The French build in preparation for their attack. The British decide to delay their offensive until the new divisions are formed next turn. They are just spread too thin to really manage any type of concentration. The Italians manage to form a defensive line and pull back from hex GW2:4606 to shorten their line and be in better defensive territory.
The French offensive begins with a lengthy artillery bombardment which succeeds in disrupting two of the three defending divisions, but the Germans manage to reinforce with three reserve divisions. The attack goes home on a 2.8:1 DRM -1 (Foch’s doing – great French leadership!) and achieves a BX result. The Germans lose 30 German and 12 Saxon Manpower Points and the French lose 54 French Metropolitan and 8 French African Manpower Points. In addition, the Germans lost 6 morale points while the French lost 9.
The Austrians react and follow the Italians as they retreat near Triest. The German GAE/B Army HQs reacts and the Alps Corps attacks part of the Italian defensive line and eliminates it, opening a hole in the line. The Italians lose 6 Italian Manpower and 2 Equipment Points.
Tom: I figured that I might be crazy to attack the Central Powers but it turned out as well as I could expect. The French will not be able to maintain these losses – particularly in morale – so the French offensive may be over now. Hopefully, the attack will make Carl hesitate a bit more before stripping too much from the Western Front. The continued offensive in Italy has me worried. I think the Italians will have to withdraw from their attempts to cut off supply from Trent. It was not going anywhere too fast anyway.
The French are almost able to replace all of their lost strength from their offensive. The Zepplins strike and actually manage to bomb London successfully! It has been a long time since their last success. The Central Powers keeps all of their equipment points in reserve but use their new manpower points to rebuild cadred divisions. Some resource points are expended on rebuilding captured coal fields.
The Alps Corps moves a division through the gap in the Italian lines and captures the Italian 3 Army HQs, destroying two resource points. The Corps then attacks and forces back an Italian Corps. The Alps Corps has now reached the Italian plains with two divisions holding the edge of the Alps. There were no losses in the attack to either side.
Neither the French nor the Italians are able to react.
Carl: The French offensive was instructive. A low odds attack with a negative DRM, yet it was still successful. I know he was hoping I would have to react stronger to his attack, but the Italian front beckoned – especially with his unguarded Army HQs with two resource points. The Italians are now in a fix. They will probably have to retreat from the Trent area and this will open up a rail supply line for my Germans and Bavarians. I am not sure, but he may have to withdraw from Triest also because I am threatening to cut off their supplies. I have two more divisions ready to head south (I received them from the Eastern Front this turn as cadres) and that should aid in a drive to the coast near Mestre. The Entente may have to ship troops to Italy from France to help the Italians.