Axis Player Turn
Everything is going more or less according to plan. All Italian units either got off Sicily or were disbanded, and units began to pull out of the toe. Several engineers were required to open up the rail line north, and Allied harassment slowed down the move somewhat. On Sardinia nothing could be done about the isolated status (due to DZs from Allied-owned ports), but the second 5-4-8 Art III was carted off by Me323s and the pop-up garrison regiments were taken off by other transports. With deployment of the remaining garrison division 7 Italian divisions, the 1-2-4 Art and 1-8 Cav III remain and establish a hedgehog defense around La Maddalena.
The west coast, toe and heel of Italy are well covered. One of the Italian 9-8 Arm XX was activated early, along with a 2-8 Para-Inf III. Unfortunately the second 9-8 and Para-Inf HQ failed their rolls and ended in the dead pile. Several German ants were airlifted into Corsica to stiffen the defenses. A 10-6 Inf XX and 4-5* Static XX were sealifted in to provide backbone for the defense. The plan is to delay the fall of Sardinia (and surrender roll) until bad weather.
Anti-shipping units migrated north from Napoli, which is now the southernmost airbase used by the Axis.
This is my first try at the “accountant’s defense” and I find it requires a great deal of restraint. Thanks to Rich Velay for all the coaching and advice, he’s been very responsive to my questions.
Allied Player Turn:
All of Sicily is overrun and a massive buildup across from the toe is put in place. Under cover of darkness LCs slip into each of the three hexes opposite the toe, ready to act as ferries for an Aug I crossing. Several permanent and temporary airbases are built on Sicily to augment the city airports, which were captured intact. It seems the Axis were in such a hurry to leave they didn’t have time to demolish those facilities.
On Sardinia the 4 Italian divisions are killed in combat and overrun, the first Axis casualties. Italian forces still hold La Maddalena and the vital crossing hex to Corsica, but both should fall next turn. With the fall of 27/1403 DZs block Axis supply to all but two ports in Corsica. With 8 engineers on Sardinia and 10 on Sicily it looks like the construction business will be brisk in August.
In the ETO Allied paratroopers descend on Isle de Belle and with ample air support take the island for a a forward base. Engineers, supply and a resource point are off-loaded across the beaches. Elsewhere in the ETO 5 LC join 2 TF, 3x Command X and a broken down Brit Inf XX in off-map Britain. Three REs of airborne, with another due next month, are on-map. The as yet small ETO air force is joined by 2x P-38 and 1x A-30A which fly a shuttle mission from Corsica, failing to damage the rail link north of Lyon. Is this an attempt to draw off Axis forces from the MTO, or a buildup for an invasion of France?
Allied air power continues to pound away at the French and Italian rail nets. Certain parts of southern Italy are starting to resemble the moon.