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Europa Games and Military History

Tag: second front (page 2 of 10)

Dec I 43

Axis Player Turn

Weather roll = 4, zone D Frost, zones C & E Mud. Seas: Atlantic storming, Med calm.

Germans feel short along their front and attempt ot activate the 362nd Inf XX early – they get the cadre and rebuild to XX at Pescara near the eastern edge of their line in Italy. The Allies fly 11 harassment hits to slow down German movement, Germans abate 1 point. German forces fully man the fortified line and place what they believe to be sufficient forces in their second line to avoid losing any ground during exploit. German troops are stretched thin everywhere, coastal defenders and occupation forces both had to give up some units for the front. Another Panzer XX is diverted from the West to South. The rail nets are a total mess, troops arriving from Germany can’t make it to the front.

Allied Player Turn

Axis occupation forces are 6 REs short in Italy – however the Alies will not make any additional attacks due to the Guru’s clarification of the occupation rule. Partisans score 1 rail hit in Italy. The Allies increase their mainland Italy rail cap by 4 (now 8). Axis mines are swept from the ports of Napoli and Salerno. Both sides call up their strategic air forces. US Port Construction Engineers get to work repairing Taranto while others are shipped into Napoli.

Four Allied TF sail into the westernmost hex of the German line, taking 1 hit from CD for their trouble (the first hit to any Allied naval unit). Herr Goering takes offense and sends his Luftwaffe after the Allied armada and a furious air combat takes place. A large group of 3 bombers with three escorts heads in from Firenze and manages to make contact (rolls a 6). No hits are scored and a He177 is shot down while a Ju88 torpedo bomber is aborted. The Allies fly more CAP just in time to see a group from Bologna fail their contact roll. A third group from La Spezia succeeds in making contact and eluding Allied fighters, dodges the heavy flak and plants a hit on a 16 point RN TF. A final group from Genova fails to make contact.

In a 6:1 (-1) attack supported by 54 points of NGS the Allies roll a 6 (DE) to cadre 15th PzGren and kill two LW Mot AA Regts. The allies roll another 6 in a 5:1 (-3) attack two hexes away at 26:2220 and get a DR. 1st Fallshirmjaeger XX in hex 2221 feels a little lonely. Meanwhile in the ETO the Bomber Command and 8th US Air Force are having a hard time finding rail yards that haven’t been destroyed. Several attacks are sent against the Ruhr for lack of targets in France and the Low Countries. LR Allied fighters escort packs of B-25’s and B-26’s to close down the only remaining rail link across the Rhine. Frost weather slows down rail repairs, but has no effect on bombing – isn’t it great. The Italian 3-pt TF in Britain sallies forth into the channel mine belt and immediately takes two hits. It finishes sweeping one hex and retreats back to an off-map port to be repaired. That’s a total of 4 hits to TF this turn, and luckily for the Allies those are the only hits so far in the game.

Ground losses: 1x 13-10 PzGren XX cadred, 2x 2-10 Mot AA killed. Air losses: 2 German units killed, 7 aborted; 4 US and 4 British units aborted.

Comments

Had the Germans pulled back to their final defensive line (Gustav Line) the Frost weather probably would’ve allowed the Allies to force their way into that line. The Germans will undoubtedly have trouble infiltrating the 9-8* Fallshirmjaeger XX back to the Gustav line, but it will be able to move adjacent to that line and can not be cut off. The Allies have managed to get most of their major units off Corsica/Sardinia and onto mainland Italy (most all the way to the front) or back to the ETO, but suffer from a shortage of both forward airfields and forward engineers. There are slightly over 100 rail hits in Axis controlled areas and nowhere is there a cleared line between France, Italy or Germany. Germany has started to expend Resource Points on building rail cap, but she may not have any rails to use by May 1944. Does GRD sell sheets of hit markers?

 

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.

Mar II 44

Weather roll: 4 = mud in zones C & D, clear in zone E. Atlantic is calm with a 2, Med is calm with a 4

Axis Player Turn

Once again Allied unitd in 26:2020 go U-1 due to mud shortening their supply lines. Elba is U-3, but has supply points to cover the ground and air units there. Germany spends 7 Inf replacements to rebuild a 5-7-6 Inf and 7-8 Mtn division from cadres. 3x forts are completed and 2 more begun, all in Italy.

Toscana and Liguria garrisons are activated (3x 2-3-4* Static [XX]) due to Allied units on Elba. Germany shuffles a few uhnits along the Gustav line and sends two divisions from Italy to France. This just about evens the game deployment with the Apr I 44 OB book, though South is a bit stronger in non-divisional units and has no cadred divisions or Anzio beach head to worry about. Some anti-ship air units are sent to France where they have a tough time finding space at airbases within reach of the coast but fr enough from Allied air bases to be safe.

VP Count:

Allies hold 5 naval bases, 5 dot and 2 major cities for +16 VPs. There are no net losses (with possible exception of 8 points of Italians in the replacement box). So, add 16 to the existing total of 34 and we get 50 VPs (or 34+8=42 if you count the dead Italians).

Allied Player Turn:

Partisans manage 1 hit, taking out the RSI G.55. RM TF again sweeps mines off Northern Italy (at 26:0130) with no losses. All excpept 3 Allied LC, 12x NT, a US 12-pt TF, and an Infantry Corps sail to the ETO. Air units put another 20 rail hits on Axis nets. Otherwise a slow turn.

Commentary:

The Allies now have the bulk of their naval assets in England, along with plenty of air and several broken down divisions. The Axis rail situation is pitiful, the Allies don’t really need to worry about hitting rail cap in France. Airfields in France near the front are not sufficient to deploy anti-ship air units.

The difference between what is shown on my maps and what you get from the 1944 scenarios is striking. The rail nets in France, Belgium, Holland, NE Germany and Italy are pockmarked with well over 100 hits. German Engineers have managed to keep the rail line running north of the Swiss border and 1-2 Rhine crossing open, but they don’t lead anywhere near the coast. Rail links between France and Italy haven’t existed for several turns and the Axis has given up trying to repair them. Every rail line out of Italy is blocked by multiple breaks.

The replacement and VP situations are equally in the Allies favor. Before any Apr I 44 production is added the US has 102.8 Inf, 67 Armor and 69 ARPs. The British have 50 Infantry, 17 Armor and 63 ARPs France has a total of 13.2 Inf, 7 Armor and 7 ARPs. Other allies have the following Infantry replacements: Canada 11.5, Poland 4, NZ 1.5 and India 3. There are 25 NRPs and 63.67 Resource points in the bank, with a debt of 2 NRPs that have yet to be paid for hits on a RM TF. Compare this to the Apr I 1944 initial conditions of US: 12 Inf, 17 Arm, 37 ARPs; British 6 Inf, 5 Arm, 30 ARPs; French 3 Inf; Canada 3.5, Poland 4, NZ 4.5, India 3; 170 resource points (Allied Rail cap and air bases accounts for some, but not all of this difference), and ZERO NRPs. VPs for the 44 campaign are a measly +8 VPs verses 50. Somehow the Allies must’ve lost 42 VPs, seesh!

The Germans have also taken less losses, and have accumulated 35.1 Inf, 28 Armor .5 NRP, 46 ARPs and 65 Resource Points. There are no German cadres, and a single point of positional AA is the only unit in the replacement pool. Per the OB book they should have 9 German Inf, 15 German Armor, 2.75 RSI Infantry replacements, 22 German ARPs, and 118 Resource points.

Victory points and field position are what counts. The Allies hold everything they did for the April I 44 start except the Anzio death trap, er, beach head, plus Belle and Yeu. They have 42 extra VPs, a heck of a lot of replacements, 16 REs of rail cap in Italy and many augmented airbases near the front that SF rules doesn’t let them build. The 25 NRPs are particularly important because that allows them to take risks and build up the two Italian TF if they desire. Anzio is a mistake waiting to prove itself, too many negative VPs for the Germans to ignore. The fact that the Germans are also better off is of some compensation, but not a lot. If the weather turns good in France it is unlikely that the Allies will have to wait until June I to land.

Jun II 44

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

Axis Player-Turn

All units are in supply, though a number of Allied units had to rely on supply points. Axis engineers complete 4 forts and begin another. Cdr Static X is reincarnated a second time, to help the port fort at Bayonne and prevent liberation of MR 18 (DF at Bayonne now 10). All 6 German cadres are in Allied ZOCs. The HG Mot Hvy AA Rgt is rebuilt in SOUTH. Total 1 Arm and 2 Inf RPs spent, leaving 43 Arm and 37 Inf. Germans spend 14 ARPs to bring 9 bombers and 1 fighter back to the map. 3 ARPs remain in the bank at the end of the air cycle.

The Luftwaffe intercepts a harassment mission near Strassbourg shooting down an RAF B-25D while loosing an Me109G6 to the P-51 escort. A US P-39N is lost and a P-38G aborted near Torino. Allied air units harass 6 hexes (9 levels) behind the Seine north of Paris, another hex near Strassbourg, 2 in Northern Italy and 4 behind the Gustav Line. The code Z He111 is shot down over the channel by Mosquito NF. Four ground-launched V-1 attacks are made on London, all miss. Five German bombers are aborted on RMY missions, but after many misses 3 hits are scored which will prevent the Allied rail net from coming up (late breaking GURU post cancels this effect). The RMY attacks use up most of the available bombers and may impact on air support for ground attacks.

German c/m concentrates for attacks: 67 AF in 17/1506, 66 in 17/2105 and 54 in 17/2004. Allied air flies DAS over 17/2005, 1905, 1606 and 1507. The first attack went in at 17/2005 against 8 DF with 6 DAS at 4:1 -1, results in a DR. Next is 17/1905 with 11 DF plus 6.5 DAS. A DE results in US 2nd INF XX and a US Tank Bn eliminated (ZOC killed cadre). Finally, at 17/1606 a French Inf XX and US non-divisional units (18 DF) and 4.5 DAS defend. The Luftwaffe gets a Ju-88 through to make a 3:1 +1 resulting in a DR. (Really wanted to cadre that French XX.) German AA fire was very unlucky in all three attacks. After a successful combat phase German c/m assumes strong defensive positions along the Seine and extending south to Dijon. In SW France German forces converge on strong positions in the Massif Central and near Carassanne (17/4119). Toulouse and Clermont-Ferrand were abandoned after all facilities in those cities were wrecked.

Losses: 11 unisolated US DF.

Victory point count: Allies gain 30 VPs, total now 72 – ahead of the historical count by a good number of VPs, as I figure it.

Allied Player-Turn

MR5 is liberated. Allied units are in supply, only the Germans holding out in Cherbourg and Rochfort are isolated. Six RAF and Commonwealth Spit9 go into the V1 interceptor force. The last two Allied LCs are repaired. RAF spends 5 ARP, leaving 48; USAAF spends 13 leaving 52. 10 US Inf and 2 Arm replacements are spent, as well as 2 Brit Inf RPs. 1 NRP is used, 29 remain. Allied rail cap in France is upped to 12 (less 3 for RMY), meaning the rail net will be up for the Axis Jul I supply determination. Rebuilding of Nantes is begun and Strategic Air war roll is a 4 – no change. Partisans make a successful attack on a single rail line.

A German 1-8 High Mtn Bn which was unable to make the German main line of resistance is overrun by a US Arm XX. Two NZ/British/French mountain corps attack 26/1821 with heavy air support. German DAS is returned and the result is a 5:1 -2 for a DR. 21 DF of British units advance into the hex. On the eastern end of the crumbling Axis line US forces make an 8:1 -2 attack and DE against 12 DF. A single 2-3-6 cadre retreats from Pescara as US 2nd Corps advances into the city.

