Italy declares war on the Commonwealth (not France) and sends its frogmen into Gibraltar in an attempt to cripple the Commonwealth Mediterranean fleet, it has limited success. Germany does little except shoot down a French fighter. The USSR declares war on Iran, but fails to make an immediate conquest. For China you will have to read Mike's detailed report.
Reinforcements placed. the Allies won an uncontested initiative and went first as the +3 on the weather roll meant that it was likely to be clear. The Axis did not contest as again they want to retain their +2 on the Initiative track for the summer offensive against France and the Low Lands (Dutch: de Lage Landen, French: les Pays-Bas). Weather rolled by the Allies was a 10 with a +3 for an ‘off the table’ 13! Fine everywhere! ... and a great decision by the Allies not to have given away the first turn to the Axis – not that they were ever tempted, take it when you can.
Allied first impulse and Russia made its predicted DOW against Persia – the Senate wide awake was not happy with Russia again flexing its military muscle and demanded a chit. Persia was aligned with Japan (thanks for the free oil) and sets up the Persian’s to defend the capital and await its ‘calling up’ its MIL Res. Russia, took a no cost combined, and attempted to GS the Tehran defenders with a surprise bombing raid - no success, Russian’s Corps cross the undefended border and advance towards Tehran. The CMWLTH took a Comb and sailed out to the North Sea in order to provide shore bombardment to deter a GERM attack against British assets. The Long-range bomber search of the Baltic in fine weather finds the Pocket BS Deutschland and sends her home but fails to find the GERM Baltic Convs. The Brit strategic bombers also fail again and drop leaflets instead of bombs, despite the clear weather and a +1 for non-interception as the hard-pressed Luftwaffe is stationed on the French front line. The GS from British and French in a pre-emptive strike is only marginally successful as only two GERM frontline units are inverted as well as the GERM AA unit. The Luftwaffe finally has some success in the air rolling an 18 against the French and shooting down their first enemy acft, capturing the pilots as they bail out over Axis controlled territory. A few allied land units uncomfortably juggle (military term – redeploy) on the front line and await the expected OChit offensive in the bonus clear weather turn of M/A. France collects the Dakar TER who boards their Tpt bound for mainland France. China, noting clear weather moves a Div into their point defensive hex and like the French and Brits in Belgium await the Axis assault.
Axis first impulse - and to the Allies surprise and great relief, no declaration of a land offensive by the GERM? Italy finally steps into the ring and makes a DOW against the CMWLTH seeing that the bulk of the BEF is in France and Norway, declaring a Naval. The US Senate were not impressed – they cancelled the loan or resources and demanded a chit and a strongly worded telegram to Mussolini – they got their chit. The Italian’s sail all their ships to the E and W Med and subs into the convoy lanes in the Bay of Biscay and outside Gibraltar. The Italian frogman surprise the defences of Gibraltar (A 10 is rolled by the Brits!!!) and avoiding detection they sink two CA’s and damage a BS – the British had seen this coming and made sure there were no CV’s or tpts in Gib. The other sea area searches all failed other than the Bay of Biscay search which surprised the 16 Brit and Allied Convs as the British rolled a 9! (two surprise rolls, a 9 and a 10 really) They sink 3 and damage 6 Conv, aborting all bar one – cleared that sea lane they almost did. Importantly for the CMWLTH it was on the first impulse which will allow the CMWLTH and its allies to re-establish its Conv lane – if it happened on an EOT roll, it could have been a disaster for the CMWTH’s build and gearing, but clear weather in M/A is not common. GERM Land sees them move reinforcements to the Belgium border and reinvert the three inverted units, including the important 88 AA Div. They send two GERM Corps to Italy and practice embarkation drills – off to N Africa is the guess. Japan takes a combined, and GS the wooded resource hex in Southern China, again missing most of their ground strikes. Again, the Chinese air-force intercepted the Japanese GS acft and destroyed another acft and pilot. The Chinese air-force has flown up every turn, and every time they have shot down a Jap acft, either Ftr or Bomber – these guys are Aces!
Allied 2nd impulse and it is a 4, bad weather in most theatres, fine in the N Monsoon. The RN take a Naval and send fleets to the E and W Med to counter the Italian influence. The Med fleet in the E Med have a soft find, but the Italian CA uncharacteristically saves it sink. The Conv lanes in the Bay of Biscay are re-established. Russia, France and China do little as the weather is their strongest defence – it is storm in the Temp so no air ops over Europe.
Axis 2nd Impulse - Japan as expected launches their attack on the wooded resource hex in Southern China after missing all their ground strikes. But with a solid +10.9 attack they roll average taking the hex, destroying two Chinese units at the cost of their ENG, with a half invert. Japan places the inverted MIL Res in Tehran, more than doubling the defence from 4 to 10 with a +2 (Inverted MIL). GERM takes a Naval, sails its single sub on patrol and send the Schleswig Holstein into the North sea to ‘take on’ the British fleet (well actually it is there to remove the ‘presence’ penalty for the next possible impulse) – the British search for her and fail to find. Italy takes a combined and search for the British in the W Med, failing to find and sends boldly the Libyan TER crosses the border into Egypt, towards Alexandria.
Allies 3rd impulse and the Allies worst nightmare rears its ugly head with a 9 rolled – clear everywhere with rain in the Artic – turn possible end on a 3. The Allies consider a pass, but instead elect to have a turn as Russia wants to finish off the Persians defending their capital and the Allies want to try and GS the GERM front line units again. This could get really ugly for the BEF and the French. The CMWLTH takes a Comb, and fail to find the Italian fleets or the Schleswig Holstein, but the Italian NAV Air operating in the E Med finds the Med fleet in a soft split and damages the Brit CV, forcing the RN to flee to the Suez out of harm’s way. The British GS the GERM front line with little effect and redeploy several units and in Egypt the Egyptian Army goes out to meet the invading Italian TER in the middle of the desert. France, already set on the front line, aborts its Tpt carrying the Dakar TER and lands it in Marseilles. China adjusts its line to cover the Southern city of Kweiyang as the line has thinned with the last Jap roll. Noting that the Japanese Mech DIV has now arrived they elect to retire from the plains and retire to the mountains. Russia spends oil and launches its first attack of the game against Tehran, rolling very ordinary dice they fail with a 1:1 loss – bugger, or what ever that word is in Russian. Better news for the Allies, when, pushing their run of good luck EOT rolls, the Allies roll a 3 to end the clear weather turn - Germany again muttered some not so polite expletive knowing that this was another missed opportunity snatched away from then by an unlucky die roll.
Partisans roll with two more turning up in China, with again the Northern iron mines of Shanghai being occupied denying that valuable resource to the Japs. Rebasing and production will occur next session as will be the important initiative roll – will the Axis finally win the initiative and roll clear weather!
An interesting session, with the most important die roll being the Allied EOT roll of 3 – basically a two-impulse turn for the Axis. The Allies were perplexed and relieved that the GERM did not declare a Land Offensive in the first clear (Bonus) impulse – when queried the Germ player was hoping for a third impulse of clear (or later) and then declare a Land Offensive with its units all back upright, the majority of the Allied air-force flown and perhaps the opportunity to end the turn and achieve a double impulse for M/J having broken the Allied line – French or British, the impulse before – he was counting on the Allied not ending the turn. The GERM had gambled but luckily for the Allies, the Allies did roll the end of turn and averted a potential disaster if the GERM plan had been executed as conceived. Next week will Belgium hold or fold, where will the GERM hammer blow fall – against the French or the British?