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Europa Games and Military History

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Apr I 44

Weather Roll = 6, Mud in zones C & D, clear in E. Atlantic = 2 – calm, Med = 4 – calm.

Axis Player Turn

The defenders of WEST front breath a collective sigh of relief as spring weather continues to be poor. Complements of the weather Allied units in 26.2020 go U-1 yet again. Swaping units has kept the effects to a minimum, but with no way to man-handle supplies the only alternative is a very uncertain air drop (1/3 chance of success). After last turn’s civil unrest in bologna the Emilia garrison is called up to occupy that city (actually allowed due to Allied forces on Elba). Engineers finish two forts and begin three more. With 10 engineers dedicated to fort construction rail repairs proceed at a slow pace. One rail line between Italy and Germany is cleared. There is however, barely a rail hex without a hit below Firenze. Any retreat fom the Gustav line will be by road or cross country. Hit markers are again running low.

Allied Player-Turn

The airbase augmented on Elba is completed, and the port will be rebuilt next turn. Neither side calls up strat air. 5 SAS is airlifted to Belle, entering a hex of France – Germans don’t react by popping up their garrison. 3x ENTF, 1x WNTF and 1x RM enter map 17 and make for Brittany. CD at Paimpol engages and gets a hit, return fire silences the CD. Next in line is St Brieuc which misses, but receives 6 hits from return fire. Morlaix is also attacked and silenced. Meanwhile LC’s have loaded a large invasion force and NTs a second wave of armor, artillery and supplies. During the second naval movement step Quimper is bombarded and the CD there is silenced. The naval TF splits up and each sub-part is joined by NTs and LCs. US forces begin landing at 17:0618 and 0717; British, Canadian and French troops land at 17:0519, 0521 and 0722.

Axis command quickly notes the landing at 0722 has no naval cover and immediately orders air strikes. A missile armed FW200 makes contact, is met by 3 groups of interceptors and is returned by the first Allied fighter. A massive strike from Bordeaux inexplicably fails to find the invasion force (rolled a 3). The only remaining naval patrol, a lone Ju88, also fails to make contact. Allied bombing of German air bases along the Biscay has paid off. 2x LC are damaged during first wave landings and 2x US 2-1-10 Amphib Tank Bns sink on their run in to the beach. Fortunately both of the 6-4-10 Amphib Tank Brigades made it safely ashore. After the amphibious troops are ashore a cloud of transports, many staging from Gibraltar and North Africa, drop US and British Parachute divisions (less HQs) at 0718 and 0723, with French Para-Commandos landing at 0622. Despite the use of every available glider and skies clear of any enemy aircraft 2 US Regts and one British Bde are disrupted. 11x gliders go to the eliminated pool.

German defenses in Brittany had been limited to the ports themselves, there are no units in a position to use a reaction move to influence the battle.

Quimper is defended by a mixed lot, including a 1-2-8 SS-Pol X, 3-8 Art, 1-10 Mot LtAA and port CD. The Allies needed 9 of their 12 air units for a 6:1. Sure enough, the 1 point of German AA returns 3 and aborts 1 Allied air unit, reducing the attack to a 5:1 -4. A 2 is rolled for an AS to spoil the day for British and French attackers.

Paimpol is defended by a 5-5 Static XX and local CD. The Allies completely surround the hex and at 6:1 -2 roll a 1 for a DR. Germany loses 5 isolated combat factors while 2x 3-8 Eng and 2x 1-8 Rangers advance to take the port intact.

At Morlaix the Allies make a 7:1 -2 attack against another 5-5 Static XX and roll a 2 for a net 0 and a HX. The German Cadre retreats to 0619, British lose 2x 2-3-8 Engineer X (isolated) and advance 2x 3-8 Mar-Cdo X into the port. -8 VP for isolated losses.

After a lot of less than productive aerial bombardment the turn ends with the Allies holding 12 hexes of Brittany including 2 minor ports. There are 39 REs ashore, including 5 divisions (2x US, 2x British, 1x Canadian). Brest is isolated, but none of the Allied units will be unless both ports are knocked out, an extremely unlikely event given Allied air superiority. However, 5 more LCs were damaged during the second wave, and only 5 undamaged LCs managed to replenish (including 3x LC moved up from the MTO). The Allies should’ve loaded their first wave units at least a turn in advance if they wanted to replenish after landing a second wave. Coastal hexes are fully covered by NGS.

Comments

Making an honest landing is probably the hardest thing to do while playing solitaire. I tried to apply previous experience against other players with what I know of Rich Velay’s defense. April I 44 is a low point in German defenses, but with few troops loaded on LCs, no Allied strat air call-up and mud weather I didn’t believe an Axis strat air call-up was warranted. Had there been rough weather in the Atlantic the Allies would’ve waited a turn. Even if the weather turns clear in zone D the Axis will not be able to fix enough rail hits to get their arriving 20-10 Panzers to Brittany. I suspect Allied harassment will slow down any Infantry to a crawl. The France garrison, 2-3 Inf/Static XX, and a few c/m ants will reach Brittany. Germany prays for more bad weather.

July I 44

Weather is clear everywhere. Atlantic and Mediterranean sea zones are calm.

Axis Player-Turn

All units are in supply, Allied Western Europe rail net is up for supply (Cap=12). Germans welcome the arrival of Infantry AT weapons – all non-ATEC units are now ATEC neutral. Germany spends 10 of 52 ARPs, 8 Inf, 7 Arm and 1 NRP (mines). Two forts are QCed. Several Static XX are converted to the new 4-6-6 Inf XX TO&E. Jul I reinforcements are rather lean. Axis fighters get the best of the RAF over the Rhine rial crossings – two P51D5’s are aborted and a B-25 eliminated for an RSI MC205V aborted. Allied harassment gets through however as the Axis runs out of defending fighters.

Germans in southern France form a line behind the Rhone and in the Alps. Lyon, Grenoble and the ports of La Nouvelle and Port Vendres are abandoned. The CdR Fortress X is reincarnated yet again and moves to Sete (now DF 5) to prevent an overrun and slow the British advance. In Central France German forces pull back to less than 10 hexes from the Westwall, a close Allied pursuit will trigger an emergency. Major c/m stacks are formed at 17/1306 and 1905. The Luftwaffe continues to try air-launched V-1 attacks, this time the He111 is only aborted. All V-1 attacks miss London.

German flak does better this turn, 13 AA attacking 17/1506 abort 4 of 5 DAS leaving 10 DF +2 DAS verses 61 AF resulting in a 5:1 +2 for a DE killing a US tank Bn and reducing the 35th Inf XX to a cadre. LSSAH advances and has a clear breakthrough – there are no Allied ZOCs in the way. 7 AA returns 2 of 3 DAS at 17/1805 leaving 8 DF (full ATEC) and 2 DAS verses 76 AF for a 7:1 -1. The combat roll is a 6 for a DE and the US loses a 3-10 Mot AA, Cav Bde, AT Bn and Tank Bn. Germany can’t afford to EX or HX, with the Allies so attacks are being made a fairly high odds.

During exploitation the LSSAH overruns a US 0-1-8 Construction III halfway between Paris and Le Mans, then dashes back behind the Seine. Two other Pz XX make sure the Axis regain control of several rail lines behind Paris, but were unable to close the supply net noose. There just aren’t enough forces to hold open the breakthrough or the Seine defense line while c/m XX’s roam around the Allied rear. The Axis end with a strong line from the Channel to 17/2003 and then an intermittent line (covered by ZOCs) to 16/3132.

Losses: 15 unisolated US DF.

Allied Player-Turn

MRs 17 and 18 are liberated and will start producing Jan I 45. All Allied units are in supply and 4 more rail cap are added to the French net. US spends 16.5 Inf and 8.5 Arm points, Brits spend 10 ARPs. The Luftwaffe flies some rare harassment in S. France, just out of reach of Allied fighters. No strat air forces are called up, the strat air war roll is a 1 so Strat Air level goes to 3.

MTO: Allied forces close on the Germans as they retreat northward toward Rome. Several units including a Brit Arm XX are moved from Italy to N. Africa and left aboard NTs.

ETO: Canadian/British forces advance to te Med coast capturing Port Vendres and La Nouvelle, Sete is isolated. US/British forces take Lyon but do not close on the Swiss border, prefering to form a strong defensive line along the upper Loire. US forces line up toe to toe with the Germans from Paris to the sea with large stacks around Le Havre and Rouen. The Allies still show a healthy regard for the Panzers.

Combat Phase: A 6:1 -1 attack on Sete results in an EX of 5 points and a destroyed major port. The CdR Fort X is getting a reputation for bad luck having been destroyed while isolated 3 turns in a row. A 5:1 -1 DRs 15 DF at Le Havre, a 1-2-5 Static cadre survives the retreat and the port is destroyed. No NGS or air support is used in the attack, just lots of Artillery supporting US Infantry and Armor. The Allies fight there way into a third hex of Paris at 17/1604 with Engineer and air support making a 6:1 even up for a DR. US 29th and 80th Inf XX advnace, along with a 4-8 Art. The British EX at 4:1 -2 against 16 DF at 26/1822. They eliminate two Arm X and a Mot Art X such that after rebuilding there will be a net GAIN in British Inf replacements (don’t you just love those special replacements). US forces capture two more hexes in attacks on the eastern side of the Italian boot.

Exploitation Phase: The 49th Static cadre is overrun while isolated near Le Havre and Allied troops firm up their line between Paris and Lyon. British-Canadian c/m close on the Rhone at Nimes (17/4211).

Losses: Germany lost 19 unisolated and 24 isolated DF, Britain lost 20 unisolated AF, France 1 unisolated AF (1-10 Cav in EX at Sete for special replacements).

Comments

Not a great turn for the Allies, almost as many losses as the Germans, but clearing the Normandy MR for liberation is a positive note. British and French take advantage of the fact that eliminated armored units generate special Infantry replacements, but use mostly Armor replacement points. As long as there are plenty of Arm RPs pouring in they will continue to abuse this situation rather than cadre available Infantry XX. The US on the other hand can cadre Infantry to its heart’s content. Allied air forces are starting to get the range of the Rhine rail crossings and Austrian rail lines leading into Italy. Once the Allies push past Dieppe the Germans are going to find it difficult to man their line, which is very weak near the Swiss border already. Allied concentration on clearing Paris and the Normandy MR along with a desire not to trigger an early Westwall emergency has kept them from advancing to the Swiss border. An Axis retreat to the Alps and Nice appears imminent. Less successful is the Axis retreat from the Gustav line. They can’t outrun the Allies, and in fact can’t run far at all due to ZOCs and harassment. The US on the Adriatic coast keeps edging ahead and the Brits on the Tyrrhenian coast can find at least one hex to attack every turn. Large Allied amphibious and airborne forces threaten the rear of both theaters. German losses in Italy are a drain, but the retreat must not become a route.

