|Axis and Allies Campaign|
|ETO Part 7|
|by David Devere & Tom Maertz|
European Theater of Operations: Part 7 Spring/Summer 1944
England sends its finest back onto the French beaches, the Americans catch the Italians flat footed while Germany plunges forward in its conquest of the Soviet Union and sweeps up messes in Denmark and Norway.
ETO 6 wasn’t exactly what either side had hoped for. The Germans were looking to finish taking control of Leningrad, Stalingrad and Paris while also kicking the Americans out of Europe. The Allies were hoping to hold on in Paris, keep a toe hold in Vichy and throw the Germans out of Leningrad and Stalingrad. If you read the results that accompanied the PTO 6 tickets you know that the Germans did win Paris but lost in Leningrad, Stalingrad and Vichy France. The losses on the Eastern Front didn’t concern German High Command – the Russian front is a battle of attrition, one that relies on economy, and currently the Soviet economy is in shambles and the German economy is racing along like a fine tuned BMW. The Western Front, however, is more problematic. Let’s take a look at this week’s Battle Tickets.
Battle No. 61 is in France. The British are again vying for control of France. They have the upper hand but the Germans are dug-in and won’t be giving up easily. An American transport fleet is stationed off the coast and is ready to discharge its deadly cargo next turn. If the British win big the Americans might be persuaded to land part or all of their troops in the Netherlands thus cutting off one of two reinforcement routes to Paris. Allied Commanders note that they are required to spend at least 42 points in French and/or Polish troops or equipment.
Battle No. 62 is for control of Northern Italy and ultimately the city of Rome. The plucky Americans that won a spectacular victory in Vichy France last turn have decided that the best defense is a good offense and have attacked the Italian/German garrison in Northern Italy. The Italians were caught off guard and consequently the Americans have the upper hand. Rome is a Victory Point city so it can be fought over for many turns but if the Americans really push their advantage and try and reduce the Axis defenders to less than 30 points remaining or retreated, then the Axis wouldn’t have enough points to reconstitute an infantry division and Rome would be conquered this turn. The Germans are rushing troops to the area but they won’t be able to engage until next turn. Axis Commanders note that they are required to spend at least 40 points in Italian troops or equipment. Allied Commanders note that the Americans salvaged a German Brummbar from their fight in Vichy.
Battle No. 63 is a German attack back into Leningrad. The Germans are trying again and this time there aren’t any Russians in the surrounding countryside to interfere with taking the city. While there might not be many Russians in the surrounding countryside, there are plenty ready to lay down their lives for the party in the city and the Germans don’t have an enormous point advantage. If the Germans can win they will probably have enough troops in reserve to take the city next turn. The Russians are only producing 8 IPCs per turn. Unless the British and Americans can exert more pressure on Germany the Russians are going to snap.
Battle No. 64 is the continuation of the long slog for Stalingrad. This battle is now two years old and both sides keep slugging away. But a glance at the strategic map tells a different story. The Russians haven’t sent any reinforcement to Stalingrad. Meaning, if we have a Stalingrad part 5, which we probably will barring a catastrophe on either side, the remaining Russian units will be unsupported and might finally succumb to the Wehrmacht. I told you – the Russians are in serious trouble!
Battle No. 65 is the Soviets’ last ditch effort to try and reinforce Leningrad and break the German chokehold on the city. This attack called for a sacrifice and the Soviet bomber squadron was called to the altar. Let me explain. If you look at the map you can see two German fighter squadrons stationed in East Poland. These squadrons are the linchpin to any German attack or reinforcement on the front. Because of their position, they can be called upon to reinforce any spot from Leningrad and Russia to an attack on Moscow or Turkestan. Russian High Command knows that these fighters need to be eliminated or at least pinned if they are ever going to try and relieve Leningrad. By sending the bomber to attack the German fighters in Poland they have almost assured its destruction but the attack pins both fighters and prevents them from reacting to an attack or being committed to one elsewhere. This is an even battle and it is critical that the Russians win. They can’t afford to lose anymore.
In other action around the ETO, the Germans are attacking Denmark in what should prove to be an easy victory and they are taking an undefended Norway from the British. The Americans are sending a destroyer into the Mediterranean to finish up the remnants of the Italian Navy and they are sending more transports back to the US mainland for another load of troops.
Remember to report your ETO 7 results to AAR@wizards.com. The deadline for all ETO 7 battles is Monday, September 24, 2007 at 10:00am Pacific Standard Time. Russian Commanders stand fast! Your country is at its greatest time of need!
Previously in the Axis & Allies Campaign: