The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: March 2017 (page 1 of 2)

MAY II 1937

Narrative:

The failure of the military coup and the equal failure of the Republican government to crush it meant that both sides needed constant arms and equipment to prosecute the war.

The Republic looked to France as a likely sympathetic supplier but France herself was generally reliant on Britain for mutual support against a resurgent Germany under Hitler.

Whilst there were ministers who supported the legitimate Spanish government’s plight street fighting had already taken place in France between left wingers and fascist groups and they did not want a repeat of the Spanish conflict on their own soil.  So discretion was key.  An aircraft shipment of 20 Potez bombers was assembled in secret until leaked to the press no doubt by Nationalist sympathisers in the Spanish embassy.  France now effectively was politically treating the Republican and Nationalist causes as equals – not a good sign for the Republican cause.

As a result the lack of supplies was beginning to bite and in late May the Republican forces were forced to take up a purely defensive stance along the entire front in Castilla la Nueva in order to supply their attack toward Calatayud.

FWtBT No 4 - May II 37

FWtBT No 4 May II 37

Nationalist Turn

WeatherAtlantic Rough Seas,  rest Clear.

Supply: Nationalist pocket at 2031 (outside San Sebastian) become U3.

Nationalist pocket at 3011 (N of Alcazar de San Juan) are Isolated but feed off GSPs

3 GSPs generated at Cordoba. 1 GSP is generated at Seville.

Replacements: 1.5 SRPs recovered.   5-6 inf XX 51, 1-8 mtn 5, 1-8 mg Ard (CTV) replaced, Ju52  g4e repaired.

Pacification: Seville

Builds;  Permanent 3 cap airbase @ 3414

Air Activity: Mxd T air drops 4 GSPs to Hex 3011.

HE 45 with CR32.bis (CTV),  CR.32  stage via 3414, joins with R0.37 and fly escorted GS to 3112. Mxd F out of Toledo intercepts and attempt to bypass the screen CR.32 misses but Cr32.bis (CTV) aborts the Mxd F. Fighters return to 3414. Aslt bombers add 2 points to attack.

Attack 1: 2814 Wooded rough (W of Toledo) Unsupplied 3-6 inf XX 2FN, 3PN, 3-8 inf XX 3Lit (CTV) Attack 1-6 sec 1GC @ 9:1 (-2) = DR. Advance 3PN, 2FN

Attack 2; 2914 Wooded rough (W of Toledo) Unsupplied ), 1-8 lt 5, 1-6 infs 29, 32,  1-8 mg Van (CTV),  1-6 inf 28, 2-3-6 art 61 attack 1-6 bdr 5Car @ 7:1 (-2) = DE Advance All.

Attack 3: 3112 clear (N Alcazar de San Juan) ) Supplied 1-8 mb B (CTV), 1-8 aslt G (CTV), 3-1-2 sge art Man (CTV), 3-2-6 infs 1LE, 3LE, 2-1-8 art o, 5-6 inf XX 11,1-5 inf 2Zar (Fal) and 1-6 art 4L, , 6-6 inf XX 52, 2-1-8 cavs1E, 1E (Col) 2-6 infs Tdi, 3Ceu, 2Mel and Isolated 3-6 inf cadre 13, 1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV) 1-10 lt tk Dro (KV),  4-3-6 art Leg with GS He 45 (KV), Ro.37 Attack 3-6* inf XXs 1,19, 4-6 inf XX 6 @ 4:1 = EX!  Lose 1LE, 3LE, 2O (Col), 1E (col).  Advance 52 XX, 3ceu (Col), B (CTV).

Attack 4: 2132 (wooded rough) (Outside San Sebastion) Supplied 5-6 inf XX 4 (Req) , 1-8 lt infs 1,6, 2-6 eng AM, 1-6 mg 2, 1-8 mtn 4 and Unsupplied 4-6 inf XX 3 (Req), 1-8 mtn art 2, 1-8 lt tk LE, 1-6 infs 19, 30, 1-5 mech 1, 5-6 inf XX 71 Attack 1-6 inf 21, 2-6 art 3P @ 6:1 (-2) = DH. (Surrounded but U2 pocket at 2031 has no ZOC so inf 21 retreats.  Advance 71, 3 (Req), LE,  1st Mech.

Exploitation; 1-8 lt tk LE, 1-5 mech 1 to 2031

Republican Turn

Supply; All pockets relieved all in full supply.

Replacements: 3 SRPs , ½ SRP (Ast) recovered

4-6 inf XX6, 3-6* XX infs 1,10, 1-6 bdr 5Car, 1-6 inf 6 replaced

Naval Activity; NTs 2, 4, 5 transport 1ASP from Vigo to Seville and return.

Attack 1; 2702 rough (Catalayud) Supplied 3-6* inf XX 24, 4-6 inf XX 34, 3-4-5* inf XX 27CH, 1-2-6* infs 23, 24, , 2-6 art 2P, unsupplied  2-6* inf 6ch with  SB-2, R-5 as GS attack 3-4-5* inf XX 22 @ 4:1 (-1) = HX.  Lose 6ch. Advance 24, 34, 27CM

Early Draft Neutrals OB

Iraqi Order of Battle

Initial Forces: Mar II 41 Axis player turn (taken from the WitD Neutral Nations OB booklet).

Initial Conditions:
Capital: Baghdad (22A:2825).
Rail Capacity: Iraqi rail net: 5.
1-Capacity Permanent Airstrip: Rutbah (21A:5023). [per the WitD Neutral Nations OB booklet, p. 2]
Supply Terminal (Iraqi specific): Baghdad (22A:2825).

Infantry Replacement Points (RPs):  Iraq receives 1 inf RP on the Jan I turn of each year, beginning no sooner than the second turn of full mobilization [I assume this to mean Coup Turn 2, along with with the Jan I turn stipulation; and so receiving any Iraqi inf RPs would be unlikely in either the WW 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario project or in standard WW Middle East (ME) Scenarios].

Iraqi ARPs:  Iraq receives 1 ARP on the first turn of the air cycle, beginning no sooner than the second turn of full mobilization.  In the case of the new Scenario with the Iraqi Coup date of Apr I 41, that appears to mean an Iraqi ARP would be received on the May I 41 Axis I. Phase.  Then, another Iraqi ARP would appear on the Jul I 41 turn, and so on.

No intrinsic AA.

Other: the Iraqi minor port of Umm Qasr (22A:4513) has maximum damage, e.g., 5 port damage hits.

Iraq:

Kirkuk (21A:3904):
1 x 1-6* Inf XX                                 2

In or adjacent to Baghdad (22A:2825):
1 x 1-2-6 Inf XX                               3
1 x 1-6* Inf XX                                 1
1 x 0-1-6 Lt Arm X                          1

Diwaniya (22A:3623):
1 x 0-1-6* Inf XX                             4

Any airbase in Iraq:
1 x Mxd  1A2  1/8

Bandit.
In Iraq:
21A:4717 (H-1 Pump Station) [stony desert road hex]:
0-1-8 Inf II                              Fawzi (Bandit) [Guerilla-capable unit; currently in combat mode]

  • Watson’s “Iraq: Rashid Ali and the Golden Square” Europa Battle Scenario found in TEM#81 is used as a basis for determining an at-start location for the pro-Axis Fawzi bandit/guerrilla unit.

Special considerations regarding the 0-1-8 Inf II Fawzi (Bandit) unit:

  • On the Mar II 41 Axis at-start turn of the new Scenario, the 0-1-8 Inf II Fawzi (Bandit) unit begins at hex 21A:4717.  The provisions of Optional Rule 39E4-Fawzi al Qawukji, do not come into effect until step 2 of the Initial Phase of the Apr II 41 Axis turn, after the automatic Iraqi coup occurs at step 13 of the Initial Phase of the Apr I 41 Axis turn.  On both the Mar II 41 and Apr I 41 Axis turns the 0-1-8 Inf II Fawzi (Bandit) remains at hex 21A:4717, in its combat mode, and may not move at all or change modes; nor is the die roll done per WW Optional Rule 39D3 until step 4 of the Initial Phase of the Apr II 41 Axis turn.
  • Per a new Scenario Rule, Axis, Vichy French Levant, or Iraqi air units may not provide DAS to the Fawzi unit, which is similar to Rathe’s provision for Vichy French TS ground units in his TFL article in TEM#81.
  • The Fawzi unit cannot be eliminated by random movement die rolls (per WW Optional Rule 39E4) off the map edge or into prohibited hexes.  In this case the Fawzi unit simply ends its random movement at the last rules-legal hex.
  • Note that per WW Optional Rule 39E4 the Fawzi unit “may never stack with another unit (including another Axis, Iraqi, or Vichy French unit).  If in guerrilla mode, Fawzi must always attempt to retreat before combat.”
  • It is currently assumed here that after the Iraqi Coup the national territory in the pro-Axis neutral Iraq is still not 100% Axis “friendly-owned” for the purposes of WW Optional Rule 39D3-Changing Modes.  Perhaps this occurs after a pro-Axis coup Iraq “join[s] the Axis,” per the last sentence of Rule 38J4 [Iraq] Coup.  I’m also currently thinking the Fawsi unit cannot, in any mode (eg., combat or guerrilla), admin move in Iraq or in the Vichy French Levant.
  • Also, neither the Fawzi unit in its regular mode, nor either of the Fawzi guerrilla mode units, either the dummy or the Fawzi hidden mode, may end their movements in any Iraqi dot city hexes or the partial full city hex of Baghdad, unless they are Allied-owned.  If forced to retreat in a Combat Phase, the Fawzi units may pass through an Iraqi dot city hex or the partial full city hex of Baghdad, but may not end their retreat there, unless they are Allied-owned.  The Iraqi dot city of Basra is not considered to be Allied-owned until the Basra hex is occupied by an Allied unit, per WW Advanced Rules 5B3-Ownership of Cities, Ports, and Airbases and/or 5B4-Half RE Units.  The main thing is to prevent the Fawzi unit or its Dummy guerrilla unit from blocking the Iraqi port of Basra from initial Allied entry or other important Iraqi towns from entry by either side.

Commentary Regarding Some of the WW Rules That are Related to the Iraq Campaign in the new Scenario:

  • In WW, per Rule 4-Sequence of Play (Intro), “each game turn consists of an Allied player turn followed by an Axis player turn.”
  • Per WW Rule 41-Preparing for Play (Intro), “within each map group [in our case, the WD and NE map groups], where there is overlap, ensure the higher number map always overlaps the lower numbered map.  Once each map group is assembled, ensure the group with the highest numbered maps overlaps the group with the lowest numbered maps.”  Per WW Rule 41A-Initial Deployment, the Axis player sets up the “Iranian, Iraqi, and Vichy French at-start OBs for those commands he controls.”  In standard WW Desert and the Balkans Scenario-based games, the Balkan map group overlaps the WD map group, but in the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario, BF map 15B (used for the Assault on Crete Segment) goes underneath the WD map group.  Map 20A goes over map 19A, and map 21A goes over map 20A.  Whatever you do, do not use the defective and misprinted NE maps 22A & 32 that also have the tell-tale printer’s reference mark hexes:  defective map 22A has this printer’s indicator at 2728 and defective map 32 has this printer’s indicator at 1624.
  • Careful players of the new Scenario should note conditions on the NE map group indicated under the Starting Conditions section of WW Rule 41B3-War in the Desert Campaign.  These NE map group conditions are used in the WW Middle East Campaign Scenario. The map conditions indicated for the Enter Rommel-II (ER-II) WD map group are listed under the Starting Conditions of the Western Desert Campaign (see Rule 41B1).  Also note that the Allied player begins the new Scenario controlling all hexes in Kuwait and Iraq.
  • In the new Scenario, the Iraqi coup automatically occurs in the Apr I 41 Axis Initial Phase, at step 13.  This is done to channel the shortened 1941 ME Scenario into a kind of “historical game” for Europa play, at least in terms of the Iraqi coup date and in conjunction with the ER-II at-start set-up in the Western Desert play.  Using the Apr I 41 Axis turn as the date of the Iraqi coup, then the WitD Allied OB’s Iraqi Coup Reaction Forces Conditional Reinforcements (found at p. 5 of the WitD Allied OB booklet) begin to appear on the Apr II 41 Allied turn (Coup Turn 2).  Proceeding then, May I 41 = Coup Turn 3, which includes the 2-1-10* Mot Inf X Hab Conversion (along with a new Allied unit tentatively introduced in the new Scenario, the Trans-Jordanian 1-10 mot Cav III AL [Arab Legion]) and the Allied NE Command Arrivals, via the Persian Gulf to the Iraqi port of Basra; Jun I 41 = Coup Turn 5; Jun II 41 = Coup Turn 6; and Jul I 41 = Coup Turn 7.
  • We strive to remember Rule 38B2-Habbaniya/Shaibah Airbase Guards, whereby each of the two British Colonial 0-1-4 Static IIs, 1AS & 2AS, are in “in general supply if it is in or can trace an overland-element of supply line to either Habbaniya (22A:2828) or Shaibah (22A:4314), and the hex to which it traces supply has never been enemy owned.”  We assume “enemy owned” means either by an Axis unit or an Iraqi coup unit.
  • Per Rule 38J4-[Iraqi] Coup, “except for hexes already occupied by Allied units [eg., in our case Habbaniya and Shaibah], Iraqi territory is no longer Allied-owned and is treated as being Axis-owned [after the Iraqi Coup].  …  However, … the Allied player may use the Iraqi[-owned]  port of Basra (22A:4313) so long as it is unsecured.  The port of Basra is unsecured until the first time an Iraqi unit enters its hex.”  This rule allows the Allied player to conveniently land his initial WitD Allied OB Conditional Reinforcements at Basra, in our case in the naval movement segment of the Apr II 41 Allied M. Phase.  Evidently, at the moment of the said Allied unit’s completed disembarkation, Basra forthwith becomes Allied-owned, per the meaning of Advanced Rule 5B3-Ownership of Cities, Ports, and Airbases.  Immediately after that, per Rule 12C1a-Standard Supply Terminals, the major port of Basra may be opened as an Allied standard supply terminal, and “from the start of the next player turn [in our case, the subsequent Apr II 41 Axis player turn], the port is a standard supply terminal for the side that opened it.”  At this point, the Allied major port hex of Basra apparently now has an intrinsic flack factor of 1, per the Intrinsic Light AA Chart.  Advanced Rule 5B3 is currently a recommended Advanced Rule for the new Scenario, as is also Advanced Rule 5B4-Half RE Units.
  • Rule 23I-Out of Supply Airbases is recommended in the new scenario, and affects play in the NE map groups.  Also (new) Optional Rule 23J-Axis Ops from Aegean Islands should be utilized, I think.  It is due to this new Optional Rule 23J that gsp’s are introduced as part of the conditional reinforcements in the new Scenario’s revisions of the WW Optional Axis Near East Forces OB, found in the WW OB booklet.  For the Axis supply capabilities in the Dodecanese after the Axis player ceases operations in the Balkans (Rule 3E5), see Rule 12C2a-Axis Ports.
  • Quite importantly, I think, WW Optional Rule 38J7-Iraqi Armor is currently strongly recommended for use in the new Scenario.  This stipulates the Iraqi light armor brigade “…as having neutral AECA/AECD (instead of full AECA/half AECD).”  On the other hand, I currently see no purpose of using WW Optional Rule 38J8-The Anglo-Iraqi Treaty, considering the conditions of the new Scenario mentioned above, what with the Mar II 41 Axis turn start date and the Iraqi Coup automatically occurring on the Apr I 41 Axis turn.
  • WW Optional Rule 38J8-The Anglo-Iraqi Treaty doesn’t seem to be applicable in the new Scenario, with its Mar II 41 Axis turn at-start date and the Iraqi Coup automatically occurring in the Apr I 41 Axis I. Phase.  In any event, there are no Allied ME ground units particularly appealing to be sent to pre-Coup Iraq in the short period of opportunity between the Mar II 41 Axis at-start date and the end of the Apr I 41 Allied turn, say by naval transport via the Aden Off-Map Holding Box and a final disembarkation at Basra, or by the overland Mesopotamian desert road trek from Palestine eastwards across Trans-Jordan and Iraq.  I say “Allied ground units” because, at least to me, a careful read of the first sentence of the last paragraph of Optional Rule 38J8 seems to indicate that only additional Allied ground units, and not air units, signifies a violation of the Treaty, thereby kicking in the +2 Dice Roll Modifier possibly used in conjunction with the Iraqi Coup Table, which isn’t used in the new Scenario, anyway.  And so, an Allied air unit, such as the British Glad air unit, prior to the Iraqi coup on the Apr I 41 Axis I. Phase, might possibly do a transit across pre-Coup Iraq to Habbaniya (22A:2828), doing even a necessary in-flight air transfer leg basing at either Iraqi Rutbah (21A:5023) or the Iraqi reference city of Ramadi (22A:2830) without violating the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty.  But just in case a resourceful and determined Allied player found a suitable Allied ME Command ground unit to say, sea transport to pre-Coup Iraqi Basra, via the Aden Off-Map Holding Box, then a fitting new Scenario replacement to the irrelevant treaty violation penalty of Optional Rule 38J8 as written might be a -1 Dice Roll Modifier to the Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse Table (Opt. Rule 38J5) “if an Allied ground unit other than the Habbaniya/Shaibah airbase guard units (Rule38B2) was in Iraq in an Axis I. Phase prior to the Iraqi Coup.”
  • There might be a +1 Dice Roll Modifier to the Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse Table on the immediate Axis turn I. Phase (only) dice roll using the Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse Table “if the Allied 0-8 Marine Cmdo II ME unit (only) has seized either of the bridge hex-sides (from 22A: 2826&2926) at the Baghdad partial full city hex (22A:2825) on the prior Allied turn (only).”
  • Optional Rule 38J5-Variable [Iraqi] Coup Collapse/Surrender is strongly recommended in the new Scenario, along with the important WW Chart Errata indicated in Wavell’s War Errata-28 October 2005 addendum, which changes the flawed wording at the critical +5 Dice Roll Modifier of the Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse Table.  When the Iraqi Coup collapses and Iraq surrenders, then by Optional Rule 38J5 and per the corollary stipulation found at 38J4b, “Iraqi territory, except any hexes occupied by Axis ground or air units or in uncontested ZOCs of Axis units, becomes Allied-owned.”
  • Axis 1941 Near East intriguers and strategists should note the -1 Dice Roll Modifier for “an Axis air unit in Iraq” and another -1 Modifier “if there is at least 1 RE of German units in Iraq.”  This would be for the dice roll using the Variable Iraq Coup Collapse Table.

Standard WW Vichy French Levant Order of Battle

  • This would be the new Scenario’s standard Vichy French Levant set-up, based on the WitD Neutral Nations OB for the French Levant.

Initial Forces, Mar II 41 Axis player turn

Initial Conditions.

Rail Capacity: Levant rail net: 4.

Supply Terminals: Beyrouth (20A:4207) and Damas (20A:4505).

Steps of Attack Supply: 1 step each at Beyrouth (20A:4207) and Damas (20A:4505).  [the second step of attack supply at Beyrouth is from Rathe’s article; see below]

Resource points:  2 resource points each at Beyrouth (20A:4207) and Damas (20A:4505), for a grand total of 2. [from the WitD Neutral Nations OB booklet, p. 14]

SMPs: 5. [from the WW OB booklet, at p. 32, and also Rathe’s article; see below]

Intrinsic AA: 1 point per dot and major city hex in the Vichy French Levant. [per the WW Intrinsic Light AA Summary]

Accumulated Replacements: None.

Airfields: Place a 1-cap permanent airstrip at Rayak (20A:4306).  [based on Watson’s “Syria: Operation Exporter” Europa battle scenario; but he uses a 3-cap temporary airfield.  Per WitD, there are no airfields in the Vichy French Levant.]

Note: The Vichy French Levant at-start fort at 20A:4505, indicated in the WitD Neutrals OB and F. Watson’s “Syria: Operation Exporter” Europa battle scenario, is tentatively omitted here, per Rathe’s advice found on p. 44 of his article.

Vichy French [aka, the standard Vichy French Levant Set-Up, per the WitD Neutrals OB booklet]:

Alep (21A:3231):
1 x 3-2-6* Inf III                               6 LE (LE)
1 x 0-1-5 Const X                             LEV (Col)

Tripoli (20A:4005):
Railhead marker

  • Per WW Rule 41B1a-Western Desert Campaign Starting Conditions, “the transportation line from Haifa to Tripoli (20A:4005) is a road, not a railroad.” This stipulation is used in the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario.

1 x 3-6 Inf III                                    24 MC (Col)

Damas (20A:4505):
one step of attack supply [eg., Initial Forces]
one resource point [eg., Initial Forces]
2 x 1-6* Lt Arm II                            6 C A, 7 CA (Afr)

Beyrouth (20A:4207):
one step of attack supply [eg., Initial Forces]
one resource point [eg., Initial Forces]

Anywhere in the Levant:
3 x 1-8 Cav III                                   1 SM, 4 ST, 8 SA (Afr)

Within two hexes of the Palestine/Lebanon border:
2 x 2-6* Inf III                                  22 TA, 29 TA (Afr)

Within two hexes of the Transjordan/Syria border:
1 x 2-6* Inf III                                  7 TS (Col)
1 x 1-6* Inf III                                   16 TT (Afr)

Any airbase in the Levant:
1 x D520  6F5  0/11  [Conversion, on Mar I 41]

Vichy French Levant Reinforcements and Replacements for the standard Vichy French Levant Set-Up:

On the Axis turn following the Allied invasion of the Levant (historical: Jun II 41):  

Conditional Mobilization Turn 1 (based on the WitD Neutrals OB, p.17):     

Available in the Mainland Europe Off-Map Holding Box:
1 x LeO451  3B5  2-5/25
1 ARP

On the 2nd Axis turn following the Allied invasion of the Levant (historical: Jul 1 41):

Conditional Mobilization Turn 2 (Based on WitD Neutrals OB, pp. 16 &17).

Conditional Mobilization Air Cycles.

Available in the Mainland Europe Off-Map Holding Box:
1 ARP [its possibility may be implied in the WitD Neutrals OB; evidently per “Syria” only, but Watson apparently shows it Arriving in the Levant]

Replacement:

Available in the Mainland Europe Off-Map Holding Box:
1 Inf RP [eg., a Vichy French inf RP; per “Syria” only]

On the 3rd Axis turn following the Allied invasion of the Levant (historical: Jul II 41):

In the Axis Initial Phase, place at any one clear or rough terrain hexside of the following Axis controlled hexes, if in general supply: 20A:4308, 20A:4208 (Beyrouth), 20A4307 (Rayak), 20A:4305, 20A:4405, 20A:4406, or 20A:4505 (Damas):
1 x Unimproved Fortified Hexside  [this comes from Rathe’s article; see below]

On Subsequent Conditional Mobilization Air Cycles (hypothetical historical:  Sep I 41, Nov I 41, etc.):

Conditional Mobilization Air Cycles (Based on WitD Neutrals OB, pp. 16 &17).

Available in the Mainland Europe Off-Map Holding Box:
1 ARP [per Air Cycle]

If the Levant surrenders to the Allies: Withdraw from the Levant in the following Axis Initial Phase:

Withdraw:
1 x LeO451  3B5  2-5/25

Commentary Regarding Some of the WW Rules Related to the Vichy French Levant in the New Scenario:

Per Rule 38V3a-Axis Privileges in the Levant, “The Allied player loses one victory port at the end of each game turn that the Axis has privileges in the Levant and the Levant has not surrendered to the Allies.”  This reading is amended by the Wavell’s War Errata-28 October 2005.  Also, per Rule 38V3a, in the new Scenario the Axis player may begin to roll for Axis privileges in the Levant, using the Vichy Levant Table, at step 5 of the Apr I 41 Axis I. Phase.  This is assuming that the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario is not being used to play the WW Alternate History and Variant (AH&V) D-Axis Use of Tunisia, found at p. 13 of the WW Scenarios & Appendices booklet.  It appears that the new Scenario would be an excellent platform to experiment with this Variant in the 1941 time frame.  Finally, in conjunction with Rule 38V3a, in the new Scenario, an Axis Intervention in Iraq may be declared by the Axis player in the April II 41 Axis turn I. Phase, at step 5 (only), immediately prior to a dice roll on the Vichy Levant Table for Axis Privileges in the Levant.

In the new Scenario, beginning on the Apr I 41 Axis turn the Axis player may try to gain Axis privileges in the Vichy French Levant for the first time, starting in the I. Phase at step 5.  This coincides with the bullet text indicated in the WitD Axis OB for the Apr I 41 Axis turn.  The WitD Axis OB is used as a basis for the new Scenario.  Also, per WW Rule 38V3a-Axis Privileges [in the Levant], “The Axis player may receive special privileges in the Levant through the Vichy Levant Table … [i]f the Axis player has not violated the neutrality of any Vichy region [and beginning on] [a]ny turn starting from the turn that Germany intervenes in the Balkans (Apr I 41 if the Southeast Command is not under Axis player control) through the end of 1941.  [Also, the Axis player may roll on the Vichy Levant Table] … [a]ny turn at all if the Allied player has violated the neutrality of the Levant and the Vichy forces in the Levant have not surrendered ….”

It appears that at least in WW ME-based Scenarios, the Allied player may invade the neutral Vichy French Levant at any time.  Following an Allied invasion of a neutral Vichy French Levant, per the provisions of Rules 38Va & b-Allied Invasion, the Axis player is restricted in any force intervention into the French colony, meaning that although the Axis player subsequently gains control of the Vichy forces in the Levant after an Allied invasion, “… the Axis player may not operate any non-Vichy Axis forces in the Levant except as allowed by the Vichy Levant Table.”

Per WW Rule 38V1, the Vichy French Levant operational area would be the Levant and adjacent sea zones.  No Vichy French Levant ground unit may leave the Levant or attack into hexes outside the borders of the Levant.  The French LeO451 3B5 2-5/25 air unit may not conduct harassment air missions or other bombing air missions to land hex targets outside the Levant.  It may conduct naval patrol air missions to Mediterranean Sea hexes, and in the new Scenario may also conduct Naval Harassment air missions.  When utilizing recommended WW Optional Rule 23E3-Bombers as Transports, it may take on as cargo only Vichy French-specific items and may never carry Axis-specific cargo items.

WW Optional Rule 38V3f-Variable Levant Surrender to Allies is recommended for use in the new Scenario, which calls for the use of the Variable Levant Surrender Table, found on Game Play Chart 5.  This Optional Rule and the Variable Levant Surrender Table applies only to the surrender of the Levant to the Allies.  In the new Scenario the following + dice roll Modifier is added:  +1 for every 5 Allied-owned Levant cities except for Beyrouth, Damas, and Alep, for a possible total of 3.

After the Vichy French Levant surrenders to the Allied player per the Variable Levant Surrender Table, then per the corollary Vichy Levant surrender stipulation indicated at Rule 38V3d-Surrender, “all Vichy ground and air units in the Levant are removed from play; these forces are considered to be eliminated.”  But evidently hex ownership in the French Levant is determined strictly by WW Rule 4B-[Hex] Ownership, meaning that there could be Axis-owned cities and land hexes in the French Levant after the Vichy French Levant surrender per Optional Rule 38V3f.

Special Vichy French Levant Variant At-Start Set-Up for the Scenario, Based on Jean-Guy Rathe’s TEM#81 Article:

  • The following special Vichy French Levant variant at-start set-up is based on one of the two Vichy French Levant OBs found in Jean-Guy Rathe’s excellent article “Troupes Francaises du Levant Order of Battle (Land), June 1941,” (TFL) published in TEM#81.  Players will need a copy of this article to make the required new Vichy French Levant counters and to have some of the necessary rules text and dice roll tables for playing with them, supplemented by the minor changes and finishing done for the new Scenario and found in the Scenario’s draft Rules and Neutrals draft OB.  His other variant is intended to be scrutinized and eventually worked into the new Scenario.  The variant is not as hard to grasp as it may appear, if one makes the new Vichy French units and then follows the set-up instructions, step by step.

Initial Conditions.

Standard Supply Terminals: Damas (20A:4505/19A4701) and Beyrouth (20A:4207).

Steps of attack supply: 1 step each at Damas and Beyrouth. [both Vichy French specific]

SMPs: 5

Rail Capacity, Levant Rail net: 4 (+1 for BANP railroad). [See Rathe’s The BANP Railroad supplement for this, found at p. 47 of his TEM#81 article.]

Airfields: a 1-cap permanent airstrip at Rayak (20A:4306) [based on Watson’s “Syria: Operation Exporter” Europa battle scenario; but he uses a 3-cap temporary airfield]

Resource points:  2 resource points each at Beyrouth (20A:4207) and Damas (20A:4505), for a grand total of 2. [from the WitD Neutral Nations OB booklet, p. 14]

Intrinsic AA: Per the WW Intrinsic Light AA Summary, 1 point per dot and major city hex in the Levant.

Note: The Vichy French Levant at-start fort at 20A:4505, indicated in the WitD Neutrals OB and F. Watson’s “Syria: Operation Exporter” Europa battle scenario, has been omitted, per Rathe’s advice found on p. 44 of his article.

Initial Forces Set-Up Cross-Reference Notations for the TFL Vichy French Levant forces:

  • The notation “TFL” refers to the TEM#81 article by Jean-Guy Rathe entitled “Troupes Francaises du Levant Order of Battle (Land), June 1941”.
  • The notation “Syria” refers to the TEM#81 Europa Battle Scenario article by Frank Watson entitled “Syria, Operation Exporter: June-July 1941”.
  • The “WW” reference is for the WW Western Desert Scenario Neutral Nations OB for Vichy Levant forces found only on the WD map group map 19A; and so this particular OB deliberately omits those Vichy French Levant forces found on the NE map group maps 20A and 21A, which are included in the WW Middle East Scenario.
  • The “WitD” reference is for the WitD Neutral Nations OB booklet.
  • The “Scenario” references are for the WW 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario project, found in either its Neutral draft OB or draft Rules texts.
  • Coloring has been done to the at-start Vichy French Levant unit designations, so as to make it easier for players to better make a listing of the particular at-start units.  This is because there are so many particulars for the at-start set-up Troupes Speciales (TS) units.  And so, in the at-start set-up OB below, the regular Vichy French units are designated in blue, and the Troupes Speciales units are designated in burnt orange.  In this manner an accurate accounting of the at-start Vichy French Levant units can better be made, I hope.
  • The draft OB instructions below are certainly intended to closely coincide with the finished Scenario product Vichy French Levant Variable OB, pending any further input.

Vichy French [the Special Vichy French Levant Variant At-Start Set-Up, Based on Jean-Guy Rathe’s TEM#81 Article]:

Within 2 hexes of the Palestine/Lebanon border:

1 x 2-6* Inf III 22 TA (Afr) [per “Syria,” WitD, WW, & TFL]

1 x 2-6* Inf III 29 TA (Afr) [per “Syria,” WitD, WW, & TFL]

1 x C-8 Cav III Ligne (TS) CL = 4 [new TS unit per TFL. After the Allied invasion it can move freely.]

Within 2 hexes of the Transjordan/Syria border:

1 x 1-2-6* Inf III 16 TT (Afr) [revised unit per TFL. “Syria,” WitD, and WW indicate it as a 1-6* inf III.]

1 x 2-6* Inf III 17 TS (Col) [revised unit per TFL. “Syria,” WitD, and WW indicate it as a 2-6* inf III.]

Damas (20A:4505):

Standard Supply Terminal marker [Vichy French Levant specific]

1 x 2-1-6* Lt Arm III 6 CdA (Afr) [revised unit per TFL. “Syria,” WitD, and WW indicate it as a 1-6* lt arm II.]

1 x 2-1-6* Lt Arm III 7 CA (Afr) [revised unit per TFL. “Syria,” WitD, and WW indicate it as a 1-6* lt arm II.]

1 x 1-6 Inf II V/1 TM (Afr) [new unit per TFL. After the Allied invasion it can move freely.]

  • The new Scenario draft OB placement appears to correspond w/ his article. Per Rathe’s Vichy French Levant OB (Land) supplement, which is included in his TEM#81 article, this unit is an Apr II 41 Conversion of an earlier 2-6 Inf III 10 NA (Afr) unit not found in the WitD Vichy French Levant OB. For the time being, I have not implemented his conversion into the new Scenario, which admittedly begins on the Mar II 41 Axis turn. But perhaps additional input will change this.

1 x A-8 Cav III Tcher (TS) CL = 5 [new TS unit per TFL. After the Allied invasion it can move freely.]

One step of attack supply [eg., Initial Forces; per WitD/WW and TFL; required set-up here per the Scenario draft OB; Vichy French specific]

One resource point [eg., Initial Forces; per WitD/WW and TFL; required set-up here per the Scenario draft OB; Vichy French specific]

Beyrouth (20A:4207):
Standard Supply Terminal marker [Vichy French Levant specific]

At least one permitted Vichy French Levant unit must be placed at-start at Beyrouth. This unit may move freely after the Allied invasion, although the particular unit may still have other operational restrictions.

One step of attack supply [eg., Initial forces; This is per TFL]

  • This second step of Vichy French attack supply is not indicated in “Syria,” WitD, or WW. Vichy French specific. But I currently believe that it is quite necessary.

one resource point [eg., Initial Forces; per WitD/WW and TFL; required set-up here per the Scenario draft OB; Vichy French specific]

Tripoli (20A:4005):
Railhead marker

  • Per WW Rule 41B1a-Western Desert Campaign Starting Conditions, “the transportation line from Haifa to Tripoli (20A:4005) is a road, not a railroad.” This stipulation is used in the 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario.

1 x 3-6* Inf III 24 MC (Col)  [per “Syria,” WitD, and TFL]

Alep (21A:3231):
1 x 0-1-5 Cons X Lev (Col)  [per “Syria,” WitD, and TFL]
1 x 4-3-6* Inf III 6 LE (LE) [revised unit per TFL. “Syria” and WitD indicate it as a 3-2-6* inf III.]
1 x C-8 Cav III NSyr (TS) CL = 4 [new TS unit per TFL. After the Allied invasion it can move freely.]

Lattique (20A:3405):
At least one permitted Vichy French Levant ground unit must be placed at-start at Lattique. This unit may move freely after the Allied invasion, although the particular unit may still have other operational restrictions.  [I may drop the at-start placement requirement at Lattique.]

Hassetche (21A:3218):
1 x D-8 Cav III Djez (TS) CL = 3 [new TS unit per TFL.]

  • The Scenario draft OB places this unit at-start at Hassetche, and this appears to correspond w/ his article. In the Scenario draft OB it is a required at-start unit at Hassetche and must remain at Hassetche unless it is moved out of the hex by movement after combat in a C. Phase, after which it may move freely. The reason for the movement restriction is that evidently the historical Allied push into the Vichy French Levant from NW Iraq encountered definite although admittedly brief resistance at Hassetche, and that resistance was likely due to this unit.

Deir ez Zoir (21A:3922):
At least one permitted Vichy French Levant ground unit must be placed at-start at Dier ez Zoir. It may move freely after the Allied invasion.

Anywhere in the Levant:
1 x 1-8 Cav III 1 SM (Afr) [per “Syria,” WitD, WW and TFL]
1 x 1-8 Cav III 2 MS (Afr) [new unit per TFL. Rathe appears to substitute it for one of the three 1-8 cav IIIs in WitD/WW, but he evidently omits the third 1-8 cav III indicated in the “Syria,” WitD, and WW OBs.]

Any airbase in the Levant:
1 x D 520 6F5 0/11 [This is a Mar I 41 Axis turn conversion of the original Fr MS   406 4F4 0/8 air unit.]

Special Considerations Regarding the TFL At-Start Troupes Speciales (TS) units:

  • A-8 Mot Cav III Lev (TS)  CL = 4:  This new unit, evidently corresponding w/ TFL, must be placed at-start at either Damas, Palmyre, or Deir ez Zoir.  It may move freely after the Allied invasion.
  • A-5 Inf III 1 Lev (TS)  CL = 4:  This new unit’s (evidently corresponding w/ TFL) operational area is restricted to the Syrian hex area north of the Lebanon border and on or west of the major rail line going from Tripoli-Homs-Hama-Alep-Turkish border, in Syria. It must begin the game placed in this operational area, in any city hex. This restriction is lifted if it is pushed/moved out of its operational area due to movement after Combat in a C. Phase.
  • At the start of the Scenario two TS units must be considered permanently Removed. One of these Removed units must be the D-8 Cav III PTch  CL = 5, which is evidently always “Removed” the “1st turn of invasion,” per Rathe’s article, p. 44. The other required Removed unit must be either the A-8 Cav III Tcher, or the A-8 Cav III Ligne, or the A-5 Inf III 1 Lev, or the B-5 Inf III 2 Lev, or the B-5 Inf III 3 Lev, or the C-8 Cav III NSyr, or the C-8 Cav III Druze.
  • At the start of the Scenario at least two TS units must be scrapped. The two initially scrapped TS units must be either the A-8 Cav III Tcher, or the A-8 Cav III Ligne, or the A-5 Inf III 1 Lev, or the B-5 Inf III 2 Lev, or the B-5 Inf III 3 Lev, or the C-8 Cav III NSyr, or the C-8 III Druze. Scrapping these two units fetch the Axis player a total of .5 TS inf RPs (.25 for each one), which are stored at Damas, at the start of the Scenario after the required scrapping.  This tentatively required TS removing and scrapping is done to deliberately reduce the number of additional TS units that have been introduced into the Vichy French Levant OB.  But the TS scrapping provides the Axis player an available store of TS inf RPs with which he can “rally” (eg., bring back into play, by the expenditure of .25 TS inf RPs per each Dispersed unit) TS units that have been placed into one of the three Levant territory boxes (eg., the Liban, Nord-Syrie, or Sud-Syrie Territory Boxes) due to Cohesion Table die rolls done in Combat Phases where there are TS units either attacking or defending.
  • If the C-8 Cav III Druze (TS)  CL = 3 is neither initially Removed nor scrapped, it must be placed at-start at Soueida (20A:4905). After the Allied invasion it may move freely.
  • If the B-5 Inf III 2 Lev  CL = 3 is neither initially Removed nor scrapped, it must be placed at-start at either Damas or Deir ez Zoir. It may move freely after the Allied invasion.
  • If the B-5 Inf III 3 Lev (TS) CL = 4 is neither initially Removed nor scrapped, it must be placed at-start at any city hex in Lebanon. After the Allied invasion its operational area is Lebanon. This restriction is lifted if it is pushed/moved out of its operational area due to movement after Combat in a C. Phase.
  • Use the Troupes Speciales Rules found on pp. 44-45 of Rathe’s TEM#81 article.  Of specific importance are the CL (Cohesion Level) Modifications (cumulative) Chart, the Cohesion Table Chart, the Other Rules section, the BANP Railroad section, and the Iraq Petroleum Company [IPC] Pipeline section.  The last section is needed to determine the three Levant territory boxes corresponding geographical areas.

May II 41 Axis EOT dispositions: Vichy Levant

May II 41 Axis EOT dispositions: Vichy Levant

Vichy French Levant Reinforcements and Replacements pertaining to Jean-Guy Rathe’s article:

On the 1st Allied Turn of Invasion (historical: Jun I 41 Allied turn):

Modify, during the Allied Initial Phase:

1 x A-8 Cav III  Tcher (TS)  CL = 4 [from its initial CL = 5]

On the Axis turn following the Allied invasion of the Levant (historical: Jun II 41 Axis turn):

Conditional Mobilization Turn 1 [based on WitD, at p. 17; also “Syria”]

Available in the Mainland Europe Off-Map Holding Box:

1 x LeO451 3B5 2-5/25

1 ARP

On the 2nd Axis turn following the Allied invasion of the Levant (historical: Jul I 41):

Conditional Mobilization Turn 2.

Conditional Mobilization Air Cycles.

Available in the Mainland Europe Off-Map Holding Box:

1 ARP [its possibility may be implied in the WitD Neutrals OB; evidently per “Syria” only, but Watson apparently shows it Arriving in the Levant]

Replacements:

Available in the Mainland Europe Off-Map Holding Box:

1 Inf RP [eg., a Vichy French inf RP; per “Syria”]

Reinforcement:

Place in Damas (20A:4505), in the Axis Initial Phase

1 x resource point [per TFL]

On the 3rd Axis turn following the Allied invasion of the Levant (historical: Jul II 41):

In the Axis Initial Phase, place at any one clear or rough terrain hexside of the following Axis controlled hexes, if in general supply: 20A:4308, 20A:4208 (Beyrouth), 20A4307 (Rayak), 20A:4305, 20A:4405, 20A:4406, or 20A:4505 (Damas):

1 x Unimproved Fortified Hexside [per TFL]

On Subsequent Conditional Mobilization Air Cycles (hypothetical historical:  Sep I 41, Nov I 41, etc.):

Conditional Mobilization Air Cycles (Based on WitD Neutrals OB, pp. 16 &17).

Available in the Mainland Europe Off-Map Holding Box:

1 ARP [per Air Cycle]

On the 4th Axis turn following the Allied invasion of the Levant (historical: Aug I 41):

Place in Beyrouth (20A:4207) [this appears to be a local scrape-up contingent, per Rathe’s article]:

1 x French Colonial Inf RP

August I 41:

In the Axis initial phase, place in any Axis controlled dot or partial city hex in the Vichy French Levant, if Damas (20A:4505) and Beyrouth (20A:20A:4207) are still in Axis control and have never been Allied owned:

1 x C-10 Recon II  AMD (TS)  CL = 5 [per Rathe’s article, but he shows it as a regular and not a conditional reinforcement]

  • Note:  If the Vichy French Levant is not yet invaded by the Allies, this unit appears as a regular reinforcement at Deir ez Zoir (20A:3922), per Rathe’s article.

If the Levant surrenders to the Allies: Withdraw from the Levant in the following Axis Initial Phase:

Withdraw:
1 x LeO451  3B5  2-5/25

Iran

Iran Order of Battle

Initial Forces, Mar II 41 Axis player turn

Initial Conditions.

Capital: Tehran (32:1512).
Rail Capacity: Iranian rail net: 8 REs. Note: The Iranian rail net has not been renovated.
No intrinsic AA.

Iranian Armed Forces:

Tabriz (32:0229):
1 x 1-6* Inf XX                                 3 [north of the D weather line, therefore out of play, per Rule 38I3]

Rizaieh (21A:2902):
1 x 1-6* Inf XX                                 4 [north of the D weather line, therefore out of play, per Rule 38I3]

Resht (32:0718):
1 x 0-1-6 Inf X                                 Resht [north of the D weather line, therefore out of play, per Rule 38I3]

Senna (32:1627):
1 x 1-6* Inf XX                                 5 [north of the D weather line, therefore out of play, per Rule 38I3]

Gurgan (32:0701):
1 x 1-6* Inf XX                                 11  [Conversion, on Jun I 40; also, north of the D weather line, therefore out of play, per Rule 38I3]

Tehran (32:1512):
1 x pos hv AA     AA=1 [technically in play, but probably designated as guarding the capital, per Rule 38I3]
2 x 1-2-6 Inf XX                               1,2 [technically in play, but probably designated as guarding the capital, per Rule 38I3]
1 x Art III                                          1 [technically in play, but probably designated as guarding the capital, per Rule 38I3]
1x 1-8 Lt Arm X                               1  [Regular reinforcement on Jun I 40; technically in play, and probably the single Iranian unit designated as able to move from Tehran, per Rule 38I3]

Kermanshah (32:2127):
1 x -6* Inf XX                                   12  [Conversion, on Jun I 40; definitely in play]

  • This Iranian unit will likely be attacked by the invading Allied army via the road from Khanaquin (21A:4501/32:2133), in Iraq.  A successful Allied attack and occupation of the Kermanshah hex will help assure the minimum of 8 Allied-owned cities in Iran typically needed to clinch Iranian surrender, per Rule38I4, using the Iranian Surrender Table, found on WW Game Play Chart 8.  Included in the tally of Allied-owned cities in Iran, assuming also Kermanshah in the count, would be two Iranian point cities along the road from Khanaquin to Kermanshah, namely Karind (32:2130) and Shahabad (32:2229).

Ahwaz (22A:3810):
1 x 1-6* Inf XX                                 6 [definitely in play]

  • This unit will likely be attacked by the invading Allied army from starting point hexes in Iraq in the vicinity of Basra.  A successful Allied attack and occupation of Ahwaz will help assure the minimum of 8 Allied-owned cities in Iran typically needed to clinch Iranian surrender, per Rule 38I4, using the Iranian Surrender Table.  Included in the tally of Allied-owned cities in Iran, assuming also Ahwaz in the count, would certainly be at least the Iranian reference city of Abadan (22A:4410) and the Iranian point city Khorramshahr (22A:4311).  Both these cities are by the the Iranian-Iraqi border and within three hexes of Basra (22A:4313).  Including the three Iranian cities mentioned above in the vicinity of the Iranian city of Kermanshah, these three Iranian cities in the vicinity of Ahwaz would add to a subtotal of 6.  Utilizing an Allied c/m brigade in the SW Iranian-Iraqi border region, there would be several other unoccupied Iranian cities in this region that could be Allied-owned by the end of the exploitation phase of the first turn of of the Allied invasion of Iran.

Any airbase in Iran:

1 x Mxd 2F2 1/8 [Two possible placements of this unit would be at the Iranian reference city of Ahwaz (22A:3810) or the Iranian reference city of Dizful (22A:3311), both in SW Iran.]

Meshed (off-map):
1 x 1-7* Mtn XX                                 7 [off-map]

Isfahan (off-map):
1 x 0-1-6 Inf X                                 Isf [off-map]

Shiraz (off-map):
1 x 1-6* Inf XX                                 8 [off-map]

Kerman (off-map):
1 x 1-6* Inf XX                                 10  [Conversion, on Jun I 40; off-map]

Zahidan (off-map):
1 x 1-6* Inf XX                                 9 [off-map]

Regular Reinforcements: 

Jun I 41

Iran:

Convert: 1 x 0-1-6 Inf X Isf to:

1 x 1-6* Inf XX                                 13 [at-start at Isfahan (off-map)]

Commentary of Some of the WW Rules Related to the Iran Campaign in the New Scenario:

Per WW Rule 38I3-Allied Invasion [of Iran], the Allied player “may not invade Iran before Aug I 41.  He loses 3 victory points (VPs, Rule 42B) during each Allied initial phase from Oct I 41 on if he has not invaded Iran.  He loses 1 VP during each Allied initial phase if he has invaded Iran, but not yet forced its surrender.”

Both players ought to be aware of the at-start map conditions for the Near East map group indicated at Rule 41B3, in particular around the Basra zone, at the Iraq-Iran borderline hexes along the Shatt al Arab.  Appendix G-Transportation Lines, found in the WW Scenarios & Appendies booklet helps some.  I take these texts to mean that in 1941 there is no bridge at all at the major river hex side at 22A:4112/22A:4212.  The aforementioned Appendix G says something about “only a rail ferry crossed the Shatt al Arab until mid-1943,” but it is unclear precisely where this rail ferry would cross at, if the transportation line “does not exist.”  I take these two text wordings to mean that in 1941/42 there is absolutely nothing at the major river hex side at 22A:4112/22A:4212.  But then the whole discussion opens up the status of the major river hex side at 22A:4411/22A:4410 (Abadan).  This is also where a road apparently crosses the Shatt al Arab, according to Map 22A.  The last Middle East Scenario-based game I played I treated the major river hex side at 22A:4411/22A:4410 (Abadan) as an unbridged major river hex side with a road ending at each hex side, at the river.  Both hexes are swamp hexes.  I presently take this to mean that it takes +2 MPs, per the GE TEC, to cross at unbridged hex side 22A:4411/22A:4410 (Abadan), +1 for a road hex-to-road hex movement (with the roads in each swamp hex ending at the major river hex side, thereby negating the swamp hex movement effects), for a total of 3 MPs.  To me, the best solution is to treat the hex side at 22A:4411/22A:4410 (Abadan) as a special-case Narrow Straits Ferries, per Rule 37A2, even though it does not have the specific map symbol.  Treating it as such exquisitely solves a number of important WW Rules issues arising in this geographical zone, using the last sentence of Rule 37A2.  Otherwise you will likely have nothing but trouble and regret over the issues here, I think.

Axis 1941 Near East intriguers and strategists should note the -2 Dice Roll Modifier “for each RE of German and Italian units in Iran” when the Allied player rolls on the Iranian Surrender Table, per Rule 38I4, in the Axis I. Phase after the Allied invasion of Iran.

Turkish Expeditionary Force:

  • Use the Turkish Expeditionary force OB found in the WitD Neutrals OB, p.3.

Egyptian Order of Battle

Initial Forces, March II 41 Axis player turn (both Scenarios).

Use the Egyptian OB found in the WitD Neutrals OB, p 2. There are no Egyptian reinforcements.

MAY I 1937

Narrative

This turn has thrown up some interesting tactical dilemmas for the Nationalist forces so instead of the usual Narrative I thought it may be of interest to examine these. (Spoiler alert – if you want to see this turn’s actions unfold in detail read the Nationalists turn details below first)

The turn starts with a Nationalist force surrounded immediately NE of Alcazar de San Juan (the “Alcazar pocket”).  The surrounding force is very strong and cannot be attacked at sufficient odds to guarantee the force can be relieved from the outside due to the narrow frontage of attack (one hex).  In the next hex to the south the Republicans are equally strong.  it is not possible to break out the surrounded troops this turn.

The first consideration therefore is supply.

The surrounded troops comprise the full strength 7-6 13th Nationalist infantry division, the 1-8 light tank Bab, the 4-3-8 artillery Leg, a transport counter (CTV) and the KL 1-10 lt tk Dro.  Total strength 12 factors with 1/7th AECD from the light tanks. Total 5 REs the Transport counter.

Each Supply centre can provide 3 GSPs but the Mxd Transport plane at Cordoba can deliver 4 GSPs in an Airdrop. Therefore 3 GSPs are generated at Cordoba with a fourth at the nearest alternative, Seville. This GSP then uses SMPs to move to Cordoba (with a Resource point hitching a lift – total 1.25 REs well within the 3RE load capacity).  The Alcazr pocket is 3 hexes away from the nearest Republican fighter at Toledo so outside the D371’s Patrol Zone/Intercept range. There is no scatter or chance of loss so all 4 GSPs are delivered to the hex. However because supply judgement is after GSP creation these supplies cannot put the pocket in supply for any attack this turn. However they will be available to defence in the Republicans next player turn and any attack in the Nationalists May II turn should they survive that long.

The southern ring surrounding the pocket is solid.  However the Republicans have only been able to screen the North and West sides of the pocket with 2-6* regiments.  The Republican MLR is weak to the north west of the pocket where single or at most doubled unsupported regiments hold the line of rough and wooded/rough ground to the west of Toledo.

The Nationalists already plan to hit this weak line with 3 CTV divisions released from the fall of Seville and these are moving down the secondary rail line from Merida but will not be able to cross the hilly ground to the MLR this turn. However the Nationalists opposing the Republican pincer trapping the Alcazar pocket can slide northwest and attack the southernmost part of this weak line.

This they do so ripping a 2 hex hole in the line.

This now gives the Nationalist pocket an interesting dilemma. Do they attack West to move towards their lines or at least towards a better chance of freedom or do they sit tight and await recue.

One consideration is ZOCs.  If the infantry division stays intact either by not attacking or being selected for survival it will have a Full ZOC or reduced ZOC depending on the supply options.  If it is cadred it will have a reduced ZOC. (It will always be supplied in this case).

If the pocket stands in place it will have the following options by using the 4 REs of GSP Supply:

  1. a) Supply 7-6 inf and 4-3-6 art Leaving 11 Factors 0 AECD. Full ZOC
  2. b) Supply the 4-3-6 art and Tanks leaving 8.5 Factors -1 AECD.  Reduced ZOC

Alternatively they can muster a 2:1 (+1) attack (with air support) which gives the following possible outcomes:

  1. c) AS (33%) then either a or b
  2. d) EX (16.7%)  Cadre the 13th inf Div leaving 8 factors -2 AECD.  Partial ZOC
  3. e) EX (16.7%) eliminate the artillery leaving 9 factors -1 AECD Full ZOC
  4. f) EX (16.7%) eliminate the tanks leaving 10 factors  0 AECD (-4 VPs) Full ZOC
  5. g) HX (16.7%) d or e above
  6. h)  HX (16.7%) eliminate one of the tanks / tank unsupplied 10.5 factors 0 AECD (-2 VPs) Full ZOC
  7. i) HX (16.7%) eliminate one of the tanks / artillery unsupplied 9.5 factors  -1 AECD (-2 VPs) Full ZOC
  8. j) HX (16.7%) eliminate one of the tanks / infantry unsupplied 7.5 factors  -1 AECD (-2 VPs) .  Reduced ZOC
  9. k) DR (16.7%) options a or b with or without an advance
  10. l) DE (16.7%) as k

In the event the roll was a 3 +1 = 4 /Exchange. At first this seemed the worst option but notice that due to the supply restriction of 4 Res the final strength/ AECD range is quite small between the results.  The dilemma was between options d) or e) the Full ZOC could be an important factor in reducing the Republican options for defence and attack by making movement around the pocket much more difficult. In the end however I elected for option d) cadreing the infantry division. This has the advantages of doubling the AECD modifier for the loss of only 1 factor and saves 2 VPs (at least this turn).  As the total strength is a minimum of 8 factors in all but the foolish option j) each AECD die roll modifier is roughly equivalent to 8 Republican attack factors  (or 16 unsupplied) and given the low supply levels at the moment this seemed preferable to a higher factor count despite the loss of the  full ZOC.

The stack advances but not the Transport counter because it is needed in the exploitation phase where it picks up the GSPs and moves them to the advanced hex.  Note that the rules allow Resource items to be carried by retreating units but there is no such provision that I can find to allow them to be carried by advancing troops.

As an aside Transport counters are an anomaly somewhere between a counter and unit.  When initially encountered (one of the Africa games I think) I assumed they effectively fused with the unit being carried thus making it a CM unit which gave advantages of AECD neutrality etc for the unit carried. However closer reading suggests it is simply an aid to movement and “detaches” in the combat phase.  However in FWtBT the last line of 14.F states “for combat purposes ….is considered a Zero strength Unit”.  Now does that mean that in the combat phases it has ALL the characteristics of a unit? i.e advance capability. It is AECD neutral any way because it has no stacking value but what about the unit it is carrying?.  In the past I have assumed that the transport unit confers AECD neutrality to the unit carried but now I am wondering if this is the case in FWtBTso I have assumed that the Transport unit can advance etc with its unit but that it does not confer AECD neutrality to the unit it is carrying. (Of course in this particular instance as art is neutral anyway it is a moot point) Any other thoughts?

Having forced a passage the next consideration was whether to exploit to one or more hexes from either or both the Pocket or the MLR to, for example,  eliminate a lone unguarded Res pt but this could be the subject of a separate discussion – suffice to say these options were rejected.

Finally the SM.81 flies DAS to boost the defence factors by 1 more point.

Final result 3-6*  inf cadre, 4-3-6 art, 1-8 lt tk, 1-10 lt tk, (all supplied) transport counter, 4GSPs and 1 air factor of DAS in clear hex 3011 for a 9 factor (-2) Defence.

FWtBT No 4 May I 37

FWtBT No 4 May I 37

Nationalists turn

Weather: All Clear

Supply: Nationalist pocket at 2031 (outside San Sebastion) go U2.

Nationalist pocket at 3111 (NE of Alcazar de San Juan) are U1/Isolated. 3 GSPs generated at Cordoba. 1GSP is generated at Seville.

Reinforcements: Withdrawal of Br.19 ignored as Seville declared for Republic and this unit is in play as Republican A101.    3-4-5* inf 73 arrives supported.

Replacements: ½ SRP , ½ SRP (Col) recovered

1-6 sec 20GC, 1-8 cav 3, 1-6 infs 19,30,31, 1-5 infs 1Gran, 2Gran (Fal) , 2-6 inf 8Rif (col) all replaced.

(I have assumed that following the conversion of Fal replacements to Nat replacements both can be raised at any replacement cities which can raise either type- any dissenters?)

Naval Activity;  NT-1 transports 2-6 inf 8Rif (col) from Ceuta to Malaga and returns.

Moves: SMP load of 1Res Pt, 1GSP moves from Seville to Cordoba.

Air Activity: Mxd T air drops 4 GSPs from Cordoba  to Hex 3111.

He 51 successfully bombs airbase at Almeria

He 51 (KV) escorts Ju52g4e (KV) to bomb airbase @ 3033. I-15/t22 intercepts, bypasses and Aborts JU52g4e.

Ro.37, Mxd B, He 45 (KV) fly extended GS to 3111. Intercepted by mxd F who engages the He 45.  Both miss.  (Supporting Attack 3)

Attack 1: 3013 wooded rough (SW of Toledo)  Unsupplied 3-8 * inf 3Lit (CTV) and Unsupplied 1-8 mb B (CTV), 1-8 hvy AA Vian (CTV), 1-5 inf 2Zar (Fal) and Unsupplied 2-1-8 cav 20 (Col),  Supplied 3-2-6inf  1LE, 2-1-8 art O attack 1-8 cav 10, 1-6 mg 1 @ 9:1 (-2) = DE.  Advance all except 3Lit.

Attack 2: 3113 rough (NW of Jerez de san Juan)  Supplied 3-2-6 inf 3LE, Unsupplied 1-8 alt G (CTV), 1-8 lt 5, 1-6 inf 28, 1-6 eng ZC, 1-6 art 4L, 5-6 inf XX 11 and Supplied  3-1-2 sge art Man (CTV), 2-3-6 art 61, 6-6 inf XX 52, 2-1-8 cav 1E (Col) 2-6 infs Tdi, 3Ceu, 2Mel attack 1-6 inf 11, 1-2-6 art 3 @ 9:1 (-1) = DE.  Advance, 61 art, 28, 2Mel Tdi

Attack 3: 3011 (SE of Toledo) Trapped 7-6 inf XX 13, 1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV) 1-10 lt tk Dro (KV),  4-3-6 art Leg (transported) with Extended AS Ro 37, Mxd B, He 45 attack 2-6* inf 3 Car @ 2:1 (+1) = EX .  Loss Cadre 13th.  Advance all except transport counter.

Mech move; Transport counter picks up 4 GSPs and moves to 3011.

Air Activity: SM.81 (CTV) flies DAS to 3011

Republican Turn

Supply; “Alcazar pocket”  feeds of GSPs

Reinforcement: All divisions appear equipped. Garrison release2-3-5* inf  5  (bas) equipped from 0.5 art at Bibao

Replacements:  1.5 SRPs recovered.

2-6* infs 14Mar, 130Dom (Int) , 1-6 inf 4 replaced and form 5-6 XX15 (Int)

Replaced: 1-6 inf 12, 1-6 eng 7, 1-8 tk 10, 1-5 infs Aml, Met (An), 1-6 art 5L.

1-4 infs 6,7, 9,12  (ast)  replaced and form 2-4 o infs XX 1, 2

Moves: 1-5 inf 5 (ast), 1-6 inf 3Exp (ast) eliminated for over-stacking. (displaced by new Divns)

Air Activity: R-5, SB-2 escorted by I-16/t5, 1-15/t22 bomb Zaragoza airfield.  I-16/t5 Aborts He 51 interceptor and is Returned.   SB-2 hits,  R-5 misses.

