British – At Haifa the tattered and torn remnants of the Greek Debacle come ashore (2 AS X’s, 1 NZ X, 1 Br X, Layforce Commando X, 6th AS HQ, Blenheims and Hurricanes) These units, despite the ordeal they have just suffered, are thrown into the invasion of the Levant that begins this turn.
Levant – Cavalry, Springboks, Free French, Czech’s, and Brits hit two Vichy units in the hills north of the border, but despite air support the Vichy are dug in and determined, fighting off the allied attack. (3:1 = AS). Further towards the coast, 2 British Xs with artillery support drive back some colonial rabble with cavalry support (3:1 = DR). In the centre of the front, the Polish Karpaty X with SAAF air spt smash the 16TT III and threaten to break the Vichy line. (4:1 = DH)
Iraq – The newly formed Habforce canters along the oil pipeline road towards the far off front. The 2nd Assyrian Battalion occupy Basra against minimal opposition. Here they await the promised arrival of units from India.
Egypt – Under the cover of darkness, merchant ships provide supplies to the defenders of Tobruk. Behind Halafaya Hurricane fighters arrive at the forward airstrips, ready to protect the Allied forces. The Allied CinC is fairly confident that he can hold the line while he tidies up the annoying distractions in the Near East.
Axis – Supplies reach the front at Tobruk. The HQ of the 90th Light XX is returned to Sicily by patrolling RN vessels operating out of Malta.
Egypt – 20REs of units are used to try and storm Tobruk. The attack is hard pressed and should be overwhelming, but to the anger of the CinC, it is beaten off. (4:1 -1 ATEC, -1Fort = AS) This attack should have succeeded, and there is consternation that the Allies may improve the fortress making it next to impossible to seize! To show his resolve at pressing forward, the HQ of the CinC is moved forward from Bengasi to Barce.
Levant – The Vichy commander withdraws his lead units into the mountains while Colonial and Legion units head south to join the battle. He welcomes with open arms the arrival of LW Ju 88 bombers and Me 110D fighters. He is surprised to learn some of these have been assigned to Iraq. Sacre bleu!
Iraq – The newly arrived LW units are received with wild jubilation by the locals. in the south of the country, Iraqi military units advance to Basra, hopefully to block off this access route to Iraq. From Iran, the Shah sends a personal message of goodwill and encouragement to the leaders of the coup. This disturbs Allied intelligence officials.
In an ominous sign, engineering units are observed by Luftwaffe recon planes erecting Fortifications outside Alamein. Severe name calling ensues across the frontline between the respective CinC’s. Axis intelligence summaries indicate that either the Allies plan to run away to the Alamein line and draw Axis forces away from Tobruk or that the CinC Middle East is a cautious commander. The HQ 50th XX is observed at Matruh.
Levant – SA and Brit infantry arrive with the 1st Tank X. Two massive attacks are made, one south of Beirut by British Armour, Free French and SA that destroys the Vichy defenders and one at Mt Hermon pass by Aussies, Poles and Kiwis that likewise grinds the defence into small pieces. The French commander signals Vichy desperately for troops to aid him, but the strong control of the sea lines by the British makes it next to impossible to provide any aid other than aircraft.
Iraq – Habforce arrives in the swamps east of Ramadi, much to the relief of the 1st Assyrian II. At Basra the HQ 10th Indian arrives with a single Brigade in support. Many complaints are made about the lack of sanitation and comfortable billets. Overworked supply personnel set about developing a supply terminal at the port. Outside the city, the disappointed Iraqi soldiers arrive too late to interfere and set about wondering how they are going to defend their country now…….
The Levant – With the flower of the Vichy Army being decimated by the brutal British and the uncultured riff raff of the Globe, the valiant forces of France fall back again into the mountains, trading space for time and looking rakish in their kepis and chain smoking gitanes, muttering sacre bleu and zot alors as they watch the tanks of the British in the valleys below. They can only hope for good news from Egypt to save them now. By sheer coincidence, a scratchy radio signal is received from Tobruk…………
Libya/Egypt – With no supplies, desperate and hungry, in a vain but glorious all-or-nothing bid for eternal glory, the besieging Axis forces of Tobruk attack at half strength the redoubtable Tobruk defenders. In a what is obviously a surprise, a breakthrough is made quickly and the entire garrison is routed for the loss of a few German tanks of the 21st Pz XX. (2:1 -1 ATEC, -1 fort = EX) Churchill is dumbfounded, CinC Middle East is suicidal, the Italian Commander gracious in victory with only a small amount of war dances and cries of “in your face”. (Truly a jammy moment in wargaming history!) To make matters better, the Attack Supplies hoarded in Tobruk are captured intact. Suddenly the garrison at Halafaya are as nervous as a herd of sheep in a field on a dark night outside a New Zealand pub….
Iraq – The ever victorious forces of the Iraqi military gather outside Basra – 2nd XX, 4th XX and 1st Mech X, with lots of wonderful air support from the mighty Luftwaffe and dashing pilots of the Iraqi air force. Soon the impudent infidel dogs will be pushed into the sea (or maybe the desert depending on what way they want to retreat) and Iraq will reign supreme in its homeland!!