Axis Player Turn
Axis withdrawal from Italian toe is hampered by Allied harassment and rail breaks. Two 2-3-2 XX and two ants are left to prevent Allied overruns of Reggio and Giovanni, a 2-3-2 XX is disbanded and German c/m XX cover 3821 and 3921, to hold up the Allies during their exploit. The 20-10 SS Pz XX is rebuilt and also backs up the Axis position on the toe.
Several German ants migrate back to France and strong defences are maintained along the toe, heel and west coast of Italy as well as the French Med coastline. Anti-shipping air units shift north to Roma-La Spezia-Genova. A strong group of B-tupes with a few fighters stay a Napoli, and an even smaller group of 1x A-tyoe and fighters are at Foggia, just in range of Taranto. The bulk of the Axis air is deployed to protect the Med coast from Roma to Marseille, backing up the danger zones.
With 5x German c/m XX’s south of Napoli and two more around that city it seems unlikely that the Allies will attempt any tricky moves.
In WEST 1x 14-10 Pz XX and 2x 6-8* Resc Pz XX back up 5-7-6 Inf and 4-5 Static divisions, with only a few ants to fill in.
During the Axis turn the Allies transfer a few more B-types to England.
Allied Player Turn
After considering an airdrop on Corsica the Allies chicken out – there are just too few friendly fighters and too many enemy naval patrols. To console themselves the Allies take Yeu, wipe out La Madallena (11 isolated Italian REs KIA) and cross the straits of Messina to the toe. Poor dice allow both Italian stacks to retreat, but it seems unlikely those 2-3-2 Coastal XX’s will be able to get away in Aug II.
Both MTO and the RAF ETO strat air forces join Allied TacAir in chewing up the French/Italian rail nets. Although rail lines out of Italy are cut the damage will be temporary, though it looks like any rail traffic to France will have to go via Germany.
Allied navies set up two LC for a crossing to Corsica on Aug II. With 15 fighters within intercept range and more ready for CAP it seems likely that at least one LC will survive. In addition numerous special ops are prepared. Allied bombers put 2 hits on Calvi, leaving Bastia the only untouched port on Corsica.
A couple of US ants ship to England, along with all the components for the British Airborne XX. The ETO now has 3x TF, 7x LC, 23x NT, 2 division-equivalents of airborne and 3x Marine-Commando Bdes.
The question is, will the Axis feel inclined to send more forces to the Biscay coast, or air units to France? The next few turns may be critical. Allied air remains weak in the ETO with 11x F, 1x NF, 1x A, 2x T and 5x B-types. However, when Yeu’s airbase becomes operational the air distance between Allied theaters drops to 45 hexes and a lot of air units can easily switch theaters.