The weather clears over the Alps. A major reorganization and rethinking of the Entente defensive scheme in France begins. The British armies prepare to defend their area with reserves behind the line ready to react wherever the Central Powers attacks. The French also try to set up their defenses this way – relying on reserves (now that the weather is good and reserve movement possible by all of the troops) to bolster their front line. This will allow a better defense threat since three divisions in reserve can cover two or three front line hexes (each defended by three divisions). A better utilization of troops can result.
The Italians maneuver the 3rd Army to recover its lost ground. An assault by the 3rd Army recovers one of its lost hexes while destroying an Austrian fortress brigade. Attacks by the 4th Army result in the recapture of Villach and the repulse of three Italian corps near Triest. The total losses are 46 Italian Manpower Points versus 10 Austrian Manpower and 3 Equipment Points.
Tom: Just when you think things are starting to break up in your favor, it really hits the fan with an AP result on your largest attack! At least the Austrians had to bleed a little this turn too. I really fear that the Central Powers are going to reinforce the Austrians with German troops between Trient and Triest. There is a large gap between the two cities that is very hard to keep in supply for the Italians while conducting offensive operations around the two cities. I hate to have to go on the defensive down here since an offensive in France is going to be difficult. I am building up the British to try an offensive later this year, but I am not sure if I can do it.
The Bavarian Alp Corps is formed and moves to the Munchen on the Austrian Border. It is joined by the Gae/B Army Group HQs and three resource points. The corps unites all of the mountain troops available to the Germans on the Western Front. The decision is still not made on declaring war on Italy, but the practicalities are far along. Elsewhere, the Central Powers strengthens its defensive line while the Austrians prepare to throw back the Italians who have recaptured Villach. Zepplins fail to have any effect on London or Lyon.
The attack on Villach results in an EX. The Austrians lose 8 Manpower Points to the Italians 5 Manpower Points.
The Italian 3rd Army successfully counterattacks and frees the last of Austrian-held Italy by forcing the Austrians back across the border. There are no losses.
Carl: I have formed the Alps Corps and prepared them to aid Austria. Germany still has not declared war on Italy, but the lure of mobile combat and kicking Italy out of the war is pretty great. The Western Front requires too many resource points and too much static defense on both sides to really get an offensive going. I should still concentrate something on the French, but the new front with its mobile combat is a real temptation. The Italians just do not have the forces they need to really defend everywhere, and a counterattack would go far in providing a good defense for Trient and Triest.