A 5:1 with heavy air and naval support takes Cherbourg with an HX against 15 DF. The port is destroyed and a US 8-8 Inf XX is cadred. US Armor attacks across the lower Seine, isolating Le Havre and overrunning the minor port of Fecamp. A second hex of Paris is liberated by US/French forces. The defenders of Bayone are retreated into Spain (eliminated) by British/Canadian troops with strong naval support, but the port is destroyed. Rochfort is attacked at 6:1 -1 by British forces and taken intact with a DR. The Static XX successfully retreats, but will be U-3 and isolated in the German July I player-turn. Except for the 4-5 Static the entire Biscay is clear of Axis forces and forts. British forces exploit to form a line along the upper Garonne and Tern rivers and hold Toulouse (MR 17 and 18 will be liberated July I). US forces seize Clermont-Ferrand and form a line running north to Paris then along both banks of the Seine to the Channel. Large numbers of Allied fighter-bombers move to a line of forward airbases.

Losses: Germany lost 27 unisolated and 28 isolated DF, US lost 5 unisolated AF.

Comments

Allied forces are extended to cover a long front, but they are now better able to do that than the German defenders of France. With the rail net up for the next supply check and plenty of US reinforcements on the way over the next few turns they should be able to push the hinge of the Germans line back on the Swiss border and force the abandonment of most of Southern France. British forces are still located along the Biscay coast and around Toulouse, with a few divisions mixed in the US line south of Paris. It may take 2-3 turns to get the British forces on the Biscay coast back into the fight. The Gustav line appears to be wrecked, and a retreat toward Rome seems likely. Several Allied units are positioned in Napoli ready for a quick transfer to Southern France should ports become available. A large number of allied units remain in North Africa or aboard naval units in Tunis and Bizerte. Allied Airborne units in the ETO moved forward to cover airbases behind the front and are in position to make landings anywhere from Southern France to Holland. Allied air continues to pound at the R hine crossings and rail lines in Northern Italy, tying down a lot of Axis engineer assets. The Allies have made good progress clearing rail lines from Brest toward Paris and St Nazaire, but there are now long stretches of broken rail lines between the ports and the front at Toulouse and Clermont-Ferrand.

The Germans will have a tough time transferring their troops from Southern France north through Lyon to cover the Rhine approaches near the Swiss border and will probably have to run fast to avoid British c/m catching them short of the Italian border. They can probably get most of their forces away however, unless there is heavy harassment. Gaining access to garrison forces in Belgium, Holland and the western WK is starting to look better and better. Another turn along the Seine is about all that can be expected, and cadres need to get back to cities where they can be rebuilt. So far only 1 c/m division has been reduced, but losses are exceeding replacements at a growing rate. Several non-divisional c/m units, static divisions and artillery regiments have been eliminated and will not be replaced. Strong coastal defenses along the English Channel, Southern France and Italian coast soak up a lot of German units. So far the Allies have made sure they cleaned up Port Forts, very strong garrisons will have to be left if they are to survive. The weak defenses along the Biscay coast have caused some delay for the British, and the cost is considered acceptable.

 

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?

Apr I 44

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

Axis Player Turn

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

Allied Player-Turn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments

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

July I 44

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

Axis Player-Turn

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

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

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

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

Losses: 15 unisolated US DF.

Allied Player-Turn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments

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

 

Apr II 44

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

Axis Player Turn

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

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

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

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

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

Allied Player Turn

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

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

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

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

Commentary

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

 

July II 44

Weather is clear everywhere. Atlantic rough, Mediterranean calm.

Axis Player-Turn

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

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

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

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

Allied Player-Turn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments

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

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

 

May I 44

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

Axis Player-Turn

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

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

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

Allied Player-Turn

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

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

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

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

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

Comments

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

 

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