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Subject: Electrons in Flames V: The Battle of France Begins rss

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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
Here is the fifth turn and report for our game being played in the ether via Vassal. Thanks to Ken Griffith for his fine work!

Recap of previous turns at the end of the report.

The players: Stewart - Allies
myself - Axis. This will not be a neutral report!


The Wehrmacht, having quashed the last Belgian defenders in late April, kept on rolling and arrived at the French frontier on May 1 (Germany got a double move). Despite French bluffs, the Wehrmacht made fairly easy work of the French army. Initial progress was made west of the Ardennes, beginning the process of dividing the French armies into two. The Luftwaffe was particularly effective, destroying all three French air wings (2 FTR, one LND3) in May. Later in May German forces occupied Calais (left vacant) and strong forces led by Von Loeb smashed the defenders of Lilles, including the French Chevalier armor army, stranded there when Stukas disrupted them (and the Georges and Billotte HQs were too far away to help). Simultaneously, large concentrations of German armor and mech cleared the defenders out south of Lilles as well.

France scrambled to bring up reinforcements, slowly abandoning the Maginot Line (except for Metz). Gort fell back into Rouen but surprisingly did NOT evacuate France. In June Germany smashed more French forces in open terrain, and approached Paris. By the end of the turn, Germany had large forces near Paris, which appeared ripe for attack (included 2 flipped units). But some communications delay (how else to explain the Allies ending the turn after impulse 8 by rolling a 2?) prevented a German attack before July 1.

Meanwhile, the wars in the Atlantic and the Med continued. Italian subs ravaged Commonwealth shipping in the north Atlantic in early May (sunk 5 CP, aborted a couple). An Italian fleet (with some naval air escort from Gibraltar) sailed to Cape St Vincent over the period; over the course of a couple of battles, they managed to sink the Revenge and damage the Ark Royal.

The news was better for the Allies in Libya. British, Indian, Egyptian and Australian forces led by Wavell captured Tobruk and Bardia (lightly defended by territorial forces) and later took Benghazi. By late June they were on the southern shores of the Gulf of Sirta.

Japan tried to take advantage of the fair weather, but repeated sorties by Japan's air forces failed to make any headway against China. They did manage to clear out the partisans in TsiNan and Foochow.

FDR, despite concerns about the situation in France, was quiet during this period, hatching some devious plot no doubt.

BP lost: France 25, CW 14, Italy 6, Germany 0 (despite half-a-dozen land attacks not always at great odds -- Lilles was only a +8 attack but I rolled a natural 15 -- and several air-to-air combats).

Comment: with optional Vichy rules that we are not using, France would be perhaps conquered already. But I still have to take Paris, and several French units that were blitzed off the map will reappear. The Battle of France is not decided yet.

SEP/OCT '39: Warsaw held due to bad weather and a short turn. Italy takes Gib on a surprise impulse invasion. Bloody battle in China causes Communists to fall back. US quiet. USSR annex E Poland, no other territorial demands.

NOV/DEC '39: Germany finished off Poland, attacked and conquered Netherlands. Minor skirmishes in the Western Med, CW divisions reinforce Morocco. US approves resources to western Allies. No combat in China with bad weather.

JAN/FEB '40: USSR demands Bessarabia, reinforces Poland. Hungary and Bulgaria gain territory at Rumania's expense. China static. US gives cruisers to CW, occupies Greenland and Iceland.

MAR/APR '40: Sub skirmishes in North Atlantic. Japanese attack makes no headway in China. Belgium falls in lightning attack in late April when the rain finally clears.
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