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Europa Games and Military History

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Nov II 44

S, F, F, M, C R, R

Axis Player Turn

Frost! Frost! Frost!

Berlin lines up its Weather Section and shoots them.

The defences of Berlin are strengthened. The last remaining motorised units
are gathered together for a final hurrah and positioned outside the capital
to strike north or south as circumstances may dictate.

Allied Player Turn

Well, with Frost firming up the ground, an all out assault is launched. In
Norway Trondheim is attacked by Commandos, marines and tank brigades but the
defenders hold them off (AS) In the Lagen Valley the 6th para XX with
Norweigan support gets a HX result against Punitive Troops, SS Police men
and some Infantry. The US Amphibious battalions then race down the valley
into Hamar. Oslo is looking vulvnerable.

In Greater Germany the following attacks occur – on a pocket near Frankfurt,
west of Klagenfurt, and Ljubjana – all are beaten off for AS results much to
Allied High Commands shock. At Linz the newly arrived Jewish brigade joins
the Americans and Brits in attacking a german battlegroup but is beaten back
with an AR! In the Sudentenland, Poles, Czechs, Kiwis and French push
further towards Prague (8:1 -5 mods on dice roll!).

Chemnitz falls to an EX result, burning up some valuable (and scarce)
British comabat engineers. The Elbe is crossed again north east of Reisa
while the Wittenburg bridgehead is expanded by the Guards Corp into
Luckenwalde, reaching the outskirts of Berlin itself. In the exploitation
phase, the Canadian Armoured Corp overruns a single cadre in some woods
before entering Kottbus, cutting Berlin off from the south and splitting the
front.

In the American sector, Koln, Duisburg and Essen fall to US Infantry and
Engineers. The Ruhr is surrounded by a sea of green cardboard and the
German Commander can only hope the region will hold for as long as possible
to delay the infantry flooding eastwards and joining the assualt on Berlin.
At Bremen, two US corps attack the 1st LSSAH Pz Division with attached
troops in support. In what should be a simple attack, the SS dig in and
fight tenaciously, forcing the attacking americans to reel backwards with an
AR result! To compound the failure, all retreat paths are in German ZoC and
the corps are forced to surrender and are marched up into Danish PoW camps.
The cadres enter Bremen where they are reinforced in the exploitation phase.

Despite good weather, results were generally terrible for the Allies.
Hitler claims that this is the long awaited turning point in the war. With
the enemy at the gates of Berlin the miracle has happened – surely the
failure to seize significant ground is a sign of divine intervention?

June 1944 Special

C, C

Axis Player Turn

In Italy a few units slip into the mountain passes leading across into
France while the Arno line is strengthened. Theatre Command designates La
Spezia a National Socialist hero city and forms it into a western redoubt,
anchoring the line against the Allied advance.

In France around the allied beachhead at Cannes a slight withdrawal is made.
Toulon is abandoned to its fate with 2nd rate troops holding the fortress
while Marseilles is garrisoned to hold as long as possible. the cadre in
Lyon is strengthened by the arrival of a SS PzG XX and Tiger battalion while
the area around Clermont is abandoned as the Loire line is reinforced as
more and more infantry units arrive. Around the smoking beachhead on
Bolougne the Germans withdraw 16 miles to avoid a three hex attack on their
position to the boos and hisses of the watching allies. From Dunkirk, V-1
rockets scorch across the sky and impact into London docklands, requiring
Fighter Command to beef up its defences.

Allied Player Turn

Calais is assaulted by US infantry and engineers who destroy half the
defenders and force the remaining Eastern Troops to flee along the coast.

At Nantes a joint Canadian-British attack surrounds and destroys the
defenders, cutting across the mouth of the Loire and threatening Brittany.
Around Tours several attacks wipe out some German static units unfortunate
enough to be caught in the growing British advance in the region.
Stragglers around Clermont are gobbled up and spat into the dead pile.

A French attack across the Rhone west of Avignon fails to dislodge the
German defence, especially annoying is the Aborting of 4 GS aircraft by a
single LW AA unit.

The beach head around Cannes is expanded further as toulon is assaulted for
a HX result and the Paras push north west towards the Rhone over the broken
country side.

In Italy, caution is thrown to one side as the border is crossed from France
to outflank the German line.

In the mountain passes several defenders are crushed while Pavona is overrun
by the South African Armoured and other motorised odds and sods while a
Motorised 82nd AB XX attacks and seizes Genoa.

At Festung La Spezia, Poles, Kiwis and Brits attack the city and seize it
courtesy of some heavy GS flown by the USAAF. So much for the invulnerable
redoubt theory. East of Florence, Indian and Polish Mountain units force
back the RSI/SS defenders in the mountains while on the coast of the
Adriatic a US Corp treats harshly a joint RSI/PzG stack and blows it away
for a HX.

In the exploitation phase Milan falls to the Springboks with Mussolini
escaping just in time to take up residence in Trieste. The US 1st Armored
and 34th Motorised Infantry enter Ravenna before swinging inland towards
Bologna.

In France the Canadians advance to Nevers and the 7th Armoured to Dijon.
The bridgehead over the Loire is expanded near Tours and the 1st Armoured
enters Rennes while recon units enter an empty Brittany to seize some minor
ports along the Channel coast.

Comment to date

An exciting time period once the tears had dried in my eyes. As I watched the attacks go in one after the other at 1.5:1 I was incredulous. One or
even two of the attacks causing me damage I could accept, but all four!
Even my DAS let me down (although admittedly it reduced odds from 3:1 or 2:1
in all cases) by falling prey to accurate AA fire. Oh well, never
underestimate the enemy ability to take risks and the curse of the die. The
landing at Pas de Calais lacks the AEC nullifying terrain of Normandy and it
showed when a modifier of +1 was enough to force a retreat into terrain that
was choc-a-bloc with units or in enemy ZoC. As for the Brits in Bourges,
that was just jammy! Watch the flanks!!

The critical factor in this time period was that it again drained the
British RPs and put a dent in the US pool, all this before the German can
convert most of his units to higher defence strength and the really bad
terrain of Holland and the Westwall comes up. The prospect of liberating
Norway are starting to look slim unless the remainder of Italy can fall
before mud/snow chokes up the map, but we’ll have to wait and see.

With two turns (special June turn included in this game) until I could enter
northern Italy and avoid an extra 15 REs of German being released from the
South-east, the German player knew this so the Franco-Italian border was
manned by a couple of amputees with shotguns while five XXs worth of British
and allied units waited to cross the border and flood the Lombardy plain.

The declaration of emergency is a real pain for the allies as it gives the
germans the ability to rebuild a lot of units lost in desperate EX battles
of in holding up the main allied advance. Oh well, Paris will be mine
soon….

Jun I 1944

German Player Turn

A national emergency is declared and all replacements are diverted for use
in the West, North and South front. Goebells proclaims Total war and
demands the utmost from German workers in producing supplies for the front.

France – Units are reinforced and strengthened. Britanny is stripped of
defenders who admin move/rail to the Loire line. The Strategic LW is called
out again, the fourth time for the year and is used by the Germans to launch
a series of desperate attacks. The Allied commander in his bunker outside
Madrid sneers in disgust as news begins to arrive from the front of frantic
German activity – surely the death throes of the nazi regime!

Carefully hoarded Pz and PzG units are unleashed onto the unsuspecting US
units in the beachhead. Three attacks are launched, the first at the
salient south of Le Treport by several corps of German Pz and infantry units
– with +1 AECA the US forces are thrown back in a 1.5:1 DR result causing
numerous casulties as troops are captured unable to squeeze past the german
patrols (ZoC scam!)

The second attack is by the reformed Pz Corp based on Lehr and 21st XXs
attacks Boulogne which is defended by a single infantry XX, engineers and
seige artillery with no Anti-tank units. The LW holds off most of the
allied DAS and the town falls again to a 1.5:1 attack (DE).

The third attack is against the salient west of the beachhead by several SS
c/m and infantry units. Overhead another massive air battle rages but most
of the units flying DAS get through. 19 points of German AA sends several
air units crashing to the ground, but enough remains to keep the odds down
to 1.5:1 with no modifiers. It doesn’t matter as the Germans roll EX and
with ZoCs extending to all possible retreat hexes, a whole US corp is
butchered.

In Madrid, the Allied commander weeps. Surely it can’t get any worse than
this? Well yes it can.

In Bourges, the Guards Corp is surrounded by the 1st LSSAH, 2nd DR, 17th
GbV, 26th Pz and various German riff raff. With the corp in such an
advanced position, the only effective means of supplying DAS is Mustangs
flying out of England and bombers. All non-strategic Luftwaffe units fly
interception/GS on the battle. British AA sees off a large amount of German
GS lowering the odds down to 1.5:1 -2ATEC, +3 AECA = EX with a ZoC scam.
The best of the British marches off to join their US compatriots in prison
camps in Germany.

To add insult to injury, the c/m units in Italy destroy the advanced US
Armored cadre south of Florence while SS, SS Police and RSI militia surround
and destroy the mountain units west of Rimini in a ZoC retreat scam. They
then shuffle about to restore a rather decent line in Italy and the
immediate threat to Arno line is stopped.

The only spot of sunshine was a failed infantry attack from Toulon and
Marseilles on US paratroopers (AS).

The Allied high command surveys the wreckage – four 1.5:1 attacks result in
the loss of some 35+ Allied units destroyed, several hundred planes aborted
or destroyed, the thrust from South West France temporarily blunted, the
Italian defences restored and the beachhead reduced by 50% in size. The
German commander offers the Allied commander a glass of scotch.

In the exploitation phase, the Loire lines are strengthened.

Allies Player Turn

The drill halls are busy churning replacements for the lost units. British
AT units are disbanded and the pools of reserves pretty much drained. More
US units are landed to strengthen the beachhead where the Germans in
Boulogne are surrounded and destroyed by heavy GS (DH and ZoC scam).

A cautious British advance continues to the Loire valley while mopping up
continues in the rear. Several advanced airbases are built to bring fighter
cover closer to the lines. The drive on Lyon continues with Etienne falling
to the 7th Armoured who exploits through to just outside Lyon, defended by a
pathetic looking cadre. North-east of Sete a Anglo-French attack on a
German corp dug in the forests fails to dislodge them.

Cote d’Azur – French Armour arrives at Cannes to join a drive by the FFL 1st
towards Toulon and push the German infantry defenders back. North of here
the 1st A/B XX drives towards Marseilles and pushes the German infantry back
to the outskirts of the city where in the exploitation phase the French
armoured unit arrives to threaten the city. Along the Italian border Mtn
and Special Forces ooze along the border into the mountains. The German
CinC is disgusted by such cowardly game play.

Italy – The Polish 1st Armoured attacks across the Arno at its mouth into
Pisa and forces back the German infantry XX defending it. South of here the
remaining german cadres are mopped up by Polish and US Infantry with the NZ
Mech XX doing ZoC scam duty. Elsewhere the US forces are shuffled about
ready for the offensive soon to follow to breach the Arno fully and drive
onto the Po River before mud returns.

Analysis

The inclusion of SoS and FWTBT maps to Second Front really changes the dynamics of the campaign. I look forward to the designers handling of trying to mesh the games in Grand Europa and trying to account for the neutrals and the Allied ability to invade at will anywhere. In this game, it put the Axis on the back foot once Spain became operational with insufficient troops available to cover Italy and maintain a viable Atlantic Wall while trying to prop up Franco’s tottering regime. In this game Madrid fell far to easily, due to a large amount of luck and to a sub-conscious desire of my opponent to destroy Nationalist Spain (he was Robert Jordan in a previous life and owns a video copy of Land and Freedom – needless to say he is always the Loyalists in FWTBT and never seems to win).

This opened up southern France and Germany faced a three front war in the west – way beyond the existing OoB resources to handle effectively.

The early destruction of Italy helped too – the slaughter in Sicily of the Italians and the seizure of Messina before the Germans were in position to retreat to the Toe accelerated a panic in my opponent who was forced to react more to my plans and upset his timetable for an easy withdrawal up the boot. The advance up the boot was quite speedy as many German units were diverted to the Pyrenees and gaps developed early in the line allowing the succesive lines set up to be outflanked.

The highlight for me was the race across Southern France by the British Army – aside from the hiccup with the Guards Corp it was sheer pleasure to reach the Rhine with minimal effective interference from the Germans.

The Battle for Germany was a hard slog – thankfully the US units were in the right position to fight for the Ruhr and Holland – I don’t think the Commonwealth forces have enough engineers and seige equipment to take this part of the map without extreme losses. The advance through Bavaria and Saxony towards Berlin by the British was very lucky – my opponent had his eyes on the developing US breakout from the Channel Beachhead and put insufficient units in the south until it was too late and the Rhine was crossed in force.

Things I would do differently in a similar game

Ignore Scandanavia – I should have invaded at the begining of Summer with more troops or ignored it completely. By the time the poor weather arrived I was too far from Oslo and hadn’t taken a big enough port to try and activate Swedish involvement. I think Norway is an all or nothing approach. The paratroopers should have been used to reinforce the British drive across southern Germany.

Use paratroopers in assisting the drive across Southern Germany (see above) – I might have lost a few, but it would have assisted in seizing some key terrain, especially the rough hexes leading into Czechoslovkia which meant I could have finished off the southern sector forces a lot earlier (Vienna etc) and shifted my focus onto Berlin.

Invaded at Normandy – the invasion site was chosen to avoid the Atlantic Wall but the lack of Bocage to defend the cardboard troops meant that when my opponent lashed out, it hurt. if anything I would invade at Normandy, and then, after a couple of turns, hit the beaches again around Bolougne-sur-Mer and probably trapped a lot more units.

My opponents biggest regrets

The failure to leave a garrison in Madrid, trusting in mountain terrain in Italy and the Alps to prevent a rapid Allied advance (not in this game – an EX is better than a DR), failing to provide a second line of units in Italy and behind Trento to prevent a rapid advance and (naturally) manning the Westwall earlier.

My opponents highlights:

The Battle of the Shetlands, the Battle off Barcelona (starting to see a trend here?), the near crushing of the beachhead at Boulogne sur Mer and his initial handling of the retreat up Italy up to the Arno (where after, in his words, it all turned to s**t) and, surprisingly, the last few turns of the game where he commanded his shrinking empire from his bunker and tried to hang on with a diminishing army and no replacements other than special RPs.

Victory Points: Without being too exact, the Allies had 98 VPs and the Germans around 74 (10 from failure to maintain the Spanish garrisons). 46 Allied VPs came from cities inside Greater Germany/Berlin hexes – so if I had sat outside the Westwall I would have lost most convincingly (mind you a bundle of German VPs came from the loss of the Canadian Armoured Corp at Kottbus that was still sitting in the dead pile so this logic might be challenged).

All up a very enjoyable, but mentally and physically sapping game. Total casualties: 3 bottles of scotch, 14 cubans (cigars, not people), 3 cartons of beers, one pack of cigarettes. Total time taken: around 35 hours spread over 10 days.

Jan II 1944

S, S, S, S, M, R, R

Axis Player Turn

With big withdrawal due to fight the Russian hordes storming over Oder, the few units that actually are not in the dead pile wave farewell to their comrades and disappear off the map (not many disappeared though as most were not available). In Copenhagen, the Garrison commander activates his forces and sends them marching down the Jutland peninsula to join the defenders of Hamburg, Kiel and Lubeck.

In Berlin, the defenders draw themselves into the city and prepare to sell themselves dearly. Kottbus is retaken by a C/M stack drawn from around Dresden but they are too weak to try and break the british grip on the southern approaches to the city.

The few command groups left to Berlin to shuffle about the map are small, weak and generally without flank protection. The boys in the bunker start planning to fly out to Copenhagen or Oslo to prepare an alternative government.

Allied Player Turn

Magdeburg falls to a 6:1 attack DE while Hamburg falls to the US Army in an EX result.

Prague is surrounded and falls to a HX attack and Czechoslovakia is liberated.

At Vienna the Polish armoured forces rush in and secure an undefended eastern hex and launch an attack across the Danube in support of the mixture of Allied forces who try and wrestle control of the western half from the defenders. The attack is unsuccessful and the attackers are stopped in their tracks.

Over Berlin, a massive air battle breaks out as the Strategic reserve contests local air superiority with the Allies. Enough GS sneaks through to aid the two attacks launched on the city from the north and south by the Americans and British/Canadians. The southern Commonwealth attack with massed artillery, engineers and funnies is enough to push back the LW Paratroopers, SS and eastern cossack troops defending the hex. In the north the Americans force an exchange with the defending paratroopers and city is nearly split in two.

Through the smoking rubble, Allied forward scouts observe a ragged Nazi Party official approach with a grimy white flag held of his head, he requests access to the Allied High Commander to discuss terms. With fewer than 6 cities remaining in Greater Germany, resistance is recognised as being futile and the Third Reich surrenders unconditionally to the Allied Alliance.

Jan I 1944

S, S, S, S, M, R, R

Axis Player Turn

With the Russians closing in from the east, withdrawals hurt OK West heavily. The Luftwaffe blue is the most noticable colour on the map from Berlins perspective, Goering sits chuckling in his corner of the bunker drinking schnapps – the main defensive power around Berlin are his fanatical paratroopers, the foolish Allied decision to allow the 7th FS XX to fly out of Holland is coming back to haunt them! Hanover is declared a Festung and Harburg is abandoned with troops falling back to join the sailors and Hitler Youth in Hamburg. A rough line is pulled back from Magdeburg to Wittenburge and around Berlin. The remaining elite C/M units guard forward positions to slow the US advance on the Capital. Prague is reinforced by SS mountain troops and a thin line is set up on the road from Linz to Vienna. Over the German capital the newly arrived Jet and Rocket fighters fly in formation, inspiring the cities defenders that the hour of redemption is at hand!

Allied Player Turn

The operations of the Allied air forces are slightly hampered by the appearance of new German aircraft from the Strategic reserve throughout this period. Despite this, the USAAF and Commonwealth airforces more than adequately hold their own and support the frontline offensives.

Ljubjana and Klagenfurt are subjected to heavy US attacks, but both hold out valiently in their fortresses. At Linz, the remaining Germans are destroyed by a mix of Indian armour (finally available after training for so long), US infantry and APC-mounted British infantry. Budweiss falls to Czechs, Indians and Poles who loot the brewery. Disheartened by the news that all local beer supplies are cut off, a German stack south of Prague is surrounded and destroyed easily by French, Poles and the British.

At Luneburg, the Americans attack across the Elbe into two Infantry divisions who are shattered and forced to retreat into Lubeck. The LSSAH Pz XX and attached units fight to the death against surrounding US forces and cause an EX result before surrendering when no escape route is available for the LSSAH cadre.

Magdeburg is attacked by a joint US/French attack but the American engineers pay the ultimate price in the result (-5 die modifiers in this battle – scary) and the city holds on. Hanover falls to a text book use of Seige Artillery and Engineers.

The Third Reich burns……

At Kottbus the British retake the town and in the exploitation phase push into the wooded lake area SE of Berlin cutting off all land contact with the southern front (or what remains of it). Along the danube, American armor rushes along the south bank towards Vienna while Indian armour and mechanised infantry drive along the north bank

Dec II 1944

S, S, S, S, M, R, R

Axis Player Turn

“Operation Winter Storm II”

Another offensive is launched, this time on the hapless 7th Armoured XX and attached units. Pz and PzG XXs throw themselves into the battle with determination, but the RAF is in the sky in force and equals up the balance significantly, despite the fact the German Mech Commando’s are successful in infiltrating the British positions and, despite Red cap checks, are able to answer questions on who won the Ashes in the last test series, who was Victor Trumper, what was the Don’s batting average, where can you find a silly mid-on and why is it important to bowl a maiden over. The battle results in in the attackers falling back in disorder and retreat. The Allies breathe a sigh of relief.

Allied Player Turn

With the Ruhr virtually cleared, the vast bulk of the Americans are available to drive onto Berlin. 11 stacks of Americans crash into 4 German Corps between Hanover and Bremen.Several breaches are made in the line but Hanovers defences hold the yanks at bay. The last of the Ruhr falls to the Americans, ominously releasing another 6 US Stacks. Berlin shivers in fear.

At Festung Frankfurt, French and British forces polish off the last of the defenders in a DR ZoC scam and march them to the PoW cages dotted along the Rhine.

At Linz, feeling sick from eating too many chocolates, the defenders are forced to abandon the city after inflicting an EX result on the vengeful Allied attackers.

Festung Ljubjana holds out again, despite extensive air and engineer support, this time chasing the Americans back towards the italian border with an AR result.

In Czechoslovakia the Allies grind towards Prague. The New Zealanders attempt to seize the city in a coup de main but are rebuffed for an AS while the Springboks and attached units destroy some SS training units caught in the open outside Pilsen (cut off from their beer supply the Germans were weak and fatigued and surrended willingly for a litre stein each).

In the exploitation phase the Americans drive purposely forward to the western outskirts of Velzen, almost severing Hamburg’s communications with northern Germany.

Dec I 1944

S, S, S, W, M, R, R

Axis Player Turn

“Operation Winter Storm”

The Canadians in Kottbus are attacked by three Fallschirmjager, one Panzer, One Panzer Grenadier divisional group, an SS Mountain, two Eastern Cossack Divisions and assorted rocket units while Hitler Youth and Infantry assualt from the South. The last of the Luftwaffe flies out of Berlin and Copenhagen to provide GS. In an inept display of aerial combat, the Allied fighter aircraft return to base on 2 of 7 bombers and attack craft. AA is only able to return two more bomber units and allied DAS is slaughtered by German AA. Luckily for the Allies the OKW Mechanised Commado unit fails to have any impact (rolled F). Surrounded the allied units are doing okay in defence until the Canadians spot the Cossacks on their horses. It is almost a year to the day they suffered their ignomious defeat at the hands of Spanish cavalry outside Zaragosa and suffering post traumatic stress flash backs, they panic and abandon the line. The retreat dissolves into a rout and two Canadian armoured divisions, an Indian Infantry division, allied contingents for Belgium and the Netherlands and valuable Engineer tank and motorised Artillery brigades are marched off into captivity (HX ZoC retreat scam).

Linz is recaptured and elsewhere the lines are strengthened. In the exploitation phase Dresden is reinforced and the Elbe line regained.

The thousand year Reich is being born again!

Allied Player Turn

Reports are coming into the news desks that the champagne has been returned to the cooler. Victory parades in Allied capitals have been postponed.

Winter gear is being rushed to the Western Front from mills in the US and Canada. US reinforcements destined for the Pacific Front are being diverted to Europe.

Victory Slogan “Home for Christmas” has been replaced by “Home alive in 45”

Owww. That hurt. The Allied Commander contemplates tossing the table over and resorting to fisticuffs to settle the domination of Western Europe but settles for a good scotch and practices his stiff upper lip in the mirror.

To teach the Germans a lesson Essen falls to the Engineer/Seige Artillery strong US forces as does another hex of the Ruhr conurbation. Around the Frankfurt pocket more troops are thrown into the battle and Festung Frankfurt shrinks back into the city itself, the remaining troops wait expectantly as Goebbels informs them via radio of the massive German offensive coming to relieve them. In northern Germany the US forces begin to crumble the German line – lots of attacks destroy various stacks and units but no significant breakthrough is acheived.

The British take Zossen in a 6:1 attack and press further around the outskirts of Berlin.

In the Sudenten a nasty EX result occurs in some wooded rough terrain and the possibility of liberating Prague appears as distant as ever.

At Linz the Allies attempt to ratake the city but the ferocious defence kills half the attackers and leave a US armoured division a smoking ruin in the snow. Defenders fortify themselves with locally made chocolates.

At Ljubajana the US army is unable to shift the defenders despite superiority of 4:1 due to fortifications and weather.

Exploitation. As a result of the exchange in the Sudenten, the Dominion mechanised units are able to push into Czechoslovakia proper and the SA Armoured XX seizes Pilsen, drinking large quantities of beer and leaving the snow yellow for miles around. The New Zealanders in the north enter Aussig on the border.

Nov II 1944

S, F, F, M, C R, R

Axis Player Turn

Frost! Frost! Frost!

Berlin lines up its Weather Section and shoots them.

The defences of Berlin are strengthened. The last remaining motorised units are gathered together for a final hurrah and positioned outside the capital to strike north or south as circumstances may dictate.

Allied Player Turn

Well, with Frost firming up the ground, an all out assault is launched. In Norway Trondheim is attacked by Commandos, marines and tank brigades but the defenders hold them off (AS) In the Lagen Valley the 6th para XX with Norweigan support gets a HX result against Punitive Troops, SS Police men and some Infantry. The US Amphibious battalions then race down the valley into Hamar. Oslo is looking vulvnerable.

In Greater Germany the following attacks occur – on a pocket near Frankfurt, west of Klagenfurt, and Ljubjana – all are beaten off for AS results much to Allied High Commands shock. At Linz the newly arrived Jewish brigade joins the Americans and Brits in attacking a german battlegroup but is beaten back with an AR! In the Sudentenland, Poles, Czechs, Kiwis and French push further towards Prague (8:1 -5 mods on dice roll!).

Chemnitz falls to an EX result, burning up some valuable (and scarce) British comabat engineers. The Elbe is crossed again north east of Reisa while the Wittenburg bridgehead is expanded by the Guards Corp into Luckenwalde, reaching the outskirts of Berlin itself. In the exploitation phase, the Canadian Armoured Corp overruns a single cadre in some woods before entering Kottbus, cutting Berlin off from the south and splitting the front.

In the American sector, Koln, Duisburg and Essen fall to US Infantry and Engineers. The Ruhr is surrounded by a sea of green cardboard and the German Commander can only hope the region will hold for as long as possible to delay the infantry flooding eastwards and joining the assualt on Berlin. At Bremen, two US corps attack the 1st LSSAH Pz Division with attached troops in support. In what should be a simple attack, the SS dig in and fight tenaciously, forcing the attacking americans to reel backwards with an AR result! To compound the failure, all retreat paths are in German ZoC and the corps are forced to surrender and are marched up into Danish PoW camps. The cadres enter Bremen where they are reinforced in the exploitation phase.

Despite good weather, results were generally terrible for the Allies. Hitler claims that this is the long awaited turning point in the war. With the enemy at the gates of Berlin the miracle has happened – surely the failure to seize significant ground is a sign of divine intervention?

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