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Category: Second Front – Accountant Style (page 1 of 4)

Alan Tibbets takes Rich Velay´s advice on how to play Second front serious and conducts a throughly planned campaign against the Axis, 2002

Oct 43 I

Axis Player Turn

Weather roll is a 6, mud in zone D. Atlantic and other sea zones are calm.

Anticipating a surrender roll, Axis forces withdraw from the Italian heel and break contact in the toe, destroying what they can as they go. Axis forces on Corsica are retreating north as fast as Allied ZOCs and weather permit. 10 REs of Italians are exposed and easy kills, that’s 1 RE more than needed for a surrender roll. The remaining Italians are out of easy reach or stacked with Germans in anticipation of an Oct II surrender.

With mud in France Axis engineers can only repair a couple of airfield hits. The rail net is a mess and units arriving in Germany have to admin move across rail breaks along the border. Should Italy surrender the coast of Southern France is going to look very bare. The need to maintain a strong presence in the Bay of Biscay (Yeu is set up as an LC ferry) and the Channel coast (19 LC, several TF and 2+ airborne divisions in England) takes a lot of German troops. Normandy and Brittany are weakly held. Italian troops provide the vast majority of troops along the French Med coast and down to Roma.

Allied Player Turn.

An SAS Bn lands on the Italian heel adjacent to Galipoli in gliders, and a US 1-8 Mortar Bn slides onto the beach from an LC in the exploitation phase, along with some supplies. A British naval TF stands off the beach ready to provide NGS. (Using a 16 pt TF sounds a bit extreme, but the Allied navy has yet to fire a single shot, better to use it than lose it.)

On the Italian toe Commonwealth forces regain contact along the 33/34XX line, eliminating 6 Italian and 1 German REs. Allied fighters stage into newly built airbases within intercept range of their TF and beachhead on the heel. Allied air forces conduct more railway bombing to inhibit Axis movement in what is expected to be the surrender turn.

US forces on Corsica kill another 3 REs of Italian (2-3-2 Coastal XX in the mountains) and force the 44 HuD Inf XX to retreat. In the air over Corsica a Fw190A2 is aborted and a MC.202 is killed. AA gunners from the 44th HuD abort a B-26B and return enough other Allied aircraft to avoid a 7:1 attack, saving the division from a DH (6:1 -4, rolled a 6).

Allied naval forces pour back into the MTO (2 TF and many LC) along with a few special operations troops ( British 2-5 Para X and 1-8 Mar-Cdo II). The ETO still maintains a sizeable threat with 7x LC, 2x 16 point TF, 2+ Airborne XX, many Commando units and an LC ferry at Yeu. The Luftwaffe has given up challenging Allied fighter bombers attacking the French rail net, and has no where near enough engineer assets to keep the net open. All border crossings between France and Germany are blocked and the nets within range of England and the twin airbases at Belle/Yeu are a mess. In order to preserve some kind of strategic mobility the Germans may be forced to station fighters to cover the Franco-German border.

The end of October I 43 finds 51 Italian REs toward surrender. Combined with Allied owned Sicily this means a surrender roll will come in Oct II. Two potential Italian units could change sides. A 0-1-6 Construction III is alone in Ajaccio (it stayed behind to complete the destruction of the port) and a 1-3-6 Lt AA unit is alone in Galipoli (acting as rear guard). The Axis didn’t expect the Allies to drop into 26/3511.

Sep II 44

Weather is clear everywhere, sea zones are calm.

Axis Player-turn

All units are in supply. No garrisons are called up. Westwall restoration continues. 33.5 Inf, 8.5 Arm RPs are spent to rebuild cadres & replace units, gaining 43 DF. 3 ARPs are spent to return 1xF and 2x A to the map. 8 forts are quick constructed or begun. Strat Air is not called up. Allies fly 12 levels of harassment in the ETO, 7 in the MTO.

Hitler allows his field commanders to pull back from Paris and form the shortest possible front line. A NODL is formed in France covering all but 2 hexes. All of the Italian front is NODLed. Germany has to be very careful to ensure the minimum strength is met in every hex, mostly this is 7 or 8 DF. Three V-2’s and one V-1 hit London.

Victory point count: Allies collect 27 VPs in the MTO and 42 in the ETO, total 69. There are no excessive losses or other subtractions. Added to the previous count of 72 we have a new total of 141 VPs. If the front s tays where it is for the rest of the war the Allies will collect 69 VPs in Dec 44, March 45, and at the end of the game for another 207 VPs. The resulting total of 348 is a marginal Allied Victory under the revised victory levels. Additionally, this total is 17 short of a substantial victory and 66 short of decisive. There are 9 more VPs in Italy, 9 in France and 13 in Belgium which the Allies should pick up fairly easily. Exactly how many of these are taken for multiple quarterly counts will determine the final victory level (supposing the Allies don’t break either front line).

Allied Player-Turn

All units are in supply. French MR 8 and the Italian province of Umbria are liberated. The ports of Marseilles, Toulon and La Rochelle are rebuilt; rebuilding of Rouen and Sete are begun. 2 NRPs are spent on an Italian TF; US spends 13 Inf and 8 Arm RPs; British, French and Italians each spend 1 ARP. Rail cap in France is increased to 30. Strategic Air roll is a 3 with no DRMs, level increases to 6. Germany calls up strat air, Allies call up both ETO strat air forces.

RAF strat air flies 15 night RMY, scoring 5 hits. US flies A/FB Tac Bombing. Allies conduct attacks along the entire front in France, taking, among other places, historic Compiegne. The Luftwaffe flies a heavily escorted DAS mission for 15th PzGren XX in 16/2532. A FW190G and Me19G6 survive interception, but AA returns the FW. In 15 attacks with several ZOCed out defending hexes the ETO eliminates 89 German DF with no Allied losses. Another 30 German DF are eliminated in the MTO when the Allies take 7 of the 9 front-line hexes, bringing the total German DF lost for Sep II to 119. Even as they collect 23.5 special replacements Germans pray for mud to save their crumbling front. British c/m manage a small advance (2 hexes) in front of the Vosges Mountains during exploitation. Germany spends 8 ARP while returning strat air units to the holding box, many German air units remain in the Elim and Aborted boxes.

Comments

Allies are encouraged by the VP count. They thought hard about conducting a major air/sea invasion of Holland, but decided not to make the landing due to the number of troops this would take away from the main front. Sizeable forces remain in England to threaten such an attack. Meanwhile, they rewrite their airborne landing plans to take out portions of the German NODL.

 

Nov II 44

S, F, F, M, C R, R

Axis Player Turn

Frost! Frost! Frost!

Berlin lines up its Weather Section and shoots them.

The defences of Berlin are strengthened. The last remaining motorised units
are gathered together for a final hurrah and positioned outside the capital
to strike north or south as circumstances may dictate.

Allied Player Turn

Well, with Frost firming up the ground, an all out assault is launched. In
Norway Trondheim is attacked by Commandos, marines and tank brigades but the
defenders hold them off (AS) In the Lagen Valley the 6th para XX with
Norweigan support gets a HX result against Punitive Troops, SS Police men
and some Infantry. The US Amphibious battalions then race down the valley
into Hamar. Oslo is looking vulvnerable.

In Greater Germany the following attacks occur – on a pocket near Frankfurt,
west of Klagenfurt, and Ljubjana – all are beaten off for AS results much to
Allied High Commands shock. At Linz the newly arrived Jewish brigade joins
the Americans and Brits in attacking a german battlegroup but is beaten back
with an AR! In the Sudentenland, Poles, Czechs, Kiwis and French push
further towards Prague (8:1 -5 mods on dice roll!).

Chemnitz falls to an EX result, burning up some valuable (and scarce)
British comabat engineers. The Elbe is crossed again north east of Reisa
while the Wittenburg bridgehead is expanded by the Guards Corp into
Luckenwalde, reaching the outskirts of Berlin itself. In the exploitation
phase, the Canadian Armoured Corp overruns a single cadre in some woods
before entering Kottbus, cutting Berlin off from the south and splitting the
front.

In the American sector, Koln, Duisburg and Essen fall to US Infantry and
Engineers. The Ruhr is surrounded by a sea of green cardboard and the
German Commander can only hope the region will hold for as long as possible
to delay the infantry flooding eastwards and joining the assualt on Berlin.
At Bremen, two US corps attack the 1st LSSAH Pz Division with attached
troops in support. In what should be a simple attack, the SS dig in and
fight tenaciously, forcing the attacking americans to reel backwards with an
AR result! To compound the failure, all retreat paths are in German ZoC and
the corps are forced to surrender and are marched up into Danish PoW camps.
The cadres enter Bremen where they are reinforced in the exploitation phase.

Despite good weather, results were generally terrible for the Allies.
Hitler claims that this is the long awaited turning point in the war. With
the enemy at the gates of Berlin the miracle has happened – surely the
failure to seize significant ground is a sign of divine intervention?

Oct 43 II

Mud in zone D, clear in E. Med Calm, Atlantic Rough.

Axis Player Turn

Italy surrenders on the first roll. All Axis units on Corsica and Elba are isolated. All Italians except a 0-1-6 Cons III on Sardinia (left behind to finish destroying the port of Ajaccio) and a 1-3-6 Lt AA X rearguard at Galipoli. The Italian fleet mostly goes over to the Allies, but then suffers Nazi Yahtzee dice and a great deal of it scuttles. German forces scurry around like cockroaches to man port defenses and get as far away from the Allies as possible. Strong Panzer and Panzer Grenadier divisions hold a line in along the 31XX hexrow attempting to hold the British on the toe for one more turn while their non-c/m brothers make for the first fortified line north of Napoli. Air forces position themselves to attack the remnants of the Italian fleet when it attempts defect. (The SF rules on this are a bit, shall we say, unclear, so I muddled through in true Royal Navy fashion).

When the Italians tried to defect (move to an Allied port) they first moved at night. There were 10 NTs and 5 points of TF left and the Luftwaffe attempted to naval patrol off the east coast of Corsica, well within range of many Allied fighters. Two NTs were sunk. Allied air losses were 1 RAF Spit9 eliminated and another aborted, a USAAF P-40 aborted. The Axis lost 1 RSI MC.205V eliminated and 2 Luftwaffe Ju88A4 aborted. Several naval patrols failed to make contact. The Italians move to Alexandria. Germany captures 4 points of TF and 2 NT. 267 AF of Italians are disarmed, netting 26.7 Inf RP. Those were all on-map. I still don’t know what to do with the Italians in garrison – do they get disarmed and count for replacements, or don’t they? Italian units that stay loyal to the Axis are: 1x 2-5 Para, 1x 2-8 Para-Inf, 1x 1-2-6 Inf (CCNN).

German transport planes are able to get into Corsica and retrieve the 8-6 Inf XX and several ants – Allied fighters are tied down defending the Italian fleet. These units will come in handy, very handy. The Axis is woefully short on units to garrison Italian cities, and the rail net is a wreck, so little help is expected from France short of a massive airlift.

Allied Player Turn

Three British corps nail German rearguard at 26/3216 with a 7:1 -3 attack (terrain, 1/2 AECA, full ATEC). LSSAH is cadred! US/British forces capture Btindisi intact (rolled a 6 on port destruction). British/French forces can’t catch the fleeing non-c/m units north of the German rearguard.

90th SS PzGren cadre is eliminated (isolated) on Corsica and Allied troops advance adjacent to Bastia and Calvi. The 44 HuD Inf XX is cut off and weak German forces remain in Calvi and Bastia.

More damage to the French, Belgian, Dutch, German and Italian rail nets. Very few repairs are getting done. Multiple cuts on each rail line block movement across the French-German frontier and along the North-South rail lines in Italy. Rail lines in France south of Paris and in Northern Italy are mostly functioning, but for how long?

 

Setup and Pregame Turn

Setup:

Axis set up with almost every ant in the WEST along with most of the better divisions stacked to the max along the French-Italian frontier rail lines. Forces on Sicily are cloistered around Messina, those on Sardinia around La Maddalena. Axis air forces are all in Italy, Southern France and Corsica, well out of range of Allied fighters. Axis anti-ship air units are concentrated in two large stacks at Roma and Napoli. The defense of France is entrusted to a single Panzer XX along with the 4-5, 5-5 and 5-7-6 Infantry XXs. Axis engineers are set to continue construction of the Atlantic Wall and the Winter Line across central Italy.

After covering their garrison requirements in Britain the Allies set up all but 9 fighters in the MTO. Many NTs are set up in the Mid and Near East loaded with troops. More are set up off map in Britain, also loaded with troops. About three-quarters of the LC are loaded with troops, though some are c/m and artillery.

Pre-game:

The Allied air force is left unmolested by Axis fighters to pound the rail net on Sicily, in the toe and to a lesser extent on Sardinia. The fighters in Britain score a single rail hit in France. Bombers take out the port at La Maddalena and place hits on all the ports in NW Sardinia and SW Corsica. It looks like Italian divisions will need their LC-ferry to get off Sardinia.

Aug 43 II

Axis Player Turn

Axis forces retreat up the Italian toe, destroying rail hexes in their wake. A sacrificial 2-3-2 Coastal XX is left in the mountain hex at 26/3922 to delay any Allied advance. Rail damage and harassment prevent significant movement of German ants to WEST. Italian engineers are airlifted to cities in the north that sustained RMY hits in Aug I, and this should help clear the rail. No response is mounted to the capture of Yeu. With two engineers on the island any minor damage would be easily repaired, and a major effort is out of the question as Axis air needs to stay concentrated in SOUTH. With so many Allied fighters guarding their two LC ferries to Corsica the Axis decline to interfere, but prepare their NODL and beach defenses.

Allied Player Turn

The airbase on Belle is augmented, a new one on Yeu is built, and several are placed in northern Sardinia. Allied LC make a mass migration to the ETO and end with 3x TF, 15x LC and ample NTs in the ETO. One LC is set up as a ferry at Yeu. Four British and Canadian Infantry XX and an Armored XX are broken down in Britain. Eight REs of airborne including all the components of the British Airborne XX are in the ETO. A British 8-8 Inf XX is shipped to Yeu, ready to take advantage of that ferry. US troops from Iceland land in the UK. The only weak link is Allied air power (or lack thereof), a measly 14x F, 1x A, 6x B-types are in the ETO now, but all Sep I Allied air reinforcements can go to ETO. Everything with range 15 or better can transfer between theaters using Yeu and Sardinia, possibly during the Axis Sep I player-turn.

Allied attacks net a measly 4 REs of Italians, and that count stands at 27. Allied units attack into Corsica via ferries and advance up the toe, reaching a line 26/3619-3618-3718. Allied air forces continue their anti-rail campaign with both MTO and one ETO strat air forces called up. Tactical air units can now reach the East Coast of Italy from Sardinia and concentrate on breaking rails in the middle of Italy. Allied air in the ETO seems to be isolating the Biscay-Brittany-Normandy region and the limited number of German construction troops will be hard pressed to do much about it. Rail into/out of the coast from Belgium to Le Havre is also kaput, Paris has four rail hits and the lines leading between Italy and France have multiple hits.

Commentary

So far the accountant’s defense is working like a charm. This doesn’t seem to be hindering the Allies much, and has not enticed them into precipitous adventures. But what will the Axis do to meet the threat posed in their WEST theater?

 

Nov I 43

Mud in zones C, D and E. Med Calm, Atlantic Rough.

Axis Player Turn

Luftwaffe night bombers raid Ajaccio losing a Ju188 to RCAF night fighters, but manage the one hit needed to shut down the port. Several Allied units will find themselves out of supply. Mud hampers the Axis retreat toward their fortified line and hinders the destruction of airbases and rail lines. Several c/m divisions break down to allow more MPs for the scorched earth campaign, then reassemble in the exploitation phase. Many Italian cities are still short their garrisons and engineers can only make feeble attempts at rail repairs, concentrating on getting a line open between Germany and central France.

Allied Player Turn

Axis find themselves short 8 REs of occupation forces in Italy, partisans make hay while the sun shines but are mostly ineffectual. (A total of 3 rail breaks in France and Italy this turn, though aircraft add another 17 rail breaks.) Very little Allied construction due to continued mud – one airbase upgrade on Yeu and 1 airbase dismantled on Malta. Mines are swept at the mouth of the Adriatic, opening up the Italian east coast ports to Allied ships and the beaches to invasion. British 5th Para X lands on an undefended Lagosta and is disrupted, despite using gliders. The Italian RM-1 Task force (strength 3) sails from Alexandria to Britain, rumored to be conducting mine seeping practice enroute.

The last flames of German resistance are extinguished on Corsica by strong US forces. The ports of Calvi and Bastia were overrun. 36th US Inf XX and its cadre are exchanged for the 10-6 44 HuD Inf XX in the mountains south of Calvi. The US player could’ve used a smaller c/m unit as part of the exchange, but the difference in RPs is slight and this gets the Inf XX off Corsica immediately. Unlike the isolated Nazis many US soldiers live on as special replacements. The 44 HuD is expected to be rebuilt on the mainland as soon as possible. Two French 1-5 Construction units are flown into Ajaccio to become the island’s garrison next turn.

On the Italian mainland Allies employ 4 TF and much air power to gain a 7:1 (-3) attack against 16th Pz XX defending the west coast road south of Salerno. They roll a 4 (-3) for a DR. A 2-1-R LR Siege Bn and a 0-1-6 Penal II are killed in the mountains. The ports of Taranto and Bari destroyed as Allied units enter them. Two French Infantry XX and the mighty 15-10 NZ Mech XX land and march toward the front. The Allies have now captured two connected marshalling yards and next turn can begin building rail capacity. Allied aircraft spend most of the turn bombing rail hexes. Total losses: Axis 19 AF (17 isolated on Corsica), Allies 9 AF.

 

June 1944 Special

C, C

Axis Player Turn

In Italy a few units slip into the mountain passes leading across into
France while the Arno line is strengthened. Theatre Command designates La
Spezia a National Socialist hero city and forms it into a western redoubt,
anchoring the line against the Allied advance.

In France around the allied beachhead at Cannes a slight withdrawal is made.
Toulon is abandoned to its fate with 2nd rate troops holding the fortress
while Marseilles is garrisoned to hold as long as possible. the cadre in
Lyon is strengthened by the arrival of a SS PzG XX and Tiger battalion while
the area around Clermont is abandoned as the Loire line is reinforced as
more and more infantry units arrive. Around the smoking beachhead on
Bolougne the Germans withdraw 16 miles to avoid a three hex attack on their
position to the boos and hisses of the watching allies. From Dunkirk, V-1
rockets scorch across the sky and impact into London docklands, requiring
Fighter Command to beef up its defences.

Allied Player Turn

Calais is assaulted by US infantry and engineers who destroy half the
defenders and force the remaining Eastern Troops to flee along the coast.

At Nantes a joint Canadian-British attack surrounds and destroys the
defenders, cutting across the mouth of the Loire and threatening Brittany.
Around Tours several attacks wipe out some German static units unfortunate
enough to be caught in the growing British advance in the region.
Stragglers around Clermont are gobbled up and spat into the dead pile.

A French attack across the Rhone west of Avignon fails to dislodge the
German defence, especially annoying is the Aborting of 4 GS aircraft by a
single LW AA unit.

The beach head around Cannes is expanded further as toulon is assaulted for
a HX result and the Paras push north west towards the Rhone over the broken
country side.

In Italy, caution is thrown to one side as the border is crossed from France
to outflank the German line.

In the mountain passes several defenders are crushed while Pavona is overrun
by the South African Armoured and other motorised odds and sods while a
Motorised 82nd AB XX attacks and seizes Genoa.

At Festung La Spezia, Poles, Kiwis and Brits attack the city and seize it
courtesy of some heavy GS flown by the USAAF. So much for the invulnerable
redoubt theory. East of Florence, Indian and Polish Mountain units force
back the RSI/SS defenders in the mountains while on the coast of the
Adriatic a US Corp treats harshly a joint RSI/PzG stack and blows it away
for a HX.

In the exploitation phase Milan falls to the Springboks with Mussolini
escaping just in time to take up residence in Trieste. The US 1st Armored
and 34th Motorised Infantry enter Ravenna before swinging inland towards
Bologna.

In France the Canadians advance to Nevers and the 7th Armoured to Dijon.
The bridgehead over the Loire is expanded near Tours and the 1st Armoured
enters Rennes while recon units enter an empty Brittany to seize some minor
ports along the Channel coast.

Feb II 44

Weather roll is a 2. Zone C is an N, which means more snow. Zone D remains Mud. Zone E is finally clear weather. Atlantic roll is a 6 for storms, Med is a 2 for calm.

Axis Player Turn

Very glad to get the Mud in D. Repaired 5 air units in the aborted box and the two 5-7-6 Inf XX coming full in the West go to beef up the rather lax defenses in Normandy. The Gustav line is straightened and now runs 26:2124-2123-2022-2021-1922-1920-1719, approximately the historical line. Allied units on Elba use special supply, New Zealanders and company in 26:2020 go U-1.

Allied Player Turn

USAAF is again short air units to garrison the Mid-East, -2 ARPs for that and -3 more to replace losses. The air cycle ends with the following ARPs unused: US 44, Brits 56, French 6, Italians 6, Allied anti-ship 8, Germany 21, RSI 5. Axis meet all occupation requirements, so no extra partisan rolls. Allied engineers rebuild Napoli’s port and remove port hits from there and Taranto. Other than shuffling the line forward over ground the Axis retreated from and a lot of engineers moving around/fixing things not much happens on the ground. Allied air forces continue to pound away almost without opposition on the Axis rail nets. Another 21 rail hits are scored between partisans and air units. British 11th Armored XX ends the turn in Gibraltar after embarking during the exploitation phase at Reggio.

Commentary

There really is no Axis rail net in Italy on map 26, nor in France within fighter range of Corsica, England, Belle or Yeu. Rail movement between Italy and France is out of the question, but a single line is open between Germany and France, though it doesn’t go far. The Allies get another increase in quality and quantity of air units next turn, and campaign season is not far away. It will be interesting to compare results of this 1943 campaign against the SF Apr I 1944 start data.

Nov II 43

Weather roll = 2. Zone C and D Mud, Zone E Clear. Atlantic Rough, Med Calm.

Axis Player Turn

44 HuD is reincarnated as a 5-7-6, along with the 4-5* Static XX, 2-1-R RR Art II and 1-2-4 Fortress III for a total of 12 Inf RPs. The 0-1-6 Penal II (LW) is a freebee.

The KM brazenly steams out with a single NT and lays mines to cover the port of Den Helder. Coastal Command fails two attempts to make contact in the rough North Sea. Aircraft lay other mines along the French Mediterranean and northern Italian coast. German troops pull back to the first fort line which runs 26:2222-2220-2019-2018-1918. Allied harassment was a minor irritation, but not plentiful enough to cause significant problems.

Allied Player Turn

Germany is short 4 REs of Italian occupation forces. Partisans in Italy and France score a total of 3 rail hits. Both sides call up their strategic air forces. The US rebuilds the 9-8 Inf XX lost in an exchange last turn.

Allied ground forces close up on the German fortified line, but can find no place for a profitable (or even reasonable) attack. Movement is hindered by harassment flown by LW (mostly strat air assets). Allied NTs are busy carting units off Sardinia and Corsica, the US sends an 11-8 Inf XX and 16-10 Arm XX to the ETO.

Counter-air and rail attacks are the major missions, but mud and flak make the bombing of airbases less profitable. The Luftwaffe rose only once for air to air (no casualties). Bombs and flak account for 3 RAF and 3 Luftwaffe fighters aborted. Due to the wide coverage of German strategic fighter reserves Allied medium bombers are afraid to venture deep into enemy territory as they have in the past. Allied strategic bombers close down all but one Rhine River crossing, and do more damage to the rail nets in southern France and northern Italy.

 

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