Axis Player Turn
Calm seas and clear weather, again
The Axis use every available night capable bomber and attack unit to strat-bomb the port at Yeu, managing to KO the port again. One Do217 was lost to a NF and a couple of air units were returned or aborted by the heavy flak (US 3-10 Mot Hvy AA III and 2 points of AA from the airfield). The Allies will be U-1, but have enough supply for their engineers. Scorched earth continues in Italy with a slow retreat to the 34XX hex row.
On Corsica the Axis elect to defend on a 2 hex front – 27/1003 and 27/1103. Engineers clear more rail in Italy and along the French Med coast, but movement between Italy and France still must go by strat rail via Germany. The ants shipped to France last turn move into place near Yeu and around Bordeaux. It is too risky to remove any forces from the Channel coast to cover Normandy, Brittany or the Biscay. Since there is no LC ferry at Yeu the large stack in 17/1721 is reduced to a single 12-10 PzGren division. Small Axis air forces stand by to resist any Allied invasion along the Biscay coast, but the bulk remain in Italy and Southern France. An invasion of France is still considered unlikely due mostly to the paltry Allied air forces in the theater.
Allied Player Turn.
Allied engineers clear 3 hits from Yeu, and a US 0-1-8 Construction Regiment is shipped in. The Allies call up both MTO and the RAF ETO strat air forces. Germany calls up her strat air and places most in France. A lack of bases in the Biscay means that several fighters are stationed in Paris and central France. Most of last turn’s heavy Allied air losses are repaired in the ETO. The Allies take advantage of their 12-cap airbase on Belle to stage fighters there and then conduct a series of airbase attacks. After a couple of lucky Allied air-to-air rolls the Luftwaffe stops contesting the fighter sweeps (one lucky A-36 shot down a Fw-190A2and lived to tell about it). The Allies then went after bombers and attack units, in the process worsening the Axis basing situation. Allied bombers in England studiously avoided the heavy concentration of fighters in Paris to cut rail links between Germany and France. Strat air forces took care of Paris and several other rail depots.
In the MTO allied aircraft took out two anti-ship units stationed at Marseille, but did minimal damage to the rail links between Italy and France. Allied ground forces took two hexes in Corsica, eliminating the 5-8 SS Pz Gren X and reducing the 12-10 PzGren XX. On the mainland they took both coastal hexes of the 34XX hex row but avoided attacking large stacks of German c/m in bad terrain. Another US TF and LC moved from the MTO to ETO, setting up for possible ferry operations at Yeu on Oct I. With the reinforcements to the ETO there are now 3 division equivalents of airborne, 16 LC, 4 TF and 42 air units in England or the Biscay islands. Seven more REs of Italians died, bringing the total to 41. The Axis should have no real trouble holding the count below 50 REs until Oct II, meaning a surrender roll is likely Nov I 43. 2 German air units are in the eliminated box; 7 German, 2 Italian and 3 US air units are in the aborted boxes. The Allies have not taken any ground or naval losses.
Victory point count: The first count results in a +8 for controlling Sicily and Corsica. The slow but steady Allied strategy and the Axis accountant gambit both seem to be functioning. Knowing the victory point table rewards a cautious Allied player is some compensation for not getting to try what I know to be workable operations that would speed up progress, but the coast of France sure looks inviting. Having banked 3 months worth of NRPs and Infantry replacements may make some risk taking more likely, but time runs short n the weather calendar.