Europa Games and Military History

Tag: AF

Aug 43 I

Axis Player Turn

Axis withdrawal from Italian toe is hampered by Allied harassment and rail breaks. Two 2-3-2 XX and two ants are left to prevent Allied overruns of Reggio and Giovanni, a 2-3-2 XX is disbanded and German c/m XX cover 3821 and 3921, to hold up the Allies during their exploit. The 20-10 SS Pz XX is rebuilt and also backs up the Axis position on the toe.

Several German ants migrate back to France and strong defences are maintained along the toe, heel and west coast of Italy as well as the French Med coastline. Anti-shipping air units shift north to Roma-La Spezia-Genova. A strong group of B-tupes with a few fighters stay a Napoli, and an even smaller group of 1x A-tyoe and fighters are at Foggia, just in range of Taranto. The bulk of the Axis air is deployed to protect the Med coast from Roma to Marseille, backing up the danger zones.

With 5x German c/m XX’s south of Napoli and two more around that city it seems unlikely that the Allies will attempt any tricky moves.

In WEST 1x 14-10 Pz XX and 2x 6-8* Resc Pz XX back up 5-7-6 Inf and 4-5 Static divisions, with only a few ants to fill in.

During the Axis turn the Allies transfer a few more B-types to England.

Allied Player Turn

After considering an airdrop on Corsica the Allies chicken out – there are just too few friendly fighters and too many enemy naval patrols. To console themselves the Allies take Yeu, wipe out La Madallena (11 isolated Italian REs KIA) and cross the straits of Messina to the toe. Poor dice allow both Italian stacks to retreat, but it seems unlikely those 2-3-2 Coastal XX’s will be able to get away in Aug II.

Both MTO and the RAF ETO strat air forces join Allied TacAir in chewing up the French/Italian rail nets. Although rail lines out of Italy are cut the damage will be temporary, though it looks like any rail traffic to France will have to go via Germany.

Allied navies set up two LC for a crossing to Corsica on Aug II. With 15 fighters within intercept range and more ready for CAP it seems likely that at least one LC will survive. In addition numerous special ops are prepared. Allied bombers put 2 hits on Calvi, leaving Bastia the only untouched port on Corsica.

A couple of US ants ship to England, along with all the components for the British Airborne XX. The ETO now has 3x TF, 7x LC, 23x NT, 2 division-equivalents of airborne and 3x Marine-Commando Bdes.


The question is, will the Axis feel inclined to send more forces to the Biscay coast, or air units to France? The next few turns may be critical. Allied air remains weak in the ETO with 11x F, 1x NF, 1x A, 2x T and 5x B-types. However, when Yeu’s airbase becomes operational the air distance between Allied theaters drops to 45 hexes and a lot of air units can easily switch theaters.


Jul 43 II

Axis Player Turn

Everything is going more or less according to plan. All Italian units either got off Sicily or were disbanded, and units began to pull out of the toe. Several engineers were required to open up the rail line north, and Allied harassment slowed down the move somewhat. On Sardinia nothing could be done about the isolated status (due to DZs from Allied-owned ports), but the second 5-4-8 Art III was carted off by Me323s and the pop-up garrison regiments were taken off by other transports. With deployment of the remaining garrison division 7 Italian divisions, the 1-2-4 Art and 1-8 Cav III remain and establish a hedgehog defense around La Maddalena.

The west coast, toe and heel of Italy are well covered. One of the Italian 9-8 Arm XX was activated early, along with a 2-8 Para-Inf III. Unfortunately the second 9-8 and Para-Inf HQ failed their rolls and ended in the dead pile. Several German ants were airlifted into Corsica to stiffen the defenses. A 10-6 Inf XX and 4-5* Static XX were sealifted in to provide backbone for the defense. The plan is to delay the fall of Sardinia (and surrender roll) until bad weather.

Anti-shipping units migrated north from Napoli, which is now the southernmost airbase used by the Axis.

This is my first try at the “accountant’s defense” and I find it requires a great deal of restraint. Thanks to Rich Velay for all the coaching and advice, he’s been very responsive to my questions.

Allied Player Turn:

All of Sicily is overrun and a massive buildup across from the toe is put in place. Under cover of darkness LCs slip into each of the three hexes opposite the toe, ready to act as ferries for an Aug I crossing. Several permanent and temporary airbases are built on Sicily to augment the city airports, which were captured intact. It seems the Axis were in such a hurry to leave they didn’t have time to demolish those facilities.

On Sardinia the 4 Italian divisions are killed in combat and overrun, the first Axis casualties. Italian forces still hold La Maddalena and the vital crossing hex to Corsica, but both should fall next turn. With the fall of 27/1403 DZs block Axis supply to all but two ports in Corsica. With 8 engineers on Sardinia and 10 on Sicily it looks like the construction business will be brisk in August.

In the ETO Allied paratroopers descend on Isle de Belle and with ample air support take the island for a a forward base. Engineers, supply and a resource point are off-loaded across the beaches. Elsewhere in the ETO 5 LC join 2 TF, 3x Command X and a broken down Brit Inf XX in off-map Britain. Three REs of airborne, with another due next month, are on-map. The as yet small ETO air force is joined by 2x P-38 and 1x A-30A which fly a shuttle mission from Corsica, failing to damage the rail link north of Lyon. Is this an attempt to draw off Axis forces from the MTO, or a buildup for an invasion of France?

Allied air power continues to pound away at the French and Italian rail nets. Certain parts of southern Italy are starting to resemble the moon.