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Europa Games and Military History

Month: November 2015

May I 41 Axis Turn

End of Turn Dispositions

Mainland Europe off-map holding box

  • 2.5 Italian inf Replacement Points at start of turn, + .5 reinf It RPs this turn = 3 It inf RPs, end of I. Phase and end of turn.
  • 1 Ger ARP (carried over from previous Air Cycle inventory of 2 Ger ARPs), + 3 Ger turn reinf ARPs this turn = 4 Ger ARPs
  • 5 It ARPs this turn (0 before this turn) – 2 spent in initial phase = 3 It ARPs left
  • It ARPs expended this Initial Phase: 1 ARP spent repairing aborted SM 79-1 2B3 1-5/22 (which was also converted); 1 ARP spent moving eliminated SM 79-1 2B3 1-5/22 to aborted box.
  • An Italian Ju87B D type air unit turn reinforcement begins in Europe and is placed at the 3-cap permanent airfield at 18A:0603, in Sicily.  At the beginning of the M. Phase it is aborted by flack over the Valletta hex doing the airfield bombing air mission.
WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: off-map display detail

May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: off-map display detail

Sicily

Licata (18A:0102) [point city/minor port]:
3-cap permanent airfield
Coast hex 18A:0403:
3-cap permanent airfield
CR 42 3F3 0/9 [operative; never moved]
Ca 309 2B1 1/L/9 [inop.; began turn here; tac bombed Malta Status; Miss; returned to base here]

Coast hex 18A:0603:

3-cap permanent airfield
1 x G 50 3F3 0/9 [operative; never moved]
Me 109E 7F5 1/7 (Ger LW) [inop.; began turn here; provided escort for the big Valletta hex bombing air mission in M. Phase; rolled an Abort against Hurri 2 interceptor; returned to base here]

Syracusa (18A:0702) [reference city/minor port]:
3-cap permanent airfield

Augusta (18A:0701) [point city/minor port]:
3-cap permanent airfield

Malta Status

At the beginning of the Movement Phase: 9, +1 for Malta Status hit prior to the shipping segment of the M. Phase = 10 at the beginning of the Axis Naval Movement Step and at the EOT.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: Libya and Sicily

May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: Libya and Sicily

Libya

Tripolitania Garrison Box:
0-1-6* Inf III 280 GaF
0-1-6* Inf III 290 GaF
0-1-6* Inf III 340 GaF
0-1-6* Inf III 350 GaF
0-2-6* Inf III 330 GaF
Tripoli (18A:0121) [dot city/major port hex]:
Axis Supply Terminal marker
fort marker
three steps of attack supply [2 steps began the turn here; 1 step is a turn reinf, in the I. Phase placed in the Mainland Europe holding box; in M. Phase it was successfully sea transported to Libya and disembarked at Tripoli; did not move from here; the second turn reinf step of attack supply was sunk in transit (see WW Rule 31D-Allied Anti-Shipping Forces) per the Shipping Results Table]
1 resource point
0 pos flk unit AA=3 [Italian]

18A:0122 [Castel Benito; clear terrain secondary rail line hex, S of Tripoli]:
3-cap permanent airfield

Homs (18A:0522) [rough terrain point city/minor port coast road junction hex]:
One step of attack supply [never moved]

Misurata (18A:1022) [point city clear terrain coast road hex]:
1-cap temporary airfield
SM 79-1  2B3  1-5/22 [inop.; began turn at Licata, in Sicily; strat bombed Malta Status in M. Phase; Hit; returned to base here]

Sirte (18A:1727) [point city clear terrain coast road hex]:
fort marker
3-cap permanent airfield
1 resource point

18A:2227 [sand coast road hex]:
3-10 Mot Inf III 115 (Ger) [turn reinf, in I. Phase placed in the Mainland Europe off-map holding box; in M. Phase successfully sea transported to Libya, disembarked @ Homs; from Homs admin moved 12 hexes along the road to Buerat el Husn (18A:1226); then exploited to here]

18A:2629 [clear terrain coast road hex]:
3-4-8 Art III 221 (Ger) [began turn at 18A:1026; admin moved 16 hexes along road to here]

18A:2730 [clear terrain coast road hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield

18A:3228 [clear terrain road hex}:
one step of attack supply [began turn at 18A:1025; spent 23 SMPs moving along coast road to here in the E. Phase]

18A:3622 [stony desert road hex]:
3-6 Inf XX 55 Sav [began turn at 18A:2829; admin moved 12 hexes along road to here]

El Agheila (18A:2930) [point city clear terrain coast road hex]:
1-cap permanent airstrip

Agedabia (18A:3327) [point city clear terrain road junction hex]:
1-cap permanent airstrip

18A:3631 [sand road hex to Gialo]:
1-6* Inf III A [began turn at 18A:3832; regular moved to here after capturing the Oasi di Gialo point city hex and then doubling back on the road towards Agedabia; a 3-6 Inf XX 25 Bol brkdwn]

Bengasi (18A:3121) [clear terrain reference city/major port transportation line junction hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield
12 hits on the port
4 pos flk AA=1 [Italian; never moved]
one step of attack supply [never moved]

Soluch (18A:3222) [point city secondary rail terminus hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield

18A:3617 [rough terrain road hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield
CR 42 3F3 0/9 [operative; never moved]
MC 200 3F4 1/8 [inop.; began at 18A:0403, in Sicily; air transferred to here in E. Phase]

18A:3618 [Maraua; rough terrain road hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: eastern Libya and Egypt

May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: eastern Libya and Egypt

Derna (18A:4116) [point city/minor port rough terrain coast road hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield
0-6 Lt AA II AA=1 38 [never moved]
1-6 Hv AA II 29 [began at Bengasi; admin moved 11 hexes along road to here]
Ju 87B 2D3 4-1/8 (Ger LW) [inop.; began here; did GS bombing air mission at Tobruch in the C. Phase; returned to base here]
Ju 87B 2D3 4-1/8 (Ger LW) [inop.; began here; did GS bombing air mission at Tobruch in the C. Phase; returned to base here]
SM 79-2 2B3 3-2/V/20 [inop.; turn ARP build/conversion; placed at Bengasi in I. Phase; did GS bombing air mission at Tobruch in the C. Phase; returned to base here]

18A:4216 [stony desert coast road hex; SE of Derna]:
3-4-6 Art III 5 A [began at Bengasi; admin moved 12 hexes along road to here]

18A:4318 [stony desert road hex]
3-6 Inf XX 27 Brs [never moved]

18A:4417 [stony desert coast road junction hex]:
0-6 Cons III 5 A [began turn at 18A:3219; admin moved 12 hexes along road to here]

Ain el Gazala (18A:4518) [point city clear terrain coast road hex]:
1-6* Inf III A [began turn at 18A:4119; moved to here; a 3-6 Inf XX 25 Bol brkdwn]

18A:4618 [clear terrain coast road hex, SE of Ain el Gazala]:
2-3-6 Art III 24 C [began turn at 18A:3916; admin moved 7 road hexes to here]

18A:4718 [clear terrain coast road hex; SW of Tobruch]:
3-6 Inf XX 17 Pav [began at 18A:4618; moved one hex to here; did not participate in the Tobruch attack]
0-6 Cons III 10 A [began at 18A:4216; regular moved 5 road hexes to here; spent remaining 1 MP beginning to build 1-cap temporary airfield; did not participate in the Tobruch attack]
9-10 Pz XX 15 [assembled from the unsupported component parts at the end of the E. Phase]

  • 5-3-10 Pz III 8 (Ger) [began turn at 18A:2227; admin moved 20 hexes along road to 18A:3821, then exploited to here and assembled into the Pz XX 15]
  • 10 Pz XX HQ 15 (Ger) [began turn here; moved to adjacent hex 18A:4719 in M. Phase; exploited back to 18A:4718 and assembled into the Pz XX 15]
  • 3-10 Mot Inf III 104 (Ger) [began turn here; remained here in M. Phase; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4719; exploited back to 18A:4718 and assembled into the Pz XX 15]
WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: eastern Libya detail

May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: eastern Libya detail

1-10 Mot Hv AA II I/33 (Ger LW) [began turn here at 18A:4818; regular moved to adjacent hex 18A:4718; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4719; exploited back to 18A:4718]
1-10 Mot AT II 605 (Ger) [began turn here at 18A:4818; regular moved to adjacent hex 18A:4718; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4719; exploited back to 18A:4718]
1-8 Mot Art III 2 AC [began turn at 18A:4721; moved to here in the M. Phase; attacked Tobruch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4719; exploited back to 18A:4718]
one step of attack supply [never moved]

18A:4818 [clear terrain road hex; 1 hex S of Tobruch]:
8-7-10* Pz XX 5 Le (Ger) [began turn at 18A:4718; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4719; exploited to here]
5-8 Lt Arm XX 132 Ar [began turn at 18A:4818; did not move in M. Phase; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4819; exploited to here]
2-3-8 Art III 16 C [began turn at 18A:4618; regular moved to here; did not participate in the Tobruch attack]
1-8 Mot Art III 1 AC [began turn at 18A:4720; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4819; exploited to here]

18A:4819 [clear terrain road hex; 2 hexes S of Tobruch]:
1-8* Inf III 61 [began turn at 18A:4417; moved to 18A:4818 and assembled into the 5-8 Inf XX 102 Trn; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4819; at the beginning of the E. Phase the inf XX broke down into its supported components; supported inf III remained here at the end  of the turn]
1-8* Inf III 62 [began turn at Ain el Gazala; moved to 18A:4818 and assembled into the 5-8 Inf XX 102 Trn; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4819; at the beginning of the E. Phase the inf XX broke down into its supported components; supported inf III remained here at the end of the turn]

18A:4720 [clear terrain hex]:
2-10* Mot Inf III 7 B [began turn at 18A:4819; in M. Phase moved to 18A:4818 and assembled into the 5-8 Inf XX 102 Trn; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4819; at the beginning of the E. Phase the inf XX broke down into its supported components; the supported mot inf III exploited to here]
18A:4712 [stony desert hex]:
1-8 Mot Art III 3 AC [began turn at 18A:4819; regular moved to 18A:4818; did not participate in the Tobruch attack; then exploited to here]

Scarpanto:

Scarpanto (19A:0701) [rough terrain minor port point city hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield

Rodhes

Rodi (20A:2230) [clear terrain major port point city coast hex]:
3-cap-permanent airfield

20A:2331 [rough terrain coast hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield

Axis Near East Command

Axis Intervention in Iraq [OptionaL Rule 39E4]:

Iraqi Coup Turn 3

German:

Southeast or Med/NA:

Arrive:

Rodi (20A:2230):
3-cap permanent airfield
Mxd A 2A3 1-1/16 (Ger LW) [Axis Conditional turn reinf; placed here in Initial Phase; see below for subsequent movement in the turn]

In pro-Axis coup Iraq (end of turn):

  • In the WW 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario, the pro Axis Iraqi coup occurs in the Apr I 41 Axis initial phase.
  • Per the WW Master Sequence of Play, early in the Axis initial phase the Allied player for the second time checks for an Iraqi Coup Collapse by a dice roll done using the Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse Table to determine results. There is a +1 Modifier for the Allied-owned dot city of Basra; but the roll isn’t done, because the best result could only be a 13, not enough for a Coup Collapse, which requires at least a 14.
  • Per the Iraq OB in the WitD Neutral Nations OB booklet it appears that Iraq gets an ARP this air cycle, assuming it has mobilized.  The ARP is stored at the Baghdad hex.
  • In the Initial Phase 4 Iraqi specific gsp’s are generated at the Baghdad hex, which is the Iraqi standard supply terminal.
  • Coup Iraq rail cap is currently 3, with the loss of the dot city/major port of Basra in the Apr I 41 Allied turn.
  • Bandit Fawzi al Qawujki:
    • WW Optional Rule 39E4-Fawzi al Qawujki action die roll: 4; Fawzi does not change mode and moves randomly during the upcoming movement phase.

