SSMM, Calm Seas everywhere.
Axis Player Turn
Spain – The withdrawal of the FH PzG XX from San Sebastian to Russia sends shivers down the German CinC spine until he can find replacements for them in the form of the 26th Pz Cadre that he has to spend valuable armoured RPs on to bring up to strength. In Extremadura, the remaining Spanish forces flee into the hills while Galacia asks for fighter protection and sea borne reinforcements. At Barcelona, Franco spends some of the RPs he has collected from the special replacements gained from massive losses and rebuilds a couple of infantry XXs. These are thrown into the frontline, much to the bitter disappointment of the Allied CinC. Barcelona is looking a tough nut to crack.
Italy – The sudden winter offensive of the US infantry causes the abandonment of the Adriatic coast. Units flee north to the next river line and a PzG cadre is sent from Rome to SE of Aquila de Abruzzi to try and ward off any further american adventurism. The Cassino sector holds on but looks increasingly over its shoulder to the happenings in the east.
Allied Player Turn
Spain – Irate at the poor press they got from the previous turns failure in battle, the Canadian tank boys with attached infantry slam into the pesky Spanish cavalry which had slipped into Navarre. The horseboys are wiped out, but not before running amok with the British infantry (EX result). The Canadians press forward and reach the entrances to the passes over the Pyrenees.
Italy – Two US infantry XXs attack and get an EX result on the PzG cadre SE of Aquila, much to the consternation of the German CinC. This attack puts the infantry astride the east-west transportation line outflanking the river line along the Adriatic, threatening Pescara and, more importantly, Roma. The Cassino line is now useless and the Allied CinC begins to see possibilities opening up.
The addition of Spain was definitely been a two edged sword from the Allied point of view. It was fun at first over running and swamping the scattered Spanish defences but the key aim of breaking into the Pyrenees before bad weather struck failed. This was mainly due to my failure to get started on towards Barcelona early enough. The Tarragona force was meant to be a block on the Germans getting establish deep in Spain, it worked but I should have used it as a means of getting to Barcelona and knocking the Spanish out earlier. The home rules for garrisoning Spain were also a pain, too many units tied down well away from the fighting, but this is what the rules were meant to do so I guess from that perspective they worked. As to how “historical” they are is anyones guess.
In Italy the Americans at this date were lodged further north than as was the case historically, but the Italian peninsula has a lot lower counter density – Spain was being mainly defended by German units that were slated for the southern front. This allowed me to push further and faster without any amphibious landings (except for the initial one on the toe). The most disconcerting thing in the game for me at this stage was the German refusal to strip Northern France of units to defend Spain and Italy. I had been hoping for a cross channel lodgement by late 43, but the enemy just wouldn’t play my game. The fact that I had several US and British XXs and assorted special forces sitting in the GB holding box could have played a part to. Norway still sits pretty in the north, awaiting Allied liberation. The time is coming.16