|Axis and Allies Campaign|
|Pacific Theater of Operations: Part 3 |
|by David Devere & Tom Maertz|
ETO End Spring - Summer 1942 – On land and on sea, in every engagement, the Germans were victorious except for one: Norway.
PTO Fall – Winter 1942 – The Americans engage the bulk of the Japanese fleet at Tarawa and land a strong force at Guadalcanal. Meanwhile, British units move into Siam and look to continue the defense of Hong Kong with fresh Chinese reinforcements.
The German army and Navy won four out of the five engagements and if German Generals hadn’t attacked Norway they wouldn’t have any blemishes on the record. It all started in the Caucasus. Russian resistance there was completely suppressed. The German army won this battle convincingly - only losing an armored division. The Russians were able to save their armor and retreat back to Turkestan. One jubilant Russian Commander reported, “We hold the field and have captured a Tiger 1 tank for salvage.” Unfortunately for this commander his fellow countrymen didn’t do as well and the Tiger 1 went unclaimed as what remained of the Russian army beat a hasty retreat. The same result plagued the beleigered Russians at Vyborg. Trying to break into Vyborg the Russians came up against determined German troopers. The Russian attack was repelled and the defenders limped back into Leningrad. By looking at the situation on the eastern front you can easily come to the same conclusion as those overheard at Russian High Command, “He can hit any one of our cities with those tanks! Reinforce Moscow!” It seems the Germans have turned the corner in Russia. How will they proceed? Which city should they hit? German High Command is taking suggestions.
Norway has been a thorn in the German’s side. Some at German High Command thought there was a reasonable chance of winning in Norway. The British, despite a continued Atlantic blockade, are consistently able to make trouble for Germany in Norway and Denmark. The Germans lost their bid to take back Norway but they were able to reduce the British defenders. However, the English have landed an uncontested force in Denmark. The lack of a defending Kriegsmarine in the Danish Sea gave the UK a free hand in assaulting the peninsula and more importantly, a toe hold on mainland Europe. Undoubtedly German High Command will commit some of its reserves to retaking Denmark.
In the Atlantic, the Kriegsmarine continues to pressure American and British plans to open the shipping lanes. Both engagements in the Atlantic were won by the Germans. The German Navy is holding the convoy routes but eventually they will be overcome by superior American forces. The Italian Navy is moving as quickly as possible to reinforce the U-boats – the battle for the Atlantic is far from decided.
In other actions in the ETO: Russian armored divisions attacked a German artillery division in Syria and were defeated; Germany has consolidated their units in the Middle East and is looking to take full control of the region; this action has British commanders in India worrying about a German invasion of the sub continent; British and Russian strategic bombing of German industry has reduced the Reich’s IPC total by 8 this turn.
Pacific Theater of Operations - Part 3
Japanese High Command requested input from field commanders as to which strategic situation they deemed more important: Move the fleet out of range of Americans at Pearl Harbor or reinforce French Indo-China. The answer was almost unanimous – reinforce French Indo-China. When it came down to the moment of truth, a die roll, (this is still a game after all) the Japanese lost on both accounts. The die roll placed Japan last after both the Americans and the British. In the strategic game each country is allowed to make just one action per die roll and the die roll determines the order. Units can attack, non-combat move, or reinforce an attacked force. Once every nation takes one action a new die roll determines the next action order. This continues until the country commander is satisfied and no longer wishes to take any actions. This system allows for simultaneous turns. For the Japanese this turn they lost the initial die roll and the Americans and British each took one action before the Japanese.
Battle No. 26 is again in Hong Kong. Japanese High Command is getting increasingly frustrated with the lack of suppression of this important victory city. New plans are being drawn up at Japanese headquarters that would call for encircling the city then suppressing any remaining resistance. This probably should have been part of the strategic plan all along because the British have been able to continually reinforce the city with fresh units. Part III of this battle sees two Chinese infantry divisions enter the fray. Allied commanders please note the nationality requirements on the Battle Ticket.
Battle No. 27 is a straight up slug fest for the Island of Sumatra. Sumatra is worth 3 IPCs and definitely worth fighting over. Since Sumatra is an island there is no retreat. This is a winner-takes-all battle. British High Command implores its field commanders to hold at all cost and the Japanese high Command has issues just one order – Banzai!
Battle No. 28 is the first bid by the British to completely subdue Japanese domination of Southeast Asia. At first, British High Command thought an attack into French Indo-China would be the logical choice, but after calculating the number of Japanese troops that could amphibiously assault the province they wisely chose Siam instead. The British have the larger force in this battle and they need to subdue Siam quickly to make a move into Malaya. For their part, the Japanese need to hold firm in Siam and then rely on reinforcements from Japan to strengthen their lines.
Battle No. 29 is the big show down that everyone knew was going to happen. By losing the initial strategic die roll the Japanese were at the mercy of the American Navy and the Americans aren’t about to show any. The Americans have committed the entire Pacific fleet to the battle. The total combined attack strength is 41 points. The Japanese, unable to flee, have had to ante up to try and salvage a win. The Japanese have committed 42 points to the cause. This reflects almost the entire Japanese naval and air reserves. This battle will most likely be the turning point in the Pacific. The best the Japanese can hope for is a complete destruction of the American fleet while taking little or no loses themselves. The Americans have now committed themselves to a war of attrition. An American commander at High Command was overheard saying, “If we lose the entire fleet it doesn’t matter we can make more and the Japanese can’t.” This is an enormously large battle. Field Commanders are to use two full maps instead of one and are to double the number of objective to six. If you don’t have enough pieces to play the battle in full you are to use half the build points, half the objectives (use the standard 3 instead of 6) and half the required number of ships and aircraft.
Battle No. 30 is at Papua. The British are trying to put their ground forces into supply and need to retake the sea zone. This attack also ties up the Japanese battleship from supporting the carrier group to the north. The British have numerical superiority and are hoping to reduce the Japanese battle group and retake the sea zone.
In other PTO actions: The Chinese are making movement to close in on Shanghi as Japanese forces try again to suppress parts of inland China. The Japanese were able to land a sizable force into French Indo-China and they will have to try and contain British movements in Siam, Malaya and Yunnan. The British have sent a fighter squadron to protect their battleship from a Japanese battleship off the coast of Malaya and initially it looks like they will be successful in that endeavor. The UK commanders in India are also sending troops to Iran to help shore up British defenses in the Middle East from German attacks. The Japanese are attacking the Celebes in a final bid to take all of the resource rich trade islands. Finally, the Americans have landed a very strong force of regular Army and Marines at Guadalcanal. As always, report your PTO 3 results to AAR@wizards.com. The deadline for all PTO 3 battles is Monday July 9th 2007 at 10:00am Pacific Standard Time. Company Dismissed!
Previously in the Axis & Allies Campaign:
Battle Ticket and Fleet Action art this week has been used with permission of the History Department of the United States Military Academy. You can view the Academy map collection at www.dean.usma.edu/hisotry/web03/atlases/index.htm