Algeria – Clear skies allow the massive air armada to be unleashed onto the
Axis rear areas and in ground support for the latest and last offensive for
the campaign. Many airfields are strafed and bombed but the Luftwaffe
fighters take a heavy toll on the USAAF P-400s. Four of these groups are
butchered in mid-air or shredded by airfield AA defences. The Allied Air
Commander demands an enquiry. From here on in, the allies know they must
break the axis or face defeat. The US forces in the south battle zone
attack the 90th PG and 15th Pz XXs. Axis AA fire is weak and ineffective
with the USAAF dominating the skies. Despite overwhelming numbers, the
attack fails in the face of anti-tank fire and harsh terrain. (4:1 +2 AECD,
-4 ATEC, -1 rough = AS) In the middle of the front the French and British
odds and sods, with heavy air support try and hammer the stoic 2nd Pz and
131 Centauro XX’s, but the Axis easily see of the piffling threat (4:1 -2
AECD = AS) North along the line, the British battle the Italians to gain
Cherchell. The British infantry rename the town after their political
leader as an added spur to win the battle. After heavy hand to hand combat,
the town is seized and the battered defenders withdraw (3:1 -1 rough = EX)
This battle is the only success for the Allied Commander along the line as
the US Armour attack on the airfield south of Boughari is beaten off by the
Luftwaffe soldiers of the General Goering Regiment and AA gunners of the HG
III (with attached Whermacht riff raff). (1:3 +3 AECA -4 ATEC = AR)
Recognising more strength is needed to take Boughari, motorised units
quickly join the 1st Arm XX HQ Task Force.
Tunisia – In the sky over Gabes, the biggest air battle of the campaign to
date erupts as 1000 allied planes attempt to escort or bomb the Gabes Gap.
350 Axis interceptors try and defend the skies, loses are heavy on both
sides, but the Axis Commander is pale when he receives the casualty list
from his staff. With ongoing loses of this amount, he will soon be
unprotected in the air.
Fearful of Allied paratroopers, the Germans position their own
paratroopers at Setif, with Italian Glider troops and Engineers landing
also. With the line bowing at Cherchell, replacements are positioned around
the town, the arrival of the criminals of the 999 unit putting the wind up
the tommies in the trenches opposite. At Boughari, the local commander
takes the attack to the Americans and drives them further away from the
airfield (3:1 -2 AECD = DR) The late arriving HG Panzer battalion is
greeted with jeers and raspberries by the victorious foot sloggers. The
15th Panzer is withdrawn from the line and sent to Cherchell.
Apr II 1943
Tunisia – Another offensive is launched on the Gabes Gap, again the results
are a stalemate with the 8th Army failing to break through. Again air craft
losses are heavy on both sides.
Algeria – The British drive into Miliana, pushing ahead of them the fleeing
334th XX and attached Italian odds and sods. (4:1 -1 rough +2 AECA = DR)
The Americans drive in hard against the 90th PG XX and 102 Hvy AA III and
push it back from the line. (4:1 -2 ATEC, +2 AECA -1 Rough = DR) The
German CinC is beginning to see cracks appear in the Algerian defences…..
Sealed orders arrive from Berchtesgarten. “Hello Rupert, the view
from my balcony is wunderbar! I can see into the back yard of Herr Goebels.
He’s such a funny chap, limping about and all. I think you’ve wasted enough
time splashing about in the sea off Bizerte, please pull your finger out and
give the home population a nice victory in the desert to take their minds
off Stalingrad. Cheerio, Adolf. PS – Eva says hi.”
With such steely orders, the German CinC issues the command for a
counterattack! “Operation Kick the yanks about for a bit” is launched.
Algeria – Taking advantage of the US Army’s greenness in tactics in the
desert, the Italian 131, 2nd Pz and 90th PG slam into the battlegroup based
on the 3rd US XX. Despite lots of tanks, artillery and other bits and
pieces, the Axis catch the division with its pants down and administer a
firm mugging. (2:1 +2 tac roll, +3 AECA, -2 ATEC = DH) Swinging south
through the Axis rear areas, the HG Battlegroup is joined by the 15th Pz XX
who helps the Luftwaffe to smash the 1st Arm XX HQ Task Force. The American
tanks are punctured by superior fire power and tactics and are left at the
end of the battle a greasy stain in the highlands. (3:1 -4 ATEC, +3 AECA =
HX) Following from this battle, the 15th Pz XX swings back into the line
skirting the mountain range overlooking the Cheliff valley. A tidy pile of
green gathers in the replacement pool.
Tunisia – The Infantry units attacking the Gabes Gap are surprised by the
sound of engines revving up from behind the dug in Axis positions. Suddenly
the tanks that have been waiting for the past few months facing the 8th Army
are allowed once more onto the attack, re-living their glory days of 1941.
The Luftwaffe and Italian air force throw in massive air support, catching
the Allied Desert Air Force off guard – only the Hurricane Mk IIs can
intercept! AA fire from the Allies fails and the Allied soldiers are beaten
badly, with no loss to the Axis who return to their fortifications. (2:1 +3
AECA = DE) The Axis CinC offers the Allied CinC a cup of tea to make him