The Entente half of late August continued usual trends of heavy losses without decision.
Britain repaired an air group, rebuilt an Australian division from cadre, and replaced a siege engineer regimental group.
Italy rebuilt a brigade from remnant and a division from cadre, plus repairing an air group.
France replaced two engineer and one heavy artillery regiments, rebuilt one metropolitan and one colonial division from cadre, and repaired two air groups. To feed the effort, the French also disbanded and scrapped three light rifle cadres and three full-strength rifle divisions.
Prussia rebuilt two divisions from cadre.
At sea, Austro-Hungarian aircraft found the Entente fleet off Istria, dodged its flak, and missed its ships with bombs, while the Entente trickled forces into Istria through a minor port and over a busy beach. Then, Franco-Italian light forces completed a mine field all the way from the Venice – Istria safe zone to within a few miles of the Austrian port at Lussin Island, to enable safe naval support for a developing cross-strait attack on that position.
On the Italian Front, the Italians attempted to attack grid 4207, a “key railroad.” Interceptors, escorts, and flak all missed, but the recon aircraft nonetheless failed to usefully contribute to the outcome. National will and a majority elite force mostly counteracted the protective mountainous terrain, but without recon the fieldworks of the position left the attack with a possible Attacker Loss result and the Italians non-conducted that class in how to lose a war.
In the air, the remaining Italian aircraft attacked the Austro-Hungarian railroad system, cutting a junction in the Alps with the small, useful effect of later causing rail capacity use in moving engineers to the rear rather than anything more valuable.
On the main front, because French and British movements proclaimed ambiguity, the Germans split their combat air patrols over grid 1919, the iron field at Briey, and the coal mines at Valenciennes. French ambiguity in particular was significant because a lot of their heavy artillery slid southward along the line, still a threat to Briey but also closer to grid 1919.
The French elected to push at grid 1919. Three escorts damaged a group of interceptors, which damaged and sent fleeing one each groups of recon aircraft before the remaining two groups dodged flak and found targets. The reconnaissance effort counteracted German entrenchments, while national will, two multi-brigade engineer assaults, and siege engineers bestowed upon the attack a tremendous +4 bonus. After perfect reserve commitment rolls, the Germans brought the odds down to 199:100 and achieved another both exchange result.
German losses: RP, 3-4-7 light III, and 3-5-5 engineer X eliminated; 16-18-5, 13-15-5, and 11-13-5 Bavarian divisions to cadre,
French losses: 2x RP, 0-2-5 siege engineer [X], and 0-1-4 engineer [III] eliminated; 3x 8*-11-5 and 3x 10*-13-5 divisions to cadre.
In the north, the British attacked Maubeuge and accepted a smaller battle with much weaker forces in exchange for an absence of aerial opposition. Reconnaissance helped the British, but the strength of the unimproved fortress proved greater and Entente gas engineers failed as usual, so that when 2.8:1 odds rolled upward a both exchange resulted as usual.
British losses: RP eliminated; 4x 9-12-5 and 1x 8-11-5 division to cadre
German losses: RP eliminated; 2x 13-15-5 and 1x 12-14-5 Prussian divisions to cadre
The British considered three other battles along the Belgian-French border and decided against all of them as being more likely to result in severe attacker losses than merely equal losses.
While Germanic forces reacted to patch their lines and prepare yet another round of withdrawals to Rumania, all the Zeppelin groups either failed to reach or failed to hit their British city and French factory targets.
Central Powers Turn
In the Central Powers’ half of the end of August, events continued along well established trend lines.
Austria-Hungary replaced 1*-4 static III and 2-1-0 coast artillery II, and upgraded a railroad engineer III to X.
Prussia disbanded and scrapped the 8-11-5 4er division because it could not be found anyway, upgraded heavy flak II to III, replaced 1-3-5 gas engineer III, and repaired an air unit.
Bavaria rebuilt three divisions from cadre.
The Netherlands rebuilt a division from cadre.
The Central Powers continued to solidify positions in the Alps, along the Isonzo, and in Istria.
On the main front, while several German cadres moved to rest positions on the Dutch coast, one corps of Dutch marched south and another railed all the way to the upper Rhine valley, while Austro-Hungarian forces there continued to trickle away toward the Alps.
In reaction, the Italians began to shift their offensive forces out of the Alps, with potential destinations of the Isonzo, the Trient salient, and/or Istria, all of which might be more fruitful fields of adventure.
In reaction on the main front, one British army pulled various units off or along the line to re-mass against the tip of the German salient near Lille. The French, meanwhile, pulled many offensive units off the line to maximize their possibilities in September. More than two corps of heavy artillery slid southward along the line, some still threatening to Briey but others facing only grid 1919.
An Entente ground assault was only a dream in the reaction phase, due to a combination of relative weakness, lack of allowance to bombard, and for the French a dismal aerial situation.
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