The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: August 2017 (page 2 of 4)

The Europa Newsletter 1

The Europa Magazine #1 - Cover

The Europa Magazine #1 – Cover

Published November 1987

Note: contents reprinted in The Europa Newsletter 1-4 Special Reprint / The Europa Magazine 64 (Vol.XI,No.6)

Content:

  • “From the editor” (Commentary) Ben Knight
  • “News from GR/D” (Commentary) Winston Hamilton
  • “US 1st Infantry Division” (Historical) John Astell (Torch/Second Front)
  • “Red Desert – adding the Red Army to War in the Desert” (Variant) John Astell (The Near East/War in the Desert)

The Long Left Flank – Two short game reports

Introduction

At the Origins Game Fair this year, I attended a “War College” lecture on Market-Garden as a victory wasted. The speaker walked through 4 (of many) things that could have allowed the Allies to make it through Arnhem, but his real interest lay in what could have happened after that. According to his research, British planners weren’t really looking at going to the Ruhr, their next objective was the coast of the Zuider Zee, to cut off the Germans west of that.

So, I wanted to play Long Left Flank again, and see what Europa has to say about the operation. Unfortunately for half of my experiment, the scenario cuts off in November, so I cannot see what the German winter offensive might look like. I suppose I could play again, and extend it with using the Battle of The Bulge scenario that’s also in TEM. I ran out of time, so I will have to do that later.

First attempt: Sending the First Airborne Army against the Antwerp approaches

The scenario opens with the German forces scattered from their retreat from Normandy, and the Commonwealth forces mostly still in Normandy. I sent strong forces on the Sep I turn to assault most of the Channel ports, taking Boulogne, Le Havre, and Dunkerque. It is possible for motorized forces to reach Antwerp in exploitation, which I did, as well as Ostend. I flew the 52nd Airlanding division into Antwerp, in advance of the later airborne assaults.

Sep II 44

the Allied supply shortage came to bite, and only 3 corps were active. The parachute landings (0924, 0823, 0723) went smoothly, except for the 1 Para HQ, grabbing the Breda-Drodrecht causeway as the Rhine crossing. XXX Corps broke through from Antwerp, but the wily Germans massively flooded 0824 in the combat phase. (Fortunately, the scenario rule meant that I didn’t lose all of my Resource points.) Meanwhile, Gent was also taken, and its port was also intact. The islands were now cut off.

Oct I 44

The Allied forces fought into Rotterdam (port destroyed) and isolated The Hague. 0927 and 1026 were taken, clearing 2 of the 5 hexes remaining to open Antwerp and Gent. This turn, I unwittingly violated a scenario rule by using USAAF transports to fly in more GSP, so this playthrough is somewhat invalid after this point.

OCt II 44

The Germans tried a rare counterattack into the woods east of Antwerp, which succeeded in a DR on 3:2 odds! This didn’t quite isolate the Allied spearheads north of them, but it is closer. With (too much) supply, the Allies are able to make a lot of ground this turn. Even partial flooding on one of the peninsulae was unable to prevent its total capture. Only Walcheren island remains. Other Allied forces crossed the Albert Canal and drove east, exploiting all the way into the 2 northernmost (unoccupied) West Wall hexes!

Nov I 44

The Germans tried to get behind the rivers again, anchoring their line at Nijmegen. An attack into 1220 (West Wall) is a miserable failure at AH. Shouldn’t have attacked into a Mud turn! When the Allies try to assault Walcheren island, they are crossing water, into Mud, against a port fortification, when the island is partially flooded. Use of carpet bombing is effective, though—no short bombing. The result is a 3:1 -2, and they rolled an AS.

Nov II 44

With Mud on Nov II, and me realizing that I had given the Allies too much airlift on Oct I, I suspended the play. The Allies had a Decisive Victory (72 VP), holding 2 West Wall hexes and 5 hexes over the Maas-Waal, including Rotterdam. That wasn’t the drive to the Zuider Zee like I wanted to see happen, but it was fun to play, and the Allies looked to be in good shape for later attacks once their supply situation improved. Another assault on Walcheren would have to happen, I think I did not realize just how tough a nut that would be to crack. As a German player, I knew that next game I would work more on stuffing that hex with more defense factors. As an Allied player, I learned that I really didn’t want to risk any more massive flooding results!

Second try: planned for historical drop zones, except with swapped the 101st and British 1st targets.

Sep I 44

The Allied turn went almost the same as the previous one, except I didn’t try for the Channel ports, except Boulogne (port wrecked).

Sep II 44

The Allied airdrops had some nail-biting die rolls: The SS cadres reacted into the 101st’s drops at 0820 and 0920. The Americans were thrown out of the former, but held Arnhem on a DR roll! Praise to Allied air support! The British airborne rolled a DE at 1023, and the XXX Corps blasted 1024 with an exchange to cross the Albert Canal. With no Germans in the way, the 11th Armoured Division raced all the way to Appeldoorn. Breda was also uncovered, so the Allied breakthrough was 7 hexes long and 1 wide, with a branch through Breda to Rotterdam (port blown).
Meanwhile, the Canadians attacked 0927, but the German cadres escaped. Walcheren will be at 16 df when attacked later. They also captured Le Havre (port blown). The commandos and 1 brigade of the 49th Division landed on Schouen Island, taking that. Strategic airpower was used to suppress the CDs on Walcheren.

Oct I 44

the Germans set up a counterattack at Arnhem, but called it off when lots of DAS appeared.
The Allies again unleashed carpet bombing on Walcheren, this time before Mud hit, so the attack was an Exchange, without partial flooding. They also captured 0926, so Antwerp is clear. Amsterdam was captured from an unsupported SS regiment, port blown. DEs were rolled for Eindhoven and 0820, so more German cadres were heading for the replacement pool.

Summary

This game was an Allied walkover, I don’t think it could have gone any better. I played it until Nov I, when the weather was Clear, and wrote it off as an Allied Decisive Victory: over 130 VP when I stopped counting. While dice were clearly in the Allied favor this time, I probably didn’t play too well as the Germans. I suppose that’s a weakness inherent to solitaire play, at least for me.

Analysis

Sometime I will pull this out again, hopefully with a live opponent. I’d also like to mix it with the Bulge scenario, probably just exporting the Sixth SS Panzer Army to this front on the Dec I turn.

Going back to the original concept, it seems to me that once Arnhem is taken, going north the last 2 hexes to the coast is a good move. The Germans further west become no threat for a while, and there is nothing but clear terrain across the Ijssel River, either east towards Bremen or southeast to cut off the Ruhr. Sending the airborne forces into western Holland risks more flooding of hexes, so that seems less of a good thing. If one is playing the scenario, with the rule that Antwerp’s port is captured intact, then the Allies need to strain every nerve to get into Walcheren island before the Germans can stuff it with defense factors. Attacking it with forces quartered or eighthed looks like a bad bargain.

The Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War

This fifty volume series covers all areas of New Zealand’s involvement in the Second World War, from detailed accounts of particular battalions, to the political and economic background and consequences, to full accounts of particular episodes and campaigns. This series was first published as part of the Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War, produced under the auspices of the War History Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs.

Unit Histories

Campaign Histories

Air Force and Navy

Medical Service

Misc

APR II 1939

Narrative

Death of a miner.  For Eric Tennyson Postlthwaite it had been an eventful war. From his arrival at Cartagena in Mach and his baptism of fire at Alcazar he had seen action on all fronts. The proud 35th International division was amongst the best the Republic fielded and was at the forefront of most major assaults.  Following the defensive action at Cuenca they were transferred to Aragon and put into the line at Catalayud; from there the drive North to Pamplona. It was the 35th that lead the massive cross river assault at Villafranca.  Eric had briefly camped with some of the Basques who they had helped escape south, a rather surly lot but comrades for the cause nevertheless.   Then through no fault or lack of fervour or effort on their part the string of victories ended and the 35th along with the cream of the Republic was ordered south amidst rumours of a Nationalist break out from Zaragoza. The 35th bravely held the corridor open for escaping units then moved south with the remaining stragglers. It took 3 long months of hardship for the 35th to move to safety, under a constant bombardment of Nationalist air craft and shelling from over the Aragon River.  Where were the Republican fighters who had served them so well in ‘37?

But with determination and camaraderie they had successfully extracted the division more or less intact and been shunted back to Murcia, too late though to help in the defence of the main base at Albacete where Eric had formed some of his friendships with the others who has rallied to the cause. Friendships formed in the training camps and forged for life on the battle fields of Spain.

The 35th was now pulled out of the line again and rushed to Valencia. This was the largest Spanish city Eric had yet seen with its industry, port and commercial centre. They had moved through to take up a position on the North Western approaches where an attack from the Elite 13thNationalist Division was expected. A clash of giants. However it was an unequal fight. Eric’s 35th was supported only by the battered remnants of the Second Asalto division shattered from an earlier engagement falling back from the Wes. Indeed it was the steadfast resolve of Eric’s comrades and commanders that had shamed the 2nd Asalto to turn around and stand fast against the pursuit of the Nationalists who had broken their fortified position with apparent ease.  The defenders also had a levy of local garrison irregulars. Their skills were untested but every rifle was needed.  The 13th Nationalist Division  by contrast was reportedly supported by at least four other divisions, , cavalry, numerous batteries of artillery, the feared colonial troops  and tanks;   plus support from Italian and German fascists.

Diego Fernandez of the 1st Reserva General Artillery Brigade pulled the lanyard on his Cannone da 105/28 M13 Field Gun at 6.00 a.m.  on the morning of 15th April 1939 to announce the opening of the attack on Valencia.  The shell, following its pre-determined parabolic trajectory, landed on the overturned truck forming the perimeter of Eric Tennyson Postlewaite’s position exactly 2 years to the day that Eric had proudly marched out of the Barracks at Albacete for the front and glory.

