Allied Player turn
Weather: Clear throughout.
Initial phase: Things look bleak for the Allies, though the VP count may not be too bad since the Axis clearly havent taken Greece out in the same period of time as in the real event, despite their individual successes and breakthroughs. The Greeks convert two border units in Athens to the 22nd Inf XX, and rebuild the X Bdr X. Defense of the hex rises to 8 from 5 points. In the oldest pocket at 4514, Greek units finally go U-4 and begin surrendering, with 15 Mtn XX cadred, 12 Inf Cadre eliminated, and the E Art III eliminated.
Movt: Practically none. In the major movt of the turn, the A Lt AA III boards ship and attempts to make its way back to Athenai to bump up the AA value for the expected assault against the capital. They travel by day nearest to Crete, and thence into Athens via night, with the P.24s planned to CAP the Athenai hex just prior to their arrival to cover the unloading. However, Allied High command misses the naval patrol craft flying out of Rethymnon, so the transports are soon spotted in hex 4303 and contact is made by a Ju88a escorted by an Italian CR32bis (2 rolled, +3 for calm, -0 for distance). P.24s immediately cancel their planned CAP to Athenai, since it hasnt happened yet and attempt to stop the bombers, bypassing the Italian fighters. The biplanes roll a 3 however and send the P.24s to the deadpool. Two points of naval flak rolls an 8, so the bombers are able to press home their attack, making 3 attempts to hit on the 1 column, of which one 6 is rolled, sinking the Greek III and its NTP. The Greek construction brigades give up their digging south of the Spherkios line, and instead move north into the main line to await the final assault.
Combat and exploit: None.
Axis Player turn
Initial Phase: The Axis again lose 15 Vps for failing to withdraw the German forces (they are need to maintain the cordon around the Spherkios defenders and to assault Athenai this turn). In the Greek U-4 pocket, the 16th Mtn XX is cadred, the 15ths cadre surrenders, but the D Lt AA III manages to survive a second roll for elimination. More attack supply arrives in Germany, as do more GSPs along high volume rail lines for shipment south. The 395th OFK Static [XX] shows up for duty in the Balkans. Centauros conversion is delayed, as it is out of supply at this time. There are ample Rps of various sorts scattered about Albania, but none are needed as only a 2 regiments of germans (1 mtn, 1 parachute and a single para HQ are in the deadpool.) Thanks to previously unmentioned Axis transfer missions, no airbases are overstacked at this time.
Expecting the end to come soon, and not willing to face complete Axis air dominance, the Allied bombers attempt to fly night transfer missions to Alexandria from Athenai (both fighters are aborted or eliminated at this point.) The Greek Mxd B lands fine, but the Blen 4 is aborted upon landing when a 1 is rolled.
Movt Phase: Though not terribly necessary, 4 fighter units CAP Athenai. Near Athens, Das Reich, Leibstandarte and the 60th mot Inf along with various mechanized non-divs invest Athenai. Centuaro makes it to just east of Corinth, while a regiment of mot Inf takes Kalamai.
The 198th Inf XX crosses to Patrai and moves southeast, while other infantry divisions invest the southern pocket. Screens are maintained against the 3 northern pockets. The Pzr Corp and mountaineers with supporting artillery plan to assault the Spherkios again from the north, though the Battle of Athenai will to large extent determine what can be done in this regards. Engineers, paratroopers and Italian artillery move up to Khania to clear the last 3 points holding out on the west end of the island.
In naval movts, 1 attack supply is landed at Prevesa to supply any needed assaults in this area. Another point is moved to Valona for shipment south as required. Rail movt of attack supply and GSPs continues south to the main front from the Balkan areas. GSPs are also shipped into Korinthos via naval transport, with 2 of the three shipments interfered with, and one shipment halved and the other eliminated in effects rolls.
Combat phase: First, a few of the Greek pockets are cleaned out. A 12:1, -2 against the U-4 survivors is launched against 4514, with a 3 rolled for a DH, clearing the hex. Next, Missolonghi is cleared with a 6:1, +0, DH (3 rolled). This leaves three one hex pockets of Greek troops, all in mountain hexes north of the main line. Next, limited GS is flown in support of an attack on Khania, resulting in a 6:1 -1 attack generating a DR with another 3 rolled. The Greek units retreat out of the hex to the western tip of Crete and the last outpost on the island is seized by a smorgasbord of German paratroopers and combat engineers and Italian infantry and artillery. Finally, plenty of air (13 units) flies GS over Athenai, facing 5 points of flak. Nine units get through, 2 Ju87s are returned, and a Ju88a and the poor floatplanes are aborted.
This leaves the odds at 3:1 -1, and in a surprise a 4 is rolled for an HX, eliminating all but the cadre of the Greek 22nd Inf XX. The German 125th Inf III and Italian 1B M/C III enter the pool on the Axis side.
The Liebstandarte and the 50th Aslt Eng II enter the city in triumph.
Clearly the Greek government will be made to pay for their insistence on fighting on even after the German intervention ensured their eventual defeat, so they choose to fight to the last man on the Acropolis. The majority, including King Moonopolis fight to the bitter end in the Parthenon, but eventually their resistance is over come. (1 rolled on Govt attempt to flee, +5 Vps for capturing the government). SS troops round up the survivors. International organizations decry the damage done to the historic building, but Hitler waves such trivialities away, promising to send Speer down to build a real monument. Elsewhere in the city numerous stocks of munitions are seized (2 attack supply captured with 2 5s rolled), though an entire city block filled with fortification materials is somehow destroyed (2 attempts to seize res.
Pts fail.) The Greek SMPs in Athenai are captured as well, as is the Allied Supply Terminal that had to be opened upon the entrance of Allied troops into mainland Greece (+5 Vps to Axis). Im unsure what happens to the Greek bombers in Alexandria, as there is no escape mechanism in WW, so I suppose it surrenders too since it is not on a Greek island.
At this point all Greek troops on the mainland surrender, leaving the bewildered Brits, Aussies and Kiwis trapped with no where to run and no where to hide. With the Greek troops marching off to prison camps northwards, an attack is launched on that dratted hex 0413, now reduced to just the NZ 2nd Inf XX and the Brit 1st Arm X. The attack goes in at 4:1 -1, 5 rolled for a DR, and the Allies are pushed from their fortifications. Too bad I had no ZOCs to spare to put behind them…
Exploit: The victors of Athenai move north to form a strong line facing the Allied troops on their south flank. Hex 0413 is packed with other troops, while 2nd Pzr and mot Art IIIs seize the 0515 hex, limiting to some extent where the Allied troops may choose to hide. Italian troops are left behind to garrison Athenai. Numerous medals are handed out by Mussolini, church bells ring throughout the country and Il Duce begins casting about for his next target. Hitler has his eyes firmly fixed eastwards….
End of turn: Axis lost 15 Vps for failing to withdraw, but gain 10 for seizing Athenai, its supply terminal and the Greek govt. Totals are now 22:4.