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After failing to see the desired success against British radar in the ongoing Battle of Britain, Germany decids instead to temporarily focus instead on winning their North African campaign, while still halfheartedly continuing the London blitz.
The London blitz bombings continue, but British radar and the RAF are effectively keeping the home isles safe against Nazi aircraft.
Meanwhile, in Asia, Japan faces an embargo of critically necessary resources by the Western Powers. Not wanting to lose face, the Japanese high command begin very careful planning of their future expansions.
The Japanese decide to expend some minuscule effort into driving the remaining Chinese forces out of Southeast China, mainly using infantry backed with limited air support, and succeeds beyond their expectations. The Western powers watch warily as Japan advances to the very doorstep of French Indochina.
Germany coordinates its advances with the Italians, and together, the combined Axis armies push into Libya, driving the British and Commonwealth forces back into their stronghold in Egypt.
In Germany, Romania, Hungary, and Romania, preparations begin for "Operation Barbarossa", a plan of invasion into the Soviet Union. More troops also pour into Libya for the ongoing North African campaign. At the same time, a joint attack is issued against Yugoslavia, which quickly surrenders to the Axis powers.
The British and Commonwealth high command quickly respond by sending reinforcements to British-controlled Sudan and Egypt.
Meanwhile, the Japanese Empire strengthens its power in Taiwan, in preparation for both defense of the "Chinese" zone and the offensive incursions into British, Commonwealth, and Dutch holdings throughout the Pacific.
The Communist and Nationalist parties of China sign a more detailed alliance treaty.
South African and British African forces invade Vichy France-controlled Madagascar. British Asian forces also help to bolster Southern China against Japan.
The North African campaign rages on.
Italy invades Greece, only to be driven back into Albania. In response, Germany and Bulgaria send reinforcements.
The Soviet Union launches another invasion against Finland, this time with better equipment, geographical knowledge, and strategy.
A joint Axis attack launches against Greece, overrunning the mainland within days. Greece surrenders to the Axis powers, but Commonwealth forces in Crete refuse to budge.
The Soviet forces overrun the Finns. Alarmed by the Soviet success in the recent turn of events, Germany puts Barbarossa on hold, but leaves most of the prepared troops in place as a deterrent against invasion by the Soviets. Nearly all attention is now turned to Africa, and Germany tightens its control and influence over French North Africa.
The British African and South African forces take Madagascar.
The Axis powers start the bombing of Crete and Malta. The London blitz continues without much success.
Japanese invasion of Southern China begins.
Germany sends reinforcements to Libya, with orders to invade Egypt and break the British resistance.
British attention is now also focused on the North African campaign, and troops are diverted from the Mediterranean front in preparation of a counterattack against the Axis victories.
The Japanese invasion of Southern China proves somewhat more difficult than its previous conquest of Southeastern China.
Construction begins on a massive secret research facility in South Africa.
German invasion of Egypt ends in a disastrous failure, forcing a retreat back into Libya. In fear of a British counterattack into the soft underbelly of French West Africa, Germany fortifies its position there.
The Soviet Union launches an attack against Sweden.
British diversion away from Crete proves more costly than anticipated, and the Commonwealth forces that were resisting the Axis advance are overrun. In response, the British positions in the Middle East are fortified in case of further German expansion into the area. Some reinforcements are also sent into South China as part of the Sino-Japanese theatre.
The London blitz continues.
Soviet forces are driven out of Sweden. Sweden joins the Axis Powers as a deterrent against future Soviet invasions. With this, German propaganda successfully convinces much of America that Germany is a protector of European ideals, and not an aggressive conquerer. American opinion is divided further than before, and Congress cannot come to a consensus on breaking America's neutrality in the war.
Soviet attention is directed South.
The Japanese forces achieve victory in South China.
The joint forces of Britain and South Africa's African forces launch a massive campaign into Central Africa in an effort to liberate both the Belgian Congo and French West Africa from Nazi control. A similar Campaign is launched in East Africa
The Soviet Union launches invasion campaigns into Iran and Afghanistan.
The Belgian Congo and Italian Somalia are liberated.
Parts of French West Africa are liberated, Germany's hastily-made fortifications crumbling against British and South African zeal. Days later, Eritrea and Djibouti are liberated as well, cutting off the Axis occupation in Ethiopia off on all sides.
Japan begins attacking Central China.
French West Africa is liberated, and Axis Ethiopia surrenders to the Allies. The victorious armies marvel at how easy it was to take all of Africa south of Algeria and Libya. Forces are pulled from formerly endangered fronts in Southern Africa and Madagascar in order to strengthen the new front all along the Sahara. Many muse that the African front as already won.
Iran surrenders to the Soviet Union.
Afghanistan surrenders to the Soviet Union.
The research facility in Southern Africa completes construction.
On Christmas Day, the British are surprised by a German amphibious invasion of Southern England.
The beginning of the game was quite interesting. Excepting a few...liberties (such as the cancellation of Barbarossa, and the Soviet conquest of Finland), we tried to make it as accurate to history as we could without making what we each felt were dumb mistakes on the parts of the commanders of the various powers we were playing. In this half, Germany and Britain were both incredibly brilliant, fighting a fierce battle across Africa, and to a lesser extent in Greece. It turned out in the end that Germany had been diverting Britain's attention to Africa and pulled a surprise Xanatos Gambit with the invasion of the British homeland.