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Subject: The lamps are going out: January-June 1918 rss

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Jon Lindbekk
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January-February

Eastern Front.
Bad weather hampers operations in Russia, which is a blow to German plans for knocking Russia ot quickly. To make matters worse, a couple of planned joint attacks wtih the Austrians and Hungarians have to be scrapped because of mutinies in the A/H army. However, Riga is taken in a succesful assault, but Russian losses are too low to cause a collapse this turn.

Russia, on the other hand, is still able to attack, and strikes at the weaker Austrian and Hungarian lines in Galicia. Extra supplies are sent to support Yudennich’s assault, and luckily, the soldiers obey the order to attack. Not so for the defenders, an Austro-Hungarian Inf surrenders, making sure the attack is destined to be a Russian success.

Italy
The Austrian army in Italy is also suffering from low morale and disciplinary problems. An attack with German support in Tyrol has to be cancelled, as Austrian units refuse to fight. But the plan is taken up again a couple of weeks later, and this time, the Austrians follow orders and attack, while the elite soldiers of the Italian Mtn corps refuse to hold their positions and meet the attackers with white flags, leaving a cav div alone to defend the positions. The div is quickly overrun and the the last Italian soldier on Austrian soil is captured.
Four days later, Cw and Italian forces launch an offensive against Austrian positions southeast of Venice. The Italians, probably due to harsh disciplinary measures, follow orders. The battle is a bloodbath, an Austrian Inf is killed, but so is an Italian and Canadian Inf. But losses are still not enough to bring Italy to a total collapse, more fighting on this front is required.

Denmark
Germany assaults Copenhagen and takes the City. Denmark is incompletely conquered, as the Allies still hold on to the northern parts of the country.

Middle East
The Cw once again tries to dislodge the defenders of Jerusalem, in snow. Ops are used to boost the attack, but only a local territorial is killed, along with an attacking unit. A few days later, German and Ottoman units attack one of the now disorganized Cw units to the West of Jerusalem, and defeat it.

In the Persian Gulf, the Cw launches a daring invasion of Kuwait. At only 2:1 odds, a 21 is rolled, killing the defending Inf and notional and all attacking units survive and the Cw takes Kuwait. Smuts is in overall command and will now be able to support an offensive towards Basra and Baghdad.

At Sea
Not much happens. The German surface raiders in The Faroes Gap are found and brought to battle, but manage to escape back to Germany past the Home Fleet in the North Sea.

March-April

Eastern Front

Another turn of bad weather, and even shorter than the previous turn, means moderate losses for Russia, and no collapse this turn either. A Russian assault collapses as units refuse to fight, and other units surrender to both German attacks in the north and Austro-German attacks in the south. But one attack north of Odessa is cancelled, once again because A/H units refuse to fight.

Western Front
Germany decides to use a short break of nice weather in late April to attack the alllied foothold. Ludendorf supports the attack with extra supllies, and the artillery barrage scores several hits, including a disruption of Pershing’s HQ. With air supremacy, there is little the Royal Navy can do to affect the result, and the dreaded «S» result is achieved, which Germany then converts to "R", killing all defending units. Germany now has freed up substantial forces.

Middle East
The British take Basra, against no opposition as the defenders surrender.

Italy
Just one Austrian attack, a Blitz against a Fd Cw Inf div is succesful.

At Sea
German Subs have shifted tactics. They are now numerous, and instead of spreading out to several locations, they now all go out to the one sea zone with the weakest defences. The Central Powers go first in March/April, and in bad weather all available Subs go to the North Atlantic. 5 Allied Cps are sunk and another 2 aborted. Later, after production, the auxilliary cruiser «Kronprinz Wilhelm» sinks a Cp in Cape St Vincent, and Austrian Subs sink 2 Cps in the Med. But the Russians also manage to sink one and abort another German Cp in the Baltic. 1 German Sub is sunk and 2 Austrian damaged in these battles.

May-June

Russia
Fine weather for the entire turn. To sum it up: Russia is crushed. No cities are taken, and some attacks in the south are cancelled because Austrian soldiers refuse to fight, but the aim of this final push is just to kill Russian units. Several Russians surrender, but enough are killed in battle to ensure the total collapse of Russia. Adding to this is also a Russian attack that only ends up with dead Russians. So much for trying to reduce the morale strain…After subtracting for home front production, Russia still drops 3 levels, more than enough as it is at 1. Russia drops out on June 28th, and sucumbs to chaos and civil war.

Italy
Fine weather also spells doom for Italy. Italy plans to use some extra suppllies to boost an attack led by Cadorna, but the Italians are too demoralized to fight, and the OPs are lost. As the Austrians attack, Cadorna and his entire staff flee the battlefield, and run towrads the Austrians. But the remaining Italians put up a tough defence, and losses are quite a bit heavier than Austria had hoped for. Austrian engineers suffer terrible losses as they set up pontons over the Po river, and as other Austrian engineers also come under heavy Russian fire trying to assist troops across the Dniestr, both A/H Eng divs are killed. The Austrians also loose an Inf. Anglo-Italian counterattcks are repulsed, but at the cost of another Austrian Inf. 2 Italian Mil and a Cw Inf div are killed in the same battle, leaving all combattants on this front exhausted. But still one last Austrian attack manages to kill a lone Cw Inf div. On June 30th, Italy signs a negotiated peace treaty with Austria and Germany in Vienna.

Middle East
Both the Cw and Us have now shipped reinforcements to the Middle East. They meticulously attack in Palestine, and by late June, have taken Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, and reached the Cw troops south of Beirut, who have been there for years now.

In Mesopotamia, the Cw advances out of Basra, defeating an Iraqi screening force south of Baghdad and now preparing to surround and storm the city.

In Azerbaijan, the Russians attack the Persian cav in Baku. They kill the cav, but both attacking Russian units are also killed, and Baku remains in Central Powers hands.

At sea.
Germany repeats the tactics of concentrating all their subs. Another 5 Cps are sunk. Germany has lost 1 sub each turn they have been concentrating, which is affordable. But results should be better.

On the diplomatic scene,there are some imporatnt events. Greece joins the Allies on May 7th, and Us and Cw forces are sent in, but more units are needed before an offensive may be launched. It’s a race now against the Central Powers, who by late May start to transfer units from Russia, in the safe assumption that they are no longer needeed there (apart from the required border garrison). The Ottomans also send a force, and will probably be able to send some more from the Caucasus, but they will take a while to arrive. The Ottomans must also send units to face the Allies in Mesopotamia and the Levant.

On May 8th, Wilson gives a speech in which he calls for self determination and national independence for opressed peoples, and 14 points on which to base a just peace. This will require Austria in particular to guard some cities in its home country, but ironically, in the Partisan step, this option results in partisan activity in the Philipines, India and Siberia, and not in any single CP-occupied territory.

That sums up the first half of 1918. It took some time, but Italy and Russia are now out, just in time to meet the likely reentry of France in July. The Central Powers are stretched, and Austria-Hungary and the Ottomans are beginning to fall apart. But the Allies now have so many theatres to attend to, and focused planning is needded, or else all front could end up stagnated, which will only benefit the Central Powers.

Italy at time of surrender



Military situation in Russia at time of collapse


Allies kicked out of Germany


Copenhagen falls, January 1918


Persian Gulf, Summer 1918


The Middle East, summer 1918


Russia in Flames: Ge markers for red controlled cities/res. Red units tilted.


Russia in Flames: Central Asia.


France right before reentry:


Denmark summer 1918. This really is the Gallipoli of this particular game. But at leats the short ranged Cw sub may now enter the Baltic.


Japan ready to support the Whites in Russia:


Another large convoy battle in the North Atlantic, May 1918.



Morale, May June 1918.


The Balkans, Juy 1918
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Steven Dolges
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Oh boy! Another great report!

The Russian Civil War looks like it will be tough for the Reds at the start but we will see.

AH has some time to recover before the Balkan front gets bloody. Lots of mountains present so it will be slow going for either side. Just need to dig-in.

Ottomans could be in trouble but they just to need to tie up the Allies. Even if they drop the CP may still have the needed number of VPs.

The French may cause some grief in the West but I suppose that depends on how many offensive points they have at the moment.

The Allies have the rest of the 1918 summer and the spring/summer of 1919 to make something happen. Will be interesting to see where it ends up.
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Jon Lindbekk
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Yeah, the Whites got the upper hand with units, but the distribution of cities and resources is more even. The reds will try to hold on initially and wait until enough partisans arrive (remember, they get one on each map each turn, in addition to any appearing in the regular partisan step). The Reds may also give independence to some republics in Central Asia to get more units on their side.

Autria-Hungary gets a lot of reinforcements in Sept/Oct (the units from Italy), and will try to keep the Allies at bay at a line south of Skopje. But its right wing towards Tirana and the coast is left open, and also needs to be plugged.

The Ottomans are in trouble. They have a large army in the Caucasus, but this region is not connected to other fronts by rail, so the redeployment will be slow, and maybe not in time. The Sanders HQ was destroyed in the battle of Jerusalem, and the Central Powers have no HQs at this front.

The French have a lot of OPs. They had some left when they surrendered in 1916, and France has accumulated 12 more (1 per turn), and 2 HQs on the map. So they may cause some, at least initial, trouble for Germany. However, Germany has almost twice as many units along the border as France, so unless the Us and Cw also send units, France could be in serious trouble. They will call out their reseves again, which will even the odds against Germany a bit, but they will not be ready for offensive action until September.

Right now, they Allies feel the pressure. The whites may do better than feared, but that front could change in a turn. Now thy must come up with some plans to bring momentum to all their distant theatres.
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