Initial Phase

All Axis units in the EA area are U-4, though none are isolated so we need make no surrender rolls.  On mainland Greece there are now more Allied RE’s in the Athenai area then there are Greek produced GSPs to feed them, so the Aussie 26th X goes without since it is a recent arrival.  On Melos, the 24th Aus X goes U-2, but thanks to the Aegean port is unisolated.

In politics, not much occurs.  The Iraqi conspirators meet again, and while the time for action is approaching the time is not quite ripe (7 rolled, highest roll so far.)

In Albania, Centauro’s cadre rebuilds up to a full XX.  On mainland Italy, the 38th Pug XX shows up at Brindisi for shipment to the northern Albanian front, while the Ju52 on loan from the Luftwaffe withdraws.

In North African action, the first portions of the DAK arrive in Sicily, consisting of the 200th m Inf III (of the 21st Pzr XX), plus the 605th AT II.  A pair of Italian m Art III’s also arrive, as does a leg Art outfit.  The CR.42 that crashed at El Agheila is rebuilt at the cost of 2 ARPs, and then the 17th Pav Inf XX is released from movement restrictions near Tripoli.

In East Africa, the Azz Inf III completes formation, consisting of IAF members called up for ground duty.  The 3rd Art III and 4th Col Inf Hq’s concentrate at Adua into a much stronger 2nd Art III (2-6).  One a/s just southwest of Asmara is converted to 12 GSPs.

In other logistics areas, the airfield at Egouminitsa continues building up, though the mud is making it a long endeavor.  For air actions, the 4 Ju87B’s and R at Benghazi go inop due to being involved in harassment ops last turn.  The G.50 and CR.42 on Sicily CAP Malta again.

Movement phase

Movement begins with air operations against Malta.  1 Ju88A, 6 SM.79-1’s and 2 Ca.133’s launch Malta status bombing missions.  Flak (shifted to the 1 column) fails to have any affect, but bombing attempts are miserable and the 9 missions garner just a single hit.  Malta status goes back to 10.  (Mathematically, so far this game we are 4.2 hits under the average one would have expected, given the number of attacks, weather, etc.)  The coded a/c plus the Ba.65 launch against Malta’s port, and flak sees the Ba.65 into the aborted pile.  The two naval bombers fail to score hits too.  Argh.

Sea movement sees the Italian XX at Brindisi over to Durazzo without incident.  A cons III at Durazzo, having completed that port’s repairs, is moved along the coast to Egoumintisa.  Likewise, all shipments to North Africa arrive without any Allied naval forces making contact, so the German m Inf III and both Italian m Art III’s move to Benghazi, while the leg art III and the German AT II land at Homs.

On the ground in the Balkans, things are fairly stable due to poor weather.  I shift a few units about, moving the Centuaro XX into the line and concentrating some artillery and the remaining c/m units with it in a large 18 pt stack northeast of Egouminitsa.  Italian stacks are otherwise 12-14 pts strong along the line, more or less impervious to Greek offensive action and threatening to launch operations of their own should the E zone clear up.  To the rear in Albania, the three XX’s put into northern Albania move up to the Yugoslavian border for possible action against that nation.  The new arrival at Durazzo admins up as well… Hitler has given Mussolini some indications that he is not happy with Yugoslavia sitting on the sidelines and may wish to press things a bit shortly.  A con III begins the process of repairing the San Gio. de Medua port for getting attack supply and reinforcements in quicker in the north, should that prove necessary.  In the air, a night strategic terror bombing mission against Athenai gets by flak but misses, as do two more missions against rail/rail marshalling yard hexes on the mainland.  An attempt by the Mxd B on Rodi to hit the Melian port likewise comes up short (15 bombing attempts fail to register a single 6… need to find a new die rolling web-page J)

In North Africa, infantry XX’s, the various pieces of the Trento mot Inf XX and the 605th AT II admin east along the coast road.  The Italian leg arty remains at Homs for possible shipment via naval transport later, when port capacity is available.  At the front, Ariete and the 7B m Inf III move to engage the 9th Aus Inf XX and it’s non-divs at El Mechili.  A bit to the south, various leg arty and non-divisional armor and light armor units engage the western and northwestern flanks of the 4th Ind Inf XX and it’s supporting non-divs.  To the immediate rear, two Arty III’s and the Tonini para-inf III are about 30 miles back, while the recently arrived m Art III and 200th m Inf III admin out of Benghazi one hex, putting them on the edge of the mud zone for a good exploit opportunity.  The two cons III’s in Benghazi go overland and via rail to point about 30 miles due south of Soluch, where they put up a 2 cap temp airfield.  One a/s point is SMP’d along the coast to point about 30 miles northwest of El Agheila.  The other point in North Africa remains ensconced in Tripoli for the time being.

