|Axis and Allies Campaign|
|European Theater of Operations: Part 5|
|by David Devere & Tom Maertz|
European Theater of Operations: Part 5 – Spring/Summer 1943
The Russian people have amazing endurance. Their society seems to be able to take bad times better than just about any other group. Certainly this was true during WWII. The Russians had a higher casualty rate than any other nation. The Campaign Game is mimicking history: the Russians are absorbing the brunt of the German military. With Leningrad and Stalingrad under siege and Archangel and Turkestan under attack, it is possible that by the end of 1943 the only part of Soviet Russia still in Russian hands could be Moscow. But the Americans and British are putting pressure on Germany which is drawing reserves away from the Eastern front. German supply lines are severely stretched. Units produced in Germany can take up to two turns to reach the front. If the Russians can endure a little longer they may regain control of their contested cities and start an offensive.
Before we look at the battle tickets let’s look at the other actions for this turn. The British have moved troop laden transports into the Baltic Sea and taken control of the Baltic States. By invading an open territory they take it without contest. The Germans responded by attacking with four infantry units out of Poland. Taking the Baltic’s is just a harassing attack by the English, they don’t intend to keep the area but it will probably reduce the army group that can reinforce German lines further east next turn. A separate English transport moved an infantry and an artillery division into Leningrad to try and bolster the city’s defenses. The British have also attacked Finland and are again strategic bombing Germany.
The Americans were able to move an infantry division out of France and into Eastern France before Germany could move up replacements. So the Germans find themselves fighting to regain Eastern France too. American naval units have also attacked a lone submarine in the Central Atlantic. By attacking the sub with two destroyers and presenting greater than 2-1 odds the accompanying American transports were allowed to continue their amphibious attack into Morocco.
The Russians are biding their time. But they did commit their bomber to strategic bombing and the Russian navy is in the process of liberating a British convoy route.
The Kriegsmarine and the Regia Marina are attacking American transports off the coast of England and the Wehrmacht is attacking into Archangel, Turkestan, the Baltic States and Eastern France as well as fighting battle tickets in Paris, Denmark, Leningrad, Stalingrad, and Iraq.
Battle No. 41 is for Paris. The Americans have reinforced their positions and so have the Germans. Paris is a victory point city so the fight here could take a few turns to resolve. The real resolution of who wins in France will probably be decided in the Celtic Sea. If the Germans can destroy the transport fleet then they can effectively cut France off from reinforcement. Conversely, if the Americans and British can continue to absorb German reinforcements into France and possibly break out of France into Eastern or Vichy France, then this should draw off enough German units to give the Russians some breathing room and possibly plan an offensive.
Battle No. 42 is in Denmark. The Germans have to take back this troublesome peninsula. The British must not be allowed to continue to funnel troops into Denmark and constantly threaten Germany proper. Can the Germans win here this time? What kind of spell have the British troops cast that make them so effective against the Axis? German High Command suggests using the newly available Brummbar.
Battle No. 43 is for Leningrad. Attrition is never easy; however it is easier for the Russians than for the Germans. The Germans need to win this battle and do it without taking very many losses and they need to reduce the defenders to nothing. The only surefire way to win a victory point city is by not letting anyone retreat. Russian Field Commanders note that they are required to use 16 points in UK soldier and 16 points in UK wild.
Battle No. 44 takes place in Stalingrad. How many nails would be put in the Russian coffin if they lost both Leningrad and Stalingrad? This is a large battle and the only thing the German attacker can count on is that they will be facing a large number of Russian infantry. Russian infantry should not be underestimated. Mosin-Nagants have a high Close-Assault, PPsh-41’s have deadly short range, nobody wants to get to close to a Soviet Grenadier, the snipers have an extra little something for the SS, the Cossack Captain doesn’t look intimidating but he is, the Commissars’ propensity for enforcing the order makes everyone around him deadly and partisans are just plain pesky. Throw in an Su-85 and a lend-lease Sherman and the Russians don’t look like wilting flowers. German Field Commanders note that they need to take a minimum of 20 points in Romanians and a minimum of 20 points in Italians.
Battle No. 45 might be the last one we have in the Middle East. This is a Fixed Defender battle for control of Iraq and the gateway to India. The British are outnumbered but they are dug in and field excellent troopers. A British win here would reverse the English fortunes in the Middle East and possibly all of North Africa. A loss would expose India to Germany.
Germany has lots of fronts, North, East, South, and West – on all points of the compass the Wehrmacht is fighting to keep hold of their gains. Have they expanded too far? Your skill will decide. As always report your results to AAR@wizards.com. The deadline for all ETO 5 battles is Monday, August 6th 2007 at 10:00am Pacific Standard Time. Good Luck!
Previously in the Axis & Allies Campaign: