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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.

 

August I 44

Weather is clear everywhere. All sea zones are calm.

Axis Player-Turn

All units are in supply. Piemonte and Liguria garrisons are activated.

Reinforcement activities result in a net loss of 1 DF for the Axis. Germany spends 14 Inf and 4 Arm RPs rebuilding cadres and upgrading to 4-6-6 Inf XX gaining 24 DF in the process. 7 German ARPs are used to return all air units to the map and the RSI NRP is converted to mines. 4 rail cap are added to the Italian net, making it 46 (no sense in letting all those Resource Points sit in the bank). The Allies put down relatively few harassment hits.

Luftwaffe night bombers get a hit on the port at 17/4417 (La Nouvelle).German defenses are pulled back on Nice and the adjusted slightly in Italy.

The line in France is shortened by pulling back a hex here and there, most notably along the Seine south of Paris. Some hexes are now held by solitary German Infantry divisions with no river to assist their defense. Swordfish catch a German NT laying mines off the Danish coast, but are aborted by flak. Several other attempts are made to find the German by Coastal Command, but all fail to make contact. SS and Wehrmacht Panzer XXX roll up to the Loire line adjacent to British, US and Canadian held hexes. Allies fly copious DAS over those hexes, but the Luftwaffe does not attempt to interfere with ground combat, instead laying several mines in both the Adriatic and North Sea. The Nazis attack a hex held by US ants. Because of the intervening river AF is down to 71.5 vs 8 DF and their flak aborts 3 and returns 1 air units, leaving 2 to provide DAS. The attack goes in at 71.5:12 or 5:1 -1 (full AECA and ATEC), roll is a 1 for an EX. SS PzGren XX 10F is cadred and 8 DF of US ants go to the eliminated pool.

V-1’s score 2 hits on London, their first in the game.

Player-turn losses: US 8 DF, Germany 8, all unisolated.

Allied Player-Turn

French MRs 3, 14 and Paris are liberated. French 19th Static XX comes full and Italian Nembo Para-Inf XX is bought out of eliminated pool. US Spends 10.5 Inf, 6.5 Arm and 9 ARPs, the British spend 2 ARPs. A US Mot Hvy AA converts to 3-RE transport counter. Allies QC 1 airbase and 1 fort. Strat air roll is a 4 – no change, and no strat air is called up by either side.

Allied European rail Cap goes to 24.Seeing no profit in waiting to build up to attack Nice, the British admin move 3 Arm, 1 Inf and 1 Art XX, along with ants, up the Rhone River valley.

There is a steady droning of transports delivering non-divisional units from the MTO to S. France. The Hamilcar glider unit is once again eliminated while delivering a Port Construction X to Marseilles. August I brings a significant buildup of Allied strength along the upper Rhone – gone are the 8 point stacks of ants and most hexes are held by 2 divisions plus enough ants to give some ATEC/AECD.

A major air battle erupts over 17/2802 as USAAF P-47’s intercept Luftwaffe DAS and escorts. One P-47 is aborted, 2 Ju-88’s and a He-111 are killed.

ETO Combat: 17/1004 at 5:1 +3, a 5-7-6 XX is DE (cadred), US advances. 17/1304 at 5:1 -1 a 5-7-6 XX is retreated from Bocage, US advances 20 DF into the Bocage.

17/1504 at 5:1 -1 retreats 11th Pz XX, no Allied advance. 17/1904 at 5:1 +3 a 5-7-6 XX is DE (cadred). No advance by the French/Polish Armored divisions.

17/2802 at 7:1 -2 results in a DH and the cadre of SS PzGren XX 10 F is eliminated and a PzGren X is retreated. No advance by US. 16/3132 at 7:1 +2 a DE cadres a 4-6-6 and kills an SS Tiger Bn. British must withdraw to avoid triggering the Westwall emergency, so cadre lives.

MTO Combat:

26/1524 82 Br/Fr/Can/NZ/Indian/Pol AF supported by 9 GS (AA missed all 4 units)attack 21 DF. AECA balances out terrain for a 4:1 even up attack with a DH result. Germans cadre 4th Para XX and kill a 1-2-4 Fortress Rgt. The British advance to ZOC out the adjacent 4-6-6 Inf XX.

26/1523 Br/Fr Mountain troops attack at 6:1 -1 and DH the above mentioned 4-6-6, cadre is killed by ZOCs.

26/1626 Two British Corps attack across the Tevere river west of Rome. Engineers cancel out the Fort DRM and a 4 is rolled in this 5:1 attack for a DH which cadres one of the two defending German Inf XX. 29 British DF advance.

26/1420 A German 5-8 Jaeger XX is DRed by US forces at 5:1 -2. 26/1421 14 DF of German Infantry is attacked at 4:1 -2 under a hail of bombs (32 GS halved for terrain). The attack is a bust – AR.After having sat on the ground throughout movement and combat phases to guard against Luftwaffe incursions Allied fighters go on an airbase bombing rampage. Allied bombers visit rail yards in Leipzig, Magdeburg and on both sides of the Rhine.

Player-turn losses: Germany 39, all unisolated

Comments

The loss of German DF (47 this turn) is starting to affect the Germans, and many Infantry cadres are unable to get back to a city where they can be rebuilt. Germany still has plenty of Arm RPs, but is feeling a shortage if Infantry replacements. The Allies’ decision to leave the Axis in possession of Nice released significant forces that were easily moved into place in 1 turn. I expect the Allies will stop hiding behind the Rhone River and advance to trigger the Westwall Emergency next turn. This will open up opportunities for German c/m to inflict British/Canadian/Polish casualties. The Axis in Italy are a constant drain on replacements, but can not break free for a clean retreat to their next line. They need bad weather DRMs to hold that line anyway, so must suffer and trade blood for time.

 

Jan II 44

Weather roll = 5. Snow in zone C, Winter in zone D and Mud in zone E. Atlantic and Med are both rough.

Axis Player Turn

Axis receive the Occupation turn 7 RSI reinforcements which should help reduce extra Italian partisan attacks. Luftwaffe and RSI fighters intercept Allied harassment missions intended to slow down rail repairs. A French P-39L and US P-39Q are killed, a US P-40N is aborted and a US P-39N is returned at the cost of one Fw190A2 aborted. The Allies however keep sending planes until they achieve their intended purpose, there just aren’t enough Axis fighters to stop them. Next time the Allies might want to try a few escorts or send better fighter-bombers and avoid the slaughter.

Allied Player Turn

Axis occupation forces are up to strength in all areas. Taranto is finally rebuilt and 5 hits are removed, the Allies will finally have unlimited regular supply in Italy. The Allies spend 5 French African RPs to rebuild their 3-8* Mtn Cadre to an 8-8 division. 2-point RM TF in England sustains no losses sweeping another mine in the English Channel. No attacks along the Gustav line. Allied air and partisans put another 22 hits on Axis rail lines. The FW190A at Roma is taken out by airbase attacks. 29th Infantry XX (US) moves from the MTO to the ETO. (To fulfill its destiny?) Several Allied TF move to Messina where several LC laden with unsupported British Infantry have been waiting patiently.

Commentary

Italy is starting to look like the moon, there won’t be much rail movement except in the north. Other than air attacks not a lot of action. Still waiting for better weather and more Mountain units to attack along the Gustav Line.

 

August II 44

Weather is clear everywhere. Atlantic is rough, other sea zones are calm.

Axis Player-Turn

All units are in supply. Replacement activities result in a net gain of 30 DF. The rest of the France garrison is activated (2 Regts). Germany spends 18 Inf, 7 Arm to rebuild cadres and 10 F SS PzGren XX for a net gain of 32 DF. 11 Luftwaffe and 1 RSI ARP are spent to return all but 1x He111 to the map (22 German ARPs remain). Luftwaffe fighters intercept Allied harassment over Mulhouse and kill a B-26B, P-47’s abort a FW 190. A second mission to the same hex drew no challengers. No Strat Air is called up.

One V-1 hit on London, total of 3 so far. In France the Germans adjust their lines and get set for a major Allied offensive. There are no profitable attacks, so none are launched. A NODL with several front line hexes held by single Panzer XX runs from the 19XX hex row north to the coast at Le Treport. From 18XX south 7 front line hexes are held by c/m and a second line of 6 non-c/m stacks is 1-2 hexes behind the first. Once again the rail lines across the Rhine are cleared for traffic. So far only a handful of forts have been constructed in Belgium and German annexed France, the engineers have been tied up repairing rail lines.

North of Roma the German line retreats from exposed positions, but for the most part remains in contact with the Allies. Two PzGren divisions move south from coastal watch in Northern Italy, one to the front, the other opposite Elba. Engineers that aren’t engaged in fort building repair rail and airbase hits.

Player-turn losses: none.

Allied Player-Turn

Rail cap in France and Italy are each increased by 2. La Havre rebuild is completed, Marseilles and Toulon rebuilds begin. Three permanent airbases are quick constructed near the front in France. Strat Air roll is a 4 – no change. Germany calls up her strat air force. Several C-47s replace fighters in garrisons, these fighters are due to be replaced next turn by newer models.

The Allies conduct the expected major offensives in Italy and France. A British attack against 16th SS PzGren XX at 26/1526 at 6:1 -1 is a DH cadring the division and ZOCing out the adjacent hex. At 26/1525 a 5-7-6 Inf XX is DE at 5:1 +2. An Me109G6 was shot down over 26/1422 trying to provide DAS. 25 TBF of GS (halved) makes for a 6:1 -2 attack resulting in an EX cadring a 4-6-6 and eliminating a British 6-4-10 Tank X. Brits advance to ZOC out the 15 point stack n 26/1421. Allied aircraft deliver enough GS to bring the attack at 26/1421 up to 4:1 -2, and roll a 6 for a DR, reducing two 5-7-6 Inf XX to cadres. The US 88th Inf XX and Japanese-American 442nd RCT advance, along with armor and artillery. MTO losses 27 German DF, 4 British.

Despite Allied airbase bombing which took out or drew up several LW fighters the Germans fly a major DAS mission (3 air units) with heavy escort (4 fighters) and CAP (2 fighters) over the LW ground division in 16/3132. The reasoning being that if this hex is held the adjacent c/m stack will have a place to retreat. Allied CAP and interceptors (7x P-47D25) have a turkey shoot. Two escorts aborted, two shot down, 1 ground attack returned, and 2 bombers shot down, for one Allies fighter aborted. A second DAS mission over 21st Pz XX at 17/1203 by Me109G6’s with a G10 escort is met by the best fighters the RAF has. Meteors score their first air-to-air victory, aborting a G6. Spit 14’s and Tempest 5’s abort the other Me109’s with no RAF losses.

ETO Combat: 16/3132 at 4:1 +2 a DR ZOCs out 3133.

16/3133 at 7:1 -2 another DR cadres 10 F SS PzGren XX due to ZOCs.

17/2602 at 6:1 -2 results in a third DR by Commonwealth forces, retreating 15th PzGren XX and a flak Bn.

17/1904 sees US/French make a 5:1 +3 rolling a 1 for DH cadre a 5-7-6 Inf XX.

17/1203 at 5:1 -1 is an EX. 21 Pz XX, US 83 and 90 Inf XX are cadred.

17/1003 with the aid of 17 GS US makes a 4:1 and a HX vs 14 DF. Two German Inf XX cadred, US Engr and Arty X eliminated. The minor port of Le Treport is taken intact.

17/1104 at 4:1 -1 is a DR, retreating 9th Pz XX and a flak Rgt. One A-20C is aborted, some other air units returned. Germans are ejected from the last hex of MR3.

17/1403 at 4:1 +3 a 1 is rolled for another DR. Nazi dice! A 4-6-6- retreats to safety, no US advance.

17/2202 Two SS PzGren X defend a woods hex. Flak aborts two US GS air units to hold odds at 7:1 -2. A 5 is rolled for a DE.

Theater losses 42 German DF, 16 US DF.

Allies overrun the 10 F PzGren cadre and end with an almost straight North-South line from Le Treport to the Swiss border, US to the north, Commonwealth in the south. Most hexes are held by 20-25 DF, each with some ATEC, many with full ATEC if taking into account the arrival of Allied Infantry AT weapons on Sep I 44. When German Strat Air is returned 5 ARPs are paid and 6 non-Strat Air fighters are withdrawn to cover losses.

Player-turn losses: Germany 69 DF, all unisolated; US 16 DF, British 4 DF.

Comments

Germans are suffering from several turns of cumulative attrition, and the front will get longer now that the Allies have reached the bend in the Channel Coast at Le Treport. Infantry RPs are running low, and the Luftwaffe is about to withdraw large numbers of aircraft from the Tactical Order of Battle. The Luftwaffe strategic air call-up had only minor effects on the ground war, However, bad weather is only a few turns away, and the Allies are still forcing only a slow advance. The French capital will be moved to Paris, making a third Allied contingent. The very manageable Commonwealth losses come at a cost in flexibility. The long wait behind the upper Rhone is over, and we may see the Germans picking out their favorite Canadian, Polish and French targets.

 

Jan I 44

Weather roll = 4 = Snow in zone C, Winter in zone D and Mud in zone E. Atlantic = storms, Med = rough.

Axis Player Turn

Germany pours a lot of reinforcements into Italy to patch up coastal defenses. The Gustav line is fully manned with at least 12 DF in each hex. Engineers open a rail line across the Rhine and all the way to Southern France. A few bombers relocate from France to Northern Italy.

Allied Player Turn

Germany is short 1 RE of occupation forces in Italy. Brits rebuild the 6-4-6 Tank X they lost last turn. Partisans score two rail hits in France and one in Italy. Axis defenses along the Gustav line look too formidable to the Allies who make no ground attacks. Allied engineers continue to repair rails and complete two permanent airbases (Fogia and Corsica). Still no major ports on mainland Italy, though Taranto should be in operation next turn. Allied bombers place another 20 hits on Axis rail nets.

Comments

A slow turn all the way around. Breaking the Gustav line is probably going to require better weather but the Allies believe time is on their side and are in no hurry to rack up AH results. By spring there won’t be many unbroken rail hexes within range of Allied fighter-bombers. By relocating a few fighters to Alsace/Lorraine the Germans have raised the stakes for Allied medium bombers wishing to cut the link between France and Germany.

 

Sep I 44

Weather is clear everywhere, sea zones are calm.

Axis Player-turn

All units are in supply. Luftwaffe Tac Air loses a net 28 air units, while the Strat Air OB picks up 12. 10 ARPs are spent to return all fighters to the map. Reinforcements provide a net gain of 77 DF. One WK V garrison unit is activated for +4 DF. Disbanding costs 28 DF and gains 33 Inf and 7 Arm RPs. Reorganizations gain 2 Inf RP and 7 DF. 31 Inf and 8 Arm RPs are spent, 10 forts built or begun. Strat Air is not called up.

SOUTH Theater Axis forces withdraw to the 26/12XX hexrow, form a NODL, and strengthen defenses along the Adriatic coast.

WEST Theater Germany scores another V-1 hit on London, total now 4, costing the British an Infantry RP. In France the line stands along the Map 16/17 border. Hitler orders his troops to cling as closely as possible to Paris. Engineers are now building more forts and repairing less rail hits. A significant number of front line hexes are held by lone Infantry divisions, but the front is continuous with a NODL from the channel to hex row 19XX. No attacks are mounted against the well defended Allied line.

Allied Player-Turn

The French government relocates to Paris – French become a new third contingent. Bordeaux is rebuilt. Strategic Air roll is a 1, level increases to 5. Neither side calls up strategic air assets.