 

Apr II 44

Weather Roll = 2; mud in zone C, clear in zones D & E. Atlantic = 2 – calm, Med = 2 – calm.

Axis Player Turn

All units are in supply, but Elba would be U-4/isolated without the delivery of supply steps last turn. Brest is isolated. Germany activated most of the France garrison and called on their General Invasion Alarm and Luftwaffe Alarm (conditional reinforcements).

Germans place as many fighters as possible from their Strat Air Force with naval patrols, the others within staging distance of the Allied beachhead. The intention is to draw off Allied fighters with naval patrols and hit the ports hard. This open display of Axis air power will also probably diminish the amount of harassment flown by the Allies.

Naval Patrols: The Allies don’t like to take chances with code V and M air units and allot multiple interceptors to each. A Fw200 and Ju88 code V are shot down while a Ju88 code S and Me109 are aborted. A missile armed Do217 eludes two fighters and is aborted by AA while a Me410 gets through only to miss the RM TF at 17:0617.

Battle of the Ports: The Luftwaffe is thrown at both Allied minor ports in a series of day and night raids. Heavy fighter escorts cannot prevent carnage wrought by P-47’s and Spitfire IX’s. In the end 6 German bombers and 1 fighter are killed, 8 bombers and 1 fighter aborted. The Allies suffer 2 fighter and 1 night fighter aborted. Several German day bomber units crash attempting night landings. Many Luftwaffe fighters attempt bombing runs, but decide to ditch their bombs when confronted by Allied interceptors. Allied Air Forces show that they now rule the skies over Brittany.

On the Ground: In Italy the German lines are thinned. Germany leaves rear guards, but otherwise abandons the Biscay coast. No counter-attack is mounted in Brittany, where the Germans leave enough troops to prevent a rapid advance. Panzer forces are moved forward to threaten an over ambitious Allied advance. (Given Allied harassment there was not a single German c/m division within reach of Allied troops.)

Allied Player Turn

US replaces 2x 2-1-10 Amphib Tank II, Brits replace 1x 2-3-8 Engineer X and repair the hit to their ENTF. All Allied air units are repaired. The US MTO strat air force is called up. The Allies begin feeding massive amounts of troops into Brittany. The unsupported regiments of four Infantry divisions are airlifted to temp bases built adjacent to the ports of Quimper and St Brieuc, meanwhile LCs deliver the HQs. Ports at Elba and Bari are rebuilt and repaired.

The Allies make a series of attacks at: 17:0817 against 6 DF at 9:1 from three hexes. A 5-6 Inf XX suffers a DE and the cadre retreats to 0816. The Allies take the minor port intact. 17:0919 verses a 2-5* cadre at 7:1 -1 getting a DE. 17:0820 verses a 5-7-6 Inf XX. A DE is rolled at 4:1 +2 and the cadre is killed by ZOC. 17:0920 at 9:1 -1 verses a 1-2-8 SS Police III for another DE. 17:0822 against 4 DF at 9:1 -1 gets a DH and kills the remainder by ZOC (isolated), capturing the port of Quimper. During exloitaion the 2-6 cadre at 17:0816 will be overrun. No DAS, GS or NGS was used in these attacks.

In Italy: US Strat Air carpet-bombs 26:1921 and suffers short bombing. The attack goes in at 7:1 -3. Dice roll is a 5 for DH result, 4th Fallshirmjaeger XX is cadred and retreats, along with 924th Fortress III. During exploitation 2nd NZ Mech XX and a Brit Mot Art X enter the devastated hex.

In the ETO: The Allies now have 4 minor ports worth 60 REs of supply and a port capacity of 12. By the end of April II there are 15 divisions (3 Armored, 9 Infantry, 2 Airborne and 1 Artillery), along with 26 REs of non-divisional units on the continent. However, the allies have yet to capture a city and 4 LCs were damaged unloading cargo. The Germans had 13 AF of unisolated and 2 AF of isolated losses. A significant force of Allied units is embarked on LCs at Plymouth (12:3715), there is an LC at sea in 17:1722 (Yeu) and the equivalent of 2+ Airborne divisions are still in England with a third in the MTO.

Commentary

The Allies can build up fast, very fast. Four minor ports means no worries about becoming isolated, and a significant supply burden is gone so long as the troops stay close to those ports. Brest and another marshalling yard should fall next turn. Germans in France should be able to retreat in good order since few of their units are in Allied ZOC. The Gustav line will need to pull back a bit, and is in need of a few more troops to hold against carpet-bombing. The Germans will start the May 44 2-month replacement cycle with significant numbers of dead and aborted air units.

 

July II 44

Weather is clear everywhere. Atlantic rough, Mediterranean calm.

Axis Player-Turn

All units are in supply. Germany spends 10 Inf RPs rebuilding cadres and upgrading to 4-6-6 Inf XX along with 3 German and 1 RSI ARPs. FW 190’s shoot down a P-47D25 escorting harassment near Strasbourg, but one B-26B makes it through. Allies put down 7 levels of harassment in the MTO and 11 in the ETO.

In Italy the front pulls back to a fortified line running through Roma to 26/1520 with a second line directly behind the first (NODL). 29th PzG XX arrives on the Adriatic coast to stiffen the defense. In France German c/m mount a two front attack on US 8th Inf XX in Rouen. The attack is conducted under skies darkened by DAS (8 units) flying from England. AA aborts 4 DAS leaving 11 DF + 7 DAS with 1/7 ATEC verses 101 AF for a 5:1 -1. A 1 is rolled for an EX, Germans recapture Rouen and cadre 21st Pz XX. A Pz XXX uses a 4:1 +3 to DE 5 DF of US Cav and Arty at 17/2207. An 84 point Pz XXX attacks 8 DF of US non-divisional units at 17/1806. Net +1 from 1/2 ATEC verses full AECA, but the flak misses all the DAS and 4 pts are added to the defense. 84:12 is a 7:1 +1 for a DH, and some of the survivors are overrun during exploitation.

Except for a rear guard in Marseille all Germans in S. France pull back to the Italian frontier and a blocking position 2 hexes west of Nice. 15th PzG XX heads north to assist defenses near the Swiss border.

Player-turn losses: US 16 DF, Germany 7, all unisolated.

Allied Player-Turn

Allied European rail Cap goes to 20 and the first French liberation reinforcements arrive in MR 18. MRs 13 and 16 are liberated. Britain spends 1 ARP, 3 Inf and 16 Armor RPs. The US spends 13 ARP, 8 Inf and 4 Arm RPs. The French spend 1 Arm RP. Partisans take out an Me109G6 at Belfort. No strat air is called up. The strat air roll is a 3, stat air level increases to 4 = 80% rail Cap and 75% aviation fuel. 3 Allied airbases are dismantled by slow moving British and Colonial construction units.

The Allies consider and then reject the idea of transporting ground units to Southern France. There are too few Allied fighters and they are too far away. Ground forces move more aggressively, lining up for 8 attacks in the ETO and 3 in the MTO, where the Axis is running out of mountains to hide in. Spitfires fly CAP over Rome where a thousand British guns open up on 13 DF (3x Arty divisions, Canadian Arty brigade, LR and Siege battalions). The 5:1 -1 attack rolls a 6 for a DE, reducing two German Inf XX to cadres. Rome falls to British arms! Heavy air support pushes the attack at 26/1622 to 8:1 -2 with a 4 rolled for a DH cadring another 5-7-6 division. An American attack against 5 DF at 26/1521 at 9:1 -2 results in a DR and 30 points of US troops advance to flank the German position on the coast.

British and Canadian troops take the port fort at Port-de-Bouc with a 7:1 -1, but the port is destroyed in the process. Marseilles falls to a 9:1 -2 but German port destruction units do their dirty work well. A US 5:1 at Dieppe retreats the defenders (kills the Port Fort) and sees the port destroyed. A 5-7-6 is cadred in the bocage at 17/1204 (9:1 -1) and US VII Corps (24 DF) advances to claim the hex. German flak at 17/1904 aborts 2 and returns 3 of 6 GS units. All the AA and parachuting pilots must’ve distracted the defenders who suffered a DH (3:1 rolled a 6) and only the 7-3-10 Mot Rocket Art retreated. A Mot Hvy AA Rgt and Tiger Bn were destroyed, but the American attackers decline to advance (something about crossing the Seine with LSSAH and another Pz XX on each flank). 116th Pz XX at 17/2303 is less lucky with AA, aborting 9 and returning 3 of the 36 points of GS. The resulting 5:1 -1 US/French attack is a DR for no losses. A British attack against two SS PzGrn Brigades at 17/2802 is also a bloodless DR.

Finally, after 2 months of heavy fighting the last hex of Paris is liberated by American forces. Much of the city lays in ruins, but at last the French capital is free from Fascist oppression. The Eiffel tower is one of many landmarks destroyed in “the Stalingrad of the West” despite all attempts by Allied troops to avoid unnecessary damage. Parisians vow that Berlin will suffer a worse fate. Hitler vows that every occupied Allied capital will be a fortress city like Paris.

During exploitation the port of Toulon is overrun, but the docks are found to be destroyed. British Infantry and US ants again form a line on the west bank of the Loire. US forces are across the Seine all the way from Paris to the Channel coast. Jets flew their first combat mission, RAF Meteors strafe a Luftwaffe base in France.

Player-turn losses: Allies none; Germany 7 isolated and 31 unisolated DF. Total losses for the turn 16 US, 45 German.

Comments

The Allies are finding it hard to create much momentum, too many troops are still sitting things out in England and the MTO. The Allies want to have a viable invasion threat to keep German forces tied up on beach defense, but are feeding in some of their uncommitted reserves. The port situation in S. France (a total of 2 minor ports are functioning) will not resolve itself quickly, so troops are being shipped around the Iberian peninsular to the Biscay ports (a time consuming process). At least the Allies are not outrunning their airbases.

Between upgrades, replacements and reinforcements Germany is getting almost as many DFs as she is losing. The air situation is getting worse and c/m ants with more AF than DF will never be rebuilt. July 44 ends with 1 Pz XX cadred, none in the dead pile, 55 Arm, 41.35 Inf and 43 ARPs. The Allies still have not crossed the line that initiates the Westwall emergency. The Allies on the other hand have 106 Arm RPs (combined), 132 US Inf, 64.6 Brit, 18.4 French, and 42 other Inf RPs, along with 32 NRPs, 81 US ARPs, and 54 British.

 

May I 44

Weather: Roll is a 5, clear in zones D and E, no change in C (mud). Atlantic is rough on a 6, Med is calm with a 1.

Axis Player-Turn

Germany replaces 1x 5-7-6 in South and 1x 1-2-4 and 1x 1-2-8 in West while rebuilding a 20-10 SS Pz from cadre. Total spent 10 Inf and 8 Arm RPs. 4x forts are begun in Italy.

Axis forces pull back to just out of the reach of Allied forces, to a line 3-5 hexes west of the Seine and as far south as Tours. Scorched Earth tactics are applied and stay behind forces are left in all the port forts. The first attempt at an airborne V-1 attack ends when Mosquitoes abort the air unit. Seven Ju188 and Do217 units made night port bombing attacks in Brittany with 1x K and 1x A by NF. Weak flak was ineffective and 3 port hits were achieved. 2 out of 3 day air units crash land.

Forces are shifted in Italy to strengthen the front line. Two hexes are given up and the Gustav line now runs 26:2123-1821-1819-1719.

Allied Player-Turn

Americans and Brits each spend 8 ARP to replace all their losses. A small horde of new air units is placed on the map. Two damaged LC are repaired and an airbase is built at 17:0817. The LC at Yeu is declared a ferry and there are no Axis forces in the mainland hex opposite the ferry. Strat air roll is 5+1 = no change. Germans fly 1 pt of harassment in front of their line.

US troops roll through Rennes, liberating the first mainland French city, making the amphibious invasion “official.” For the 3rd turn in a row the Hamilcar GHT is eliminated delivering cargo, in this case 2x 2-1-8 Siege Arty II to a temp airbase adjacent to St Malo. Allies airlift 4 Inf XX and sealift 2x Arm and 1x Art XX (along with 4x Inf XX HQ and some odds and ends). The minor ports of Granville, Vannes and Les Sables d’Dionne are taken intact. Nazis destroy Natanz and St Nazaire. Two LCs were damaged.

There was good and bad news on the 4:1 attack at St Malo. The attack resulted in an EX, 3x US Engr were eliminated and the 1st Inf XX was cadred. However, the port was taken intact.

The big attack at Brest goes in with 15 points of NGS against 15 DF at 4:1 for a HX. Brits lose a 5-3-6 Aslt Engr Tank X and the Czech 5-10* Arm X, but take the port intact. Allied supply problems are a long way towards solved, but there are a lot of engineers in the replacement pool. MR 10 should be liberated on May II (occurs in Allied initial phase).

In the MTO the Allies find the Gustav Line still too strong to tackle without NGS and carpet bombing. An ENTF and four more damaged LC arrive in the MTO, making 6x LC and 30 points of TF.

Comments

So far the Allies seem to be well ahead of their historical schedule. May I 44 ends with the Germans in France holding a line along the XX09 and XX10 rows from 17:0909 to 2010 then to Tours and 2311 with an open flank south of that position. The Allied line runs from Granville to 17:1616 then to 2020. Germany still holds the ports from La Rochelle south, mostly with Static XX. Lorient is the only holdout behind the Allied line. Both sides are making use of the available bocage to strengthen their positions. German forces will probably fall back to within easy crossing distance of the Seine, but have no fortifications to help them hold that line. Engineers are concentrated in Italy (building forts) and along the strategic rail lines between Germany, France and Italy. With the capture of so many forts the Allies should be able to land the bulk of their forces in England over the next two turns. A sizeable amphibious force remains embarked in SW England.

 

Dec II 43

Weather roll = 3, Zone C Snow, Zone D Winter, Zone E Mud. Sea Conditions: Atlantic Storm, Med Rough.

Axis Player Turn

Winter weather means mountain hexes are now prohibited terrain for c/m and artillery. Those Axis c/m and arty units that were still south of the final defensive line moved out of the way, two non-c/m divisions couldn’t make it back to the fort line and were left behind to fend for themsleves. Axis NT’s risk DZ rolls to lay mines along the French Med coast and at 16/0321, one mine point is held in reserve.

German Engineers give up any thought of maintaining rail through Paris. This frees up 3x 0-1-5 Cons III which move south. They will attempt to keep the Strasburg-Mulhouse-Belfort-Dijon-Bourges-Tours line open, along with at least two Rhine River crossing points.

Allied Player Turn

Axis are short 2 RE of occupation forces in Italy. Allies receive 1/2 RP for disbanding their two former Axis Italian units (0-1-6 Cons and 1-3-6 LAA), not enough to place any units as forming. No Italian replacement points will be produced until Apr I 44. French Partisans abort a Me109 and break a rail, Italian Partisans are ineffective. Allied repair 3 hits to their Naval TF, leaving 16 NRPs in the bank.

American Infantry (2x 1-8 Bn) land on Elba, followed by a 1-10 Lt Tank Bn. Furrious LW attempts to attack the supporting TFs result in heavy LW losses. USAAC lost 1x A-36A killed while the Luftwaffe lost one each Me109G6, Ju88C6, He177A and Ju88A4 (code S) killed and 3x Ju88A4 (including one code V) aborted. Only one LW unit made it through the fighters and AA to bomb the fleet – it missed. One LC was damaged during the landings. Commonwealth forces attacked 26/2121 at 7-1 (-2) and roll a 2 which becomes a HX against 1st Fallshirmjaeger XX. A British 6-4-6 Tank X is exchanged to avoid any loss of Infantry RPs. This places 44 HuD in a ZOC surround at 26/2120 and she suffers a HX at 5:1 (-4). Allied used 16 points of air (reduced to 4) and exchange a 9-8 Brit Inf XX. Allies move all but 2 of their 20 LCs to the Med and several c/m units to ports where they could be used for 2nd wave landings on the Italian/French Med coastlines. They continue to maintain several US and British divisions broken down in North Africa. The Allies are using their high MP Engineers and low MP Cons units with transport counters to repair rail and airbases in Italy while their Port Construction units work on Naples and Taranto.

The end of 1943 finds the following situation in regard to replacement points: Inf RPs: US 54.8, Brit 39.2 French 12.2 (all types), Canadians 7, Pol 1, Allied Italian .5, German 38.1, RSI 0. Arm RPs: US 43, Brit 15, French 1, Germans 8 NRPs: Allies 16, Axis 0 ARPs: US 46, Brit 50, French 6 Allied anti-ship 8 Allied Italian 3, Germany 36, RSI 1.

The Axis have 1x 5-7-6 Inf XX and 1 point of positional AA in the dead pile, along with a LW 4-8* cadre (9-8*) in the GUSTAV line and a 6-8* Pz Gren cadre at Rome. All German strat air units are operational. The Allies have a dead 6-4-6 Tank X along with a 3-8* Inf X, and a 4-5-8* Inf Cadre (9-8) (plus a French Mtn cadre and some dead Brits which began the game in that state). Allies have 1 hit which counts against them on an Italian TF, and several more which don’t count for VPs they could repair if they chose to do so. The VP total remains at +34.

Commentary

Another example of Luftwaffe impotence verses a well-covered Allied naval force. This time the Allies landed right at the German doorstep, but their bases on Corsica and Sardinia were immediately at hand. It is obvious that the only real threat to an Allied amphibious landing is a strong ground counter-attack force. The Germans are finding it hard to guard both the GUSTAV line and their rear areas. They don’t have anything resembling a counter-attack force in Italy anywhere north of the Gustav line. The terrible rail situation makes it impossible to shift troops quickly, yet the Allies threaten a major landing in the. As the Allied player it is very tempting to put in a landing Med (probably between Rome and Livorno) which would undoubtedly force the Germans to pull back from the GUSTAV line. It simply isn’t worth the cost in German replacement points to land in France at this point.

 

May II 44

Weather roll is a 4, clear everywhere. Atlantic and Med roll calm seas.

Axis Player Turn

Germans repair 2 killed and 10 aborted air units, all but 1 are bombers. 3x Ju88A4 remain in the Elim pool. Many are place in Paris where they can reach Allied ports. The air-launched V-1 unit is aborted, but drew 3x NF. Eleven Luftwaffe bombers raid St Malo and Grainville at night. They meet 3x NF and ineffective flak, net losses 1 Ju88 aborted. Grainville takes 1 hit, St Malo 4. 5 of 6 day units crash land (very bad dice). All available Pz XX move to a line in front of the Seine while an Infantry XX seals itself inside fortress Cherbourg. Hopefully this display of force will buy a little time at no great cost.

Allied Player Turn

French MR 10 is liberated and will produce replacements beginning Dec I 44. (Meanwhile the 1/2 Metropolitan Inf RP from the MTO goes away.) Several units come out of garrison in N Africa, Corsica and Britain. The first 4 rail cap are built in France.

Partisans take out the Do217 at Dijon in a bold attack. Strat air roll is a 2 for a +1.US replaces a 2-3-10 Mot Eng, Brits replace their 5-3-6 Aslt Eng Tk X and the 5-10* Czech Tank X, all are placed in Nantes. P-47’s bomb out the FW190 at Bordeaux and are immediately followed by an airdrop at 17:2723 by 2x US 3-5 Airborne Regts. Three Allied TF duel with CDs at 17:2521 and 2522, silence the CDs and suffer no damage. A Ju88 code V was shot down trying to attack the TF. The abandoned port of Caen is destroyed during Allied movement, Lorient falls to a 5:1 and the port there is also destroyed.

A DR at 17:1008 takes the minor port of Deauville intact. In a series of assaults US 1st Army takes the row of bocage running 1008-1410 inflicting 16 DF (12 AF) in losses with one EX cadring 4th Inf XX. Elsewhere British 53rd Inf XX takes the minor port of Blaye while US Paras take Pauliac, covering both sides of the Garonne estuary north of Bordeaux. Comments: By the end of May 44 the Allies have advanced to a line running from the east at Deauville (17:1008) to Tours (17:2110) then around to Poiters (17:2316). Axis forces still hold Bordeaux and port forts at Cherbourg, Rochefort and La Rochelle.

The British are being very cautious about casualties. Allied air cover is not keeping up with the ground advance in France, thus far only a few airbases are available on the continent. MR’s 4, 9 and 11 are set to be liberated Jun I 44 and the Allies are only 7 hexes from Paris along a wide front. Supply in central France will be a real issue for the Allies until their Jul I turn when the rail net comes up. The Allies continue to knock out rail lines in the Strasbourg area only to see a mass of German engineers repair the breaks. German rail nets anywhere near the front have been pounded into oblivion with no effort being made (or possible) to fix them. Many allied planes sit on the ground due to lack of targets within range.

Oct I 44

Weather roll is a 5, Mud in zone C, Clear in zones D and E., sea zones are calm.

