Europa Games and Military History

Month: April 2000

October 1937

Oct I 37

Insurgent Player Turn.

The Atlantic clears. The Mov XX is converted to the 63rd XX. Another successful air raid on Madrid; bombers destroy an A-101. With the lines to the north stabilized, the units west of Madrid are slightly reinforced and attack more successfully (hex 2415 again), mauling a PA XXX, which did’nt get any ground support this time (5:1 -2 = DH).

Loyalist Player Turn.

The French border is closed again. Enough reserves have been built up to close the gap near Talavera de la Reina, but not enough units reach the area to launch a counter-attack. However, enough supply has been accumulated to attack the 7 Cas XXX at the important rail junction of Palencia. Despite the presence of DAS, the risky attack succeeds at considerable cost (2:1 0 = EX).

Oct II 37

Insurgent Player Turn.

Bad weather returns to the northern half of the Iberian peninsula (Zone D = Mud). Oddly, the Atlantic remains clear, but the Med experiences rough seas. The bad weather causes the Loyalists some supply problems in mountainous areas, but all Insurgent forces are in supply. The 81st XX is upgraded to the 84th.

The gap in the line at Palencia is plugged weakly. It is hoped that the mud will slow down any PA attempt to exploit the situation. Concentration on plugging the hole in the lines to the north forestall any follow-up to the success west of Madrid.

Another successful air raid on Madrid! Escorting Italian CR.32’s abort an I-15, while the bombers destroy a Po.540. The ridicule previously directed at Insurgent air units now seems uncalled for, as the PA air force has been reduced to 2 units. It should be noted however, that several Insurgent air units are still in the replacement boxes.

Loyalist Player Turn.

The French border reopens. The units west of Madrid are still not strong enough or well-supplied enough to counterattack, and the muddy weather prevents any attempt to follow up the success at Palencia.

Oct II/Nov I 1941

Oct II saw very little ground combat with the Russians losing six factors
and the Germans none.  A series of EX’s and HX’s in Nov I, however, saw the
Russians lose 48 factors, mainly infantry, and the Germans 44.  It is mud
everywhere right now, except in weather zone A where it is snow.  Here is the
breakdown by Army Group:

AGN: The Germans attacked the Russian Battleships in Kronstadt with a vengeance
Oct II and the Russian Fighter Command rose to the challenge only to lose
4 shot down and 6 aborted (out of 11) for a loss to the Germans of one
shot down.  The next turn, the Germans bombed the ships again in the face of
max flak and lost six bombers aborted and one shot down.  At the end of
all this, one battleship has 2 hits and the other one three.  On the ground,
the Germans picked up two more hexes as they slog towards Leningrad
and suffered two EXs on the way.

AGC: Rail repair units are working overtime to bring supply back to the spearheads
which are currently living off of numerous truck supply units.
The Germans attacked and pushed the Russians back from about four hexes
and had an EX and a HX in the process.

AGS: Not much as mud finally hit down south.  The Soviets abandoned Sevastopol,
but, on the whole the Germans were so far out of supply that they may
have to pull back.

In other words, not much happens in the mud.  :-)

Oct 1943 Revised – Invasion Corsica

October 1943 Revised – Invasion Corsica

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

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

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

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

September 1937

Sep I 37

Insurgent Player Turn.

All 3 CR.32’s are rebuilt, and the mixed “F” XX is formed. An air raid on Santander destroys an R-Z.

Loyalist Player Turn.

The R-Z and an I-15 are rebuilt. In contrast to recent successes in bombing airfield, raids this turn all fail badly. At Oviedo, a Nationalist CR.32 aborts an escorting I-16, and at Vallodolid, an Italian CR.32 aborts an I-15. AA fire at Vallodolid also aborts a SB-2. Both raids fail to score any hits.

Sep II 37

Insurgent Player Turn.

The Atlantic is rough this turn. The 102nd XX is formed and the 23 Mar X is upgraded to a division. Several other divisions are upgraded or converted to higher strengths (4 Lit to Lit, 1 Cas to 61, 2 Sor to 54, 2 Cas to 62, 6(Req) to 53).

