Nov I 37
The weather remains muddy in the north and clear in the south, bu the Atlantic is now stormy and the Med calm.
Insurgent Player Turn.
The 105th XX is formed and the 5th(Req) XX is converted to the 5th XX. The SM-79 is rebuilt.
The front lines are shuffled around somewhat, but no attacks are launched. With the Loyalist air force severely degraded, the Insurgents take a break from bombing airfields to pound the rail marshalling yards at Madrid.
An I-16 is rebuilt.
With no good opportunity for attacks, the Loyalist command begins to plan the next spring’s campaign. It is decided to make the main effort along the low volume rail line running to Don Benito and Merida. A successful offensive here would cut the Insurgent held area in two. Then, in contrast to the previous year’s plan of focusing on the north, attack will be launched against Cordoba and Jaen. Attacks in the north will be forgone in order to preserves supplies, except that at the far end of the lines, an assault on Oviedo will be attempted if local air superiority can be re-established.
Nov II 37
The weather stays about the same, except that both sea zones are now rough. The 82nd XX is formed. The 1st, 3rd, and 4th Requeted Divisions are converted to regular Nationalist divisions, and 3 Cav III’s are upgraded to the 1st Cav XX. The Ro-37 is rebuilt.
Not much is happening on the ground. An air raid on Madrid results in the loss of a SM-79, killed by an I-16.
Another I-16 is rebuilt. Preparations continue for next year’s campaign.
Historical – French Expeditionary Corps starts landing for the mountain campaign
The Mud DOES arrive this turn (phew !!), and with the compulsory armoured withdrawals, the Axis attack in Corsica is now toothless. Both sides breathe a huge sigh of relief as the Air Cycle restarts. The month starts with, basically, an Axis Air Phase – trying to blow the Bonifacio port come what may – which they do, at a cost. Air supply flutters onto the beleaguered troops on Corsica. It’s also a fairly quiet fortnight for the Allies – a combined assault on Messina comes to nought, and only another Italian pest division succumbs on Corsica – the rest are herded further northwards. However, the build-up is inexorable – though slowed with only 4 LCs available with the rough seas.
With the back of the Axis anti-shipping force broken, Derek then has another low-activity turn to conserve his ARPs. The attrition of the air war is starting to tell – both the Axis and the Americans have 20+ planes to repair, but the Brits are in 100% health. Derek is only flying intercepts which target the Yankee fliers. By calling up the Strat fighters one last time, he does manage to air-drop more supply into the Corsican hill-country with ½ his air force while the other half try to bomb out Bonifacio again, but to minimal effect (13 AA).
In the south, the Americans assemble 157 pts in 4 stacks surrounding Messina (42 pts), and with all 5 Med Task Forces getting past the coast defences, get to 5:1 (-3) with %-odds. The resulting Exchange clears Messina, but devastates the engineering corps with compulsory losses.
In Corsica, the Commonwealth troops make short work of Ajaccio, & the Indian, British and French mountain troops take out the central spine’s defenders. An AA brigade exploits into Calvi to leave just a bombed out Bastia to capture. All in all, a relatively satisfactory turn.
Here’s the update for our FITE/SE game, in a fit of energy, we have completed
everything through the Jan I 1942 turn:
AGN: It has been snowing here since November and it won’t let up until March at
the earliest. Two massive air raids on Leningrad resulted in just two hits
on Russian BB’s, one of which was subsequently repaired. The Russians
pulled out of three hexes to make a straight line just a few hexes short of
the city. Two attacks on the line were repulsed, one with an AS and the
other with an AR. Oddly, the Soviet general chose not to advance into the
clear terrain hexes vacated by the AR, Stalin has summoned him for
consultations. Meanwhile, in the North, the Russians launched a massive
assault against the Finns having about a 3-1 overall superiority on that
front. So far, through January I, they have cadred a 5-6 and a 6-6 division.
AGC: Well, when it’s Moscow behind you, it’s time to stand and fight. The Germans
launched a huge assault with 76 factors with a good chance at a 4-1,
however, the winter training is not all that it should have been and, no
doubt due to an ambush, the Germans were spanked with an AH wiping out a
complete armor and two complete infantry divisions for a total of 36 points.
The Germans did learn something about the new style of warfare and the
next turn, Jan I, rolled an EX and a HX for a total of 24 points of losses
for 36 Soviet dead.
AGS: Sevastopol fell to a German assault on November II. The defenders, no doubt
inspired by the heroic example set by a NKVD battalion, stood to the last
and refused to retreat. The requirement to thus dig them out house by
house resulted in an EX (not too many factors, this was a small battle). A
soviet light cruiser was sighted and bombed. One bomb found it’s way to
the magazine and the ship exploded. Otherwise, AGS merely repaired rail
lines and moved forward.