The Australian Armoured XX is activated in the delta and begins to
ship out to Tobruk and on to the main battle line where Allied armour is
Libya – Australian Infantry (3 XXs, 1 Cdr and 2 FF Xs + 2 Arty Xs) slam
headlong into the Italian Infantry defending the forts along the coast.
Again the Royal navy adds its guns to the battle while the air forces wheel
and dive overhead. The battle is short and brutal and the resulting gap
from the vaporised Italian Infantry allows some motorised units to slip
around the wicketkeeper (in the form of a single Arty III supporting some AA
units) and block the road. Another penetration in the line and the Axis
forces are looking shaky. The German CinC is said to be very concerned and
studying the problem in depth.
Algeria – The British attack the 90th Light and force it back, blocking the
coastal advance the Germans were obviously trying to set up. (3:1 -1 rough,
= DR) As a follow up to this, the motorised 51st Highlanders doubleback to
rejoin the main battleline facing the armoured Axis units.
Libya – With heavy heart, the order is given to withdraw from the area.
Units disengage from contact with the enemy and pull back towards the rough
terrain behind the Haraua Wadi. Aircraft flee to Tripoli and beyond.
Several rebuilt units are sent towards Gabes in Tunisia where construction
units begin work on a new defence line, this one hopefully unflankable.
Italian officers are outraged! Rome demands an enquiry! The Rome-Berlin
Axis appears shaky before Ribbentrop and Ciano sign a pact committing
Germany to recovery of Italian possessions in North Africa. As usual, slow
moving Italian are positioned as speed bumps to slow the Allied pursuit.
Algeria – An attack is launched on French troops who are pocketed SE of
Bougie. They are forced away from the Axis LoC. ( 5:1 -2 mtn, = DR) South
of here the Axis armours fires up its engines, and proceeds to squash French
defenders into their fox holes outside of Bordj bou Arreridj. Despite
British Tank support and air cover, where the newly arrived Spitfires fail
their first mission and allow Stukas to add their valuable support, the
French are utterly destroyed opening a large gap in the line. (4:1 +3 AECA,
-1 rough, -1 ATEC = DE) Following on from this battle, the Germans charge
through the gap past the stunned British and into Algiers, shocking the
local inhabitants who flee in terror, blocking the roads leading to the
west. The air units stationed in the city are over run and the port taken
intact. The Provisional French Government is outraged and blames the lack
of assistance from London and Washington. Goebbels goes into a rapture as
the radio waves of Europe are filled with propaganda news of this stunning
victory. There is a call in Parliament for an official censure of the PM
and CinC Middle East. It is defeated on party lines.
Sep II 1942
The SA Armoured XX is activated and shipped to Tobruk. The Italian
speed bump of AA units are overrun by the advancing infantry, and armour
trundles along to try and outflank the new defence line. Tripoli is within
Algeria – French authorities frantically try and rebuild a handful of units.
Eastern Algeria is abandoned as British units try and fall back to a new
defence line at Blide where the French have placed a couple of weak units at
the air base. The commander of the Oran XX and the 4th LE III volunteers to
remain behind in a mountain fortress to slow the Axis advance. The German
CinC rubs his hands together and mutters something about speed bumps. The
reconstruction of several French units means there are no replacements left
in North Africa.
Libya – The retreat continues to the salt swamps north of Buerut el Hsun, a
couple of forts are built in the rough terrain SE of Tripoli.
Algeria – British infantry are caught in the process of fleeing across the
open terrain around Algiers by the tanks of the Whermacht. For a moment
panic sets in and it appears that the infantry will flee and be over run but
the steady influence of the NCO’s steadies the troops and a hasty defence
thwarts the Panzers from crushing the last significant force in Algeria.
(1:1 +3 AECA, = AS) Elsewhere the troops of the Oran XX and Legionnaires
are surrounded and attacked by the Italian 5th Army. The battle is fierce
and long but the air power available to the Axis eventually snuffs out the
last Gallic resistance but for the heavy cost of the core of the 5th Army
infantry. The valiant 60th and 61st XXs are ruined after having spent two
years in the desert (admittedly most of this was kicking their heels on the
Tunisian border while the 10th Army was flayed by the British, but hey….).
The 90th Light heads to Algiers and the 133 Lit XX occupies Menerville.