The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Tag: War in the Desert (page 1 of 5)

Jan 1942

Jan I

Allied – The chase begins as the infantry marches out towards Matruh, halting just short of the town. The 1st SA XX is sent to the NE to maintain garrison requirements.

Axis – Various units in the replacement pool are scrapped to help rebuild Italy’s shattered forces. The 21st Pz is rebuilt from cadre and various other German and Italian units appear in towns in Cyrencia. The retreat continues through to Halafaya where a fort is built south of Bardia. Over Malta bombs continue to fall, maintaining previous damage levels.

Jan II

Allied – Repairs begin on the Matruh railway while other engineers construct airfields to support the advance of the Desert Air Force. Wellington bombers with Beaufighter escort attack Tobruk. Matruh and Sidi Barrani are retaken by advancing Allied infantry and armour. At Sidi Barrani, the body of the Italian CinC is found, wrapped in an Italian flag, his Barretta side arm still pressed to his temple. He is buried with full military honours by the beach overlooking the sea towards his homeland.

German – The Italian infantry is sent to Tobruk. The remaining mobile forces remain at Halafaya. From his tactical HQ, three miles in front of the leading Axis positions, the new German commander swears he will not rest until the British are driven from Egypt and a new world order is imposed on the region. There will be no retreats, no defeats, only ever lasting glory and victory etc etc etc……. To show his seriousness, Malta is struck five times by the mighty bomber fleet from Sicily and the counters for the Italian Special Ops are placed on the map next to Malta in a noticeable manner. To continue the psychological warfare, the 4 infantry XXs and odds and sods of the 5th Army in Tripoli are advanced to the Tunisian border. Supplies are landed in Tripoli and moved to join them. Whatever this new commander has planned, it obviously seems to lie westwards towards the Atlantic instead of east towards the Nile. Hmmm.

 

Apr I 1943

Allies:
Algeria – Clear skies allow the massive air armada to be unleashed onto the
Axis rear areas and in ground support for the latest and last offensive for
the campaign. Many airfields are strafed and bombed but the Luftwaffe
fighters take a heavy toll on the USAAF P-400s. Four of these groups are
butchered in mid-air or shredded by airfield AA defences. The Allied Air
Commander demands an enquiry. From here on in, the allies know they must
break the axis or face defeat. The US forces in the south battle zone
attack the 90th PG and 15th Pz XXs. Axis AA fire is weak and ineffective
with the USAAF dominating the skies. Despite overwhelming numbers, the
attack fails in the face of anti-tank fire and harsh terrain. (4:1 +2 AECD,
-4 ATEC, -1 rough = AS) In the middle of the front the French and British
odds and sods, with heavy air support try and hammer the stoic 2nd Pz and
131 Centauro XX’s, but the Axis easily see of the piffling threat (4:1 -2
AECD = AS) North along the line, the British battle the Italians to gain
Cherchell. The British infantry rename the town after their political
leader as an added spur to win the battle. After heavy hand to hand combat,
the town is seized and the battered defenders withdraw (3:1 -1 rough = EX)
This battle is the only success for the Allied Commander along the line as
the US Armour attack on the airfield south of Boughari is beaten off by the
Luftwaffe soldiers of the General Goering Regiment and AA gunners of the HG
III (with attached Whermacht riff raff). (1:3 +3 AECA -4 ATEC = AR)
Recognising more strength is needed to take Boughari, motorised units
quickly join the 1st Arm XX HQ Task Force.

Tunisia – In the sky over Gabes, the biggest air battle of the campaign to
date erupts as 1000 allied planes attempt to escort or bomb the Gabes Gap.
350 Axis interceptors try and defend the skies, loses are heavy on both
sides, but the Axis Commander is pale when he receives the casualty list
from his staff. With ongoing loses of this amount, he will soon be
unprotected in the air.

German:
Fearful of Allied paratroopers, the Germans position their own
paratroopers at Setif, with Italian Glider troops and Engineers landing
also. With the line bowing at Cherchell, replacements are positioned around
the town, the arrival of the criminals of the 999 unit putting the wind up
the tommies in the trenches opposite. At Boughari, the local commander
takes the attack to the Americans and drives them further away from the
airfield (3:1 -2 AECD = DR) The late arriving HG Panzer battalion is
greeted with jeers and raspberries by the victorious foot sloggers. The
15th Panzer is withdrawn from the line and sent to Cherchell.

Apr II 1943

Allies:
Tunisia – Another offensive is launched on the Gabes Gap, again the results
are a stalemate with the 8th Army failing to break through. Again air craft
losses are heavy on both sides.

Algeria – The British drive into Miliana, pushing ahead of them the fleeing
334th XX and attached Italian odds and sods. (4:1 -1 rough +2 AECA = DR)
The Americans drive in hard against the 90th PG XX and 102 Hvy AA III and
push it back from the line. (4:1 -2 ATEC, +2 AECA -1 Rough = DR) The
German CinC is beginning to see cracks appear in the Algerian defences…..

German:
Sealed orders arrive from Berchtesgarten. “Hello Rupert, the view
from my balcony is wunderbar! I can see into the back yard of Herr Goebels.
He’s such a funny chap, limping about and all. I think you’ve wasted enough
time splashing about in the sea off Bizerte, please pull your finger out and
give the home population a nice victory in the desert to take their minds
off Stalingrad. Cheerio, Adolf. PS – Eva says hi.”

With such steely orders, the German CinC issues the command for a
counterattack! “Operation Kick the yanks about for a bit” is launched.

Algeria – Taking advantage of the US Army’s greenness in tactics in the
desert, the Italian 131, 2nd Pz and 90th PG slam into the battlegroup based
on the 3rd US XX. Despite lots of tanks, artillery and other bits and
pieces, the Axis catch the division with its pants down and administer a
firm mugging. (2:1 +2 tac roll, +3 AECA, -2 ATEC = DH) Swinging south
through the Axis rear areas, the HG Battlegroup is joined by the 15th Pz XX
who helps the Luftwaffe to smash the 1st Arm XX HQ Task Force. The American
tanks are punctured by superior fire power and tactics and are left at the
end of the battle a greasy stain in the highlands. (3:1 -4 ATEC, +3 AECA =
HX) Following from this battle, the 15th Pz XX swings back into the line
skirting the mountain range overlooking the Cheliff valley. A tidy pile of
green gathers in the replacement pool.

Tunisia – The Infantry units attacking the Gabes Gap are surprised by the
sound of engines revving up from behind the dug in Axis positions. Suddenly
the tanks that have been waiting for the past few months facing the 8th Army
are allowed once more onto the attack, re-living their glory days of 1941.
The Luftwaffe and Italian air force throw in massive air support, catching
the Allied Desert Air Force off guard – only the Hurricane Mk IIs can
intercept! AA fire from the Allies fails and the Allied soldiers are beaten
badly, with no loss to the Axis who return to their fortifications. (2:1 +3
AECA = DE) The Axis CinC offers the Allied CinC a cup of tea to make him
feel better.

Apr 1941

Apr I

British – A colonial construction unit and Australian engineers begin construction of forts at Halafaya (a sure sign of impending doom commented the Italian commander) while the 3rd Arm X destroyed the airfield at Derna. More bombing raids are conducted on Bengasi – this time German Me 110Ds intercept and sent one Blen 4 spiralling out of control and on fire into the Abort box. The other gets through and causes more damage to Bengasi.

Axis – At Vichy in France, Marshal Petain summons the German Ambassador to a meeting. Citing numerous British outrages against France, he offers the full and unqualified support of Vichy forces operating in the Levant region. Germany and their Italian allies may operate in and out of Syria and Lebanon without restriction, and furthermore, if needed, may base troops in the region to support any efforts in Iraq and Iran. British outrage is loud and prolonged and authorisation is given from Whitehall to CinC Middle east to take any and all measures to crush this threat to British control over the Near East. The CinC ME is heard to mutter to the Commander Western Desert Field Forces “With what shall I crush this threat?!” (Rolled snake eyes for full Levant participation, a pleasant experience as its the first time this has happened for me in WitD). In the highlands west of Derna, British tank units are awoken at dawn by the low throb of advancing enemy tanks. The Italians and the attached 21 Pz XX hit the defenders hard, pushing them back in disarray. (3:1 -1 terrain = DR)

In exploitation, the 21 Pz XX runs around the southern flank of the British force to seize Derna and heads towards Ain el Gazala.

Apr II

British – Mass panic breaks out amongst the leading allied troops. The units based on the 7th Arm XX attack 21 Pz XX from the east while the AS 7th XX and odds and sods attacks out of Tobruk from the west. The panzers stand fast against this threat and turn aside the weak allied thrust. (3:2, -4 ATEC, +2 AECA = AS) Elsewhere the 4th Indian cadre returns from Ethiopia and is railed to Matruh while a transport unit heads to Palestine where much shouting and swearing is going on between border guards and the French.

Axis – The Italian CinC orders a massive attack on those units based on the 7th Arm XX surrounded west of Gazala. In a fierce battle, the plucky British give their best before being swallowed up by the mass of German armour and Italian tankettes. The Ariete XX is roughly handled and the 10B III lost while the whole British force goes in the bag – being isolated from other British units, not one tank or soldier is able to escape to friendly lines (No special RPs generated – aww shucks!) (3:1 AECA/AECD cancels each other = HX)

In a follow on from the successful attack, the 21 Pz and 102 Trento XXs with mechanised/motorised odds and sods swing south to south of Tobruk and glare threateningly at Halafaya.

 

Oct I 1942

Allied:
Libya – The 8th Army moves up to the new Axis line while behind them
supplies are rushed forward. In the Delta numerous forces are rebuilt from
the replacement pool and hurried along by all available means towards
Tripoli.

Algeria – British units slip through gaps in the Axis line to rejoin the
thin blue line west of the capital. Overhead RAAF and USAAF Heavy Bombers
with RAF and SAAF Mediums begin a series of round the clock raids on the
port facilities of Algiers, shattering the docks with their massive payloads
and impervious to the small amounts of AA in the area. (5 hits – I hate the
Allied Strategic Bombing strength!)

German:
Libya/Algeria – The 5th Pz XX is rebuilt to full strength along with the
Ariete XX. The 25th It Infantry XX is rebuilt and rushed into Algeria.
Supplies are broken up to provide resources for more forts and airfields.
With this limitation on them, the Axis are unable to attack anywhere. Ships
begin arriving in Algiers as a supply terminal is opened up here. The 131
Armoured XX finally completes grouping its separate elements together and
becomes a new worry for the Allies to deal with.

Oct II 1942

Allied:
Libya – The Allies show there mettle once again attacking the western
extremity of the Zem Zem Wadi defence line. In a brave decision, the Air
Commander Desert Air Force commits unescorted bombers and attack craft at
long range to try and up the chances of a break through. The Luftwaffe have
a field day as 3 Wellington bomber air units are slaughtered by fighter
interception. Only one A-30 gets through (interceptor rolled a 12) to aid
the infantry attack on the Armoured defenders. The German CinC is surprised
when news from the front arrives – all of it bad. The Allies have broken
through! (3:1 -2 AECD = HX) The follow on tanks trundle across the hills
towards Tripoli while Free French units mounted in trucks scoot along
towards the coast.

Algeria – British infantry units spread themselves across the line to give support to
the French. A couple of Brigades convert to motorised units to allow
formation of the 8th Armoured XX. Again bombers attack Algiers inflicting
severe damage on the port. An Italian Mc 202 is destroyed trying to take on
a B24-D5.

German:
Libya – Units fall back to the temporary stop line of Homs. As unusual they
are spread out from arsehole to breakfast looking very messy and vulnerable
to an Allied attack. Italian administration authorities from Tripoli are
intermixed with these forces with the city abandoned. No damage to the port
could be done due to the rushed nature of the retreat.

Algeria – The last of the hoarded supplies are used to attack the British
west of Algiers. By careful movement of Italian infantry to the town of
Medea, all retreat paths are blocked – all that is needed to inflict a
serious loss on the British is a DR. Despite brave efforts by the French
fighters to block Axis air support (all the French fgts are killed by
superior German aircraft) the British are forced back (2:1 = DR) and the
remnants struggle back westwards. The motorised sections of the Axis
advance to just short of Orleansville.

Feb 1942

Feb I

Allied – Replacements are formed up back in the Delta and marched to join the main front. Supplies are trucked to the units at Halafaya who obviously need them the most. German – Reinforcements arriving from Italy are sent to Tripoli. The crucifixion of Malta continues – 3 hits for no losses in Axis aircraft.

Feb II

Allies: The might and power of the British is unleashed in a massive front wide offensive. Along the coast, Kiwi, Aussie and British Infantry Divisions and the remnants of the 5th Indian attached push through the ZoC of the 2nd Pz and 101 Mech (rebuilt and hurried into the line). These forces smash into the Halafaya “Von Wilhelm” Line and are stopped dead by the defenders. (2:1 -1 fort = AS) Above the escarpment the majority of the 8th Army crashes head long into the motorised and mechanised Axis forces. Fighting is fierce and prolonged, but ends in a stalemate with the both sides exhausted. (2:1 +1 AECA, -3 ATEC = AS) In the south, along the frontier, the Australian 8th XX, with two SA and one Aussie recon battalions swing deep into the desert to be south of the main defence line. For some unknown reason, the 1st Dragoon regiment clatters off in its dinky armoured cars to the Siwa Oasis. The German CinC is perplexed – what is this strange tactical movement for?

In the follow up phase, the Aust 8th is joined by the 7th Arm XX HQ and a motorised 7th Inf X. “I say old chap”, asks the Major General commanding 7th Arm XX, “you haven’t seen my tanks around here have you?”

German: The front line is shortened with the mechanised Axis forces doubling back to slam into the 8th Aust XX and HQ 7th Arm XX. The exposed Allies are forced back in a wonderful victory showing true Axis domination of the region. (2:1 -1 AECD, +3 AECA = DR) The commander 7th Arm XX says “If I’d had my tanks there, none of these shenanigans would have happened!”

To emphasise the ability of the Axis, the 15th Pz Cdr beetles down the road to Oasis di Giarabub and send signals in clear to the 1st dragoons – “We’re coming to get yooouuu!”.

Apr 1942

Apr I

Allied:  The attack continues, British and Commonwealth units flood across the map. A lonely Italian Armoured Battalion tries valiantly to stem the flow before Derna but is swept up by the Allies with barely a pause in their march. South of Ain el Gazala, the 22C Art III is attacked by Greeks and Poles and disappears from the desert into the PoW cages. (6:1 = DE) In the exploitation phase the Allies ooze around the defenders of Derna towards Benghasi.

German:  In the Desert the retreat continues towards Aghelia. Benghasi port is destroyed and the 15th Pz Cdr scurries along the coast to Tripoli. To show he is not cowed or defeated by the loss of eastern Libya, the German CinC launches his invasion of Malta. A German paratrooper regiment and Italian glider regiment lands amongst the 1st Malta *X defending west of Valletta, who, as they turn inwards to deal with this threat, are surprised by the mass landings of Italian Infantry along the shoreline. Air power is lent in heavy amounts from the LW and Italian Air Force. Despite their advantage in position, the overwhelming numbers and airsupport crush the defenders to the delight of Rome and Berlin. (5:1 -1 rough = DE). The 3 Malta *X in Gozo is now cut off from Valletta.

