Apr I

British – A colonial construction unit and Australian engineers begin construction of forts at Halafaya (a sure sign of impending doom commented the Italian commander) while the 3rd Arm X destroyed the airfield at Derna. More bombing raids are conducted on Bengasi – this time German Me 110Ds intercept and sent one Blen 4 spiralling out of control and on fire into the Abort box. The other gets through and causes more damage to Bengasi.

Axis – At Vichy in France, Marshal Petain summons the German Ambassador to a meeting. Citing numerous British outrages against France, he offers the full and unqualified support of Vichy forces operating in the Levant region. Germany and their Italian allies may operate in and out of Syria and Lebanon without restriction, and furthermore, if needed, may base troops in the region to support any efforts in Iraq and Iran. British outrage is loud and prolonged and authorisation is given from Whitehall to CinC Middle east to take any and all measures to crush this threat to British control over the Near East. The CinC ME is heard to mutter to the Commander Western Desert Field Forces “With what shall I crush this threat?!” (Rolled snake eyes for full Levant participation, a pleasant experience as its the first time this has happened for me in WitD). In the highlands west of Derna, British tank units are awoken at dawn by the low throb of advancing enemy tanks. The Italians and the attached 21 Pz XX hit the defenders hard, pushing them back in disarray. (3:1 -1 terrain = DR)

In exploitation, the 21 Pz XX runs around the southern flank of the British force to seize Derna and heads towards Ain el Gazala.

Apr II

British – Mass panic breaks out amongst the leading allied troops. The units based on the 7th Arm XX attack 21 Pz XX from the east while the AS 7th XX and odds and sods attacks out of Tobruk from the west. The panzers stand fast against this threat and turn aside the weak allied thrust. (3:2, -4 ATEC, +2 AECA = AS) Elsewhere the 4th Indian cadre returns from Ethiopia and is railed to Matruh while a transport unit heads to Palestine where much shouting and swearing is going on between border guards and the French.

Axis – The Italian CinC orders a massive attack on those units based on the 7th Arm XX surrounded west of Gazala. In a fierce battle, the plucky British give their best before being swallowed up by the mass of German armour and Italian tankettes. The Ariete XX is roughly handled and the 10B III lost while the whole British force goes in the bag – being isolated from other British units, not one tank or soldier is able to escape to friendly lines (No special RPs generated – aww shucks!) (3:1 AECA/AECD cancels each other = HX)

In a follow on from the successful attack, the 21 Pz and 102 Trento XXs with mechanised/motorised odds and sods swing south to south of Tobruk and glare threateningly at Halafaya.