The Soviets start early summer offensive on the Eastern Front with a major effort being made against Finland.
M/A 1943 – ALLIES GET A CLEAR WEATHER JUMP
Having won the initiative and rolled an 11 (8+13 for fine everywhere the Allies go on the offensive. The US take a double action, Naval and Air, spending 10 O-points, Russia take a Land and spends 9 O-Points on a Land Offensive led by Gen Rokossovsky. The CW take a combined to support the US Naval/Air. China took a ‘paid’ land. The US Pacific fleet had sailed into the China Sea to hunt for 5 Jap Conv points and the CA Tone escorting in the 3 box but failed to find either. The US pre-war slow BS had sailed into the S China Sea to support Land Ops. Other US naval units escorted British sea lanes and US Tpts sailed to N Africa and the UK whilst the CA Quincy WAS sunk as it had been surprised by the Italian NAV air in the E Med hunting Italian Convs supplying the Axis in N Africa. In the W Med the British fleet and a loaded Amph had sailed under the cover of Allied Ftrs with the Axis flying the majority of their Med air force in response, with neither side finding.
Strat bombing by British Bombers see only pamphlets of support to the Free French dropped on Paris, but Brussels is successfully bombed by the USAAF. The US attempt to GS the GERM line in Morocco but superb GERM AA sees the lowest of 4 dice roll (no lower than 5 5,5,7,8) driving off the attack.
The CW 6.4 Inf disembarked in Corsica securing the Island from Italian intervention, flipping the Amph. The one land attack by the British is in India as the British Army finally decide to start resolve the Partisan ‘issue’ and launch their first attack against a 0.3 Part in the forests of Central Punjab. Indicative of their lethargy, they roll a 1.1 snake eyes! Luckily overwhelming odds see no losses, but three aged Corps Commanders are relieved of their commands by Churchill – much ruckus laughter from the players, although the Axis would have like to have seen that roll against real troops.
In Russia the Russian GS the GERM line with some success as several GERM Corps are inverted, and importantly the two Finish Corps in Petsamo are inverted by the Russian Arty Divs. Gen Rokossovsky successfully leads the assault against the Finnish defenders at Petsamo eliminating both defenders with no loss, advancing three Corps into Finland and generating the 2nd Arm GBA – The Russians now have an 11.5 GBA Arm Corps to play with. On the Russian front Army group North is left unmolested as there were no inversions, Russian reinforcements are moved forward. In the South buoyed by the success of their GS the Russian launch a pincer attack against the GERM line. Marginal success as neither of the two attack rolls were high, but retreats saw the pincer movement well executed and another GBA 7 INF 10.3 generated. The half inverts were reinverted by HQ’s and a dangerous salient formed as a GERM stack is enveloped. China launches another attack against the 4pts defending Hanoi and in a mirror of last month’s attack, they roll another 5 as the Jap defenders repulse the less than motivated Nationalists – another Chinese loss, all inverted. Not to be outdone the Communist led by Mao, launch a Blitz attack at +6 but they also roll poorly and loose their 6.5 MECH Corps and are all inverted, poor planning by the Commies leaves Peking and its recently repaired Factory with only Mao and a div, both inverted and ripe for a counterattack. US Rebase multiple acft from the US, with long range Strats arriving in the UK and Ftrs rebasing to Greenland and Iceland – the USAAF is “on its way to save the day” and the British – God Bless America (music plays in the background).
Axis 1st Impulse, GERM a land with the Japanese and Italian taking a Combined. Japan sails two of their fleets to defend the China Sea under the cover of land-based air from Japan, They search for the US Pacific Fleet in the hope of bringing it to battle and teaching it a lesson for their impudence of sailing so close to Tokyo. They roll a 6 and the US a 2, giving the US a marginal split in its favour. Rather than risk their reduced air groups the Pacific Fleet Commander elects to sink 5 more Jap Convoys and the hapless Tone CA and then aborts back to Manila – Japan is now down to only 4 Conv’s. The US Commander knows he gets stronger every turn and decided that the risk to his remaining CV air groups too much to chance. The Essex Class Lexington II arrives in Manila loaded with two handy air groups of a 6 and 5 Ftr, as a CW Mosquito (7) and 6 factor Ftr rebase from Singapore. With the loss of the Convoys the Japanese Army in China is OOS as the Jap did not send out a Tpt with their fleet. Two JAP HQs decide the opportunity to retake Peking after that failed Chinese attack is too good to miss and declare emergency supply and flip to supply 5 land units – they launch their attack and roll well to retake the old Chinese Capital in a well-executed attack, cutting off supply to the Commies in Manchuria and sending Mao back to the Spiral. Italy takes a combined and sailed a Tpt to the E Med dropping off another 7 GERM Gar to bolster the Italian defence of Egypt. Germ rails two more Corps to bolster the Morocco defensive line.
GERM land sees successful GS on the Russian front and in Norway, pounding the British in Trondheim with his Arty – 3 x British Corps are inverted. The Finnish forces withdraw South to protect Helsinki. In Southern Russia, the GERM mass their ARM and MECH and launch a counterattack against the dangerous pincer move of the Russian against the best but now inverted (thanks to the GS) 29 point stack of Russian ARM/MECH – rolling below average they successfully shatter the defenders and retake the hex for the loss of a Mot Div. In Norway another success, with an above average roll shattering the British morale as the defenders of Trondheim are sent back to ‘Old Blighty’ – Germans advance and now threaten Narvik. A good round for the Axis as three successful land attacks sees the dangerous Russian salient restored, Trondheim finally taken, and Peking recaptured.
Allied 2nd Impulse, the weather is 7 with no mods, mostly rain with fine in the Med and N Monsoon. The CW takes a Naval and aborts its fleet from the W Med leaving the Amph protected by Allied air and a small but capable French fleet. The Axis search in the W Med and are found by the British – in the subsequent air rolls a superb 20 rolled sees an Italian Nav eliminated with its pilot, with a second destroyed, and another aborted but for the cost of two Allied Ftrs. The last remaining Nav, a GERM Condor is successfully cleared through and damages the Amph as the French AA is poor, rolling a 1. The Dunkerque is also damaged and aborts for repairs. The CW frogman launches an attack against Kiel and the GERM Fleet – hoping to catch the defences napping but typically for the RN roll a 9 with the GERM rolling a 1 – the frogman are eliminated before they get to Kiel – 6 months of wasted training. Reinforcements from the UK are rushed to Navik by Sea and additional convs and escorts are sailed to send oil to the UK. Paris is bombed successfully by the USAAF, further reducing the GERM builds. Russia takes a Combined and sails its fleet into the Baltic to hunt GERM Convoys, they find but with not enough to shift to surface the Conv’s are aborted by Allied air cutting the Swedish ore shipments. Russian land units advance further into Finland and the xx ARMD GBA, job done in Finland is railed to support operations against Army Group North. Russian air units are rebased forward as the rain settles in, dampening any enthusiasm for further attacks. A now chastened Chinese army pulls back from vulnerable hexes to mitigate against further losses. The CV Lexington II sails into the S China Sea to provide air cover to Manila with its two handy air groups of a 6 and 5 Ftr, and additional CV air support to slow BS. Further USSAF acft arrive in the UK, including Air Transports and Ftrs. Reinversions and end-of-session, with the Axis starting next weeks session in the rain.
Summary – a good turn for the Axis as three successful land attacks sees the Russian salient restored, Trondheim, Norway finally taken after two years, and Peking recaptured. At sea, a moral, albeit temporary victory as Japan reclaims the China Sea from the US Pacific fleet. The combined air-forces of the Axis maintain control of the W Med, forcing the withdrawal of British Naval forces for the loss of two Italian NAV air, whilst shooting down two allied ftrs. The downside for the Axis is the loss of Convs, with 5 more Japanese Conv’s sunk, only 4 Jap Conv’s are left. The GERM aborting the Baltic Conv’s will be costly to the Reich’s war production unless he can get them reconstituted compounded by the EOT, this made worse with the start of the Strat Bombing campaign with both Brussels and Paris factories being struck by the USAAF. Finland’s Petsamo resource has now been captured by the Russian and she will struggle to defend itself against the Russian Bear. Swings and roundabouts for both sides this turn so far.
Fortress Europa without a roof - Paris and Brussels bombed - and so it begins.
Trondheim successfully taken after 2 years of stalemate
Dunkerque damaged in its first battle against GERM Nav
Morocco build up continues
- the Allies just need a land or two or three for the massing US and CW forces
Egypt Germany successfully stiffens the defensive line
The Russian Front
Petsamo taken by the Russians as they push towards Helsinki thanks to the early clear weather
Before - The Russian successful attack and a dangerous pincer action.
After - Germany launches a counter attack and re-establishes its line
China - just waiting for the partisans to turn up.
As sea Japanese Convoy lanes are cleared again.
Japan, launches a counter attack and retakes the old capitol of Peking