Weather: Weather rolls of 1 for land and 3 for the Med see mud remain in zone D, clearing in E, while the Med stays calm.
All Axis units are in supply other than those on Rhodes. Greek units on Kerkyra and in the Kalpaki pocket are U-2 red. The Khania static X shows up for duty in its patronymic city, while the Dodek Inf III arrives in eastern Thrace. The 3rd Mtn X withdraws. 4 GSPs are generated at both Thess & Athenai, presumably to supply the Brits since there is so far no Allied supply terminal established in Greece. Neither side declares CAP, and I put the Mxd B’s on Rhodes on naval patrol.
Movement opens with the Greeks sailing the Keph Stat X to Athenai by way of the Corinthian Canal. Italian fleet elements catch wind of the movement and make contact with the Greek fleet (10 rolled on the 9 column), but fail to sink the transports (6 rolled for contact effect, for an NE result.) Two regiments of the Greek 5th Mtn XX at Khania then board transports heading out of the port as night falls, bound for Nauplion. However, Italian bombers on Rhodes attempt to contact the ships after the loading is complete but prior to the departure from the port’s hex. Unfortunately this just fails (4 rolled, +3 for calm, -3 for distance.)
On land, in the south the Greeks concentrate for an assault on the 19th Vnz XX in 4719, with two large stacks on the wings and a smaller stack in the center. In the mountains, 4 to 5 pt stacks are built up to the bend in the line at 4316, where 2 Mtn XX’s plus a strong III are in place. One of the units from near Thessalonike catches trains to the front, reaching Phlorina to help support the border X’s.
In the rear, the rest of the units that were held up east of the Axios cross the river. They make it generally to just east a hex or two behind the main Greek line along the east side of the front via admin mov’t. The two 5th Mtn XX regiments from Crete admin through the Patrai narrow straits and up the west coast road. In Athenai, large numbers of flak points admin or rail in to get the flak strength up to 7, no doubt as a result of last turn’s massive terror bombing raids. Those that were in Thessalonike move to Larissa’s airfield, where the Allied AF is current based, bring its flak strength back up to 5, while Thess’s strength drops to 2. The Brit 14th X is railroaded up to the Metaxas line, while a border unit moves into the line from eastern Thrace, which frees up some troops for the Albanian front.
At the end of the turn, the Greek P.24 unit flies CAP over 19th Vnz Inf XX. I counter CAP with all three Italian F’s, and the Greeks wisely choose not to respond.
I put 2 pts of DAS (.5 effective) over 51st so that there is at least a chance for a good result, ensuring the Greeks no better than either a 5:1 -2 or -3, depending upon to what extent they wish to put their mountain units at risk. Just to be safe, the Egouminitsa hex gets 1 pt effective as well, to ensure no better than a 3:1 -1 should the Greeks decide to abandon the attack on 19th Vnz and instead go after the port. The 19th gets the last effective point, flown by the SM81’s and SM79’s to lessen the chances that all DAS will be returned. With three fighters, I decide to convert the CR.42’s to escort and leave the remaining two fighters on CAP. This allows me to get a free shot against the P.24’s should they attempt to get at my DAS, and ensures I have a shot at the Allied air should ignore my DAS & choose to fly GS missions in support of their attack. I figure this gives me the best chance to keep the odds against the 19th to 4:1 vice 5:1 (possible if both their air units got through or my DAS gets hit.) The Allied commander chooses to intercept my DAS, and the P.24’s bypass. CR.42’s fire ineffectively with an 8 rolled, but the P.24’s do worse when randomly allocated against the SM.79-I’s, with a 12 rolled by the interceptor and a 7 rolled by the bombers. The Allies choose not to fly their bombers into my two CAP units, remaining on the ground.
The Allies do in fact launch the attack against 19th Vnz in wooded rough terrain with some mountain hexsides, but the attackers are all arty or mountain themselves, which cancels the wooded rough terrain. The 4:1 even (wooded rough, mountaineering) attack rolls a 6 for a DE, with 3rd Mtn XX and 4th Mtn X advancing into the hex. In the east however, three Greek mountain XX’s, a 3 pt Mtn III and an arty unit fail to make headway against the stalwart 51st Si XX at 4215 when the 5:1 -2 attack goes off poorly with a 1 rolled for an AS. The 51st XX earns its legionnaire eagle and Albanian Command Hq decides the unit has done its duty and will be pulled from its exposed position (the effects of cutting down the number hexsides the Greeks can attack from against 4216 are now nullified by the arrival of the units from east of the Axios.)
The two Allied bombers combine in an attack on the airfield at Koritsa, gunning for the CR.42’s. A three is rolled however, so the Allies miss. They then end their turn.
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