Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
The first day of operations sees only slight movement and positioning. On the second day heavy rain comes, preventing either side from making much progress, although near Mateur in the north German forces drive back French Infantry. The British, advancing north towards the key port of Bizertia, encounter German panzers in the opening clash of the Battle for Tunis.
By the third day the rain has subsided a bit and with fresh German and Italian formations arriving, the Axis go on the offensive, driving the British back towards their bases in Algeria. The good news is that the German stukas suffer heavily from a successful interception by the RAF.
The rain continues, although not too heavy. Italian armored formations arrive in Tunis, and are soon sent south to aid in the attacks against the French who are forming near Gafour and Teboursouk. Initial Axis attacks on the French are rebuffed. By this time the French command confusion is over and their units are ready to join in the fight.
The next day the weather clears up. The Germans form a defensive line around the high ground near Beja. The plan is to hold back the British while Italian and German formations try to wipe out the French at Gafour. The Axis attack begins without air support, but the Italians are successful. The British begin their attack on the German Beja positions, but are beaten back by furious counterattacks the following day. A French attempt to retake Robaa in the south fails.
The RAF continues to harass and defeat Luftwaffe formations. Regardless the Italians take Gafour, while near Beja the Germans, reinforced and sensing British weakness, launch a furious attack that ends in severe losses for both sides. The British and French both make counterattacks, but progress is negligible.
The weather clears the next day, and both sides are ready to resume the offensive. The Allies are changing the point of attack from Bizertia to Beja in the hope of spiting the Axis forces and interdicting their interior lines. The Axis are hoping to destroy the French at Teboursouk before more Allied troops can arrive. To facilitate this the Germans transfer their panzers to aid the Italians.
The Italians seize Teboursouk, while abandoning the exposed position at Robaa. The French are surrounded just north of Teboursouk, and the only relief they get is from the RAF, which once again punishes the stukas. Yet a miracle occurs: the French hold out, and soon British and American armor has arrived to save the day. The Axis offensive has failed. In a moment of comedy though a combined French and American attack comes up short, giving the hapless Axis some relief. Beja is taken, weakening, but not destroying the German defenses there.
Heavy rain come and both sides pause to reform and readjust. The rain continues the following day, which see the Axis begin a new offensive to secure Robaa and Kairouan before the Allies can reinforce the meager French forces holding both positions. 10th Panzer, newly arrived from Europe, leads the way. The next day the rain slackens, and 10th Panzer wins the race for Robaa, but cannot close the allied route to Kairouan. British paratroopers are dropped their to protect the town until armored forces can arrive. At Robaa American and German armored formations have their first major encounter. The struggle turns to stalemate, and the Axis are forced to commit all of their armor to gain an advantage. The ensuing struggle eventually favors the Axis, and Kairouan is in danger of being surrounded. The Allied armor cannot punch through to Kairouan without risking heavy losses. To disrupt the German flow of supplies and distract them, commandos land at Bizertia and seize the city.
Heavy rain returns while American armor rumbles in. The Axis must now assume the defensive, while using their reserves to take Bizertia and Kairouan. The Allies must go on the attack. The heights near Testour, just east of Teboursouk offer the best chance for a breakthrough, as it is held by Italian infantry with only one German formation. However, large forces will have to stay near Robaa to keep the Axis forces there in place. Some Axis attacks go well, and Kairouan is taken, while a spoiling attack at Robaa comes up short for the Allies.
The Axis retake Bizertia, while Italian and German armor destroy the British paratroopers north of Kairouan but at a cost. The British do not give up though, and they drop paratroopers to aid the commandos and keep the Axis forces tied up in the north. The Allies begin the attack on the center of the Axis lines. Progress is made, but a combined American and French attack at Robaa ends in an Allied disaster.
The Axis commit their reserves to the center, where the Allies are making progress. Further north the Beja line comes under attack and starts to give way.
Today is the bloodiest of the battle. Once again the RAF disrupts the anticipated Luftwaffe support. The Axis counterattack ends in stalemate, and the Allies are not forced backward, but a late day offensive by the Allies ends in horrendous bloodshed. The Beja line is cracked, and Robaa is seized with the destruction of 10th Panzer, but in the center Italian and German formations decimate the Allied advance, leaving Teboursouk open to an Axis attack. Meanwhile the Axis have failed to destroy the Allied troops outside of Bizertia. The Axis may have to abandon this operation to stop the advance near Beja.
The Axis lunge at Teboursouk and take it, while abandoning the Beja line for rougher terrain further east. Only the timely arrival of 6th Armored Division can keep the Allies intact. The next day the Axis press further west, taking Le Kef and destroying the remnants of the French forces that once held Teboursouk. Thus the Axis gain the high ground, and can stop any attack made by the Allies, while further north the Allied advance has come to a standstill.
German formations are cut to pieces at Sidi Nsir, giving the Allies a renewed hope for victory. The Allies press on, closing in on Mateur and threatening Bizertia and Tebourba. Le Kef is also retaken. Heavy rain comes the next day though, and slows down the advance while heavy German reinforcements, including Tiger tanks, arrive from Europe. The Allied advance is not swift enough and a last ditch defense at Mateur by Italian and German troops stops the British advance and gives the Germans time too redeploy forces north to counter the Allied thrust.
The rain continues to fall. The Germans shift all panzers north, but a counterattack at Bizertia, intended to destroy the Allied vanguard, ends in disaster, including the inexplicable loss of the Tiger tank Battalion. The British seize Bizertia and the nearby airfield, while forming a defensive position around Mateur. The Allies now pause to await the German counterattack.
The Germans now prepare to make full scale counterattack on Bizertia. In reaction the Allies attack the thinly held lines at Tebourba and Medjez el Bab in the center, making no immediate gains but forcing the Germans to keep some armored formations in place. The next day sees the German offensive begin. All starts off poorly as heavy rains ground the needed Luftwaffe support. The attack is a failure and the Allies can claim a hard won and costly victory.
I'm no expert on Tunisia, but the Allied victory has to be of great importance, and certainly the campaign will end much sooner. The real difference maker was the Allied replacements and the RAF, which was fantastic at stopping the stukas. Overall I think this is a terribly underrated game on a forgotten battle. There are holes in the rules, but just use your common sense and you'll enjoy one of the most balanced and interesting hex and counter games around.
- Last edited Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:49 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:52 pm