R.I.P Eric.

Nationalists turn

Weather;   No change.  D=M. E=C , A= c, M= c
Supply:. Other than the Anarchists in Murcia both sides of the split Republic have viable supply nets so only the tongue of units trying to move south to Terul are out of supply.  The Easternmost stack of Mech units is U2/Isolated.
Replacements: 1.5  SRP recovered.
Movement: 1 Res pt spent to temporarily increase Rail Cap to 24.75 REs

Air Activity: sortie 1: 1A2 mxd  flies to Alicante on an airfield bombing mission with CR.32Bis (CTV),  ME 109E (KL), ME109B/10. Intercepted by 1-15/t25, I-16/t5, I-16/t10 who engage. In the swirling dogfight all the Republicans are  aborted  but so is the ME109B/D and the Me 109E is Eliminated. The 1A2 mxd is Returned by AA fire. (R+2 VPs)

Sortie 2:  R0 37 escorted by the CR.32 is intercepted by  I-15/t25 and Ge.23.  The I-15/t25 takes on the Fighter for no losses. The GE.23v eliminat4es the Ro.37 (R+2 VPs)

Sortie 3: Large Raid only inflicts one Hit against the Port of Tarragona

Attacks:  1 -3: (North of Teruel) on 3103, 3203 and 3403 all Unsupplied at  9:1 surrounded eliminate 1-6 inf 1, 1-6 bdr 5Car and 1-2-6* inf 24 without loss.

Attack 4:  rough (north of Lorca) Unsupplied 3-4-5* inf XX 34 and 1-6 inf 17, 1-6 art 4L and 1-6 inf 24, 1-6 art 15L and 1-6 bdr 7Car, 1-6 art 10L and 2-8 mtn Pir, 4-6 inf XX 117, 3-4-5-* inf XX 14, 1-2-6 art 46, 1-6 inf 5MR (Col)  Attack U3 Isolated 2-3-5* inf XX 25, 1-5 Cast, 1-5 Mej (AllAn) @ 5:1 (-1) = DR. Eliminated no retreat path. Advance 24, 7Car, 10L, 15L.

Attack 5: Valencia.  Supplied6-8 lt XX 150, 6-6inf XXs 52,m 102, 2-6 inf 2Mel (Col), 4-6 art 3RG, 1-2-6 art 42, 1-2-8 art 50 and 4-8 cav XX 2, 4-6 inf XX 151, 2-1-8 cavs 1E, 2O (Col), 2-1-8 lt tk 3, 2-10 AA 88 (KL), 4-6 art 1Rg,  1-2-6 art 46 and 7-6 inf XX 13, 6-6 inf XX 3, 5-6 inf XX 53, 2-1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV), 2-1-8 lt tk 2, 2-3-6 art 62, 2-6 art 4(, 2X Transports. Attack  6-6 inf XX 35 (Int), 2-6 inf cadre 2A, 3 pt Garrison @ 4:1 = HX.  35 cadre eliminated, no retreat path.. Advance 150  xx lt, 102XX 2Mel (Col), 42, 50, 3RG arts. 2 pts AA eliminated,  Garrison dispersed, 7 factors AS, 1 Res pt  eliminated,  I-15/t25,  I-16/t10, SB-2 all escape, 1 REs Railcap captured. Valencia Factory captured with 0.5 art RP but not before effective sabotage puts it out of action till late 1939.

Exploitation movement.: Mech units and transported artillery move back into the line East of Valencia.

For Whom the Bell Tolls – APR II 1939

Valencia is in Nationalist hands!

Republican Turn

VPs : Goberneto none collapse (R+5 VPs) None Surrender( R+10 VPs)
French border ;Open
Guerrillas; Ineffective
Supply:  Anarchists move to U and roll for elimination except 26XX (An) which draws on GSPs at Murcia.
The following are lost:  3-6* XX, 2-3-5* xx, 2-5, 2X 1-2-5, 11X 1-5, 0-1-6 art. The loss of these factors will put a severe strain on the Republics ability to hold the perimeter in Murcia.
The Republicans trapped North of Truel become U4 but all are un-isolated and moving towards a full supply state in Catalonia,.
Replacements;   1 SRP, 1.5 SRP (Int) recovered.   I-16/t10 rebuilt. Anarchists spend the last of their accumulated  IRPs to partly rebuild the army.
The delayed 2 steps Supply and Art point are received from France.

Air Activity:  Sortie 1: 2X SB-2m SB02bis on Naval patrol out of Barcelona

Sortie2: GE.23, R-z on DAS at Cartagena (4410)

Attack 1: 3535 mtn (NE Valencia) Supplied4-5 XXs7, 65 and 2-6 inf 222C, 2-6 nvl56, 1-2-6 art2 and 3-6 inf XX 72 and 3-6 inf XX 2, 2-1-8 lt tk P, 1-8 lt tk 2, 1-2-6 sec10GA and U$ inf XX 2-3-5 21, 3-6* inf XX 40 and 2-3-5* inf XX 49,  U3 3-6* inf XX 24 Attack U2 3-2-8 lt tk N, 1-8 mc B (CTV), 1-8 mot art L @ 6:1 (-4) = EX. (R +4 VPs).   Advance  2,P lt tks

APR I 1939

Narrative

The Republic have a tactical choice to make this turn. Do they try to maintain the front as close to Valencia as possible or pull back to form a tight cordon around Barcelona?

The advantage of the former is that a local counter attack against the lone 1-5 mech @ 3502 will require outside help because the half strength divisions trying to escape the trap at Teruel cannot punch out unaided. If successful an attack and advance here has the potential to slow or prevent the Eastward march of the Nationalist infantry/Mech advance from Murcia but will such some of the best remaining divisions West and an offensive south on the Zaragoza front could find them trapped themselves.

On the other hand a retreat back to a strong position at Barcelona centred around Tortosa with its 3 river sides should make this a difficult position to crack even against the full might of a concentrated Nationalist attack.

The Nationalists  eastward move along the Valencia/Barcelona road cannot proceed now anyway until Valencia falls so a pause is inevitable.

As soon as the Terual “bulge” in successfully evacuated and/or clear weather returns to the north the Republic plan to swing  the West flank on the Zaragoza front back to link with the Valencia/Barcelona rail, pivoting on 3232.

After debate in the Junta it is decided to eliminate the !st Nationalist Mech. This will allow some troops to escape south from the Teruel bulge while others transit directly East across the mountains. This will isolate the Nationalist speared at 3501 which cannot be assaulted directly but can be contained. It is hoped the Terule forces when re-supplied can finish this group off.

Nationalists Turn

Weather;   Sea conditions clear although northern Spain still experiences heavy rain.  D=M. E=C , A= c, M= c
Supply:. Other than the Anarchists in Murcia both sides of the split Republic have viable supply nets so only the tongue of units trying to move south to Terul are out of supply.
Movement: 1 Res pt spent to temporarily increase Rail Cap to 24.75 REs
Replacements: 1 SRP recovered.  Mtn replaced.  HE 51 repaired

Air Activity:  Sortie 1: SM.79-1, Mxd 1A2,  He 111B fly GS to 3804 (Immediately W of Valencia) Intercepted by I-15/t25 who aborts the SM-79-1, I-15/t25 who fails to engage the Mxd 1A2

Sortie 2: Ro.37, SM.79-1 (CTV), escorted by CR.32  fly to Muria to bomb the factory. Intercepted by I-152 and GE.23 who attempt to bypass the screen.. CR.32 attacks the I-152 for no effect. And it presses home an attack on the SM.79-1 (CTV) but misses. Meanwhile the GE.23 engages the Ro,37; and also fails to affect the target.  3 points AA Return the SM.79-1 (CTV).  The Ro37s bombs fail to hit the target

Attack1: 4010 rough) (s of Hellin) Unsupplied 3-4-5*inf  XX 34, and  4-6 inf XX 112, 1-6 mg IMExp, 1-5 1 Corf (Fal), 1-6 inf 20 attack 1-5 inf LM (An( U2 @ 9:1 (-1) = DE Advance 34 XX

Attack 2: 4212 clear (Lorca). Unsupplied 3-4-5* inf XXs 40,73,m 1-6 inf 36, 1-6 inf 5MR (Col) and 4-6 inf XX 117, 3-4-5* inf XXS 14, 72, 2-8 mtn Pir, 1-6 arts 1, 16L, 1-2-6 arts 43, 46 Attack 3-4-5* inf XX 26 (An) U2, 0-1-5 cons 7, 0.5 Garrison @ 4:1 = DR. Advance 117, 14 XXs, 1, 16L, 43, 46 arts,. Garrison dispersed

Attack3: 3804 clear/fort  (Immediately W of Valencia) 6-8 lt XX 150, 6-6 inf XXs 52, 102, 3-2-6 inf 2LE, 3LE, 2-6 inf 2Mel (Col), 4-6 art 3RG, 1-2-6 art 42 and 3 pts GS Attack  6-6 inf XX 2A @ 5:1 (-1) = EX. Lose 2LE, 3LE. Advance 52, 102 XXs, 3RG, 42 arts. . fort destroyed,

Attack 4 3704 woods (NW Valencia) Supplied 4-6 inf XX 151, 1-2-8 art 50 and 7-6 inf XX 13, 6-6 inf XX 3, 2-1-8 cav 1E, 2O (Col), Transported 2-3-6 art 62, 1-2-6 art 48, 2-1-8 lt tk 3, 2-10 AA 88 (KL) and 2-1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV),transported 2-6 art 4P, 2-1-8 lt tk 2  Attack3-6 art AIAP, 1-8 lt tk 1 (U2) 2-3-5* inf XX 28 (An),1-2-5 infs Jou, TL (An), 1-5 infs Conf, 19Jul @ 4:1 (+1 -1) = DR. Eliminated, no retreat path.

Advance 151 XX, 50 art.

Attack 5: 3236 mtn (NE Teruel)  Unsupplied 4-5-5 inf XX 50, 3-4-5* inf XX 20, 1-6 inf 18, 1-6 inf I-S (Col) and  6-6 inf X 63, Supplied 2-8 mtn Guad, 2-1-8 art E, 3-2-6 inf 1LE, 6-6 inf XX 5 attack U2 3-6* inf XX 8 @ 7:1 (-4) = DR. Advance 50XX.

Attack 6: 3203 rough/fort (N of Teruel) Unsupplied 3-4-5* inf 83 XXs and 4-6 inf XX 21 attack 1-8 cav 7 @ 7:1 (-4) (1/6 chance of HX)  = DR Eliminated, no retreat path. Advance 83rd XX. Fort destroyed.

Exploitation movement: Bab (CTV), lt tk 2, Transported art 4p to 3702

Lt tk 3, 88 (KL), transported art 62 to 3602

lt tk N, mc B (CTV), mot art L (CTV) to 3535

For Whom the Bell Tolls – APR I 1939

Valencia invested

Republican Turn

VPs : Goberneto none collapse (R+5 VPs) None Surrender( R+10 VPs)
French border ;Open
Guerrillas; Ineffective
Supply:  Anarchists move to U3. 3GSPs generated at Murcia 26XX (An) draws on these.
The Republicans trapped North of Truel become U3. Anarchist expend all half of their accumulated RPs to rebuild the army and help stem the tide in Murcia.  The Easternmost stack of Nationalist Mech unit is U1
Replacements;   1SRP, recovered.   I-16/t10 rebuilt.

The delayed 0.5 point of Art RP is received from France. 2 steps Supply and a further Art point are diverted to  France.

Air Activity:  SB-2, R-Z fly DAS to 3904  swamp adjacent Valencia )

Attack: 3501 mtn (S of Teruel), U£ 2-3-5 inf XX21, 3-6* inf XX40, and U2 3-6* inf XX24, U3 2-3-5* inf XX 49 and Unsupplied 4-6 inf XXs47, 65 Attack 1-5 mech  @ 6:1 (-4) = DR. Eliminated, no retreat path. Advance 21, 40 XXs,

MAR II 1939

Narrative

After the collapse in Aragon the Republic have been shoring up the defences in front of Barcelona north of the Ebro. They have the Segre and Elbro to fall back on and some are counselling that they should do so now well ahead of a new Nationalist offensive. This would allow them to build up strong doubled positions far more secure than the flimsy fortifications and defences on the current front line. Furthermore it will prevent any flanking attack from the West via the Valencia/Barcelona road to trap units  in such a forward position. The counter argument is that the Nationalists will always be able to force a passage and a voluntary withdrawal giving them some 50 miles of territory is a price too high. The Republic have some 18000 tons of supplies arriving via France for the defences and time to build up due to Franco’s ill-judged diversion of momentum  from this front to Valencia. Conscription is extended and three fresh divisions are raised and preparing to take the field ranging from 16 year olds which the veterans call quintadel biberon (the babies bottle) to middle-aged fathers, Nationalist prisons of war and technicians were added to help in the factories, however due to the lack of rifles, not enough to go around, such measures were more effective as weapons of propaganda than substance The newly arriving material was more suited to aviation, special arms and machine gun manufacture the small arms doing no more than replacing those lost in the long retreat from the north and on the Mercian front.

Nationalist Turn

Weather;   Unchanged except for light squalls in the Med. (Rough). D=M. E=C , A= R, M= R
Supply:. Once again the Anarchist find their position at the far end of the line from their supply source to be a bad decision as they are cut off from their primary supply source and all become U1 because Barcelona is blockaded preventing the Naval supply element. .
Pacification; Gijon, Almeria
Movement: 1 Res pt spent to temporarily increase Rail Cap to 24.75 REs
Replacements: 1.5 SRPs, 0.5 (KL) SRPs recovered
CR.32Bis, HE111B replaced, 2-6 eng,  replaced.

Air Activity: Sortie 1. SM.81, 2B3 mxd fly to 3705 to provide GS. Intercepted by the I-15/t25 which eliminates the SM.81  (R+2 VPs)

Sortie 2 Do 17E flies airfield bombing to Murcia but is Returned by AA fire

R0 37, 1A2 mxd, escorted  CR32.Bis fly airfield bombing to Lorca. Intercepted by I-16/t5, I-152, GE,23. After swirling mêlée  I-152 in aborted and 1A2 mxd eliminated (R +2 VPs) . Bombs fall wide.

Naval Activity:  NTs shuttle 2 ASPs to San Sebastian from Bilbao.

Attack1: 3504 mtn (N of Valencia) Supplied 5-6 XXs 53, 54  , 1-8 mb B (CTV), 1-8 mot art L, 1-5 mech 1, 3-2-8 lt tk N with ! factor GS from SM.79-1, SM-79-1 (CTV).  Attack 1-6 eng 2 with 1 factor GS from R-Z @ 6:1 (-2) = DE. Advance all

Attack2:3603 rough (n of Valencia) Isolated U1 2-1-8 lt tk 2, 2-1-8 lt tk Bab (CTV), transported 2-6 art 4P with 3 points GS from HE111B,  HE111E (KL) attack 2-8 mot ACGA @ 4:1 (+2) = DE. No advance

Attack 3: 3604 rough (N W of Valencia) Supplied  4-6 inf XX 151 and 7-6 inf XX13, 6-6 inf XX 3, 5-6 inf XX 105, 1-2-6 art 48, 2-3-6 art 62 transport, 1-6 sec 20GC, 2-1-8 cavs 2O, 1E (Col) Attack 3-4-5* inf XX 17, 1-2-6 * inf 37 @ 5:1 (-1) = DE. Advance All except 20GC, 105XX.

Attack 4: 3705 rough (W of Valencia) Supplied 6-6 inf XX 52, 102, 6-8 lt inf 150, 3-2-6 infs 1LE, 2LE, 3LE, 1-2-6 art 42, 1-2-8 art 50 with 1 factor GS from 2B3 mxd Attack 3-6*inf XX22, 2-3-5* inf XX 16 @ 5:1 (-1) = EX. Lose 1LE, 2LE. Advance  3LE, 150 XX lt, 102XX, 42, 50 arts

Attack 5: 3910 clear (S of Hellin).  Supplied 5-6 infs 11,81, Unsupplied 5-6 inf 62, 1-6 mg O, 1-6 art 13l, 2-6 infs6Xau, 8Riff (Col) and 4-6 inf XX 112, 4-8 cav XX 2, 1-6 mg E, IMEXp,5-6 inf XX 84, 2-6 inf 4Lar (Col) Attack 1-5 infs AgL, Fan (AN) , 0-1-6 art CNT (AN), 2-6 nvl 1EO, 1-6 art 8L @ 4:1 = DH Lose  Fan, Agl, CNT. Advance 11,84 XX

The Nationalists resist the temptation to attack on the Zaragoza affront and continue to stock pile supplies and move attack formations into position ready for a massive offensive when the weather clears.

Mech Moves: Transported 62 art, AAA 88 (KL), lt tk 3. To 3603

Lt tk N, Mb B (CTV) mot art L (CTV), 1 mech to 3503

Advanced guard in 3703 holds.

For Whom the Bell Tolls – MAR II 1939

Valencia-Barcelona rail line cut by Nationalist lead elements

Republican Turn

VPs : Goberneto none collapse (R+5 VPs) None Surrender( R+10 VPs)
French border;  Open
Guerrillas; Ineffective
Supply:  Nationalist spearhead back in supply.
Anarchist U2. The Republicans trapped North of Truel become U2.
Replacements;  3 SRP, recovered.   I-152 repaired.,
The delayed 0.5 point of Art RP is landed in France.

Air Activity. Nationalist Harassment mission to 3905 (Alzera)  He 111E (KL),  mxd B, mxd 1A2, Do 17E escorted by ME 109E, Cr,32bis are intercepted by I-16/t10, 2X I-15/t25s which bypass the screen to engage the bombing force. The Me 109E Kills the I-16/t10. The rest of the engagement is without incident and 2 Harassment Hits are made  (N+2 VPs)

Sortie1: SB-2Bis out of Barcelona on Naval Patrol.

Sortie 2: R-Z hits rail line @ 3011.

Movement. Sensing the end is near in Murcia republic forces move towards Valencia to mass for a link up with forces moving from Barcelona. The government is Alicante slips out by night to set up  the government in  Barcelona (3624)

In the Zaragoza front the Republic initiate a ordered withdrawal from the northernmost positions south down the line of the Pyrenees

Attacks; None

MAR I 1939

Narrative

The Republic is not only fighting a military war but an economic one too.  The growing financial crisis and the low morale it produced was a great concert to the Negrin government.  The Republican  Zone has hyper inflation the cost of living more than tripling since the start of the war. The loss of the  factories in Northern Spain was a blow which the factories in the south struggled to replace. Indeed it was a feat of some magnitude that the metallurgical factories in Barcelona converted to a war footing where the expertise was so lacking. The Republic therefore was now as dependant as ever on foreign aid but the means to pay for these was quickly diminishing.  Payment was of course demanded in gold and when rumours circulated that the Republic had transferred their reserves to France and the Soviet Union a fever gripped European dealers who saw the potential of a quick profit at little risk.  Right from the start the Naivety of the Republic was evident as their obvious desperation created a seller’s market in Europe and north America.  Unscrupulous dealers and officials took large “commissions” and arms paid for in advance arrived as inferior substitutes.   Only 50% actually arrived after avoiding fraud, “shrinkage” and torpedoes.

