The Soviet Baltic Fleet covers itself in glory.
M/A 1943 – THE WEATHER DETERIORATES
The Axis 2nd impulse: GERM take a Land, Japan a Combined with Italy a Naval. Italy sends out her fleets into the E and W Med. In the W Med a sizable blocking fleet of their modern BS in the high 4 box is sent to intercept any attempts by the Allies to sail into the E Med. They search to hunt a couple of French SCS, but roll 9 - no find. In the E Med another loaded Italian Tpt arrives dropping of another GERM Corps into Egypt. Italy also sail SCS to escort Conv’s and Tpt’s. Off the coast of Italy a Conv is found and sunk by a British Sub – Italy down to 5 Conv’s. Further North, off the coast of France, Italian Acft supported by GERM Nav hunt for the British CV and Conv in the N Sea, again no find as both sides roll 9’s - nothing to see here. GERM land sees the Russian front line reinforced, and the Finns withdraw towards their capital, Helsinki. Reinforcements arrive in Southern France to occupy strategic cities. GERM HQ’s reinvert their AA and the reinforcements that Strat moved into Morocco in reaction to the Allied build up. Japan’s combined sees Tpt/Amph sail under the protection of the Japanese fleet (2 box) and drop off more land units into China, Acft are rebased and the Jap front line reinforced.
The Allied 3rd impulse – weather 1! blizzard – snow in the Med and rain in the N Monsoon – worst possible for this turn - not what the Allies wanted! With little to do at sea the CW and Russia take land actions, with the US a combined. The Allies Strat bomb Axis factories and oil but all roll low – weather obviously obscuring their targets – the Russian even (ed: considered only) flew long range to bomb Italy! In Morocco the Allies attempt to GS the GERM line, but superb AA from the 88’s again rolling nothing less than 5 of 4 dice, drives off the GS – the flank is secured The US and CW land forces are content to just push around the Southern shoulder in an attempt to outflank the GERM defensive line. Russian Arty arrive in Tallinn as does the Russian Marine, Helsinki is about to be shelled from the Baltic States.
The Axis 3rd Impulse – Axis Convoy time. Taking advantage of the atrocious weather, the GERM takes a Combined and sails 7 convs and the entire Kriegsmarine led by Bismarck on Conv escort duty into the Baltic Sea to re-establish supply to Norway and access the Swedish resources. Extraordinarily, searches by the Russian from their two aged BS and a couple of CA’s find their quarry, not once but twice, rolling two 1’s – extraordinary! Focussing on the Convs and helped by two splits (1 -6 and 1 – 5) they sink 4 Convs, Damage 3 and clear the Baltic of Conv’s. This isolates the GERM Garrison in Norway and cuts off the Swedish Iron ore. Both Russian BS survive only just, as the suffer the return fire from the Kreigsmarine with both being damaged – vodka all-round boys, GERM down to 9 Conv’s.
The Japanese Combined is similar to the GERM, sending out 3 Convs into the China Sea but in contrast to the 6 – 1 roll against the GERM, the Jap rolls a 1 – 6 split against the US Subs. Delighted the majority of the Japanese fleet including the Yamato and Masashi pulverise two US subs which are sunk for no further loss. The Italian takes a no cost combined and replaces its lost convoy off the Italian Coast to secure the Sardinian resource, Italian Conv’s 5.
The Allied 4th impulse, weather roll 7 +2 (9) and fine everywhere but rain in the Artic – Stalin mumbles, wanted fine or snow, GERM somewhat relieved. All major Allied nations take a Land. The CW flies a long range Ftr into the Baltic to support Naval Ops there. Sensing a change in his luck and an opportunity to destroy US/CW air assets (Ftrs/Nav) GERM rolls but fails to find, the Allies however do find with a split in their favour and elect to fight. The recently arrived US Ftr is quickly despatched by the more experienced GERM Ftr Pilots and again superb GERM AA from the GERM Fleet aborts the cleared through Allied Nav with another roll of 6 dice with none under 4 rolled. The North African campaign finally kicks off as both the US and CW breakthrough the desert in an excellent outflanking manoeuvre. A prospective attack against the GERM most southerly position in Morocco is yet again thwarted by superb work from the GERM 88 AA guns, as again they roll nothing below a 5 on 4 dice, aborting the GS Acft. With that option shut down, the Allies combined land forces strike out at the 2.3 GERM Algerian TER rear guard, supported by British and US Paratroopers. The assault is successful with a top of the table roll and the Para’s landing safely. The road to Algiers is open and the coast road supplying the GERM Army in Morocco is now threaten in multiple areas and future guarantees of supply to their front line is now significantly jeopardised. Russia declines any attacks against the GERM or the Finns preferring to conserve forces for next months clear weather turns. China elects the same, still constrained by the loss of Peking and Mao. The US attempt a GS against the isolated Jap land forces in the S China Sea, but with no results, elect not to attack. EOT roll ends the turn frustrating an attempt by the GERM to re-establish supply. Partisan rolls were 2 and 10 with 2 Parts turning up in China for the first time – they occupy resources in China.
Tough turn for the Axis with a 4 impulse turn for the Allies which included 2 land impulse which finally saw the US and CW make some progress in N Africa. Russia’s lucky searches in Blizzard with two 1’s clearing the Baltic, sinking Convs and putting Norway out of supply and cutting off the Swedish Iron Ore is costly BPs, compounded by a couple of Start bombing will impact on GERM production. Japan, down to 4 Convs is worse off with little opportunity to ship resources to Japan to build without these convs. This is a vicious circle that spirals down with few opportunities to remediate. Japan’s war just got a whole lot tougher. Convs are likely to be sailed in 1’s and only used to supply the Army in China. The M/G initiative is critical to the Axis – if they do not win the initiative, inverted units OOS in Norway are vulnerable and in N Africa the coastal road that supplies the GERM Army in Morocco will be cut in multiple places as the US and CW land forces will flood East. The Axis wins draws but with the initiative in the +1 Allies they will not get a reroll and will have to win the roll twice as a reroll will be demanded by Allies if they lose their first roll.
Chinese Partisans turn up with the fine weather
The Far East - Japan on the ropes
The Russian Front - hex changed hands
Finland - slow withdrawal - the Russian's are coming!
Army Group North
Army Group South
Trondheim captured by the GERM -
but an EOT roll has seen them remain inverted and OOS
The Western Front
W Med - Allied advances into Libya
The Allied land forces flood East into Libya - threatening the GERM Supply
Losses - attrition warfare all nations taking casualties - Allied losses easier to replace.