The French have the African reinforcements arrive in Nancy while the released Italian garrison troops arrive in Epinal. The British transfers from the British Isles to France do not occur because the Entente player commands both commands. The Entente player will have to ship the units over during his movement or exploitation phases using his NT units. The Belgian hidden corps are now revealed as well as all but the 1 Hv Cav XXX for the French. The BEF Corps are still hidden.
The French move the R38 Corps down to Belfort to occupy the empty hex in Alsace-Lorraine. This yields the first Plan 17 point! The Corps will attempt to force a German X out of another hex during the combat phase for another point. The Italian Border garrison troops help to strengthen the line between the 1st and 7th Armies. Other troops are centralized and pulled in from the 4th and 5th Armies to support attacks around Metz and the Luxemburg ore fields. Most of the attacks should be about 3:1 or better. The DRMs may be the kicker. Every attack has at least one cavalry division to attempt CEC. Foch is available at 1st Army HQs, but he could be a two edged sword. The 5th Army must advance past Namur before it hits the German line. By not advancing into Namur, the Germans have forced the French to open a hole to the rear of the French armies that must be plugged with the mobile forces to the north. This stretches them even further. The French 5th Army barely escapes having to take fatigue by using their cavalry to go all the way through the Ardennes to contact the German line and keep French line continuity.
In the north, the Belgians can do nothing around Antwerp. The Chssr cadre holds on in Namur. It will at least cost the Germans something to take the place again. The Group D’Amade must advance into the gap between Maubeuge and Namur to keep the Germans from pouring through. This forces the BEF to advance to Mons to support their flank and hold the line. Otherwise, the French forces will be destroyed and pushed out of the way during the reaction movement and combat phases and the Germans will pour through during their Aug II 14 turn. The only saving grace is the fact that the BEF Corps are still hidden. The British RN transported the British reinforcements into Dunkerque where they march to Lille as the BEF reserve.
The attacks start in the south where the R38 Corps attacks a lone German X near the German-Switzerland border and captures the hex for another Plan 17 point. A failed attack at the boundary of the 1st and 7th Armies results in the French forces falling back to the Epinal fortress and giving up a fort to the Germans. French attacks near Metz close on the city as the Germans retreat safely away. The attack on the Luxemburg ore fields results in the French exceeding their 20 Plan 17 points.
Total losses were 73 French Manpower and 21 Equipment versus 16 German Manpower, 5 Wurttemburg Manpower, and 6 Equipment Points.
The CP started the reaction movement phase off with a successful strategic recon mission over the BEF at Mons. It is composed of four British 1st Line XXs. Namur is overrun by the 1st Hv Cav Corps, which then pulls back into the reserve. The 3rd Corps marches into Namur. The 2nd and 7th Corps march up to take out the French Group D’Amade, ignoring the BEF for right now. Every army in the CP activates except for the 5th Army around Metz. Every army is poised to attack the enemy and provide a chance at breaking through the Entente lines.
The French Group D’Amade is blown through, the remaining division retreats to guard the 5th Army’s supply depot. The French 1 Hv Cav Corps is pushed back through the Ardennes and allows the CP to isolate the French 5th Army and the 1st and 10th Corps. A minor battle is fought on the southern end of the line where the CP recaptures the hex on the Swiss-German border and destroys the offending French X.
Total losses are 9 German Manpower and 6 Equipment Points against 22 French Manpower and 7 Equipment losses.
The exploitation phase saw the BEF reinforce its lead Corps with the British Hv Cav Division and the French Hv Cav restore a line of communications to the French 5th Army.
Tom: Well the good news is that Plan 17 is done with. I should have attacked the Luxemburg Ore fields before I attacked in the Vosges, but that is history. Overall, except for the retreat in the Vosges, the French escaped Plan 17 very lightly. The main problem is on the Belgian flank. Having to advance the 5th Army beyond Namur, even if it was only by a single hex, has left the 5th Army in a very exposed position. As it is, the CP will be able to come pouring in behind the 5th Army in their Aug II 14 turn. The BEF is more exposed than I had planned on, but they are concentrated and may be able to defend themselves. The CP turn will tell.
The French 5th Army is out of general supply, as well as a single German XX near the French border behind it. The Entente decides to allow them to be out of general supply and save the Resource Points with the 5th Army for combat supply. Italy allows the Argentinian volunteers through to Germany and the CP activates the siege army HQ (CR #62). The HQ will have to be withdrawn during the CP Initial Phase in Nov II 14.
The CP sends a Hv Cav division around the BEF flank to cut off hope of combat supply from the BEF Army HQ. Some infiltration in the Ardennes starts to threaten the French 4th Army.
The Germans attack Maubeuge with the 3rd and 1st Hv Cav Corps supported by the siege artillery, the French succeed in defending the fortress, but they use up half of the Resource Point in Maubeuge, leaving only 3 British XXs in combat supply in the BEF. The attack on the BEF results in an exchange, very bloody for the CP, but devastating for the British who are destroyed when they are forced to retreat. In the Ardennes, the CP isolates the French 5th Army and hits the 1st Corps, pushing it back. Longwy falls to the CP 5th Army and isolates the French 4th Army. South of Metz, the 5th Army crushes the French 20th Corps and forces the shattered remains back to Nancy. This defeat also results in the French National Will be reduced to 4. This will give the Germans a DRM in their favor in all combats.
The total losses are 83 German Manpower and 32 Equipment Points versus 2 French African, 6 French Foreign, 39 French, 46 British Manpower and 75 Equipment Points.
With only two French Armies reacting, a small counterattack by the French 7th Army in the Vosges does not gain any ground while the French 6th Army pulls back around Metz.
The total losses are 4 German and 5 Wurttemburg Manpower Points.
The Germans exploit with their Hv Cav near Maubeuge capturing two coal fields in France and destroying the French factory at St. Quentin.
Carl: A very successful turn for me. When he exploited the British Hv Cav division in with the rest of his BEF, it seemed that I should have attacked the BEF during the Reaction Phase. However, I was able to get a Hv Cav Division in his rear and cut off his retreat. The EX result was well worth it. I managed to rid Maubeuge of any ZOC producing units and was able to use my Hv Cav to exploit well into his rear. With the French 4th and 5th Armies isolated, and the BEF extremely bloodied, the Entente left flank is in great danger. The French will have to pull many of the troops from the south to defend the north. Perhaps this will open it up for my capture of Nancy in the south.