The USSR captures Harbin, Communist Chinese close in on Peking. Germany sends yet more troops to winter in Norway and Italy gets a bloody nose in Sudan. In a further proof of Murphy's Law, partisans turn up in Iran.
1941 - J/A EOT Greece and Palestine Conquered
The session kicked off with the Axis 2nd Impulse, weather a 4, mostly clear, rain in the N Monsoon. GERM takes a combined, sails its Tpt and Amph into the Baltic sea and embarks an INF and two Arty units (3 and 4 factor) - destination Oslo and then off to the North to hammer the Brits in Trondheim. With a free move the Atlantis leaves its secure base in Portuguese Angola and hunts for the Convs in Cape Basin, rolling a 1 to find, yes, a 1 with an 8 from the British Royal Navy, The 8 – 1 split, the first rolls of the night sees 3 Convs sunk and 2 aborted – the Atlantis aborts back to Angola having achieved an almost perfect result, one she was designed for. On land GERM forces advance toward the Greek Capital Athens. Italy took a no cost land and attempted to GS (Terror Bomb) Athens – no inversions and Italy moved its land units in Europe and the East. The 4.3 INF in Italian Somalia seeing the capital of Sudan, Khartoum empty and responding to the insatiable appetite of Mussolini’s empire building, advanced capturing the city and flips (off map hex). Japan’s no cost Comb and a WP MIL is finally shipped to Truk – it is now garrisoned J/A 1941 in preparation for the inevitable US entry into the war. In Southern China the Japanese line is consolidated as several Japanese units step away from the front line (Withdraw) to safety and double stack in the southern mountains.
Allied 2nd Impulse and the CW takes a naval now that the Storm has cleared in the N Monsoon as its Tpts delivery badly needed reinforcements to the ports of Sudan, Aden and British Somalia in an attempt to slow the Axis advance. Convs are aborted and reinverted, units are spread across the empire. In Greece the Armoured Cruiser, the G Averof sails int the E Med, alone, to challenge the Italian fleet and Axis Nav air hoping for a split to sink the Italian Conv – it searches but no finds. Russia takes a no cost land and adjusts it frontier and rails several more units to Manchuria, including an Arty, enjoying the freedom that land actions allow. China readjusts its front line advancing into the recently vacated hexes in the South, reclaiming its lost territory.
Axis 3rd Impulse Weather 5 again mostly clear, storm in the N Monsoon and Italy decided to take a combined and attempted another Terror Bombing of Athens and again missed its target. A Conv and Nav enter the Italian Coast to re-establish the Sardinia link, they search for the G Averof, and again no finds. The Italian HQ Balbo is railed to the city of Aswan in Egypt to put the inverted 4.3 INF in Khartoum back in supply, now that British reinforcements have arrived in Sudanese ports and are threatening to retake the capital. GERM reinforcements from Oslo, including the two Arty Divs march North to the frontier to threaten the British in Trondheim. The Japanese Mil in Manchuria abandon the Iron Ore mines as they are likely to be lost to the Russian next impulse, and the unit is more valuable. Another Mil in a peaky fit of exacerbation attacks the 2.3 PART in Korea and are ambushed and decimated as they roll a 3! They at least get a Cadre point as they were adjacent to a Jap HQ. With that roll it was just as well that the Jap HQ did join in the assault, as it would have been lost as well, and that would have been a disaster.
Allied 3rd Impulse, the CW takes a combined as Canadians arrive in the UK and then she launches an attack, not against the inverted 4.3 Inf in Khartoum, but the inverted Italian HQ in Aswan, with only two units attacking there is risk, including the loss of both units, including the Indian 7.6 Mech. But in a welcome change of luck for the Brit, at 4:1 and an average assault of +10 they roll a nice ‘13’ to destroy the HQ for no loss and no inversions, Finally, Churchill has some good news for the Times and the British people, - it could have gone very badly with a reasonable chance of losing both attacking British units. In India, Indian corps finally cross the Burma frontier on an anti-partisan sweep, trying to clear the Burma road which has been closed for over a year. The Russians advanced to the capital of Manchuria,
Hainan Harbin, capturing the recently vacated resource on the way, they redeploy acft as the pressure builds for an attack against the Manchurian Capital.
Axis 4th Impulse Weather 6 again mostly clear, rain in the N Monsoon, Italy takes a Comb and attempted and search for the G Averof, and again no finds – indeed a lucky ship, it must be flying an Italian flag. GERM takes a land and attempts another GS of Athens, no effect but in a coordinated attack by land and air, they assault the City on a +13.6 but roll an ordinary 7 and loose an SS DIV and a half invert, but importantly take the city – their time line remains intact. The Greek convs flee the city and try to slip through the E and W Med, only 3 of the 10 manage to escape, a small bonus for the British Merchant Marine. The 2 GERM Arty bombard the British, but achieve only 1 inversion of a Corps, the Brits breathe a sigh and remain safe for the moment, entrenched in the mountains of Trondheim. Japan takes a no cost Comb, conserving oil and drops off another MIL into China, redeploys some more acft in preparation for the Defence of Harbin.
