|Axis and Allies Campaign|
|by David Devere & Tom Maertz|
ETO End of Spring – Summer 1944 – Rome is liberated by Allied Forces! British forces cross the channel and smash the Atlantic wall and move quickly toward Paris while Soviet armies throw back German assaults in Leningrad and Stalingrad and retake Russia.
PTO Fall - Winter 1944 – The noose is tightening on the throat of the Japanese Empire. Allied attacks into Siam, French Indo-China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Bonin Islands, Manchuria, Hunan, Tsinghai and the presence of a large Allied amphibious assault group off Wake Island are making some Japanese High Command officials think about suing for peace while others are encouraging the nation to fight to the last man.
Results of ETO 7
Germany was completely defeated in every engagement. Never before in the war has Germany lost every battle. Here’s what happened:
Battle No. 61 was for control of France and potentially Paris. The British soundly took the beaches and quickly headed inland securing the beachhead and the victory. Gen. Percy Hobart CO 79th Armored Division reported:
“Normandy, June 1944. After meeting little resistance in the initial landings the 79th Division’s tanks moved inland into the boscage country, supported by elements of the Free French and Polish Corps. The going was tough in the close country, and it was soon plain that Jerry intended to make a fight of it. RAF air support was ineffective, with a Typhoon shot down by concentrated light Archie the Jerries had brought up. One of the Churchill AVRE’s pushed through wire obstacles but was hit and destroyed by anti-tank fire from guns and hand held weapons. While the infantry began methodically working their way forward through the hedgerows two of our Churchill Crocodiles moved around to the left and rolled up the Boche positions on the flank. Although they took some fire and one was damaged, the tanks knocked out a pillbox and continued their slow but relentless advance. Some French resistance types showed up to harass the Boche, but they were seen off with a few bursts of machine gun fire and played little part. The Jerries continued to put up a stiff fight, but the Frenchies and the Poles were determined to get to grips with the enemy and kept on regardless of casualties. The matter was decided when our Crocodiles reached the high ground in the centre of the enemy position, their flamethrowers dispatching the last hold-outs. A few Jerries took to their heels, but most died where they fought. It looks like this time we've got them on the run.”
Battle No. 62 was for Northern Italy and Rome. The Americans that landed in Vichy France and survived a vicious German counter offensive attacked into Italy and completely obliterated the German and Italian defenders. So complete was their victory that the road to Rome was open and easily secured by the Allies. The Italian government is in shambles and German High Command is hastily rushing forces to the front for a counter attack.
Battle No. 63 was the German’s reinvigorated offensive for Leningrad. Unfortunately for them they met determined resistance from Soviet defenders who refused to see their city besieged by the German army again. In a powerful display of arms the Soviets threw back the Wehrmacht and have kept control of the city.
Battle No. 64 - the tired old battle for Stalingrad. Again Russian defense is stiffening and they repulsed another German attack into the heart of the old city. Street by street and building by building the Russians are refusing to relinquish control to Germany. The Germans have moved veteran troops from Africa into the Caucasus. Will these elite units be enough to finally overcome the dogged defenders?
Battle No. 65 was the last battle for the turn and it was a Russian attempt to take back Russia and reestablish a supply link with Leningrad. Here too the Russians were successful. The German army seems to have run out of steam in the Soviet Union.
In other events around the ETO, the American Navy attacked two German transports in the Mediterranean and was send to the bottom without inflicting any losses on their enemies. But the Americans have a large amphibious assault force in the Celtic Sea that is powerful enough to threaten Germany proper. The Germans have their hands full. They are under the illusion that they can retake Rome, kick the British out of France, take Stalingrad and Leningrad, strike a killing blow at Moscow, and also defend West Germany, East Germany, the Netherlands and everywhere else in between. Next week we will see just how successful they are at doing that.
Pacific Theater of Operations Part 7
Take a quick look at the map and you will notice that the Empire of Japan is on the verge of complete collapse. Here’s where this week’s action takes place:
Battle No. 66 is for Siam. When American troops are attacking Siam you know the Japanese have not had an easy time of it in the Pacific. This time however, the Japanese have some salvaged equipment from the previously defeated British garrison that they hope to use against the Americans. Will that be enough to help them keep this province? One thing is for sure – the Japanese troops stationed here are on their own. It is very unlikely that any reinforcements from the mainland will make it to Siam before the end of the war.
Battle No. 67 is in Manchuria. During PTO 6 the Chinese gave the Japanese a bloody nose in Anhew. Now it’s time for the Japanese to return the favor. This is a Fixed Defender Ticket with the Japanese on the defensive. Can they stop the waves of Chinese infantrymen that are sure to swarm over the top and onto their positions? The Japanese are vastly outnumbered in this battle but they get to fight from a prepared position – how would minefields, pillboxes, machine guns and snipers hold up to masses of Chinese infantry that lack determination?
Battle No. 68 is in French Indo-China. This time the British aren’t fooling around. They have sent an armored division and an infantry division into the province to deal a death blow to the Japanese defenders. But not all is lost for the Japanese – they have salvaged a British Archer and they know that most of the Allied attack will be with vehicles. If they can control the terrain and the initiative and use both the archer and the Type 3 Chi-Nu to their advantage they might be able keep the territory for the Empire. However, just like in Siam, the Imperial troops stationed here know that no reinforcements will be coming to save them.
Battle No. 69 is an American amphibious assault into the Philippines. This battle and its result will only take place if the American fleet is successful in taking the sea zone around the Philippine Islands. We hesitated in giving you either this Battle Ticket or the Fleet Action and rolling out the results for the other, but in the end we decided that if indeed the Americans can win the Fleet Action then the battle for the island group, which includes the victory point city of Manila, should be played out through a ticket. If the Americans lose the Fleet Action then all the results reported for Battle Ticket No. 68 will be disregarded and the amphibious assault will be called off. Japanese Commanders note the salvage available for this ticket and American Commanders note the special victory conditions for a Blitz battle.
Battle No. 70 is the fleet action that will determine the fate of the Philippines. The last few offensive remnants of the Japanese Navy have taken a stand here and are trying to prevent the American landings. The Americans are committing all their naval attack units to the engagement. The Americans have a slight edge in points but the Japanese are fighting for survival. Man your battle stations!
In other action around the PTO, the Japanese can do nothing to prevent what will most likely be the loss of Hong Kong to the British. The Chinese are slowly taking back their country and the battle in Manchuria is the center point of the offensive. The Americans have a large convoy fleet at Wake Island and it is threatening the Japanese home island. The war is coming to a close in the Pacific and victory is in the air for the Allies. How will this affect German hope for a victory?
Next week we turn our attention back to Europe with ETO 8. Until then remember to report your PTO 7 results to AAR@wizards.com. The deadline for all PTO 7 battles is Monday, October 8th, 2007 at 10:00am Pacific Standard Time. Japan’s fate is Germany’s fate: as Japan goes, so goes Germany. Can the Japanese stiffen their defense and hold the Allies at bay for one more turn or will they crumble under the weight of American military might? You decide.
Previously in the Axis & Allies Campaign: