The second half of October 1915, surprisingly still under clear skies, passed like a nightmare through Entente ranks. Events began badly, moderated to become only the usual poor, and ended disastrously. In other words, “no news here.”
Various formations received replacements as the middle of the month passed away:
Prussian: 12-14-5 and 9-12-5 XX from cadre
Wurtemburger: 15-17-5 XX from cadre
British: 0-2-5 siege eng [III]
French: 13*-16-7 and 6*-9-5 XX from cadre; disband 2x 2-3-6 AoA, 2x 1-2-6 AoA, and 2x 1-2-6 Metro X’s
In hopes of taking advantage of the unusually long summer and the shrinking German ammunition stockpile, the Entente pushed as hard as it could during the fortnight. French forces massed for an attack against the usual sector 1120 battlefield, only to cancel when 2:1 odds met with failed aerial reconnaissance. French forces on the upper Rhine River, with their artillery recovered from movement-induced disruption, likewise attempted to attack across the water, but likewise non-conducted their event upon the failure of aerial reconnaissance.
On a new battlefield, grid 1518 in Luxembourg, the French again failed their aerial reconnaissance efforts, but the attack was in an unexpected direction and with unusual force, so that they pressed onward regardless. Woodlands and entrenchments countered national will and the elite French riflemen. Two engineering attempts succeeded, giving the French hope for a break-in to the German position. Falkenhayn failed to influence the battle, exactly countering the useless French gas engineers. Bombardment scored five hits, by far the best effort of the war to date, and significantly weakened a defense such that even with a pair of zeppelins flying defensive support (one returned by a patrolling French fighter, in another first), and with an engineer regiment reserve moving into the fight, the odds were exactly 3:1. Such an attack, 3:1 odds with a net +2 DRM, is practically unheard of in its power and potential, so that the French duly rolled a 3 and enjoyed another BX result.
German loss: RP and 1-2-5 eng III eliminated; 7*-10-4 and 7*-9-5 [XX] to cadre
French loss: 2x RP, 4-5 fld art [III], 1-5 eng III, and 2-5 fld art II eliminated; 13*-16-7 XX to cadre
The British too put forth their maximum effort in late October, successfully battering themselves down to a national will of three and their morale to the point where they cannot gain a bonus during the February morale check. On the border of The Netherlands, at the extreme north end of the front line, the British struck under the only successful aerial reconnaissance of the phase. Entrenchments countered national will and the British risked a single brigade of engineers with irrelevant success as odds of 2.2:1 rolled upward and another chance for a significant victory washed away in the blood of another combat roll of 3. The BX combat result left:
German: RP eliminated; 12-14-5, 10-13-5 and 9-12-5 XX’s to cadre
British: RP and 1-5 eng III eliminated; 10-13-5, 10*-13-5 IND, 9-12-6, and 9-12-5 XX’s to cadre
Meanwhile, the first French forces reached the front near Lake Garda as Italian forces continued to shift eastward away from the Germans in that critical sector.
In the air, the Italian Ca-2 bomber aborted the Austro-Hungarian LohL reconnaissance fighter but was returned in turn and therefore scored the guaranteed no damage against the Austro-Hungarian fleet in Trieste.
In response, three German zeppelin groups successfully bombed Milan, dragging the Italians ever further below their functionally impossible “historical” level.
Central Powers Turn
During the Germanic half of the turn, another variety of divisions received fresh riflemen for their cadres:
Prussian: 12-15-6, 7*-10-5, and 7*-9-5
French: 13*-16-7 and 8*-11-5
The very stressed German military shifted forces to cover its weak spots while the Austro-Hungarian Army stretched its line a bit further north of the Isonzo River.
In the air, three zeppelin groups missed Milan while two groups failed to find London and several fixed-wing aircraft missed ammunition dumps.
The Entente catastrophe really came smashing down during the reaction combat phase. The British, Belgians, and Italians failed to budge, probably irrelevantly in the latter two cases. The French did jump, and their efforts went horribly wrong.
On the usual battlefield, sector 1120 in the Ardennes Forest, woodlands and entrenchments countered national will and the single engineer attempt, which at least succeeded. Gas engineers failed, as usual, as did a trio of aerial reconnaissance groups. Odds of 2.1:1 rolled downward, but it did not matter as a combat roll of 1 resulted in yet another AX result.
German losses: RP, 7*-9-5 XX, and 0-1-4 BAV eng III eliminated; 2x 12-14-5 XX’s to cadre
French losses: RP and 0-1-4 eng [III] eliminated; 10*-13-5 COL, 10*-13-5, 10*-13-6 AoA, 5x 8*-11-5, and 12*-15-6 AoA XX’s to cadre
Essentially the same thing happened to a pair of French corps attacking into the city of Luxemburg. Aerial reconnaissance did not fail in this case, but entrenchments and resource centers protected against national will and the aeradales. Falkenhayn failed to contribute, but so did a brigade of engineers. The French had found a battlefield on which they enjoyed a straight-up 3:1 superiority, but a roll of 1 felt like the wrong kind of a light rushing down the tunnel at the Entente.
German losses: RP, 13-15-5 PR and 12-14-5 SAX XX’s, and 6*-7-5 cadre all eliminated
French losses: RP, 3-2-7 FFL III, and 3-4-7 mot art [III] eliminated; 12*-15-6 AoA, 13*-16-7, 5x 8*-11-5, and 3x 9*-12-5 XX’s to cadre
In the air, the Italian Ca-2 bomber was returned by the LohL over Trieste, maintaining the perfect Entente record of scoring no morale damage against the Austro-Hungarians in the past three months.