Axis Player Turn

In Italy the HG Pz XX withdraws to Salerno past the guns of the US troops overlooking its retreat path – they are only able to slow, not stop the retreat. To the east the LSSAH, 24 and 26 Pz XXs fall back to behind the Agri River while more units from the north enter the general area. Luckily for the Allies these are mostly scratch forces of SS Police, AT battalions and the like. In France a couple of units relocate close to the Spanish border.

In Spain, spies working inside Gibraltar are unable to find out whether the newly arrived armoured and motorised units are a threat to Spain or just in transit back to the United Kingdom. Madrid is wary but decides not to call out its troops or mobilise to a war footing. (Failed roll on success chart).

Allied Player Turn

The expected invasion of Spain is launched – firstly the air power of the MTO is unleashed on the rail network in southern France, isolating Spain from German reinforcements. In Andalucia British Armoured forces overrun the local defence forces (cadred XX) allowing other armoured and motorised units to spread out through the province – an attack is launched on Seville but fails to dislodge the defenders. In Spanish Morocco, a joint US/Indian task force attacks and wipes out most of the Spanish defenders in the northern part of the region while French mountain forces mop up the southern areas of Mellila and Villa Sanjurjo. Ceuta remains untaken but the few Spanish soldiers and colonial troops that remain there are looking lonely and scared.

Landings occur at Valencia which falls easily to the Indian 8th XX and Royal Marines and at Tarragona where a joint air landing by paratroopers and seaborne forces secure the immediate area and provide a speed bump should the Germans get there act sorted out. (I toyed with the idea of landing directly in Barcelona but this would have put me within reach of German units across the border so opted instead to isolate the city by extensive bombing and hold the Barcelona-Valencia rail line at Tarragona instead.)

On the Bay of Biscay, the Canadians, Commandoes and Royal Marines come ashore at Aviles, Gijon, Santander and Bilbao – all landings are successful with the few Luftwaffe planes in reach at Bordeaux unable to pierce the AA screen thrown up by the Home Fleet. Follow on units include lots of armoured troops – mainly Canadian at Santander. The weak Spanish defence is brushed aside (Civil Guards and border forces).

Half a dozen good sized ports seized with a handful of Dot cities allowing rebasing of aircraft to the European mainland. Confidence is high in Whitehall that the decision to violate Spanish neutrality was a wise one. Washington shows its questioning of Churchill’s strategic whims by limiting ground involvement to the Rif only and maintaining its pressure in Italy where Taranto is taken and the Americans push further up the boot.