Weather: A 2 is rolled for weather in the north, so D stays muddy and E goes clear. That will help the Axis in bombing Malta, moving in the hump and may help out quite a bit in the Balkan area on defense. Hopefully it will go muddy again before the Allies get to the outskirts of Benghazi. A 3 is rolled in the south, so all areas are clear. At sea, the Atlantic is rough, as is the Indian Ocean surprisingly, while the Med, Red Sea and Lake Victoria are clear (a lake w/ sea conditions!)
The 10th Greek Inf III on Kerkyra goes U-4 isolated, but rolls a 5 and manages to find enough rats to keep itself fed for the moment. On Crete, the Eraklion Static X is mobilized, while on the mainland the 4th Mtn X converts to the 4-5-6 15th Mtn XX. The RN-1 TF is called up for the second time in the quarter (-1 VP.) One a/s in Alexandria is converted to 3 res pts. As expected, the Thess const X begins a fort in 4612. Clearly the Greek High Command hasn’t the stomach for war and plans to retreat away from the ever victorious Italian Albanian Command J. The Blen4 and Wellsly each stay inop due to harassment bombing while 2 SM.79-I’s and an SM.81 on Sicily stay inop due to Malta bombing. At the end of the ini phase the Italian fighters south of Tobruk abandon their airfields by flying CAP over Benghazi (2 units, with a third already on the field) and Agedabia (1 CR.42).
The turn actually opens with an Italian air mission, the Ba.65 flying a transfer mission to Sicily to avoid what will likely be a quick run up of Allied units. Its 2 point tac strength will help there in naval patrol and airbase bombing, and it won’t be nearly so hindered by its short legs as it otherwise would be on the main front (a 3 hex DAS range for a B, so it would be at risk if it were within range of anything.)
In Greece, the Greek army concentrates in the north for possible attacks on either 3401 or 3502. Taking advantage of the clear weather, the Greeks also concentrate a very large portion of their army in the southwest for possible assaults on either Egouminitsa (3 hex side frontage) or 3804 (a 2 hex side frontage.) Practically every major Greek unit is now in the main line, with only flak troops and the Metaxas and Eastern Greece garrison units outside (plus the Brit 14th X, which shifts down to Athenai. Clearly the cowardly Brits intend to be close to a port so they can skedaddle at the first indication of trouble, or perhaps Gen Metaxas needs British guns to stiffen his back?) On Crete, the Erak X guards its namesake city, while the Khania X shifts over to Rethymnon, leaving just the 5th Mtn Hq guarding Khania. Perhaps the Brit X is the unit the possible special op was planned for in the BF area?? I’ve got a bit of time to worry about that issue…
In North Africa, the 7th Arm XX, the 4th Indian XX (regrouped), 7th RT Tank II, 1M Free French mot II, 16th Australian X, W Art X and 1st RNF machinegun II all concentrate for an assault on Bardia. For the moment Tobruk has not been invested, but the 5018 airfield is taken and garrisoned by the 51st Hvy AA II. To the immediate rear, 6th Nz X and a transport plus an a/s point make it to 0419 in the Halfaya Pass just south of Bardia. 20th Australian X and the 23rd Brit X remain in Matruh, while the 66th RPC const X moves up to join them. A res pt is moved up there and an a/s sits there as well… RPC and the res pt will likely be used to improve Tobruk? The full 6th Australian XX is formed up in Alexandria and then shipped south to Port Sudan (as opposed the historical shipment of the 4th Indian, so Wavell is making more economical use of his troops logistically) as is the Free French Orient X. The Delta is practically denuded of all troops (so much for Winston’s desire to maintain a strategic reserve, a rule not used in the current game), with just the 4th NZ X in Alexandria, the Czech II in Port Said and of course the Egyptians themselves. In Sudan, the Indian X’s which cleared Gallabat move up to assault the 1st Cav mot Inf X from the northwest while the 9th Ind X continues railing around and then moves around to assault the X from the southeast. The unsupported EC Inf X takes up residence in Gallabat, from which point it sends evil glares at the Bande X just across the border. The FB Inf II and the Ethiopian II march triumphantly into the empty Kassala. Emperor Salassie awards himself a dinner plate sized medal. Mot machinegun II’s screen roads leading north out of Eritrea. In Kenya, the 1st SA & 24 GC Col X’s abandon Moyale and head overland to assault the 103rd DB Bande X from the northwest, while the 2nd SA brigade does likewise from the southeast by moving through El Wak. Two East African X’s, the SA recon II and a construction unit are also moving along this line, so perhaps the EA commander is going to ignore the Chisimaio/Mogadiscio area in favor of an assault directly towards Harar province from the Mandera area? In the far south, the 23 N Col X remains stuck in Liboi, while the 27 NR Col X moves up to Bura but no further. A/S is moved along the Mudda Gashi to Wajir axis, but nothing is currently moving along the coastal road to Chisimaio.
