The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: July 1999 (page 2 of 3)

Sep 1942

Allied:
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
looking scarce.

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.

German:
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

Allied:
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
striking distance.

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.

German:
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.

Aug 1942

Allied:
Still the Allied commander refuses to attack. Supplies build up at
Aghelia and the DAF flies into to just behind the frontline. In Algeria the
British force commander reorganises some of his tank formations, making them
more powerful and able to take the fight to the Germans.

German:
The 90th Light XX forms up, as does the 164th Inf XX. Most units
in Algeria are in position to recommence the offensive, with supplies
positioned behind the line. In Libya the Aghelia line is as strong as it
will ever be.

Aug II 1942

Allied:
Algeria – The Scotsmen of the 51st Highland XX disembark at Oran and rail
their way to the frontline, along with supplies brought in at Algiers. An
attack is launched against the 15th Pz by French and British units but the
Germans are too well dug in and force the Allies back beyond their start
lines. (3:1, various modifiers, = AR) The German CinC is most pleased.

Libya – The final confrontation begins with a massive air battle over the
front. Allied airpower is overwhelming and chases most Axis aircraft from
the skies. The few that do get through are butchered by the new AA units
attached to the frontline. This air dominance gives sufficient strength to
the Allies to inflict serious losses on the defenders, although the
attackers do lose a few troops and tanks. (4:1, -1 fort, = EX)

In the follow up to the battle, Armoured forces swing south past the defence
line to outflank the Axis line.

German:
Libya – A counter attack is swift and fierce, ordered in by the CinC who
demands his lines remain inviolate. The Armoured units of the British are
the target, sitting deep in the heart of the Axis locations. All mechanised
forces swoop onto them and attack them from the north. The battles are
heavy and results in a bloody exchange of casualties. (3:1 +3 AECA, -4 ATEC
= EX) Following this battle the remaining Axis units reoccupy their
positions on the main defence line, leaving a pathetic British Armoured
Cadre behind amongst the smoking burnt out ruins several British tank units.

Algeria – German and Italian Infantry attack into the Atlas mountains using
overwhelming numbers to destroy the Alger XX. (5:1, -2 mtn = DH) The 90th
Light exploits through to seize Bougie with some attached Hvy AA, the
northern coast of Algeria suddenly looks shaky for the Allies.

SEP I 1938

INSURGENT SEP I 1938

With summer time beginning to run out, the Insurgents kept pressing their attack on the Pla d’Urgell along the Lerida-Barcelona rail line. They ran head-on into the elite Asalto and Choque formations the Loyalists had newly assembled and sent to this most threatened spot of their front (stack of 26CF, strongest so far). Possibly for lack of combat experience of their troops, this time for once the Loyalists suffered heavy casualties (HX). With ample support by almost the entire Insurgent airforce, Franco’s men broke into the bunker lines and reached Tarrega (13:3328), only about 100 km from Barcelona. However, this success was paid for with heavy losses of combat engineers.

The Legion Condor was overjoyed finally to receive some long-requested new Me-109D fighters, superior to the newest I-16/t10 Ratas. Their presence and the licking suffered last week over the Pla d’Urgell discouraged the Republicans airmen, who did not dare leave Barcelona’s anti-aircraft umbrella. A few of the new 109Ds, along with what remained of the older B types, were passed on to the Nationalists, whose training with them should be completed by October (good die roll of “2” for becoming operative).

The Barcelona red-eye continued like clockwork but, as so often before, neither anti-aircraft fire nor bombs had any effect. Meanwhile at Valencia, the docks suffered more damage from SM-79s attacking at daytime. More than 80% of the port’s capacity is now destroyed.

The Insurgent Navy changed tactics. Submarines under fighter cover now roam off the Catalan coast while the surface fleet has taken over the blockade of Valencia.

LOYALIST SEP I TURN

The defeat at Tarrega saw the three best Loyalist divisions reduced to cadres. Nevertheless, the Loyalists managed to patch up their front in a fashion and held onto most of their positions. They retreated in the high Pyrenees to La Seu d’Urgell (13:3126), but left a major force of corps strength in the salient at Tremp (13:3128). Also, most of the troops in the rugged Sierra de Montsant (13:3429) were withdrawn and the defense of that stronghold left to one infantry division.

No news at Valencia.

The Loyalist naval command decided to attempt sneaking a convoy of empty freighters from Barcelona to Valencia at night with the intent of evacuating some personnel from the beleaguered city. For lack of escort vessels the convoy had to sail without protection. Off Tarragona it was set upon promptly by Italian submarines that mercilessly hunted down every one of the ships, sank the last at daybreak (it took 4 rounds of combat), then radioed to Tarragona to invite coastal craft to pick up survivors.

Because of the submarine menace, new Ratas from the Soviet Union originally destined for Barcelona were diverted to Valencia, from where they transferred unhindered to Catalan fields.

COMMENTARY

The Insurgents finally inflicted a loss! (They just sneaked by with a percentile roll of 84 when 89+ would have given another DR.) Ironically, they did so on the lowest-odds of the major attacks during the Aragon-Cataluna summer offensive. Previously they had often “rolled too high,” that is, getting a DR when a roll lower by 1 or 2 would have produced a much more favorable exchange result.

The capture of Tarrega (13:3328), on the Lerida-Barcelona rail line, constitutes the first crack in the second-from last Loyalist defense line shielding the Catalan heartland. If they want to end the war in ’38, the Insurgents now have gain broad enough a basis for an attack on the last, Pasionaria line and break it before the rainy season starts. In mud and even in winter weather that line will be hard to crack. (In game terms, what is needed is for October still to be fair and that at least two of the next three major attacks will succeed.) Once the Pasionaria line is broken, the Catalan government is apt to call it quits and drag the central government down with it (with Madrid in Insurgent hands and the -2 modifier on the Success Table from October ’38 on, Cataluna will collapse if an Insurgent unit is within 3 hexes of Barcelona and can trace a supply line). However, an early arrival of the rainy season may give the Loyalists the respite they would need to make this last-ditch line almost impregnable by ’39. (It’s all in the die rolls now!)

After the thorough drubbing the Republican airforce received in August over the Pla d’Urgell and with the new Me-109s at the front and more to come into service in October, the Insurgents are now assured of almost complete control of the skies. This comes at an opportune time because the troops on the ground will need all the air support they can get in order to break through the last defense lines.

 

Jul 1942

Allied
Libya – Supplies continue to arrive at the front. So much supply, the
German CinC can only look on in envy and curse his own tortuous lines of
communication. Front line forces are shuffled about and carefully stacked,
ready to attempt to break through the Axis lines.

Algeria – To the cheers of the population, British infantry and Tank units
arrive at Algiers. The are shuttled to the frontline to join French and
Free French troops at the new defence line behind the town of Bordj bou
Arreridj where they immediately set about digging in and preparing a wicket
for the inter-Corp cricket competition the force commander hopes to run.
Large gaps exist in the allied line and to try and forestall any Axis attack
and distract him from the newly arrived British, the French commander
re-occupies Philippville, even though this puts his troops out of supply.

German:
The 90th Light and 55th Sav XX are rebuilt and sent into Algeria
where an out of supply 15th Pz and supplied 133 Lit XXs attack and destroy
the weak Casablanca XX before advancing to contact the new British/French
line west of BbA. (4:1 +3 AECA, -1 Rough = DE) At Philippville, Italian
infantry and aircraft retake the city, destroying the valiant French
defenders. (3:1 = DH)

Jul II 1942

Allied:
The 44 HC XX arrives in Algeria and joins the frontline with the
8th Spt X at the new line behind the mountain range west of BbA where French
and British troops have fallen back to. Along the coast, a defence line
just outside Bougie is set up in the mountains by French infantry. In
Libya, engineers and construction units frantically build advanced airstrips
for use by the Desert airforce while more supplies pour into the region.
The Australian CinC Middle East announces that everything is going to plan
and he has Jerry on the ropes. Despite this, there is ongoing pressure from
Whitehall to complete the drive on Tripoli and relieve the French.

German:
The frontlines are silent while rear area forces struggle to bring
supplies to the sharp end. Other than this, the guns are silent.