21A:5122 [ravines hex]:
Pro-Axis Guerrilla unit Fawsi, in guerrilla mode [began at 21A:5022; ends movement here as a result of the Fawsi random movement die rolls]

22A:3232 [stony desert hex]:
Pro-Axis guerrilla unit Fawsi, in guerrilla mode [dummy guerrilla-capable unit per Rule 39D; began at Ramadi (22A:2830); ends movement here as a result of the Fawsi random movement die rolls]

Mosul (21A:3509) [dot city rail/road junction hex]:
three Iraqi specific gsp’s, generated this turn at Baghdad and railed to here

Mxd 2A3 1-1/16 (Ger LW) [inop.; Axis Conditional Reinforcement; begins at the Rodi point city airfield (20A:2230); in the E. Phase it does a 4X air transfer mission to here from Rodi]

Kirkuk (21A:3904) [clear terrain reference city transportation line junction hex]:
one Iraqi specific gsp, generated this turn at Baghdad and railed to here

21A:4402 [clear terrain secondary rail hex]:
1-6* Inf XX 2 [admin moved to here from Baghdad]

Baqubah (21A:4802) [canal intensive reference city transportation line junction hex]:
1-0-8 Lt Arm X 1 [began at Baghdad; exploited to here in the E. Phase]

22A:2725 [canal intensive secondary rail line hex; NE of Baghdad]:
1-6* Inf XX 1 [began at 22A:2928; regular moved to here]

Baghdad (22A:2825):
1-2-6 Inf XX 3 [began at 22A:2928; regular moved to here]

Mxd  1A2  1/8 [operative; never moved]
22A3224 [swamp secondary railway line hex]:
0-1-6* Inf XX 4 [began at 22A:3423; regular moved to here, where it spent 4 MPs destroying the bridge]

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Axis EOT dispositons: Iraq; note the LW Conditional Reinforcement air unit at Mosul

May I 41 Axis EOT dispositons: Iraq; note the LW Conditional Reinforcement air unit at Mosul

Allied Air Unit Activity Late in the Axis Exploitation Phase:

The Br Blen 4 B type air unit based Habbaniya does a non-phasing air transfer to the 3-cap permanent airfield at 19A:1418, in Egypt.

Med/NA Replacement Pool

1 x 2-6 Inf XX 60 Sbr
1 x 2-10 Mot Inf III 10 B
1 x 2-1-8 Lt Tnk III 3
2 x 1-8 Lt Tnk X 1,2
5 x 1-6 Tnk II 1, 3, 5, 6, 21
1 x Para Inf III Tonini
3 x 0-1-6* Inf III 300 GaF, 310 GaF, 320 GaF
1 x 3-4-6 Art III 24 dM
3 x 2-3-6 Art III 10 C, 20 C, 21 C
1 x 1-6 Art III 23 C
4 x 0 pos flk unit AA=1 [Italian]

Med/NA aborted air units box:
1 x CR 42 3F3 0/9 [here per the 1941 ME Scenario at-start set-up]
1 x SM 79-1 2B3 1-5/22 [in the I. Phase the Axis player spent 1 Italian ARP to move this air unit to here from the Eliminated Air Units box]
1 x Italian Ju 87 B 2D3 4-1/8 [turn reinf, in the I. Phase placed at 18A:0603, on Sicily; aborted this turn by the 5 factor flack while flying the airfield bombing air mission over Valletta hex, on Malta]
1 x Br 20M  3NB4  2-5/24 [began turn at 18A:3617; aborted in the C. Phase by flack while flying the GS air mission over Tobruch]

Turn Activity

At step 16 of the Initial Phase the Allied player converts one of the two steps of attack supply at Tobruch into 12 new gsp’s, per Rule 12C4b-GSP’s from Steps of Attack Supply. At step 24 in the Initial Phase the 12 old gsp’s at Tobruch that were generated from a converted step of attack supply in the Apr II 41 Axis Initial Phase are removed from the map.

Early in the Movement Phase the Axis player achieves one Malta Status bombing hit at the Valletta target hex. But the fresh reinforcement Italian Ju 87B D type air unit attempting to bomb the Valletta airfield is aborted by the Allied flack shot. The air combat between the Allied Hurri 2 interceptor and Axis ME 109E escort fighter air units results in an Abort of the Hurri 2 F type air unit.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Axis beginning of the Movement Phase air raid over Valletta: detail

May I 41 Axis beginning of the Movement Phase air raid over Valletta: detail

In the combat phase the Axis attacks the unimproved fortress Tobruch hex (18A:4817) with ground units in adjacent hexes 4718 and 4818 and with 4 Axis air units flying the GS air mission.  Not all of the units in the two adjacent hexes contribute to the attack.  One of the Axis air units on the GS air mission is aborted by Tobruch’s 3 factors of flack, after a 2 is rolled.  Afterwards, the Axis player carefully tailors his attack so that only 1 step of attack supply (at 4318) needs to be expended for the maximum combat odds.  He attacks at a 2 to 1, -1.  He rolls a 2, which is factored to a 1: AR!   The Axis player retreats his ground units that engaged in the attack, leaving those that didn’t attack in the two said hexes adjacent to Tobruch.

Axis end of turn accumulated replacements (RPs): 4 Ger ARPs, 3 Italian ARPs; 3 Italian inf RPs.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Axis Combat Phase dispositions at the moment of the combat die roll; Axis units adjacent to Tobruk w/ red markers did not participate in the attack

May I 41 Axis Combat Phase dispositions at the moment of the combat die roll

Commentary

Tobruch is presently an unimproved fortress.  Per the Grand Europa Fortifications Chart used in WitD and WW games, this means a -1 modifier, no AEC, and the Engineer modifier.  In this game the Allies currently have 17 defense factors in the Tobruch hex.  By my estimate here at the game board the Axis can muster a total of about 34 ground attack factors and around 13 tac factors for a Tobruch hex attack in the Combat Phase.  This means the best possible Axis attack on Tobruch this turn would still be only a 2 to 1, -1.  Note, however, that had the Allied player not sea transported in the British 2-8 Inf X 23 to Tobruch on their May I 41 turn, Tobruch’s defense factor would be 15, and that this turn the Axis could have attacked at 3 to 1, -1, which is not so bad, with the AH then not a possible die roll result.  The next Axis player turn, on the May II 41 Axis turn, Tobruch will be an improved fortress, which per the  GE Fortifications Chart means -1, no AEC, and the Attacker halved except for engineers, artillery, and heavy AA.

So, what should the Axis commander do:  bravely challenge Death and Mars on the battlefield and attack Tobruch at 2 to 1, -1,or for now be a cautious Chicken Little and maybe do a Tobruch port bombing air mission with the available Axis air unit assets in the zone, or else maybe after having arrived there forget all about Tobruch and instead send many of the Axis air units in the Cyrenaica to Sicily, to attack Malta?  After all, under the circumstances at the game board the best the Axis can achieve in the attack on Tobruch is an EX or HX.

On the war game board as in the real life war situations, perhaps it is futile to try to judge before the big battle, because judgement makes its sentence with hindsight.  And so in the EA demonstration the war gamer goes for the gusto and and “like Rommel” back then throws in the assets for the Tobruch assault, thinking the gamble must be worth it.

In Playfair’s volume 2 of The Mediterranean and Middle East, in Chapter VIII, The Desert Fighting in May and June 1941, the author describes the parallel real life battle:

  • “General Rommel’s plan was for the two German divisions to make the break in, [into the Tobruk defensive perimeter, at the SW] 5th [Le XX] on the right, 15th [Pz XX] on the left, … [aiming towards] the small hill [there] named Ras el Medauar.
  • “[T]he posts immediately north and south of Ras el Medauar were heavily shelled and dive-bombed, and under cover of dust and darkness the Germans began to filter in.  There followed hard fighting, of which little, save that it was going on, was known at … headquarters.”
  • “[But] several Australian posts could not be overcome; the [Axis] reconnoitring detachment vanished; and the Italians muddled in their tasks.  The night passed in outbursts of fighting….”
  • “[S]ome of the Australian posts were still holding out in the morning and a thick mist made control difficult.”
  • “The German tanks … struck the inner and unreconnoitred minefield, were met by anti-tank fire, and turned back.”
  • “All the available German troops had now been used.  [A dent had been made in the perimeter], but [the Axis troops] were much exhausted and a rising sandstorm added to their hardships and difficulties.”
  • “All next morning, 2nd of May, in a thick dust-storm, hard fighting continued …  with the Germans trying to trickle forward.  [The Australian General Morshead] used his reserve brigade-the 18th-in a counter-attack on Ras el Medauar … [which] soon became a series of unrelated combats, [after which the desultory fighting petered out on both sides.]”

Meanwhile, in Coup Iraq, the Iraqi army this turn can only maneuver and see what the next move of the Allies will be.  A second attack on the Habbaniya airfield hex seems out of the question, with the additional Allied air reinforcement present there.  For the Golden Square junta everything will depend on the upcoming Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse dice roll on the May II 41 Axis turn.  Is this turn’s Axis intervention in Iraq LW air unit reinforcement arrival at the Mosul hex too late?

 

May I 41 Allied Turn

End of Turn Dispositions

Malta:

  • Malta Status: Begins turn at 10, but -1 for the Malta repair rate (at step 19 of the I. Phase) = 9 by the end of the I. Phase/Allied turn.
  • Malta Repair Rate: 1 repair point each turn.
  • Valletta hex flack factor (intrinsic + hv AA II):  5

Valletta (18A:0407):
3-cap permanent airfield
3-6* Inf X 1 M
2-6* Inf X 2 M
1-8 MG II 2 Ch
0-1-8 Hv AA II AA=2 10
0-4 Cons X MC
Note: All the above ground units are technically Allied U-2, but are in special general supply due to the Apr II 41 Allied turn gsp’s.

Hurri 2 5F5 1/9 [inop.; Malta Command turn reinf; successfully air transferred to Malta from all-sea hex 18A:3605 from the activated CG-1 naval unit which successfully sea transported it to that hex from Alexandria, all done early in the M. Phase; in general supply at turn’s start]

4 gsp’s generated on the May I 41 Allied turn initial phase. [from Alexandria; successfully sea transported to Malta in the M. Phase using one E Med NTP]

one ARP [turn reinf; air transferred to Malta from all-sea hex 18A:3605 from the activated CG-2 naval unit which successfully sea transported it to that hex from Alexandria, all done early in the M. Phase; the ARP is stored at the Valletta hex]

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenairo May I 41 Allied EOT dispositions: Malta and Sicily

May I 41 Allied EOT dispositions: Malta and Sicily

Axis non-phasing air activity on the Western Desert map group at the end of the Initial Phase:

The G 50 F type air unit based at 18A:0603, in Sicily, flies a non-phasing CAP mission over the Valletta hex (18A:0407), at Malta. After the air combat early in the Allied M. Phase it rebased at the Sicilian airfield at 18A:0603.

The two Ger LW Ju 87B D type air units based at Derna (18A:4116), in Libya, are assigned to the extended range Naval Patrol air mission.  Early in the M. Phase they become inoperative at Derna after failing the Contact Attempt for Naval Patrol Bombing Air Operation die roll.

In Libya [end of turn]:

Tobruch (18A:4817) [clear terrain unimproved fortress/standard port]:
unimproved fortress

  • Construction is in progress on improving the fortress hex. This began in the Apr II 41 Allied I. Phase. It is projected to be complete in May II 41 Allied I. Phase.

1-cap temporary airfield, w/ one hit of damage, done by air raid in the Apr II 41 Axis M. Phase.
0-1-4 Cons X 66 RPC (Col) [never moved; began fortress improvement on the Apr II 41 Allied I. Phase; technically Red U-1 this turn]
0-1-8 Hv AA II 51 [never moved; technically Red U-1 this turn]
7-8 Inf XX 9 (Aus) [never moved; technically Red U-1 this turn]
2-8 Inf X 16 [never moved; technically Red U-1 this turn]
2-1-6 Tnk II 7 RT [never moved; technically Red U-1 this turn]
3-8 Art X 13 [never moved; technically Red U-1 this turn]
2-8 Inf X 23 [sea transported from Alexandria to here using an E Med NTP; in general supply at Alexandria in I. Phase]
one step of attack supply [never moved]
one step of attack supply [turn reinf; sea transported to here using turn reinf naval transport ability]
12 gsp’s, broken down from a step of attack supply then present in the hex in I. Phase of the previous Apr II 41 Axis turn. These will provide general supply to all the forces in the Tobruch hex this turn and in the upcoming May I 41 Axis I. Phase. At the end of the May I 41 Axis I. Phase they will be removed from the map.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Allied EOT dispositons: Western Desert region

May I 41 Allied EOT dispositons: Western Desert region

In Egypt [end of turn]:

19A:1018 [clear terrain coast road hex]:
1-10* Mot Inf X 3 (Ind) [never moved]
2-1-6 Tnk II 4 RT [moved to here from Matruh in the M. Phase; remained here in the E. Phase]
1-10* Mot SG X AA=1 2 [turn RP build; placed at Alexandria; admin moved to here in M. Phase; remained here in the E. Phase]

19A:1019 [clear terrain hex]:
3-2-10 Arm X 7 [never moved]
1-2-10* Mot SG X AA=1 7 [never moved]

19A:1118 [clear terrain coast road hex]:
3-8 Inf X 22 G [never moved]

19A:1219 [clear terrain Siwa road hex; S of Matruh]:
2-8* Inf X 18 (Aus) [brkdwn of Aus 7-8 Inf XX 7; regular moved to here from 19A:1120]

19A:1120 [clear terrain Siwa road hex]:
2-8* Inf X 21 (Aus) [brkdwn of Aus 7-8 Inf XX 7; regular moved to here from 19A:1120]

19A:1220 [clear terrain hex]:
2-8* Inf X 25 (Aus) [brkdwn of Aus 7-8 Inf XX 7; regular moved to here from 19A:1120]

19A:1321 [clear terrain hex]:
2-8* Inf X 5 (Ind) [brkdwn of Ind 7-8 Inf XX 4; regular moved to here from 19A:1219]

19A:1421 [clear terrain hex]:
2-8* Inf X 7 (Ind) [brkdwn of Ind 7-8 Inf XX 4; regular moved to here from 19A:1219]

19A:1522 [clear terrain hex]:
2-8* Inf X 11 (Ind) [brkdwn of Inf 7-8 Inf XX 4; regular moved to here from 19A:1219]

Matruh (19A:1218) [clear terrain point city/minor port road/major rail junction coast hex]:
railhead marker
3-cap permanent airfield
unfinished fort marker (projected to be complete in the May II 41 Allied I. Phase)
2-8 Eng X 1 (Aus) [never moved; began building 2 turn fort in the Apr I 41 Allied I. Phase]
8* Inf XX HQ 6 [turn reinf; disembarked at Alexandria, then railed to here]

  • This is a WW OB booklet optional substitute unit from the BF refit kit for the WitD Allied OB’s 70th Inf XX HQ unit. It came to my attention when studying F. Watson’s “Syria-Operation Exporter” Europa battle scenario found in TEM#81. It has been included in the 1941 ME Scenario. A tentative Br 7-8 Inf XX 6 substitute unit has been made specially for the 1941 ME Scenario EA reports by Ralph Sunley, along with the new Trans-Jordanian 1-10 Mot Cav III AL unit (see below). However, I’m not sure if there should be a British infantry division assembly unit available to be used in conjunction with the Br 8* Inf XX HQ 6 unit. For the additional complete WW OB information on the substitution of the WW 8* Inf XX HQ 6 unit for the original WitD 8 Inf XX HQ 70 unit, see the WW OB booklet, p. 13.

one step of attack supply [turn reinf; disembarked at Alexandria, then railed to here]

Hurri 1 5F5 1/8 SAAF [operative; turn reinf; placed here in I. Phase]
P-40C 5F5 1/13 SAAF [inop.; turn reinf; placed here in I. Phase; did tac port bombing air mission to Porto Bardiya late in the E.  Phase; Miss, returned to base here]
A-22 3A3 2-1/19 [inop.; turn reinf; placed here in I. Phase; did tac port bombing air mission to Porto Bardiya late in the E. Phase; Hit, returned to base here]

19A:1418 [clear terrain major rail coast road hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield
1-8 AT II 65 [never moved]
Blen 4 3B3 1-2/23 [inop.; did non-phasing air transfer to here from Matruh in the previous Apr II 41 Axis E. Phase; did strat port bombing air mission to Derna late in the E. Phase; Miss, returned to base here]

Alexandria (20A4930/19A:2416) [major port/full city hex/major rail coast hex]:
Supply Terminal marker
3-cap permanent airfield
2-8 Inf X 5 (SA) [turn reinf; disembarked here and remained in the hex]
Glad 3F3 0/8 [operative; never moved]
1 resource point [never moved]
one step of attack supply [never moved]

Cairo (19A:3320) [clear terrain partial city transportation line junction hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield

Port Said (20A:5121/19A:3413) [swamp dot city/major port major rail line terminus]:
0-8 Hv AA II AA-1 2 (Aus) [turn reinf; disembarked here and remained in the hex]

Ismailia (19A:3516) [clear terrain reference city/standard port transportation line junction hex]:
0-8 Marine Cmdo II ME [admin moved to here along transportation line from Haifa, in Palestine ]
Glad 3F3 0/8 [operative; never moved]

Suez (19A:3718) [clear terrain reference city/major port transportation line junction hex]:
Supply Terminal marker
1-8 MG II 1 RNF [began at Matruh; railed to here from Matruh]
4 gsp’s, generated in the May I 41 Allied I. Phase

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Allied EOT dispositions: eastern Egypt, Palestine, and western Iraq

May I 41 Allied EOT dispositions: eastern Egypt, Palestine, and western Iraq

In Palestine [end of turn]:
Gaza (19A:4211) [clear terrain point city major rail line coast hex]:
1-10 Mot Inf II 1 M (FF) [began at 19A:1018; first regular moved to Matruh, then railed to here]
2-1-8 Inf X Orient (FF) [turn reinf; disembarked at Tel Aviv, then regular moved to here]

Tel Aviv (20A:4710) [clear terrain dot city/minor port major rail line junction coast hex]:
1-8 Cav X 6 [never moved]

Haifa (20A:4710) [clear terrain dot city/major port transportation line junction coast hex]:
railhead marker
3-8* Mtn X Karp (Pol) [never moved]
1-8 Cav X 5 [regular moved to here from Gaza]

Axis non-phasing air unit activity on the WD map group in the Allied Exploitation Phase:

Near the end of the Allied E. Phase the Ger LW Me 109 E F type air unit at the Derna (18A:4116) airfield does a non-phasing air transfer to the airfield at 18A:0603, in Sicily.

Greece Off-Map Holding Box [end of turn]:

3-2-10 Arm X 1
3-8 Inf X 5 (NZ)
2-8 Inf X 16 (Aus)
2-8 Inf X 17 (Aus)
2-8 Inf X 19 (Aus)
2-8 Inf X 4 (NZ)
2-8 Inf X 6 (NZ)
2-8 Inf X 14
8 Inf XX HQ 2 (NZ)
8 Inf XX HQ 6 (Aus)
3-2-28 Art X W
0-8 Lt AA II AA=1 57
0-1-4 Cons X 43 RPC
5 pos AA AA=1
1 step of attack supply

0-2-6 Hv AA X AA=4 MNBDO 1 (RN) [per the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Allied draft OB this turn this unit is sea transferred to Greece using an E Med NTP; began turn at Alexandria; this transfer is based on the ER-II and WitD/WW WD Scenario Allied OBs]

1-8 Marine Cmdo X Layf [per the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Allied draft OB this turn this unit is sea transferred to Greece using an E Med NTP; began turn at Ismailia; this transfer is based on the ER-II and WitD/WW WD Scenario Allied OBs]

Well 1C 3NB4 1-6/28 [remains here this turn per the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Allied draft OB]

Blen 4 3B3 1-2/23 [per the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Allied draft OB a turn conversion of the Blen 1 B type air unit in the Greece off-map holding box is done in the I. Phase; this conversion is based on the ER-II and WitD/WW WD Scenario Allied OBs]

Hurri 1 5F5 1/8

one ARP [turn ME Production reinf; required 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Allied draft OB transfer to Greece; arrived in Greece in the I. Phase via WW Rule 25C4-ARP Transfer; this required transfer is based on the ER-II and WitD/WW WD Scenario Allied OBs; it is assumed that this ARP is automatically used/expended in the next Allied Initial Phase in the off-map Balkan Command]

one ARP [This is one of the turn ME Command Production reinforcements.  This is a voluntary ARP transfer from the ME Comand to the Greece off-map holding box/Balkan Command in anticipation of the Hurri 1 air unit presently in the Greece off-map holding box eventually being in the Balkan Command Aborted Air Units Box at the beginning of the May II 41 Allied turn.  This is certainly per the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Allied draft OB for the Assault of Crete segment, which begins on the May II 41 Allied turn and is based on the WW Assault on Crete Allied OB, found in the WW OB booklet. Although technically sent to the off-map Greece holding box (see WW Rules 37C1d-Greece and 40A1), this ARP is stored at the Khania hex (18A:4403), on Crete.  Note that in the present turn there is no Balkan Command Replacements Box.  There will be a Balkan Command Replacements Box beginning on the May II 41 Allied turn (containing the aborted Hurri 1 air unit) in conjunction with the start of the Assault on Crete segment of the WW 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenairo May I 41 Allied EOT disopsitions: off-map holding box detail

May I 41 Allied EOT disopsitions: off-map holding box detail

In pro-Axis coup Iraq [end of turn]:

Rutbah (21A:5023) [point city stony desert road junction hex]:
1-cap permanent airstrip
1-10 Mot Cav III AL (T-J) [Arab Legion]

  • This is a special provisional new Allied ground unit introduced in the new Scenario. Per the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Allied draft OB it is placed at Trans-Jordan border hex 21A:5128 in the same I. Phase that the Br 2-1-10* Mot Inf X Hab conversion takes place. It may enter Iraq from this hex if the Hab mot inf X also enters Iraq from this same hex. If so, it enters Iraq that turn with the same amount of MPs as the Br Mot If X Hab has remaining. Its initial operational area is Trans-Jordan and Iraq. It may also operate in the Vichy Levant when the Allies invade it. It may move (regular or admin, or by rail) through Palestine, but may not end its move there at the Allied turn’s end. If forced to retreat there due to combat in the Axis turn, it must move out of Palestine by the next Allied turn’s end, if possible. It may not serve as part of any WW Allied garrisons in the Scenario. It has an AGZOC (See WW Rule 39B2).  It draws general and attack supply from the Amman reference city hex (19A:4807), in Trans-Jordan. It may also draw general supply from the Allied standard supply sources or gsp’s.  It may also draw attack supply from Allied steps of attack supply. It is a fragile unit and cannot be replaced in the new Scenario, nor can special Allied RP’s be derived from it, if eliminated.
  • In the Movement Phase the 1-10 Mot Cav III AL (T-J) and the British 2-1-10* Mot Inf X Hab both regular move due east along the Iraqi desert road to stony desert hex 21A:5024, W of Rutbah, where the new T-J mot cav X ends the Movement Phase. The 2-1-10* Mot Inf Hab continues regular moving eastwards along the Iraqi desert road two more hexes to 21A:5022, E of Rutbah. In the Combat Phase both Allied c/m units attack the pro-Axis guerrilla unit Fawsi in the Rutbah hex (21A:5023), along with the Blen 4 B type air unit that stages to Haifa from Alexandria and flies the GS air mission to the Rutbah target hex. The Fawsi guerrilla unit (in guerrilla mode) decides to retreat before combat to adjacent stony desert road hex 21A:5022, and the Trans-Jordanian AL c/m III enters the Rutbah hex immediately after combat. It does not move from the Rutbah hex in the Exploitation Phase.

22A:2833 [stony desert road hex, end of turn]:
2-1-10* Mot Inf X Hab

  • In the Initial Phase the unit conversions were done at hex 21A:5128, in eastern Trans-Jordan at the Iraqi border, creating the British 2-1-10* Mot Inf X Hab unit.  In the Movement Phase it regular moved eastwards along the Iraq desert road to stony desert road hex 21A:5022, just East of Rutbah. There, along with the 1-10 Mot Cav III AL (T-J) at 21A:5024, it participated in the ground attack against the Fawsi guerrilla unit occupying the Rutbah hex.  In the Exploitation Phase it moved eastwards 10 more hexes along the Iraq desert road, ending the turn at stony desert road hex 22A:2833, 5 hexes West of Habbaniya.
WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Allied end of Initial Phase dispositions: Iraq and far eastern Trans-Jordan: note the Habforce conversion and the new T-J mot cav III AL

May I 41 Allied end of Initial Phase dispositions

Habbaniya (22A:2828) [clear terrain point city road hex; end of turn]:

3-cap permanent airfield
1-8 Inf II 11 (CS) [never moved; Black U-1]
0-1-4 Static II 1 AS (Col) [never moved; in general supply]
Audax 1A1 1/8 [operational; becomes Red U-2 this I. Phase; never moved]
Blen 4 3B3 1-2/23 [inop., flew GS in the Combat Phase]

  • The air unit began the turn at Alexandria. It staged to Haifa in the Combat Phase and flew the GS air mission to the Rutbah target hex (21A:5023), in Iraq. The pro-Axis Guerrilla Fawsi unit (in guerrilla mode) in the Rutbah hex retreated before combat and the Blen 4 air unit returned to base at the Habbaniya airfield near the end of the C. Phase.

Hurri 1 5F5 1/8 [inop.; this is an I. Phase ARP build from turn ME Production reinfs; it was placed at the Khania reference city/3-cap permanent airfield, on Crete, in the I. Phase; then it air transferred from Khania to the Habbaniya airfield early in the E. Phase]

Shaibah (22A:4314) clear terrain point city secondary rail line hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Allied EOT dispositions: Iraq region

May I 41 Allied EOT dispositions: Iraq region

Allied Conditional Reinforcements

Iraqi Coup Reaction Forces

Coup Turn 3/May I 41 Allied Turn

Near East:

Arrive:
2-8 Inf X 21 (Ind)
two steps of attack supply

Basra (22A:4313) [clear terrain dot city/major port transportation line nexus coast hex; end of turn]:
Allied Supply Terminal marker
0-1-4 Static II 2 As (Col) [never moved]
Bombay 1T2 1-2/15 [inop.; began turn at the Habbaniya airfield, Black U-1; air transfers to Basra late in the M. Phase]
one step of attack supply [Allied Conditional turn reinf; disembarks here in the M. Phase and remains at Basra]

22A:2417 [clear terrain secondary rail line hex; end of turn]:
one step of attack supply [Allied Conditional turn reinf; disembarks at Basra in the M. Phase and spends 5 SMPs in the M.Phase moving from Basra to here]

22A:4218 [clear terrain secondary rail line hex; end of turn]:
2-8 Inf X 21 (Ind) [Allied Conditional turn reinf; disembarks at Basra and moves to here along the secondary rail line]

22A:4021 [clear terrain secondary rail line hex; end of turn]:
8* Inf XX HQ 10 (Ind) [began at 4218; regular moves along secondary rail lines to here]
1-8 Inf X 20 (Ind) [began turn at 22A:4218; regular moves along secondary rail lines to here, but diverts to Naisirya (22A:3919) and back in order to gain control of the reference city hex]

ME Command Replacement Pool [end of turn]:

3-2-10 Arm X 3
3-2-10 Arm X 4

Turn Activities

In the Initial Phase, at step 14, the Allied player spends .5 Br inf RPs and .5 Br arm RPs to rebuild the Br 1-10* Mot SG X 2 (AA=1) from the Middle East Command Replaement Pool. It is placed at Alexandria in the Initial Phase.

In the Initial Phase, at step 14, the Allied player activates the CG-1 and CG-2 naval units and places them at the Alexandria port hex.

In the Initial Phase, at step 16,  the Allied player generates 4 new gsp’s at his Suez and Alexandria Allied Standard Supply sources.

In the Initial Phase, at step 22, the non-phasing Axis player flies the G 50 F type air unit based at the 3-cap permanent airfield at 18A:0603 on the CAP air mission over the Valletta hex (18A:0407), at Malta. The Axis player also designates the two Ger LW Ju 87B D type air units based at the 3-cap permanent airfield at Derna (18A:4116) as flying the Naval Patrol air mission.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenairo May I 41 Allied end of step 22 of the Intial Phase dispositions: Libya, Sicily, Malta, and Crete

May I 41 Allied end of step 22 of the Intial Phase dispositions: Libya, Sicily, Malta, and Crete

In the Initial Phase, at step 24, 4 gsp’s @ the Valletta hex (18A:0407) on Malta generated on the Apr II 41 Allied Initial Phase are removed from the map.

In the Initial Phase, at step 24, 4 gsp’s @ the Suez hex (19A:3718) and 4 gsp’s @ the Alexandria hex, all generated on the Apr I 41 Allied Initial Phase are removed from the map.

The CG-1 naval units embarks the Hurri 2 F type air unit turn reinf for the Malta Command and the CG-2 naval units embarks one of the ME Command’s turn reinf ARPs. At the beginning of the M. Phase, this task force, which includes an E Med NTP carrying the 4 new gsp’s generated at Alexandria, exits the Alexandria hex and sails towards Malta.  At East Med all-sea hex 18A:5110, the Axis player rolls on the Success Table for a Contact Attempt for Naval Patrol Bombing Air Operation, utilizing the two Ger LW Ju 87B D type air units based at the Derna airfield hex 11 hexes away, and comes up with a 3: which is still a Failure although the +1 modifier jacks the die roll result to 4. And so the two Ju 87B air units at Derna are flipped to inoperative and the Allied naval group continues sailing westwards. When the naval group enters the Cent Med sea zone at hex 18A:4205 (see Advanced Rule 3D7-Central Med Reduction/Eastern Med Expansion), the Rule 31E-Axis Anti-Shipping Forces dice rolls are done using the 9 Column of the Naval Table for the three Allied naval units in the naval group. Surprisingly, none of the 3 Allied naval units are affected and the naval group continues its western voyage. At Cent Med all-sea hex 18A:3605, 32 hexes away from the Valletta target hex, the Allied player launches the Hurri 2 F type air unit on the air transfer mission from the CG-1 naval unit and the Allied ARP from the CG-2 naval unit. The Allied player does this at 18A:3605, 32 hexes away from the Valletta airfield at Malta instead of the 4X air transfer range of 36 hexes for the Hurri 2 air unit because of the stipulations found at Advanced Rule 25C8-Special ARP Transfer Range.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Allied early Movement Phase: naval movement segment detail of the Allied task force sailing towards Malta

May I 41 Allied early Movement Phase: naval movement segment detail of the Allied task force sailing towards Malta

After the Hurri 2 F type air unit and the Allied ARP fly off to Malta from the two CG naval units, the two CG naval units return to the port of Alexandria before the end of the M. Phase.  But the NTP carrying the cargo of 4 gsp’s continues its voyage to Valletta. The two CG naval units remain in the port of Alexandria until the end of the Allied turn, when they are deactivated and placed back into the Used this Quarter section of the Royal Naval Availability Box, found on the WW Allied Game Chart 1-Holding Boxes.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Allied early Movement Phase air activity around Malta and Sicily: the air transfer arrival of the Hurri 2 air unit

May I 41 Allied early Movement Phase air activity around Malta and Sicily: the air transfer arrival of the Hurri 2 air unit

Meanwhile, two Axis F type air units, the G 50 on the CAP air mission over the Valletta hex and the CR 42 on an interception mission from the airfield at 18A:0403, attempt to stop the Hurri 2 air unit doing the air transfer mission from the CG-1 naval unit to the Valletta airfield, but both roll Misses in the Air Combat and the Hurri 2 air unit successfully lands in the hex. The two Axis F type air units return to their respective bases in Sicily after the air combat.

After the voyage of the Allied naval group to Malta, a turn reinf step of attack supply is shipped into the Tobruch hex, using the turn reinf naval transport ability.

After this, the Br 2-8 Inf X 23 is sea transported to Tobruch from Alexandria, using an E Med NTP.

The Allied accumulated Replacement Point (RP) inventory is as follows: Br inf = 8.5, Br arm = 2, Aus inf = 2.5, NZ inf = 2.5. All Allied RPs are stored in the Alexandria hex. At the end of the turn there are no Allied ARPs stored in the Alexandria hex.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Allied end of Movement Phase dispositions: eastern Libya, Egypt, and the Palestine coastline

May I 41 Allied end of Movement Phase dispositions

Allied reinforcement ARP inventory:

  • In the Initial Phase 4 Allied reinforcement ARPs arrive (2) or are placed (2) this turn in the Middle East Command; these are all that are currently in play.
  • One Allied reinf ARP is flown to the Valletta hex (at Malta) from an activated CG naval unit and stored there.
  • Two Allied reinf ARPs are stored in the Greece off-map holding box. One is per the 1941 ME Scenario draft OB (derived from the ER-II Scenario and WitD/WW Western Desert Scenario OBs) and is assumed to be immediately used/expended in the Balkan Command. The other is a voluntary additional Middle East Command ARP transfer to the Balkan Command and will he available there on the May II 41 Allied turn.
  • One Allied reinf ARP was used in the Initial Phase to build the Hurri 1 air unit that was in the ME Command Replacement Pool’s Aborted Air Units Holding Box.  It is placed at Khania, on Crete.

Commentary

It’s likely that beginning now the Allied player needs to count carefully each turn his total of ground unit defense factors in the besieged Tobruch hex. At the beginning of this turn there were 15 defense factors in the hex; at the turn’s end there are 17, after the sea transport arrival of the Br 2-8 Inf X 23. It appears to this war gamer that the addition of this Br inf X this turn is necessary for the successful defense of Tobruch next Axis turn. The mounting danger of Axis attack also means keeping an Allied eye focused on the arriving inventory of Axis attack factors in the Tobruch siege zone. All this might imply that in the ER-II based 1941 WD and ME scenarios it could be a primary Axis strategy to push as many ground attack factors and GS tac factors as quickly as possible toward the Tobruch siege zone from the Tripolitania base, with an optimum Tobruch attack date in mind of maybe the May I or May II 41 Axis turn. The fall of Tobruch on either of the May Axis turns would be a major Axis victory in the Western Desert in 1941. If coupled with good Axis dice rolls in Iraq, the two victories together could mean very serious trouble for the Allies in the Middle East in the second and third quarters of 1941. Note that on the May I 41 Axis turn Tobruch is still an unimproved fortress whereas on the May II 41 Axis turn Tobruch is scheduled to be an improved fortress.

The Iraq campaign sideshow continues to divert more Allied forces from other seemingly more important westward war zones.  Part of the “blame” is the pesky Fawsi unit, in addition to inherent war game design factors, perhaps.  What apparently makes the Fawsi unit a contender in the present game is the good Fawsi action die roll (per WW Rule 39E4) done in the Apr I 41 Axis Initial Phase, which enabled it that turn to move to the critical Rutbah airstrip and Iraqi desert road junction hex.  From then on it’s been nothing but trouble and a force drain for the Allied side.  But in the Europa WW Middle East Campaign Scenario, on which the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario is based, it appears the Allies have in fact both time and forces to pour into a resistant pro-Axis Coup Iraq, and so maybe a good “Wavell’s War” Allied player should be patient and assume this burden of war.  The game isn’t over yet and the British Western Desert Force in central Egypt is currently not threatened by the Italian and Afrika Korps Axis forces that are for now buffaloed at Tobruch.

Apr II 41 Axis Turn

Non-Phasing Allied supply activity at step 16 in the Axis Initial Phase:
In the Initial Phase the non-phasing Allied player converts one of the two steps of attack supply at Tobruch (18A:4817) into 12 gsp’s, per Rule 12C4b-GSP’s from Steps of Attack Supply.  Per the WW Master Sequence of Play Summary this is always done after the supply determination segment of the Initial Phase.  These 12 gsp’s will provide general supply for the besieged Allied forces in Tobruch in the upcoming May I 41 Allied and the May I 41 Axis Initial Phases.  General supply for the construction unit at Tobruch in these Initial Phases is critical for the 66 RPC cons X’s ability to finish improving the fortress hex.

WW MW/ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 end of Movement Phase dispositions: Libya and Sicily

Apr II 41 end of Movement Phase dispositions: Libya and Sicily

Mainland Europe off-map holding box [end of turn]:
2.5 Italian inf replacement points [no builds this turn]
2 Ger ARPs [no builds this turn]

In Sicily [end of turn]:
Licata (18A:0102) [point city/minor port]:
3-cap permanent airfield
SM 79-1 2B3 1-5/22 [inop.; did Malta Status strat bombing air mission: Miss; began turn here]

Coast hex 18A:0403:
3-cap permanent airfield
MC 200 3F4 1/8 [inop.; did Malta Status tac bombing air mission; added its tac factor to that of the Ca 309; Miss; began turn at 18A:0603, at Sicily]
Ca 309 2B1 1/L/9 [inop.; did Malta Status tac bombing air mission; added its tac factor to that of the MC 200; Miss; began turn here]
CR 42 3F3 0/9 [inop.; air transferred to here from 18A:3618 (Libya) in the E. Phase]

Coast hex 18A:0603:
3-cap permanent airfield
G 50 3F3 0/9 [inop.; air transferred to here from 18A:3617 (Libya) in the E. Phase]

Syracusa (18A:0702) [reference city/minor port]:
3-cap permanent airfield

Augusta (18A:0701) [point city/minor port]:
3-cap permanent airfield

Malta Status:
At the beginning and at the end of the Axis turn: 10. No Malta hits are achieved this turn.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 Axis EOT dispositions: eastern Libya detail

Apr II 41 Axis EOT dispositions: eastern Libya detail

In Libya [end of turn]:
Tripolitania Garrison Box:
0-1-6* Inf III 280 GaF
0-1-6* Inf III 290 GaF
0-1-6* Inf III 340 GaF
0-1-6* Inf III 350 GaF
0-2-6* Inf III 330 GaF

Tripoli (18A:0121) [clear terrain dot city/major port transportation line junction coast hex]:
Axis Supply Terminal marker
fort marker
2 steps of attack supply [never moved; both steps of attack supply were reinf arrivals on the Apr I 41 Axis turn]
1 resource point [never moved]
0 pos flk unit AA=3 [Italian]

18A:0122 [Castel Benito; clear terrain secondary rail line hex; S of Tripoli]:
3-cap permanent airfield

Misurata (18A:1022) [clear terrain point city coast road hex]:
1-cap temporary airfield

Homs (18A:0522) [rough terrain point city/minor port coast road junction hex]:
one step of attack supply [never moved]

18A:1025 [clear terrain road hex]:
1 step of attack supply [began at 18A:0923; used 5 SMPs to move along the road to here in E. Phase]

18A:1026 [clear terrain road junction hex}:
3-4-6 Art III 221 (Ger) [turn reinf; disembarked @ Homs, admin moved 10 hexes along the road to here]

Sirte (18A:1727) [clear terrain point city coast road hex]:
fort marker
3-cap permanent airfield
1 resource point [never moved]

18A:2227 [sand coast road hex]:
5-3-10 Pz III 8 (Ger) [turn reinf; disembarked @ Homs, admin moved 12 hexes along road to 18A:1226 (Buerat el Husn); then exploited to here]

18A:2730 [Arco dei Felini; clear terrain coast road hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield

18A:2829 [clear terrain coast road hex]:
3-6 Inf XX 55 Sav [began at 18A:1627; admin moved 12 hexes along the road to here]

El Agheila (18A:2930) [clear terrain point city coast road hex]:
1-cap permanent airstrip

Agedabia (18A:3327) [clear terrain point city road junction hex]:
1-cap permanent airstrip

18A:3832 [sand road hex to Gialo]:
1-6* Inf III A [began at 18A:3528; used regular movement to move 6 hexes along the Gialo road to here; breakdown of 3-6 Inf XX 25 Bol]

Bengasi (18A:3121) [clear terrain reference city/major port transportation line nexus coast hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield
12 hits on the port
3-4-6 Art III 5 A [began at El Agheila; admin moved 12 hexes along the road to here]
1-6 Hv AA II 29 [began at El Agheila; admin moved 12 hexes along the road to here]
4 pos flk AA=1 [Italian; began at 18A:3328; admin moved 8 hexes along the road to here]
one step of attack supply [never moved]

Soluch (18A:3222) [clear terrain point city secondary rail terminus hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield

18A:3219 [clear terrain coast road hex]:
0-6 Cons III 5 A [began at 18A:3129; admin moved 12 hexes along the road to here]

18A:3617 [rough terrain road hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield
CR 42 3F3 0/9 [operational; never moved]
Br 20M 3NB4 2-5/24  [inop. during the Axis player turn; did Harassment air mission in the prior Apr II 41 Allied turn]

18A:3618 [Maraua; rough terrain road hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield

18A:3916 [rough terrain road junction coastal cliffs hex]:
2-3-6 Art III 24 C [began at 18A:3223; admin moved 12 hexes along the road to here]

Derna (18A:4116) [rough terrain point city/minor port coastal cliffs road hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield
0-6 Lt AA II AA=1 36 [began at Bengasi; admin moved 11 hexes along the road to here]
Me 109E 7F5 1/7 (Ger LW) [inop.; provided escort for the Tobruch airfield bombing air mission; began turn here]
Ju 87B 2D3 4-1/8 (Ger LW) [inop.; did tactical bombing air mission of airfield in the Tobruch hex; Hit; began turn here]
Ju 87B 2D3 4-1/8 (Ger LW) [inop. during the Axis player turn; did Harassment air mission in the prior Apr II 41 Allied turn]

18A:4216 [stony desert coastal cliffs road hex, SE of Derna]:
0-6 Cons III 10 A [began at Bengasi; admin moved 12 hexes along the road to here]

18A:4119 [stony desert road hex]:
1-6* Inf III A [began at Agedabia; admin moved 12 hexes along the road to here; breakdown of 3-6 Inf XX 25 Bol]

18A:4318 [stony desert road hex]:
3-6 Inf XX 27 Brs [began at 18A:3425; admin moved 12 hexes along the road to here]
one step of attack supply [used 14 SMPs to move along the road from Agedabia in E. Phase]

18A:4417 [stony desert coast road junction hex]:
1-8* Inf III 61 [began at Slouch; admin moved 16 hexes along the transportation lines to here]

Ain El Gazala (18A:4518) [clear terrain point city coast road escarpments hex]:
1-8* Inf III 62 [began at 18A:3320; admin moved 16 hexes along the transportation lines to here]

18A:4618 [clear terrain coast road escarpments hex; E of Gazala]:
3-6 Inf XX 17 Pav [began at Zaulet Msus; admin moved 12 hexes along the road to here]
2-3-8 Art III 16 C [began at 18A:3921; moved 8 hexes along the road to here]

18A:4718 [clear terrain coast road escarpment hex; SW of Tobruch]:
10 Pz XX HQ 15 (Ger) [began at 18A:2227; in M. Phase admin moved 20 hexes along road to 18A:3821; exploited to here]
3-10 Mot Inf III 104 (Ger) [began at 18A:2227; in M. Phase admin moved 20 hexes along road to 18A:3821; exploited to here]
8-7-10* Pz XX 5 Le (Ger) [began at 18A:4318; in M. Phase regular moved to 18A:5121; exploited to here; on the way in both phases it gained control of the Giarabub road south to 18A:5123]
one step of attack supply [began at 18A:4318; used 4 SMPs to move along the road to here in the E. Phase]

18A:4818 [clear terrain road escarpment hex; S of Tobruch]:
5-8 Lt Arm XX 132 Ar [began at El Mechili; in M. Phase regular moved to 18A:4619; exploited to here]
1-10 Mot Hv AA II I/33 (Ger LW) [began at 18A:4318; in M. Phase regular moved to 18A:5121; exploited to here]
1-10 Mot AT II 605 (Ger) [began at 18A:3921; in M. Phase regular moved to 18A:4619; exploited to here]

18A:4819 [clear terrain road hex; 2 hexes S of Tobruch]:
2-10* Mot Inf III 7 B [began at Derna; in M. Phase regular moved to 18A:4920, on the way it gained control of Porto Bardiya; exploited to here]
1-8 Mot Art III 3 AC [began at 18A:3917; in M. Phase regular moved to 18A:4618; exploited to here]

18A:4720 [clear terrain hex]:
1-8 Mot Art III 1 AC [began at 18A:3721; in M. Phase regular moved to 18A:4318; exploited to here]

18A: 4721 [stony desert hex]:
1-8 Mot Art III 2 AC [began turn at 18A:3719; in M. Phase regular moved to 18A:4216; exploited to here]

On Scarpanto:
Scarpanto (19A:0701) [rough terrain minor port point city hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield

At Rodi:
Rodi (20A:2230) [clear terrain major port point city coast hex]:
3-cap-permanent airfield

20A:2331: [rough terrain coast hex]
3-cap permanent airfield

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 Axis DEOT disopsitions: eastern Libya andwestern Egypt regions

Apr II 41 Axis DEOT disopsitions: eastern Libya andwestern Egypt regions

Non-Phasing Allied Air Activity in Egypt late in the Axis Exploitation Phase:
19A:1418 [clear terrain major rail line coast hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield
{1-8 AT II 65}
Blen 4 3B3 1-2/23 [inop.; did non-phasing air transfer to here from Matruh (19A:1218)]

Ismailia (19A:3516) [sand reference city/standard port/Suez Canal transportation line junction hex]:
{1-8 Marine Cmdo X  Layf}
Glad 3F3 0/8 [inop.; did non-phasing air transfer to here from Matruh]

Axis Considerations in Vichy Levant on the Apr II 41 Axis turn:
In game play perhaps channeled by the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario draft rules, the Axis player this turn in the Initial Phase, at step 5, will likely in many (but not all) games attempt to pressure Vichy France to grant the Axis privileges in neutral Vichy Levant, if desired, per WW Rule 38V3a-Axis Privileges [in the Levant].  In the new Scenario this may or may not be done in conjunction with a simultaneous (eg., done at the same time at step 5 of the Axis Initial Phase) Axis declaration of an Axis Intervention in Iraq, per WW Optional Rule 38J6.  But if the Axis player wishes now, at apparently the optimal strategic turn in our new “historical” Scenario, to declare the Axis Intervention in Iraq per WW Optional Rule 38J6, then per the new Scenario draft rules he must do this in simultaneous conjunction with pressure on Vichy France to grant the Axis privileges in neutral Vichy Levant.  When he does this he thereby assuredly kicks in the gaining of “Axis privileges” stipulations found in the Levant Status provisions of WW Rule 41B1-Western Desert Campaign, which allows the Allied player to invade neutral Vichy Levant and also begins the -1 Allied VP loss “each turn until the Levant surrenders to or joins the Allies.”  If the Axis player declares the Axis Intervention in Iraq per WW Optional Rule 38J6, which in the new Scenario is the equivalent of the Axis actually gaining privileges in the neutral Vichy Levant, he may or may not then do a dice roll on the Vichy Levant Table, found on WW Game Play Chart 8.  The Axis player who has declared the Axis Intervention in Iraq, may instead postpone a dice roll on the Vichy Levent Table until later, but the pertinent stipulations of the Levant Status provisions are still now in effect, once he has declared Axis Intervention in Iraq, per WW Optional Rule 38J6.

The point of the above stipulations currently provided for in the new Scenario’s draft rules regarding the Vichy Levant is to create essentially three alternative war game choices for the Axis in the second quarter of 1941.  Either 1) German intervention in an anti-British/anti-colonial Iraqi coup, based on WW Optional Rule 38J6, using the Vichy Levant as essentially a transit base to and from Coup Iraq, or 2) overt German protection and/or occupation of exclusively the Vichy French Levant colony from an Allied attack, with any Iraqi coup being a subordinate matter, and perhaps in conjunction with Axis use of Tunisia, based on WW Alternate History and Variants D, or 3) the Axis policy of deliberately delaying an Allied attack of Vichy Levant for a stipulated period in 1941, based on the restrictions stated in the Levant Status proviso found in WW Rule41B1-The Western Desert Campaign.  Probably there will be more later on the various ramifications of the options discussed, if an EA discussion should begin.

Here in the EA game report of the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario demonstration we say that this turn at step 5 in the Initial Phase the Axis player declares both an Axis Intervention in Iraq per WW Optional Rule 38J6 and decides to roll on the Vichy Levant Table and comes up with a 9: No Effect.  But the pertinent stipulations of the Levant Status provisions described above are nevertheless now in effect.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 Allied EOT dispositions: Iraq and far eastern Trans-Jordan

Apr II 41 Allied EOT dispositions: Iraq and far eastern Trans-Jordan

In pro-Axis coup Iraq [end of turn]:
In the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario, the pro Axis Iraqi coup automatically occurs in the Apr I 41 Axis initial phase.
Per the WW Master Sequence of Play, early in the Axis initial phase the Allied player for the first time checks for an Iraqi Coup Collapse by a dice roll done using the Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse Table on the WW Game Play Chart 8 to determine results. There is a +1 Modifier for the Allied-owned dot city of Basra. But the roll isn’t done because the best result could only be a 13, not enough for a Coup Collapse, which requires at least a 14.

When using the Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse Table, be aware of the important correction found in the Wavell’s War Errata-28 October 2005 addendum.  Here it says: “The +5 modifier for ‘If a supported Allied unit is adjacent to Baghdad and this is the first turn that Baghdad is Iraqi-owned’ should instead read ‘First turn (only) that a supported Allied unit is adjacent to an Iraqi-owned Baghdad.’”

Iraqi railcap is now 3, with the loss of the dot city/major port of Basra in the Apr I 41 Allied turn.
Bandit Fawzi al Qawukji:

WW Optional Rule 39E4-Fawzi al Qawujki action die roll: 2 Fawzi changes mode but does not move.  This occurs early in the I. Phase, at step 2.

Rutbah (21A:5023) [stony desert point city road junction hex]:
1-cap permanent airstrip
Pro-Axis Guerrilla unit Fawsi [per the Fawzi action die roll, flipped to guerrilla mode early in the I. Phase, at step 2]

Ramadi (22A:2830) [reference city stony desert road hex]:
Pro-Axis Guerrilla unit Fawsi [dummy guerrilla-capable unit per Rule39D; placed here early in the I. Phase; per the Fawzi action die roll this unit presumably cannot move in the M. Phase of this turn]
I currently have some reservations regarding the use of both the Fawzi al Qawukji Rule 39E4 and the dummy guerrilla-capable unit Rule 39D. One certainly doesn’t want the Iraq campaign in Europa to spin mainly around the rules capabilities of a unit (or two) for this Iraqi renegade, one would think. Perhaps more later on the Fawzi Bandit unit in WW.

Apr II 41 Axis Combat Phased at the moment of the die roll: the Iraqi Coup attack of the Allied Habbaniya airfield hex

Apr II 41 Axis Combat Phased at the moment of the die roll: the Iraqi Coup attack of the Allied Habbaniya airfield hex

Pro-Axis Iraqi Coup forces [end of turn]:
Baghdad (22A:2825):
1-6* Inf XX 2 [admin moved to here along 12 transportation line hexes from Kirkuk (21A:3904)]
1-0-8 Lt Arm X 1 [started at Baghdad; in the M. Phase it moved to 22A:2928; in the Combat Phase it participated in the attack against Habbaniya; in the E. Phase this c/m unit moved back into the Baghdad hex]
Mxd 1A2 1/8 [inop.; at start at the Baghdad hex; flew GS air mission above the Habbaniya hex (22A:2828); returned to Baghdad]

22A:2928 [clear terrain hex SE of Habbaniya (22A:2828); end of turn]:
1-2-6 Inf XX 3 [regular moved to here from Baghdad; in the Combat Phase it participated in the Habbaniya attack]
1-6* Inf XX 1 [regular moved from Baghdad; in the Combat Phase it participated in the Habbaniya attack]

22A:3423 [canal intensive secondary rail line hex]:
0-1-6* Inf XX 4 [ regular moved to here from Diwaniya (22A:3623); at Diwaniya it spent 4 MPs inflicting damage hits on the reference city airbase and the secondary rail line in that hex]

Med/NA Replacement Pool
1 x 2-6 Inf XX 60 Sbr
1 x 2-10 Mot Inf III 10 B
1 x 2-1-8 Lt Tnk III 3
2 x 1-8 Lt Tnk X 1,2
5 x 1-6 Tnk II 1, 3, 5, 6, 21
1 x Para Inf III Tonini
3 x 0-1-6* Inf III 300 GaF, 310 GaF, 320 GaF
1 x 3-4-6 Art III 24 dM
3 x 2-3-6 Art III 10 C, 20 C, 21 C
1 x 1-6 Art III 23 C
4 x 0 pos flk unit AA=1 [Italian]
Med/NA aborted air units box:
1 x SM 79-1 2B3 1-5/22
1 x CR 42 3F3 0/9
Med/NA eliminated air units box:
1 x SM 79-1 2B3 1-5/22

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 Allied EOT dispositions: Iraq and far eastern Trans-Jordan

Apr II 41 Allied EOT dispositions: Iraq and far eastern Trans-Jordan

Turn Activity:
At the very beginning of the M. Phase, prior to the Naval Movement Step, the Axis player does a Malta Status bombing air mission at the Valletta target hex (18A:0407), on Malta. The SM 79-1 B type, the MC 200 F type (on a bombing mission, per Rule 23D1-Fighter-Bombers), and the Ca 309 B type fly the bombing mission and all make it past the Valletta flack shot. The Ca 309 B type and the MC 200 F type add their respective tac bombing factors of 1 each for a total of 2; the SM 79-1 B type air unit uses its strat bombing factor. But their combined and the SM 79-1 B type air unit die rolls on the Bombing Table are both Misses, and so they all return to base in Sicily.

After the Malta Status bombing air mission the Axis player does a tactical bombing air mission on the Toburch 1-cap temporary airfield (see Rule 20G2a-[Bombing] Airbases), where the operative Br Hurri 1 F type air unit is based. The single operative LW Ju 87B D type air unit based at the Derna airfield (18A:4116) flies the airfield bombing air mission, escorted by the LW Me 109E F type air unit, also based at the Derna airfield. With nowhere else in range to rebase if it flies the interception air mission and the Tobruch 1-cap airstrip is hit, the Br Hurri 1 F type air unit based at the Tobruch target hex declines to intercept, and takes its chances on the ground. The LW Lu 87B D type air unit on the bombing air mission makes it through the Tobruch hex’s 3 flack factors, and rolls a Hit; and so the 1-cap temporary airfield receives a hit of damage and the Hurri 1 F type air unit based there is aborted and placed in the Middle East Replacement Pool’s Aborted Air Units box. The Axis air units on the air op mission to Tobruch return to the Derna airfield and rebase inoperative.

In the Combat Phase the Iraqi Army attacks the Allied 0-1-4 Static II 1 AS and the 1-8 Inf II 11 (CS) ground units stacked together at the Habbaniya hex (22A:2828) from the adjacent hex 22A:2928, using all three Iraqi ground units that moved there from Baghdad in the Movement Phase. The Allied Audax A type and the Bombay T type air units based at the Habbaniya airfield fly the DAS air mission over the hex and the Iraqi Mxd A type flies the GS air mission over the Habbaniya target hex.  The Allied defense factor is 2 and the Coup Iraqis attack with a factor of 2.5, which equates to a 1 to 1 Combat.  The pro-Axis Iraqis attack and the Axis player rolls an AS result. After the combat all involved air units return to their respective airbases.  In the Exploitation Phase the Iraqi c/m X moves back into the Baghdad hex.

Recap of Axis SMPs: 23

Axis end of turn accumulated replacements: 2 Ger ARPs, 2.5 Italian inf RPs.  These are stored at the Mainland Europe off-map holding box.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario

Commentary:
The siege of Tobruch has begun, but it’s a tricky affair for the Axis player. One problem concerning the Axis approach to Tobruch on his Apr II 41 turn seems to be the fact that only the German armor/panzer units have full AECD; therefore the Axis player must beware of the possibility of a successful Allied “Battle Axe” offensive if he advances too quickly in wrapping around the three southern land perimeter hexes of the Tobruch port fortress. This turn the only definitely safe besieging Axis stack with good AECD effects  is the geographically rearward SW hex at 18A:4718.

Putting the same thing another way, the vulnerable and therefore currently vacant SE hex at 18A:4918 is liable for an Allied double pronged (read: Crusader style) attack from both within the Tobruch fortress and also from a lunge by the British Western Desert Force lurking in western Egypt. The key center South hex at 18A:4818, also vulnerable from an Allied mobile attack from western Egypt, at least has the overlooking ridge hex to help protect them from attack from the Tobruch hex, but not from its entrapping enemy ZOC. At the overlooking ridge South hex the 2 RE It 5-8 Lt Arm XX 132 Ar counts on the ATEC of the two Ger c/m IIs stacked with it for protection from the armored British Western Desert spearhead to the east, in western Egypt. And so the Axis player in this solo game keeps the vulnerable SE hex at 18A:4918 vacant for now, and likely next turn, too, until the two German panzer divisions are in at least two of the three the besieging landward Tobruch hexes and some close-in temporary airfields are built to provide DAS, just in case. If the siege of Tobruch becomes prolonged and drifts into the second half of 1941, it perhaps almost unconsciously becomes less an obvious Allied prisoner of war camp and more like an Axis trap waiting to happen. The sign of this impending turn of events might be when and if the Allied Western Desert Force threatens to pounce by beginning to creep forward westwards from its initial defensive shield position done in west-central Egypt, perhaps first established on this previous Apr II 41 Allied turn.

In the projected new 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario, with the historical Iraqi coup embedded in the Apr I 41 Axis Initial Phase, there appears to be at least two channeled critical turns for pro-Axis Coup Iraq:  one critical turn is this one, in the Combat Phase, when the Coup Iraqis might do their big Habbaniya airfield hex attack.  But it is possible in other new Scenario games the big pro-Axis Coup Iraq Habbaniya airfield hex attack might occur on the May I 41 Axis turn, instead.  The point of the Iraqi ground combat attacks is to shake off the Iraqi Unsteadiness of Rule 38J4a, a key to the longevity of the Iraqi coup.  The other critical turn for Coup Iraq comes perhaps in the upcoming May II 41 Axis turn, in the Initial Phase, when a big dice roll is likely to be done using the Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse Table.     I’m currently guessing that on the May II 41 Axis turn, in many games of the new Scenario, the Allied player will then possess the big +5 modifier for having “a supported Allied unit [eg., the British 2-1-10* Mot Inf X Hab] … adjacent to an Iraqi-owned Baghdad.”  Surviving this Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse dice roll will maintain the Iraqi coup for another two months, I think, eg., until the July 1941 Europa turns, at least.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenairo Apr II 41 Axis EOT dispositions: off-map display detail

Apr II 41 Axis EOT dispositions: off-map display detail

Apr II 41 Allied Turn

Off-Map Campaign in Greece Considerations on the Apr II 41 Allied Turn

Per the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario draft OB the Allied East Med naval transport ability is reduced by 9 REs (but not below 0 REs) for this turn.  This is based on the bullet indication for this player turn in the WitD Allied OB booklet.

Non-Phasing Axis Air Activity Late in the Allied Initial Phase:

Late in the Initial Phase the non-phasing Axis player sends one of the LW Ju 87B D type air units based at the Derna 3-cap permanent airfield (18A:4116) on the Harassment air mission to clear terrain hex 18A:4521. It is escorted by the LW Me 109F F type air unit, also based at the Derna airfield. The British Hurri 1 F type air unit based at the 3-cap permanent airfield (w/ 2 hits of damage) at 18A:4818, just south of Tobruch, declines to intercept. The Ju 87B air unit delivers its 4 tac bombing factors to the target hex, good for 2 harassment hits there. The harassment marker is duly placed in hex 4521 and the German LW air op mission returns to the Derna airfield base. Per Rule 20G2d-Harassment, the Ju 87 B air unit doing the harassment air mission will be inoperative for both the remainder of the current Allied player turn and also the following Axis player turn.  Then the BR 20M NB type air unit based at the 3-cap permanent air field at 18A:3617 flies the Harassment air mission to clear terrain hex 18A:4122, where it delivers its 2 tac bombing factors into the target hex, good for 1 harassment hit there.  After the  1 harassment hit marker is placed in hex 4122, the Br 20M air unit returns to the air field at 18A:3617.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 Allied turn, at the end of step 21 of the Initial Phase

Apr II 41 Allied turn, at the end of step 21 of the Initial Phase

Following the Harassment air missions described above, late in the Allied Initial Phase the non-phasing Axis player flies two CAP air missions. The G 50 F type air unit based at the 3-cap permanent airfield at 18A:3617 flies the CAP air mission over the Derna hex, containing the It 2-10* Mot Inf III 7B ground unit and also three LW air units. The CR 42 F type air unit flies the CAP air mission over the Axis stack at 18A:4318, containing Ger 8-7-10* Pz XX 5 Le and the 1-10 Mot Hv AA II I/33 (LW) ground units. At the end of the Allied E. Phase these two Italian F type air units return to base at the airfield at 18A:3617.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 Allied end of step 22 of the Initial Phase dispositions: eastern Libya and western Egypt; Axis CAP and Harassment air missions

Apr II 41 Allied end of step 22 of the Initial Phase dispositions: eastern Libya and western Egypt; Axis CAP and Harassment air missions

Malta [end of turn]:
Malta Status: Begins turn at 11, but -1 for the Malta repair rate = 10 at the end of the I. Phase/Allied turn.
Malta Repair Rate: 1 repair point each turn.
Valletta hex flack factor (intrinsic + hv AA II):  5.
Valletta (18A:0407):
3-cap permanent airfield
3-6* Inf X 1 M
2-6* Inf X 2 M
1-8 MG II 2 Ch
0-1-8 Hv AA II AA=2 10
0-4 Cons X MC
4 gsp’s generated on the Apr II 41 Allied turn initial phase. [from Gibraltar; using W Med NTPs]
Note: All units are technically Allied U-2, but are in special general supply due to the gsp’s.

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 Allied end of Movement Phase dispositions: eastern Libya and western Egypt

Apr II 41 Allied end of Movement Phase dispositions: eastern Libya and western Egypt

In Libya [end of turn]:
Tobruch (18A:4817) [clear terrain point city/standard port/fortress road junction escarpment coast hex]:
unimproved fortress
Constructions begins this I. Phase on improving fortress; projected to be complete on the May II 41 Allied I. Phase.
1-cap temporary airfield
0-1-4 Cons X 66 RPC (Col) [never moved; begins fortress improvement in the I. Phase]
0-1-8 Hv AA II 51 [never moved]
2-8 Inf X 16 [sea transported from Alexandria to here using the single available East Med NTP]
7-8 Inf XX 9 (Aus) [assembled at the end of the M. Phase]
8 Inf XX HQ 9 (Aus) [moved from 18A:4618]
2-8 Inf X 20 (Aus) [moved from 18A:4618]
2-8 Inf X 24 (Aus) [never moved, began turn at Tobruch]
2-8 Inf X 26 (Aus) [moved from 18A:4818; but first did final hit of damage on 3-cap airfield there]
2-8 Inf X 16 [sea transported from Alexandria]
2-1-6 Tnk II 7 RT [admin moved along road from 19A:0618]
3-8 Art X 13 [moved from 18A:4818]
one step of attack supply [began turn here; never moved]
one step of attack supply [spends 2 SMPs moving along road from 4618]
Hurri 1 5F5 1/8 [inop., air transferred to here from 18A:4818 in the M. Phase]

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 Allied EOT dispositions: eastern Libya and east and central Egypt region

Apr II 41 Allied EOT dispositions: eastern Libya and east and central Egypt region

In Egypt [end of turn]:
19A:1018 [clear terrain coast road hex]:
1-10* Mot Inf X 3 (Ind) [moved from 18A:4819]
1-10 Mot Inf II 1 M (FF) [moved from 18A:4819]

19A:1019 [clear terrain hex]:
1-2-10* Mot SG X 7 [(AA=1) moved from 18A:4819]
3-2-10 Arm X 7 [moved from 18A:4819]

19A:1118 [clear terrain coast road hex. NW of Matruh]:
3-8 Inf X 22 G [admin moved to here along road from 19A:0319, S of Porto Bardiya]

19A:1219 [clear terrain Siwa road hex; S of Matruh]:
7-8 Inf XX 4 (Ind) [turn reinf; disembarked unassembled @ Suez and railed to Matruh, then the unassembled component units regular moved to here; here they assembled into the division at the end of the M. Phase]

19A:1120 [clear terrain Siwa road hex]:
7-8 Inf XX 7 (Aus) [admin moved to here along road from Halfaya Pass (19A:4920); comprised of the 21st, 25th, & 18th Aus inf Xs]

Matruh (19A:1218) [clear terrain point city/minor port transportation line junction coast hex]:
railhead marker
3-cap permanent airfield
unfinished fort marker [began this I. Phase; projected to be completed in the May II 41 Allied I. Phase]
2-8 Eng X 1 (Aus) [never moved; begins building 2 turn fort this turn]
1-8 MG II 1 RNF [admin moved along road to here from 18A:4618]
2-1-6 Tnk II 4 RT [began at 18A:4819; admin moved along road to 19A:0818, then exploited to here]
Glad 3F3 0/8 [operative, never moved]
Blen 4 3B3 1-2/23 [inop., air transferred to here from Tobruch in the M. Phase]

WW ME-ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 Allied end of Movement Phase dispositions: eastern Egypt, Palestine, Trans-Jordan, and western Iraq

Apr II 41 Allied end of Movement Phase dispositions: eastern Egypt, Palestine, Trans-Jordan, and western Iraq

19A:1418 [clear terrain major rail line coast hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield
1-8 AT II 65 [admin moved to here along road from Porto Bardiya]

Alexandria (20A4930/19A:2416) [full hex city/major port/major rail line coast hex]:
Supply Terminal marker
3-cap permanent airfield
0-2-6 Hv AA X AA=4 MNBDO 1 (RN) [never moved; per the 1941 ME Scenario Allied OB this unit is required to transfer to Greece on the May I 41 Allied turn]
2-8 Inf X 23 [admin moved to here along transportation lines from Cairo (19A:3219)]
one step of attack supply [never moved]
1 resource point [never moved]
4 gsp’s generated here in the I. Phase [never moved]
Glad  3F3  0/8 [operative; never moved]
Blen 4 3B3 1-2/23 [inop., air transferred to here from Matruh late in the E. Phase]

Cairo (19A:3320) [partial city hex; SE of Cairo full hex city hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield

Ismailia (19A:3516) [sand reference city/standard port/Suez Canal transportation line junction hex]:
1-8 Marine Cmdo X Layf [never moved; per the 1941 ME Scenario draft OB this unit is required to transfer to Greece on the May I 41 Allied turn]

Suez (19A:3718) [clear terrain reference city/major port/Suez Canal transportation line junction coast hex]:
Supply Terminal marker
4 gsp’s generated here in the I. Phase [never moved]

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 Allied EOT dispositions: eastern Egypt, Palestine, Trans-Jordan, and eastern Iraq

Apr II 41 Allied EOT dispositions: eastern Egypt, Palestine, Trans-Jordan, and eastern Iraq

In Palestine [end of turn]:
Gaza (19A:4211) [clear terrain point city major rail line coast hex]:
1-8 Cav X 5 [never moved]

Tel Aviv (20A:5011/19A:4308) [clear terrain dot city/minor port major rail junction coast hex]:
1-8 Cav X 6 [never moved]

Haifa (20A:4710/19A:4305) [clear terrain dot city/major port major rail junction coast hex]:
railhead marker
3-8* Mtn X Karp (Pol) [never moved]
0-8 Marine Cmdo II ME [never moved]

Trans-Jordan [end of turn]:
21A:5128 [ravines road border hex]:
2-1-8 Cav X 4 [admin moved to here along road from 19A:4608, NE of Jerusalem]
one transport counter (1RE) [turn reinf; disembarked @ Haifa and admin moved along road to 20A:5016/19A:4906, then moved to here in E. Phase]

Greece Off-Map Holding Box [end of turn]:
4-3-10* Arm X 1
3-8 Inf X 5 (NZ)
2-8 Inf X 16 (Aus)
2-8 Inf X 17 (Aus)
2-8 Inf X 19 (Aus)
2-8 Inf X 4 (NZ)
2-8 Inf X 6 (NZ)
2-8 Inf X 14
8 Inf XX HQ 2 (NZ)
8 Inf XX HQ 6 (Aus)
3-2-28 Art X W
0-8 Lt AA II AA=1 57
0-1-4 Cons X 43 RPC
5 pos AA AA=1
1 step of attack supply
Well 1C 3NB4 1-6/28 [remains here this turn per the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario OB]
Blen 1 2B3 1-2/16
Hurri 1 5F5 1/8

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 Allied end of Movement Phase dispositions: Iraq and far eastern Trans-Jordan

Apr II 41 Allied end of Movement Phase dispositions

In pro-Axis coup Iraq:
Habbaniya (22A:2828) [clear terrain point city road hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield
0-1-4 Static II 1 AS (Col)
1-8 Inf II 11 (CS) [began turn at Suez (19A:3718); railed to Haifa (20A:4710); air transported by the Bombay T type air unit from Haifa to the Habbaniya airfield hex near the end of the Allied E. Phase]
Audax 1A1 1/8 [Red U-1 this turn; operative]

The Br Audax air unit here at the turn’s start becomes Red U-1 in the Allied Initial Phase. Per Rule 38J4, “if a coup occurs, Iraq territory is no longer Allied-owned and is treated as being Axis controlled.” Per Rule 38B2-Habbaniya/Shaibah Airbase Guards, the two Allied 0-1-4 static IIs (Col) in Iraq may trace an overland-element supply line to either the Habbaniya or Shaibah hexes, if neither have been enemy owned.
Bombay 1T2 1-2/15 [inop., did extended range air transport air mission of the 1-8 Inf II 11 (CS) at Haifa in the E. Phase]

The Bombay air unit begins @ Haifa (20A:4710), where the 2 1-8 Inf II 11 (CS) was railed. Near the end of the Allied E. Phase the Bombay T type air unit, with the Czech inf II as cargo, does an extended range air transport air mission to the Habbaniya airfield.

Shaibah (22A:4314) [clear terrain point city secondary rail line hex]:
3-cap permanent airfield

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 Allied EOT disopsitions: Iraq and eastern Trans-Jordan

Apr II 41 Allied EOT disopsitions: Iraq and eastern Trans-Jordan

Allied Conditional Reinforcements
In the 1941 WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario the Iraqi coup automatically occurs on the Apr I 41 Axis turn, in the Initial Phase.  Afterwards in the new Scenario the Allied player obtains the Iraqi Coup Reaction Forces, found under the Conditional Reinforcements in the WitD Allied OB, on p. 5.  In our Scenario Iraqi Coup Turn 2 = the Apr II 41 Allied turn, Coup Turn 3 = the May I 41 Allied turn (including the important Habforce conversion), Coup Turn 5 = the Jun I 41 Allied turn, and so on.  Note that this Allied Coup Reaction OB coincides with the Allied OB found in F. Watson’s “Iraq:  Rashid Ali and the Golden Square” Europa battle scenario, found in TEM#81.

Per Watson’s Europa battle scenario no Allied East Med NTP use is allowed in the Near East Command (eg., in the Persian Gulf on map 22A) on both the May 1 41 and the Jun I 41 Allied turns, and our new Scenario Allied draft OB will likely follow these stipulations.

The two steps of attack supply indicated for the Jun II 41 Allied turn in Watson’s “Iraq” Europa battle scenario are also included in the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario draft OB, although these aren’t indicated in the WitD Allied OB for the Iraqi Coup Reaction Forces.  For now it is assumed here that these two steps of attack supply did not come from the Middle East Command.

In the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario, all the Iraqi Coup Reaction Forces called for in the WitD Allied OB booklet, p. 5, along with the additions from the “Iraq” battle scenario Allied OB mentioned above, that come from the on-map forces of the Allied ME Command are, per WW Rule 3E4-Player Control of Commands, “under his [the Allied player’s] command as a unified whole” and “he uses his forces there [eg., on the new Scenario’s Western Desert and Near East map groups] as he wishes.”

WW ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario Apr II 41 Allied EOT dispositions: off-map display detail

Apr II 41 Allied EOT dispositions: off-map display detail

Iraqi Coup Reaction Forces
Coup Turn 2/Apr II 41 Allied Turn
Near East:
Arrive:
8* Inf XX HQ 10 (Ind)
1-8 Inf X 20 (Ind)

Basra (22A:4313) [clear terrain dot city/major port transportation line junction hex]:
Allied Supply Terminal marker
The new Allied standard supply terminal is opened in the Movement Phase per Rule 12C1a, after the Ind 1-8 Inf X 20 disembarks at Basra and thereby gains Allied hex control.  I suspect that after this the Basra hex has an intrinsic flack factor of 1.
0-1-4 Static II 2 As (Col) [moved one hex to Basra from Shaibah (22A:4314)]

22A:4218 [clear terrain secondary rail line hex]:
8* Inf XX HQ 10 (Ind) [after disembarkation, used its remaining 6 MPs to regular move from Basra to here]
1-8 Inf X 20 (Ind) [after disembarkation, used its remaining 6 MPs to regular move from Basra to here]

ME Command Replacement Pool:
3-2-10 Arm X 4 [in ER-II, begins “at-start” in ME Replacement Pool]
1-10* Mot SG X AA=1 2 [eliminated in combat in Mar II 41 Axis Combat Phase]
3-2-10 Arm X 3 [eliminated in combat in Mar II 41 Axis Combat Phase]

Turn Activity:
Weather: Clear in all Scenario weather zones (D and E); Calm Sea conditions.
4 gsp’s @ the Valletta hex (18A:0407) on Malta generated on the Apr I 41 Allied Initial Phase are removed near the end of the Apr II Allied Initial Phase.

In the Initial Phase the Allied player generates 4 gsp’s at his Alexandria supply terminal and 4 gsp’s at his Suez supply terminal.

In the Initial Phase construction is begun at Tobruch in improving the fortress and at Matruh in building a fort. Each construction effort requires an expenditure of a resource point in the I. Phase. Construction of each is projected to be completed in two turns, which would be in the May II 41 Allied Initial Phase.

Sea transport: One East Med NTP is used to sea transport Br 2-8 Inf X 16 from Alexandria to Tobruk. One West Med NTP is used to successfully sea transport 4 gsp’s generated in the Apr I 41 initial phase from Gibraltar to Malta.
Rail movement: The broken down components of the Ind 7-8 Inf XX 4 turn reinf disembark at Suez duly broken down into its unsupported elements and are then railed to Matruh, for a total expenditure of 4 REs of railcap. The 1-8 Inf II 11 (CS) beginning the turn at the port hex of Suez is railed to Haifa, for a total of .5 REs.

At the end of the M. Phase, with the Allied capture that phase of the Iraqi dot city/major port hex of Basra, both sides’ Iraq rail net capacity has changed. At the beginning of the upcoming Apr II 41 Axis turn the Iraqi coup rail net capacity will be 3.  Beginning on the May I 41 Allied turn the new Allied-controlled Iraqi rail net capacity will be 1, with Basra being the Allies’ sole rail marshaling yard.

The Allied accumulated Replacement Point inventory is as follows: Br inf = 7, Br arm = 2, Aus inf = 2, NZ inf = 2. All Allied RPs are stored in the Alexandria hex.

Commentary:

The Allied player continues significant strategic maneuvers of his forces in the Western Desert zone, bracing up in Tobruch and creating this turn the initial shield core of the Western Desert Force in central Egypt, a little west of Matruh.

Much maneuvering is done in the periphery of the Iraq zone to protect the British cantonments at Habbaniya and Shaibah and begin the Allied offensive march against the pro-Axis Iraqi Coup stronghold at Baghdad.  Late in the Exploitation Phase the Blen 4 B type air unit is air transferred from Matruh to Alexandria, just in case it is needed next turn in the Iraq zone.

To his chagrin, after his earlier player turn the Axis player now feels he has accidentally exposed the Axis stack at 18A:3921 to a possible Allied mobile attack, and so in the Allied Initial Phase nervously sends two of his tac bombing capable air units on the costly non-phasing harassment air mission.  I say “costly” because in doing the harassment air missions, the two primo Axis tac bombing capable air units will be inoperative during the subsequent Apr II 41 Axis turn.

Analysis: Central Powers Food and National Will situation

Food

In this game, as in presumably most TGW grand campaigns, food will be a critical consideration. The following chart reflects the starting condition, consumption as the war drags on, and Central Powers’ food income at each November harvest.

New / Total / Change / Condition
2 2 At Start
0 -2 Consume SEP, OCT14
6 6 Harvest NOV14
8 2 Plunder Liege NOV14
12 4 Maximum Trade NOV14

0 -12 Consume NOV14 – OCT15
4 4 Harvest NOV15
15 11 Plunder in the East NOV15
17 2 The Netherlands join the CP NOV15
19 2 Blockade Rate Trade w/ Switzerland and Denmark NOV15

22 3 Bulgaria join the CP DEC15
10 -12 Consume NOV15 – OCT16
14 4 Plunder in the East NOV16
16 2 Harvest NOV16
18 2 Blockade Rate Trade w/ Switzerland and Denmark NOV16

2 Plunder in the East NOV17
0 Harvest NOV17
Blockade Rate Trade w/ Switzerland and Denmark NOV17
-12 Consume NOV16 – OCT17

-2 Harvest NOV18
Blockade Rate Trade w/ Switzerland and Denmark NOV18 (if Germany not shaken)
8 Plunder in the East NOV18

-4 Harvest NOV19
Blockade Rate Trade w/ Switzerland and Denmark NOV19 (if Germany not shaken)

In the game, the Entente declared war against The Netherlands, driving trade away from that country, but the Central Powers remained able to trade at the maximum rate with other adjacent neutrals. The Netherlands joined the Central Powers, taking its grain with it, but that grain would be plundered by the Central Powers in any case if Germany does the logical thing and bloodlessly seizes a neutral The Netherlands in October 1916 – it’s trivially easy and a very good decision.

Thee Entente held the German drive into Belgium and France far short of historical. If the Germans conquered more granaries (at least the historical Antwerp) then the situation would be shifted even further in favor of the Central Powers.

As such, we can see that the critical decision is the Central Powers player ruthlessly saving four resource points during the opening campaign and ruthlessly trading them for food in November 1914. Combat supply be as it may, that food is essential for Central Powers victory in the end game because it avoids any hunger in 1915 and thus pushes hunger back until much later than historical.

Given trade, the Central Powers won’t run out of food until September 1918, or later. That being the case, if influenza strikes it probably won’t do double damage to the Central Powers. In any case, because the Central Powers will again have food in its belly for November 1918 thru February 1919 or later, the distant blockade will not substantially help the Entente end the war on historical schedule or, indeed, until mid-1919.

I suggest that this analysis is an amplified reason for system-wide revision of the rules regarding how neutral countries defend themselves against their controlling sides. The situation of The Netherlands basically breaks the food rules.

Meanwhile, the American Expeditionary Force in 1919 is very powerful. We’re going to need it.

National Will

In preparation for the February morale check, and to give ourselves a better sense of the progress of the campaign, we also conducted a thorough review of the morale point and national will situations in DJ05. Our conclusions surprised us in some ways and proved disappointingly consistent in others.

  1. In digitizing the morale point tracks, we discovered several situations in which we had failed to record morale point changes: half a dozen combats, a few calendar-specific bonuses, and even an entire production cycle of out-of-theater events.
  2. Including those changes, and adjusting for changes between a currently partial re-play of the incomplete war in Africa, some values changed significantly.
  3. In February 1915, the annual morale check awarded France a revised bonus of 46.33 morale points. This presumably broadly fit with the difference in fortresses, Lille, factories, and resource centers lost historically versus in DJ05.
  4. Britain gained a revised 18.67 morale points in February 1915. A review of game reports indicated that the British Expeditionary Force in DJ05 suffered no casualties in 1914: its combats were exceptional and ended in a few bloodless retreats or solid victories. In partial compensation, the Boer revolt went a-historically badly for the British (it always will in the game) and cost the British 6.67 morale points (vice probably zero historically).
  5. By February 1916, it became apparent that the Italian morale check column in the rules must be broken. The Italians could only achieve the historical by scarcely fighting and historically the numerous disasters on the Isonzo River cost the Italians heavily throughout the war.
  6. DJ05’s Austro-Hungarians gained three morale points in February 1916 because DJ05’s Germans declared war and took a sector of the front against Italy immediately.
  7. Britain earned 1.67 morale points during the February 1916 morale check.
  8. France earned a February 1916 bonus of 57.5 morale points, landing solidly above Germany’s national will, though by November the French had fought themselves back down to national will three and parity with the Germans.
  9. Absent any further Entente attacks, we predicted a German bonus of 16 morale points in February 1917. Germany lost 207 morale points from February 1915 thru January 1916, 47 more points than historical. During the same months during 1916, Germany lost approximately 182 morale points, 93 fewer than historical. Germany will gather 150 bonus points from Russia in 1917 and lose approximately 67 for events out of theater. Historically, Germany suffered approximately 148 morale points of losses in the West Theater during 1917, a value unlikely in DJ05. Therefore, we expected that 16 bonus points in 1917 would double in 1918, double again in 1919, and quite possibly decide the war.
  10. We forecast Austria-Hungary gaining approximately 13 morale points during February 1917. The Empire will gain 50 morale points from Russia and lose 17 out of theater during the 1917 morale cycle, so the Empire can expect another small gain in 1918.
  11. France coasted toward a bonus of 127 points in February 1917 and expected another huge bonus in 1918.
  12. Despite attacking much less than historically throughout the war so far, Italy in 1917 and 1918 will gain exactly the morale bonus it gained in 1916: zero. In DJ05, the Zeppelins concentrated against Italy and kept, and will keep, its morale relatively low.
  13. We expected Britain to gain approximately 15 morale points in February 1917 and probably a larger bonus in 1918.

Monthly routines

Only a short note today – small updates to the Glossary (a recent discussion of the Popofski maneuver made me finally fill out that article, and I´ve also added a small paragraph on AT guns, even though most other unit types are lacking any description. Additionally, Todd allowed us to publish his two newest posts on the DJ05-game report. Enjoy!