Allied 4th impulse, the CW takes another Combined and sails 3 Conv to partially fill the gap in the Sea of , as it now attacks the OOS and inverted 4.3 black print Italian INF, destroying it without needing to roll - Khartoum is liberated and there was much rejoicing. The HQ Alexander is railed down from Archangel to Iran to conduct training exercises on the Iraq border, strengthening the new Shar’s prestige. The new Shar, Mohammad Reza coming to power after the Anglo-Soviet invasion forced the abdication of his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi. The Russian takes a land and launches its assault against Harbin, it fires its Arty into Harbin and inverts one defending Corps, and with cries of Huzzah, Huzzah, and ably led by GEN Timoshenko they roll a 15 on a +8 attack capturing the city for no loss, overrunning one Jap bomber caught on the Capitals aerodrome. Russia and Japan committed acft to the battle over Harbin but with both sides rolling multiple 9’s on the A2A table it was mostly a no event, with only 1 Japanese factor being cleared through to aid the defenders. To add to the Japanese woes, the Chinese Communist Cav canters into Manchuria and occupies another Iron Ore mine, denying another resource to the Japanese. The Chinese communist aided by several partisans attack the single 3.1 Corps in mountains at +2 and roll a 17 with a 2/1 loss ½ invert, losing two Partisans for the 3.1 Jap Gar was a welcome exchange for the Chinese. The combat result was a direct opposite roll with the Japs attempted attack against the Korea Partisan the previous impulse. Typical for the Jap at the moment, he rolled a 3 and now the Chinese rolled a 17 – got to love the 2D10 table. The Commies advance to occupy the Mountain line and capture yet another resource off the Japs – Japanese build down to 8 BPs.
EOT roll by the Russian successful with a 1 (2 needed), ending an interesting turn, not a happy one for Japan. The PART roll was another soft roll for the Axis (no China – again) and a failed roll by the Russian sees a PART occupy the oil city of Bandar Shahpur as a 2 Part turns up in the Mountains – apparently the CW was supposed to be looking after this oil field but was distracted by the events in the Sudan. US entry and what the Allies have been waiting for – the US Senate declare War Appropriations – the US war machine gears up.
EOT - Greece and Palestine conquered becoming GERM territories. It will be interesting during this Conquest phase if Japan surrenders Manchuria, thus forcing a Pact with Russia. This will mean that Russia will revert back to neutrality, be restricted to combine’s again and be unable to store additional oil, and all her Res/Mil will be removed from the map and returned back to the Reserve. The end of the first Russia-Sino war will allow Japan to reorientate to the Pacific and prepare for the Pacific Campaign, especially now that War Appropriations has been taken and the US could start making DOW against attempts as early as next turn (S/O 41) probably on a 3 or a 4. Japan would not have to be distracted by the Russian for the next two years. The Jap units in Manchuria will be relocated back to Japan to arrive for the N/D campaigning season – an interesting decision that will no doubt be discussed at length in Tokyo and Berlin over the next few days. This session has seen Japan suffer again with some unlucky rolls, with his only attack being a 3 and the Allies attacks (x3) being all over 15 including the speculative 1:1 attack against the 3.1 Jap Garrison. With a reduced build at only 8 BPs she will struggle to fight both the Russian and the US, she must clear the Partisans off valuable resources, hold off the Chinese and most importantly capture the NEI oil fields before they become occupied by the Allies. Some big decisions for the Axis before our next session. With the N Monsoon campaigning season about to start it would seem that Japan must DOW v NEI/CW either this turn S/O or next N/D 41 – any later and it will be probably too late – War is coming to the Pacific.
The Battle of Norway is beginning - but so is winter
The last British Bastion - The Rock!
Atlantis Raider - excellent hunting this turn, it raided, sank 3 Conv and then aborted back to Angola
British reinforcements finally arrive - just in the nick of time AND Italian losses will help the Allies hold off the Axis
The shrinking Japanese Empire
To keep Manchuria or give it to the Russia as a peace offering ?
The USE Pools - lots of chits and War Appropriations already sanctioned by the Senate
Losses - mounting Japanese and Italian losses
The new Shar, Mohammad Reza coming to power after the Anglo-Soviet invasion forced the abdication of his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi. A supporter of the Allied War effort.