Letter from Tunis

“Mein Fuhrer and Il Duce,

Glorious and everlasting success for my Panzer Armee Afrika! Soon all of
Algeria and Morocco will be mine and I can return to Libya to re-conquer
Egypt. As I outlined earlier, my plan has been a complete success against
the French. The current British incursion at Alghelia is temporary and I
will soon contain it…. trust me.

There has been a report from a U Boat off Algiers that British tank and
infantry brigades were observed off loading, but I discount this as mere
hysteria by the Kriegsmarine. If it is true, it will only delay my advance
to Casablanca by a couple of weeks. I estimate two weeks to destroy the
French, fours weeks to secure Morocco and another four weeks to commence the
recapture of Tobruk and onto the Nile.

Yours sincerely,

Field Marshall Rupert Von Wilhelm”

Comment: The fall of Malta was determined as being needed to free up the
aircraft currently tied up bombing it. Also this released the Spec Ops
Italians which gave me a few extra units to throw about the board when I
elected to hit Tunisia and Algeria. With Allied units short on numbers to
send to Algeria, I have been able to dig deep into Algeria, over hopefully
better terrain to defend in when November comes around. Besides, the French
are pretty weak, and after watching Syria, Iraq and Iran fall earlier in the
game, I felt that I should have a chance for some deep exploitation
movement. The problems of getting AS to the front line, especially for the
Allies at Aghelia has given me a bit of breathing space from the massive
forces the allies have gathered in the area. The problem is I have been
burning most of my supplies in Algeria!! This is the first time I’ve
actually violated Vichy neutrality in a game before as the axis and it seems
to be panning out quite nicely, but British units are soon to be in Algiers.
Hmmmmm.

Jun 1942

Allied:
Libya – Supplies begin to arrive in the battle front while the armoured
might of the 8th Army builds up with the formation of the 1st Arm XX. The
CinC is heard to mutter several times about supplies while dictating
telegram responses to Whitehall over his lack of aggression at Aghelia.

Algeria – To try and get extra strength in defence, several XX’s form up and
enter the main line. Most French units now face the Italian and German
Armour, but it is clear they need more sophisticated Allied support.

Axis:
Libya – The only supplies in the area are used to construct fortifications
around the Aghelia zone, angering unit commanders who expected to be allowed
to go onto the offensive soon. This loss of supplies for pill boxes and
minefields means that no strong counter attack can be launched if a break
through is made. The German CinC snorts contemptuously at such defeatist
talk as he bares his buttocks in defiance at the Allied lines of Aghelia
before flying in his Storch back to Algeria.

Algeria – Italian and German paratroopers are flown into Constantine to join
in an attack by the 15th Pz on the Oran XX and 2nd LE III outside the city.
Again French fighters cut up the bombers flying air support and the results
are enough to spoil the attack and prevent any breakthrough. (2:1 -1 Rough,
+ 2 AECA = AS) At Bone, an Italian Corp based on the 133 Lit XX, German
paras and assorted infantry crush the French battle line and in exploitation
the Italian tanks seize Philippville.

Jun II 1942

Allied:
Algeria – All French units are brought into the main line against the Axis.
Where are the British or Americans? Still no support after so long. German
propaganda is highly effective at demoralising the frontline forces in the
area with knowledge that the British have made no move against the Aghelia
defences.

Libya – Armoured units begin the big push by sliding through the Axis ZoCs
on the east flank, past the El Faregh Wadi and the Sebchet el Gheneien salt
marshes. These are not the assault units, but just the covering force for
some 27 REs of infantry and artillery who also ooze through the front line
to attack the Axis mech units. Air battles overhead are hard and deadly,
but neither side gains any advantage. The attack goes off half cocked and
results in a disappointing stalemate for the Allies. (3:1 -2 AECD = AS)

In the exploitation phase however, the Armoured units enter the unguarded
town of Aghelia by swinging south, then west, then north then east to come
from behind the enemy to destroy the unguarded fort and seize the airstrip
in the area, placing itself firmly across the Axis supply line.