Axis Player-Turn

All units are in supply. Westwall restoration completed, Westwall emergency still in effect. No garrisons are called up. Germany spends 14 ARPs, RSI 1 to return all air units to the map except an RSI Me109G6. Germany receives a net 172 DF from reinforcements, tehn disbands 18 DF gaining 4 Arm and 29 Inf RPs. 48 Inf and 11 Arm RPs are used to rebuild cadres and return units from the eliminated pool worth 68 DF. Seven forts are QCed or started. No strategic air is called up. Allies fly 15 levels of harassment in the ETO, 6 in MTO.

Due to the combined effects of harassment and rail hits reinforcements from eastern and central Germany can not reach the front in a single turn. This is more than made up for by liberally spent replacement points. A NODL is formed along the entire WEST and SOUTH fronts. Two V-2 and one V-1 hits are made on London.

Allied Player-Turn

All units are in supply. Brits/Canadians/Pols upgrade a total of 6 AT Bns to Mot AT (SPAT). 7 US and 6 Brit ARPs return all air units to the map. America spends 4 Inf RP, Italy 1 Inf RP, Poland 2 Inf and 2 Arm RP, Britain 3 Arm RP and Canada 2 Arm RP. No strat air is called up by either side. Strat air DRMs cancel each other out, the strat air war roll is a 1, and the strat air level increases to 7. 20 US Arm RPs are loaned to Britain, leaving the US with 124 Arm RPs.

Four Luftwaffe air units attempt DAS missions – 2 are returned, 1 aborted and 1 eliminated. One SAAF Spit16 interceptor is shot down in the MTO by a lucky Me109G6 (rolled snake eyes). The Allies continue with their front wide offensives in both theaters, making a total of 27 attacks. US forces capture Boulogne on the Channel coast, but find the port thoroughly destroyed. Americans also push the Nazis out of Reims, gaining s second VP hex this turn. A total of 130 German DF are eliminated while 26 British and 9 US AF were lost in exchanges. Hitler awards many medals to his anti-tank experten as the British Army decides to eliminate three Tank Bdes and only cadred one Inf XX. With special replacements the net cost is less than one British Inf RP. Of course the cost in Arm RPs was much higher than necessary, but that’s why the Brits have so many Arm Bdes and the US so many Arm RPs to lend-lease.

Comments

The Allies are again encouraged by the VP count. Their airborne landing plan didn’t work out this time, but there is always next turn. Sooner or later the Allies will guess right, drop behind the German NODL, and chop it up. Meanwhile the calendar advances into worse possible weather conditions. Germany has some ZOC surrounds on large Allied (full ATEC) stacks covered by plentiful Allied air support. The Allies are being very careful with the Pols, Canadians, French and other minor allies. With 79 British Inf RPs sitting in the bank and plenty of units that can be scrapped it doesn’t look like the risk of German losses is worth the potential gain any attack might bring. Germany will wait for bad weather, continue to NODL and allow the Allies to push 1 hexrow forward each turn. The Allies have little choice but to continue the meat grinder strategy until such time as they can see a way to break through.

 

Jun I 44

Weather is clear everywhere. Atlantic and Mediterranean sea zones are calm.

Axis Player-Turn

Germany places most of her ground reinforcements in or ready to enter WEST. Germany spends 8 ARP for 6 aborted and 1 eliminated air units, leaving 17 ARP. 21Sk SS Mountain XX fails its roll and is completely eliminated. The Italian NRP is converted to mines. Germany spends 7 Inf and 6 Arm replacements to rebuild divisions from cadres. 6 forts are begun.

Allies lay down only 8 harassment hits totaling 11 levels, mostly aimed at slowing engineers making repairs and non-c/m unit withdrawals. The code Z (V-1) He111 is aborted by patrol attack and a Ju88 torpedo bomber is killed by French P-47s attempting to attack a British TF north of Bordeaux. German night bombers put 3 hits on the port of Paulliac.

Harassment in Normandy is abated enough to allow non-c/m units to withdraw to a new defensive line. No Axis ground attacks were launched, the only practical attacks were against US armor in clear terrain. Given the US replacement pool it makes no sense to risk HX and EX. Attacking unisolated US Infantry in bocage makes less than no sense. So, a strong defensive line is formed 1 hex in front of the Seine north of Paris and behind the Seine south of that city to hex 17:2003. From there down to Toulouse the German front consists of a crescent of divisions, ZOCs and bad terrain. Neither side can hope to cover the entire front. Strong coastal defenses remain in place along the Channel coast. (Several Allied divisions sit aboard LCs in England.)

In Italy there is some shifting of troops along the Gustav line, but no withdrawal. Reinforcements move to strengthen coastal defenses near west coast ports and several divisions move from Italy into southern France.

Allied Player-Turn

June I starts with a lot of opportunities for the Allies. Only a few units are in contact with the German line in France and several ports are either empty or lightly defended. Hundreds of hexes can be liberated at no cost whatsoever. MRs 4, 9 and 11 are liberated and will begin production on Jan I 45. Two of 4 damaged LCs are repaired. One airbase is QCed in Normandy, another completed in Italy. 4 more rail cap are built in France (now 8). Strat air roll is a 3, status now 2 with extended range limits and Axis rail cap = 90%. Neither side calls up strat air.

Three Allied TF engage CD at La Verdon, taking 1 hit before silencing the defending guns. 3 more LC and a 16-point TF move from the ETO to MTO, making about a 50/50 split of TF and LCs. Significant Allied forces debark at French ports from Deauville to Blaye, unhampered by the Luftwaffe. British 6 Armoured XX enters an undefended Bordeaux to find the port destroyed.