Attack 1: 3311 clear (E of Tomelloso)  Supplied 2-1-8 tks 1,2, 2-6 inf 15AL (int), 2-6* inf 12Gar (int), unsupplied 1-2-6 art 4 and supplied  1-8 tks 1,10, 5-6 inf XX 15(Int), 2-6* inf 2Ch, 3-4-5*  inf XX 18 and unsupplied 2-3-5 inf XX 42 and 2-3-5 inf XX 16, 1-8 cav10, 2-6 inf 152c, 1-6 inf 9m 1=2=6 art 3 attack 5-6 inf XX51, 1-8 mg Ard (CTV) @ 4:1 (+1) = DH . No retreat path.  Advance 2ch, 16, 42.

Attack 2:  2802 rough (S of Calatyud)  Supplied 3-6* inf XX 24, 4-6 inf XX 34, 3-4-5* inf XX 27CH, 1-2-6* inf 24, 2-6* inf 6ch, 2-6 art 2P attack 2-3-5* inf XX Hue @ 5:1 (-1) = DH. Advance 24,34, 27CM

Gentlemen, prepare your E-Readers

Just a small update: Besides adding more pages to Ken Newall’s game report of his solitary For Whom the Bell Tolls-Report I’ve also finally found some time to add the official Italian History of World War I to the link section (thanks again to Alex for the link!), and added links to the British Official History.

What E-Readers really need now is the ability to project a map onto a screen or wall while I am reading the battle description. Else I am just gonna keep reading on a laptop with a second screen attached.

Godspeed!

The Italian Official History of World War One

The Italian Army published its official history between 1927 and 1988 – interrupted by the Second World War – under the title of “L’Esercito Italiano nella Grande Guerra 1915-1918” (“The Italian Army in the Great War 1915-1918”). The history stretches over seven volumes divided into 37 books and is accompanied by panoramic sketches, topographical maps and task orders, comprising about 17,000 pages. Of particular interest to researchers and scholars is a synthesis of combat unit diaries written during the war.

The first three volumes are availabe at the Italian Ministry of Defense’s website, unfortunately only as a page viewer and not as a PDF:

Le Forze Belligeranti – vol.I – covers belligerent forces

Le Forze Belligeranti​ – vol. I-bis

Le Operzioni del 1915 – vol. II-1 – The 1915 operations

Le Operazioni del 1915 – vol. II-2

Le Operzioni del 1916 – vol. III book 1-1 – The 1916 Operations

Le Operazioni del 1916 – vol. III book 1-2

Le Operazioni del 1916 – vol. III book 2-1

Le Operazioni del 1916 – vol. III book 2-2

Le Operazioni del 1916 – vol. III book 3-1

Le operazioni del 1916 – vol. III book 3-2

Volume IV:  The war in 1917

Volume V: The war in 1918.

Volume VI: Instructions of tactics

Volume VII: Operations outside the national territory: Albania, Macedonia and the Middle East.

APR II 1937

Narrative

Eric Tennyson Postlethwaite was born on the 5th March 1916 on the kitchen table of the two up/two down back to back stone cottage in a small mining village in south Yorkshire.  He and his three younger brothers were miners as was their father and his father before him. They had survived the Depression which had put steel in their backs and Socialist fire in their bellies. As might be deduced from Eric’s middle name his father was unusually well read for a man of his station in life and the Socialist Worker was a source of news and much debate around the Postlewaite parlour table. The struggles of their brothers in arms in Spain were a particular source of debate and as the eldest son Eric was determined to “play his part”. Somehow and with the help of friends, family and a donation from the local Trades Union Eric’s father had raised the money for a steerage ticket out of Liverpool and being the first man in his village to take up arms for the Socialist cause Eric was given a hero’s send off.

Some weeks later having entered Spain on a tourist visa he had arrived at Albecete and been drafted into the thirty fifth International division where he and a motley collection of other raw recruits had joined veteran Polish and French comrades. They had been drilled constantly and the more naive  recruits “politically indoctrinated”. They were placed into the front line at a place he could barely pronounce somewhere in the middle of Spain.

Three days later at around 8 o’clock in the morning they were pounded by the largest artillery concentration since the Siege of Seville and then by an infantry assault lead by the 13th Nationalist division supported by colonial cavalry and elite Legionaries. They could not withstand the assault but it was with some pride to Eric that they withdrew under fire in good order to protect the vital Madrid/Valencia rail line.

That was a week ago, since then they had been relieved in the line and redeployed.

Now they were to attack……

FWtBT No 4 Apr II 37: Battle for Jan Juan de Alcazar

Battle for Jan Juan de Alcazar

Insurgents Turn

Weather: all clear

Supply ; Nationalist enclave at 2031 (Nr San Sebastian) goes U1

Reinforcements; Delayed reinforcements appear at Seville 1-5 infs 1Sev, 2Sev (Fal), 1-8 Cav VMS (Fal)

Replacements; 1 SRP recovered.

2x inf (Fal), 3x Inf (Nat) and  1x art RP (Nat) replaced and form 6-6 inf XX 52

1-8 lt 3, 1-8 mtn 7,  1-6 mg 3 and  1-10 lt tk Dro replaced.

Delayed upgrade; 2AV to 5-6 inf XX 71

Naval Activity:

NT-1 Transport 2-6 inf 8Rif (Col) from Cadiz to Motril and returns to Ceuta

NT -2, 4, 5 Transport AS from Virgo to Seville and return to Vigo

Air Activity:

Sortie 1:  Mxd T attempts to bomb rail junction at 2911 (Alanjuez) but is Returned by Mxd F

SM.81 (CTV) Terror bombs Madrid (2 VPs)

Sortie 2: Ju 52g4e, He 51 fly to bomb 3332. Intercepted by 1-15/t22 allocated to He 51 and I-16/t5 allocated against Ju52 g4e.  I-16/t5 Aborted.  3332 rail line bombed and cut.

Attack1:  3111 clear (NE of Alcazar De San Juan) Supplied 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 7-6inf XX 13, 2-1-8 cav 2O (Col), 2-1-8 cav 1E (Col), 2-6 inf 3Ceu (Col) , 2-3-6 art 61, 2-1-8 art O, 4-3-6 art Lag (CTV) attack 6-6 inf 35 (Int) @ 4:1 = DR   Advance 13th XX

Attack 2; 2606 rough (SW of Soria) Supplied 1-5 mech 1, 1-8 mtns 5, 8, 5-6 inf XX 4 (Req) and 3-4-5* inf  XX 32, and 4-6 inf XX 2 (Req), 1-8 Cav 3  attack 3-6* inf XX 1 @ 5:1 (-1) = EX. Lose  5, 8 mtn, 1-8 cav. Advance 32nd , 1st  mech

Exploitation:  1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV), 1-10 lt tk Dro (KL), 4-3-6 art leg (CTV) with Transport,  join the 13th inf XX in 3111

Republican Turn

Reinforcements: 1-6  sec  17GC converts to 1-2-6 sec  4GA

Replacements: 1 SRP recovered.

3-6 inf XX 1, 1-8 mtn 3, 1-6 sec 17Gc, 1-6 infs 2, 9 , 1-5 inf Mej, Cast, Lar, AgL (An), 0-1-6 art CNT (An),1-2-5 infs 8,10, 11 (Bas) replaced.

Attack1:  4120 rough (Motril) Supplied 3-4-5* inf XX 26 (An), Unsupplied 1-5 inf Fan (An) and Supplied 2-6* inf 4ch, 1-8 bike 1, 1-6 mg 3, 1-2-5 TL (An) attack 2-6 inf 8Rif (Col) @ 6:1 (-2) = DR Eliminated as no retreat path.  Advance 4ch, 1,3,TL.

Attack 2: 3714 mtn (Penebetica  mountains), 3-6* inf XX 3, and 1-6 sec 15GC, 1-6 inf 14, 1-2-6  art 2 and  1-2-6* inf 20 with A101, R-Z  Attack 1-6 mg O @ 5:1 (-2) = AS

Attack 3: 3211 clear (Alcazar De San Juan) Supplied  1-8 tk 6, 1-5 mech 2, 2-6 eng ZM,  1-2-6 art 4, 2-6 inf 15AL (Int), 6-6 inf XX 35 (Int) and 2-1-8 tk 1, 2-1-8 tk 2,  2-6* inf 2Ch, 4-6 inf XX 6, 3-4-5* inf XX 16 and Bre.19 attack 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 2-1-8 cav 1E (col) , 2-1-8 cav 20 (col), 2-6 inf 3Ceu (Col) , 2-3-6 art 61 , 2-1-8 art O @ 3:1 (+1) = DR.  Advance  2-1-8 tk 1, 2-1-8 tk 2,   4-6 inf XX 6, 1-2-6 art 4, 2-6 inf 15AL (Int),  3-6* inf 1.   Alcazar de San Juan once again flies the Republican flag!

Attack 4: 2430 mtn (French boarder) Unsupplied 1-8 mtn 1, 1-8 mtn 2, 2-7 mtn 130 (cat), 1-6 art 11 (Cat) 1-8 cav Buxo (Cat) attack 1-6 inf 20 @ 5:1 (-2) = DR.  Advance 2-7 mtn 130 (cat).

Mech Movement; 1-8 lt tk 1 to 3210

APR I 1937

Narrative

The first Alejandro of the 35th infantry regiment knew of the fall of Seville were the automobiles with flags flying and horns blaring that raced down the road to Huelva with the news!.

Then came the stream of dejected Republican refugees fleeing to the country and prisoners being escorted for “ideological purification”.   Seeing them he wondered if perhaps his “phoney” war was, after all a better experience than the real thing.

How the fortunes of war could change!. A month ago Franco’s war leaders were being harangued by the Generalissimo to explain the lack of progress from Jaen, the loss (again) of Alcazar de San Juan, the constant falling back in Aragon against the Catalans and the imminent fall of Teruel.  The capture of Seville and Alcazar de San Juan had put Franco in a better mood however and, boosted by the troops to be released from the Seville operation, the drive from Jaen was expected to be renewed with increased vigour in the weeks to come.

FWtBT No 4 Apr I 37: Battle of San Juan de Alcazar

Battle of San Juan de Alcazar: Elite troops from both Republic and Insurrection test their strength.

Nationalist Turn:

Weather:  Clear skies across Spain. Clear/Clear/Clear/Clear.

Supply; U4 Isolation RollsSeville 3-6 inf XX4, 1-6 inf 6 eliminated.   “Teruel pocket” 1-5 inf Leon (Fal) eliminated.

Reinforcements; 72nd inf XX equipped to 3-4-5* inf 72

Replacements:  1.5 SRPs recovered 0.5 (Fal) SRPs recovered.

1-6 sec 20GC, 1-6 inf 31, 1-5 infs, 1Gran, 2 Gran  (Fal), 1-6 art 10L form 5-6 inf XX 51.

1-5 inf Leon.  1-8 cav 3 replaced. Mxd T replaced.

1 Mine Hit removed from BBTF-1

Naval Activity NT-1 moves 2-6 inf 1Rif (Col) to 3428 (Cadiz) and returns to Ceuta.

Air Activity; Sorte 1. Ju 52g$e breaks rail at 3406 (SE of Cuenca)

All other missions miss targets.

Attack 1; 3224 (SEVILLE) Supplied 3-2-6 inf 3LE, 1-5inf Cadiz (Fal), 1-6 art 16L, 1-6 eng ZMO, 1-8 ast G (CTV), 3-1-2  sge art Man (CTV) and 3-6* infs XX 2FN, 3PN (CTV) and 2-6 infs Tdi, 3Ceu, 2Mel (col ), 1-6 eng ZME, 2-1-8 art O, 5-6 inf XX attack (U4 isolated)3-6 inf XX5, 1-6 sec 17GC, 1-2-6* inf 18, 1-6 art 3L, 1-5 inf Mej (An) , 3pt Garrison @ 4:1 = DR.  All eliminated as no retreat.  Advance Tdi, 3Ceu, 2Mel (col) , Man, 1-8 ast G (CTV),

SEVILLE FALLS!!

1 art RP captured. 1.5 Rail Capacity increase. Rail totals now stand at Nationalists 10.5. Republicans 12 plus 4 in the northern Gobernetos.

Factory suffers damage and is Out of Production till Aug I 1937. Mxd fighter Escapes to Toledo.

Attack 2; 3310 clear (East of Tomolloso) Supplied 1-10 lt tk Dro (KV) , 1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV), 4-6 inf XX Mov, 2-1-8 cav 20 (col), 2-3-6 art 61 attack 2-3-5* inf 12 @ 3:1 (+1)  = DE.  Advance  Mov, Dro, Bab

Attack 3; 3211 clear (Alcazar De San Juan) Supplied 7-6 inf XX 19, 3-6* inf XX 2Sor and 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 5-6 inf XX 51 Attack 2-6* inf 11Th, 13Dom (Int), 1-6 eng 2 @ 4:1 = DH.  Lose 13Dom (Int), eng 2. Advance 13th.

Attack 4; 2606 rough/ fort (100 miles East of Madrid)  Supplied 1-8 cav2, 1-6 mg 2, , 1-6 inf 30, 1-6 art 13L Attack 1-6 eng  7 @ 8:1 (-2) = DH,  Advance 30th, 2nd mg  (Republicans stripped this line too much to mass for own attack last turn)

Attack 5; 2607 mtn (Eastern end of Cordillera Central) Supplied 1-8 mtns 5 & 8, 2-5 inf AGM (Fal), unsupplied 4-6 inf XX 1 (Req) attack 1-6 eng 1 @ 8:1 (-2) = DH Advance 1st (Req)

Exploitation:  1-8 ac 1LE exploits to 3408 (SE of Cuenca on rail break)

1-10 lt tk Dro (KL) to 3108 where breaks rail line.

After a heated debate at the highest level Spanish, Italian and German Generals agree not to exploit the wide breach in the Republican lines with all forces but to take up defensive positions to bolster the lead infantry elements. 1LE and Dro however are ordered to exploit and occupy the low volume rail line thus cutting supply to Madrid and the northern part of the Republican MLR. Occupation of rail break hexes should prevent immediate repair.

Republicans turn

Supply: North Western forces and parts of the force opposite Calatyud are U1.

Pacification: Vittoria, Teruel

Reinforcements:  All divisions arrive equipped.

Replacements; A massive recruitment drive this turn.

1 SRP, ½ SRP (Int)

1-5 inf Lar, Agl from and equip 2-3-5* inf 25.

2-6* infs 14Mar, 13Dom (Int), 1-6 infs 2, 9 form 6-6 inf XX 35 (Int).

1-5 infs cast, Mej (An) 0-1-6 art CNT (An) replaced and form 2-3-5* inf XX 28 (An)

1-6 eng 1 replaced plus a number of additional regiments.

A101 repaired.

Builds: 1-2-6 eng 11 (Cat) builds 3 cap airfield in 3033.

Air Activity: I-16/t5 and I-15/t22 transfer to new airfield in3033.  He 51 Intercepts 1-16/t5 who returns it. Transfer successful.

Bre 19 transfers to Madrid.

Attack 1: 3403 mtn (“Teruel” pocket”). Unsupplied 1-5infs Muer, 19Jul (An), 1-6 bdr 2Car, 1-8 mtn art 1, 1-6 inf 10 and 1-5 inf conf (An) and 1-6 bdr 4Car, and 1-2-6*inf 23, and 1-2-6*infs 21, 22, 3-6 * inf XX 24 attack 1-8 lt 3 (U4) @ 9:1 (-2) = DR. Eliminated as no retreat path.  Advance 3-6 inf XX 24, 1-2-6* infs 21, 22, 23

Attack 2:  2530 mtn (Pyrenean pass to France) Unsupplied 1-8 mtns 1, 2, 3 2-7* mtn 130 (Cat) 1-6 art 11 (Cat) attack 1-6 inf 19 @ 5:1 (-2) = HX. Lose 3rd mtn, advance 1, 2, 130 (cat) 11th (Cat)

Attack 3: 2803 rough (S of Catalayud) Unsupplied 1-6 engs  4, 8, 4-6 inf XX 34, 3-4-58 inf XX 27CM, 1-2-6* inf 24 and 1-6 inf 13, 2-6 inf 8ch, 1-6 mg 41-6 sec  8GC, 1-2-6 sec  10GA, 2-6 art 2, attack 3-6* inf XX  2Cas @ 3:1 (-1)  = DR. Advance 24th, 34th

Attack 4: 3406 rough (SE of Cuenca). Supplied 3-6* inf XX4 and 1-8 ac1 attack 1-8 lt tk LE @  7:1 (-2) = DH. Advance All

Attack 5: 3108 rough) (NE of Curenca) 4-6 inf XX6 and 2-6* inf 2CH attack 1-10 lt tk Dro (KL) @ 6:1 (-3) = DR,   Dro eliminated as no retreat path.  Advance none (+2 VPs)

Attack 6: 2606 (rough) (100 miles East of Madrid) Supplied 5-6 inf XX 11Ch, and 3-6* inf 7 and unsupplied 2-3-5*inf 37 attack 1-6 inf 30, 1-6 mg 2 @ 9:1 (-1) = DR. Eliminated as no retreat path. Advance  7th.

Attack 7: 4019 wooded rough (S of Grenada) 3-6* inf XX 14 (An) , 3-4-5* inf XX 26 (An) , 1-2-5 inf T L(An) , 1-5 inf Fan (An) and 2-3-5* inf XX 28 (An), 2-6* inf 4Ch, 1-8 bk 7, 1-6 mg 3 attack 2-6 5 Alh (Col) @ 6:1 (-3) = DR. Advance , 3-4-5* inf XX 26 (An) , 1-2-5 inf TL (An) , 1-5 inf Fan (An) and 2-3-5* inf XX 28 (An)

Attack 8: 2032 wooded rough (approaches to San Sebastian). Supplied 1-6 bdr 10Car, 1-6 sec 22Gc, 1-6 inf 21, 2-6 art 3P attack 1-8 mtn 7 @ 9:1 (-2) = DH  Advance , 21,  3P isolating 1-6 inf 23, 1-6 art 12L at 2031.

MAR II 1937

Narrative

Clear skies have returned to the south of Spain and fuels renewed activity by both side.

However Nationalist attacks are hampered by limited supplies and a snap attack on Seville burns limited stocks.

The Republicans by contrast are very well supplied.  Seville’s factories are isolated and dedicated to keeping the defenders well fed and supplied but all the other factories of Spain (except for Nationalist Oviedo) are pressed into war production.  Furthermore up until the middle of this month France has had an open door policy towards the Republic.

Not only that but supplies are pouring in from the Soviet Union by sea fuelled not only by soviet oil but by communist fervour as one young naval recruit penned:

I am a brave sailor from the Red Navy
I am exactly 20 years old
I am sailing out into the vast expanse of the sea,
To bring the Great October to the whole of the world.

 Oh, our noise and uproar,
Resound against the bourgeois shores
Our Soviet fleet is a stronghold
All the working people , forward!

 Nationalist Turn

Weather:  Clear/Mud, Clear/Clear.
Supply: Seville feeds of GSPs. Teruel pocket 1-6 art 11L Isolated/U4, eliminated
Reinforcements: Conversion of 2Av delayed.

Delayed conversions of 2-5 inf 1 (Req) and 2-5 inf 3 (Req) occur and both are equipped to convert to 4-6 inf XX 1 (Req) and 4-6 inf XX 3 (Req).

Replacements:   ½ SRP recovered.

1-6 inf 31, 1-6 sec 20GCm 1-10 art 10L form 3-6 inf Cadre 13.  The cadre is then built to full strength with IRPs and appears as 7-6 inf XX 13.

3-2-6 inf 1LE, 1-8 cav 5, 1-6 bdr 9 Car, 1-8 mtn 4, 1-6 inf 22 all rebuilt.

Mine Damage; BBTF-1 hits mine. (+8VPs to Loyalists)

Moves: 3-4-5 inf XX 71 moves onto 108 mg art (CV), 2-1-8 art O and combines to overrun 1-6 inf 12 in 3512 (woods) @  12:1

Air Activity:

First Strategic Attack, first Terror bombing of war reaps rewards!

Sortie 1; SM.81 bombs Seville (3224) for 2VPs.

Sortie 2;  He 51, Ju52g4e cut rail line at 3130.

Naval Activity:  4 NTs move to Vigo collect ASP and return it to Cadiz. In Exploitation; move to Vigo and joined by CATF. (Supplies have been landing at Vigo because it is on the rail net but limited rail cap means many are stockpiled at port. With failure of Seville attack NTs returned to load more for next attack on city).

Attack 1 3212 clear (Tomolleso).  Unsupplied) 3-6 inf XX 2 Sor and 3-2-6 inf 3LE, 2-3-6 art 61, 7-6 inf XX 13 and 3-6 inf XX 1DLV (CTV), 1-10 lt tk Dro (KL) with Mxd T attack 2-6* inf 14 Mar (Int) @ 5:1 = HX. Lose 3LE. Advance XX 13.

Attack 2: 3511 clear (30 miles SE of Tomolleso) Supplied 4-6inf XX Mov, 2-1-8 cav 20 (Col) 2-1-8 cav 1E (Col) and 1-8 mg Ard (CTV), 1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV, unsupplied 3-4-5 inf XX 21, 2-1-8 art O attack 2-6*inf 2Ch, 1-2-5 inf Jou (An) @ 4:1 = DE.  Advance 21st.

Attack 3 3224 (SEVILLE). Supplied 1-6 eng ZMO, 1-6 inf 24, 1-6 sec 24GC, 1-5 Cadiz (Fal) , 1-8 Aslt G (CTV) , 3-1-2 sg art Man (CTV), 4-3-6 art Leg (CTV)and 3-6 inf XX 2FN (CTV),  3-6 inf XX 3Lit (CTV),  3-6 inf XX 3PN (CTV),  and 2-6 inf 3Ceu (Col),  2-6 inf 2Mel (Col),  2-6 inf Tdi (Col) 5-6 inf XX 11, 1-6 eng ZME attack 3-6* inf XX4, 1-4 inf Met (An ), 1-5 inf Mej (An), 1-2-6* inf 18, 1-6 sec 17GC, 1-6 art 2L, 3pt Garrison @ 2:1 (+1) = AS!

Republican Turn

French border:  Open

Supply:  Seville Feeds off GSPs.  No AS left to convert.

Replacements; ½ (PA), ½ 9(Int) SRP recovered.

1-2-5 inf Jou (An), 1-4 infs 3,4 (Bas) replaced. 1-2-6 sec 2GA , 1-6 inf 12 replaced and form 2-3-6o  inf 5 then equipped to 3-6* 7*

At 3916  1-5 infs cast, Lar, AmL (An) and 0-1-6 art CNT(An)  form 3-4-5* inf XX 26 (An)

3-6* inf XX 5 is placed at Seville.

1-2-7 mtn 130 (Cat) equipped to 2-7* mtn 130 (Cat)

Inf 5, 1-6 infs 2, 9 , 1-6 art 5L replaced and form 3-6 inf.*

*It occurs to me that the sequencing of this is critical to placement.  It is permissible to rebuild and form/equip all in the same initial phase but if I rebuild and form and then place the new division as I have been doing then it can be placed anywhere that the relevant affiliation can be rebuilt  BUT if the components are deemed replaced INDIVIDUALY the artillery regimental component would have to be rebuilt at a factory thus when the infantry components are added the division would appear at the factory.  This latter seems overly restrictive but I wonder how others play?

Moves: 1-5 inf Met (An) eliminated in Seville for overstacking.

Air Activity:

Sortie 1; R-5, A101 to Zaragoza,  Intercepted  by He.51.   A101 Aborted.  Mission to bomb airfield abandoned.

Sortie 2; Po.540, Bre.19, R-Z to bomb Jaen airport, Intercepted by CR32 Bis (CTV) BRe.19  Returned.  R-Z, Po.540 bomb airfield and Hit Aborting Mxd T on the ground.

Sortie 3; Mxd F transfers to Seville

Attack1:  4818 mtn (SW of  Grenada), Supplied 3-4-5* inf 26 (An), 3-6* 3 and 3-6* inf 14 (An) , 1-2-5 infs Jou, TL (An) , 1-5 inf Fan( An)  and Unsupplied 1-8 bike 1, and  2-6* inf 4Ch, 1-6 mg 3 Attack 1-5 infs  1Gran, 2Gran (Fal) @ 6:1 (-3) = DH. (All Elim as no retreat)  Advance 14 (An) , TL (An) Fan (An)

Attack2:  3511 clear (NW of Albacete) Supplied  1-8 tk 1, 2-1-8 tk 1, 4-6 inf XX 6, 3-4-5* inf 17, 3-4-5* inf 18, and 2-6 inf 12 Gar (Int),  and unsupplied 2-3-5* inf 9 and 2-3-5* inf 16 attack 3-4-5* inf XX 21 @ 4:1 =  DR (Elim as no retreat) Advance  16, 17.

Attack 3: 2630 mtn (NE of Huesca) Supplied 2-7* mtn 130 (Cat), 1-8 mtns 1,3, 3-6* inf XX 2, 1-6 art 11(Cat) and Unsupplied 2-3-5* infs 31, 32 (Cat), 1-8 cav (Buxo (Cat), 1-8 cav 4, 1-6 art 8L attack 1-6 inf 20, 1-5 inf 1Zar (Fal) @ 7:1 (-4) = DR.  Advance 2-7* mtn 130 (Cat), 1-8 mtns 1,3, 1-6 art 11(Cat)

MAR I 1937

Narrative

The headlines in the Nationalist papers read “Alcazar de San Juan once again in Nationalist hands!    “The most fought over town in Spain re-captured by the Condor Legion! “

A premature boast as it turns out but by contrast to the well-publicised exploits of the Condor Legion and the Italian assistance the Soviet Communist party have taken a decidedly less public stance. Scores of “advisors” have been dispatched to “work in divisions and brigades.”  These advisors and particularly their co-ordinator Voroshilov back in Moscow are not held in particularly high esteem by their Spanish counterparts many of whom have had far more battle experience than the junior ranking “advisors”.  Voroshilov himself being known in Republican military circles, scathingly, as “The Great Strategist” .

FWtBT No 4, MAR I 37: The Republican right flank pushes on though the Pyrenean foothills.

The Republican right flank pushes on though the Pyrenean foothills.

Nationalist Turn

Weather  Mud/Mud, Rough/Rough

Supply:  Teruel  force starts rolling for elimination, 1-8 cav 5 and 1-6 sec 20GC eliminated . Seville feeds off GSPs.

Reinforcements:  All divisions equipped on arrival.

Replacements: Nationalist recover ½ SRP. Replaced; 1-8 cav 1, 1-5 mech 1, 1-8 ac LE

Delayed Conversion 2-5 inf 2 (Req) to 2-5 inf O XX 2 (Req) and is then equipped.  Delayed Upgrade 2-5 inf 4 (Req) to 5-6 inf XX 4 (Req).

Naval Activity:  2-6 inf TD1 (Col) transported from the Canaries to Malaga.

Air Activity: All raids ineffective.

Moves: Teruel pocket , breaks rail lines and forms last stand  @ 3403 mtn (1-8 lt 3, 1-5 inf leon (Fal), 1-6 art 11L)

Attack 1: 3212 clear (NW of Tomolleso) Supplied 3-6 inf* XX 2Sor, 1-6 inf 28, 1-6 art 4L and 3-2-6 inf 3LE, 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 2-3-6 art 61, 2-10 AA 88 (KL) attack 2-6* inf 12 Gar (Int) , 1-2-6 sec 2GA @ 5:1 (-2) = HX. Lose 1LE. Advance 2Sor, 88

Attack 2: 3612 rough (30 miles SE of Valdepenas) Supplied 3-6 inf XX 1DLV (CTV), 1-8 mg Ard (CTV), 2-1-8 art O and unsupplied 1-6 inf 22, 1-6 sec 122 GC attack 1-2-6*inf 22 (U4) @ 7:1 (-2) = HX. Lose 22.  Advance 1DLV

Motorised Movement: 2-10 AA 88 (KL) exploits to Alczar de San Juan destroying a massive ammo dump of 2AS and 3Res Pts foolishly left unguarded. Then moves NE to 3111.

Republican Turn

French Border: Closed

Supply: Seville Feeds Of GSPs.

Reinforcements:  All divisions equipped, ½ art pt to San Sebastian,.3-* inf XX 4 to Seville. Replacements: 1-2-6* inf 22, 2-6* inf 12Gar (Int),  1-5 inf Fan (An)1-2-4 inf 8 (Bas) , 1-6 art 1 replaced and form 2-3-4* inf XX 5 and 1-2-4 inf 10 (Bas) , 1-6 art 14 (Bas) replaced and form 2-3-4* inf XX 1 (Bas). 1-6 inf 2, 1-6 inf 9, 1-6 art 6L replaced and form 3-6* inf XX4,

Replacements:  ½ SRP( PA) and ½ SRP (Int) recovered.

Huesca Pacified

Moves Loyalist line pulls out of salients on Tommelloso front leaving delaying forces only.

1-5 inf Agl (An) eliminated as overstacked.

Air Activity: Sortie 1; 3517 (Linares) Cr.32bis (CTV) intercepts Po.540, Bre.19 and engages Po.540.  CR 32bis (CVT) Returned. Bombs drop wide.

Sortie 2; 2833 ( Zaragoza)  He 51 (KV) intercepts A-101, R-5 and fails to engage R-5.  Bombs miss target.

Attack1: 3111 clear (NE of Alczar de San Juan), 3-4-5 inf XX 18 and 2-1-8 tk 1, 1-2-6 art 4 and 1-6 eng 2, 2-6 * inf 13Dom (Int), 2-6* inf 11th (Int) attack 1-10 AA 88 (KL) @ 5:1 = DR 88 eliminated – no retreat. Advance 18th (2 VPs awarded)

Attack 2; 2604 rough (West of Calatayud) Supplied 1-0-8 lt Tk AAC, 1-6 inf 8, 1-6 cav 7, 5-6 inf XX 11Ch and unsupplied 2-1-R art TB, 3-6*inf1 XX, 1-8 tk 6, and 1-6 sec 16GC, 1-6 art 14L attack 1-8 cav 2, 1-6 art 13L @ 6:1 (–3) = DR Advance 1,7, 8.

Attack3; 2629 mtn (pass to France in Pyrenees)  Unsupplied 1-8 mtn3, 1-8 mtn 1, 3-6* inf XX 2, 1-6 art b11 (Cat), 2-3-5* inf XX 32 (Cat) attacks 1-6 inf 19 (U2) @ 5:1 (-4) = AS

FEB II 1937

Narrative

Alejandro Gonzalez of the 35th regiment was bored. His had been an easy war. After the bloodless “capture” of Huleva he and his regiment had marched the 50 miles to Seville and encamped just over the Guadalqive River to the Northwest of the city. From there they had simply watched, patrolled, and intimidated the local population, and watched, patrolled and intimidated the population. No matter how many times they repeated this daily routine the locals still managed to smuggle food in to the city which showed no signs of surrendering.  Something though was about to change.  For days troops from fellow fascists in Italy had been arriving and with them heavy howitzers and specialist demolition troops. Alejandro knew his war would soon be getting very much more interesting.

Elsewhere in the Nationalist Zone the “White Terror” continued. Those who knew how to die well cried “Viva La Republica!” although others might accuse former comrades in an attempt to save themselves.  Many died alone but In Navarre a priest gave the last rights to a group of captured Asturians  as the volley rang out and they fell into a trench  which became their grave.

FWtBT No 4 - FEB II 37: Tactical: The Teruel pocket contracts for last stand.

The Teruel pocket contracts for last stand.

Nationalist Turn

Weather:  No Change, Winter/Mud, Storms/Calm

Supply: Seville feeds of GSPs

Reinforcements:  All units are engaged so no upgrade/conversions possible but delayed upgrade  3-6* inf XX Van to 5-6 inf XX 11 executed.

½ SRP reclaimed.   Replacements: 3-2-6 inf 3LE, 2-3-5 inf XX Pos, 1-6 sec 6GC, 1-8 cav 1

Moves: Nationalists in the Teruel pocket contract to stack with the single art unit there for support because no help from the outside is forthcoming.

Air Activity; All raids ineffectual

Attack 1;  3612 woods (25 miles south of Tomelloso)  Unsupplied 4-6 inf XX Mov, 1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV), 2-1-8  cav 30 (Col) , 2-1-8 cav 1E (Col) and 2-3-5*inf Ov and 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 3-2-6 inf 3LE, 2-1-8 art O, 2-3-6 art 61, 2-10 AA 88 (KV), 1-10 lt tk Dro (KL), 1-8 mg Ard (CVT) attack 2-6* inf 2Ch, 1-6 inf 12 @ 5:1 (-3) = AS.

Exploitation;  (CTV) and (KL) motorized units re-deploy to bolster defence of nearby units.

Republican Turn

Supply;  Seville draws of GSPs. Seville Expends AS for 12 GSPs

Reinforcements: 1-6 sec 11GC upgraded to 1-2-6 sec 3GA.

Replacements; 1-6 infs 2,9 and 1-6 art5L replaced and form 3-6* inf 3

1-4 infs 3 & 4 (Bas  )form 2-4 inf XX o 4 (Bas) which is equipped and deploys as 2-3-4* inf XX 4 (Bas)

Moves: NT3  (with BTF-1, LtTF-1 (Bas) loads 1 art RP  at Gijon and transports to Santander; returns to Gijon and loads remaining 0.5 art RP and offloads at Santander .

All Reaction attempts by Nationalist Combat Task Force at El Ferrol fail.

Air Activity:   Po.540 and Bre.19 attempt to bomb rail at 3517 (Linares). Intercepted  by CR.32bis (CTV). Bre.19 Turned back and raid aborted.

Attack 1; 2630 mtn (Low vol rail line NE of Huesca) Supplied, 1-8 mtn 1, 2-3-5* inf XX 32 (Cat),  1-2-7 mtn 130 (Cat),  3-6* inf XX  2,  1-6 art 11 (Cat)  Attack  1-5 inf 1Zar (Fal) 1-6 inf 20 @ 5:1 (-3) = AS

Attack 2;  3303 rough  (east of Teruel) Unsupplied U2  1-8 mtn art 1, Unsupplied 1-6 inf 16 (over mtn hexside) and 1-6 bdr 2Car, and 1-5 inf Fan (An)  and 1-6 inf 10 attack 1-8 cav 3 (U2)  @ 5:1 (-3) = EX loose  Fal, advance 2 car.

Attack3: 2704 rough/Fort h (30 miles West of Calatayud).  Supplied 1-8tk 6, 1-0-8 lt tk AAC, 1-8 cav 7, 2-1-R  art TB, 1-6 inf 8, 5-6 inf XX 11Ch, 3-6* inf XX 1 Attack 1-5 mech 1, 1-6 art 10L @ 7:1 (-3) = DE. Advance 11Ch, 7 cav, 8 inf

Attack 4: 2001 Rough (Vitoria) Unsupplied 2-3-4* inf 2 (Bas) attacks 0.5 Garrison @ 8:1 (-2) = DR. Garrison dispersed. Advance  2-3-4* XX 2 (Bas)

(A foolih error by the Nationalists pulled back 2-5 inf 3 (Req) for Upgrade.)

Attack 5: 2034 rough (East of Vitoria). Supplied 1-2-4 inf 1 (Bas), 1-2-4 inf 2 (Bas) and 2-4 inf 13 (Bas), 2-4 inf 14 (Bas), 2-4 inf 15 (Bas), and (over mtn hexside) 1-2-4 inf 5 (Bas), 1-2-4 inf 5 (Bas) attack 1-8 cav 1 @ 9:1 (-2) = DE. Advance  5, 9.

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