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Subject: ElectronsXVIII:Disaster at Pearl, Dneprpsk. rss

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Wendell
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Yellow Springs
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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Here is the report for Nov/Dec 1942 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 below the =====.

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

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1942: DISASTER AT PEARL HARBOR, SLAUGHTER AT DNEPROPETROVSK; ALLIES ADVANCE IN AFRICA

The Russian steppes were lashed by rain for the entire period of November and December (3 weather rolls were all 4), and Mannstein's armies in the Ukraine continued their efforts to take Dnepropetrovsk. The third assault on Dnepropetrovsk took place in mid-November, after Italian and German stukas finally (second attempt) managed to disorganize the defenders. But despite Von Beck and Italian engineer efforts, the Axis couldn't dislodge the Russian defenders. Mannstein, Von Loeb and Rommel reorganized the armies and after perhaps the war's largest air battle to date, in mid-December the German armies again tried to carry the city. And again, the Russian defenders held the rubble of the city, which is nearly surrounded.

Farther north, Guderian made little progress. German guns and bombers failed to make much of an impression on Minsk; in late December Guderian used his motorized engineers in an attack to help with the river defenses; Minsk finally fell but the engineers were lost.

In the Pacific, Japan had been keeping a wary watch on Hawaii, only defended by MacArthur's headquarters. In early December, Tojo gave the order and the Japanese swarmed (played an ochit for a supercombined). And nothing went to plan. Japanese subs and cruisers managed to cut a couple of supply routes back to the US, but the big Japanese carrier fleet in the Marshalls failed to cut off the last American supply route. No matter; the Japanese carrier planes swarmed all over Hawaii, striking at MacArthur. Despite the efforts of air wings from five carriers, MacArthur's troops were still defending in good order when Yamashita, the Imperial Marines, and a Japanese engineer hit the Oahu beaches. In 12 hours of bloody fighting, Japanese battleships bombarding Hawaii hard, MacArthur's headquarters effectively ceased to be - but the brave defenders had prevented the invaders from getting ashore. The Yorktown and Wasp decided against engaging the Japanese carrier fleet, but did sink a cruiser southeast of Hawaii.

Yamamoto took another attack against Kwei-Yang, where the defenders were disorganized by Japanese artillery fire. However, the Chinese again held the city in bloody fighting (2 losses per side). In fact, in November Stillwell succeeded in forcing Japanese militia and infantry to retreat from the coastal area near Hanoi. (The Japanese easily killed an out-of-supply, disrupted Chinese militia that had advanced near Saigon, still in Japanese hands.) And the Hosho CVL managed to put Mountbatten's armies in Burma out of supply by chasing the Royal Navy away from the Bay of Bengal.

The Western Allies continued to reinforce Denmark; Gort and an American motorized corps landed there. They considered attacking Copenhagen but deferred in the rain (apparently afraid to risk Eisenhower) despite the Soviet Baltic Sea Fleet temporarily cutting supply to Copenhagen; the Germans reestablished supply (and the Swedish iron ore shipments) and added an infantry division that had begun November in Egypt to the Copenhagen garrison. And Montgomery began to lead a small army from Kuwait toward Baghdad, skirting the Iraqi cavalry in Basra.

Small Allied armies advanced up the west and east coasts of Africa. Bradley took Mauretania and Spanish Morocco without resistance. Alexander and an infantry army defeated Italian territorials and captured Mogadishu.

BP lost: Japan 24+ochit, Germany 20, USSR 12, Italy 11, China 8, US 7, CW 3

Comment: IMHO, the game has fundamentally shifted over the past 1.5 turns. FOUR attacks on Dnepropetrovsk have failed to take the city (only in one of them was it fully stacked), with the unmodified combat rolls being something like 8, 9, 8, and 4 in attacks where generally a 10 or better would have succeeded. Three Axis engineers have died in Russia in the past two turns. German and Italian aircraft continue to fail at an alarming rate to flip defenders on ground strikes (I'm talking about in the clear weather but also in rain they grossly underperformed what an average set of rolls would have achieved.)

