The Soviet Summer offensive starts with a massive air blitz. Attacks are then launched in the Lithuania, Rumania and Finland.
J/A 1943 – THE ALLIES TAKE THE INITIATIVE
Rebase, production and reinforcement J/A the all-important initiative roll both the Russian and GERM face off and both roll 10’s – a WOW moment – two 10s for an initiative roll. However, the Axis winning ties, a cost to the Allies of going first last turn, seek to go first. The Allies demand a reroll, sending the initiative into the +1 Axis box and win the initiative. Weather is a 9 – fine everywhere with Storm in the N Monsoon.
Allies go first, the US declare a super combined and spend 16 O-points, Russia a handy Air/land spending 11 O-points, with the CW taking a Comb, FFrance a Naval and China a paid (oil) land. Naval air missions see the US and CW fly FTRs and NAVs in the 2 Box in the W Med – hoping to find the Italian Tpt now in the zero box, US fly into the 3 box in the sea of China to cover the Pacific fleet that sailed into the same box, again issuing the challenge to the Japanese imperial fleet. US acft also fly into the E Med and N Sea to provide aircover to future naval movements. The US navy sails multiple CAs on escort duty and the Massachusetts and CA Pittsburgh arrive in Midway to bolster the US SCS in the Pacific. The CW naval moves (2) send reinforcements to Norway and 3 BS SCS into the W Med – much to the excitement of the GERM player. The 1 factor port strike from the CV Ranger’s air group finds the Italian SUB in the port of Suez and drop a few bombs, aborting her plans to sail against British convs off India. Searches in multiple sea areas are mostly fails, with the exception of the Baltic where the Russian finds and damages the GERM Tpt supplying Norway and her escort Scharnhorst escapes with a few paint scratches as she survives 2 x D results, saving the first and aborting back to Kiel – Norway is back OOS and as an Allied bonus, a GERM Nav air is eliminated and 7 Ftr aborted. The searches in the W Med, E Med and Italian Coast all fail, and the ‘lucky’ Italian Tpt survives again safe in the zero box. The Axis response in the W Med, as it has in previous turns, flying most of the Axis air in to the 1 box as a NAV ‘wall of death’ – que dramatic music ‘dun, dun, dun’. The US fail to find the lone Japanese CA on patrol in the China Sea much to its relief, but the sub in the Sea of Japan finds her quarry and sinks the conv putting all of China OOS. The FFrench navy sail out on escort duties and their tpt delivers the US Brady HQ to N Africa. The US Stra bombers fly from bases in the UK and succeed in shutting down Axis production in Paris and Brussels.
Land actions – In the Pacific the US fly all its CV planes off its CVs in an attempted to GS and invert Japanese units on the coast whilst they are OOS. Needing 1’s and 2’s they all fail. In N Africa better success as US Arty and acft invert several DAK Corps, and the whole of the important 9 ARM stack. Without having found the lone Italian Tpt in the 0 box – 3 or less to find!, the DAK remains in supply. The US launches a single attack against the Berlin MIL guarding the vital port of Oran with 2 Paras and 4 x Corps – In typical fashion the single, still in supply, GERM FTR flys CAP from Algiers during the Para phase and promptly rolls two successive 16’s at -2 on the A2A table aborting both paras (AA) – the escorting British Spits take some revenge shooting the FTR down as its pilot bails out and is picked up by Italian fishermen and returned to Germany. The US committed to the attack roll badly with a 5! on 2D10 +6 for a result of 1/- and lose an INF Corps and all flipped – not a great start on the first impulse of a long turn that with average dice should have seen the city taken and the DAK put permanently OOS. Other US and CW units land in Norway bolstering the British Norwegian Expeditionary Force (BNEF) and in the Pacific. two US Divs – with nowhere else to land - invade China taking a Mountain hex. The Chinese manoeuvre their land forces and in an unexpected ‘get on with it attack’ in storm, the Nationalist rolled a 19 taking Hanoi.
Russia’s first attempt at a multiple Air/Land action is mixed. During the GS phase many of the targeted hexes of his Acft fail their GS and all his Arty miss. However, in what has been a trend in these recent turns is that the first air combat that the Russian gets involved in, he always shoots down a GERM acft – this continued as another GERM Ftr was shot down. The multiple GS did draw up Axis Ftrs which stretches a thin and diminishing asset on the Russian front. Russian launches three attacks Finland, Latvia and Rumania. The attack in Kaunas, the capital of Latvia an almost certain fait de compli was saved as the Russian rolled 2.2.2 for 5 on a +14 for an 19 -*1/2 the Russian losses a Div and a MIL and the GERM two INF Corps but the important 2.5 ENG survives, defending the city. In the south better luck as the blitz table attack of 21 saw a unit blitzed and a CAV destroyed as Russian unts cross the Dnieper River securing Chisinau’s Northern flank and creating a bulge in the line. In Finland, Russia’s attack rolled well enough for 1/B which saw the Finish sent to the spiral and the Russian Army at the gates of Helsinki which is only defended by Mannheim and a lone Div – only an atrocious roll or GERM reinforcements will save the Finns as this campaign will be wrapped up next impulse. Acft are rebased both by the Russian and US with Russia using up three of his HQs to reinvert Acft and land units to press on as the summer sun continues to shine.
A long session as it always is when the US takes a super combined, so much to do, made longer with Russia’s Air/Land combo. Next session the Axis recover from the initial blows and will evaluate their opportunities – will the Japanese fleet have a last attempt to inflict casualties on the Pacific fleet – that is if they can find each other – or will they play cat and mouse in the Pacific conserving their naval and air assets for the defence of the homeland? The Russian Front continues to be stretched both in land and in the air – there are plenty of land reinforcements to fill the line, but they have to come from GERM and E Prussia. The bulge in Army group souths line will almost certainly force their withdrawal as the Russian is inching, hex by hex into Rumania and E Poland. The defensive river line based on the Dnieper River is now untenable as the Russian has both air and ARM/MECH superiority. What will be concerning for the GERM is the loss of five Acft for no Allied in a single impulse – that loss ratio is simply not sustainable, although they won’t have to build pilots for a while as they all survived combat the GERM now has 8 PILs. The only joy for the Axis was the aborting of the US Paras in their first drop by some excellent rolling by the GERM Luftwaffe – always worth flying followed by a poor roll by the US (5) leaving Oran in the hands of the Berlin Mil – medals all round boys. Another was the stoic defence of Kaunas by the GERM ENG and another poor roll by the Russian, another 5. These land attack low rolls seem to be popping up for all players at the moment. Russia has rolled three of them this summer, The US now has one against Oran, China has rolled two of them in their failed attempts to take Hanoi, they have been rolled by the CW in Norway against OOS inverted GERMs, the GERM rolled it last week against Chisinau failing to take the city in possibly the most critical defensive attack that should have been a GERM success – Lady luck is favouring anyone - pain for all!
Finland and the Northern Front - Finland will fall next impulse unless reinforced.
Southern Front another hex of Rumania taken - Russia has air superiority
Norway is reinforced with Allied ARM and Mech
The Western Front - all quiet
W Med - the Axis still dominate the air war here - none shall pass
DAK saved for another turn as the US rolls 5 on their attack v a single German Mil guarding the supplies at Oran
W Med - sensing movement here - just need to find that conv any roll 4 or less will do!
China the US and in China and threaten Korea with its Marine
The invitation to join in battle is issued to the Imperial Japanese Fleet by the Admiral US Pacific fleet
All the way USA
Heavy losses in the air for the Axis - but all the pilots safely bailed.