M/J 1941 – FINALLY FINE IN ALL THEATRES
The Axis AKA Germany, having won the important reroll for the M/J initiative with a definitive 10 then rolled an 8 for the weather (everyone expected him to roll a 1) so FINE everywhere- much relief for the Axis. Italy makes a DOW against the CW and France which creates interest in the US Senate – they gain a chit, 7 needed 7 rolled – the US thanks Mussolini. Germany declares an O-Chit on Von Bock to lead the assault on Paris – Germany’s last 11 O-Points are now spent. German Arty pound the city, inverting a Corps and a Div – offsetting the 3 factories bonuses, doubling his corps Von Bock assaults the city on a +16.5 rolls a 15 for a TOTT and Paris falls in M/J 41. There is no interference from French units as the Italian Combined, GS bombers surprised the French and inverted the French ARM, HQ and AA. The Italian subs sailed into four sea areas finding the allied Convoys in the E Med, sinking 3 in the Central Atlantic claiming another 2 and damaging 3 others, Italy Italy rails a Corps to Calais. Japan, takes a land and attempts multiple GS rolling lots of 8’s, and 9’s – no inversions, the only attack against a partisan that is ruthlessly dealt with. EOT advanced by 1.
Allied 1st Impulse, the CW takes a Naval and sails out convoy escorts and the Home fleet into the W Med supported by long range Ftrs and a Nav, they search and find the 4 Italian convs laden with US products and sink them with ease. France takes a Land and moves its reinforcements to the front and the last remaining HQ reinverts a Corps and the AA adjacent to Paris – Counterattack on the cards? Russia rails an acft from Iran and starts to occupy defensive positions on the front line, contesting the garrison build up by the German. Some movement by the Chinese but they are in the hands of the Japanese attempts to roll low numbers on their GS. EOT advanced by 1.
Axis 2nd Impulse, weather a 3, rain in the Artic. Germany takes another Land as three more units are railed from France, including Rommel and ARM. Acft are rebased East and a handy 6 factor, 4 rng Ftr is sent to Italy to help them win the air war in the Med. In exchange Italy rails another unit to French Coast, Italy takes a no cost Comb and retreats Balbo and the Italians to Tobruk and rebases his acft, Nav’s and Fitr’s in Sicily. Japan takes a Combined and attempts to GS the Chinese line, again the 1’s and 2’s have deserted him, so no attacks as several units head to Manchuria and Korea. Japanese Amph and Tpts are now relocated into Canton, and practice embarkation drills with Marine and Inf. EOT advanced by 1.
Allied 2nd impulse – The RN operating unmolested in the W Med – thanks to its 6 CVs and escorting Ftrs, port strikes the Sicilian port of Trapani. The Italian defenders were a little surprised as its intercepting Ftr which is shot down by Fulmars from Ark Royal. Swordfish acft are cleared through damaging the Italian Frogman and the CA Gorizia. Both Gort and Wavell return to France, landing in the Bordeaux region, together with a hefty 8.6 IX ARM Corps – apparently, they have returned to secure the Bordeaux reds from the Germans, especially quantities of the 1940 Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Their reinforced presence will also force the Germans to Garrison France a little more heavily – it will be more than a little distraction. France takes a Naval to escort shipping and attempt to find and sink the Italian Conv off the Coast of Italy. Italy reacts Navs – neither find. Russia rails a 2nd Ftr to the German border and with rain in the Artic makes few changes to its front line, for fear of inversions. Little movement by the Chinese or US. EOT advanced by 1.
Axis 3rd Impulse, weather roll is a 4, the skies clear, though a storm in N Monsoon focus the Japanese on land operations in the North. Japan takes a no cost Land to conserve oil and moves units into Manchuria as if to signal a clear intent to challenge the Russians at the border. Germany continues to rail 3 more units to Russia, including AA and AT guns. The 5 factor Inf enjoying the posting to Copenhagen has a rude awakening as it is sent to the Russian border. A second German 6 factor, 4 Rng Ftr is sent to Italy to help with air Ops against the British fleet. EOT advanced by 1.
Allied 3rd Impulse, no passes by the Allies The CW takes a land and the advances deep into Libya towards Benghazi, they advance into Badia. In France, the reinforced BEF, having secured their stash of reds, advance north to conduct a delaying advance by the Germans post Frances surrender that has been telegraphed to Churchill by the French Govt, the battle of France is finally over. France attempts a GS with its last remaining Ftr, cleared through it rolls no 1’s, and cancels any suicidal attacks against the Germans as they have set up large stacks behind rivers supported by Stukas and Arty – there will be no counter attacks by the French – their morale broken with the fall of their capital. Russia adjusts its line and prepares for invasion. EOT advances by 1, the M/J turn can now end on a 1 at the end of the next Axis impulse – the Russians dream.
Axis 4th Impulse, weather roll is a Italy takes a Naval and the Regina Marina sails both its fleets and a transport into the E Med on a mission to sink British warships, and recover HQ Balbo from Libya. The Italian fleet is surprised with a 7 – 2 split and the 3 British Battleships convert and select the loaded tpt with Balbo on board. Disaster for the Italian is averted as he saves the X rolling a very handy 9. The British take two damages on the Warspite and Malaya, and abort the sea area leaving Barham, 1 x CV and a CA the only naval assets in the E Med. Japan takes a Combined and lands more units in Manchuria – it seem clear now that when Germany makes DOW against Russia, so will Japan. Germany’s land and three more units from France arrive in Poland, several more acft are rebased, as both sides, Russian and German, count and recount garrison values.
... and there it is, the Japanese player invited to roll the EOT rolls a 1 to end the M/J, again at the first opportunity – it has been a curse on the Axis, only made worse by the atrocious weather – 20 years of playing WIF we have not seen the likes of this type of rolling. Worse the initiative drops by 1 into the +1 Allies box, NO REROLL for the Axis and the Allies win ties for the critical J/A turn. Partisan roll is a 7 – no partisans turn up anywhere. US senate declare that the Pacific fleet will relocate to Pearl Harbour casing great concern for the Japanese and their war plans. Session ends, photos show the position prior to the return to base (RTB), less the CW who has completed their RTB.
Next week production, Vichy declaration and reinforcements and IF, and it is a big IF, the Axis wins two rolls for the J/A initiative, Germany can break the pact (just), DOW against Russia and align Rumania – not ideal BUT if the Allies win (they can re-roll and they win ties) Russia has a big decision to either pull back or continue to contest the garrison build up. TWO huge rolls coming up that may decide the fate of this game.
The Western front
Paris falls and the French Army, morale broken remains impotent.
The BEF prepare for a mobile defence.
The big picture the game, the Russian Front the next campaign
The Russian forward defence - very hi-risk but short turns have not allowed the Russian to withdraw
The GV, counting and recounting by both sides
if Germany wins the initiative - they can DOW on Russia.
Loading torpedos - presents for Mussolini's Navy
The first port strike by the RN Swordfish from the Ark Royal
Bardia captured by the CW the advance along the coast has begun
The Italian Fleet prepared to challenge the RN for supremacy in the Med
Japan sends forces to to the North to support Germany's intended invasion of Russia
Minor Losses this turn