In Egypt, Halafaya is abandoned and the Alamein handicap is underway as a general retreat begins. Obviously with Tobruk fallen, the few units left are not sufficient to face the whole Axis forces. Movement of units is difficult due to tears blurring the British Commander’s vision when he peers at the map. At Alamein, Indians and South Africans arrive to man the forts that are sprouting like mushrooms in the desert. A lone Wellington bomber flies over Bengasi and ignores the severe AA to smash the docks (1 hit).
Levant – Beirut falls in a bloody battle to the British with Frrench Colonial troops lost despite having Lt Tanks supporting them in the city. The triumphant Allies enter and the 1st Tank X moves up the coast to seize Tripoli (the other one) and overruns the French crews of the Leo 451’s based there. The pilots swear in colourful French at the tank boys and refuse to tell them where the best bordello in town is. Inland the 70th HQ with Czech’s and British infantry take the city of Homs.
Iraq – The Allies remain in position, patiently waiting for a build up in strength, confident they will destroy Rashid Ali and his band of criminals. Habforce troopers try to teach Kurdish levies the rudiments of cricket. The experiment is not a success and the English concede they have as much chance as Americans introducing Grid Iron to the Antipodes.
Egypt – Flush with success, the Axis troops advance to Matruh, unable to contact the fleeing Allied scum due to the reliance the Italians have on shank’s pony for transport. In celebration, the Italian CinC announces he is moving his HQ to Ain el Gazala “to be with the troops.” In the Med, the German Afrika Const III is returned to base by marauding Allied pirates operating out of Malta. In retaliation, a massive 400 bomber raid scores 4 hits against the allied bastion. The Allied CinC is reported as “pale and shaken”.
Levant – The remaining Vichy forces engage in a tactical redeployment northwards. (“This is not a retreat!” the French commander was reported as saying in The Allepo Tatler) Things look grim however for the plucky Frenchmen as Luftwaffe bombers also “redeploy” to Rhodes.
Iraq – With bad news continuing from the Levant, the Iraqi high command gamble on a desperate attack to try and regain the upper hand before it is too late. An attack on Basra is sent in, but even with Armoured support fails to shake the Indian infantry from the area. (1:1 +1 AECA = AS)
In Egypt, the retreating forces reach the vaunted Alamein line, where they meet up with the newly formed 50th XX and Indian 5th XX. British CinC releases a communique that he has drawn a line in the sand and the enemy shall not cross it. There is much flag waving and cheering in Westminster at this news.
Levant – NZ and Free French forces overrun a sad looking construction unit before joining in an attack with other units to force back the remaining Vichy units. The Poles and some Australian brigades and 6th HQ are sent marching across the desert to Iraq. The 1RTR advances along the coast and captures Lattique, ending any chance of Axis ground reinforcements arriving.
Iraq – 10th Indian spooks the Iraqis by forcing them back in a sharp sudden battle (DR) and begins the long march to Baghdad.
In Egypt, the Alamein line is reached, and supplies are desperately hurried up along the coast, but many are spread from Tripoli, Bengasi and Tobruk. The HQ is advanced to Tobruk and a round of medals given to celebrate the restoration of tram services in downtown Matruh.
Levant – The gutsy little Frenchmen fall back to Allepo, determined to sell themselves dearly to the Allies. With their single AS with them and a couple of fighters (one Luftwaffe), they await the end with Gallic determination……
Iraq – An attack is made on the defenders of Ramadi (1 AS II and Habforce) with Luftwaffe bomber support. Confidence is high in Baghdad that victory can be theirs, but reports come back from the battle that it has been a disaster. Over half the attacking troops lie dead in the swamps and the road to Baghdad is now defended by a single Division (the 2nd). (2:1, -1 = AH!) Suggestions are made that peace negotiations begin, but German agents urge continued resistance. Such is the will of Allah.