At the end of mov’t, I make some quick DAS calculations and determine that I can ensure no better than a single 3:1 -2 attack in the north of Greece by putting 1 pt of DAS (.25 effective) at 3401 and 4 points with the Ju87 (1 effective) at 3502. Four more points at 3804 (2 effective) ensures no better than a 3:1 -1 there. I have just one more point to spend at Egouminitsa, and it can’t ensure odds won’t go to 4:1 -1 if the Greeks press with GS, so I fly all three non-bombing fighters to that hex on a CAP mission. That should keep the Allied bombers away, though it will leave me vulnerable to counter airfield or port ops in exploit. C’est le guerre, but I’d rather defend the port (a critical VP issue.)
I fly the DAS as indicated above. No DAS flies in NA or EA. The clever Greeks choose to attack the 3401 hex yet again, but they use the same routes of attack and the XX’s which vacated it for 3502 warned the new defenders what the Greeks did two weeks previously. The 23rd Fer XX, the elite 3rd Guards of Savoy III and the 1st Albanian X are well prepared. The Greek High Command orders yet another very risky 3:1 -2 attack, and it rolls a 3 for another AS. Lucky they didn’t get the AR or AH! Anyway, clearly the Italian Albanian command has established a ‘no pasaran’ line along the northern Albanian/Greek border as the Greeks are no closer to Koritsa then they were a month ago. In the south, the Greeks choose to attack the 3804 hex, ignoring the Egouminitsa port hex for the moment. They probably figure that success here would force a retreat from the port hex. The attack on the ‘B’ Inf III, 2 m/c III’s and a 3-2-6 Art III features 4 full Greek Mtn XX’s, a Mtn X, 3 Mtn III’s, a Bdr X and 2 Art III’s, a 3:1 -1 attack. This time a 5 is rolled (again no AR), and they get another HX (urgghh.) The 8 points defending dies, but so does the big 39th Ev Mtn III and the A Arty III. 4th Mtn XX, 13th Mtn XX and the 5/14th Mtn III all advance into the hex, for a 12 point DS stack. This will temporarily cut the direct supply line from Egouminitsa back to Albania. The attack doesn’t do anything for the Kerkyra defenders however, so they will still need to make a surrender roll next player turn.
In North Africa, the massive assault on Bardia is launched at 5:1 -1 odds (a/s provided, unimproved fortress, 4 pts NGS from RN-1), but sadly, the Allies roll yet another 5. A DH is achieved and what doesn’t die in the combat is forced through zoc’s and dies in the retreat out of the hex. At least the attack used a goodly portion of the Allies’ North African resources, so they aren’t advancing leaps and bounds through Cyrenaica for the time being.
In East Africa, the Allies smash the 1st Cav mot Inf X in Sudan and the Bande unit in Kenya at super high-odds (no a/s expended but GS provided as overkill, each attack at well over 9:1 -1 odds.) ZOC’s ensure even a DR would have been deadly.
No ground mov’t in Greece. The Blen1 from the North African area does however choose to support the Greek command by staging up to Larissa from Crete and then launching a strat port bombing mission against Durazzo. The 1 pt of flak misses with a 7 rolled, but the bombing attempt is equally ineffective (4 rolled on the 1 column due to poor weather.) The Blen1 and Greek Mxd B unit already in the area also stage up to Larissa, launching strat port bombing against Valona. Three points of flak misses both a/c (5 & 6 rolled) and while the Greeks miss with a 3, the Blen1 hits the port with a 5. In North Africa, the 7th Armored XX breaks down and the 4th Arm X, 7th Spt Grp and the Free French mot Inf II leap forward and seize Gazala. The 7th Arm X and a transported 6th New Zealand X seize the airfield at 4818 and begin the siege of Tobruk. The 7th RT Tank II moves up to join the heavy flak II at the 5018 field. After these mov’ts, the Well1C stages up from Alexandria and launches a strat port bombing attempt against Benghazi. One pt of flak misses (6 rolled) as does the a/c (2 rolled.) The Bombay transports stage back to Alexandria and then pick up the 4th NZ X, flying it on a one-way mission to the airfield at Gazala. Two Glads and the Hurri1 than transfer in to the 4818 field outside Tobruk. In East Africa, the Sudanese forces sit in place. The units in Kenya move up to Mandera (4 full X’s w/ transports plus the SA recon II), from which point they may easily strike north into Harar province or south against Somalian area. At the end of the Allied exploit, all three Italian bombers transfer to Addis, where they can take advantage of the GSPs converted last turn. No point in wasting them, since the Allies chose not to dare enter the AOI, and we certainly can’t roll an 11 on a d6!