DAK2 Highlights of History
ER Bickford
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This is a semi historical look at the War in Africa 1940-1942
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1. Board Game: DAK2 [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:2391]
ER Bickford
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12 September 1940

Italian Army HQ

Orders from Il Duce to General Graziani indicate that Sidi Barrani must be captured by 15 October or else! To fulfill this directive, a Corps HQ and three divisions, artillery and five attached units will move to cross the so-called Mussolini line. An additional Corps HQ, and 4 infantry divisions 5 MG battalions and two artillery units will need to hold the rear across the Egyptian border.

23rd Corps HQ has arrived at Buqbuq and encamped. General Maletti organizes his force into three groups under himself, 1st Raggruppamento and 2nd Raggruppamento.



The first shots are fired as two squadrons of Fiat CR-42’s engage the British fighters at Sidi Barrani. Both sides take substantial losses. After the British fighters are knocked down, two squadrons of SM-79’s barrage the airbase but fail to damage any of the British aircraft.



In reaction to this aggression, the British commander orders a barrage against General Maletti and his troops. Of course this had no effect. A squadron of Blenheim’s sent on interdiction is reported to have harassed some of the Italian forces.

General Maletti is not dissuaded and opens with artillery fire on Sidi Barrani. Then the Italians follow through with an attack on the Commonwealth garrison, which is led by a tank battalion. Although the General puts himself at great risk it is to no avail as the attacking force is seriously repulsed. This was quite unexpected considering the superiority of our forces. In any event, 1st Raggruppamento has advanced on British positions.



Current Intelligence informs us that the Commonwealth is using the Western Desert RR to move supplies forward from the Delta region. Also, convoys of trucks seem to be moving supply forward as well.

Wellington bombers attempt to strike the airstrip at Buqbuq but fail to do any consequential damage.

General Maletti takes the initiative and lead a second attack against Sidi Barrani. The Cirene Division incurs losses, but Maletti himself survives another close call. The Commonwealth appears to have lost the 3rd infantry battalion and a French unit. An anti-tank battalion continues to hold out at Sidi Barrani.
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2. Board Game: DAK2 [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:2391]
ER Bickford
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15-18 September 1940

It is reported that the Commonwealth is pulling out of Sidi Barrani. British aircraft have been seen interdicting around Buqbuq and have been somewhat successful in hindering the advance of 1st Raggruppamento. A squadron of CR-42s is commissioned to chase them away. The British attempt to interdict the airstrip with a mission of Wellingtons but this fails. General Maletti and 63rd MG battalion captures Sidi Barrani. Cirene Division also captures the abandoned airstrip at Maktila. This will be useful.



Libyan Operations Group HQ arrives at Sidi Barrani and sets up camp with the 28th Blackshirt Division. Several divisions, MG battalions and Light Mechanized units have flowed into Egypt.
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3. Board Game: DAK2 [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:2391]
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19-21 September 1940

British Gladiators are used perform a mission to sweep our CR-42’s at Buqbuq. This is followed by a strike by tactical bombers, but the damage is negligible. Several of our units have now occupied Alam Hammid.

Three squadrons are sent on a mission to strike the airbase at Mersa Matruh. Two of the squadrons are comprised of Savoia Marchetti 79’s and one is a Ca-309 squadron. The attack commences but fails to leave any significant damage to the British airbase or aircraft.

SM-82’s barrage the British Anti-Tank unit pulling back from Sidi Barrani. No further attack is made as the British forces came to the rescue of their beleaguered unit.
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4. Board Game: DAK2 [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:2391]
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22-25 September 1940

The British launch a heavy air raid against our base outside of Tobruk. Our flak is completely ineffective and the airbase is left with heavy damage. Some of the SM-82’s are damaged on the ground as well.

We have news of reinforcements. Pavia Division arriving in Tobruk, and two battalions have debarked at Benghazi. Cirene Division is ordered to construct hedgehogs along the narrow corridor of the coastal road east of Sidi Barrani.

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5. Board Game: DAK2 [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:2391]
ER Bickford
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26-28 September 1940

Sandstorms are sweeping across the entire area from the Marble Arches to Cairo. All movement has been severely hindered. Three battalions from Tripoli are able to debark at Benghazi though. Some cargo arrives at the airstrip at Amseet.
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6. Board Game: DAK2 [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:2391]
ER Bickford
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29-30 September 1940

The weather across North Africa finally clears. Cargo begins moving by sea and trucks. 10th Corps HQ arrived at Tobruk. Also reports were heard that the 20th Corps HQ is enroute from Tripoli. Meanwhile we continue stockpiling supply at Tobruk and Sidi Barrani. The port facilities are very limited, especially at Sidi Barrani.

Two squadrons of bombers with escorts are sent to barrage the lead units of the Commonwealth Army. They are able to inflict punishment on the hapless units and return safely to El Aden Airbase. Now that the target is softened, the Libyan HQ initiates an attack. 6th MG battalion leads the way along with 1st Libyan Division. Our forces have encountered a prepared enemy and meet with unexpected disaster. Both the 63rd MG and 20th Light battalions are wrecked. A British armored battalion has been observed moving into Garawla.
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7. Board Game: DAK2 [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:2391]
ER Bickford
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1-4 October 1940

Great News! The 10th Armata platoon has arrived at Sidi Barrani! 10th Corps HQ is ordered to set up near the port at Zuetina in order to fuel units moving through the Marble Arches from Tripoli.



An air mission of tactical bombers and Fiat fighter planes are sent to attack the British forces outside of Maktila. A squadron of Gladiators, which engaged the CR-42’s, intercepted our pilots. Both squadrons abort after initial contact, but none of our aircraft have returned. The bombers did get through but failed to inflict significant damage on the British units. HQ orders an artillery barrage of the same area, but this also has negligible effects. HQ decides that there was not enough damage inflicted to pursue the attack any further at this time.
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8. Board Game: DAK2 [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:2391]
ER Bickford
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5-7 October 1940

20th Corps HQ and several artillery units are reported to have arrived at the Marble Arches. The Regia Aeronautica send out a mission of Siai Marchetti 79’s to attack the British lead units. Although there is no active patrol zone, our bombers take substantial damage from flak. Despite this, the bombing run has some effect on the British units. Also a squadron of Breda 65’s began an interdiction mission against any Commonwealth units that may attempt to react to our advance.

HQ orders an immediate attack on the Commonwealth units that were disorganized by our air attacks. The 61st Bersaglieri motorcycle unit leads this attack. Although we have overwhelming odds, the British gain tactical surprise and the lead motorcycle company is wrecked and the Libyan Division takes losses. It appears that the Royal Tank Regiment was demolished as well. The Commonwealth continues to hold out in the bottleneck along the coastal road. The Commonwealth forces are very quiet right now.
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9. Board Game: DAK [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:3364]
ER Bickford
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8-11 October 1940

Convoys of trucks have been observed moving supplies, making the long trek between Alexandria and Mersa Matruh. Meanwhile we continue to ship our own supply to Tripoli, Tobruk, Bardia and Sidi Barrani.

More reinforcements have arrived at the Marble Arches from Tripoli. This is good news.

2nd Medium Tank battalion, the 1st Libyan Division and the 1st Libyan Infantry regiment move up into position to attack the British Anti-tank battalion. A hodgepodge of bombers are sent in to strike the British targets before the imminent attack. Unfortunately, the SM-82’s are destroyed by flak, but the SM-79’s and Ca-309’s make it through to their barrage targets. The attack fails to do any damage. A British unit is observed reinforcing the anti-tank unit at the projected area of attack.

21st Corps Artillery fires at the British units, leaving them disorganized. Then HQ initiates the attack. The British take losses including the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. The anti-tank unit also is forced to retreat. Our losses are insignificant and we finally win a small battle! The Marmarica Infantry Division moves to cover the flank.
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10. Board Game: Afrika Korps [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:3712]
ER Bickford
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12-14 October 1940

Commonwealth units are observed re-deploying themselves. Supply is pushed forward and some reinforcements enter Alexandria. Not to worry though.

62nd Machinegun battalion secure our southern flank. 21st Corps HQ orders the barrage of the anti-tank unit, which had been abandoned by the Commonwealth leaders. The 1st Libyan regiment and 3rd Med. tank battalion practically roll over the helpless unit. 21st Artillery fires at another isolated unit in reserve. After the barrage it was learned that the unit was the 11th Hussars battalion. Libyan Op HQ orders an immediate attack on the hussars. The hussars had to rely on internal supplies, as it was a sitting duck, out of supply range. What a disaster that ensued! The 1st Libyan regiment is completely wrecked and the British unit retreats in safety to the escarpment.
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11. Board Game: Panzer Grenadier: Afrika Korps [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:5912]
ER Bickford
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15-18 October 1940

The British continue to slowly pull back. Blenheim IV’s begin to interdict our troop movement again. A squadron of CR-42’s is sent out to chase them off and both air units take losses as a result.

1st Med. Tank and 61st Light are stripped of their tanks. 20th Corps HQ sets up a relay in the midst of Cyrenica to provide supply from Benghazi. 36th Infantry and 18th Libyan regiments move forward to garrison Buqbuq. 3rd Jan Blackshirt division is ordered to construct field fortifications (2SP) south of Nibeiwa.
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12. Board Game: Afrika Korps: Decision in the Desert, 1941-42 [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:6793]
ER Bickford
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19-21 October 1940

Blenheims are reported to be interdicting along the coastal road. More of our infantry units from Tripoli have arrived at the Marble Arches. 5th Libyan Division has constructed field works at a key junction at point d4015.
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13. Board Game: PanzerArmee Afrika [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:5530]
ER Bickford
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22-25 October 1940

Savona and Brescia Infantry divisions arrive at the Marble Arches from Tripoli today. These two units are slated to be mobilized by the “Truck Shuffle”. 3rd Jan Division constructed another hedgehog to protect Sidi Barrani against any Commonwealth intentions. Otherwise we are bogged down with attenuated supply lines. The 21st Artillery is ordered to barrage the advance units but is largely ineffective so no combat was risked.

There is intelligence that the Australian 6th Division is in Alexandria. An unexpected barrage from British Ships hits Sidi Barrani supply dumps. A small amount of supply is lost.
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14. Board Game: Afrika: The Northern African Campaign, 1940-1942 (1st edition) [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:4110]
ER Bickford
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26-28 October 1940

General Maletti and his artillery regiment move to Sidi Barrani. Aosta and Genova battalions reportedly arrived in Msus. They are still a long way from being any assistance in Egypt. Savona and Brescia Divisions arrive at Derna using the trucks that have been temporarily provided them.

The British are said to have artillery unloading at Alexandria. I guess this is not surprising. Blenheims continue to harass our troops in Egypt. There is not much that can be done about it.

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15. Board Game: Afrika Korps [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
ER Bickford
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29-31 October 1941

Brescia and Savona divisions arrive at Bardia. Our infantry units around Sidi Barrani are ordered to take up defensive positions for the time being. Meanwhile British Blenheims continue to roam the skies above at will.
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16. Board Game: DAK2 [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:2391]
ER Bickford
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1-4 November 1940

Logistics report: Attention General Graziani. There will be a major increase in shipping to Tripoli. Assets have been released to provide for the shipment of approximately 6,000 tons of supply for use by 10th Army. Additional assets are available for local coastal shipping. End transmission.

3rd Med Tank battalion and 25th Corps Artillery regiment are received as reinforcements in Sicily. Brescia Division moves to Halfaya Pass.
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17. Board Game: DAK [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:3364]
ER Bickford
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5-7 November 1940

The British Navy strikes again with a coastal bombardment, and knocks out a minimal amount of supply from the stores at Sidi Barrani.
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18. Board Game: The Campaign for North Africa [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:14251]
ER Bickford
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8-11 November 1940

Weather Report 8 November 1940…..Heavy rains are falling in Western Egypt.

Heavy rains in the Alexandria-Cairo regions will no doubt slow the Commonwealth forces down for a few days. The Long Range Desert Group has been seen moving toward Mersa Matruh. Commando raids can be dangerous. Aosta, 17th MG, and Genova battalions arrive at Alam Hammid.
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19. Board Game: Tobruk: Tank Battles in North Africa 1942 [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:3686]
ER Bickford
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12-14 November 1940

3rd Medium Tank battalion links up with the 1st Raggruppamento. Bologna Division leaves Tripoli on foot heading towards the front lines in Egypt.
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20. Board Game: DAK2 [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:2391]
ER Bickford
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15-18 November 1940

Both sides continue to mass supply.
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21. Board Game: DAK [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:3364]
ER Bickford
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19-21 November 1940

Weather Report 20 November 1940: Heavy rains continue to strike Tobruk. Cairo is also enduring inclement weather. End trans.

Heavy rains have struck Cairo and Tobruk. The Provisional Bersaglieri battalion is formed in Benghazi. Trucks at Buqbuq continue to Sollum and Benghazi. Bad weather makes the travel quite arduous.
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22. Board Game: DAK [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:3364]
ER Bickford
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22-25 November 1940

The Provisional Bersaglieri Reconnaissance Battalion fuels up at Benghazi (1T) and moves into Sidi Barrani.
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23. Board Game: Afrika (second edition) [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:2059]
ER Bickford
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26-28 November 1940

Blenheims have been reported to be interdicting again around the front lines. Both 1st and 2nd Raggruppomentos are dismantled and replaced by the Brigata Corizzato Speciale, with Babini, at Bir Enba.



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24. Board Game: DAK [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:3364]
ER Bickford
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29-30 November 1940

Rainstorms visit Benghazi and Alexandria. Blenheims continue to patrol the front lines looking for targets of opportunity. The Provisional Bersaglieri Reconnaissance Battalion fuels (1T) and joins the Brigata Corizzato Speciale Raggruppamento.
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25. Board Game: DAK [Average Rating:8.02 Overall Rank:3364]
ER Bickford
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1-4 December 1940

From Weather battalion: Weather Report for 1 December 1940: Heavy rains are expected during the early part of the week across North Africa between Sidi Barrani and Mersa Matruh. End of transmission.

Heavy rains arrive at the Sidi Barrani-Mersa Matruh front. The Western Desert HQ seems to be on the move. Is this an ominous sign of an impending attack? We have heard that a number of battalions have arrived at Sicily to reinforce the war in North Africa. Also, Regia Aeronautica is reinforced with a new squadron of Fiat CR-42’s at the airstrip at Sollum. In addition, new squadrons of SM-79’s and Fiat G.50’s have been assigned to the airbase at El Aden.

Meanwhile the Bologna Division has reportedly passed through the Marble Arches today. They will be needed. Trucks are being diverted to temporarily motorize the division to get it to Egypt more promptly.
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