Down in East Africa, mud inhibits Italian movements nearly as much as the Allies.  Along the coast north of Massaua, two inf X’s remain in mountain hexes just off the coastal road, forcing the Allies to either root them out or risk action against their supply lines.  The Erit mot Inf X, the last fully c/m unit in the AOI (less two TC’s still active) backs off along the coast to the south side of the Wadi Mallacie, just east across the mountains from the town of Nacfa.  An inf X admins up to the Cub Cub road junction from Massaua (replaced by the Asb inf X that had been guarding the Mersa Fatmah port).  The big 12th Col X and a 1-8 Art X move east out of the Cheren pass fort, where they can move up to protect the coastal road.  This leaves two coastal III’s guarding the Cheren pass, but given that all the Allies appear to have abandoned any pretense of engaging this position this defense would appear to suffice.

Around Asmara, units continue to shift north towards the city from the Adua and Adi Ugri areas, though the going is slow given the mud.  Two Inf X’s are used to cartage the GSPs created earlier 15 miles southwest of Asmara into the town so that the Cheren and Massaua defenders can each reach them if the mud weather continues next turn.  In other logistically moves, 1 res pt is burned in Massaua to raise the capacity of the Asmara rail line 50% (from 2 to 3!), just sufficient to move one a/s point from Asmara back to Massaua without costing us any further SMPs.  Further west, the 4 still active units north of Gondar (about 75 miles or more north, mostly on the Allied side of the border) adjust themselves for either defensive terrain or to ensure that a zoc front is presented against the advancing Indian and Col X’s.  This also puts the 1MMG II out of supply so it cannot go tearing through the Amhara province if the weather clears.  Further west, three units take up position around Er Roseires, faced by the 1/2 Ethiopian [II] a bit to the north.  Finally in the northwest, two X’s slime forward, including one that actually makes it to the White Nile, cutting off the river between the towns of Kaka and Paloich.

In the central part of AOI, the Gimma defenders remain in place protecting the mountain roads in the Oromos Highlands to the south of the city.  Three units take up defensive positions in the mountains north of the valley leading to Addis Ababa (near Butjadira), or on the east bank of the Auasc river.  One more X takes up positions in the mountains on the south side of the valley.  Meanwhile, units to the west in or south of the Mendebo mountains plus a unit that shifts up to just east of the small valley at Dodola manage to put a zoc lock on all three roads the Allies are using for supplying their Addis advance.  The units to the east can just manage a supply line anyway by tracing overland through some mountains, but the three stacks at Soddu and along the Dalle-Alghe-Iavello road will go out of supply.  Futher east, along the Dessie to Asmara mountain road, units continue to head north to the main front.  One a/s point uses 8 of our 9 remaining EA SMPs to move along this road as well, reducing our total to 8 for next turn.

In the far south, the last remaining unit from the Chisimiao-Mogadiscio area attempts to flee north, but supply and nearby Allied Col X’s will see this unit killed next turn regardless.  Meanwhile, in the southwest Italian units continue to advance into Uganda and Kenya.  In the southeast, one unit north of Gorrohai begins breaking a bridge, while a unit to the southeast of the town moves toward it.  The 3rd Cst III in the far southeast continues its meager attempt to admin toward the fronts.

Combat Phase

Blen4’s out of the Tobruch area fly DAS in support of the 4th Indian stack at 4122, but given we could do no better than 1:3 +2, even an HX would only hurt us.  We launch no attacks.

Exploitation Phase

None in Greece.  In East Africa, one TC hauls a pos AA and another an Inf X along the Adua to Adi Ugri road.  The Erit mot Inf X on the coast chooses to remain in place since it cannot be attacked and blocks the road, preventing exploit advances by the Indian 2MMG II where it sits.  In North Africa, the 8 B m Inf III joins its sister the7 B and Ariete just west of El Mechili and the 9th Aus XX box.  This Italian stack goes up to 9 points DS.  The 1st Lt Arm X, after a quick detour for terrain ownership purposes, joins the forward line at 4021, bringing this middle stack up to 5 pts defense.  Just to the south at 4022, another arm II and the 200th m Inf III join units already in place to form a 10 pt stack just west of the 4th Indian box.  The flanks seem unlikely to be attacked since no better than 1.5:1 -1 seems likely, while both Allied XX’s groupings could assault the 5 point stack in the middle this would leave the Allied units exposed to armored counterattacks.  (Each of the three forward Italian stacks is ½ AECD and 1/10th ATEC; the Allies have just 1.5 REs of armor units available in North Africa, for the time being.)  Further to the rear, the 1 AC m Art III joins the two cons III’s at the temp airbase in 3324 to ensure no suicide overruns will take the base and kill the weak cons units.  The 3 AC unit joins the slower elements of the Trento group, which exploit up to 3425, about 6-8 hexes to the rear of the forward line.  Well back along the coast, the 605th AT II exploits to just east of Sirte.

End of turn

Four hexes in Greece are Axis owned, but only 3 VPs are earned as this brings the total for such hexes to 50, the max per game.  Current VP total is 57 to 9 in favor of the Axis.