Axis: We win initiative despite +2 allies and a re-roll. Weather 5, 2, 4, 1, 10
On the Eastern front the Germans ground strike Koniev and the Anti-tank gun in Stalingrad. To do so they have to face two Russian fighters who quickly get obliterated. Stalingrad is looking very weak but no attack is made.
Bagdad sees the arrival of the Hamburg militia to prevent any Allied attempts to conquer Iraq. Going first really safes me in the M-E. Italy also declares war on France but does not attack.
Japan is content with preparing for bigger things with a naval action.
Intense air battles above the Western Front sees the loss of many planes for both sides. On the ground the Allies succeed in taking another hex near the Swiss border when they blitz through with a 2-1 +4 resulting in */1B, those pluses make it really hard for the allies to fail with their attacks. And despite having all German fighters, except the long range night fighters, on the board it is impossible to prevent the Allies from striking big portions of my army.
In the M-E Jerusalem and Amman fall without much trouble to the CW and US. The USSR rushes reinforcements to the front but cannot do much to prevent the German advance.
Germany destroys a Guard Banner and takes a third hex on Stalingrad. And Italy despite having lost most of her fleet is still able to cut supply to the M-E. The last battleships prove to be useful till the very end. Japan continues to set up for a more eventful action later.
The CW and US send a massive fleet to the Med and the invasion of Italy is at hand. The French and US once more defeat the Germans on the southern end of the Western front. Munich and Nuremberg are threatened with Munich being likely to become a front city.
To prevent Munich from falling to the Allies the Turks race their best Mech from Istanbul to Munich. The anticipated invasion of Turkey seems unlikely now that the Allies have committed to invading Italy. Stalingrad finally falls to the Germans and another Guard Banner is removed from the board. The USSR had all its banners on the board, except the para and other specials, now only 1 or 2 remain. Unfortunately the blue factory had been railed away last minute. It still remains a big morale boost that the German army is still capable to achieve such victories in 1943. Italy serves as a gap filler in the west, now that the French are crossing the Alps from the north. And with the remaining forces they prepare for the Invasion.
The Allies land directly adjacent to Rome forcing a German Stuka to rebase. A big mistake from my part, most parts where well defended but that little harbor was overlooked, now Rome is in immediate danger.
The French continue their advance towards Munich and clear the forest hex in front of it. Stuttgart however holds which results in 1/1 losses with a engineer dying for the Allies.
The USSR retreats behind the Volga and prepares for Operation Uranus.
Italy has to throw everything it has, and that is not that much considering that the Western, Alpine, Greek and the Damascus front are also consuming valuable troops, at the beachhead. An attack seems impossible to succeed so containing is the mission for now.
Germany is capable of a counter attack and they successfully recapture a hex from the flipped French and Americans. However the -/1S sees the Germans flipped as well so even though Nuremberg is saved it is likely that the other gains from the Allies are permanent. Munich receives honor of becoming the first Festung city inside Germany.
The Eastern front sees the final German attempt to defeat big portions of the Communist army. If it succeeds an attempt will be made to capture the remaining cities and give Moscow the same fate a Leningrad, being under siege for the remainder of the war. The central attack sees a -/1 result. This puts and end to all German hopes of a decisive blitz. Two other attacks have better results with a */2B killing 1 corps and putting two others OS and the other scoring an !/1R. It was a success but not good enough to defeat the central part of the Russian army entirely. If the first attack had been a */B or better it would have been possible, though certainly not guaranteed, that the Communists, who where relying on HQ's only for supply in the center, could have been surrounded and defeated.
Japan begins with the invasion of the Philippines starting in Legas where a US marine division is destroyed and 1 convoy is captured. From this point onward the Japan will be the only Axis power capable of achieving any real permanent gains.
The USSR counterattacks and kill a corps but get flipped with their army. They also rail a HQ to restore supply to parts of their central front. Now with their supply situation having improved a bit they try to form a new line.
In Syria an OS division is overrun while the Allies advance towards Damascus. Italy sees the arrival of additional Allied soldiers and the destruction of Cavallero and an Italian division due to the massive naval support that the Allies provide.
The pacific sees a Japanese sub and US cruiser damaged. It remains very quite in there.
Germany rails units to Italy to stabilize the situation there. While also taking their winter positions in the East and M-E. Italy tries to establish a new front. Japan passes.
CW and US reinforce their beachhead in Italy, they have almost reached the Adriatic shore thus cutting Italy in half. In the M-E they try to blitz around Damascus but Badoglio and his German allies hold the line resulting in 1/-.
The US is also able to restore supply to Manila which messes with Japans plans. And the USSR drives the German convoys from the Baltic.
Turn ends which was about time since both sides had used most of their forces.
Production note: Japan has all its land units either on the board of on the production spiral, this includes all divisions and anti tank and air units. The sole exception is the Manila city volunteer. It still feels as if there is a massive manpower shortage and not all islands are defended well enough. They have been producing with 21 factories for a long time now and more then 30 oil has been stored in Japan. Even if Germany and Italy are defeated stopping Japan before the end of 1945 will be almost impossible.