(Mud in Zone A, clear and calm elsewhere….)
Axis Player Turn
Massive reinforcements appear when most need for the Germans. This is seen as divine intervention and proof of the durability of the 1000 year Reich, etc etc.
A line is thrown up running from the Donau – Fredrich Ludwig Cannal -Rhine. the British thrust at Nurnburg is hit hard to slow them down but the attack has no effect (AS). A battlegroup forms around Linz/Steyer to block the approach from Salzburg and Munich to Vienna.
At Wesel the US units look up into the sky to see the heavans blacken with aircraft – is it the USAAF? Is it the RAF? No, its the Strategic LW Reserve, called out one last time for 1944 to aid the desperate attack by the Germans. The US units are bundled back across the Rhine in tatters (HX) and the Rhine defence is restored.
In Norway, the northern ports are abandoned and troops fall back onto Narvik and Trondheim. A stand is made in the mountains south of the Allied positions. From Stavanger, the KM sets sail for the North Sea.
The Battle of the Shetlands.
Cruising up and down looking for the Royal Navy, the KM is intercepted by ENTF 1 and 2 on patrol off Forde. In the first engagement KM-1 is hit once while KM-2 suffers 3 hits. This is balanced by 3 hits to ENTF-1 and one to ENTF-2. In the second round both fleets engage and KM-2 is sunk, ENTF-1 and KM-1 is hit twice and ENTF-2 escapes damage. The third and final round sees KM-1 suffer 4 hits and ENTF a further 2 hits. The KM chooses to disengage and slinks away back to Kiel to lick its wounds. The Royal Navy adds another battle honour to its list.
The German turn ends with Norway alight, its fleet unusable, the Strategic LW unable to be used, its theatre aircraft in a smouldering heap and painfully being rebuilt well away from the frontline and a thin line of defence running from Holland to Linz. The RSI holds only Trieste with Mussolini’s empire consisting of half a dozen hexes around the city and Venice. The Alps have been breached, Vienna and Prague lay within the Allied grasp and replacements very hard to come by. Could this be the opening score for Das Gotterdammerung?
Allied Player Turn
In Italy, the Americans attack Trieste, spearheaded by OSS Commando teams who successfully infiltrate the city’s defences and capture Mussolini mid-speech in a balcony. The cities defenders collapse in and EX result and the RSI is no more.
Massive attacks occur again over the front. Between Regensburg and Frankfurt, the French and British are particularly active and it is here the heart of the German line is ripped open. Regensburg falls to the Poles, Czechs and British while at Weisbaden, Wurzburg, Bad Kreuznach are the scene of battles that detroy or seriously harm the German defenders. Berlin’s last hope in the region, a corp based on the 2nd Das Reich Pz and 90th PzG XXs are surrounded by four corps of Canadians and British armour and utterly destroyed. Only Nurnburg holds out against Kiwi and Springbok attacks.
South East of Linz a battlegroup of German Infantry and Anti-tank gunners hold off the thrusting Americans. In the north Rotterdam falls to a 8:1 attack while the Rhine is crossed again at Seigburg where US Armour assaults across from Bonn. West of Arnhem the Americans bludgeon into submission some Luftwaffe ground units for an EX result while in the city itself a single 4-6-6 Infantry XX tries to hold back a complete US Infantry Corp. The results are as expected and the town falls to the Americans. East of Nijmegen a German 8-6 XX with Tiger tank support is pushed back and Berlin is in rapture over the success in the unit surviving.
In Norway the Allied strength gathers itself and forces the defenders back and the approaches of the Forsested Valley leading to Oslo beckon closers and closer…..
The US Army bursts across the Rhine into NE Holland, seizing Groningen and reach the mouth of the Ems River. At Siegburg the bridgehead is cautiously expanded into Hagen and Siegen while further south Canadian and British forces rush through the gap in the German line to consolidate at Erfurt – Jena – Plaven, just before the heavans open up and deluge the front with heavy rain.