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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.

Jul 43 I

Axis Player Turn

Axis troops pout into Italy, several Panzer and Panzer Grenadier divisions strat-rail to southern Italy. As many troops as possible jump across the straits at Messina, thought they don’t get far due to rail hits and harassment. The remaining Coastal devisions crowed into Messina to wait their turn to flee, while a lone Cav III sits in Palermo. The Allies sink the Axis LC/ferry stationed between Corsica and Sardinia, six Italian Coastal and Infantry divisions will be stuck on Sardinia unless they can get their ports functioning. Axis transport aircraft lift all Italian units without heavy equipment off Sardinia, along with one of the 5-4-8 Artillery regiments. The Sardinian Cavalry III moves to Sassari while the remaining Infantry hedgehogs around La Maddalena. The Italian toe, heel and west coast are all well defended. Axis air remains concentrated in northern Italy with anti-shipping in Napoli and Roma.

Allied Player Turn

British paratroopers drop on the Liparis and at Alghero in NW Sardinia. US troops land adjacent to Trapani/Marsala in western Sicily and under heavy CAP next to Cagliari on Sardinia. British troops come asshore in SE Sicily where they are covered by Allied fighters on Malta. The Axis makes no attempt to interfeere with any of these landings, but pops up garrisons at Messina and Sassari. The only combat sees US troops seize Cagliari from the 1 point naval defenses. No Allied ground or naval losses, one unlucky Allied air unit aborted by flak. The Allies don’t seem to be phased by the passive defense put up by the Axis accountants. Allied transports bring massive amounts of troops into the MTO from the Mid-East and ETO. During exploitation a few LC move to the ETO while others deliver c/m, artillery and HQs units to their beachheads. Unescorted LC moving in small groups under the cover of night move to Alghero where they are covered by large numbers of CAP (most of which are on extended range). Due to the small targets and significant air cover the Axis again ignore the opportunity for naval patrols.

Allied c/m take the ports of Porto Torres, Trapani, Marsala, Augusta, Syracusa and Catania. Six Italian divisions are now isolated on Sardinia by danger zones, they can neither leave nor disband. Allied air transports fly in a bevy of Engineers to Sardinia and Sicily, while bombers fly in supplies. Allied tactical air forces concentrate on wrecking the Italian rail net in the toe. Both ETO strat air forces are called up and, with reinforced ETO tactical air units, do moderate damage to the French rail net. By the end of the turn the Allies have divisions formed on both Sicily and Sardinia, and have stationed fighters on both islands. All Allied beachheads are unisolated and will be in supply at the start of July II. In neither place are the Axis in any position to counter-attack.

Analysis

So far both sides seem to be progressing as planned, though the Axis would like to have gotten most of those Italian divisions from Sardinia to Corsica. With both sides playing it very safe there have been no losses to speak of.

 

August 1943 – the Empire strikes back

Historical: Messina falls, Sicily occupied

To my, semi-concealed, delight the LSSAH division pops into existence in Palermo – up to full strength with the plethora of Armour RPs saved from destruction in Africa. Carrying on the Axis strategy of “hitting ’em on the beaches”, it and an Italian tank regiment (with the help of the Strat reserve fighter cover) burst through the egg-shell defence covering Trapani (at 3532) vaping another infantry division, then run amok through the “little people” building the airfields and repairing the ports. OK, so this wasn’t part of the Allied Cunning Plan, but if we were able to cut off Leibstandarte’s retreat, it would be a great scalp to get. Derek had even done the decent thing and broken it down into bite-size portions in the exploit phase.

However, the Allied turn was a disappointment. Deliberately looking for the exchanges with low-odds attacks, we ‘unluckily’ rolled high and they escaped with DRs. Further consolidation secures the beachheads from all but the heaviest Axis attack.

But the focus has shifted again and by early August, the Brits, bolstered by heavy reinforcements from England, are ready to rumble again. Sardinia is only lightly held, and with heavy fighter top-cover, the landings proceeded like clockwork. Beachheads are established to the east (2008) and west (2010, 2111 & Sant’Antiocho) of Cagliari, just beyond its Danger Zone. This is not to say there wasn’t opposition – indeed the Axis flew a lot of missions, but consequently, ° of their invaluable anti-shipping bombers are now out of action.

The Axis Aug II turn is pretty quiet – there is little to be done about the landings in Sardinia, and with the Americans well ensconced in Sicily, the Axis forces fall back to the northern coast railroad, keeping Palermo supplied. In their turn, the Americans overrun a small Italian stack near Caltanissetta (3929) and strike out eastward. A bit of luck and some hefty ground support pushes the defenders out of Catania, whose fall signals the death knell for Italian Malta – it’s now unsupplied without access to the east coast supply run. The LSSAH regiments have again hidden themselves well, in fully armoured stacks in the rough. 1st Armoured swings north-east smashing through some Italians to hook round Mt Etna and haul up beside Messina and the cadred HG. This cuts the coastal railroad, but it needs a Big Effort from the remaining Allied bombers to close the Palermo port down and leave the LSSAH assets out of supply.

In Sardinia, despite harassment from Marseilles bombers, the Canadians and Brits surround Cagliari. With engineers and NGS thrown in, a 5:1 isn’t too much of a stretch, and the city falls. Monty breathes a sigh of relief as regular supply floods in through the liberated port. A major construction program already has 4 airfields in the Sardinian south, so the island looks well secured, as long as we can prevent the units in the north escaping from the battered minor ports.

Throughout the adventures in the Med, the dozen fighters left in Britain, combined with the partisans and the ETO Strat forces have been leaving their marks all over north and central France. Only a third of the original forces are left in England now.

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?

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.

 

July 1944 – Sicily Invasion and Counterattack

July 1944 – Sicily Invasion and Counterattack

Historical: Sicily invaded by US (south coast) & British (east coast); Mussolini ousted

With Derek leaving the west basically empty, and with a Jagdgeschwader based out of Messina, Operation Husky opened with a lone Dakota air-dropping the 509th Para battalion into an empty Marsala. But, still inexperienced, they land heavily and failed to take the port – DRAT! Inauspicious omens! This, of course, immediately set of the alarm bells in Palermo, and the garrison quickly fell out to bolster the defences around Messina and Palermo.

After first shooing off the 109s in Messina, the US invasion fleets hove into view. The two areas selected for invasion were the western tip centred on Trapani, and the southern coast around Agrigento and Licata. Because of the lack of range of good fighter cover, these were the only viable options without slipping within range of the Axis submarines. The Axis threw every bomber they could at the fleets, and despite the fighter and carrier cover, a good half-dozen hits were inflicted – including an irritating trend of singling out the divisional HQs for special treatment (3 out of 5 units hit over the next few turns were on the HQs!). However, despite that, the boys got ashore, pushed aside the coastal defenders with the assistance of the other para drops and established nominal 15pt+ beachheads.

Meanwhile, the Brits formed outside of Tripoli with their full strength and gave them ‘what for’. The dice gods played along, and gave us our 50:50 roll, forcing an impossible retreat from the city. This released the Poms for their Med duties, though they had to scamper north for 2 turns by plane, train or boat to get to any usable ports. The Med timetable being behind schedule was the last straw needed to cancel plans for a major ’43 invasion of northern France. Thus Britain started being emptied of any troops of consequence – including the (ex) Home Fleets.

Reasoning that the best chance to get at the Allies is before they can build up their shore-strength, Derek assembles a large stack in Sicily built around the Hermann Göring division. Getting a long run-up from Messina, it slams into the unarmoured flank of the Americans at Licata for an HX, cadreing the HG and (with the aid of a pesky coastal division) destroying the 3rd Division lock, stock and 2 smoking barrels. Also, despite solid Allied CAP over the southern ports, 2 of the remaining 3 are bombed out. A Palermo Pest division scuttles out to isolate the southern coast forces from the one remaining supply port at Trapani.

In the July II Allied turn, the laborious build-up proceeds: the 2nd Armoured, and rebuilt 1st Armoured HQ land and assist with re-opening the link between Trapani, Marsala and Agrigento – better to be safe, with un-isolated troops, than to push on to disaster. (I wish I could heed that advice later!!)

Oct 43 II

Mud in zone D, clear in E. Med Calm, Atlantic Rough.

Axis Player Turn

Italy surrenders on the first roll. All Axis units on Corsica and Elba are isolated. All Italians except a 0-1-6 Cons III on Sardinia (left behind to finish destroying the port of Ajaccio) and a 1-3-6 Lt AA X rearguard at Galipoli. The Italian fleet mostly goes over to the Allies, but then suffers Nazi Yahtzee dice and a great deal of it scuttles. German forces scurry around like cockroaches to man port defenses and get as far away from the Allies as possible. Strong Panzer and Panzer Grenadier divisions hold a line in along the 31XX hexrow attempting to hold the British on the toe for one more turn while their non-c/m brothers make for the first fortified line north of Napoli. Air forces position themselves to attack the remnants of the Italian fleet when it attempts defect. (The SF rules on this are a bit, shall we say, unclear, so I muddled through in true Royal Navy fashion).

When the Italians tried to defect (move to an Allied port) they first moved at night. There were 10 NTs and 5 points of TF left and the Luftwaffe attempted to naval patrol off the east coast of Corsica, well within range of many Allied fighters. Two NTs were sunk. Allied air losses were 1 RAF Spit9 eliminated and another aborted, a USAAF P-40 aborted. The Axis lost 1 RSI MC.205V eliminated and 2 Luftwaffe Ju88A4 aborted. Several naval patrols failed to make contact. The Italians move to Alexandria. Germany captures 4 points of TF and 2 NT. 267 AF of Italians are disarmed, netting 26.7 Inf RP. Those were all on-map. I still don’t know what to do with the Italians in garrison – do they get disarmed and count for replacements, or don’t they? Italian units that stay loyal to the Axis are: 1x 2-5 Para, 1x 2-8 Para-Inf, 1x 1-2-6 Inf (CCNN).

German transport planes are able to get into Corsica and retrieve the 8-6 Inf XX and several ants – Allied fighters are tied down defending the Italian fleet. These units will come in handy, very handy. The Axis is woefully short on units to garrison Italian cities, and the rail net is a wreck, so little help is expected from France short of a massive airlift.

Allied Player Turn

Three British corps nail German rearguard at 26/3216 with a 7:1 -3 attack (terrain, 1/2 AECA, full ATEC). LSSAH is cadred! US/British forces capture Btindisi intact (rolled a 6 on port destruction). British/French forces can’t catch the fleeing non-c/m units north of the German rearguard.

90th SS PzGren cadre is eliminated (isolated) on Corsica and Allied troops advance adjacent to Bastia and Calvi. The 44 HuD Inf XX is cut off and weak German forces remain in Calvi and Bastia.

More damage to the French, Belgian, Dutch, German and Italian rail nets. Very few repairs are getting done. Multiple cuts on each rail line block movement across the French-German frontier and along the North-South rail lines in Italy. Rail lines in France south of Paris and in Northern Italy are mostly functioning, but for how long?

 

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.

 

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.

 

Sep I 44

Weather is clear everywhere, sea zones are calm.

Axis Player-turn

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

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

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

Allied Player-Turn

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

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

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

Total German losses for the turn are 70 DF.

Comments

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

 

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