MTO Advancing British troops capture Civitavacchia ehich had max damage from Axis Engineers, but was not destroyed. Six attacks eliminate 11 German DF for 0 Allied losses. A US attack at 26/1320 against 15 DF in a fort and ravines behind a riverwas thwarted by 2 AA which turned back/aborted enough GS to make it a 5:1 -2 attack. Of course a 1 was rolled for an AS. However, 5 of the 8 frontline hexes were pushed back.

ETO More French units transfer to the ETO from Africa and Italy. In eleven attacks from The Channel to Switzerland’s border Allied forces destroyed a LW 7-9-8 Para-Inf XX and cadred 1 SS Pz, 1 SS PzGren and six Infantry Divisions. Allied units show little fear in advancing this turn, though there is little opportunity to more than advance after combat.

Total German losses for the turn are 70 DF.

Comments

So far the Axis are making the Allies fight for nearly every hex they take, and are paying for that with large numbers of cadred Infantry Divisions. If the Axis can hold out for a few more turns the weather will change to their advantage. I haven’t counted VPs yet, it will be interesting to see what the SEP II 44 count is and how that count would play out if there are no further Allied advances.

 

Sep 43 I

Axis Player Turn

Calm seas and clear weather.

The Axis call up their strat air and place it in France. Heavy air raids on Yeu KO the port (5 hits) and damage the airbase (1 hit). Air-to-air combat favors the Axis slightly. Weak AA (3 points) at Yeu is not effective. Engineers were unable to clear the rail lines leading from Italy into France, but did manage to clear the line up the east coast. This allowed several German ants to strat-rail into France, though not to the threatened part of the Biscay coastline. Axis reinforcements placed at Nantes and St Nazaire moved to put up blocking position opposite the Yeu ferry. The Allies rolled good dice to return two Fw190 attack units which should’ve sunk the ferry, then the Axis rolled poorly and failed to make contact with a group of heavily escorted bombers coming from Bordeaux. With the port closed and only a single 8-8 Inf XX and 2-3-8 Engr the 15 DF opposite the ferry site should be a significant deterrent to a British led crossing. On Sardinia the 12-10 PzGren (reinforcement) is place in Bastia and moves to help block the Allied bridgehead.

Allied Player Turn

Significantly, the Allies do not declare the Yeu LC as a ferry. With 15 LC sitting in the ETO the Germans don’t feel inclined to save Strat Air call-ups placing it in France once again. For the first time in several turns the Allies don’t call up any strat air. Axis and Allied air forces spar over the Biscay region, with few losses. The main event is a couple of unsuccessful attempts by Axis fighters to place harassment hits on Yeu (to hinder port repairs). Axis fighters again inflict more than losses than they take, and fewer Allied planes can make rail/airbase attacks in the Biscay. Rail from the Ruhr to Normandy takes a pounding from the increasing number of Allied air units in England. Allied forces advance to make contact on the toe and attack two hexes in Italy, killing a 4-7 Mtn XX, 2-3-2 Coastal XX, 1-3-6 LAA X and a 1-6 Penal II. Since the Germans get to replace one Penal unit per turn for free the Allies expect to see that unit a lot over the next few turns. An undamaged Crotone falls during the Allied advance.

Forward airbases now put the Italian heel within Spitfire range, but with only 5 LC in the Med there isn’t much of a threat. A well-escorted tactical bombing raid on Roma is answered by a hail of flak, but no fighters rise to defend the sky. The Allies net a single rail and airbase hit, with several aborts and returns. On Corsica the Allied air is oppressively strong. German Fw190 attack aircraft attempt to provide DAS to the 12-10 PzGren division, and manage to get one air unit past Allied fighters only to have it returned by AA fire. The Allies don’t attack the Panzer Grenadiers, going instead for a high odds +1 DRM attack on a mixed stack of German-Italian Infantry in 27/1104. They figure stretching the line will eventually force the Axis to give ground or pre sent weaker targets. More Allied units exploit from Sardinia to Corsica using the ferry.

