Wendell
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This is a trans-Pacific game being played via Vassal - this is the latest turn, May/June 1940. Old turns below the ====. I'll come up with a witty name later when something suggests itself!

The players: Stewart - Axis
myself - Allies

Rules: Same as in the Scandinavia in Flames game, we're using most of the normal options (partisans, etc), SIF, PIF, new MIF, divs/guns, terrs, Cruisers in Flames, 2d10 combat, "Stalin's War" Soviet production (+.25 in '42 OR when Germans declare war; '42 city mods become '43, '43 city mods deleted), EZ oil rules. We are also trying Devin's victory point system, and Italian and Japanese surrender. We are using Line of Command Vichy rules. We are also using the errata from the 2008 WIF Annual as well some of the new options including Offensive Points rules, randomized naval losses, revised Chinese attack weakness, lending limits, and face-down aircraft rebasing.

MAY/JUNE 1940: SOVIETS DECLARE WAR ON JAPAN, MAKE LITTLE PROGRESS; GERMANY UNHINGES FRENCH DEFENSES; ITALY DECLARES WAR ON FRANCE

May 1 saw the French holding reasonably strong lines from Antwerp south. July 1 was a different story.

In the second week of May, the storms of April having subsided, the Wehrmacht resumed its offensive. German armor destroyed French forces defending southeast of Brussels. This forced the French to fall back somewhat, and they weakened their defenses vs the Ardennes slightly to bolster defenses in southern Belgium that looked vulnerable.

And that was a mistake. Later in May, Germany released a flood of reserves (offensive points on the Von Bock headquarters); Runstedt and all-armored forces attacked across a narrow front and across the river just west of the Maginot, near Sedan, while other Germans attacked the French in Champagne just across the Belgian border and in Antwerp. Heavy air battles saw German and French aircraft destroyed, and apart from Antwerp the Luftwaffe failed to disorganize the French defenders. But the attack continued nonetheless. Runstedt and his armored army crushed the Metz militia west of Metz, breaking through into the French rear. At another narrow-front (i.e. 1 hex) attack into France, German paratroopers joined armored and mechanized forces to attack (the clear hex 2 hexes SE of Lilles); although the French had two corps and a division defending, they were not match for the German attackers. Again the Germans broke into the French rear, and isolated three French units in the Ardennes in Belgium. The assault of Antwerp caused some damage to the French defenders, but didn't take the city. But suddenly, that didn't matter. The Germans were within site of the Tour d'Eiffel.

The French scrambled; they managed to get a couple of corps into Paris and pulled largely out of Belgium; the BEF took up defensive positions at Calais. However, French and British bombers failed to disrupt the German spearhead units near Paris.

In June, the Germans isolated, disrupted with bombers, and crushed the French isolated in SW Belgium. They captured Metz and then Strasbourg, attacking both from across the Maginot and from the rear.

On July 8, Mussolini decided the time was ripe, and Italy cowardly declared war on France. The Americans were concerned and called in the Italian ambassador for a stiff warning. Italian mechanized forces quickly took Tunisia; Graziani led an attack against a cavalry division in the Alps, killing it. But the Italian fleet failed to find French cruisers in the Western Med.

There was a lot of action farther east. In early May, the Japanese positioned themselves for a decent attack against the Nationalists in Si-An. However, they were badly bloodied (rolled a 7+7=14, an UGLY result on the assault table).

On May 22, the Soviet Union sent forces into Manchuria, alarming the Americans. Zhukov and some Siberians advanced from near Chita, and other forces near Blag. Strategic bombers failed to damage Japanese production in Kyoto, although Soviet subs did disrupt Japanese shipping. Zhukov advanced SE along the rail line, while armored and other forces advanced from Blag. Soviet bombers failed miserably in ground strikes, but the Soviets had a good attack against a Manchurian TERR. They defeated it but suffered heavy losses, and ultimately made little headway.

However, they have helped China for now. The Umezu HQ and several corps were railed and shipped out of central and south China into Manchuria to stem the Soviet invasion. However, Stalin was alarmed that the German offensive into France was going much better than expected.

As June ended, the French government was internally divided. Some had argued for declaring Paris an open city (possible under the Vichy rules we are using), while others wanted to fight to the end. For the moment, the defiant wing of the government has prevailed. But it is nearly impossible to imagine, given the growing pressure, that France can last even two more weeks without a miracle. And General Gamelin appears to have lost his old magic...

In Washington, FDR gave signals to the British and French ambassadors that the US would view positively Allied material assistance to China. And yet another pro-independence militia (aka, partisans) appeared in southern French Indochina.

BP lost: France 35, Japan 13, German 10+11 off-points; USSR 9 + 3 off-points; China 2.

Can France get a miracle? Will the Soviets regret their invasion of Manchuria? How long will the British sit in Rotterdam? Will Britain and Italy go to war? This and more in the next installment of World in Flames.

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

SEP/OCT '39: Germany crushes Poland. Soviets get E. Poland, Bessarabia; Bulgaria and Hungary get chunks of Rumania as well. Japan feints against USSR.

NOV/DEC '39: German forces move West, crush Netherlands; Britain occupies Rotterdam. Japanese defeat Communists in mountains.

JAN/FEB '40: Japan takes ChangSha. Graf Spee sunk off coast of Canada. German subs hit shipping in North Atlantic. US occupies Iceland and Greenland.

MAR/APR '40: Germans declare war on Belgium, take Brussels with difficulty; French hold Antwerp. Soviets build up along Manchurian border. US seizes French carrier Bearn.
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Lee Massey
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I would bet that France will not get a miracle!
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Wendell
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JackFlash wrote:
I would bet that France will not get a miracle!


I'm just writing for literary effect - it's pretty clear France's goose is thoroughly cooked. I'm just glad to get to July/August before collapsing.

The Soviets might have thought twice about going into Manchuria if they'd seen this coming. On the other hand, British intelligence believes an invasion of the Home Islands is a possibility...
 
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Lee Massey
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I guess the key question is: will Germany invade the home islands?
 
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Wendell
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JackFlash wrote:
I guess the key question is: will Germany invade the home islands?


That's what the SOVIETS want!
 
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Lee Massey
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Do they have any chance of seeing the Germans invade?
 
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Wendell
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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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JackFlash wrote:
Do they have any chance of seeing the Germans invade?


Who, the English or the Soviets? Germans have built marines (Italy too) and repaired several ships, have built some subs and the Graf Spee. But no builds of AMPHs. Of course, German and Italian marines can also be used in the Med...

Soviets aren't going for a stuff so Barb is also a possiblity.
 
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Lee Massey
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Sorry, I meant the Soviets! It would help them immensely!
 
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