Sunday, December 19, 2021

World in Flames via FB - 48

Things are hotting up.  There was a wet and stormy winter

M/J 1944 – Contested Initiative – The Second Front gets a back-to-back move but oh the weather!

Another two weeks report and long post

Lending, the first big change during ‘Lending phase’ now that the land war in China is over, is that China declares a lend of 8 BPs to Russia, perhaps ‘a thank you’ from Mao to the Allies for the support of ACFT and pilots. Reinforcements are placed with the GERM prioritising the Western Front as Hitler’s concern grows with the Western Allied build up, especially if they win the initiative and get the jump on the Axis. Initiative – drums roll and the Stalin on behalf of the Allies rolls a 1! Allies immediately demand a re-roll – the Initiative track now is +1 to the Axis and Stalin attempts to redeem himself – AND DOES, rolling a 10 – the Allies win the initiative. The excitement in the Allied camp is fleeting as Stalin stumbles again rolling a 1 for the WEATHER! – worse with that roll, the impulse marker now goes up +2 – this could be a short turn! Snow in the Artic and Storm in the Temp – bad weather everywhere else – not a good start to the Allies first months of the 44-campaigning season. Someone passed a comment that there was a historical precedent with the late storms in 44 that followed D-Day – Allies however were not impressed – no air Ops in the West. CW and the US each take a Comb, Russia a land – at least Stalin has Snow in the Artic, and France a Naval, China Land
ETO – The CW sail into the North Sea and Bay of Biscay to set up for next impulse and Russia flies several GS into the Artic Snow with some inversions but also manages to shoot down two Axis Ftrs. In the South, HQ Konev launches a three-hex attack at +14.5, with a ‘top of the table’ result against the 17-point 12-5 SS stack South of the Pripet marshes. This results in the loss of a Hungarian Div and a 6.5 Mot Corps (Cadre) with the 12 SS blitzed back to Berlin for further training, this action opens a hole in the GERM line. France’s Naval helps the Allies by escorting convs. The US XXXIV Para Corps that had previously dropped into S France heads to the Med coast allowing Clarke to land from the W Med, expanding the US landing. In the port of Bilbao, the US Marines advance to the outskirts of Bordeaux and an air transport drops off a Mtn Corps to bolster the Paras as GERM Armour is expected to arrive soon – although luckily the storm in the Temp region will delay their arrival, much to the relief of the Paras which don’t deal with tanks well.
In the E Med the CW search for the Italian Conv and in a surprise shoot down another Italian FTR. In Egypt the CW GS are finally successful inverting both the Italian HQ Balbo and the two OOS German Corps – the subsequent attack at +14 is a ‘top of the table’ Blitz as the GERM Mil and AT Gun are eliminated and the GERM Corps is retreated into the desert on top of the now inverted Balbo. Both are OOS and cut off from any assistance and their destruction is assured, as is the liberation of Egypt.
On the Russian Front, each side loose an Acft, as GS are ordinary but with snow finally arriving in the Artc Russian Winterised units press the attack. Two attacks are orchestrated by Stalin with one in the South achieving a top of the table result, destroying an AT gun and INF with the other causing 1 loss and a retreat – the line is becoming increasingly stretched.
In the PTO, there is little activity from the Chinese as the weather is atrocious and with the +2 for the next weather roll it is very likely to be fine, so they ready themselves. The slow BS of the Pacific Fleet sail into the China Sea to hunt for the Japanese CA and Conv but fail to find, obviously blinded by gale force winds and mountainous waves, and are now offered as bait to entice the IJN to sortie under the cover of storm.
Axis 1st Impulse, although the Storm is welcomed it hampers the Axis response and ability to reinforce and contain the Allied forces in France. GERM reinforcements are instead railed into the French cities of Lyon and Vichy and the others start their slow drive in mud from German reinforcement cities - ARM/MECH and SP Guns head to Southern France. On the Brittany peninsular there is no movement as the Axis elect to hold the forest line despite the next weather being fine. On the Russian Front, both Army Gps North and South step back one or two hexes to straighten their line and fill the gaps where they can, sensing impending doom with the next impulses good weather, the Rumanian Army starts an orderly retreat South heading for the sanctuary of the mountains, forest and river lines of Rumania. The Slovakian 3.2 Corps is left forward to act as rear guard, a role they did not volunteer for. With no GS due to weather, the Luftwaffe redeploys forward sending their best Ftrs to the Western front including the 10 factor FW190D2 and 9 Factor FW190D8 – the Russian is please as he has nothing comparable. Italian combined action allows additional Italian acft to redeploy as well as a Strategic rail and the movement of several Italian Units/AT Guns on the Russian Front which are too valuable to be left behind.
Japan takes a Naval and dynamic moves the ‘Strike’ fleet back to Japan and away from the threat of potential US CV port attacks. Three submarine searches fail to find the Allied Convs in the poor weather, but in the China Sea a nice 1 is rolled and the Japanese CA sinks two US Conv Points, but in an act of defiance it chooses to remain at sea rather than aborting the sea area, perhaps to deny the US its ‘presence’ penalty for Japanese future Naval operations? The Japanese ‘Advance’ fleet sailed into the Sea of Japan, escorting a Tpt to ensure their supply to Korea – its last overseas Territory, they even shipped two more Corps to bolster the garrison.
Allied 2nd Imp Weather roll an 8 +2 (10) – Fine everywhere, a relieved Stalin finally smiles. CW and USA take Super Combines spending 15/20 O-Points as the US reinverts Clark in S France – Russia choses an Air/Land, China a land and France a combined. The turn's first act was to port strike the new Italian BS Impero in the Sicilian minor port of Syracuse from the CV HMS Illustrious in the E Med and a bomber from N Africa. Ordinary rolling sees a single shift in the Axis Favour, but a startling AA rolling on 6 dice sees them all roll above 5 - shooting down the CV swordfish air group and its pilot. The British X Subs attack two Italian subs in Hamburg, but in another flat roll, only a single Italian sub is damaged and the other aborted. not a good start for the CW. Naval air from both the US and CW fly to multiple sea areas to cover naval Ops, convoys get escorted and Fleets sail into the Bay of Biscay with 6 loaded Tpts/Amphs and in the N Sea with 3 Tpts/Amphs. Ships laden with CW ARM and MECH arrive in Balboa, offloading into the port so they can support land operations against Bordeaux and hopefully create a breakout. Convoy searches in the Baltic and off the Italian Coast are successful with both Convoys found, and a bonus for the CW with an 8 Factor Italian Ftr eliminated.
The significant air phase of kicked off with 9 Strategic bombing runs against Axis factories. The Cities of Cologne, Metz, Vienna, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf(2), Brussels and an oil facility all lose production (7+1 points in total) but the Axis defenders had some success shooting down two B17 Flying Fortresses – new inexperienced crews for the loss of a Ftr. The GS phase saw massed Allied acft fly from the UK and Norwegian bases with success against all the city defenders of Nantes reinforcing ARM, MECH and HQs and the odd Inf Corps. The Allies were reasonably pleased with the results. In the East several stacks were inverted as again an increasing number of Axis Acft were shot down, although all the GERM Pilots have survived – The GERM now has 11 Pilots in Reserve. The three attacks declared by the Russian, mostly all +8 Blitz attacks are poor with a 5, 7 and 8 rolled with the only loss on either side being the Russian 4th 10.6 Mech GBA being eliminated, as the poor rolls only resulted in retreats. In the West the CW attack the city of Nantes but rolled a 1/2 result half invert losing an AA Div. The assault on Bordeaux took the port city with no loss and no inverts expanding the S French bridgehead and in a daring raid on Marseilles, the US Paras led by Clarke and supported by US Acft and Naval CVPs and SB from the W Med took the city without loss, importantly securing a major port city in S France.
In the Far East – China launches her assault against the remnants of the once mighty Japanese Army and in three attacks rolled a 15 and two 18s destroying all they attacked – Russia would have loved any one of those rolls, but that’s dice! Chinese units advance to the coast and there are now only two stacks of Japanese units in China. Chinese units have started to rail toward Siam to threaten its kingdom as it aligned with the Japanese and now realises its great mistake. But the real excitement was the US fleet actions in the China Sea. The combined TF 16 and TF 58 sailed into the sea area and embarked their 7 Marine, MacArthur, INF and ENGs supported by CVs and SB from the fleet, and invaded mainland Japan – Osaka was attacked at +5 (single unit defending) and although valiantly defended by Japanese air (1 x Jap 6 FTR lost and US CVP) the US rolled a natural 18 and took the city without loss nor inversion – they could have lost all three attacking units with the dreaded ‘squiggly 14’ always a risk at low odds attacks, but fortune favoured the bold and the city and its red factory is in US hands. MacArthur remains at sea on a Tpt to land next impulse.
Axis 2nd Impulse – the Axis under pressure could not pass. GERM and Italy took land impulses, to stem the Allied advances in the West and to fill the holes in their lines on the Russian front that the retreating troops have created. GERM spends 12 valuable O-points to reinvert Rommel (5) and Manstien (7) in part to reinvert the reinforcing ARM/MECH that had been GS by the Allied air-forces and units that had railed to the front. Italian and GERM units rail to the French cities if Nice and Lyon to bolster the line, Italians units arrive to man the French/Italian border. The fine weather allows GERM and Italian units to advance South and start forming a fragile line. Movement in the East sees Axis units withdraw to the Bug River and mountains of Rumania as bulges appear in the line as it becomes stretched to breaking point.
Japan elected a combined and in a Banzai – suicide mission to destroy the ‘zeroed’ box Amph/Tpt and BS sailed the Advance Fleet into the China Sea – both sides rolled, and what has been their tradition in search for the majority of the game they both failed to find, rolling a 7 and 8 AGAIN! Japanese land units move to contain the US forces in the city of Osaka. Japan is not overly concerned, knowing that massed reinforcements are arriving next turn from repatriated returnees from the Army of Manchuria.
The Allies start next week’s session with fine weather, a 7 rolled – fine everywhere, and the likelihood of Allied land actions by the three major nations. The potential EOT roll is a 1, neither side wants this, as the Axis might regret it if the Allies win a back-to-back roll and the Axis will be desperate to move post this fine weather impulse, destiny awaits.