 

Sep II 44

Weather is clear everywhere, sea zones are calm.

Axis Player-turn

All units are in supply. No garrisons are called up. Westwall restoration continues. 33.5 Inf, 8.5 Arm RPs are spent to rebuild cadres & replace units, gaining 43 DF. 3 ARPs are spent to return 1xF and 2x A to the map. 8 forts are quick constructed or begun. Strat Air is not called up. Allies fly 12 levels of harassment in the ETO, 7 in the MTO.

Hitler allows his field commanders to pull back from Paris and form the shortest possible front line. A NODL is formed in France covering all but 2 hexes. All of the Italian front is NODLed. Germany has to be very careful to ensure the minimum strength is met in every hex, mostly this is 7 or 8 DF. Three V-2’s and one V-1 hit London.

Victory point count: Allies collect 27 VPs in the MTO and 42 in the ETO, total 69. There are no excessive losses or other subtractions. Added to the previous count of 72 we have a new total of 141 VPs. If the front s tays where it is for the rest of the war the Allies will collect 69 VPs in Dec 44, March 45, and at the end of the game for another 207 VPs. The resulting total of 348 is a marginal Allied Victory under the revised victory levels. Additionally, this total is 17 short of a substantial victory and 66 short of decisive. There are 9 more VPs in Italy, 9 in France and 13 in Belgium which the Allies should pick up fairly easily. Exactly how many of these are taken for multiple quarterly counts will determine the final victory level (supposing the Allies don’t break either front line).

Allied Player-Turn

All units are in supply. French MR 8 and the Italian province of Umbria are liberated. The ports of Marseilles, Toulon and La Rochelle are rebuilt; rebuilding of Rouen and Sete are begun. 2 NRPs are spent on an Italian TF; US spends 13 Inf and 8 Arm RPs; British, French and Italians each spend 1 ARP. Rail cap in France is increased to 30. Strategic Air roll is a 3 with no DRMs, level increases to 6. Germany calls up strat air, Allies call up both ETO strat air forces.

RAF strat air flies 15 night RMY, scoring 5 hits. US flies A/FB Tac Bombing. Allies conduct attacks along the entire front in France, taking, among other places, historic Compiegne. The Luftwaffe flies a heavily escorted DAS mission for 15th PzGren XX in 16/2532. A FW190G and Me19G6 survive interception, but AA returns the FW. In 15 attacks with several ZOCed out defending hexes the ETO eliminates 89 German DF with no Allied losses. Another 30 German DF are eliminated in the MTO when the Allies take 7 of the 9 front-line hexes, bringing the total German DF lost for Sep II to 119. Even as they collect 23.5 special replacements Germans pray for mud to save their crumbling front. British c/m manage a small advance (2 hexes) in front of the Vosges Mountains during exploitation. Germany spends 8 ARP while returning strat air units to the holding box, many German air units remain in the Elim and Aborted boxes.

Comments

Allies are encouraged by the VP count. They thought hard about conducting a major air/sea invasion of Holland, but decided not to make the landing due to the number of troops this would take away from the main front. Sizeable forces remain in England to threaten such an attack. Meanwhile, they rewrite their airborne landing plans to take out portions of the German NODL.

 

Sep 43 II

Axis Player Turn

Calm seas and clear weather, again

The Axis use every available night capable bomber and attack unit to strat-bomb the port at Yeu, managing to KO the port again. One Do217 was lost to a NF and a couple of air units were returned or aborted by the heavy flak (US 3-10 Mot Hvy AA III and 2 points of AA from the airfield). The Allies will be U-1, but have enough supply for their engineers. Scorched earth continues in Italy with a slow retreat to the 34XX hex row.

On Corsica the Axis elect to defend on a 2 hex front – 27/1003 and 27/1103. Engineers clear more rail in Italy and along the French Med coast, but movement between Italy and France still must go by strat rail via Germany. The ants shipped to France last turn move into place near Yeu and around Bordeaux. It is too risky to remove any forces from the Channel coast to cover Normandy, Brittany or the Biscay. Since there is no LC ferry at Yeu the large stack in 17/1721 is reduced to a single 12-10 PzGren division. Small Axis air forces stand by to resist any Allied invasion along the Biscay coast, but the bulk remain in Italy and Southern France. An invasion of France is still considered unlikely due mostly to the paltry Allied air forces in the theater.

Allied Player Turn.

Allied engineers clear 3 hits from Yeu, and a US 0-1-8 Construction Regiment is shipped in. The Allies call up both MTO and the RAF ETO strat air forces. Germany calls up her strat air and places most in France. A lack of bases in the Biscay means that several fighters are stationed in Paris and central France. Most of last turn’s heavy Allied air losses are repaired in the ETO. The Allies take advantage of their 12-cap airbase on Belle to stage fighters there and then conduct a series of airbase attacks. After a couple of lucky Allied air-to-air rolls the Luftwaffe stops contesting the fighter sweeps (one lucky A-36 shot down a Fw-190A2and lived to tell about it). The Allies then went after bombers and attack units, in the process worsening the Axis basing situation. Allied bombers in England studiously avoided the heavy concentration of fighters in Paris to cut rail links between Germany and France. Strat air forces took care of Paris and several other rail depots.

In the MTO allied aircraft took out two anti-ship units stationed at Marseille, but did minimal damage to the rail links between Italy and France. Allied ground forces took two hexes in Corsica, eliminating the 5-8 SS Pz Gren X and reducing the 12-10 PzGren XX. On the mainland they took both coastal hexes of the 34XX hex row but avoided attacking large stacks of German c/m in bad terrain. Another US TF and LC moved from the MTO to ETO, setting up for possible ferry operations at Yeu on Oct I. With the reinforcements to the ETO there are now 3 division equivalents of airborne, 16 LC, 4 TF and 42 air units in England or the Biscay islands. Seven more REs of Italians died, bringing the total to 41. The Axis should have no real trouble holding the count below 50 REs until Oct II, meaning a surrender roll is likely Nov I 43. 2 German air units are in the eliminated box; 7 German, 2 Italian and 3 US air units are in the aborted boxes. The Allies have not taken any ground or naval losses.

Commentary

Victory point count: The first count results in a +8 for controlling Sicily and Corsica. The slow but steady Allied strategy and the Axis accountant gambit both seem to be functioning. Knowing the victory point table rewards a cautious Allied player is some compensation for not getting to try what I know to be workable operations that would speed up progress, but the coast of France sure looks inviting. Having banked 3 months worth of NRPs and Infantry replacements may make some risk taking more likely, but time runs short n the weather calendar.

 

Setup and Pregame Turn

Setup:

Axis set up with almost every ant in the WEST along with most of the better divisions stacked to the max along the French-Italian frontier rail lines. Forces on Sicily are cloistered around Messina, those on Sardinia around La Maddalena. Axis air forces are all in Italy, Southern France and Corsica, well out of range of Allied fighters. Axis anti-ship air units are concentrated in two large stacks at Roma and Napoli. The defense of France is entrusted to a single Panzer XX along with the 4-5, 5-5 and 5-7-6 Infantry XXs. Axis engineers are set to continue construction of the Atlantic Wall and the Winter Line across central Italy.

After covering their garrison requirements in Britain the Allies set up all but 9 fighters in the MTO. Many NTs are set up in the Mid and Near East loaded with troops. More are set up off map in Britain, also loaded with troops. About three-quarters of the LC are loaded with troops, though some are c/m and artillery.

Pre-game:

The Allied air force is left unmolested by Axis fighters to pound the rail net on Sicily, in the toe and to a lesser extent on Sardinia. The fighters in Britain score a single rail hit in France. Bombers take out the port at La Maddalena and place hits on all the ports in NW Sardinia and SW Corsica. It looks like Italian divisions will need their LC-ferry to get off Sardinia.

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