Mud and Rough
Axis Player Turn
Spain – Barcelona is strengthened by the arrival of the SS 10th F PzG XX at Sabadell while the Spanish pull back from the Tarragona region. The northern front is wilting under allied pressure but Hitler sends an urgent plea to Franco to hold on for as long as possible until the passes over the Pyrenees can be garrisoned effectively. In the west the fragmented units holding out against the Portuguese-British attack begin to suffer from lack of supply and urgently radio through to Barcelona looking for aid. Constant withdrawals of key units to Russia is also annoying the German CinC who is forced to shuffle units about to hold Spain in the war.
Italy – Naples and Salerno are abandoned and the German army with RSI units withdraws to the forts behind the Garigliano. HG XX just scrapes through the ZoCs of the US/NZ forces to arrive safely home. The folly of not using air harrassment on its line of retreat haunts the allied commander and he is hounded into early retirement by the bitter press denunciations (obviously fed by press leaks from irate politicians from Whitehall and Washington). The best chance of pinning and destroying the HG XX (the last C/M XX in Italy except for a PzG XX guarding Liguria from sea attack) and getting an easy run into Rome without having to face a strong Cassino defence was missed due to the focus on Spain. The German CinC breathes easy once more and orders a bottle of grapa.
Allied Player Turn
Spain – Portuguese and British troops take Merida and push on to Caceres. Salamanca holds out again to an allied attack. In the east, Zaragosa falls to troops pushing north from the coast along the Ebro. This leaves only Barcelona and Lerida linked with France.
Italy – The British forces take up positions south of the Garigliano while the US forces move to the Adriatic coast and begin to enter the mountains, preparing for a flanking move on the 32 mile long “Adriatik Anvil” manned by the 44th Hud XX and a couple of lower quality Infantry units with ants. The placement of units makes it clear that despite the weather and terrain that the US forces are preparing to launch another assault soon. With news of this, the German CinC snorts grapa through his nose in surprise. It is also noted that several ports in Northern Italy have been left virtually unguarded and well within the reach of the air bases in Corsica (where significant numbers of air units begin to redeploy). Northern France and its defending troops remains untouched by the troubles in Spain and Italy.