In the MTO the Allies line up for 2 attacks – at 26:1820 against 15 DF and 2 AA with -2 DRM for terrain, and on the coast at Ortona (26:1719). Rather than risk a 3:1 -2 in the mountains the Allied throw everything at the 17 DF and 5 AA at Ortona. 7 air units are aborted, 4 returned and 9 get through with 35 TBF. The attack goes in at 4:1 -1 with a HX result. Two 5-7-6 Inf XX get cadred and the 2-3-10 HG Mot Hvt AA Regt is eliminated. Two US 3-8 Engr III are eliminated and a 9-8 Inf XX cadred in exchange. A 34 point US stack advances/exploits into Ortona. It looks as if the Gustav line has finally been turned.

In France the port of La Verdon (17:2422) is destroyed during a 6:1 (-1) attack by British forces. Another 6:1 British attack at La Rochelle has similar results. Germans miss their roll to flood 17:1107 so the US attack goes in at 6:1 (-1) and nets a DE, reducing a 5-7-6 and killing a 1-10 Hvy AA Bn. A full AECA attack against 9th Panzer XX (16-10) at neighboring 17:1207 supported by 33 points of GS comes off at 6:1 (-1) with a 4 (-1) for a DH. Finally, a US/French attack into the NW hex of Paris at 5:1 succeeds (DE), reducing 5th Falschirmjaeger XX and killing a 3-2-10 Assault Gun Brigade. Parisians celebrate as the US VII Corps advances into the city. During exploitation the Allies form a thin line from Deauville to 17:2005. At a right angle a ragged line runs to 3017 and across to 3025. Panzers can probably make a few holes in this line, but it would very likely prove suicidal. Transports fly in large amounts of supplies to ensure any pockets remain fully effective. The Allies now have 17 P-38/47/51 fighters on the continent, enough to cause serious pain to the Luftwaffe should it venture forth. Allied bombers range as far as Prag in search of marshalling yards.

Comments

The Allies are at the end of their logistical string for now. They will have to decide whether to leave a credible landing force in England or shift resources to the MTO. Going along with that, they must decide how many troops to leave in England to back up any landing along the Channel coast. A landing in Southern France by air or sea is an option, right now significant British forces are in the Bordeaux/La Rochelle area and will have to be moved overland to someplace more useful which could be into Southern France. However, two German-occupied ports hold out along the Biscay coast and an SS Panzer Corps holds a blocking position at Toulouse.

Germany should be able to make some decent attacks against US troops in France next turn, but there appear to be no opportunities to kill isolated units for victory points. The British, French and Canadians are pretty well protected with the Americans taking up most of the exposed positions. Germany will probably try to knock down the Allied rail cap in France with RMY missions, preventing the establishment of the rail element of supply. The Allies have so many ports and engineers that port bombing is no longer profitable. German V-1 units will be able to launch attacks on London next turn, forcing the RAF to divert fighters.

Both sides are finding it increasingly difficult to safely cover the long crescent shaped front in France. The Axis position in Italy is still good, and the fall of Rome has been delayed for another victory point count, but there is increasing pressure to release troops from coastal watch. Should the Allies encourage a withdrawal from the Gustav line by withholding harassment bombing, or should they rain bombs on any withdrawal?

 

Feb I 44

Weather roll = 2. Zone C no change, stays Snow. Zones D and E Mud. Atlantic is rough on a 4, Med is calm with a roll of 3.

Axis Player Turn

Germans rebuild 4-8* Para-Inf cadre to 9-8* and 2nd Panzer cadre to 17-10, both at Roma. Engineers again open a rail line across the Rhine and into central France. Some German units get to strat-rail almost to Paris. Shuffling takes place along the Gustav line. All hexes are at 14 DF or higher.

Allied Player Turn

US finds itself short the two new air units required to garrison the Middle east. With 51 ARPs in the bank there doesn’t seem to be any need to divert valuable air units to this mundane chore. Engineers clear up all remaining rail breaks behind the front and begin to QC two forward airbases. Three more hits removed from Taranto and rebuilding of Napoli’s port will be completed next turn.

Combined NZ, Indian, French and British forces heavily supported by GS assault the Gustav line. The Germans have two divisions (14 DF) in 26/2020 and at 4:1 -5 the Allies roll a 6 for an EX. Germans cadre their 7-8 Mtn and 5-7-6 Inf Divisions while the British sacrifice two 7-10 Armor Brigades. 2nd NZ, 52nd Lowland and some c/m non-divisional units advance. A port contsruction unit lands on Elba, along with two construction brigades, supplies and a resource point.

Allied air goes after German fighters and puts 5 hits on airbases. Only 12 rail hits this turn as so many air units were providing GS and bombing the Luftwaffe. RSI fighters shoot down a B-25 over the Rhine rail crossings.

Commentary

Thought this would be a slow turn, and with a 1/6 chance of success a fruitless attack. Axis will have a problem fixing their defenses if the weather turns back to winter weather, but otherwise should be able to fall back in a couple of hexes and form a straight line of equal or greater strength. Some AA in the defending hex would’ve both raised the DF above what the Allies could get a 4:1 against and probably driven off enough GS to drop the attack odds. If weather permits the Germans will do this in Feb II. It is only a matter of time before the weather changes and the Allies get to use GS that is only halved instead of quartered.

 

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