Fine weather an offensive makes, but a crappy roll causes a bitter disappointment.
N/D 1944 – ALLIES REJOICE AS THE WEATHER GODS FINALLY SMILE ON THEM!
In stark contrast to S/O, relief for the Allies and a disappointment for the Axis, they lose the initiative despite the GERM winning the first roll. Stalin wasn’t having none of that and demanded a re-roll which he won much to his surprise! The initiative back to Allies +1, and then the miracle of the dice as Stalin rolls a 2 for the weather – fine everywhere, the irony not lost on anyone with fine weather turning up on the first ‘winter’ turn. Any fine weather is bad news for the GERM and worse when they don’t have the initiative, at least they had the last impulse in S/O so the Axis line is not as vulnerable if the Allies had ended the last turn.
Allies 1st Impulse – with fine weather and an accumulation of O-Points (not spent in S/O due to the bad weather) the Allies go ballistic spending 77 O-points – CW and the US take ‘Super Combine’ – Naval, Air and Land. The CW also declare an air offensive directed by Montgomery (11 pts) the US declare Nimitz (13 pts) to lead a land offensive to take Paris. Russia takes an Air/Land and declares a land offensive by Yeremenko (11 pts) to lead the assault against Warsaw. The combined CW and US fleets sail into the Italian Coast embarking Marines, DIVs and Mech units with plans to invade Italy, in the North Sea TF17 and the Home Fleet and TF11 sail into the N Sea and embark Marines, INF and Mot units with plans for an invasion of Germany, Holland or Belgium. In the PTO the Pacific Fleet (much reduced having despatched units to the Med) sails into the Japanese Sea and TF58 sails into the China Sea – challenging the IJN to ‘come and fight’ or be port struck. Allied convs are escorted and Tpts arrive from the US loaded with US acft and equipment – an early Christmas gift for the Allies. The session finished after the Allies Naval phase – see photos. Next week massed air as the CW, US and Russia have taken Air actions so the Strat bombing and GS phase will be severe for GERM as their factories will be targeted as well as their front-line units and HQs, with a focus on the units defending Paris and Warsaw which will receive special attention in the unseasonably fine weather.
As predicted the Allies launched multiple 1000 bomber raids over Europe, GERM elected not to intercept in order to conserve their Ftr force for the land battles that are about to come. Sirens wail as 12 Axis controlled cities are targeted – mixed results but Berlin is bombed for the first time and roll a 10! – someone must have left the lights on, affecting the cities three factories other cities lost include Stuttgart (1), Dortmund (1), Hamburg (2), and importantly the oil in W Germany, Austria and Ploesti are also hit. Even the Chinese launch a successful Strat raid on Seoul reducing the Japanese production from their last ally. During the subsequent GS phase over 20 Allied acft fly to GS the Axis line – GERM/Italian interceptors fly and the conflagration that was this air phase saw 7 Axis acft destroyed for the cost of 5 Allied acft – again the majority of GERM pilots survive, but with few Acft in the reserve pool and a reduced production these pilots may well be given a rifle and sent to the front for the winter. The GS were again a mixture of success and failed rolls, more success on the Western Front than on the Eastern Front – importantly for the Axis, Paris was successfully defended by both the Luftwaffe and the AA Divs as no units in Paris were inverted. This is a concern for the Western Allies who have committed an O-Chit to take the city. Several GERM HQs were inverted which will significantly affect the Axis reinversions of both air and land units.
In the West the US and CW launch an attack against Paris supported by 3 x ENG and massed Acft, with a 16.3 assault they roll an 11 for a TOTT result and take the city - Paris is liberated! Another US 13.7 Blitz attack North of Lyon sees a below average roll of 8 for */1B destroying 1 GERM unit and sending the rest back to Berlin. In Italy the Allies assault the GERM Mil in the Mountains and destroy it with no loss despite intervention by the Italian Air-force which cost them 2 x Ftrs and another NAV bomber destroyed. The US invade the Eastern coast of Italy, successfully landing on an uncontested hex supported by Paras and US shore bombardment. A US MAR Div lands on the Island of Querela adjacent to Pola and the Yugoslav Coast. In Yugoslavia the British advance along the Yugoslav coast capturing the ports of Dubrovnik and assault a lone 2.4 Cav unit and advance along the NW Highway on to Belgrade. In Bulgaria another lone defender is blitzed to oblivion as British MECH advance to the Rumania border interdicting the vital EW rail line to the Rumanian Capital Bucharest. Russian attacks in the South retreat the Rumanian ARM/MECH stack to their Eastern coast and on the Hungarian border the GERM 8.1 GAR on +12.1 Blitz and the GERM Para and Hungarian Cav defending in the Mountains assaulted on a +13 were all destroyed with two TOTT rolls. An opportunity para drop onto an inverted FW190 airbase in Hungary goes badly on a +8 as the GERM contests the drop with bombers and Ftrs – the result is a landing destroying the FW and its pilot, but the Paras are inverted and being black print and OOS will not survive the GERM CATK next impulse – the Russian shrugs. BUT and in a big BUT, Yeremenko’s +10.1 O-Chit assault against Warsaw is diabolical dealt with by the dice Gods as the Russian rolls the worst possible dice in WIF - snake eyes with a 10 on the fractional odds dice – there is simply no worse dice roll! The city is held and the Russian losses its ENG as Yeremenko is relieved of command and sent to Moscow for a ‘please explain’ session with Stalin which will not go well for the good General and his family – ah Russia 1944. This is the one single highlight for the Axis this turn. However, the good news for the Russian, especially on their Southern Front is that their Westerly advances sees both Romanian rail lines to the West cut – Rumanian is now isolated, and any GERM units are now OOS, Hungary will now be threatened as the Russian has access to the open plains of their country and there is little to stop them advancing to Budapest.
In the Pacific little action as the focus on the war in Europe, The US conducts some GS to entice the Japanese Acft to fly, and the Chinese attack the last Japanese unit in China eliminating it with a TOTT roll. The US land a British Inf on the Korean peninsular rendering the garrison value of adjacent Japanese units to zero – Russia will now be able to break their recent pact and DOW against Japan next impulse with their sole aim of capturing Seoul (forgive the pun). Reinversions and rebases – the CW and US reinvert multiple Acft on the Western Front as do the Russian in the East, more importantly for the Russian, having taken an Air/Land they rebase their Acft forward hoping for fine or snow.
Axis 1st Impulse. The GERM and Italian take a Land the Japanese a combined. In France the GERM steps back one hex to straighten its line against the Western Allies – this is reinforced with a meagre number of reinforcements from Germany. Manstein reinverts several land units and a 10 and 9 factor FW to at least contest 1 hex in the West. GERM and Italian units contain the US MAR/PARA landings on the West coast of Italy as well as the threat to Pola. With few units in Yugoslavia, Belgrade demands the return of its units in Europe but there is little sympathy from Berlin. In the East with Warsaw saved for the moment and the Northern front stabilised he attempts to shore up the Southern front in E Poland. As predicted the inverted Russian Para is destroyed by Hung MECH and GERM INF securing the approaches to Budapest and its precious resource.
In the Far East Japan takes a combined and sails its subs into the China Sea and Solomons with soft finds in both the Convs are all damaged. In the Sea of Japan In the Sea of Japan accepts the US challenge and sailed out the Strike Fleet to engage the US Pacific Fleet – in a surprise to both nations, that generally roll high and avoid combat, both find on 2’s – the subsequent air combat sees losses on both sides and with only single acft getting through, several CVs are damaged and there escorting Cas aborted. Surprising everyone a 2nd time they find each other again but with even less acft, and a shift to the US, the air combat sees further losses and again only a few damaged ships and aborts, including the Japanese Tpt carrying a 7 Inf back to Japan from Korea. Japan decides it is time to attempt to evict the US from Osaka. Uzemu leads the +5.7 Assault but rolls average with a 2/1 result – the US keeps their little piece of Japan.
Allies 2nd impulse next week – and oh happy days a 3 is rolled for rain in the Artic, but fine everywhere else – the Allies are jubilant at being gifted a second fine in the winter turn as doom and gloom descends over the Axis camp. Game photos as at the start of the Allied 2nd Impulse, our next session. Oh how fickle are the weather dice Gods – firstly no clear weather in S/O and then two fine weather impulses in N/D, funny game this WIF it is.
* ETO and PTO European Theatre of Operations and Pacific Theatre of Operations
The Russian Front - and it is another weather impulse in N/D 44
Southern Front - Axis minors in a lot of trouble and left to their own defence
Northern Front Warsaw failed the Vistula river defence remains intact.
... and there it is the double one with a fractional 10 - it doesn't get any worse than that - wait , yes it does - the Assault on Warsaw after expending an O'Chit
Italy - US and CWLTH forces advance up the 'boot' - Taranto their target
The Western Front - relentless pressure and the fine weather forcing the German retreat - still in good order.
US forces liberate Paris
The US has arrived
...and the GERMs have left
Japan - last gasp of an empire in defeat
Japan's CATK failed to retake Osaka
Chinese Nationalist advance South - Siam shivers