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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.

 

Oct 1943 Revised – Invasion Corsica

October 1943 Revised – Invasion Corsica

Historical – MUD, Germans fall back to the Gustav line & Allies slowly get to Naples and Foggia

The Brits, this time, land in southern Corsica (1003 & 1103). Nearly 2 divisions of paras descend on an unsupported German regiment in 1004 trying to overrun it, but only the tiny Italian-American battalion lands undisrupted. All 5 Task Forces and the last call-up of the Carrier Group heavily support the invasion. The northern Regiamarina intercepts but the Albacore fails to spot the ships sailing right under its nose! The Roma sinks an HQ (of course) and several regiments & marine brigades. Heavy air support and NGS help the Brits get ashore – though the Mulligan chip changes hands again when a ‘AS’ comes up on 4:1(-1) with a 90% chance of rolling up to 5:1 – Sod’s Law! At least the port of Bonifacio falls intact.

As mentioned elsewhere, 108pts of GIs storm Mt Etna (18pts) in a bloody assault (EX) and the bombers leave no airbase or port access in Corsica.
Mud does NOT roll up as hoped in the ‘D Zone’ – which is a major headache with a panzer division sitting on Corsica, suddenly a -3 modifier in the rough yawns out to +2. The night bombers saturate Bonifacio, but the Mosquitoes and abysmal Axis dice means that not a single hit is scored. This is important, because when the para stack (26pts) is attacked by the panzers (and half the LW bomber force) out of Ajaccio at 3:2 (+2) and takes an exchange, they aren’t isolated – phew, THAT was close- uurrrgggghhh!!

However, the remainder of the Axis bomber fleet takes out Bonifacio later in the turn leaving the Corsican landing unsupplied. The Brits land the Indian 4th and British 52nd Mountain divisions, with the HQs that weren’t able to land last turn. Both sides’ bomber fleets take a pounding this turn – the Axis anti-shipping force is wiped out, and the Allied port bombers are blown out the sky by 190’s (finally loaded with ammo). A 5:1 (-2) forces an Italian division out of 1002 leaving the Brits occupying the 10xx hexrow. A massive airlift brings in enough tea for the boys on their 1-capacity cricket pitch, just in time for the quadrangular tournament between the English, the Indians, South African pilots and West Indian construction engineers. The Canadians look on, bemused…

Nov I 43

Mud in zones C, D and E. Med Calm, Atlantic Rough.

Axis Player Turn

Luftwaffe night bombers raid Ajaccio losing a Ju188 to RCAF night fighters, but manage the one hit needed to shut down the port. Several Allied units will find themselves out of supply. Mud hampers the Axis retreat toward their fortified line and hinders the destruction of airbases and rail lines. Several c/m divisions break down to allow more MPs for the scorched earth campaign, then reassemble in the exploitation phase. Many Italian cities are still short their garrisons and engineers can only make feeble attempts at rail repairs, concentrating on getting a line open between Germany and central France.

Allied Player Turn

Axis find themselves short 8 REs of occupation forces in Italy, partisans make hay while the sun shines but are mostly ineffectual. (A total of 3 rail breaks in France and Italy this turn, though aircraft add another 17 rail breaks.) Very little Allied construction due to continued mud – one airbase upgrade on Yeu and 1 airbase dismantled on Malta. Mines are swept at the mouth of the Adriatic, opening up the Italian east coast ports to Allied ships and the beaches to invasion. British 5th Para X lands on an undefended Lagosta and is disrupted, despite using gliders. The Italian RM-1 Task force (strength 3) sails from Alexandria to Britain, rumored to be conducting mine seeping practice enroute.

The last flames of German resistance are extinguished on Corsica by strong US forces. The ports of Calvi and Bastia were overrun. 36th US Inf XX and its cadre are exchanged for the 10-6 44 HuD Inf XX in the mountains south of Calvi. The US player could’ve used a smaller c/m unit as part of the exchange, but the difference in RPs is slight and this gets the Inf XX off Corsica immediately. Unlike the isolated Nazis many US soldiers live on as special replacements. The 44 HuD is expected to be rebuilt on the mainland as soon as possible. Two French 1-5 Construction units are flown into Ajaccio to become the island’s garrison next turn.

On the Italian mainland Allies employ 4 TF and much air power to gain a 7:1 (-3) attack against 16th Pz XX defending the west coast road south of Salerno. They roll a 4 (-3) for a DR. A 2-1-R LR Siege Bn and a 0-1-6 Penal II are killed in the mountains. The ports of Taranto and Bari destroyed as Allied units enter them. Two French Infantry XX and the mighty 15-10 NZ Mech XX land and march toward the front. The Allies have now captured two connected marshalling yards and next turn can begin building rail capacity. Allied aircraft spend most of the turn bombing rail hexes. Total losses: Axis 19 AF (17 isolated on Corsica), Allies 9 AF.

 

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.

 

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.

 

October 1943 – Invasion Italy

Historical – MUD, Germans fall back to the Gustav line & Allies slowly get to Naples and Foggia

A mega Axis stack builds up in front of Messina: (1st SS, HG and 16th Pzr) which forces an HX on the northern US stack (44pts). With Sicily now an American airbase, air support isn’t a factor (despite another LW Strat Call-up), but that’s now 6 US divisions cadred or lost in the past 2 turns!!

Seeing the imminent arrival of Mud looming, the Allies have plotted a desperate assault on the narrow neck of the Calabria peninsula. (Actually, truth be said, they had an abortive double invasion of Elba & Gaeta, but the losses were so bad, we rebooted from start!) The Brits land on both the northern (3619, 3720) and southern coast (3719). They are heavily supported by all 5 Task Forces, and the last call-up of the Carrier Group, which proves its worth: The southern Regiamarina intercepts South Force, and the Albacore deals out 4 hits and the US fleets finish the job. However, Roma sinks several LCs (no NTs of course – that would be too easy!!)

Elsewhere, 108pts of GIs storm Mt Etna (18pts) in a bloody assault (EX) and the British planes leave only 2 REs of port access in Corsica. Quite a few Axis units are now out of supply in Sicily/Calabria and Corsica and both sides’ air forces have been heavily battered. Let’s hope there’s enough Allied air power to hold up the British landings.

Mud arrives in Oct II. The Germans call up their Strat fighters and cover the British landing hexes with aircraft – as do the Allies. Obviously, the stakes are high here. I do expect to lose one stack – sinking those LCs had a huge impact in getting the follow up waves on the beach. In a bold move, Derek decides to throw it all at two hexes – to open the supply lines to the, not inconsiderable, panzer forces in Calabria; most surprisingly he targets the biggest stack of Poms – 28 points with 13 AA. With 30+ air battles over the hexes there is surprisingly little debris – but then the FlaK and ack-ack open up – and pieces of planes fly off in all directions! As expected, the small stack falls (with an EX), but in an all-too-familiar theme now, against slim odds, so does the main British stack – to a DR thru ZOC result! The Queen is not amused. How the hell can we redeem this disaster!?!!?!

With only 6 LCs now left undamaged, amphib invasions are cancelled, as the dilemma is now do we throw more Poms into the grinder, or pull the survivors out? It’s only getting harder – mud, then rough seas will arrive; the SS corps will garrison Messina against all-comers, so we throw more boyo’s in. The landings are unopposed, but AGAIN the LCs lose half their complement to damage on friendly beaches! All the TFs are deployed to support the attack across the mountains into 3819. An EX is rolled – not ideal, but it puts Calabria back out of supply again. With four LCs remaining only a paltry reinforcement can bolster the lads.

Elsewhere, the Corsican ports have been hit by bombing missions – there’s only 2REs of capacity left, and the NFs are patrolling Ajaccio airfield (Bastia was bombed out). The Yanks grind into Milazzo – there’s only the cape hex and Messina itself now held by the Germans. Derek is playing well – most losses are coming off the Germans, and disbanding all the Italian artillery is keeping a shallow Replacement Pool. But it looks grim for the Calabrian British: probably a game-losing amount of losses could happen next turn – although we can pile virtually 80% of the Allied fighter complement over their hexes. Hmmmmm…..

OK, giving Derek the moral victory, I agree that the Calabria debacle is right up there with Gallipoli on the Very Stupid Ideas scale. So after a couple of hours fiddling, we rewind the situation back to the end of the German Oct I turn to replay the British half of the Allied turns.

Nov II 43

Weather roll = 2. Zone C and D Mud, Zone E Clear. Atlantic Rough, Med Calm.

Axis Player Turn

44 HuD is reincarnated as a 5-7-6, along with the 4-5* Static XX, 2-1-R RR Art II and 1-2-4 Fortress III for a total of 12 Inf RPs. The 0-1-6 Penal II (LW) is a freebee.

The KM brazenly steams out with a single NT and lays mines to cover the port of Den Helder. Coastal Command fails two attempts to make contact in the rough North Sea. Aircraft lay other mines along the French Mediterranean and northern Italian coast. German troops pull back to the first fort line which runs 26:2222-2220-2019-2018-1918. Allied harassment was a minor irritation, but not plentiful enough to cause significant problems.

