bremen-or-not-bremen-question-turn-19-1941-winter

Initial Thoughts
By conquering Great Britain, the Axis have now achieved a tactical victory regardless of what happens later. If the Axis can conquer Russia, the axis will earn a decisive victory. This is definitely in reach for the axis. However, the victory conditions also permit the allies to earn some sort of victory, but that would require the allies to defeat the axis, which seems very unlikely at this point because the USA will have its initial deployment severely restricted with both Great Britain and France out of the game.

Obviously, the Romanian setup was a mistake and costly. But, Russia is out of position at the moment and that could present an opportunity for the axis to take advantage of. Unfortunately, though, there are only a couple of panzer divisions on the east.

Next, the axis need to quickly man the beaches in Great Britain and France, or else the hard work of conquering Great Britain could all be for nothing if the USA gets an immediate foothold. The first order of things should be securing those beaches, and also sending those panzers to the Russian front because next turn the Russians will build a butt-load of new units.

Start
Hungary was successfully activated, raising Germany’s BRPs by 10 to 106.

DoW: Germany declares war on Denmark and Norway for 20 BRPs. Down to 86.

The Danish forces must all go on Copenhagen. Norway has two infantry, but chooses to put both on the capital of Oslo.

Option Selections:
Germany – West and East (Offensive), Med (Pass) 30 BRPs (56 remaining)
Italy – West and East (Pass), Med (Offensive) 15 BRPs (24 Remaining)

You can see immediately the consequences of the saved BRPs by Russia declaring war. If Germany had to declare war Germany would only have 21 BRPs now and would grow by 10. Instead, Germany could grow by 28 if it spends nothing else this turn. Like I said last turn, Russia’s decision to declare war and attack Romania was one of those decisions that had far reaching domino effects on other aspects of the game.

Voluntary destruction of units: none

Movement
Italy sends a 9, a 6, and a 1 factor fleet from France to Scapa Flow. Without the USA in the game the axis have a lake on the western front and can operate unhindered.

Germany no longer needs those fleets on Kiel. It is time to deploy the German and Vichy navies.

A Vichy 9 factor fleet deploys to Lorient in far western France. This eliminates any chance for the USA to land there since you can’t invade a beach if there is a 9 factor fleet on the hex.

A German 9 factor fleet moves from Kiel to Cherbourg in northern France.

The Italian 9 and Vichy 1 fleet move from Egypt to Taranto in Italy.

In Great Britain, the infantry and panzer divisions move to the beaches and ports for defense or in order to be sea transported and/or strategically redeployed to the eastern front.

In France, the infantry start to cover beach hexes.

GB and France look like this:

In Persia, the Italians re-arrange by sending both tank divisions supported by a couple of infantry divisions to the far eastern edge of the map with what looks to be an upcoming attack on the weakest Russian infantry, the 1-3 on hex FF45. A victory there would allow one of the Italian tanks to exploit and take some ground. Meanwhile, the remaining Italian forces in Iraq setup a defensive line with the northernmost hexes protected by the stronger infantry.

Persia looks like this:

In Denmark, two panzer divisions move from Kiel to next to Copenhagen for an attack there. The paratrooper also drops on Copenhagen.

On the eastern front in Poland, the Italian and German air concentrate in northeastern Poland and East Prussia. The Germans reinforce most of the hexes they control by combining units in most of the hexes along the line of forces on the Polish/Russian border.

Poland/Russia looks like this:

*Note: there are Russian 1-3 infantry partially obscured by the German stacks in east Prussia and NE Poland.

The Hungarians create a double line of infantry, but they leave Budapest empty! Will Budapest end the turn without a unit on it? If so, that could create an opening for Russia. We’ll see what happens at the end of the turn.

Hungary looks like this:

The entire board looks like this after movement:

*Note: there are Russian 1-3 infantry partially obscured by the German stacks in east Prussia and NE Poland.
*Note2: Paul had a correction on his movement that is not reflected in the above pictures. He decides to have both 6 Italian fleets and the 1 Italian fleet go to Portsmouth. This left a 9 on Scapa Flow and 13 fleet factors on Portsmouth.
*Note3: I moved the fleet on Kiel west one hex so that when it is expanded you can see the German armor divisions in Denmark.

Missions
5-4 (K29 – Bremen) flies to Copenhagen and provides 4 pts GS, 1 pt of counterair.
9 Fl (N19 – Lorient) carrying 3-3 invades Bergen
9 Fl (Z23 – Naples) carrying 1-3 invades Gibraltar

The 9, 9, 4, and 1 fleets on Kiel perform a sea transport mission by moving first to Cherbourg, joining there with the 9 fleet on Cherbourg, moving to Portsmouth (embarks 4-6 x 2 at Portsmouth), continuing movement to Harwich (embarks 4-6 x 2 at Harwich) and finally moving to Kiel and disembarks the four panzer divisions on Kiel.

Finally, the 5-4 (J35 – Danzig) provides ground support at K38 (the Russian 1-3 infantry).

The Russian air force are hopelessly outnumbered and choose not to fly DAS to try to save expendable 1-3 infantry.

The whole map looks like this before combat rolls:

Normal Combat
Sea transport mission to Kiel concludes by the Germans moving all 4 tanks east and finishing in a line running from north to south just to the east of Berlin

Counter Air (I32 – Copenhagen). Germany 6, Danes 6 -2 = 4. Danes lose 1 factor.

I32 – Copenhagen: 4-6 x 2 (I31), 3-3 (1 Fsjr) and 4 pts GS vs 1-3. Odds 15-3 (5:1) Die Roll 5. D Elim.

On the Russian front:
I38: 3-3 x 2 (J37) vs 1-3. Odds 6-2 (3-1). Die Roll 5. D Elim. 3-3 x 2 AAC.

J38: 3-3 x 2 (K37) vs 1-3. Odds 6-2 (3-1). Die Roll 4. D Elim. 3-3 x 2 AAC.

K38 and L38 attacked simultaneously by German units at L37: 3-3, 4-6 (L37) and 5 pts GS vs 1-3, 1-3. Odds 12-4 (3-1). Die Roll 6. D Elim 3-3 AAC to K38, 4-6 AAC to L38 (breakthrough hexes).

N36: 3-3 (N35), 3-3 x 2 (O35) vs 9-2 (4-1). Die Roll 1 EX. Remove 3-3 (N35), AAC 3-3 (O35).

P35: 3-3 x 2 (P34), 3-3 (Q34) vs 1-3. Odds 9-2 (4-1). Die Roll 4. D Elim. AAC 3-3 x 2 P34

The Germans have punched a hole through the Russian line 4 hexes wide in the Baltic states.

In Persia:
FF45: 2-3 x 2 (GG45), 2-5 (GG44) vs 1-3. Odds 6-2 (3-1). Die roll 5. D Elim. 2-3 x 2 AAC (Breakthrough hex)

Sea invasions of Gibraltar and Bergen are automatically won as there were no defenders.

Two German tanks move to K38 and L38 in order to exploit. One Italian tank moves to FF45 in order to exploit.

The whole map looks like this after combat rolls, but before exploitation movement:

Exploitation Movement & Combat
The two German panzers move in unison: both move NE one hex and then both move directly east one hex. Meanwhile the Italian 2-5 tank moves NW two hexes in order to isolate a couple of Russian infantry in Persia.

Poland/Russia looks like this after exploitation movement:

Persia looks like this after exploitation movement:

Construction and SR
I’m curious to see if Hungary ends with no units in its capital. That could create an opportunity for Russia.

Germany lost 15 BRPs for failing to recapture Romania and is now down to 41 BRPs.

Germany builds two infantry, one tank, and one RC in East Prussia for 15 BRPs. Germany now down to 26 BRPs.

Italy builds 6 RC units, one 1-3 infantry, and grants 12 BRPs to Germany. Italy down to 20 BRPs. Germany up to 38 BRPs.

For SR, Italy sends the BRPs to Germany, sends a 2-4 air down to Persia, moves a fleet from Egypt to Kiel, and sends two RC units to beaches in France.

Germany spends its SR as follows:
The airborne moves from Copenhagen all the way to the forward position in Russia at hex K40. From here it threatens a very wide area.

Two panzer divisions move by sea escort from Great Britain to the eastern front. One panzer division moves from Denmark to the eastern front. An infantry moves to the east, and the inverted German air retreats to safety in Germany.

Germany’s defensive setup in Poland has a tank every other hex from north to south starting at J37 in East Prussia all the way down to Hungary at R33.

The whole map looks like this after SR:

Final Thoughts
The axis have had another good turn. They’ve taken a lot of ground in the Med, including the key port of Gibraltar. They also conquered Denmark and have men on the beaches in Norway. Next axis turn looks like men will be sea transported into Bergen and Norway will fall.

Italy made some ground in Persia, and in Poland the Germans blew through the Russian infantry like they weren’t even there. The Germans have quite a big force amassed, and now the threat of exploiting deep into Russia exists. Even though Russia gets to go in Winter 1941, Germany will get to go first in spring 1942 before Russia can construct all those extra units. So, Russia will have to try to establish a line of defense without enough units to defend with.

It looks like Germany has accepted that Bulgaria will be defeated. The Germans did not even attempt a rescue by sending forces to the south.

Take a look at Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania, and Bulgaria:

Do you see a way for the Russians to end their upcoming turn with a tank in Budapest? If Russia gets a tank in Budapest then all the Hungarian units disappear permanently from the game. Is it possible to do that? Stay tuned for the next session report to find out.

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