The British 5th Army takes over the defense of another hex from the French. The French are beginning to fray, but they do manage to defend every hex with at least 25 defense. Two of the hexes have only a single division and some support troops. The Reims area is well defended with six full strength divisions in each hex. The Italians pull back behind the Adda river in front of Milano. They also reinforce the Verona area and are forced to pull the 1st Corps back from Trient.
The British attack at Lens again. This time, the Germans fire a defensive bombardment. The British bombardment disrupts five German divisions while the German bombardment disrupts five British artillery units. The attack continues home and gets a DX result.
The Austrians fail to react. The German 3rd Army reacts and hits the French 35th Corps with a 4:1 +5 attack which yields a DL result and another hex near Reims falls.
The Entente lost 14 French Metropolitan, 11 British Manpower, and 6 Equipment points. The Central Powers lost 12 German, 5 Saxon, and 22 Equipment points.
Tom: The British have been able to continue their offensive. With the current lack of Central Powers manpower and equipment points, it is beginning to force Carl to look at the situation and react to it. The defensive bombardment was pretty heavy, fortunately they were all 1H results that I could place on my artillery – since they were already halved it did not really matter. The artillery from the Germans were from an adjacent corps, not the target corps. The retreat of the French 35th Corps was a surprise. The five divisions in the hex should have been able to hold off any of his attacks, but Carl was able to get that +5 DRM and blew the corps back with only light losses for the Germans. Hopefully, the attacks on Lens and the withdrawals to the East Front (to counter the Russian Brusilov offensive) will make him slow his attacks against the French.
The Austrians advance towards Milano and Verona. The Germans reinforce their defenses at Lens and their offensive against Reims.
The German 4th Army attacks from Toul against the French 9th Corps and achieves a bloody repulse. Another heavy bombardment on Reims followed by an attack which results in a 9:1 +3 DRM and a DD resulting in the fall of Reims! As Reims has been surrounded with enemy ZOCs, only the two chssr divisional cadres manage to retreat. This is a heavy blow to the French. A combined Austrian and German attack captures another hex adjacent to Verona. An attack by the German Alps Corps advances another hex and Verona is now surrounded by enemy ZOCs.
The Italians react by stripping a division from each of their front line corps and sending them back as a reserve for the endangered areas around Verona and Milano. The French 7th Army near Belfort also strips out a division from each of its corps to send to the Reims area for bolstering the French defenses there. The British sit and watch.
The Central Powers lost 6 Bavarian Manpower and 32 Equipment points. The Entente lost 44 French Metropolitan, 8 Italian Manpower, and 58 Equipment points. The French morale stands at 19.5 morale points left.
Carl: As you can see from the above losses, both the French and the Germans lost some divisional cadres. The Germans lost them around the Toul area in their attack while the French lost them all over the place. It is coming ever so closer to a French surrender, only 19.5 points and victory is mine! I am in a hurry because Tom and I will play the game again (probably starting next September) with the sides switched, so speed is of the essence at this point. The Italian campaign is going well, but it has taken a back seat to the real decision approaching against the French.