German Player Turn
A national emergency is declared and all replacements are diverted for use in the West, North and South front. Goebells proclaims Total war and demands the utmost from German workers in producing supplies for the front.
France – Units are reinforced and strengthened. Britanny is stripped of defenders who admin move/rail to the Loire line. The Strategic LW is called out again, the fourth time for the year and is used by the Germans to launch a series of desperate attacks. The Allied commander in his bunker outside Madrid sneers in disgust as news begins to arrive from the front of frantic German activity – surely the death throes of the nazi regime!
Carefully hoarded Pz and PzG units are unleashed onto the unsuspecting US units in the beachhead. Three attacks are launched, the first at the salient south of Le Treport by several corps of German Pz and infantry units – with +1 AECA the US forces are thrown back in a 1.5:1 DR result causing numerous casulties as troops are captured unable to squeeze past the german patrols (ZoC scam!)
The second attack is by the reformed Pz Corp based on Lehr and 21st XXs attacks Boulogne which is defended by a single infantry XX, engineers and seige artillery with no Anti-tank units. The LW holds off most of the allied DAS and the town falls again to a 1.5:1 attack (DE).
The third attack is against the salient west of the beachhead by several SS c/m and infantry units. Overhead another massive air battle rages but most of the units flying DAS get through. 19 points of German AA sends several air units crashing to the ground, but enough remains to keep the odds down to 1.5:1 with no modifiers. It doesn’t matter as the Germans roll EX and with ZoCs extending to all possible retreat hexes, a whole US corp is butchered.
In Madrid, the Allied commander weeps. Surely it can’t get any worse than this? Well yes it can.
In Bourges, the Guards Corp is surrounded by the 1st LSSAH, 2nd DR, 17th GbV, 26th Pz and various German riff raff. With the corp in such an advanced position, the only effective means of supplying DAS is Mustangs flying out of England and bombers. All non-strategic Luftwaffe units fly interception/GS on the battle. British AA sees off a large amount of German GS lowering the odds down to 1.5:1 -2ATEC, +3 AECA = EX with a ZoC scam. The best of the British marches off to join their US compatriots in prison camps in Germany.
To add insult to injury, the c/m units in Italy destroy the advanced US Armored cadre south of Florence while SS, SS Police and RSI militia surround and destroy the mountain units west of Rimini in a ZoC retreat scam. They then shuffle about to restore a rather decent line in Italy and the immediate threat to Arno line is stopped.
The only spot of sunshine was a failed infantry attack from Toulon and Marseilles on US paratroopers (AS).
The Allied high command surveys the wreckage – four 1.5:1 attacks result in the loss of some 35+ Allied units destroyed, several hundred planes aborted or destroyed, the thrust from South West France temporarily blunted, the Italian defences restored and the beachhead reduced by 50% in size. The German commander offers the Allied commander a glass of scotch.
In the exploitation phase, the Loire lines are strengthened.
Allies Player Turn
The drill halls are busy churning replacements for the lost units. British AT units are disbanded and the pools of reserves pretty much drained. More US units are landed to strengthen the beachhead where the Germans in Boulogne are surrounded and destroyed by heavy GS (DH and ZoC scam).
A cautious British advance continues to the Loire valley while mopping up continues in the rear. Several advanced airbases are built to bring fighter cover closer to the lines. The drive on Lyon continues with Etienne falling to the 7th Armoured who exploits through to just outside Lyon, defended by a pathetic looking cadre. North-east of Sete a Anglo-French attack on a German corp dug in the forests fails to dislodge them.
Cote d’Azur – French Armour arrives at Cannes to join a drive by the FFL 1st towards Toulon and push the German infantry defenders back. North of here the 1st A/B XX drives towards Marseilles and pushes the German infantry back to the outskirts of the city where in the exploitation phase the French armoured unit arrives to threaten the city. Along the Italian border Mtn and Special Forces ooze along the border into the mountains. The German CinC is disgusted by such cowardly game play.
Italy – The Polish 1st Armoured attacks across the Arno at its mouth into Pisa and forces back the German infantry XX defending it. South of here the remaining german cadres are mopped up by Polish and US Infantry with the NZ Mech XX doing ZoC scam duty. Elsewhere the US forces are shuffled about ready for the offensive soon to follow to breach the Arno fully and drive onto the Po River before mud returns.
An exciting time period once the tears had dried in my eyes. As I watched the attacks go in one after the other at 1.5:1 I was incredulous. One or even two of the attacks causing me damage I could accept, but all four! Even my DAS let me down (although admittedly it reduced odds from 3:1 or 2:1 in all cases) by falling prey to accurate AA fire. Oh well, never underestimate the enemy ability to take risks and the curse of the die. The landing at Pas de Calais lacks the AEC nullifying terrain of Normandy and it showed when a modifier of +1 was enough to force a retreat into terrain that was choc-a-bloc with units or in enemy ZoC. As for the Brits in Bourges, that was just jammy! Watch the flanks!!
The critical factor in this time period was that it again drained the British RPs and put a dent in the US pool, all this before the German can convert most of his units to higher defence strength and the really bad terrain of Holland and the Westwall comes up. The prospect of liberating Norway are starting to look slim unless the remainder of Italy can fall before mud/snow chokes up the map, but we’ll have to wait and see.
With two turns (special June turn included in this game) until I could enter northern Italy and avoid an extra 15 REs of German being released from the South-east, the German player knew this so the Franco-Italian border was manned by a couple of amputees with shotguns while five XXs worth of British and allied units waited to cross the border and flood the Lombardy plain.
The declaration of emergency is a real pain for the allies as it gives the germans the ability to rebuild a lot of units lost in desperate EX battles of in holding up the main allied advance. Oh well, Paris will be mine soon….