Now might be a good time to tie up some loose ends regarding the present state of the WW ME/“IraqCampaign” Scenario demonstration, which has ended its May II 41 game turn, with possibly a bonus extended play period due to an assumed No Collapse die roll per the Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse Table done in the May II 41 Axis initial phase. First, I must admit an error in computing the Dice Roll Modifiers used. I still believe it’s quite correct that the Allied player (who does this dice roll in the Axis initial phase) gets a +5 for this being the “first turn (only) that a supported Allied unit ” [eg., the 2-1-10* Mot Inf X Hab unit, then at 22A:2725, NE of Baghdad] “is adjacent to an Iraqi-owned Baghdad.” In addition, in our “IraqiCampaign” Scenario demonstration case, the Allied player also correctly gets a +1 for the Allied-owned dot city of Basra; and finally he gets an additional +1 “if a rail connection (per Rule 7A1) cannot be traced from an Axis-owned Baghdad to an Axis-owned dot city in Iraq.” However, in the rush of events I neglected to add a quite important additional Dice Roll Modifier, specifically a -1 “if an Axis air unit is inIraq.” And at the start of the May II 41 Axis initial phase there indeed was the Ger LW Mxd 2A3 type air unit based at Mosul (21A:3509), in Iraq. This additional Dice Roll Modifier would have amounted to a revised, or corrected +6 Dice Roll Modifier instead of the +7 Modifier stated in the earlier May II 41 Axis game report. But the results would have been the same: No Collapse, assuming a dice roll of 2.
However, in Europa wargaming of the Iraq campaign on the WitD Near East map group, as done using WW Rules, a No Collapse result in the Axis initial phase that the one time (only) big +5 dice roll modifier applies means that henceforth in the game the Iraqi campaign acquires a much more grim and enduring character, with perhaps no Iraqi collapse/surrender for quite awhile per Rule 38J5. Indeed, given the -1 Dice Roll Modifier stipulated “if an Axis air unit is in Iraq,” and assuming the usual two +1’s for the Allied-owned dot city of Basra and no rail connection traceable (per Rule 7A1) between an Iraqi-owned Baghdad and any other Iraqi-owned dot city, this means that until Baghdad is Allied-owned (fetching then a +6 Modifier) the Allied player need not waste time rolling on the Table, as the best he could get before capturing Baghdad is a 13: No Collapse.
Even the turn after Baghdad is Allied-owned, the Allied player might then be rolling with a +7 Modifier, thus still needing a dice roll of at least 7 to clinch an Iraqi Coup Collapse, thereby acquiring the desired Allied control of all Iraqi hexes not occupied by Axis forces or in uncontested Axis ZOCs. This acquisition of Iraqi hex ownership is needed to put a secure end to the Iraq campaign in the summer of 1941. So theIraqi campaign in a WW ME Campaign Scenario could become a long fight for the Allied player, including the necessary hex takeover of all important Iraqi city hexes and transportation lines. This is along with conducting a simultaneous Vichy Levant campaign and maybe dealing with Axis Intervention in Iraq per Rule 38J6, not to even mention wargaming against Rommel’s Axis Afrika Korps in the Western Desert, which likely menaces both a besieged Tobruch and the Allied Western Desert covering force in the Egyptian-Libyan border zone. Whew! Note that the Axis Conditional Reinforcement arrival of the LW Mxd 2A3 type air unit on the May 1 turn is probably an “historical,” or “basic” Grand Europa event. This includes a possible subsequent ‘historical” Iraqi Coup Collapse, per Optional Rule 38J5, and a final AxisIraq intervention “historical” Withdrawal, per Optional Rule 38J6, in WW Europa play each possibly occurring in sequence in the May II 41 Axis initial phase.
Back on March 18, in EA post #63310, I mentioned an article that said that “four trainloads of material [coming from Vichy France] crossed the border [the Vichy Levant/Iraq border] before the destruction of the bridge near Tel Kotchek put an end to rail traffic [of Axis/Vichy Levant war material going to aid CoupIraq]. Tel Kotchek is in Syria right at the border; this is certainly at 21A:3213, on the major rail line going from Istanbul to Baghdad, with two parts of this major rail line going through Syrian territory. Per Playfair, in his The Mediterranean and the Middle East, this appears to be a ground sabotage bombing.
Here are a couple of excerpts from I.S.O. Playfair’s The Mediterranean and Middle East, V. 2, from Chapter 9: The Revolt in Iraq, which might be of interest to some EA members:
“A [Nazi German] plan was made to set up a Fliegerfuhrer Irak, Colonel Werner Junck, with an initial force of fourteen Me. 110 fighters and seven He. 111 bombers from Fliegerkorps VIII in Greece, and various aircraft for transport purposes. Their main base would be Rhodes, whither a supply ship sailed from Athens on 13th May. Their first operation was to be against Habbaniya, after which the units would work from Baghdad. A light anti-aircraft battery was to be flown in as soon as possible.” (pp. 195-196).
After overcoming some initial Vichy resistance, “12 [Italian] CR.42 fighters arrived at Mosul on 27th May,” under German command. (p. 196).
By the end of May things were bad for the German LW contingent in Iraq. “Junck had only two Heinkels, four bombs,and not a single fighter serviceable. On the 29th things were worse. … “[S]ome additional aircraft destined for Mosul were countermanded owing to the lack of fuel in Iraq. The German losses in aircraft were in fact fourteen Me 110s and five He. 111S; the Italians lost three CR 42s.” (p. 196).
Finally, TWH makes a good point in his March 19th #63317 posting about the advantages for Hitler of the Vichy French rump state and Empire after the fall of France. This point regarding the Nazi German peace made with the French and some other points regarding the Vichy French in Africa from June 1940 to June 1941 probably deserves some more EA attention and discussion; maybe later.
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