Apr II

Allied:  Benghasi is snapped up by advancing Allied units. At Malta, the garrison commander blinks nervously like a bunny in the headlights of a truck and sits still, waiting his fate.

German:  Libya – The 5th Pz HQ reforms and advances to Aghelia where Italian infantry occupy the prepared fortifications. German Armoured and motorised forces retreat past Agedebia and pause, daring the allies to attack, confident they have temporarily outrun their supply lines.

Malta – Italian units, specially selected and exhaustively trained for months, execute their attack on the city of Valletta. With overwhelming air support, the port falls to the Italians in an orgy of bloodletting and destruction. (6:1 – fort =DE) The Central Mediterranean is now an Italian pond! From his transportable HQ, currently a caravan bouncing along the coast road past Sirte, nefarious laughter is heard from the CinC.

France – Vichy. Marshall Petain is summoned to a meeting with Hitler at Paris. The meeting is quick and simple. France is to be no more! its failure to defend its interests in Syria in 1941 have indicated that it lacks any ability to operate outside of total National Socialist domination. As they speak German and Italian units occupy the rump state in mainland Europe. The Marshall is escorted from the meeting by the Gestapo. Across the North African colonies an alert goes out. Unfortunately only in Casablanca is the alert received, where the order is given to round up the usual suspects.

Tunisia – At Bizerte, French infantrymen and AA crews sleepily man their guns in the early dawn light. Since the fall of France a couple of years ago, there has been little to occupy the North African Garrison. The crews are surprised to hear the low throb of engines – perhaps some air units flying in from Algeria? But wait, these planes appear to be arriving from the north-east. The planes begin to disgorge small figures that blossom into parachutes, behind them swoop in bombers that attack the barracks of the defenders. Germany and Italy has violated the neutrality of France! Sacre bleu! In a daring operation, two parachute IIIs seize Bizerte in a sudden coup de main. AA fire is ineffective. The paratroopers land with no disruption. (8:1, -1 fort = DE) Other Italian bombers fly into Algeria and attempt to isolate Tunisia from the remainder of North Africa. The rail lines around Constantine are hammered repeatedly but only two hits are made, allowing a convoluted route for reinforcements to reach Tunis. Further south the Italian 5th Army (yes, it still exists having sat outside Tripoli since Dec 1940) crosses the border and races north, the newly rebuilt 15th Pz XX in the van. At Gabes the Pz XX breaks down and the Panzer III heads to Souza while the 310th Mot III heads across the Algerian border towards Tebessa. In Sicily, units of the Italian Special Operations Group wait patiently for transportation to Bizerte.

Letter from Tripoli

“Dear Il Duce,

As requested, I have invaded Egypt and continue to punish the impudent British for not liking us. Fancy not realising we too deserve a North African Empire – even at their expense!!!!

There has been a slight hiccup in operations, mainly due to poor showing by the rabble I was forced to leave behind during my tactical redeployment from Sidi Barrani and the treacherous British attack on Tobruk and Bardia. I assure you it is almost impossible to fight a campaign in such trying conditions when the enemy refuses to let his intentions be known. Thankfully the replacements you have so wisely sent to me has redressed the balance, and allowed me to win the strategically brilliant battle of Barce and I am now driving forcefully to Tobruk and the border again and expect to be in Cairo within two months.

The news from the Levant is good as this will surely draw off some British troops during my triumphant drive to the Nile. The Germans have had less success in Iraq, but then we know what they’re like when it comes to diplomacy….

The Germans currently under my command have played some small part in my victory over the British last month, it would be churlish of me not to recognise their contribution, but they are soooo boorish – always wanting to attack, training and planning, leaving no time for enjoyment. Please don’t send anymore or they’ll want to actually participate in my staff conferences!

I will write soon outlining my triumphs in your name in Egypt. Tell Duc d’Aosta I’ll be there soon.

Fondest regards to Clara,

Marshall Roberto.”

 

Nov I 1942

Allies:
Libya – Mechanised units beat into the ground Italian Garrison units who
have formed the unenviable rearguard. Following on from this they leap
forward and capture an unguarded supply depot to the west of Tripoli. Some
Axis units are pocketed around Tripoli. French *Xs and 1st Australian Arm
XX wash off the desert sand at the coast 32 miles west of the city.

Algeria – The Allied CinC announces the arrival of 1st British Army and
attached US military units at Oran and minor ports along the coast and
around Morocco. These units quickly spring forward to join some Frenchmen
at Tenes. The shattered cadres of the British forces retreat westwards
conceding much ground to the Germans. A crisis has broken out in Algeria
but the newly arrived Allied forces should give sufficient strength to hold
the Axis. Maybe.

German:
Libya – With the port still in their hands, some Italian units escape by sea
to Sfax from Tripoli. The remainder try and flee towards Tunisia.

Algeria – An unsupplied attack is launched on the Casablanca and Alger XXs
by German armour with Italian forces providing blocking positions. The luck
of the brave is with the Axis commander as he pulls off this jammy attack
and forces the French to retreat – into the arms of the waiting Italians who
escort them off to the labour camps in Tunisia. Rushing forward to gain as
much ground as possible, the Axis motorised units advance to contact the
British 78th XX and the battlegroups of the US 1st and 3rd XXs.

Comment to date:

The salad days in Algeria seem to be coming to an end.
The only good thing is the Allies are going to be hampered by the weather in
any counter attack the launch in the region which should mean a couple of
boring months coming up outside Algeria. Numerically I’m about at my
strongest now while the Allies will only get bigger, badder and meaner. In
Libya and Tunisia I’m pinning all my hopes on setting up a strong defence
line at Gabes until the Australian XX disappear in January. From this time
period on the 8th Army should start getting weaker and if – and this is a
big if – I can start to strip some of the Pz units I’m planning on assigning
to this area, I might be able to block the Allies in the Atlas Mountains and
hold Tunisia until May 43.

Nov II 1942

Allies.
Algeria – Heavy Bombers lift off from their bases at Gibraltar and in a
massive show of force blow to pieces the port of Bougie, leaving it a
scarred, smoking rubble. Axis logistic officials bemoan the lack of
effective AA support for the North African ports. Marching along happily,
the regiments of the US Army head towards the frontline while their comrades
in the British 1st Army move along the coast road to block the Germans. The
US soldiers are shocked when the bedraggled remnants of the British Infantry
units arrive piecemeal from the east. The sorry state of the British alerts
the Americans that this is no easy fight. The British 8th Armoured XX Cadre
arrives at Mostagnem.

Libya – Tripoli is fully invested by the 8th Army and armoured forces cross
the Tunisian Border, overrunning the Italian 5th Army Construction unit and
seizing Medenine. The Allied commander trumpets his intention via the BBC
Home Service to be in Tunis by Christmas. The capture of Tripoli results in
a vote of thanks from the House of Commons.

German.
Tunisia – The tactical withdrawal to the Gabes Gap continues, the German
CinC congratulates his Panzer units on such a masterful operation. His
Italian Aide-de-camp mentions that several slow moving Italian units area
still not in position at the Gabes Gap. The German CinC shrugs and mentions
something about “Traffic Calming techniques in the desert”. In the stony
desert south of Gabes, the Italian troops struggle to gain the
fortifications while behind them in the distance the tanks of the Australian
and South African 1st Armoured XXs throw up dust clouds……

Algeria – Vital supplies are rushed forward to the line where more Axis
forces move into position. The battle hardened Germans and Italians conduct
nightly probes on the newly arrived US troops, inducing some panic and
showing up severe tactical problems at a command and control level. The
German CinC toys with the idea of a swift attack on the yanks but decides to
keep that card up his sleeve for a short time. Especially when he hears on
the canvas awning of his tactical HQ caravan the sound of falling rain. The
wet season has begun!

Letter from Benghazi

To: OKH

From: Field Commander Afrika

Subject: The Battle for North African Domination.

Send more tanks, planes and men. With the Italian buffoon out of the way, I have confidence I can prevent any more debacles such as the Christmas day rout at Alamein. First I must secure my rear – namely Malta and remove that potential thorn – Vichy North Africa. It is obvious that the Americans will become involved soon, but I must hold them as far from Tunisia as I can – ideally Casablanca – and the time to strike against the French is fast approaching. Once this is done I can turn back to Egypt and sweep the desert clean. But I must have more tanks and planes. Four Panzer Divisions is not enough!

Your servant,

General Rupert Von Wilhelms

Note: Following discussion at length with the Commander Middle East, he wishes the following press communique issued via the BBC Home Service.

“The following statement is incorrect: ‘British CinC releases a communique that he has drawn a line in the sand and the enemy shall not cross it. There is much flag waving and cheering in Westminster at this news.’ The Commander Middle East is an Australian! Damn your eyes, sir, for such a slur on the fine fighting qualities of the Middle East Command!”

 

May I 1943

Allied:
A Royal Commission is called for in the House of Lords! Congress demands
the resignation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff! Local unit commanders demand
increased beer ration!

Algeria – The US 1st Armoured is rebuilt and thrown back into battle. US
units attempt to pummel the 2nd Pz and 131 XX’s. The OSS Sage Mech unit is
used again but a faulty map ends up with them shelling a local Chinese
restaurant by mistake, giving their position away to German tanks who blow
them to oblivion (rolled F* on success table). Massive Axis AT causes the
attack to go awry and the US troops are forced to retreat again from their
positions. (3:1 -4 ATEC, -1 Rough, +3 AECA = AR) Along the coast the
British 6th Armoured and 44HC XXs fail to dislodge the defenders and are
paused in their attack (2:1 +2 AECA, -1 AECD, -1 rough = AS) South of this
attack, the 4th Mixed, 51st XXs and odds and sods force back the 334th XX
and Italian odds and sods. (3:1 +1 AECA, -1 rough = DR) South again from
here, the 46th, 78th XX, 5th Cdr and various units hit a mixture of Axis
forces, mainly regiments and brigades. This attack succeeds and destroys
them, but for the loss of the 5th Cdr and the 10th infantry X. (2:1 = HX)

Tunisia – Bitter at the loss of so many comrades, the remaining 8th Army
infantry gets to grip with the Axis defenders. Ignoring minefields which
take so many lives, ignoring barbed wire which holds up the attacks and
channels them into fire lanes, ignoring the aircraft overhead, the infantry
at last break the western sector of the Axis defence zone, although the cost
is heavy (2:1 -1 fort = EX) Immediately following the news of the gap in
the line, the numerous British mechanised and motorised forces push past the
remaining defenders to exploit through. Several airfields built close to
the Gabes Gap are seized and overrun – catching Me 109s on the ground. The
German CinC is heartbroken. It now appears with this battle and
breakthrough that a withdrawal from Gabes is needed.

German:
Tunisia – A general retreat is ordered. Units fall back to Sfax and
Kasserine. A couple of units breakdown and spreadout to try and slow any
rapid allied advance. As usual, the Italians are left as speed bumps.
Planes redeploy north towards Tunis.

Algeria – The lines are pulled back with the 90th PG XX and 2nd Pz XX
hurried towards Tunisia. This may have the effect of fatally weakening the
Algeria defences, only time will tell…….

May II 1943

Allied:
Tunisia – Several units are hastily rebuilt while the remaining 8th Army
forces attack northwards, breaking the thin Axis line in numerous places.
Tebessa is taken by the 1st HCR and 1st Dragoon recon units. Nearby at
Kasserine, several armoured brigades smash into the Italian 17th and 22nd
XXs with 9B Mot III attached. The superior armour might destroy the
defenders. (3:1 +3 AECA, -1 Rough = DE) The Greek Motorised Mountain
Brigade swings through Kairoun to seize Sousse and overuns an Axis airbase,
destroying three air wings caught on the ground there. The Indian, French
and British Infantry catch the Ariete Division and through superior numbers
destroy it as a fighting force. (4:1 -2 AECD = EX) At Sfax, the Allies
main armour body hits the Italian 1st XX out of the woods they are
defending. (3:1 +3 AECA, -1 woods = DR) With his line a smoking ruin, the
German commander can only shake his head and think what will happen in the
exploitation phase……

Algeria – The loss of the 90th PG and 2nd Pz XXs seems to have fatally
weakened the Axis defences. The US hits the 164 LA XX and 165 III, despite
Luftwaffe DAS the Americans are too strong and the infantry units are
overwhelmed (7:1 -1 rough, +2 AECA = DE) At Marengo in the north, the
British try to drive out the 15th Pz and attached AA and Rocket support.
The Luftwaffe is unable to aid the defenders, hunted down by the RAF and
sent crashing into the ground. The result is good for the allies with the
15th Pz cadred and the town falling. (3:1 -2 AECD = EX) The importance of
this attack is underlined when it is realised that the advancing British
units now lay across the Axis retreat lines if the main attack east of
Cherchell is successful. The German commander watches fearfully as the
Allies prepare their battle. The main British forces, with the French in
support slam into the defenders. Again the RAF and USAAF dominate the skies
and there is no Axis air cover. The attack is a success and the retreating
axis defenders are snapped up into the bag. (3:1 -1 rough, -1 ATEC, +2 AECA
= HX) The advancing Allied forces are pleased to capture a supply depot
from the Germans, especially considering this round of battles has burnt up
all of the available supplies in Algeria.

Exploitation Phase:
Tunisia – An armoured brigade, 1 HCR and motorised artillery beetle along
unopposed through the Tunisian highlands to reach the outskirts of
Constantine where the local French population are setting up the bunting for
the liberation parade. Other Armoured units are forced to stop just short
of Bone. The 7th Armoured Division heads into Sousse, overrunning an
Italian AA unit on the way. This allows the Greeks in their truck to enter
an undefended Tunis, taking everyone by surprise and capturing a massive
supply depot at Enfadiville (2 AS captured, 2 blown up by surprised German
Logistics officers). The news is spread throughout the theatre by radio and
many celebrations are held. The House of Commons votes the Greek commander
the thanks of Parliament and King Constantine sends the order of St George
in the mail to all Greek soldiers.

Algeria – Unable to overrun the cadre of the 15th Panzer, a push is made by
motorised units to take Blide and Boufarik. In doing so another supply
depot is seized and the last Axis AS is captured. The weeping German CinC
is offered a cup of tea and a Tim Tam biscuit by the Allied CinC.

German:
The paratroopers in Setif are flown into Bizerte to man the fort
there. All remaining units in Tunisia are retreated towards the port for a
valiant last stand. Italian infantry once again….. yep, speed bumps by
positioning themselves west of Sousse. The 2nd Pz XX enters Constantine,
making the local mayor take down the bunting and put the fasces back up
again. The 1st CCNN (yep, still one of Mussolini’s bully boys around)
marches to reach Bone, but falls short of it. The 90th Light AA III and 23C
Artillery III sets up its defences in Philippville. The 90th PG XX breaks
down into sub-units to hold the line of prepared forts around Bougie and
Bordj bou Arreridj. Unfortunately it is now clear to the German CinC that
the withdrawal should have been made a month ago. Oh well, c’est la guerre
de papier. Retreating from the maelstrom in the west, the 131 Centauro XX
and 164 LA cadre try and reach the line but fall short.

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