Libya – Mechanised units beat into the ground Italian Garrison units who
have formed the unenviable rearguard. Following on from this they leap
forward and capture an unguarded supply depot to the west of Tripoli. Some
Axis units are pocketed around Tripoli. French *Xs and 1st Australian Arm
XX wash off the desert sand at the coast 32 miles west of the city.
Algeria – The Allied CinC announces the arrival of 1st British Army and
attached US military units at Oran and minor ports along the coast and
around Morocco. These units quickly spring forward to join some Frenchmen
at Tenes. The shattered cadres of the British forces retreat westwards
conceding much ground to the Germans. A crisis has broken out in Algeria
but the newly arrived Allied forces should give sufficient strength to hold
the Axis. Maybe.
Libya – With the port still in their hands, some Italian units escape by sea
to Sfax from Tripoli. The remainder try and flee towards Tunisia.
Algeria – An unsupplied attack is launched on the Casablanca and Alger XXs
by German armour with Italian forces providing blocking positions. The luck
of the brave is with the Axis commander as he pulls off this jammy attack
and forces the French to retreat – into the arms of the waiting Italians who
escort them off to the labour camps in Tunisia. Rushing forward to gain as
much ground as possible, the Axis motorised units advance to contact the
British 78th XX and the battlegroups of the US 1st and 3rd XXs.
Comment to date:
The salad days in Algeria seem to be coming to an end.
The only good thing is the Allies are going to be hampered by the weather in
any counter attack the launch in the region which should mean a couple of
boring months coming up outside Algeria. Numerically I’m about at my
strongest now while the Allies will only get bigger, badder and meaner. In
Libya and Tunisia I’m pinning all my hopes on setting up a strong defence
line at Gabes until the Australian XX disappear in January. From this time
period on the 8th Army should start getting weaker and if – and this is a
big if – I can start to strip some of the Pz units I’m planning on assigning
to this area, I might be able to block the Allies in the Atlas Mountains and
hold Tunisia until May 43.
Nov II 1942
Algeria – Heavy Bombers lift off from their bases at Gibraltar and in a
massive show of force blow to pieces the port of Bougie, leaving it a
scarred, smoking rubble. Axis logistic officials bemoan the lack of
effective AA support for the North African ports. Marching along happily,
the regiments of the US Army head towards the frontline while their comrades
in the British 1st Army move along the coast road to block the Germans. The
US soldiers are shocked when the bedraggled remnants of the British Infantry
units arrive piecemeal from the east. The sorry state of the British alerts
the Americans that this is no easy fight. The British 8th Armoured XX Cadre
arrives at Mostagnem.
Libya – Tripoli is fully invested by the 8th Army and armoured forces cross
the Tunisian Border, overrunning the Italian 5th Army Construction unit and
seizing Medenine. The Allied commander trumpets his intention via the BBC
Home Service to be in Tunis by Christmas. The capture of Tripoli results in
a vote of thanks from the House of Commons.
Tunisia – The tactical withdrawal to the Gabes Gap continues, the German
CinC congratulates his Panzer units on such a masterful operation. His
Italian Aide-de-camp mentions that several slow moving Italian units area
still not in position at the Gabes Gap. The German CinC shrugs and mentions
something about “Traffic Calming techniques in the desert”. In the stony
desert south of Gabes, the Italian troops struggle to gain the
fortifications while behind them in the distance the tanks of the Australian
and South African 1st Armoured XXs throw up dust clouds……
Algeria – Vital supplies are rushed forward to the line where more Axis
forces move into position. The battle hardened Germans and Italians conduct
nightly probes on the newly arrived US troops, inducing some panic and
showing up severe tactical problems at a command and control level. The
German CinC toys with the idea of a swift attack on the yanks but decides to
keep that card up his sleeve for a short time. Especially when he hears on
the canvas awning of his tactical HQ caravan the sound of falling rain. The
wet season has begun!