German:
Libya – In a dreadful panic, the Axis mech units spend all their regular and
exploitation movement to re-establish their defence lines west of Aghelia.
The German Commander is seen writing a very long and detailed explanation to
Berlin explaining just exactly what went wrong. A special delegation from
the Gestapo is flown out to discuss at length his attitude and ability.
Supplies are rushed forward from Tripoli.

Algeria – Special operations units are withdrawn, making the map look a lot
less cluttered and the remaining Axis units very lonely. “Good”, states the
CinC, “I can see where to attack!” and immediately does so – the 133 Lit XX
and 15th Pz XX hits the defenders outside Constantine, for once the
Luftwaffe stops the French airforce affecting the battle and blows away the
attempted air support. The French units put up a desperate struggle but are
eventually overcome (2:1 -1 rough, +3 AECA = HX) Outside Philippville
Italian infantry and artillery tries to drive the Alger XX out of the woods
to the east of the port but vigorous counterattacks unnerve the Italians who
abandon the city and flee. (3:1 -1 woods = AR) With these attacks, the
logistics chief notifies the CinC that there are no more supplies available
in the area for continued attacks. The CinC rolls about frothing for a
while and kicking the floor. This impresses the Gestapo team so much they
write him a glowing endorsement and leave him to carry on the campaign.

To seize as much ground as possible, the 15th Pz XX drives past the
Casablanca XX and takes Setif, destroying a wing of D520’s on the ground but
watches in frustration as DB-7’s escape to Bougie.

May 1942

May I

Allied:

Libya – Supplies are desperately needed at the front line and all efforts are made to get them to the front. The Infantry units provide a covering force to the Armoured units that reorganise, with the 7th Arm XX forming up.

North Africa – French units everywhere rally too the fight! France has fallen, France will rise again! The long distances make it difficult to immediately respond and aside from approaching Constantine, there appears little that can be done to save Tunisia. An urgent call is sent to the Americans for troops and aid.

German:

At Malta, a motorised III and arm II arrive to garrison the island.

Tunisia – The HQ 133 Lit XX arrives in Bizerte while the paratroopers rush off to Tunis itself. At Souza, the Spahis of the Tunisian Cavalry are overrun by the Panzers of the 5th III at Sousse. Having brushed these aside, the Panzers attack Tunis from the east while the paratroopers strike across the river from the west. Overhead uncontested air supremacy allows bombers to rain destruction on the outnumbered defenders who are forced to capitulate. (4:1 -1 City = DE) Inside Algeria, the 310th Mot III attacks the 3rd Algerian X in a desperate attack (no AS) but is unable to dislodge the startled Africans from their positions. (2:1 -1 Rough = AS) In the follow up, the CinC orders his sole Panzer unit (5th III) to stop drinking all the captured wine in Tunis and hurry up and take Constantine. The units obligingly heads into Algeria, leaving the paratroopers to party well into the night.

May II

Allied:

Libya – Supplies continue to be brought forward while aircraft are flown into forward airstrips in the desert, ready for the forthcoming offensive. Desperate pleas from the French are ignored for the moment by the cold hearted Allied CinC who remembers well the bitter fighting in Syria.

North Africa – The French Commander can do little other than continue to bring his soldiers as far forward as possible. If sufficient strength can be gathered then there is the slim chance the Axis spearhead can be broken and the line pushed forward back into Tunisia before more Axis reinforcements arrive to strengthen their grip.

German:

Libya – Air strips are built to redistribute the Axis airforce behind the line. AS are transported down the coast, but it is hard with limited transportation facilities. Removing trucks from the 101 Mechanised XX is toyed with by the German CinC but he decides that it is not needed at this stage. At Malta, the 2nd CCNN XX arrives to garrison the island.

Algeria – Glider and parachute units are flown into Bizerte. Along the coast, the HQ 133 Lit XX and an Arm III seizes Bone. South of here, the 15th Pz XX attacks and destroys the defenders of Constantine, bringing great relief to the CinC how desperately wanted this critical junction. The losses in the air were heavy however, with French fighter pilots punishing the Luftwaffe bombers and taking a heavy toll. (3:1 -1 Rough, +3 AECA = DE) Following this series of battles, the 133 Lit XX forms up at Bone.

 

Apr 1942

Apr I

Allied:  The attack continues, British and Commonwealth units flood across the map. A lonely Italian Armoured Battalion tries valiantly to stem the flow before Derna but is swept up by the Allies with barely a pause in their march. South of Ain el Gazala, the 22C Art III is attacked by Greeks and Poles and disappears from the desert into the PoW cages. (6:1 = DE) In the exploitation phase the Allies ooze around the defenders of Derna towards Benghasi.

German:  In the Desert the retreat continues towards Aghelia. Benghasi port is destroyed and the 15th Pz Cdr scurries along the coast to Tripoli. To show he is not cowed or defeated by the loss of eastern Libya, the German CinC launches his invasion of Malta. A German paratrooper regiment and Italian glider regiment lands amongst the 1st Malta *X defending west of Valletta, who, as they turn inwards to deal with this threat, are surprised by the mass landings of Italian Infantry along the shoreline. Air power is lent in heavy amounts from the LW and Italian Air Force. Despite their advantage in position, the overwhelming numbers and airsupport crush the defenders to the delight of Rome and Berlin. (5:1 -1 rough = DE). The 3 Malta *X in Gozo is now cut off from Valletta.

Apr II

Allied:  Benghasi is snapped up by advancing Allied units. At Malta, the garrison commander blinks nervously like a bunny in the headlights of a truck and sits still, waiting his fate.

German:  Libya – The 5th Pz HQ reforms and advances to Aghelia where Italian infantry occupy the prepared fortifications. German Armoured and motorised forces retreat past Agedebia and pause, daring the allies to attack, confident they have temporarily outrun their supply lines.

Malta – Italian units, specially selected and exhaustively trained for months, execute their attack on the city of Valletta. With overwhelming air support, the port falls to the Italians in an orgy of bloodletting and destruction. (6:1 – fort =DE) The Central Mediterranean is now an Italian pond! From his transportable HQ, currently a caravan bouncing along the coast road past Sirte, nefarious laughter is heard from the CinC.

France – Vichy. Marshall Petain is summoned to a meeting with Hitler at Paris. The meeting is quick and simple. France is to be no more! its failure to defend its interests in Syria in 1941 have indicated that it lacks any ability to operate outside of total National Socialist domination. As they speak German and Italian units occupy the rump state in mainland Europe. The Marshall is escorted from the meeting by the Gestapo. Across the North African colonies an alert goes out. Unfortunately only in Casablanca is the alert received, where the order is given to round up the usual suspects.

Tunisia – At Bizerte, French infantrymen and AA crews sleepily man their guns in the early dawn light. Since the fall of France a couple of years ago, there has been little to occupy the North African Garrison. The crews are surprised to hear the low throb of engines – perhaps some air units flying in from Algeria? But wait, these planes appear to be arriving from the north-east. The planes begin to disgorge small figures that blossom into parachutes, behind them swoop in bombers that attack the barracks of the defenders. Germany and Italy has violated the neutrality of France! Sacre bleu! In a daring operation, two parachute IIIs seize Bizerte in a sudden coup de main. AA fire is ineffective. The paratroopers land with no disruption. (8:1, -1 fort = DE) Other Italian bombers fly into Algeria and attempt to isolate Tunisia from the remainder of North Africa. The rail lines around Constantine are hammered repeatedly but only two hits are made, allowing a convoluted route for reinforcements to reach Tunis. Further south the Italian 5th Army (yes, it still exists having sat outside Tripoli since Dec 1940) crosses the border and races north, the newly rebuilt 15th Pz XX in the van. At Gabes the Pz XX breaks down and the Panzer III heads to Souza while the 310th Mot III heads across the Algerian border towards Tebessa. In Sicily, units of the Italian Special Operations Group wait patiently for transportation to Bizerte.

Mar 1942

Mar I

Allies: The 1st Dragoons, with their armoured cars circled around the oasis at Siwa watch fearfully as a massive dust cloud approaches from the north. Fearing it to be the Mark IIIs and IVs of the 15th Pz, they are relieved to see it is the 2nd Spt X, trundling downs from CinC ME strategic reserve to bolster the extreme southern flank. Suddenly the German CinC realises he has been caught in a ruse! The damned CinC ME has tricked the noble German CinC into sending a sizeable contingent into desert and weakened his main line! In the north, a massive attack by four infantry XX’s, the 1st Arm XX and odds and sods smash into the 2nd Pz XX, SV 288 and 9th B III. In the air, the Hurricanes and P-40s clear the Luftwaffe from the sky, destroying the slow moving Stukas and preventing the defenders getting any air support. The Axis are quickly overwhelmed by the swarms of infantry, however the tanks of the 1st Arm XX are left as grease stains on the sand. (3:1 +1 AECA, -4 ATEC = EX).

In exploitation of this success, the HQ 7th Arm XX, 7th Mot X, and 4th Arm X trots around the flank of the Axis line, past the 2nd Pz Cdr and positions itself across the LoC for the axis.

German: Running without lights and escorted by swift Italian destroyers, a vital supply convoy heads towards Tobruk to rush badly needed supplies to the front line. Out of the looming darkness, the convoy spots a massive line of British Battleships and cruisers which proceed to cut the convoy and its escort to shreds. All the ships are sunk and the valuable supplies sent to the bottom of the Med. The German CinC demands that Malta be removed from his supply line. A couple of units are rebuilt but a general retreat from Halafaya begins towards Tobruk to set up a new defensive line. Construction units fall back towards El Aghelia, much to the amusement of the Australian CinC. In the south , the 16th Pz Cdr scuttles away sheepishly to rejoin the main line, much to the amusement of the cavalry troopers of the 1st Dragoons.

Mar II

Allied: The offensive continues with five infantry XX attacking and driving back two Italian XX and the 90th Light XX. (3:1 -1 AECD = AR). Along the coast, the Royal Navy adds its guns to an Armoured attack on the It. 101 and 102 XXs causing grievous damage that makes the German CinC weep in frustration. (3:2 +3 AECA = EX) Showing the flair that gave them such renown in early 1941, the HQ 7th Arm XX 7th Mot X and Dominion recon units drive across the desert to arrive just outside a supply depot on the Gazala-Mechili road.

As the Allied motorised units exploit the situation, the survivors of the battles outside Tobruk take El Adem airfield while the courageous deep penetration forces under the 7th HQ seizes the supplies from surprised outside Mechili and carry them into the town itself, over running LW and Italian Aircraft on the ground and leaving them charred smoking wrecks.

German: With the loss of his single supply depot in the area and no possibility of reasonable counter attacks, the Benghasi Handicap is on again. All remaining aircraft in the “hump” are flown to airfields in Crete or El Agheila (into overstack). A sea evacuation occurs from Tobruk to Benghasi by some units while the remainder fall back to the Benghasi highlands and towards Aghelia. Frustrated by the land campaign, an air armada flies over Valletta to continue the pounding of Malta. AA fire destroys three air units, much to the shock of the air commander. Pride to soothed by five hits being made by the surviving air units.

 

Letter from Benghazi

To: OKH

From: Field Commander Afrika

Subject: The Battle for North African Domination.

Send more tanks, planes and men. With the Italian buffoon out of the way, I have confidence I can prevent any more debacles such as the Christmas day rout at Alamein. First I must secure my rear – namely Malta and remove that potential thorn – Vichy North Africa. It is obvious that the Americans will become involved soon, but I must hold them as far from Tunisia as I can – ideally Casablanca – and the time to strike against the French is fast approaching. Once this is done I can turn back to Egypt and sweep the desert clean. But I must have more tanks and planes. Four Panzer Divisions is not enough!

Your servant,

General Rupert Von Wilhelms

Note: Following discussion at length with the Commander Middle East, he wishes the following press communique issued via the BBC Home Service.

“The following statement is incorrect: ‘British CinC releases a communique that he has drawn a line in the sand and the enemy shall not cross it. There is much flag waving and cheering in Westminster at this news.’ The Commander Middle East is an Australian! Damn your eyes, sir, for such a slur on the fine fighting qualities of the Middle East Command!”

 

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