The profiteering was widespread and although not known at the time even Herman Goering Minister President of Prussia and commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe was selling weapons while his own men were fighting for Franco.

Nationalists Turn

Weather;  The cold spell is over, the roads turn to mud in the north but sunny clear skies and hardening ground mark the start of what is hoped to be the final year of the war. . D=M. E=C , A= R, M= C
Supply:. Extreme left flank hex of Nationalist in North Aragon valley become U2..  Almeria pocket is eliminated bur the garrison survives to fight on.
Goberneto Collapse: Asturia.
Pacification; Hellin
Movement: 1 Res pt spent to temporarily increase Rail Cap to 24.75 REs
3-4-5* XX 18 moves into Almeria overunnuing Garrison.
Replacements; 2 SRPs recovered.  2-8 mtn rebuilt,  1A2 mxd, repaired.

Air Activity; Sortie 1: 1A2 Mxd , Ro 37 escorted by Cr.32 fly GS to 4314 (Aguilas – see below) Intercepted by I-16/t5. Which engages the CR.32 for no effect?

Sortie 2. Me 109E flies airfield bombing to Alicante.. I-5/t25 escapes to Valencia. ME109E avoids light flack (1pt) and Hits airfield.

Sortie3: CR.32bis (CTV), Me 109B/D escort SM.81 to Murcia to bomb airfield. I-16/t5, I-152  intercept and engages  the CR32.Bis  and Me 109B/D. The I-16/t5 is aborted.  SM.81 survives heavy flack (3 pts) but miss’s target

Sorties 4,5,6  against rail lines fail.

Naval Activity; Surface and Sub Task forces move to blockade Barcelona.

Attack 1: 4314clear (Aguilas) Unsupplied 3-4-5* inf XXS 40, 79, 1-6 inf 5, 1-6 inf 5MH (Col) and 4-6 inf XX 117, 3-4-5* inf XXS 14, 72, 1-6 inf 31, 1-2-6 arts 43, 46, 1-6 art 16L, 1-6 inf 1MT (Col) with 2 factors GS (see above) Attack 1-5 infs Fan, 19Jul, Conf, 0-1-6 art CNT @ 3:1 = HX. Lose5, 31.  Advance 14,72,117 XXs, 43, 46, 16L arts

Attack2: 3806 rough (NW of Alzera) Unsupplied (over river) 7-6 inf XX 13, 6-6 inf XX 3 and  Supplied

5-6 inf XXS11,62,81, 3-2-6 infs 1LE, 2LE, 3LE, 2-3-6 art 62, 1-2-6 art 48 and   6-8 lt XX 150, 6-6 inf XXs 52, 102, 1-2-6 art 42, 1-2-8 art50 2-6 infs 8Rif , 2Mel, 6Xau (Col) Attack 3-6* inf XX 3, 3-4-5* inf XX 77, 2-8 mot ACGA @ 7:1 (-1) = DH. Lose 77XX. Advance 52, 102 XX, 42art, 2 Mel. 6axu (Cols).

Attack 3: 3705 rough (E of Valencia) Supplied  2-1-8 lt tks 2,3,m Bab (CTV), 2-10 AA 88 (KL), Transported 2-6 art 4P, transported 4-6 art 3HG Attack 3-6* inf XX67, 2-3-5* inf XX 39, 1-6 eng 4, 0-, -5 cons 1 @ 2:1 (+3, -1) = EX. Lose 88 (KL( R+2VPs), 3RG, 3 lt tk. Advance lt tks 2 , Bab(CTV) , art 4P ,1x transport  ( A disappointing result, a DE would have ripped the  Republicans in two and allowed an overrun to Valencia. )

Attack 4: 3506 rough (on Valencia/Madrid rail line) Supplied 3-2-8 lt tk N, 1-8 mc B (CTV), 1-8 mot art L (CTV), unsupplied 1-5 mech 1, 4-8 cav 1, 3-4-5* inf XX 16, 4-5-5 inf XX 55 and 5-6 inf XXs 53, 54, supplied 5-6 inf XX 105, 2-1-8 cavs 1E, 2O (Col)  and unsupplied 4-6 inf XX 151. Attack 2-3-5* inf XX 42 @ 9:1 (-1) = DH. Advance 53, 54 XXs, lt tk N, mech 1, mc B (CTV), mot art L (CTV)

Exploitation lt tk N, mech 1, Mc B (CTV), mot art L (CTV) to 3505

Lt tks 2, Bab (CTV), transported art 4P boldly exploit to 3703 believing that the republic cannot move sufficient forces to block relief or make a counter attack.

