up these battles, the motorised and armoured units
approach close to Gabes.

Algeria – British Infantry and Armour units hit the 133 Littorio XX with
lots of air support but the AA units attached to the Italians chases off
several RAF units. Despite overwhelming numbers the weather and terrain
favour the defence and the Allied CinC is bitterly disappointed with the
results. (4:1 -2 Mud, -1 rough = AS). US AT units join the Alger XX north
of Relizane.

Algeria – The line is reinforced as much as possible, but the weather delays
many units straggling along from the ports in Tunisia. Construction begins
on a line of forts around Bougie to Bordj bou Arreridj. Ideally this will
be the spot where the Allies will be unable to breakthrough, prolonging the
defence of North Africa.

Tunisia – Aircraft are flown to forward airbases behind Gabes. A final
shuffling of units places two armoured XX, one Inf XX and attached units in
the main fortifications. This sort of grouping should make it tricky for
the Allies to break through. The Brescia and Pavona Infantry XXs with the
9B Mot III are sent to Gafsa to block any deep swing through the desert by
the Allies to try and force the Nefta-Tozeur gap. The German CinC log
records “Impregnable Defence!!!”.

Nov 1942

Libya – Mechanised units beat into the ground Italian Garrison units who
have formed the unenviable rearguard. Following on from this they leap
forward and capture an unguarded supply depot to the west of Tripoli. Some
Axis units are pocketed around Tripoli. French *Xs and 1st Australian Arm
XX wash off the desert sand at the coast 32 miles west of the city.

Algeria – The Allied CinC announces the arrival of 1st British Army and
attached US military units at Oran and minor ports along the coast and
around Morocco. These units quickly spring forward to join some Frenchmen
at Tenes. The shattered cadres of the British forces retreat westwards
conceding much ground to the Germans. A crisis has broken out in Algeria
but the newly arrived Allied forces should give sufficient strength to hold
the Axis. Maybe.

Libya – With the port still in their hands, some Italian units escape by sea
to Sfax from Tripoli. The remainder try and flee towards Tunisia.

Algeria – An unsupplied attack is launched on the Casablanca and Alger XXs
by German armour with Italian forces providing blocking positions. The luck
of the brave is with the Axis commander as he pulls off this jammy attack
and forces the French to retreat – into the arms of the waiting Italians who
escort them off to the labour camps in Tunisia. Rushing forward to gain as
much ground as possible, the Axis motorised units advance to contact the
British 78th XX and the battlegroups of the US 1st and 3rd XXs.

Comment to date:

The salad days in Algeria seem to be coming to an end.
The only good thing is the Allies are going to be hampered by the weather in
any counter attack the launch in the region which should mean a couple of
boring months coming up outside Algeria. Numerically I’m about at my
strongest now while the Allies will only get bigger, badder and meaner. In
Libya and Tunisia I’m pinning all my hopes on setting up a strong defence
line at Gabes until the Australian XX disappear in January. From this time
period on the 8th Army should start getting weaker and if – and this is a
big if – I can start to strip some of the Pz units I’m planning on assigning
to this area, I might be able to block the Allies in the Atlas Mountains and
hold Tunisia until May 43.

Nov II 1942

Algeria – Heavy Bombers lift off from their bases at Gibraltar and in a
massive show of force blow to pieces the port of Bougie, leaving it a
scarred, smoking rubble. Axis logistic officials bemoan the lack of
effective AA support for the North African ports. Marching along happily,
the regiments of the US Army head towards the frontline while their comrades
in the British 1st Army move along the coast road to block the Germans. The
US soldiers are shocked when the bedraggled remnants of the British Infantry
units arrive piecemeal from the east. The sorry state of the British alerts
the Americans that this is no easy fight. The British 8th Armoured XX Cadre
arrives at Mostagnem.

Libya – Tripoli is fully invested by the 8th Army and armoured forces cross
the Tunisian Border, overrunning the Italian 5th Army Construction unit and
seizing Medenine. The Allied commander trumpets his intention via the BBC
Home Service to be in Tunis by Christmas. The capture of Tripoli results in
a vote of thanks from the House of Commons.

Tunisia – The tactical withdrawal to the Gabes Gap continues, the German
CinC congratulates his Panzer units on such a masterful operation. His
Italian Aide-de-camp mentions that several slow moving Italian units area
still not in position at the Gabes Gap. The German CinC shrugs and mentions
something about “Traffic Calming techniques in the desert”. In the stony
desert south of Gabes, the Italian troops struggle to gain the
fortifications while behind them in the distance the tanks of the Australian
and South African 1st Armoured XXs throw up dust clouds……

Algeria – Vital supplies are rushed forward to the line where more Axis
forces move into position. The battle hardened Germans and Italians conduct
nightly probes on the newly arrived US troops, inducing some panic and
showing up severe tactical problems at a command and control level. The
German CinC toys with the idea of a swift attack on the yanks but decides to
keep that card up his sleeve for a short time. Especially when he hears on
the canvas awning of his tactical HQ caravan the sound of falling rain. The
wet season has begun!

Oct 1942

Libya – The 8th Army moves up to the new Axis line while behind them
supplies are rushed forward. In the Delta numerous forces are rebuilt from
the replacement pool and hurried along by all available means towards

Algeria – British units slip through gaps in the Axis line to rejoin the
thin blue line west of the capital. Overhead RAAF and USAAF Heavy Bombers
with RAF and SAAF Mediums begin a series of round the clock raids on the
port facilities of Algiers, shattering the docks with their massive payloads
and impervious to the small amounts of AA in the area. (5 hits – I hate the
Allied Strategic Bombing strength!)

Libya/Algeria – The 5th Pz XX is rebuilt to full strength along with the
Ariete XX. The 25th It Infantry XX is rebuilt and rushed into Algeria.
Supplies are broken up to provide resources for more forts and airfields.
With this limitation on them, the Axis are unable to attack anywhere. Ships
begin arriving in Algiers as a supply terminal is opened up here. The 131
Armoured XX finally completes grouping its separate elements together and
becomes a new worry for the Allies to deal with.

Oct II 1942

Libya – The Allies show there mettle once again attacking the western
extremity of the Zem Zem Wadi defence line. In a brave decision, the Air
Commander Desert Air Force commits unescorted bombers and attack craft at
long range to try and up the chances of a break through. The Luftwaffe have
a field day as 3 Wellington bomber air units are slaughtered by fighter
interception. Only one A-30 gets through (interceptor rolled a 12) to aid
the infantry attack on the Armoured defenders. The German CinC is surprised
when news from the front arrives – all of it bad. The Allies have broken
through! (3:1 -2 AECD = HX) The follow on tanks trundle across the hills
towards Tripoli while Free French units mounted in trucks scoot along
towards the coast.

Algeria – British infantry units spread themselves across the line to give support to
the French. A couple of Brigades convert to motorised units to allow
formation of the 8th Armoured XX. Again bombers attack Algiers inflicting
severe damage on the port. An Italian Mc 202 is destroyed trying to take on
a B24-D5.

Libya – Units fall back to the temporary stop line of Homs. As unusual they
are spread out from arsehole to breakfast looking very messy and vulnerable
to an Allied attack. Italian administration authorities from Tripoli are
intermixed with these forces with the city abandoned. No damage to the port
could be done due to the rushed nature of the retreat.

Algeria – The last of the hoarded supplies are used to attack the British
west of Algiers. By careful movement of Italian infantry to the town of
Medea, all retreat paths are blocked – all that is needed to inflict a
serious loss on the British is a DR. Despite brave efforts by the French
fighters to block Axis air support (all the French fgts are killed by
superior German aircraft) the British are forced back (2:1 = DR) and the
remnants struggle back westwards. The motorised sections of the Axis
advance to just short of Orleansville.

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