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Europa Games and Military History

Month: May 2008

For Whom The Bell Tolls – Spielbericht

1936

Turn 1: Jul II 1936

From the Nationalist point of
view the most notable result of the variable beginning is that Logrono
and Valladolid both stay loyal, which spells a lot of difficulties to our
undertaking. However, there might be still a chance to decide this issue
quicker than though. First we are going to isolate Malaga while collecting
all available forces for quick stab at Cordoba. Opening the road into Andalusia
will eventually lead us into the heartland of the Communists.

Another important thing will
be to clear up our hinterland as soon as possible, to allow us to throw
everything into the upcoming battle for Madrid. So we start to ship over
the first colonian regiments, especially those wonderful LE regiments which
are unequalled by anything the Loyalists have. Most of these thoughts remain
plans for now, as the rest of the units is mainly busy with pacification.

During the Loyalist player turn anarchists spring up everywhere, one just
wonders where they’ve been hiding all the time.

Turn 2: Aug I 1936

While still to many units are
busy pacifying the cities General Franco orders the first two divisions
that are combat ready to the offensive and mounts an attack on Cordoba,
which bloddlily failes [at 3:1 (-1)]. In the very north another attempt
to quickly overwhelm the Commies fails as well [at 2:0 (0)] as an attack
against Gijon is beaten back with considerable losses of men and territory.
After this debacle, we decide to first consolodate our position before
undertaking any further attempts. However, we have managed to isolate and
surround Cordoba and Valladolid, while the first regiments of our elite
Legion Entrangere head for Malaga.

The Loyalists concentrate on
a solid buildup and start forming militia brigades all over Catalania,
while the newly proclamated Anarchist republic of Anadalusia issues enrolment
orders all over the countryside.

Turn 3: Aug II 1936

As the first cities are pacified
more units rush to the front that starts to take shape. Our troops have
to evacuate Toledo in order to maintain contact with our main concentrations
as the first Loyalist infantry columns are pushing down the Tejo valley.
Along the central Cordillieras contact is made with loyalist troops and
both sides start to dig in.

Meanwhile, the first attempt
of Loyalist columns to march down along the Tejo river valley failes as
well as their attempt to break our lines encirceling Cordoba. The uncoordinated
attacks still show the lack of guidance from the officer corps which has
joined our cause.

Turn 4: Sep I 1936

Two more divisions are assembled,
one at Zaragoza to stem the massive flow of Loyalist troops from Catalania
up the Ebro river, and one more to help the attack at Valladolid. The most
important parts of the Legion Entragere and the Colonial Regiments now
have been shipped to Southern Spain to join the assault against the Anarchist
republic of Andalucia. As the Loyalist fleet remains surprisingly quiet
there is nothing much to do for the first arriving submarine sqadroons
of the Italin Navies, who guard the first transports of supply and artillery
reaching our ports. In the South we intensify our grip on the anarchist
cities and cut them off, while in the North Valladolid falls to a combined
assault of all arms.

The first Catalanian colums establish
contact with our lines in front of Zaragoza. From the southern hills of
the Pyrennes long columns of Loyalist troops heading for the city can be
spotted, a threat we are unable to counter effectively because our inabillity
to shift troops. Their first attempt to break our ranks fails [3:0 -1],
while the important rail junction of Calatyud falls into Loyalist hands
after a blody battle [3:1 (-1) HX] More Loyalist units pouring out of Madrid
score another vitory against a lonly requete column at Soria, smashing
it and occupying the city [4:1 (0) DH].

Losses: Insurgents: 4 Inf

Loyalists: 2 Inf 1 Art

Turn 5: Sep II 1936

The Legion Entrangere finally
reaches the outscirts of Malaga and occupies the approaches to the city,
while our corps at Cordoba receives reinforcements against the new anarchist
colums aggresivly defending the city. The victors of Valladolid rush to
the east to rescue Zaragoza and retake Calatyud, but don’t reach the front
in strengh. A swift attack without preperations or supply overwhelms a
cut-off loyalist column in the eastern Cordilleras [hex 2507].

Nearly a Dozend Loyalist columns
reach the outskirts of Zaragoza and isolate the city, while more bypass
our strongpoints east of the city to press on northward. Huesca falls [4:1
-1 DR].

In the South, the anarchist rulers
of Malaga and Cordoba issue rationing of the stocked supplies, as there
is no imminent chance of relieving the city. From the mass of Loyalist
colums in the Tejo valley a regiment of Guardia del Civil breakes through
and reaches the still besieged Bajadoz, adding to the defenders there.

Losses: Insurgents: 0,

Loyalists: 1 Inf

Turn 6: Oct I 1936

With the new supply arriving

at the ports we find ourselves critically short of rail capacity, the ammunition
rots in the harbours while our fronts are short of supply. To put pressure
on the Loyalists we have to make use of our assets wherever they are, and
as dearly we would like to transfer the Legion Entragere to the North we
simply don’t have the means to do so. The transfer of colonial troops to
Cadiz continues, the presence of Italian subs prevents any incursions by
the Loyalist fleet. In the North
we barely screen the gobernitos, while everything available is now shifted
to the east to occupy the rail line to Zaragoza and secure ist supply line.
To do so, we have to retreat more columns over the Ebro, so that there
are now only 2 border regiments left east of the river.

Another attempt to stop
the Loyalist onlaught at Zaragoza failes east of Merida [5:1 -1 AS] despite
the fact that virtually all reinforcements go to there, while the newly
arrived Italian tank batallion scores its first victory in supporting a
small conterattack up the Teja valley [6:1 +2 DE]. In the mountains north
of Madrid an isolated Loyalist column is cut of and smashed [5:1 -2 EX]
as the battle for the mountain crest continues. We now occupy mountain
hexes everywhere except the rail line to Bajadoz [2412], which doesn’t
matter as Bajadoz finally falls into our hands [4:1 -1 DR], despite some
fierce resistance by the Elite Art Regiment stationed there. In the South
several colums screen Cordoba and Malaga, while the main colums head for
the slowly emerging frontline in the east to prevent relieve attempts.
Solid contact is now established everywhere, and we start to construct
the first fortifications in the open. [frontline from Motril in the South
to 2414, then along the mountains to the rail line to Zaragoza, from there
no contact is established so far becouase of our retreats]

The Loyalists concentrate
on Zaragoza and rail more troops into the area. The remaining National
Forces east of the Ebro are wiped out and solid contact is made with the
Basque forces coming from the North. The river line marks the front, which
means that Zaragoza will be cut off as soon as bad weather occures.

More loyalist colums
mobilized in the vicinity on Madrid manage to re-take a mountain hex north
of the city, while a second attack falteres.

Losses: Insurgents: 5

Inf 1 Arm, Loyalists: 7 Inf 1 Art

Turn 7: Oct II

1936

(D = Mud)

More divisions reach
the front line north-west of Zaragoza as a fierce battle errupts for the
supply lines of the city. We cannot prevent that the city finylly gets
cut of in the last days of the month.

The only important attack
on anarchist colums in Anadlusia failes [5:1 -2 AS], while finally the
last isolated loyalist stronholds in aour hinterland are cleared.

Losses: Insurgents: 5

Inf 1 Art, Loyalists: 3 Inf

Turn 7: Nov I 1936

(D=Mud)

Fighting ceases on most
fronts except in the verx north-east, where the Loyalists try to reach
a secure north-south rail line. As most insurgent reinforcements are stuck
in the mud our lines get pushed back, while south of that an operation
to retake Calatyud failes with two of our best divisions cut off and surrounded.
Of our three attacks, two succeed, but despiteheavy losses we cannot improve
our situation [1 x 5:1 -3 AS, 2 x 6:1 -3 DR + EX]

Elsewhere, Malaga and Cordoba eat gras.

Losses: Ins: 4 Inf

Loyalists: 2 Inf

Turn 8 Nov II 1936

(D=Mud, C=Mud)

The assault on the anarchist
strongholds in Andalusia opens with the attack on Malaga. Meeting fierce
resistance, we are nevertheless able to secure the city and take alrge
amounts of prisoners. Immediately the security organs start their work
[5:1 -2 DR]. Some conterattacks are made to stall the Loyalist offensives
and to improve the situation of the Zaragoza garrison, but the wether prevents
any major operations. We manage to relieve one of the two cut off divisions,
but the other cannot even be ressupplied. The gap in our front at Vitoria
cannot be closed as reinforcements hurry to the front.

As news from the fall
of Malaga spread the country, more anarhists surrender. Refugees pour out
of Cordoba and bring news that the stocks run out in the city. In the North,
the Loyalist exploit the achieved breaktrough and take Logrono [8:1 -3
DR], the cut of division surrenders to a concentric assault [6:1 -3]. After
securing the railway junction to Zaragoza, the Loyalists now mass in front
of the city, obviosly planning an assault onto the city itself.

Losses: Ins: 2,5 Inf

Loy: 1 Art 3 Inf 1 Arm

Turn 9 Dec I 1936

(D=Mud C=Mud)

We have decided now to
cancel all attack operations until spring. Only Cordoba is taken by the
colums sweeping eastwards to the Loyalist-occupied country [8:1 -3]. Again
we shift forces to close the front gaps in the north, while the few mobile
units we have are regegated to back-line duty and to transport supply.

The Loyalists raise
more than 8 new divisions and assemble them around Zaragoza. However, no
ttack is yet to be made, instead, the offensive down the Tejo valley is
resumed, pushing back our colums to the exit of the alley [7:1 -3 DR]

No losses

Turn 10 Dec II 1936

(D=Mud, C=Winter)

Despite our defensive
efforts, Zaragoza falls [5:1 -2, DR], ist garrison marches into imprisonment
fater moths of curageous resistance. All our determination could not prevent
the loss of the city, and we will have again to shorten our front to prevent
more divisions from getting cut off. The Loyalists now securly hold a rail
connection to the Northern Provinces and immediately start to send military
aid north.

Losses: Ins: 1 art 8

Inf, Loy: 3 Inf

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For Whom The Bell Tolls – Spielbericht

1937

Turn 11 Jan I 1937

(C=Winter D=Mud)

The desperate need for
some military sucesses leaads to a small but effective plot: the huge amount
of artillery shuipped in as Italian aid this turn lets us form the first
Artillery brigade, and this, together with elements of the arriving Italian
Volunteer Corps, assaults and captures Gion within a few days, as the Loyalist
fleet is unable to lend ist full support to the defenders tue to the bad
weather (storm). The fall fo the city [5:1 -1 HX] reel waves of terror
through the Northern rebel provinces as the Asturian gobernito government
flees the country. Along the hills north of thre Tejo valley, we secretly
start assembling our armored forces and the elite regiments of the Legion
Entrangere. From here, we plan to push north-eastwrd once the mud ceases,
to once and for all end the Loyalist threat to cut our territory in two.

Unaware of the dangers
looming in the rugged hills south of them, more Loyalist troops push down
the valley as the victors of Zaragoza rejoin the front. At Vitoria, the
Loyalists mass their tanks for the first time in this conflict and eliminate
some delaying forces north of the city. They are now threatening the communications
to the city, as well as advancing along the north-southern rail line. Over
the vicinity the air forces contest their strenghs for the first time,
and despite heroic efforts of the Nationalist fighters our air force recieves
a crushing defeat [1x bmbr killed, 1x bmbr abort, no Insrgent losses].

Losses: Ins: 4 Inf, 2

Air Loy: 2 Inf

Turn 12 Jan II 1937

(D=Winter C=Clear)

Although we`ve been hoping
for clear wether all time we have no yet finished our offensive preperations,
as the ad roadnet as well as our grim situation prevented us from assembling
any strategic reserves. So we hurry up reinforcements to the front and
build up strengh on the southern part of the Tejo river.

The Loylists rush the
forces that guarded the cut-off division to the front. However, due to
a lack of attack supply they do not commence any offensive actions. Fornt
line strength is now between two in some mountain areas and 6 or 7 throughout
the rest of the country, with 10 north of Vitoria.

Losses: Ins: 0 Loy: 0

Turn 13 Feb I 1937

(D=Winter C=Clear)

Although the weather
remains favorable the commitment of new Loyalist forces to the Tejo sector
makes an attack still suicidal. We continue to build up strengh and shift
more tropps from the north around Gijon to the Vitoria area. the Italian
Volunteer Corps parades through Sevilla and them heads for the front, carrying
its own supplies with it. We reinforce Cordoba, a sector which so far was
absurdly weak and is now defended by a division.

The Loyalists rail their
two strike corps south and prepare another offensive, whis time thrusting
northward east of Madrid. Our troops are cleared of the mountains and forced
to withdraw into the plain with heavy losses.

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For Whom The Bell Tolls – Spielbericht – Appendices

Appendices

1. Concerning the conduct of War No. 1

(issued Salamanca, Nov. 19th, 1936)

I. Situation Report

North Front:
Along the gobernitos we are mainly screening the loyalist forces. Except at locations
of strategic interest our strengh is inferiour to the enemy in terms of
numbers, nearly everywhere at a ratio of 1:2. Gijon itself is endangered,
should the Santanderos strive to liberate their former capital, as the
supply lines into the city are only halfway covered.

East Front:

Our second offensive to relieve Zaragoza has failed, the city remains cut off, as
long as the muddy weather continues. The proposal of Gen. Joachito to fly
in supply by air seems not really realistic, considered the few machines
servicable. The supplys within the city are nearly used up, and as our
ammunition situation is critical we cannot thinkl of another relieve attempt
in this year. It might be possible to hold the city itself if we concentrate
on defendig the city parameter instead of the lines of communications.
Air support will provide critical for this venture. Hovever, Zaragoza is
the last block in the Loyalist rail line from north to south, and may as
well prove critical to our complete war effort.

Central Front:

Due to the weather and the difficult and rugged terrain it may well be possible
that we get pushed from the mountains into the plain, which would increase
our difficulties of maintaining a continuous line here. The proximity of
Madrid allows the Loyalists to reinforce endangered sectors at will.

South Front:

The anarchists in Malaga are short of surrendering the city, as the last stocks of supply
are running low. Cordoba will hold out some weeks more, but neither did
the Loyalists manage to bringh trough any kind of supply, nor is there
any chance of relief. However, the two siege corps will be badly needed
at the front line, where the Loyalists are enjoying a comfortable superiority
in numbers.

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April II 1915

Entente Turn

Entente II APR 1915 followed the same trajectory as did the previous version. French forces rebuilt a cadre and two engineer regiments. The Canadian heavy cavalry brigade finally, after close to six months, became fully capable – though a 2*-1-7 heavy cavalry brigade is useful on the Western Front only as one point of a non-overrunnable second line.

The French finally made “good” on their massing against Maubeuge, and it was a costly setback. After both observation missions failed, the Entente wasted a resource point bombarding with three fully-stacked hexes of heavy and field artillery to achieve three hits: the Germans lost 13 points of defense strength while the French lost 39.75 points of effective attack strength. The odds thus shifted such that a chance for 3:1 became just barely 2:1, making reserve commitment irrelevant (it would still have been just barely 2:1). The Germans used the ruined fortress as entrenchments while the French enjoyed morale superiority and a successful engineer attack to make the result the usual both exchange. The well stacked Germans thus made mincemeat out of the French combined arms attack.

German forces suffered: 16-18-5 Prussian, 13-15-5 Prussian, 8*-11-4 Prussian, and 7*-10-4 Bavarian XX’s all to cadre for -4 1/3 morale points.

French forces suffered: 2x 10*-13-5 Colonial, 10*-13-5 rifle, 2x 8*-11-5 rifle, and 6*-9-5 rifle XX’s to cadre plus 2x 1-5 eng III’s eliminated for -6 2/3 morale points.

Daunted but resigned, the French continued the offensive versus the now usual target, the east bank of the Maas River just inside Belgium. French forces brought superior morale, elite troops, a successful aerial observation mission, and a successful engineering attack against German defended entrenchments in woodlands. 1st and 2nd Cavalry Corps did their usual good job, rolling 2.5:1 up to 3:1 and achieved the usual both exchange result.

German forces suffered 16-18-5 Prussian XX reduced to cadre plus 7*-8-5 Saxon and 2*-4-4 Prussian cadres eliminated for -2 morale points.

French forces suffered 13*-16-7 alpine and 9*-12-5 rifle XX’s reduced to cadre plus 2-7 Foreign Legion III, 4-5-5 fld arty III, and 1-5 eng III eliminated for -3 morale points.

Cognizant that in May enough ships would sink to reduce the army’s morale, the British high command directed an attack in late April to enjoy their national will superiority in ground combat just this one time. The arrow straight German line in the sector offered little to choose, so the British went straight up the middle. The British brought morale and successful observation but their unpracticed engineering forces failed both attempts and the British lack enough elite troops to make even a non-overrunnable stack let alone to make a real attack. The Germans defended open ground with entrenchments and brought a 3-4-7 light III in reserve movement, but the massed British regular divisions, the best the Entente will see before 1918, pushed a 2.8:1 up to 3:1 and achieved the obligatory both exchange result.

German forces suffered 12*-14-5 Prussian and 12*-14-5 Wurtemburger XX’s reduced to cadre plus a 1-2-5 eng III eliminated for -2 1/3 morale points.

British forces suffered 11*-14-5, 12-15-5, and 7*-10-5 XX’s reduced to cadre for -3 morale points, a clear example of the effect of the combat superiority of German second line divisions over Entente first line stuff.

The Central Powers reaction phase of the Entente II APR 15 turn passed uneventfully. The armies where the Germans might have attacked did not activate. Only two armies did activate and both spent their effort organizing the German Army for a massive divisional reorganization.

Central Powers Turn

During the Central Powers II APR 15 initial phase, the British, French, and Germans all kept themselves busy. The Germans reorganized, converted, and/or withdrew about thirty formations, including removing about ten 16-18-5 and 18-20-5 divisions from their order of battle – replaced by substantial numbers of 13-15-5 and slightly weaker divisions. The Germans also prepared the some forces for transfer to Italy, in expectation that the country would attack Austria soon. British forces rebuilt four imperial cadres to divisions, French forces did the same with five metropolitan and two colonial cadres, and the Germans did the same with one each Prussian, Bavarian, and Wurtemburger cadres.

The major tactical move for the Germans in late April was a shifting of forces to attack a weak spot in the French line in the southern Ardennes Forest. Four divisions of French troops sat on the north-south railway, that otherwise runs along or behind much of the German front line, suddenly facing three corps of Germans where before the constricted terrain had kept the threat minimal. The French used entrenchments, national will, woodlands, and defensive air support to good effect in the battle. The Germans used Falkenhayn’s planning, two engineering exploits – including flamethrowers, and aerial reconnaissance to better effect. German gas engineers failed to alter the battle and French reserve commitment failed too. Five point three to one odds rolled down to 5:1 but could still have achieved a defender loss result; instead the attack went in botched and the roll of “1” resulted in a both exchange. French forces suffered 12-15-6 African and 8-11-5 rifle divisions reduced to cadre: -2 morale German forces suffered 1-2-5 eng III eliminated and 7-10-4 Prussian and 16-18-5 Bavarian rifle divisions reduced to cadre: -2 2/3 morale

The Entente largely failed to react to that affront, but the local French did strike back. Belgian and British headquarters remained quiet, though the British would have attacked had either army been alert. Almost all French armies remained equally quiet, but the staff in the southern Ardennes was already alert due to the give and take battles ongoing and put together another attack against on the same battlefield as had hosted a French attack the previous week: 1219. Two French corps mustered 2.4:1 odds, which rolled up to 3:1. German forces used entrenchments and woods to excellent effect. French forces used national will, elite troops, one of two engineering attempts – including flamethrowers, and aerial reconnaissance to better effect. German forces failed reserve commitment and the French put in a solid effort, rolling a “3” for a both exchange result. French forces suffered 1-5 eng III eliminated and 2x 13-16-7 light mountain divisions (one colonial) reduced to cadre: -2 1/3 morale German forces suffered 2x 3-6-5 mg III’s eliminated and 16-18-5 Prussian division reduced to cadre: -2 morale

The Germans focused their exploitation in late April on the entry of Italy into the war, pulling various forces, including the bulk of the mountain troops, off of the line for railing to the Alps in May. Naturally, the Germans also moved to cover weaknesses created by the latest in the series of punches in the Ardennes.