An air raid on Madrid goes very well, as an Italian CR.32 kills an intercepting
I-16 and bombers destroy an R-Z. Troops west of Madrid belatedly launch their diversonary attack (hex 2415), but don’t accomplish much, partly due to Loyalist DAS, partly due to attacking a fortified position (4:1 -2 = AS).

Loyalist Player Turn.

The French border is reopened. An I-15 is rebuilt. An air raid on Oviedo gets mixed results. An escorting I-15 kill a Nationalist CR.32, but AA fire aborts an R-Z. (I realized about this time that I had forgotten the air replacement limits and rebuilt 2 PA air units the last turn. It didn’t really have any effect, since if I had only rebuilt 1 it would have been the I-15, and the R-Z was shot down again by flak before it ever took part in air combat or scored any bombing hits.)

October 1943 – Invasion Italy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sep 1943 – Race for Messina and Return to Malta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 1937

Aug I 37

Insurgent Player Turn.

The 3 PN XX and some non-divisional CVT units are rebuilt. The success of the PA in attacking with out attack supply has convinced the Insurgents that they must establish a shorter, more defensible front line. It is not clear how far to pull back. Eventually, a limited withdrawl to the line hex 1606-Valladolid-Medina del Campo-Adaja River is decided on. This will only marginally shorten the line but will put a fair portion of it behind rivers. Also, all front-line units will be able to reach this line this turn, which would not be true with a deeper withdrawl.

Loyalist Player Turn.

An I-15 is rebuilt. Some new supply is recieved. An air raid on Oveido manages to destroy a CVT SM-79 on the ground. A raid on Vallodolid is also successful, destroying a Nationalist Ro-37.

The arrival of new supply allows 3 attacks to be launched. The 3rd XX is attacked successfully (hex 1907) (4:1 0 =HX). Just to the south (hex 2007), DAS is unable to prevent the 1 Mad XXX from being pushed back; worse, Loyalist troops advancing after their successful attack on the 3rd XX manage to cut off most of the corps retreat (3:1 0 = DR) (ZOC kill: 83rd XX and non-divisional eliminated, 52nd XX cadred). DAS also fails to prevent a successful attack on the 7 Cas XXX (hex 1707) ( 4:1 0 = HX). These attacks do burn up all the attack supply recieved this turn.

Note: Many of the attacks made in the game have been made with only part of the units involved being in attack supply. The Loyalist attacks in late July are the only large battles in which the attacker has been entirely without attack supply. (Some small battles against single regiments or cities defended solely by their intrinsic garrisons haven’t given any need for the burning of attack supply.)

Aug II 37

Insurgent Player Turn.

The 152nd XX is formed. The front line is patched as well as possible, basically by pulling the section between Vallodolid and the Cordillera Santabrica back slightly.

Loyalist Player Turn.

An air raid on Vallodolid destroys the Mxt T unit on the ground. There is no more attack supply and no longer any good opportunities to launch any attacks without it.

Sept II 1941

The German Sept II turn is now done and this time the Russians lost 98 factors (mostly infantry, little if any armor) and the Germans lost none. The Russian AA/fighters aborted six germans in the South, aborted enough transports in the center to foil an attempted airdrop into the city (can we say St. Marie Eglise?) and shot down a German fighter and aborted two others
in the north. The action, as always by army group, was as follows:

AGN: two more hexes were gained in the slog towards Leningrad. The finns sat quietly waiting for Hango to surrender and the Russians to thin out their lines.

AGC: The pocket created by last turn’s breakthrough near Moscow was destroyed as a huge bulge was formed with it’s face deadset against the Moscow city limits. Lots and lots of Russian troops are defending the city, so no quick fall is forecast.

AGS: Karkov, Dnjepopetrovsk, and Zaporozhe all fell to German attacks as the panzer columes continued to push against little or no opposition. But, there is a solid line in the distance.