In a shock move Italy announces its departure from the war and intention to join the Allied forces. Hitler is shocked! Il Duce pledges undying loyalty and sets up an alternative regime in Milan. Several Blackshirt and para units remain loyal while the rest of the Italian army is disbanded except for those on Corsica, Sardinia (Cagliari defenders), the Syracuse XXs and a rather mobile force wedged between the British lodged in the instep and approaching Americans from Reggio. This unit is three 3-8 XXs, a mountain cadre, light Arm III, Cavalry III and two rather tasty strong Artillery units – just what the allies need at a time like this!
The Germans respond by trying to scuttle north but again harrassment delays the retreat and numerous breaks in the northern rail line make it hard to get troops down to the south. Germany has about 8 XXs worth of units in the lower end of the boot – all motorised or mechanised but strung out. The situation looks grim.
A series of attacks go in to try and circle behind the retreating German forces – a number of attacks are launched but terrain forces a number of AS results. The US Army is bringing overwhelming strength to bear in the region, the question remains can it be brought to bear in a manner that might cause serious damage to the Germans in Italy? The British units are withdrawn back to North Africa. What can be brewing?
Situation to date
Italy has been knocked out of the war through loss of numbers – around 52 REs worth, mostly courtesy of an amazing blood frenzy by the Yanks in Sicily in August I and some heavy air losses over this time period. I wasn’t expecting to roll for Italian surrender until late September due to my inability to take Cagliari and Corsica but I read the rules again for Italian surrender and decided to try my hand early. Lucky for me I did as it gave me enough troops courtesy of those left in Corsica and Sardinia to form up the Italian co-belligerent forces.
Italy appears to becoming an exclusively American show at the moment. All British troops and shipping are concentrated in North Africa or Southern England. A couple of battlegroups based around American AT Xs and an Indian XX have been placed on the map near the Rif. An Armoured Corp has arrived at Gibralter, whatever can this mean??