Note: The players obviosly introduced a “Special Invasion turn” here. As to my knowledge of the rules, the Germans do NOT get an extra invasion turn in “Balkan Front”
Axis Special Invasion Turn
Berlin’s diplomatic response to Belgrade is sent via a flight of He-111 bombing the streets of the Yugoslavian capital. The outraged Nazi Government commence a massive invasion designed to destroy Yugoslavia and Greece in a 4 week Blitzkreig. In Slovenia, Border Guards in the mountain passes are attacked by German Mountain troops but despite the surprise the two regiments attacked beat back the superior forces (6:1 -2 = AS). Early news of this victory is transmitted around the free world as a sign of the plucky Yugoslav’s fighting ability. Further along the border however, Light Infantry overruns Maribor and cuts into Croatia – an Infantry Corps attacks and seizes Zagreb, although the defenders escape their barracks (6:1 = DR). Another Corps arrives outside Celj while the 14th Panzer and 16th Motorised overrun their way into Slavonski Brod. Infantry forces operating from Romania cut their way through startled Infantry regiments on the border to assault the Infantry Division defending Petrovgrad, destroying it and chasing its survivors into the swamps to the west (5:1 = DE).
The 2nd Cavalry Division defending Pozarevac is destroyed by the 294th Infantry with Ground Support (4:1 = DE) while to the south the 4th Mountain Division attacks across the Juzna Morava River to seize Krusevac from the 34th Cadre (6:1 = DE). The 11th Pz Division seizes Nis (9:1 = DE) while the GD Regiment with attached Engineer and Assault Gun support pushes over the mountains west of Sofia and heads towards Skopje. The DR and 2nd Pz Divisions overrun their way from outside Sofia to north east of Vranje. Mountain units operating from Bulgaria overrun the defending infantry units in the mountains and push on to the east bank of the Vardar River, attacking the surprised Greek 20th Division and crushing it through sheer surprise, but not before the Greeks inflict the first losses on the Germans (3:1 = HX). The 9th Pz, LSSAH and 60th Mot. Divisions to slip west of the Metaxas line and destroy the western most defenders – who, forgetting to have a Division in this hex, couldn’t exert any ZOC in the enemy’s path (a painful lesson I will not forget next time!).
The Axis Commander makes a cup of tea while the Allied Commander lies down in a dark place for a while.
In the exploitation phase the Germans went a little crazy and started pushing deeper into Yugoslavia. The 5th Pz reached the south of Belgrade, the 16th Mot pushed into the Dinaric Alps heading for Sarajevo, the 14th Pz seized Osijek and pushed on to outside Novi Sad while the 60th Mot in Greece raced south to seize Thessalonika and put the Metexas Line forces out of contact with the rest of Greece. The LSSAH and 9th Pz push onto to north east of the New Zealander’s positions near Larisa. The Das Reich and attached units overrun Skopje forcing a Blen 1 to rebase to Split. The 2nd Pz pushes to just south of Prilep while the GD Regiment takes Phlorina. To finish off the special invasion turn the 11 Pz at Nis pushes through the countryside to take Pristina.
The Allied Commander goes and lies down again and asks to be woken when the Axis have finished their regular turn – but only if he has any units left worth moving on the board.
Axis Player Turn
The remnants of the Croatian forces outside Zagreb are eaten up by the Germans (7:1 – 1 = DE) while to the west the Italians open their account by overrunning the border units and forcing their way into Ljubljana and the Bihac region. At Zara the garrison attack a Yugoslav 0-1-5 infantry regiment but despite overwhelming air power can only force it back (5:1 = DR). The 16th Mot Division attempts to drive to Sarajevo through a measly 395R Regiment but gets a bloody nose instead with the Germans suffering 50% casualties (AH) – that’ll teach ’em to attack into mountains. In the Backa region the Hungarians attack and seize Subotica, Novi Sad and Sombor, destroying the hapless defenders. The 11th Pz pushes through the Alps via Pec to threaten Sarajevo from the east while the italian 43rd Division attacks from Albania with support from a LW AA Regiment and Artillery advancing from Pec. Rankovicevo falls to the 4th Mountain Division, but not before the defenders get a HX result (5:1 = HX). Belgrade is surrounded by a mass of tanks and infantry and the defending Garda, tanks and cavalry are overwhelmed and the city falls to the triumphant Axis powers (6:1 – 2 = DE). Loaded into civilian transport, buses and taxis, the Yugoslav Government escapes the city’s fall and using backroads and trails through the mountains finds its way to Split (Rolled 1 for Government capture!).
In Greece, the GD Regiment pushes its way into Kozana with the 2nd Pz 16 miles behind it. Mountain units leapfrog their way over the mountains via Edessa to attack Greek defenders west of Phlorina but despite Italian support arre rebuffed (2:1 – 2 = AS). The Metaxas Line is attacked and a portion of it overrun (5:1 – 1 = DR) by Bulgarians and Germans with lots of Stuka support. The 60th Mot Division enters the mountains southeast of Veroia while the Das Reich, LSSAH and 9th Pz attack the New Zealanders in their positions northeast of Larisa but are rebuffed by the resolute Kiwi defence (2:1 +2 = AS). In the Albanian side show, the Italians are finally able to breakthrough to the besieged 37th and 48th Divisions (5:1 = HX).
The Axis commander wakes the Allied commander and asks if he wants to watch the Exploitation phase.
The 60th Mot Division overruns the scant defenders in Larisa destroying the RAF Blen 1 but watching the Mix Bomber force escape to Athens. The GD Regiment (still being the spearhead for the Axis drive) pushes its way to the wooded region northwest of Trikkala, blocking any re-deployment in or out of the Pindus Mountains. Sarajevo falls to the 11th Pz while Split is overrun by the 131 Littorio Division who watches the Yugoslav Government sail out of the harbour to safety in Alexandria.
Allied Player Turn
With the Yugoslav Government evacuated, the Yugoslavian forces are disarmed (accompanied by the grumbles of the Allied Commander who spent so much time setting them up). In Athens the 7th Australian Division lands and moves into position south of the Spherkios River. The 1st British Armoured Brigade and the 21st Greek Mountain Regiment valiantly place themselves as a speed bump in the rough terrain north of Lamia to slow any drive on the Australians. The New Zealanders with the W Artillery Brigade and AA units try and slip through the Germans to Trikkala, leaving a Greek Construction Brigade to face the Germans while Greek Mountain units attempt to dislodge the GD Regiment so a retreat to the south is feasible – it fails (2:1 -1 = AS).
Along the coast the Greeks have a small amount of revenge on the Italians by finally snuffing out the 37th and 48th Divisions, just when it looked like they might be saved (6:1 – 1 = DE). The 19th Motorised Division scuttles its way to Patrai while the trapped forces in Thrace attempt to retake Thessolonika, defended by a single German engineer regiment – tension is high when the dice is rolled but the Greeks luck out and the Germans hold (AS). The Allied line is shattered and scattered. Things look grim.