1942 J/F (Cont)
Axis 3rd Impulse – weather roll 6+2 for an 8, still no fine weather for the Axis and yes, another short turn. Germany and Japan take Naval actions. With the threat of overrun of naval units by British land units on a surprise impulse in their African Colonies Petain asks Hitler for oil – and gets a Naval to move his ships. The German U Boat fleet which has been mostly inactive in 41 gets to sail, and seeks out the Allied convoys that are plying the waters between the US E Coast and the UK. Search’s by U-Boats and the Royal Navy escorts are in the main futile, with the only find off the E Coast of the US where a single U.Boat finds and sinks 3 Convs and damages three others and an escort for no loss, leaving only 3 Convs at sea. The German surface fleet sorties out to the North Sea to secure the Swedish resources into Germany as the overmatch the British HMS Warspite and its escorting CA Frobisher. The entire Vichy fleet in Marseilles sails into the W Med on a ‘training exercise’ but more importantly their convoys finally get to sail out to SW Africa putting their isolated fleets of subs, Convs and a tpt back in supply. Japan in their naval goes after the impertinent US CA’s and finding both the Huston and Vincennes sinks them both, they reconstitute the important Convs in the China Sea, supply and resources are again able to be traced to Japan. Italy takes a no cost Combined and sails its conv to ship the Sardinian resource which the patrolling British subs fail to find. EOT is rolled, 7 needed, 2 rolled and the initiative slips into the +1 Allies box, a welcome result for the Russian who wants to win the initiative in 42 .
Partisan roll results in another partisan in China as the Japanese continue to oppress the Chinese population. Rebase, production and reinforcements. Full builds for the Axis partners, for the first time in the game as the Axis factories work overtime to produce the implements of war. The extra 3rd impulse despite the loss of the initiative was a godsend to the Axis and a very valuable impulse for them.
1942 M/A – Russia and Germany prepare for War!
Allies AKA Stalin rolls and wins the initiative and after a brief conference with his Allied partners hands over the first impulse to the Axis. The weather roll startles everyone – a 10 +2 (12) FINE everywhere! Oh, summer days, something the German has not seen for what seems like an eternity. Germany and Japan have a quick exchange of telegrams, but sensible Germany declines to break the pact and DOW against Russia – 1 fine impulse, does not an invasion turn make. In a surprise move Germany declares another Naval – obviously OKH feels that they have enough units on the Russian border and that another Naval won’t impact the German reinforcement schedule. Vichy France welcomes the decision as their now supplied fleet in their S African colonies can now return to Marseilles and mainland France for essential maintenance and RnR – they haven’t seen their families since Vichy was declared. German U-boat commanders are also elated, as they get a second chance to attack the Allied convoys before they get escorted, and they get to search in fine weather! The Graff Spee and Deutschland elect to remain in the North Sea rather than abort back to Kiel possibly to retain presence at the risk of being found by the Royal Navy. The Italian takes a Combined action and also despatch their subs out in search of convoys as well as flying a single Ftr into the W Med to hunt for the Dutch Ftr in the 0 box. The sub and U-Boat searches by both the Germans and the Italians are average with only one find – 3 British convs are sunk. The Italians find the Dutch Ftr and the Greek Conv but elect to sink the conv with a reacting Italian Nav that gets cleared through. Importantly the E Med search for the British convoy supplying bully beef and biscuits to the BEF in Greece remains undetected as both combatants roll 8’s – Greece remains in supply! The Italians GS the Greek font line but fail to invert any of the defenders – there will be no Italian attack this impulse.
Japan, keen to take advantage of this rare phenomenon of ‘fine weather’ takes a combined and targets Singapore. The Advance Fleet sails into the S China Sea to provide shore bombardment on the assault a +10.5 and a snap 10.5 rolled for a perfect 21 – 2 losses to the CW and none to the Japanese, Singapore falls. Historical note this is the 80th Anniversary of the fall of Singapore – ed note; I was there two weeks ago and visited many of the museums commemorating the event. The 0-4 Partisan in Iraq heads for the safety of the mountains, something partisans in that country have done so for thousands of years rather than be eliminated by the Russian build up. The EOT advances by 1.
Allied 1st Impulse. Free France and the USA DOW against Vichy in an attempt to reduce the Vichy SCS that are still at sea before they are able to return to Marseille and more importantly stop the Dakar resource getting to mainland Vichy and ultimately giving the German War Machine an additional 10(+) BPs. The US find and sink two convoys and two CA’s, the Duquesne and Tourville with the remaining Vichy SCS scuttling back to Vichy France – families are reunited. In the Pacific a lucky Sub search by the US finds the Japanese convoys in the Sea of Japan and damages 6 of them and aborts the rest, victorious he returns to Midway Island for beers.
The CW takes a mandatory Naval and sends out its escorts and ‘tops up the Convs off the W Coast of America. Aggressively, Force Z sails into the 1 box in the E Med with 4 CVs and 4 BS under the cover of British air from Gibraltar. They search for the Italian Nav and its Ftr escort - rolling, a 2 they find with a handy split of 4 shifts and risking a ‘clear though’ of the Italian Nav, they take the Italian down to a -5 which aborts a CW CVP but roll an 18, which destroys the Italian Nav and its pilot – the Italian’s morale wounded, his Ftr returns to Sicily. A risky search in the E Med fails to find by either side and Malta and the BEF in Greece remains in supply. The British land the Free French 6.3 Inf into Nigeria (Lagos) and the French Inf promptly marches into the Vichy Capital of French Cameroon, liberating the the unoccupied capitol. So it begins, the long journey to recover French Colonies. The Graff Spee and Deutschland are found by the Home fleet in the North Sea, but a soft split sees the Graff Spee and the British CA Frobisher both sunk in an exchange of gun fire and the Deutschland damaged as she limps back to Kiel. China, fires its 3 Arty at the Japanese Garrison in Kweiyang, but fail to invert the Japanese defenders – the arty is reinverted by Stillwell. The EOT advances by 1.
Axis 2nd Impulse – weather roll is a 5 – Storm in the Artic/Temp, and more snow in the Med, +2 on the EOT and the German OKW and Hitler feel vindicated that they were not tempted to launch Barbarossa on that first impulse of M/A. Averting the temptation and an obvious trap, an excellent decision by the Axis. Germany takes a Land and rails another 3 land units to the Russian border – there is a significant build up in force elements of Army Group North (AGN). GS by Stukas on the Greek front invert 1 Div – but snow will prohibit an attack, the Axis will wait another impulse hoping for fine, and to invert the Greek defending Corps. Italy takes a no cost combined and again searches for the British Convoy in the E Med – and again fail to find. Italian Arty is railed to Greece as more Italians shuffle along the Greek Coast towards Athens – this is to be an Italian campaign. Japan aligns Siam and takes a Naval, the Strike Feet with a small invasion landing force heads out to the Bay of Bengal threatening Ceylon and Burma. Convoys are reconstituted and escorted, and the naval perimeter is protected by a screen of SCS, submarine searches in the Arabian Sea fail to find the British Convs and in the Marshal Islands one Japanese sub is found and damaged. The US presence in the Marianas is removed. EOT advances by +2
Allies 2nd Impulse – The CW takes a land and advances shuffles (military term) units in the UK and in launches an attack against Italian Eritrea taking the colony with ease – another of Mussolini’s empire is liberated. The US takes a combined and captures another Island of the Kwajalein group. The US also liberated the Ivory Coast by entering its unoccupied capital Abidjan – it will be handed back to the Free French. China again fires its 3 Arty at the Japanese Garrison in Kweiyang, but again no inverts (faulty ammunition) - no attack. With attack weakness the Nationalist cannot afford too many losses, so they need the inversions to make anything happen – similar to the Italians against the Greeks in the Med. EOT roll 5, it advances by 2. End of this week’s session mixed luck on both sides, the German Naval has seen the massed Vichy French Fleet successfully relocated to Marseille, and at war with the US.