Allied Player Turn

Germany is short 4 REs of Italian occupation forces. Partisans in Italy and France score a total of 3 rail hits. Both sides call up their strategic air forces. The US rebuilds the 9-8 Inf XX lost in an exchange last turn.

Allied ground forces close up on the German fortified line, but can find no place for a profitable (or even reasonable) attack. Movement is hindered by harassment flown by LW (mostly strat air assets). Allied NTs are busy carting units off Sardinia and Corsica, the US sends an 11-8 Inf XX and 16-10 Arm XX to the ETO.

Counter-air and rail attacks are the major missions, but mud and flak make the bombing of airbases less profitable. The Luftwaffe rose only once for air to air (no casualties). Bombs and flak account for 3 RAF and 3 Luftwaffe fighters aborted. Due to the wide coverage of German strategic fighter reserves Allied medium bombers are afraid to venture deep into enemy territory as they have in the past. Allied strategic bombers close down all but one Rhine River crossing, and do more damage to the rail nets in southern France and northern Italy.

 

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.

 

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.

Sep 1943 – Race for Messina and Return to Malta

Historical – Reggio/Salerno landings, Italian armistice; Corsica evacuated. British land in undefended Taranto

After a stupid oversight, in attempting to cut off the Germans, I have left the 1st Armoured isolated and unsupplied. The armour replacements aren’t the concern – it’s the potential 32 Victory Points I’d be giving away. Derek has noticed this and moves heaven and earth to nobble it.

With the LW Strat forces again summoned, a ginormous air battle breaks out over the division as the Allies desperately try and redeem their mistake. Both sides throw 25+ fighters in to cover their respective half dozen Ground Support planes. In an atrocious display in the art of air combat the Focke-Wulf’s are upstaged by the Italians. Even a P-400 shoots an Fw-190 down!! In the end, everyone’s ground support gets through, but the Axis are left wondering how they lost a 1 on 1 battle in the air. Four German panzer divisions have been sucked across the Messina Straits for this battle. The odds are 5:1 at -2, the only bad result for the Axis is a ‘1’.

What do you know? The Mulligan chip changes hands as that ‘1’ duly comes up, but the 1st Armoured succumbs at the 2nd attempt. The Allies show a similar display of aerial incompetence as the fragile Cagliari port is closed with 4 hits in the face of 5 Spitfires. The Axis turn ends with 3 x 25pt armoured stacks across the Mt Etna-3726 line.

Bloody hell; lost the First Armoured and now the Commonwealth forces in Sardinia are all out of supply & isolated. They shamble their way through the harassment fire and mop up the north-western ports & exploit up to the north-eastern ports.

Being the last Allied turn before Victory Points are calculated, all effort is put into clearing Syracuse and taking Palermo. With more than enough strength in Sardinia (there were actually more REs in Sardinia than in Sicily, against half the force), Commonwealth forces land in Trapani and the west to assault Palermo. After the Battle of Messina, the remaining Luftwaffe has been gutted, so is very quiet and the 15pts of Palermo defenders fall to a 5:1 (at -2) Anglo-American assault. The exploit phase ends with 4 x 20pt stacks up close and personal with the Axis ‘Etna Line’.

In response, the Axis step back to cover Messina. Two panzer stacks are parked in 3824 (45pts) and on Etna (25pts – urrggh!). LSSAH leads the attack off Etna into the US 2nd Armoured’s stack and gets an HX. That’s 2-0 to the SS vs. the US Armour.

In reply, the Allies pile 6 divisions up against the 14th Panzer Corps in 3824. With huge naval and air support, the 2:1 rolls an AS. Yet again, the Germans get away – DARN! Another big effort is put in Sardinia, where the Canadians lead a successful final assault – into La Maddalena. Sardinia is secured with no losses to the Commonwealth ground forces – those Canadian artillery brigades are brilliant!
Finally the planned invasions of Pantelleria and Malta go ahead using marines and the newly arrived 101st Airborne. With unerring accuracy the E-boats of the Maltese Danger Zone evade the covering Task Force and sink 2 of the 4 Marines’ Transports, but the islands are overrun and, finally, the Allied Danger Zones revert to more ‘reasonable levels’.

It was a full-on air campaign this month. In the first half, the Germans were taking 1:1 losses, but got their own back in the latter half dealing out about 5:2 losses. There are now a LOT of American aircraft wrecks lying over Sicily and Calabria. (memo to self – they’ll be worth a fortune to Warbirds societies 50 years hence)

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