The Russian Front - slowly moving West

Holes in the German line as it attempts to withdraw under relentless pressure from the Russian

Army Gp South withdraws to the Mountains

Finally inversions and a good attack on OOS Axis units. Egypt is about to be liberated - 1944

ETO - The Allies dominating three sea areas - opportunities to land in multiple coast to stretch the Axis

Bordeaux and Marseilles fall to the Allies opening up Southern France

Impero escapes allied CVP attention with excellent AA they shoot down a the attacking carrier air gp

The Far East - comfortably in Allied control

The war in China is over - the battle for Japan is on.

Japan gets Invaded - Osaka falls

Strike fleet sails to reap vengeance on the invaders

PTO there is no Japanese empire a shadow of its former self

Losses - mostly air losses with the Axis air taking a big hit this turn - lots of air action in 44

Actual comparative US v Japanese ship building - reflected in this game


  1. Looking very good for the Russians. Ok for the Allies. Very bad for the Japanese. I wonder if the Russian advance will pull German forces from the west. Thanks for posting the updates!

    1. The reverse, Germany has been reinforcing the Western Front. The expectation is that they will trade ground in the east. The Western front is also very wide as it includes Italy and the soft underbelly of Europe.

  2. Looks fascinating. I shall be intrigued to see one day whether it's possible for the Axis to win if the uSSR remains neutral.

  3. In this game Barbarossa did not happen and for a long time there was a stalemate on the Russian Front. However Germany needs the Russian resources. Japan also benefits by a successful campaign against Russia and obtaining the Russian Far East resources. Getting the politics "right" is a challenge. What do Finland and Rumania do? The Baltic States? Yugoslavia? Turkey? The Middle East and Iran?