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  1. #161
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    Pre-Barbarossa you can troll em with Messina, later on you need a bigger front to attract germans.

  2. #162
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    Hi guys, update definitely coming tonight, I super promise it! I meant do get this done last weekened but I became consumed by getting my new CK2 AAR up and running. Now that it's started, updates should return back to normal! (Hoping to continue at a 2/week pace.)

    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    Getting into the toe of the Italian boot seems key. Even if you never advance, creating a nice defensible area might draw enough Germans down that the French can hold. How well-equipped are the Australians with Mountain troops?
    Unequipped, I'm sad to say. The focus on Naval affairs so far left me with little IC/leadership for the army, so I had to make the best of what I did have. My infantry/artillery are about up to date but lack specialist support (yet). I do have plans for mountain/marine troops in the pipeline, now that I have a solid base of infantry to work from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wallienator View Post
    Pre-Barbarossa you can troll em with Messina, later on you need a bigger front to attract germans.
    Messina is a great spot for trolling, no doubt, and my inevitable fallback position. Even the Germans can't really break me across the strait, and the Italians can't beat me on open ground!
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  3. #163
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    Tada~


    Chapter 2.6 – The African Question


    Mid-April was immediately marked by the continuation of the Mediterranean Sea Battles. Operation Alsatian – the Australian invasion of Sicily and Southern Italy – was well underway and the Italians were scrambling to respond. Mussolini declared that they would not rest until every single British lackey was driven from her rightful soil.



    Although the Italian fleet fled Palermo as the Australians approached the docklands, they were unprepared for the level of harassment that HMAS Vanguard and her escorts would give them. As many submarines were left at the bottom of Gulf of Palermo, the rest fled to sea. En route to the Italian naval base at La Spezia, the subs were intercepted by the Vanguard; multiple seaplanes struck out at the flotilla and few ships escaped Australia's wrath.



    Australian Naval operations in the Mediterranean had been a complete success, but over the weeks, the British fleet had grown weary. Italian activity was increasing and word was that the Regia Marina had won a major victory over the Royal Navy near Durazzo. Australian shipping was growing increasingly threatened and several convoys had been attacked in the past week, which rendered Australia's already stretched supply lines vulnerable.


    The 1st New Zealand Cavalry advance into Southern Italy - no enemy resistance is offered.


    Despite the risk of an Italian sortie into the Strait of Messina, the 1st New Zealand Cavalry Division crossed and took Reggio di Calabria unopposed. The plan was to advance to the town of Catanzaro and hold the toe while waiting for reinforcements from the Australian infantry and their heavy artillery. The citizens of Reggio were suspicious of the Kiwis, but they cooperated fully with the occupation force. On the 22nd of April, the New Zealand Horse began to move out, but not before enjoying a celebratory party with the local anti-fascist underground, who believed their freedom had at last come.



    Italian activity in the Tyrrhenian Sea increased, and the Australian fleet came within an inch of disaster. The early radar system of the Vanguard had been disrupted by heavy rainfall and the planes were grounded. As stormy weather increased, the Fleet began to make for the safe shelter of Palermo and did not notice the presence of an Italian battle group until they were already in range.

    Both sides began a close-range gun duel, seemingly caught unawares by the situation. Admiral Collins was unable to deploy his aircraft and was forced to direct the battle from Vanguard's bridge as it served as little more than target practice. The Australia and Adelaide took serious hits and the fleet returned fire, trying to cover their flagship as it retreated.



    When the dust lifted, the Libia and several destroyers across the opposing fleet had vanished from view, and several others were left smoking and damaged. The Australian fleet was also battered and quickly returned to Palermo, afraid of more ambushes in the rain. Although an Italian Surface Group arrived in the area that night, they were too slow to intercept the Vanguard and they escaped to the harbour unscathed.


    At Catanzaro, they meet their first enemies in the form of an Italian infantry division. The cavalry are pinned down.


    On April 28th, the NZ cavalry arrived in Catanzaro to little fanfare. They had scarcely two hours to dig in before a barrage of artillery pummelled the town. The division's own light artillery returned fire, but the firepower was no match and soon Italian infantry were spotted trying to retake the town. The battle would soon spread across the entire line as the cavalry tried to hold the peninsula against increasing pressure from Italian forces.


    Australian cavalry focus on capturing the rest of Sicily while the rest of the ANZAC army prepare for deployment.


    Reinforcements were on the way. Two divisions of Australian infantry, including the battle-hardened 7th division, had now boarded trains for Messina. The Australian cavalry were trying to secure the south of the island while a large force gathered in the ANZAC HQ at Palermo. Operation Alsatian had been a great success, but it was clear that more was required to win the war.

    The Australian assault into Southern Italy had resulted in decreased pressure across both the Maginot and Alpine lines, and German offensives had ground to a halt in Northern France for the time being. It was expected that forces were being shifted south to counter a predicted surge of Commonwealth troops. The prediction was a solid one, it seemed that Operation Alsatian was a complete success and with support from Britain, they could push straight up the Italian boot. Britain, however, was unwilling to send assistance. Italian forces were busy pushing into Egypt and as long as the Suez was at risk, they were unwilling to divert extra troops from Africa.


    The Italians were making excellent progress into Tunisia, but their main ports had been left weakly defended. If Africa was ever going to be dealt with, now was the time.


    Australia realized that if Operation Alsatian was to have any hope of success, the African question needed to be dealt with as quickly as possible. Plans for a landing near Bari were called off and hastily redrawn. As harsh fighting continued at Catanzaro, a new battle plan was drawn for the invasion of Libya. Although they were reluctant to give ground to the enemy, something needed to be done to ensure victory.


    The New Zealand Infantry Corps land west of the city of Tripoli and prepare for an immediate assault on the all-important Libyan port.


    West of the Port of Tarabulus (also known as Tripoli), three divisions of New Zealand infantry landed. The Italians were not expecting such an audacious assault on their continental holdings, and the seizure of the major supply thoroughfare to the west placed Italy's offensive into Tunisia in great jeopardy.



    They were lightly armed and well-supplied – the New Zealanders did not have heavy artillery like the Australians, but in the harsh desert environment it was deemed that they would benefit from the improved mobility.


    Numbers, experience and manoeuvrability all play into ANZAC's favour. The city garrison is steadily pushed back.


    They took every opportunity to blitz east and try to surround the city. Having trained in the Outback and been equipped with Australian-made desert warfare equipment, the Kiwi infantry saw a great deal of success in Northern Africa. The Tarabulus garrison came under heavy pressure, it seemed there was little anyone could do to save the all-important port from capture by ANZAC.



    On May 2nd, reinforcements arrived to relieve the beleaguered defences at Catanzaro. Two divisions of Australian infantry backed by heavy artillery forced the Italians back into the hills. The New Zealand division was quite embarrassed to learn that the Italians were far less in number than they had assumed, and boldly claimed that if they had been on the offensive, they would have won.


    Fresh Australian divisions prepare for an offensive up the peninsula.


    The Australians ignored General Inglis' concerns and pushed on even as the cavalry was recalled to Palermo. Their objective was to push up the toe of the Italian boot and to bloody the Italians and Germans all the way. The Generals were concerned about how they were supposed to hold off the Italian and German armies with just two divisions, let alone advance up the boot. No answers were forthcoming.



    Two days later, the war in the skies returned. Italian patrol bombers attempted a bombardment of the HMAS Vanguard and her escorts in the Gulf of Gabes. The carrier was forced to scramble her fighters in defence of the ship and interceptors based in Palermo were called in to help.


    Australian flak attempts to clear the skies of dangerous patrol bombers.


    For several hours, waves of Italian aircraft dove at the carrier, but it seemed that the fates favoured her. Aircraft both from her flight deck and Palermo harassed and shot down numerous targets. Although the fleet was weary and in need of repairs, reinforcements and shore leave, they won another great battle off the Tripolitanian coast. The Regio Aeronautica was once again sent packing, its vaunted bomber fleet striking only a single hit on the HMAS Perth, who was left limping but otherwise alive. Admiral Collins ordered her to retreat to safe harbour for repairs. The ship was intact but engineers estimated it would be at least two months before she was ready to go again - a painful loss for an Australian fleet that was already light on hulls.



    On April 5th, the Italian garrison at Tarabulus was forced to pull back and the Regia Marina fled the city's harbour. The port facilities soon fell under Australian command and the Australians laid claim to a large stockpile of supplies that had been abandoned by the fleeing troops. The successful Battle of Tripoli was in no small part due to the fire support of the Royal Australian Navy, who endured counter-fire from coastal batteries, naval bombers and Italian ships in harbour to ensure victory for the men on the ground. The African Push, known as Operation Deep Blue, had one more task for these tired ships...


    Libya's other major port falls into Australian hands with no real resistance.


    651 kilometres to the east, on May 12th, the HMAS Vanguard was once again in action, along with as many spare men as Australia could muster. Even the garrison of Cagliari had been withdrawn to ensure this operation would proceed as smoothly as possible. Over 46,000 men, the largest force assembled for an Australian operation yet, launched a full assault on Benghazi. The major port was expected to be heavily fortified and defended, but the Australians were surprised to see that the Italian garrison had retreated into the hills. Having taken the vital port unopposed, they quickly set about forming defensive lines and planning their attack. It was time to relieve Britain of the pressure on Egypt.

    Apr 13th-May 12th
    ANZAC Expeditionary Army:
    778 soldiers killed in action
    Royal Australian Air Force:
    19 Hawker Hurricanes lost
    5 Supermarine Spitfires lost
    Royal Australian Navy:
    15 Hawker Nimrod Carrier Planes lost
    12 Gloster Sea Gladiator Carrier Planes lost
    HMAS Perth heavily damaged
    5 Australian frigates sunk
    3 Australian merchants sunk
    Regio Esercito:
    1486 soldiers killed in action
    Regio Aeronautica:
    12 Fiat G-50 fighters
    46 Cant Z.501 Gabbiano patrol bombers
    5 Cant Z.506B Airone patrol bombers
    Regia Marina:
    RM Libia sunk
    4x Submarines
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  4. #164
    Lt. General Tallfellow's Avatar
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    You might be able to weaken Italy a bit by kicking them out of Africa, it all depends on how many units they have there ofcourse.

    And i hope you are ready to meet overwhelming force when you get a bit farther up the boot.
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  5. #165
    Major TKFS's Avatar
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    I've got a feeling a hammer-blow might be heading for the Aussies in Italy
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  6. #166
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    Yeah, in one of my US games I managed to destroy about eleven german and hungarian divisions but then I was confronted by about fifty axis divisions (Barbarossa hadn't happened yet) I lost three airborne, two infantry and two motorized divisions.
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  7. #167
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    Nice work in North Africa - bringing that campaign to a swift conclusion should free up Allied forces that can be better used elsewhere.

    The continued sparring with the Regia Marina looks a bit risky, although HMAS Vanguard seems to be performing heroically! Question - where are the Italian battleships?

    As the others have remarked, I expect the ANZAC advance in Italy will soon run into a major German response...

  8. #168
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    Two divisions to - essentially - see how far into Italy they can advance? I guess the two advantages are A) you get to disrupt Italy ever more and possibly trigger a bigger reaction from the Germans, and B) once you inevitably meet superior forces, you have a longer ways back to retreat to Sicily. It does strike me as a bit foolhardy, though - you're essentially raiding Italy with a bunch of infantry.

    Great successes in Africa. I hope that really saps the strength of the Italian offensive there. One question: how much is Tunis at risk of being captured by the Italians, thereby reopening their supply lines?
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  9. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallfellow View Post
    You might be able to weaken Italy a bit by kicking them out of Africa, it all depends on how many units they have there ofcourse.

    And i hope you are ready to meet overwhelming force when you get a bit farther up the boot.
    I don't have the exact number but I estimated something like 7 or 8 divisions in Africa (although knowing Italy, they're probably 2 brigades each, maaybe with an extra support brigade here and there). I probably outnumber them in men.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSmith View Post
    Nice work in North Africa - bringing that campaign to a swift conclusion should free up Allied forces that can be better used elsewhere.

    The continued sparring with the Regia Marina looks a bit risky, although HMAS Vanguard seems to be performing heroically! Question - where are the Italian battleships?

    As the others have remarked, I expect the ANZAC advance in Italy will soon run into a major German response...
    Taking both major supply lines will definitely be a strain on the Italians, so far the operation is a complete success. The tiny Aussie navy and the outdated Vanguard are performing much better than I'd feared, but I have indeed been lucky not to run into any serious battleship groups as the carrier is too slow to outrun them. The British continue to sweep the seas and aggressively hunt down any battleships that are spotted, forcing them to run to safety or break the British blockade first. Cruisers seem to be far less actively molested by British fleets, presumably because they're harder to spot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Two divisions to - essentially - see how far into Italy they can advance? I guess the two advantages are A) you get to disrupt Italy ever more and possibly trigger a bigger reaction from the Germans, and B) once you inevitably meet superior forces, you have a longer ways back to retreat to Sicily. It does strike me as a bit foolhardy, though - you're essentially raiding Italy with a bunch of infantry.

    Great successes in Africa. I hope that really saps the strength of the Italian offensive there. One question: how much is Tunis at risk of being captured by the Italians, thereby reopening their supply lines?
    I think the Italians were two provinces off Tunis and that the city was lightly guarded. Given their rate of advance up until that point, I suspect they were suffering from supply shortages already - they more or less ground to a halt after I took the two cities, whether because they ran out of supplies or decided to backtrack, I don't know. If they were able to push on, though, only a single division stood between them and Tunis.

    Quote Originally Posted by TKFS View Post
    I've got a feeling a hammer-blow might be heading for the Aussies in Italy
    Quote Originally Posted by H.Appleby View Post
    Yeah, in one of my US games I managed to destroy about eleven german and hungarian divisions but then I was confronted by about fifty axis divisions (Barbarossa hadn't happened yet) I lost three airborne, two infantry and two motorized divisions.
    To answer everyone's questions about the raid on the toe...about this time in the game I had originally planned to see two corps pushing up the toe of Italy and another hitting Bari. My hope was to try and push up into the rough hills and mountains of Southern Italy and build a defensive line where their tanks weren't very useful. Italian resistance came quicker than I'd hoped, though, and it seemed like both Axis powers were diverting troops towards Southern Italy. I kept the attack to a minimum of two divisions and decided not to push up the peninsula as it would be too difficult to retreat later and would be an intense manpower requirement once the real threat, Japan, joined the war. Taking Africa out of the war was a much stronger decision for the safety of my troops and my overall strategic position. Like the rest of you, though, I'm getting very worried for those two divisions, as I'm sensing quite a bit of firepower coming my way. I'll be very skittish about engagements, that much is for sure!
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  10. #170
    Second Lieutenant Caleb The Great's Avatar
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    Your accomplishments with that low tech Carrier still manage to amaze me. Your air force has also proven itself very much useful. I'd suggest that you retreat back to Messina, where the enemy has to cross a strait and spend huge amounts of manpower while doing it. Your possibilities against German tanks in there also multiply. Keep up the good work!
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  11. #171
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    Excellent work in the med! Thankfully Italy isn't the most indomitable enemy, otherwise Australia and co. might not have enough resources. The RA is incompetent, and that's a real blessing for you.
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  12. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb The Great View Post
    Your accomplishments with that low tech Carrier still manage to amaze me. Your air force has also proven itself very much useful. I'd suggest that you retreat back to Messina, where the enemy has to cross a strait and spend huge amounts of manpower while doing it. Your possibilities against German tanks in there also multiply. Keep up the good work!
    Even a low-tech carrier can achieve great things against an enemy with an inadequate air/carrier force. The Italians mostly doomed themselves by being unable to respond in reasonable fashion to Australia's interceptors. Messina is definitely the best long-term option, as it's more or less untakeable by anything less than a full naval invasion of Sicily. I have poor anti-tank capabilities so if German armour arrives in the open terrain, I won't have much choice other than retreat.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGB View Post
    Excellent work in the med! Thankfully Italy isn't the most indomitable enemy, otherwise Australia and co. might not have enough resources. The RA is incompetent, and that's a real blessing for you.
    If this was Germany I certainly wouldn't be having such an easy time of it. Italy's very incompetent and was totally unprepared for a Southern Italian strike (I estimated merely 4 brigades were left to defend Sicily + Naples). The incompetence of the RA has definitely saved me by giving my carrier mostly free reign under the cover of my Hurricanes and the CAGs.

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  14. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    Are the Aussies still producing fresh divisions, or have you switched over to saving your manpower for battle?
    Still producing divisions, but at a reduced pace. Emphasis is still on Naval production for the time being.
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  15. #175
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    Here we go again!


    Chapter 2.7 – Dancing in Africa



    Operations near Benghazi began in good spirits. Italian troops bunkered in the hills were under-supplied and equipped mostly with outdated Great War weaponry. The Australian 3rd Corps was still untested in battle, and this was planned to be her proving ground. With both superior firepower and numbers, the Italians were forced to fall back on virtually every front. Lt. General Mackay was preparing a plan to march east and trap the Italian forces assaulting Egypt near Tobruk. With just hours remaining before the planned start of the operation, Field Marshall Cyril Bingham-White called off the attack.


    Sardinia, left undefended by the Australians, had been recaptured by Italian landings.


    Cagliari had been occupied by a brigade of Italian commandos on May 17th, forcing the Australians to rethink their force deployments. It was predicted that the Italians would be fighting hard to keep the city. British High Command viewed Sardinia as a threat to her shipping lanes, and the Australians were worried about Italian bombers. Three divisions from the 3rd Corps supported by New Zealand cavalrymen would be mobilized to retake Cagliari with overwhelming force. Although the Australians were concerned about how much material they had to move back and forth to make this a reality, British commanders reassured them that they would have the full support of the Royal Navy in the operation.



    Several air raids were attempted on Palermo from the base at Cagliari, and that was enough to convince the Australians that immediate action needed to be taken. Thanks to either luck or to incompetence of the Italian pilots, no ships were damaged in the raids, although port infrastructure was left damaged and some sailors were killed. The Australians found it difficult to scramble fighters in time for a change, but clouds of flak shot down numerous bombers and forced a general retreat as the Vanguard's own fighters took to the skies in protection of their ship.


    Cosenza became the site of a pitched battle between Australian and Italian forces as the Commonwealth troops advanced up the Italian peninsula.


    The 7th and 23rd Australian divisions advanced as quickly as possible into Italy, but soon met heavy resistance at the town of Cosenza. Here, an entire division of Italian infantry had dug in expecting the worst. The town would suffer from constant shelling by Australian howitzers and mortars. The ruined piles of rubble made life just as difficult for the attackers as it did for the defenders as destroyed buildings made movement into the city difficult. Snipers took up positions in whatever positions they could and entrenched Italian infantry were proving difficult to push back.


    There was little in the way of fighting on the Alpine Line, where both sides were heavily dug in and fortified.


    Meanwhile on the Alpine Line, the Italians appeared to have given up any pretense of assault on the French defensive positions. More and more troops were being pulled off of the line, including many of Italy's best-equipped divisions. French command was still suspicious of an assault, however, and refused to shift troops north to face the Germans.



    On May 26th, the Australians finally abandoned the assault on Cosenza. It was a disappointment to ANZAC command, their first true defeat as all objectives of the push remained in Italian hands. On May 28th, Australian air reconnaissance detected movements of armour to the south, along with large numbers of infantry. The Australian generals requested permission to retreat, but High Command was insistent that they remain a little while longer.



    On the seas, another brief battle was fought, and again a victory was earned by the Australians. HMAS Vanguard was once again in action, escorting fleets of transports on their way to Cagliari to retake the important Sardinian city. A scout plane reported late in the afternoon of May 29th that they had seen a British merchant in flames and that several Italian submarines were also spotted on the surface. Vanguard immediately ordered a strike.

    The operation was a great success, with four submarines and an Italian supply ship sunk from the air while undergoing resupply. The Italians attempted revenge as two more stalked the fleet, but they overestimated their own capabilities and were picked up by the flotilla's sonar. The destroyer HMAS Vampire claimed one with its depth charges, and the last was picked off by one of the Vanguard's dive bombers. The Italians had learned the hard way how deadly Australia's navy really was.


    Australian forces were hitting Cagliari hard, frustrated at fighting this battle all over again.


    The very next morning a large convoy of Australian transports appeared on the shores of Sardinia. Under air cover from HMAS Vanguard and with the help of the fleet's many guns, the Australians descended on the beaches at Tortoli without much in the way of resistance. The Italians were soon surrounded and trapped in Cagliari with only a minimum of supplies thanks to Britain's overwhelming naval superiority.


    The 7th and 23rd Australian divisions fall back towards Reggio di Calabria and the ferry service to Messina.


    June 3rd, the order everyone was waiting for finally came through. Bingham-White had accepted that the Australians were not going to make any further progress into Italy, and that the longer they remained in the open, the greater the risk of being defeated and losing two divisions was. A general retreat was sounded across the line. There was a fear that the Italians and Germans were going to assault the Australians once they were no longer in the shelter of their safe lines, but that fear never materialized. For whatever reason, there was no forthcoming assault and almost no Australian munitions or equipment was lost in the retreat.


    Rodolfo Graziani was believed to be Commander of the Italian Mediterranean Army.


    Although the Australians were permitted to retreat to the vital port, they were shadowed by Italian tanks and infantry and several short skirmishes between the Regio Aeronautica and the RAAF occurred over Calabria. Finally, General Rodolfo Graziani sent a message to the Australian commanders, demanding that they surrender or be destroyed by the joint Italian-German forces. Reggio was expected to be a deathtrap, but the Australians responded by laying down heavy covering fire. The HMAS Vanguard and her escorts, freed from their escort duties near Sardinia, were responsible for covering the Strait of Messina and they would guard the transports departing Reggio to the death.


    Australians met the first serious Italian opponents since the Invasion of Libya began, at the city of Al Jawsh.


    On the same day that Rodolfo Graziani dispatched his demands for a surrender, Italy was suffering heavily in the desert. Although the offensive from Benghazi had been halted, Italian forces were still under heavy pressure from the New Zealand divisions near Tripoli. A fierce battle erupted in one of Libya's southernmost cities, Al Jawsh, as poorly equipped Italian forces tried to resist the ANZAC push.


    New Zealand infantry storm a fortified Italian position during the Battle of Al Jawsh.


    The Italians suffered heavy casualties as the Kiwis relentlessly pushed their way into Al Jawsh. Unlike Cosenza, the Italians did not have the same kind of heavy firepower to make the most of the Italian environment. What the Kiwis did lack in heavy artillery, they made up for with manoeuvrability and excellent modern equipment. They had been well-trained in preparation for this kind of warfare and the Italians were proving to be little match as Al Jawsh was taken street by street.



    News reached ANZAC Command on the 6th of June that Cagliari had fallen to Australian troops. The Italians had held out unusually long, and had to be flushed out of numerous homes before surrendering. The battle was not bloody in terms of men killed, but casualties were high as wounded accumulated at a worrying rate. In retrospect, Australian commanders believed they were very lucky to have lost so few men in the Cagliari push. Italian forces were well-trained and equipped here, but their supply lines were weak and they lacked the kind of heavy artillery to compete with the heavy Australian divisions. As the last troops were pushed against the bay, they surrendered rather than face death.


    The withdrawal to Messina had been a success, despite Italian harassment.


    Although Mussolini had demanded that no Australian be allowed to leave Italian soil alive, Graziani had utterly failed to block the ANZAC escape from Reggio. Attempts by the Regia Marina to sortie out of Bari had been repeatedly blocked by a large Royal Navy taskforce and the HMAS Vanguard and her escorts offered heavy fire support to the evacuating fleet. Miraculously, the Australians escaped to Messina mostly untouched, even though much of their equipment had to be evacuated under fire. It was a great operational victory for the Australians, but many commanders felt that the battle never should have happened to begin with.


    The Battle for Al Jawsh continues as the Italians attempt to retake the city.


    In Africa, the Italians were unhappy with their progress. On June 13th, Italian forces launched a counterattack into Al Jawsh, clearly determined to retake the city. This continuation of the already bloody Battle of Al Jawsh was seen as a last-ditch effort by the Italians to seize some kind of supply base before they were systematically annihilated by the New Zealand forces. Unlike the Italians, the Kiwis were well-trained and equipped with fine modern arms. The town would not be retaken without immense casualties on the Italian side.


    Despite the lack of a real offensive out of Benghazi, Operation Deep Blue's impact on the war had been a resounding success.


    ANZAC operations had cut off Italian supply lines and greatly weakened Italy's fighting capacity. As troops had been recalled to try and deal with the forces around Tripoli and Benghazi, the British had made an immense breakthrough. Piercing the Italian line at Ad Diffah on the 20th, they not only thrust the Italians back, but completely surrounded and defeated them at Tobruk on the 30th. With the Italians' last major port gone, they were completely without hope of victory in the African Campaign. General Rodolfo Graziani was stripped of his command and relegated to desk duty while a more suitable replacement for Mussolini's Mediterranean campaign was sought out.


    July 4th in France. The Allies are struggling to hold back the grey tide of German forces.


    On the morning of the 4th of July, the situation in Europe seemed bleak. German forces were concentrating their armoured thrusts into a large pincer that threatened to swallow the surviving elements of the Maginot Line. French General Maurice Gamelin boldly declared that he would not permit the Germans to encircle his army, and poured reinforcements against the spearheads in an attempt to blunt their momentum. No attempt was made to evacuate the forces or Gamelin's HQ in Strasbourg. British forces urged a counter-attack aimed at Metz in order to force the Germans to pull back, but the French lacked the manpower required for such a demanding operation. Morale was at an all-time low as Allied commanders desperately sought some kind of path to victory, but no one expected the events later that day...



    The United States of America, led by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, signed a formal Declaration of War against the Empire of Japan, declaring that the people of Asia were crying out for the same freedom and independence that Americans everywhere were enjoying on their own Independence Day. Citing Japan's numerous war crimes both in China and Korea, the world's most populous democracy and greatest industrial workhorse had turned itself towards war.

    May 13th-July 4th
    ANZAC Expeditionary Army:
    959 soldiers killed in action
    Royal Australian Air Force:
    4 Hawker Hurricanes lost
    Royal Australian Navy:
    1 Hawker Nimrod Carrier Planes lost
    2 Gloster Sea Gladiator Carrier Planes lost
    1 Australian merchant sunk
    Regio Esercito:
    2,213 soldiers killed in action
    5,404 soldiers captured
    Regio Aeronautica:
    3 Fiat G-50 fighters
    17 Cant Z.501 Gabbiano patrol bombers
    12 Cant Z.506B Airone patrol bombers
    Regia Marina:
    6x Submarines
    2 Italian merchants sunk
    1 Italian frigate sunk
    Last edited by Saithis; 20-03-2012 at 01:51.
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  16. #176

  17. #177
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    Thinks a looking a little bleak in France, but not impossible to halt the German advance as they still have a way to go before they reach Paris and with the Americans entering the war there might be a small chance for them to join in the fun before France falls.
    Last edited by Tallfellow; 21-03-2012 at 00:25.
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  18. #178
    Major TKFS's Avatar
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    I to have a feeling that America probably won't have much of a role to play for a while in Europe. But I am glad to see the Aussies out of Italy safely. Great update!
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  19. #179
    Karl Popper Fanboy H.Appleby's Avatar
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    I'd like to take that save and start out a new game as the USA. I'd be fun to play an aggressive, muscular America and we'd try to get forces to Europe early.
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  20. #180
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallfellow View Post
    Thinks a looking a little bleak in France, but not impossible to halt the German advance as they still have a way to go before they reach Paris and with sthe Americans entering the war there might be a small chance for them to join in the fun before France falls.
    France has held out much better than I expected, but yeah it looks pretty bleak... French land tech is very good this round, they just lack armour in the same quantity as Germany and they're not organizing with the British very well, since the Brits refuse to make their units expeditionaries under French command. I think that if the AI hadn't walked off the Maginot Line, they'd still be bunkered up around the rivers in Belgium and German manpower would be slowly ground down. It's probably better for the AAR, mind you, that they didn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    Short-term, American entry may not help the situation in Europe. Do you think France can still be saved?
    It's worth noting that so far, Germany has not been called into the War with the United States. I don't think France would have much hope even if they had, though, as US troop quality is rarely stellar on the outbreak of war and the army is usually small to boot.

    Quote Originally Posted by TKFS View Post
    I to have a feeling that America probably won't have much of a role to play for a while in Europe. But I am glad to see the Aussies out of Italy safely. Great update!
    Neither do I, really. The US will probably make its impact felt in the coming years, I'm mainly hopeful regarding the US Navy vs. the IJN, as they're the only ones capable of saving me from some serious headaches against the Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by H.Appleby View Post
    I'd like to take that save and start out a new game as the USA. I'd be fun to play an aggressive, muscular America and we'd try to get forces to Europe early.
    If you like, I could upload the nearest save somewhere. It's not quite on the US declaration, but it's not far off, I think. I'd have to look to see how far off. I don't have any plans for a US AAR myself though, there's far too many of those floating around.
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