Axis 3rd Impulse. Weather roll is 6 – marginally better weather as fine conditions return to the Mediterranean. Germany takes a no cost land action and rails units to the Russian border, including several large units from Greece, including its last HQ. Italy takes a no cost combined, saving oil and moves several more land units another hex to the Grecian front. The last of the German Stukas are rebased to Romania. Japan takes a Land, a Japanese Div debarks in Burma adjacent to the capital and attacks with the Siamese Corps, the Marine Div and naval SB and air on a +13 rolling an 8 for another perfect 21 – taking the Burmese capital for no loss – no more oil for China for a while.
Allies 3rd Impulse The CW takes a naval and decides to expand the convoy lanes in an attempt to get extra oil into the UK, but in an act of stupidity sails a conv into the E Med to ship the Cyprus Resource – triggering an Italian search and yes, a lucky search roll by the Italian fleet in the E Med, they rolled a 1, and find and sink two convs and the British are finally OOS and will not reinvert if the turn ends. The US takes a combined and consolidate their ‘outer ring’ and rebase acft forward. Russia takes a land and rails two more units from the Far-East to the West and sets up its line for the onslaught that is about to begin. Some of their forward acft are relocated to the rear anticipating that they may be overrun if too close to the border when war breaks out.
Axis 4th Impulse, Weather roll is a 6, snow and storm (Temp) but fine in the Med and N Monsoon. Germany, Italy and Japan all take combined actions. Germany sends out a 4th Conv into the Baltic preparing for the Finnish iron ore shipments, Italy sails the entire Italian fleet to the 3 Box in the E Med to provide shore bombardment of Greece if required. Naval searches in the E Med fail to find each other, more 8’s! The Axis for the third time, again attempt to GS the Greek line, and again they roll above the 3s needed for an inversion, none of the Greek Corps are inverted – no attack, the odds are simply too low without the plusses from inversions. Aircraft are rebased by both Italy and Germany. Japan ‘s combined sees them take Guam in an exchange for the US taking another Kwajalein Island. The Japanese rebase land air and consolidate their Japanese arc and secure their inner sea areas from US interference, now that the Pacific Fleet is based in Rabaul.
A 5 is rolled for the EOT roll – 5 needed. The partisan roll results in another two partisans in China as the Japanese continue to oppress the Chinese population. Losses are moderate by most standards – the loss of the Italian Nav is always welcomed by the British in the Med, but good news for Japan as both Singapore and Burma are now conquered. Rebase, production and reinforcements. Full builds again for the Axis partners, as their factories work overtime with the influx of forced labour workers from Yugoslavia and Poland. Reinforcements are placed with the bulk of German reinforcements arriving in Konigsberg, 2 x 7 factor ftrs land and a Stuka plus INF. For the Russians they receive their first 7 factor Ftr as Inf and Mech Corps reinforcements are dispersed among the front-line cities.
1942 M/J – Russia and Germany prepare for War!
Drum roll - as the Russian and German dice off for the 2nd most important roll of the year. Stalin rolls a 2 for a modified 4 which is easily beaten by the German’s 7. Without hesitating the Russian reroll wins the initiative, and in an ironical twist of fate with an 7 against the Germans 2 – sort of a Zen balance. Allies, Russia goes first and then the most important roll and it is the German’s nightmare, a 1! Unbelievable, the Germans snow curse continues as a late winter return to the Artic and storm in mostly everywhere else, and importantly for the Russian and a probable short turn, as the impulse marker advances by 2.
Next session, Russia goes first in bad weather and the impulse advancing by 2, simply put, it does not get any worse for the German, or any better for the Russian on a Barbarossa turn. Germany will be hoping for multiple long turns of fine weather in both J/A and S/O to help balance the ledger.
The UK starts to welcome the US allies
Army Group North prepares
Army Group South
The Russian front - and its snow - Nothing new.
Yep May Jun and its Snowing
Where does all this snow come from!
Germans prepare in E Poland
The Germans Plans are revealed as the Russians win the initiative
The Russian Reserves are warned out.
The Far East - now Japanese
The Sino-Russian campaign in Stasis
The S China Sea - Singapore now firmly in Japanese hands
Moderate losses for M/A 42