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Subject: Peace in Flames 12: Struggle in the Steppes, War in Greece rss

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Wendell
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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This is a trans-Pacific game being played via Vassal. Following is the latest turn, July/August. Old turns below the ====. "Peace in Flames" seems an appropriate name since wars are busting out all over...

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.

JULY/AUGUST 1941: STRUGGLE IN RUSSIA; AXIS INVADE GREECE

German armies, still sodden from the spring storms, began to move again. In early July Army Group North assaulted Smolensk but were beaten back in heavy fighting (2 units each destroyed). Beck began to pull some units back from near Kalinin that had been slowly moving northeast. Farther south, Rommel's Army Group South rolled up to Stalino and captured that city in late July. At about the same time, Army Group Center took Kursk, only lightly defended.

Guderian's forces gathered themselves again for an assault on Smolensk, which was finally captured - again with heavy German losses - on August 18. The city had fallen, but German forces north of Kursk were in complete disorder.

The Soviets counterattacked in August. Long-range TB-7s smashed the oil production facilities in Ploesti (hit all 3 oil). Zhukov sent the Bryansk Front forward, hitting weakened German defenses near Kharkov, and recapturing Gomel. German forces in Kursk, nearly surrounded, pulled back slightly, and elements of Army Group North stormed Gomel successfully. German armored units crushed a Soviet infantry army that had the nerve to creep forward from the neck of the Crimea, and destroyed the Sevastopol militia in the norther approaches to the Crimea. The first summer of Barbarossa was basically a stand-still.

Mussolini, frustrated at his inability to capture Malta, changed his focus. He convinced the Fuhrer to go along with an invasion of Greece, which began on July 10. Italian divisions and German paratroopers quickly captured Patria and Korkyra; Italians and Bulgarians advanced from the north.. The British, however, were ready. They quickly sent British, Australian, and Indian reinforcements into Athens and Kalamai. And Churchill renewed secret diplomatic talks with the Yugoslavians.

The Japanese finished off Ho Chi Minh's nationalist uprising in Vietnam. The weather in south China was stormy and wet; Japan made one attack near Kunming, which was bloody but indecisive. Australian naval intelligence reported a large Japanese fleet relocating to Truk, including several carriers.

Churchill ordered continued air raids against the German fleet in Brest. The first failed when unexpected poor weather forced the RAF to call it off (i.e., surprise split let the Axis cancel combat). But a second wave of land-based air and bombers flying from the Hermes, Argus, and Glorious succeeded in damaging the German carrier Graf Zeppelin

Italian subs had their first real success. Operating off of Cape St Vincent, they thoroughly disrupted Commonwealth shipping (they completely emptied the sea area and then ended the turn, costing CW 9 build points).

The US quietly reinforced Pearl Harbor; MacArthur intensified training of Filipino territorial forces.

BP lost: German 31 + 19 opoints; USSR 31 + 6 opoints; Japan 6, China 4, CW 3.

Comment: Stewart in two attacks against Smolensk rolled (on 2d10, not including modifiers) a 4 and a 6. That didn't help the Axis at all; it cost the Germans time and four units including a precious engineer.

===================
1939: Germany crushes Poland, Netherlands. No Japan-USSR war.

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.

MAY/JUNE 1940: Germans smash through Belgium into France; French government teeters. Italy declared war on France, attacked in Alps, took Tunis. USSR invaded Manchuria, Japanese stripped China to defend.

JULY/AUG 1940: France collapses, Free French government set up in Senegal. Soviets advance in Manchuria. Germany redeploys east, with Italy and Romania, declares war on USSR. US embargoes strategic materials to Japan, gives destroyers to CW.

SEP/OCT 1940: German and allied troops enter USSR proper; Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary join war. Finns snatch Murmansk (oops). Stalin gives up Soviet Far East to get peace with Japan. Commonwealth declares war on Italy, sends BEF to Karelia, lands division in Sardinia. US authorizes resources to W. Allies.

NOV/DEC 1940: Germans take Minsk, Kiev. Royal Navy sinks last Italian transport (and kill Balbo HQ), several cruisers, damage Littorio for no loss.

JAN/FEB 1941: Japan occupies French Indochina, seizes Kunming. US freezes Japanese assets, builds five Essex-class carriers. Germans take Pskov. Germany and Italy eject British from Sardinia.

MAR/APR 1941: Germany takes Dnepropetrovsk. US first gear up, FDR authorized navy to base at Pearl Harbor. Axis air attacks against Malta but no invasion. Australians liberate Ethiopia. Japan attack against Nanning fails.

MAY/JUNE 1941: Storms in Russia, Germany stalled before Smolensk. Japanese take Nanning, move marines to Truk. British, Finns maneuver in north but no battle. Air battles rage over Malta, CW reinforces the island and deters an invasion. South Africans occupy Tobruk, Bardia. Kriegsmarine relocates to Brest.
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Thank you for your report, very exciting and well written!
 
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