bremen-or-not-bremen-question-turn-17-1941-fall-ax

Initial Thoughts
The German airborne died as well as some Italian air last turn. Vichy France will activate, and the extra fleets will help, but the 2 RC units are not really going to add anything. The allies rolled lucky last turn, but the axis should be able to occupy London this turn. One question will be whether the axis roll a big exchange on the attack on London. If so, that will be costly. If the Axis roll a 4, 6 combo that would be devastating as the axis would have to lose 40 units worth of men.

Start
DoW: None. But Vichy France activates for the Axis.

Option Selections:
Germany: West (Offensive), Med and East (Attrition) 15 BRPs (93 Remaining)
Italy Med (Attrition), East and West (Pass)

voluntary destruction of units: none

Movement
The Vichy French fleets change base to Suez. The British do not attempt interception. The Italians designate a 9 fleet in northern France for supply. The Italian 6 factor fleet in Suez was also designated for supply. There are more than 9 axis units in Great Britain. The two axis units on hex I25 are not in supply. However, they are next to some British units and they could attack.

Movement ends with no change to the setup in Romania.

The entire board looks like this after movement:

*Note: there are 10 power on London (a tank and two infantry); there are a 9 fleet, a 3-4 infantry, and a 1-3 infantry on Portsmouth; there are a 6 Italian Fleet (designated for supply) an unused 9 fleet, an infantry and a 1-4 air on M21-Cherbourg in France; There is a replacement counter and 5 air on Great Yarmouth;

GB looks like this:

*Note: there are 10 power on London (a tank and two infantry); there are a 9 fleet, a 3-4 infantry, and a 1-3 infantry on Portsmouth; there are a 6 Italian Fleet (designated for supply) an unused 9 fleet, an infantry and a 1-4 air on M21-Cherbourg in France; There is a replacement counter and 5 air on Great Yarmouth;

Missions
For missions, the German air on Cherbourg counterairs the 1 British air in Wales and the 5 German air on Wilhelmshaven counterair the 5 British air on Great Yarmouth.

The German navy embarks 2 tanks from Kiel and 2 tanks from Bremen and is going to sea transport them to Rosyth. This sea transport mission poses a mortal threat to GB and GB must now attempt to inflict as many losses as possible on the German navy. If the British win the naval battle then the transport mission will be turned back to port and the tanks won’t make it to GB. In that case, GB would likely live one extra turn.

Combat
Counterair results:
K25: Germany 4, Britain 2. Britain loses 2 factors, Germany 1.
I22: Germany 3, Britain 2. Britain loses 1 factor

Britain attempts to intercept the Naval Mission at hex J29. Gibraltar fleet fails (die roll 5), Portsmouth fleet succeeds (die roll 2). But, the Italian fleet at Cherbourg sorties and counter-intercepts the British fleet at Portsmouth (die roll 1).

Naval Combat: Italy 5 -2 = 3, Britain 4 + 1 = 5. Italians lose 2 factors, British 1.
Naval combat at J29. Germans 3 + 7 = 10. Britain 2 + 1 = 3. British lose 7, Germans lose 3.

The Gibraltar fleets inability to intercept left the sole fleet at Portsmouth with no real hope of victory.

There were two possible results that could have helped GB. If GB had won the Italian fleet battle and then won the German fleet battle, the German navy would have been returned to port. This would have been the most preferable result for GB. The next best result would have been for GB to lose as bad as possible, thereby inflicting as much damage as possible on the Germans. The rolls came pretty close to the second desired outcome, with the British losing 7, which caused 3 Nazi boats to sink to the bottom of the sea.

Also, the results leave the Germans with exactly 32 fleet factors, which is exactly the number needed to sea transport all 4 tanks into GB. Had the allies sunk one more fleet factor then one panzer division would have been loss, but that didn’t happen.

The sea transport mission concludes with the 4 panzers moving south to H24, H25, and H26. They will be able to exploit and attack London.

Before normal combat, GB looks like this:

The rolls go like this:
J24: 2-3, 3-3 (I25), 3-3, 4-6 (I24), 3-3 x 2 (J23) vs 3-4. Odds 18-6 (3-1). Die roll 2, 5. D Elim. The 3-3 x 2 (J23) advance after combat. This creates a breakthrough hex and 5 tanks move to J24.

During exploitation movement, 2 of the tanks move west to J23, leaving 2 tanks on J23 and 3 tanks on J24. All 5 tanks will attack London with 20 GS from air.

GB looks like this before the exploitation attack on London:

The attack on London is this: K23: 4-6 x 2 (J23), 4-6 x 3 (J24) and 20 pts GS vs 3-4 x 2, 4-5. Odds 40-20 (2-1). Although an exchange would be costly, the Germans would occupy London on an exchange. Only a 4,6 combo roll will save London this turn. The roll is…Die Roll 6. D Elim 4-6 x 2 (J24) Advance After Combat. The Germans lose nothing on both their attacks this turn. London is now occupied by two German tank divisions.

Construction and SR
Germany builds two tanks on Kiel, the airborne on Wilhelmshaven, a 1-4 air on Wilhelmshaven, and sends 6 foreign aid to Hungary for 34 BRPs. Germany has 59 BRPs remaining.

Italy sends 37 BRPs to Germany and builds a 5-4 air for a total of 52 BRPs. Italy has 39 remaining and Germany now has 96 BRPs.

Italy lends the 5-4 air to Germany.

Germany starts sending its air force east to mainland Germany. All of the British forces are out of supply because he took London. That’s why it was important to move that 6 fleet to the USA box. If I had not moved it there, then GB’s survival would depend on the 6 fleet successfully surviving an interception attempt. If I lost the sea battle then I’d have no unit able to move into London and there would never even be a battle to retake London. That’s why I kept ending my turn with that 6 fleet in the USA box (in anticipation of him occupying London).

The whole map looks like this after SR:

Final Thoughts
This round went well for the Axis. They won both battles and lost nothing. London is occupied and GB should be defeated this turn unless the allies pull off a miracle on the counter-attack on London.

The opening in Romania is still there and a large chunk of the German army is tied up in Great Britain. Russia can declare war this turn, but that would come at some significant costs to Russia. More on this on the next session report.

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