Air Activity: Sortie 6:  DAS mission to 3505 Do 17E, He 111B escorted by CR.32Bis, CR.32Bis (CTV). Intercepted by I-16/t10 which engages the CR.32bis for no effect. CR.32Bis (CTV) eliminates one by-passing  I-15/t5. The other eliminates the HE 111B.  (N+2VPs, +2 VPs)

Sortie 7; SM 79-I adds to DAS at 3505 unopposed.

For Whom the Bell Tolls – MAR I 1939

The push to Valencia

Republican Turn

VPs : Goberneto none collapse (R+5 VPs) None Surrender( R+10 VPs)
French border;  Open
Guerrillas; Ineffective
Supply:  Nationalist spearhead pushed to out of supply isolated position at 3703
2 XXs and eng isolated U1 at southern edge of Cordillera Penebetica.
The line of XXs forming the Eastern flak and relying on the Valencia Teruel rail line are U1
Replacements;  3 SRP, 0.5 SRPs (An) recovered.   I-15/t5 repaired.
Replacement Pools (and rail cap split) Reinforcements Of the 2.5 art reps to go to Barcelona 1 is eliminated 0.5 turned back and 1 arrives.

Air Activity: 

Sortie 1: 1A2 with Me 109B/D flies to 39095 (Alzira) to Harris the hex. I-16/t10 , I-16/t5 intercepts.  The t10 mutually aborts with the Messerschmitt. The t/5 misses the bomber and returns.

Sortie 2:   I-16/t5 at Lerida attempts to bomb the airfield at 3133 but is intercepted by CR.32bis. (CTV) Jettisoning his bombs the I-16/t5 dispatches the Italians with ease and returns to base (R+2 VPs)

Movement: The Zaragoza front sends their last reserve divisions to the Valencia defence but maintains a second screen line and fully manned, fortified l defensive line. They position engineers to fortify the river line in front of Lerida but await Res points to begin construction.

Attacks: None

Sturmpanzer.com

The recent news that Richard Hedrick, the owner of Sturmpanzer.com plans to discontinue the site as more than enough reason to point your attention to this trasure of research material. Nearly as old as the General Staff, Sturmpanzer owes its existance to a much nobler cause: scientific research. From its inception, the website has been tool as well as display of historical reasearch, only superficially centered around the German assault tanks based on the Tiger chassis, the “Sturmbär”.

Pretty quickly the content broadened into archival and printed sources. However, Sturmpanzers main treasure trove are the extensive PDF catalogues of all things World War two contained in the National Archives in Washington, and a vast amount of German TO/E-Data, usually in the original form of the KStN. KStN is german and short for Kriegsstärkenachweis, which I would translate to “war/mobilisation strength rooster”. Before and During Second World War they served as the basic inventory and structure information of any german unit, and their continuous updates reflect the German Armys response to the requirements of war.

Last but not least, in the past years the research blog has been another rich source of Data, Insights and thoughts about – mostly – the german Army in World War Two. I highly reccomend a visit before its taken offline.

Date: August 23rd, 2017

URL: http://sturmpanzer.com

Byte rot and pixel dust

While browsing though the Kriegsarchiv I noticed there are still game reports not available or badly formatted. So I took some time to clean up some of the game reports, and the FWtBT, WiD and WD game reports should be fine to read now. With a new table plugin installed and in use the overview pages look much nicer, too!

Additionally, I finally swallowed my pride and re-upped an old game report written in 1999 by yours truly, in which I got served expertly by my then flatmate and still best friend, who, despite being a complete novice to Europa, showed me what happens if the Loyalists manage to link up with the Gubernitos of the North in FWtBT. Its not a pretty picture, and I am sorry we never got to finish the game. Which was by and large my fault. Anyway, I am sure there is a lesson in there, even if it is only that I never will excel at strategy games. Enjoy the read!

The Republic in Peril II

More news from Ken Newall’s game report on For Whom the Bell Tolls: The last spring has come for the Spanish Republic. As the first green returns to the hills of the Serrania de Cuenca, the fascist forces finally have stretched the ressources of the Republic to its limits. While factional strife erupts in the streets of Barcelona the black- and brown clad columns of Generalissimo Franco descend from the hights, the optics of their Zeiss-manufactured german scissor scopes trained on the beautiful prizes along the Spanish coast: Valencia and Barcelona. In Andalucia, the unbowed Anarchist brigades slowly retreat from one hill to the next, pursued slowly but methodically by the nationalist brigades that keep up the pressure relentlessly.

This turn of events is especially tragic since the Nationalists only narrowly avoided a linkup between the forces of the Republic and the beleagured Gubernitos of the North last autumn. Demoralized after what was seen by many as the last chance for a defeat of the Insurgents, the Basques and their allies finally succumbed to Franco in the winter of 38/39.

Read the full reports here.

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