Pearl Harbor was ripe for the taking, with a 60% chance of taking it even AFTER failing to put Pearl out of supply and after failing an 80% chance to flip MacArthur. Very frustrating. The EuroAxis, despite closing the Med, are IMHO in trouble; that's where the US is focusing its effort. Japan is doing embarrassingly poorly in China; it's been something like a year since a Japanese land attack took a hex, and both the Nationalists and Communists have been making their OWN attacks in 1942. The end game could be long and painful.

============ ============ ====== ====

(RECAP)
SEP/OCT '39: Warsaw holds due to bad weather and a short turn. Italy takes Gibraltar (note the spelling) on a surprise impulse invasion. Bloody battle in China causes Communists to fall back. US quiet. USSR annexes E Poland, no other territorial demands.

NOV/DEC '39: Germany finishes off Poland, attacks and conquers 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.

MAY/JUNE '40: Germany rolls into France, approaches Paris. France abandons most of Maginot. Wavell captures Tobruk, Bardia, Benghazi, races west. Ark Royal damaged, Revenge sunk by Italians. Japan fails to make progress in China.

JULY/AUG '40: France reels, but Paris holds. Spain joins the Axis. Spain and Italy declare war on France and Portugal. Italy captures Tunisia and Algeria. Japan bloodies Chinese. Wavell pushes Germans back near Tripoli.

SEP/OCT '40: France falls, Free France sets up in Gabon, BEF escapes France. Ark Royal, Gneisenau sunk off Cape St Vincent. Japanese assault on Sian fails, progress in south China. US passes Lend Lease Act.

NOV/DEC '40: Axis invades Greece, Bulgaria joins Axis. Inconclusive battles in China. Pro-Japanese freedom fighters in Burma close Burma Road. FDR authorizes US Navy to escort neutral shipping in North Atlantic.

JAN/FEB '41: Little action in bad weather. Japan militarizes Marianas. US embargoes strategic materials on Japan, authorizes resources to USSR.

MAR/APR '41: Greece falls. Naval battles in Eastern Med, advantage Axis. Japan bounces off Kweiyang.

MAY/JUNE '41: Japan takes Si-An, advances near Chungking. CW begins to retreat from Tripoli. Axis air sink the Eagle in the Med. German paratroopers take Bardia (Libya). No war in the east (Germans lack 2-1 garrison).

JUL/AUG '41: Japan occupies Indochina, aligns Siam. Japanese fleet to Canton. Axis destroys Alexander in Libya. CW carrier fleet arrives in Aden. No war in Poland (still no 2-1 garrison ratio).

SEP/OCT '41: Japan declares war on CW, captures NEI, Rabaul, Ceylon. Germany breaks pact, then declares war on USSR - no action. Italy sinks the Furious.

NOV/DEC '41: The Imperial Japanese Navy and Royal Navy duel in the Arabian Sea. Japan captures Singapore. Germans, Italians advance into Egypt. No significant action on the Eastern Front. US gears up - for FIRST time.

JAN/FEB '42: Japan takes Aden, captures two CW carriers, sinks a third. Germany and Italy take Alexandria. Polish front quiet. US annexes N Ireland, announces oil embargo against Japan.

MAR/APR '42: Axis conquers Egypt, Palestine, TransJordan. Maneuvering in Finland but otherwise All Quiet on the Eastern Front. Chinese defenders hold Nanning. Luftwaffe shreds Bomber Command over Essen. Beauforts sink Cervantes off Mouths of Amazon. US passes War Appropriations Act.

MAY/JUNE '42: US joins war. CW invades Denmark. Stillwell captures Hanoi. Malta falls. Germany begins offensive in Ukraine. Early turn end helps Soviets. Pro-axis coup in Iraq.

JULY/AUG '42: Stalemate in Denmark. Germany captures Kiev, destroy Koniev, Yeremenko HQs. Pacific quiet.

SEP/OCT '42: Germans advance in Ukraine, bounce off Dnepropetrovsk twice. Stalemate on Danish front. Japanese sink Enterprise, Hornet in Coral Sea. Japanese attack in China fails. Axis collapse Vichy France.

Edit: typos.
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Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
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Adding to my dissatisfaction with this turn - just discovered we miscalculated the net plusses for the attack on Pearl. My modified result should have been a '15' which would have let one Japanese unit survive the battle and take Honolulu.

gulp
 
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