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Europa Games and Military History

Month: August 2008

Game Report For Whom The Bell Tolls

May II 41

German Turn

Initial Phase: The Weather is clear in Zones D and E, Sea is calm in Atlantic and Mediterranean. All units are in supply. Germany spends 1 ARP (8 left) to bring back an aborted He111H4. It appears at Barcelona. Germany spends 5.5 inf RPs (7 remain) and 0.5 Arm RPs (2.5 left) to replace an Artillery regiment, Combat Engineer regiment, and a motorised AT battalion. The engineers appear with the 66th Corps that occupies part of Barcelona. The artillery and AT are brought on at Perpignan in southern France. Pro Axis guerrillas form a band and attack the rail line in 23A:3420. However, due to patrols from nearby British forces they are unable to successfully complete their mission.

Movement Phase; In the Barcelona area, the 4th RR Engineer rails to the French/Spanish border, then walks across into Spain and starts regauging the rail line there. 33:3521 is now part of the Western European rail net. The 25 Corps moves from Sabadell to Manresa. It will use the village as a jumping off point for its assault against the Spanish Cavalry in Tarrasa. Sabadell is in turn occupied by the 65th Corps.

The 65th Corps is then reinforced with the artillery assets of the 63rd Corps which is still in French territory. One siege unit and a regular artillery regiment are detached. In the captured part of Barcelona, the 66th Corps heads north into the mountains, leaving behind its 2 Combat Engineer regiments. The units stop in 3224. The swap is made with the 62nd Corps, which now occupies the city, and absorbs the engineers. It also receives an extra unit, the 78th Infantry division which advances from the French border.

The weakened 63rd Corps is now down to 2 Infantry divisions. It advances through the mountains to 3325. In Perpignan there are two replaced units, the 559th AT battalion and the 783rd Artillery regiment. These units move into Spain and end movemeny in 3623. To the northwest, the city of Zaragoza is under threat from the 34th Corps. Its northern flank is secured by the 64th Corps which moves across the Ebro river into 2734. Meanwhile the 15th Mountain Corps heads into 2531 and then in a straight line to 2832 behind Zaragoza to cut off its retreat, The mountaineers also gain control of the low volume rail line that crosses the Pyrenees.

Near the Biscay coast, the 1st RR Engineer regiment continues reworking the rail line that runs through Vitoria. It regauges 33:2033 and 33:2033 before using its last MP to get to 33:2134. Slightly further northwest, the 11th Infantry division advances from Bilbao, through Laredo to 23A:1503 outside Santander. It is accompanied by the 33rd Corps which moves to surround the city from 1404, minus the TK Motorised XX. This SS unit detaches from the main group and streams west, crossing the Pisguerda river to cut off Valladolid at hex 2010. The pincer is completed by the 53rd Corps moving west through Burgos to 2008.

Back in France, the 604th Engineer Corps abandons its empty airfield in 33:2028 and heads into Spain via admin movement. It advances to 23A:2107, and is escorted there by the 22nd Air Landing division. Another airfield is abandoned in 1725 near Bordeaux. This allows the 108th Construction regiment to rail down to yet another airfield in 33:2625. In turn, the 674th Combat Engineers that were in 2625 are now free to move, and they head down the road through the Pyrenees. They stop in front of the mountain pass at 2826.

Combat Phase: The Spanish fly a He111E from Madrid on defensive support over Valladolid. There are no Axis fighters within intercept range. 1 Ju88A, 2 Ju87s and a Me110C fly against Santander. They are escorted by a Me109E and an Me109F. The Cr32bis fighters in the city are hopelessly outclassed by the Messerschmitts and choose to scramble and flee. They escape to Madrid.

A Ju88A and a Ju87 which stages through Vitoria support the attack against Valladolid. 4 He111Hs escorted by 2 Me110Cs line up the Spanish 1st Cavalry Division and 23rd cadre in 3526. Although outclassed, the I-15s and CR32s from Barcelona decide to intercept. They might at least have a fighting chance against the Me110s, whereas fighting Me109s is close to suicidal. The CR32bis tries to bypass the fighter screen, but is aborted instead. The I-15s and other Me110s fight out a scoreless draw, with neither registering a hit. All the bombers reach the target.

Combat: The 1st Cavalry XX in Tarrasa is hit with an onslaught of German armour in the form of the 25th Corps. With 8 points of GS the odds are 35:6 or 5:1 +3 (full AEC). 2 is rolled, modified to 5 for a DE. Both the Spanish units are eliminated, and the 25th advances, cutting off Barcelona.

The major city hex of Barcelona is attacked by the German 65th and 62nd Corps. These units have sufficient Combat Engineers to nullify the -1 modifier for the Full city hex. They also have enough siege artillery to provide 51.5 AF. Against the 17 points of defenders, this is a 3:1 even attack. Fierce house to house fighting rages for days as the Germans inch through the city despite significant losses. Finally though, the weight of numbers is too much and the Spanish forces are destroyed (along with most of the city). A 2 is rolled for an EX. The Germans lose 3 engineer regiments and a motorised artillery regiment, plus the 12th Infantry division is reduced to cadre. All the Spanish are eliminated since the city is surrounded by ZOCs. The 65th advances into the city. The Spanish I-15s on the ground attempt to escape but due to lack of fuel they are unable to do so and are torched by their crews.

In the Pyrenees, the remnants of the 43rd Mountain division are attacked by the 28th Infantry Division, 63rd and 66th Corps at 9:1 -2. 4 is rolled, modified to 2 for a DE. The 28th advances from Andorra into the hex where it joins the 66th Corps. The SS Pol Infantry division that was a part of the 66th does not advance.

Zaragoza is surrounded by Axis forces to the east, west and northwest. The 51st Infantry division and 4 assorted regiments can muster 9 defensive factors. Ranged against them are the 64th, 34th and 15th Mountain Corps (which attacks over the Aragon river). There is no air support but the attack is still 66:9 or 7:1 even. The city is totally overwhelmed in short order. A 6 is rolled for a DE, and all Spanish units are destroyed. The 15th Mountain Corps enters the city.

Valladolid, north of Madrid, is also surrounded thanks to the SS TK division that has appeared at its rear. The city is defended by a selection of non-divisional units and 2/3rds of the 71st Infantry division (including its HQ). Along with the defensive support provided by a unit of He111s, the Spanish have a strength of 10. The German 53rd Corps is quite powerful and has 30 AF, plus 4.5 for the SS division and 7 points of AS provided by Stukas and JU88s. The final equation is 41.5:4 for a 4:1 even assault. Without a coherent command structure the Spanish units are in disarray and are swept out of the city and into the Duero river (6 is rolled for a DE). The 53 Corps occupies the city, capturing another ½ RE for the German Iberian rail net.

The last attack is against Santander, which is also isolated by German forces. The 33rd Corps and the 11th Infantry division mount a coordinated assault against the Spanish 11th Infantry division, two Cavalry regiments plus security and border troops. In the air are 2 Ju87s, a Me110 in a ground attack role, plus a JU88A. 38 points vs 9 gives a 4:1 even attack. Again a fierce fight ensues as the Spanish units have to be removed house by house from the city. Finally they are driven into the Bay of Biscay but not before inflicting heavy losses on the German 11th Infantry division. A 1 results in an EX. The Spanish are all eliminated, while the German 11th Infantry is reduced to cadre, and a motorised AT battalion is lost from the 33rd Corps. The cadre occupies what remains of Santander. 3 German short ranged air units land at the Santander airfield, which was captured intact, while the rest land in Bilbao.

Exploitation Phase: A motorised Light AA battalion moves to garrison San Sebastian from the Bordeaux area. The 33rd Corps moves to overrun the Bicycle battalion that has been tearing up the rail line leading to Madrid. It ends movement in that hex, 23A:2705. Leon is occupied by the Totenkopf Motorised Infantry division.

The 33rd Corps breaks up. The 151st motorised Flak battalion heads to Bilbao to guard the air units there against guerrilla attacks, and the 643rd motorised AT battalion is tasked to do the same thing at Vitoria. The backbone of the Corps, the 12th Panzer division, heads further along the coast to take up a position outside Gijon in 23A:1107. Having participated in the attacks near Barcelona, the 25th Corps heads west again down the coastal rail line before heading inland to cross the Ebro river. It penetrates as far as 33:3431, threatening the retreating 32nd Infantry division. It is joined by the 559th motorised AT battalion which moves up from 3623.

Losses

  • Spanish Unisolated – 6+17+1 = 24 (4.5 Special RPs received)
  • Spanish Isolated – 9+9+9 = 27
  • Spanish Air – 1A/1K

  • German Unisolated – 17+9 = 26 (6.5 Special RPs received)
  • German Isolated – 0
  • German Air – none

Generalstab Updates, 11.8.2008

For a start into the new material, I’ve put online a game report by Brian M. O’Donnell from a game of Balkan Front played in 2004 with the new rules of “Wavell’s War”. Have fun – and many thanks to Brian!

Generalstab Updates, 8.8.2008

The new layout has been uploaded and seems to work fine, except that the table with the list of games in the Archive is driving me crazy: Whatever I try, MS Exploder won’t render the table but shows a blank page instead. I’ve posted my problem in a forum now and will wait for input, and will continue to work on it meanwhile myself

Next stage of the revamp then will be scimming through 4 years of Europa-Mailing-List postings to see wether there are new game reports available.