|Axis and Allies Campaign|
|ETO: Part 6|
|by David Devere & Tom Maertz|
European Theater of Operations: Part 6 – Fall / Winter 1943
German offensives in the east are teetering on the verge of success or failure. Soviet forces start a tentative attack to take back Archangel and the Caucasus. While on the western front, the Wehrmacht is poised to throw the allies out of France.
Where’s it all going to end? This turn might answer part of that question. The Germans are probably at the peak of their power. If they win all the battles it just might be enough to finish off the Russians. On the other hand, if the Allies win all the battles then the great expanding balloon of the German Reich will start to deflate.
Battle No. 51 in France is possibly the most important battle for the Allies in the ETO so far in the war. The Germans have broken the siege of Paris and are smashing into the Allied lines with fresh Panzer divisions. If the Allies lose this battle they will be kicked out of western France. But if the US and UK win here they’d win the territory and take Paris. It would be a decisive victory for the Allies because there isn’t much left defending Germany and nothing in Italy. It just might be the break they need. A German win would capture all the Allied forces unless the Americans can eke out a win in Vichy France. US and UK High Command urges the field commanders to spare no expense in committing to victory. Now is not the time to retreat – it is the time to seize the initiative, pursue the enemy and win. "Just drive down that road until you get blown up." - General George Patton, to reconnaissance troops.
Battle No. 52 in Vichy France is going to be a hard one to win for the Americans. They have siphoned off quite a few German units with the surprise attack into Vichy France and now have the benefit of defending the territory. Strategically this was a very smart move but the Americans are out numbered in their build by 26 points. What the German field commanders do with those 26 points will be crucial to deciding the fate of the American divisions. If the Americans can win, or at least make the Germans pay dearly for the effort, it will result in a major strategic victory.
Battle No. 53 is Leningrad part III. The siege continues but the Russians have shown their characteristic endurance of hardship and woe, and without major reinforcements the Germans would have been easily pushed out of the city. Believe it or not, both sides have an even chance of winning the battle and taking control of the city. The Russians have all their points in Wild. So their build will be difficult for the German player to predict. Should the Germans build their army for anti-infantry or anti-armor? If the Russians can win this battle they will break the siege of Leningrad and push the Germans back into the Baltic States. But if they lose, the Germans take the city and their attention turns toward Moscow.
Battle No. 54 is the continuation of Stalingrad. The Russians are in a tough situation. This battle probably won’t decide the fate of the city but the Germans have to rely on their allies more and more and it could start to affect their ability. The German build restrictions include 40 points in Italians and 40 points in Hungarians or Romanians. German reserves are coming from Belorussia to support the Stalingrad offensive. This weakens the German army group center and if the Russians can continue to hold the line in Stalingrad it may allow Soviet forces in Moscow to finally mount a spring offensive.
Battle No. 55 is for the factory town of Archangel. This territory is important to the Russian economy because without it they lose not only the production of the province but also the 4 IPCs granted by the Soviet convoy route. The Russian economy is in tatters - they earned only 6 IPCs last turn. If they take back Archangel they would add 5 IPCs at the end of the turn and almost double their production. This is a must win for the Russians. Some of you might be wondering how the Russians got a fighter. The British fighter in Turkestan was commandeered by the Russians and pressed into the attack for Archangel. If the Germans win they would be able to produce 1 unit from the industrial complex at the end of the turn. The anti-aircraft gun was used before the Battle Ticket was produced and it was ineffective.
In other action around the ETO, the American Navy has finally freed the British convoy routes in the Atlantic and is sending a destroyer into the Straits of Gibraltar. American transports are also heading home to pick up fresh troops. The British are still in control of Denmark and it seems the Germans have decided, for now, to let them keep the troublesome country. On the Eastern front, a Russian armored division is attacking the Caucasus and 3 infantry divisions are shifting forces into Turkestan. The Germans are attacking British units in Finland and are shifting forces from Iraq north into Iran. German High Command had considered invading India but decided against the action as Indian forces would have ample time to produce an overwhelming number of defenders.
Remember to report your ETO 6 results to AAR@wizards.com. The deadline for all ETO 6 battles is Monday, September 3rd, 2007 at 10:00am Pacific Standard Time. Good Luck!
Previously in the Axis & Allies Campaign: