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TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T023

 
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TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T023 - 2/6/2013 4:31:31 PM   
mike1984

 

Posts: 403
Joined: 4/6/2009
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T023: 10.9.42

Strategic Outlook
Mud season continues, likely for just this turn. The gap in the line west of Stalingrad has allowed Mark to continue his operation despite the mud season. Nearly all of my formations are in reorganization, negating any benefit Iím getting from the mud. The 66/5th Guards Army arrived, along with a bunch of reconstituted divisions. More updates below.

Don Front

Axis divisions are flowing through the huge break in my line, getting in behind the 1st Guards and 1st Guards Tank Armies. This could be disastrous if I canít get reinforcements deployed in time. I donít think Iíll be able to do that, as the 65th Army had to cover the river crossing in the north, while only the 47th and 51st Armies were able to get within range of the German spearhead. More reinforcements are slated to arrive, but not quickly enough or strong enough to halt Markís advance here. Looks like Iíll have to form a new line just west of Stalingrad.

Tobruk
Mark is evacuating as much as he can from Northeast Africa, as the final few units are in Tobruk and ready to sail back to either Tunisia or Italy. I wonít be able to claim complete destruction of the Axis forces in Northeast Africa, but a solid victory was gained much earlier than usual in this scenario.

(in reply to Ruppich)
Post #: 31
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T025 - 2/6/2013 4:32:27 PM   
mike1984

 

Posts: 403
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T025: 10.23.42

Strategic Outlook
Skipping ahead one turn, the mud has now cleared, and Iím bracing for what should be a renewed attack from Markís forces along the Don Front and in the Caucasus. Since this is the first turn since the mud cleared, Mark hasnít yet moved without the shock penalty. So not much action actually took place this turn. I was able to ship reinforcements to all sectors. Most of them were reconstitutions of destroyed units, meaning I had to give them a few turns resting in the Urals to build up some additional strength.

Don Front



With the deployment of the 2nd Guards Army, I have at least a little more strength in my defensive line. Ideally, Iíd like to hold the line a few hexes in front of the Don, as I donít want to let Mark get even close to Stalingrad. Plus, my position at the western neck of the Don is very advantageous, in it could allow an opportunity to launch an offensive to Rostov. Right now, itís all about delaying the Axis as long as possible.

Tobruk



Mark will likely get his last two units out of Tobruk. There is one infantry division and an AA unit in the port hex. Iím in complete control of the region. Once the Eighth Army recouperates for a few turns, Iíll begin moving west toward Tripoli.

(in reply to mike1984)
Post #: 32
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T026 - 2/6/2013 4:33:11 PM   
mike1984

 

Posts: 403
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T026: 10.30.42

Strategic Outlook
Iíve recaptured Tobruk well ahead of schedule. Leningrad is still well defended. The Yelets-Voronezh corridor is stable. Mark has yet to reach Grozny or Stalingrad. Iím rather pleased. Granted, much of Markís initial focus was on reducing the Rzhev sector to a smaller front, which was something not previously done in our last game. However, in this scenario, the key to the entire Russian Front is delaying the Axis forces long enough for decent reinforcements to arrive and replacements to build up. That is happening now, as next turn Iíll get an entire Guards Tank Army, and a slew of artillery divisions a turn later. Those arty units will be critical to my shift from defensive warfare to offensive, which should take place over the winter months.

Don Front



I was surprised to see Mark didnít make much progress here. Even with my increased strength in the sector, the German Panzer divisions should have been able to push aside many of my depleted divisions. The 67th Army deployed in the northern half of this sector, where Mark is massed the strongest. The southern wing will have to deal with the pressure for now, as Iím just now shifting 10 mechanized divisions from the Orel Front Group to launch what should be a very strong counter-offensive in this sector. That will have to wait at least one turn, until the tanks are unloaded from the trains and get gassed up.

Central Caucasus



The German forces here have the distinct advantage of a rail supply line from Maikop/Rostov. My supply lines are stretched over open terrain from the Astrakhan/Grozny rail line. Mark has plowed through my western wing, as two Panzer divisions raced as far into the rear area as possible. I have surrounded them for now, but their friends should be trying to reach them soon enough. Using a defense-in-depth approach here should work, as Iím only looking to delay the enemy advance, not necessarily stop it. The 70th Army has arrived from Astrakhan, and deployed along the river east of Blagodarnoye. That will be my new stop line.

Tobruk
As I alluded to in the Strategic Outlook, Iím occupying Tobruk far earlier than in the previous game. At this point last time around, I hadnít even launched Operation Turnpike, which was basically the Battle of El Alamein. My tanks didnít enter Tobruk until Turn 37! So this is a significant victory for the Western Allies. It also sets the timetable for advancing to Tunisia.

(in reply to mike1984)
Post #: 33
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T027 - 2/6/2013 4:33:45 PM   
mike1984

 

Posts: 403
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T027: 11.6.42

Strategic Outlook
Action has somewhat settled into a steady stream along the Don and Caucasus Fronts. The Axis divisions continue to press, as my defense-in-depth approach is working rather well. Iíll have to wait until next turn for the large assortment of artillery divisions. More updates in the sector reports.

Don Front
The arrival of the Orel Front mechanized divisions has made a big difference here. Not only have they plugged big gaps in my line, but managed to launch two counterattacks that threw back some lead German divisions. Itís still a situation far from resolution, but Iím feeling a bit better now about my chances of keeping Mark far away from Stalingrad.

Central Caucasus
Iíll need a few more armies to really bolster my next stop line along the river/canal. The 5th Guards Tank has been railed down from the north, though itís not up to full combat readiness. It will file into position behind the 70th Army. Iím trying as hard as I can to keep my divisions in front of the Germans, forcing them to fight for every hex gained. Reinforcements are still coming, but it takes time to get just one army ready for combat, never mind a bunch of them.

(in reply to mike1984)
Post #: 34
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T028 - 2/6/2013 4:34:19 PM   
mike1984

 

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T028: 11.13.42

Strategic Outlook
The Caucasus area is in the most danger right now, but Mark has decided to launch excursions in the Yelets and North Don Fronts. I should have expected the Yelets attack, as I shifted all my armor to the South Don Front. The artillery reinforcements arrived this turn, but wonít be combat-ready until next turn. They should really help make a difference where I need it most.

Yelets
A German Panzer division, supported by some Hungarians, broke through and scooted a few hexes before I cut them off. This doesnít have the feel of a major offensive, so Iíll deal with it using local reserves.

North Don Front
Same as the Yelets breakthrough, but with a little more oomph behind it. Iíll need to get some reinforcements here soon, as the line is very weak. I was relying too much on the river to keep the Germans at bay. Now that theyíre making headway, Iíll have to address this with some significant attention.

South Don Front - Stalingrad
This sector has remained stable for two turns now, which is more than I can say for other sectors. The arrival of the Orel Front mechanized divisions turned the tide here. Iím not out of the woods just yet. As more reinforcements arrive, I can solidify my defenses and hopefully turn Markís attention elsewhere.

Central Caucasus



The first line has evaporated, but the Germans are still not near Grozny. A few loose cannons have gotten into my interior lines, but nothing significant. The 5th Guards Tank has arrived to give Mark something to think about on his left flank. This isnít enough for me to defend the entire region, but itís a start. The 6th Army and an Op Group has arrived west of Grozny. Hopefully the Germans donít get to them before they can disembark.

< Message edited by mike1984 -- 2/6/2013 4:35:04 PM >

(in reply to mike1984)
Post #: 35
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T029 - 2/6/2013 4:36:19 PM   
mike1984

 

Posts: 403
Joined: 4/6/2009
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T029: 11.20.42

Strategic Outlook
Itís time to open another front. The invasion plans for Operation Torch are outlined below. I donít plan on using any shock theater options for this one, as itís not likely that the invasion forces will have to fight their way onto the beaches. The overall situation is improving slightly, but the fact that reinforcements tend to arrive a turn or two after I could actually use them has made things much more difficult. Iíd like to shift things on the Russian Front from a defensive stance to an offensive one within the next 15-20 turns.

Tula



Pulling all available reserves from nearby sectors, Iíve managed to at least contain the German breakthrough. I donít have enough to mount a decent counterattack just yet, but as Markís forces lose steam here, Iíll have an opportunity to strike.

Don Front - North



Mark has gained a solid bridgehead across the Don here, but supply will quickly become an issue for his assault force. The road across the river was not capable of offering full supply, and its bridge was blown to compound that supply issue. I should be able to muster up some more reinforcements this upcoming turn. Hopefully in the meantime, I can keep the Germans in check.

Caucasus



Just a quick regional update here. It would definitely be easier to just retreat back to a defensive line from the mountains thru Grozny to the Caspian Sea and up to Astrakahn. But Iím committing to not allowing Mark any free gains. This is not a sustainable position at this time. The next big wave of reinforcements wonít arrive until at least turn 31. And even then, it will take a few turns to get them ready and deployed.

Morocco
Plans for Operation Torch



Mark has planted his defenses inland, away from the beaches and Casablanca. The US will take the northern landing beach, while the British and Pols attack into Casablanca. I do know that the German-French forces that were swapped in for the Vichy Forces earlier in the game are fortified along the line marked on the map. Behind them are additional German and Italian units in defensive positions. I doubt an additional landing at Oran will be possible. The risk of not getting onto the beaches would be too great.

(in reply to mike1984)
Post #: 36
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T030 - 2/6/2013 4:36:46 PM   
mike1984

 

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T030: 11.27.42

Strategic Outlook
Torch is a ďgoĒ for next turn. Iíve disbanded the sea transport and the entire invasion force is ready in the ports. As for the rest of the theater, my defenses are much stronger in this game than the previous game. I canít really chalk it up to any single aspect. However, I can say the replacement rate changes, coupled with a slight strategy change has been the biggest difference so far. If you recall, the availability of the 45th and 46th Russian Armies made an enormous difference in holding the Rostov Sector for much longer than in previous runs. Mark admitted to me in our most recent email that it might be better if he switches over to the defensive at this point. I havenít analyzed his moves for this turn just yet, but that seems to be a stark change from how things were going in the last playtest. My plans were to shift my own forces to offensive operations within 15-20 turns. Mark may allow me to do so sooner. Weíll see.

Tula
The first sector where Mark has pulled back and abandoned his offensive. His lines are restored to basically their starting points. Friendly reinforcements are arriving and plugging up the Russian gaps.

Yelets
Losing this city would have been a huge blow, but I managed to blunt the attacks just enough to force Mark to rethink the risk-reward of going all-out to capture Yelets. Not much combat other than some simple counter attacks from my side to restore the lines.

Don Front - North
Mark hasnít retreated back across the river just yet. I wouldnít either, as the Russian numbers defending the northern side of the Don are still weak. This wonít likely amount to much in the end, but it will definitely suck up valuable reinforcements I need to send elsewhere.

Don Front - South
Iíve recaptured two hexes this turn, as some reconstituted divisions have arrived to relieve the 1st Guards Tank and 2nd Guards Armies. The bulk of my front line is still manned by the Orel and Ukraine Front mechanized divisions, which are pushing back a bit more this turn. I should have more units to send here soon, allowing those Front Group divisions to retire and refit for what should be renewed offensive operations in Central Russia.

Caucasus
The two main breaks in my angled line are giving me a gigantic headache right now. However, losing Grozny would be an even bigger headache, so Iíll just take the flimsy defensive lines for now. The 5th Guards Tank Army has been a great anchor for the center of my line, as I only need to use one division per hex to mount a decent defense. The rest of the line isnít so strong. Mark hasnít made much headway on either wing of the line, so just refer to the previous turnís slide for a general idea of where things are happening.

(in reply to mike1984)
Post #: 37
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T031 - 2/6/2013 4:37:31 PM   
mike1984

 

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T031: 12.4.42

Strategic Outlook
The ďThirdĒ front is now open, as the combined US-UK invasions force has begun its landings in Morocco to no opposition. That will surely change, but at least theyíre on the beaches. Overall my situation is improving with each turn. Two large armies arrived on the Eastern Front, both of which were immediately shipped to the Caucasus. I can easily tell that the Axis forces in the East are losing steam. Mark has been forced to give up on no fewer than three would-be offensives. Iím not out of the woods just yet, but I can see some daylight.

Caucasus



Surprisingly, the shattered remnants of my line are holding the German divisions back from an open path to Grozny. This extra time has allowed me to deploy some extra reserves I had sitting around, including some help from the Don Front South sector. The big news here is the arrival of the 5th Shock and 3rd Guards Armies, and the recouperating 2nd Guards Army. If I can keep the Axis forces away from these formations for another turn, they can disembark and maybe even take their time getting into position. Iíd hate to run down their readiness so quickly by rushing them to the front.

Morocco - Operation Torch



The landings were supposed to be the easy part, and they were. I have two turns of sea transport at 30k. The UK and Polish Corps werenít able to land in the first wave, but itís not a critical mishap. Pattonís 1st Armored Corps has made contact with the German-French forces, fortified along a short front. Theyíre backed up by additional units, but this is a position Iím sure I can break in a few turns. Naval support is readily available, but Iím hesitant to expose the squadrons to enemy air attack or even a sortie by the Italian Navy. In the last game, I took some heavy naval losses because I underestimated the Axis ability to knock them out.

(in reply to mike1984)
Post #: 38
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T033 - 2/6/2013 4:38:16 PM   
mike1984

 

Posts: 403
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T033: 12:18.42

Strategic Outlook
Mark is gearing up for a renewed, albeit reserved, sense of attack. Heís pushing a bit more toward Stalingrad, which is curious. The Caucasus Front is relatively quiet except for a small breakthrough in the north that wonít amount to much. The problem for me is that I just donít have the power yet to assume my own offensive stance in this scenario. The Russians are the key here, as theyíre building up strength, but not quickly enough for me to take advantage of the Axis weaknesses in places like the Don Front and in the Caucasus. If I had the extra formations at full strength, Iíd strike hard and fast in both those places, where Markís formations are tired and in need of some rest. Iím debating three different offensives right now, possibly to launch in unison. But that all depends on how quickly I can get replacements to their units and supply to formations that are in desperate need of it.

Caucasus



I left a small window open and Mark came storming through. I should be able to counter this, but it will take a turn or two before I get things sorted out. A mechanized unit from the 5th Guards Tank moved into a blocking position, which should allow me time to muster up enough help.

Morocco



After resting for a turn and preparing for the attack, Iíve launched a wave into the first line of Axis defenses. It only took one try to pop the cork here, pushing back the Saxony Division. The Burgundy Division held against the second attack, but was hurt badly and shouldnít hold against another wave. The 1st Armored Corps led the attacks, as the 2nd Armored Division is pressing through to Oran. This wonít get any easier from here, as supply will quickly become an issue. But if I can rotate units in and out of the line as I go, it should help mitigate some of the supply issues.

(in reply to mike1984)
Post #: 39
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T042 - 2/6/2013 4:39:09 PM   
mike1984

 

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T042: 02.19.43

Strategic Update

Well, I'm back. There isn't much of a chance I'll get back all my saved turns between T033 and this one, so I'm just going to pick up here. Believe it or not, there wasn't a whole lot of action. Mark is digging in where he can, while I try to keep the pressure on his forces on all fronts. I'm very close to the point where I can launch more major offensive operations. It will take a bit more time, though, to prepare and soften up Mark's fronts.

Yelets



I've managed a small breakthrough here, but I'm not sure if I can develop it into anything more substantial. While I have airborne divisions ready to the south, it would be a significant risk to drop them behind this minor success. The 69th Army arrived this turn, but is about 2 turns away from being combat-ready. If I can keep pressuring the German lines here, and maybe push through a little more, then I might want to commit more resources into this sector. Might.

(in reply to mike1984)
Post #: 40
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T043 - 2/6/2013 4:39:46 PM   
mike1984

 

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T043. 02.26.43

Strategic Update

I face a difficult decision: Strike now, with adequate force, but risk a sputtering offensive; or, wait a bit longer, strike with much stronger forces, but risk Mark's defenses getting more time to prepare. I'm most optimistic in three sectors--North Africa, Yelets and the Central Caucasus. Launching forceful offensives in at least two of these sectors would greatly strain Mark's resources. In turn, that would hopefully open up other areas of the map I can exploit. As I approach Turn 50, a large wave of reinforcements are due my way, particularly in terms of Russian airborne units. But the time to strike may come before I get those units.

Yelets



Provided I can open up this crack to at least another hex or two wide, this is starting to look like a decent breakthrough. I'm tempted to use the 68th Army's airborne divisions to supplement this attack, but my air transport capabilities are not high enough at the moment to lift the necessary men and equipment. It'll be tough to squeeze so many units through such a tiny corridor, which is why I need to quickly expand the salient.

Central Caucasus



For some time now, I've envisioned my divisions here sweeping around the western flank of the German lines, hugging the mountains and storming down onto the plains below. But it's taken a while for me to get enough strength back to mount such an attack. The breakthrough in the middle of the lines is offering some hope of, at the very least, a diversion to keep Mark occupied while I prepare the flanking maneuver to the west. Ideally, this new offensive will launch by Turn 45.

(in reply to mike1984)
Post #: 41
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T044 - 2/6/2013 4:40:41 PM   
mike1984

 

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T044. 03.05.43

Strategic Outlook

I'm fully expecting things to heat up, now that the spring thaw is approaching. Mud season will likely throw a wrench into my plans for a few turns, but can easily be overcome with some planning. It also seems Mark is staging managed withdrawals at various points along the Eastern Front, concentrating in the south where he's most vulnerable and overextended.

Svir River



The 2nd Shock Army unexpectedly shot across the river here, but I doubt I can develop it enough to hold a bridgehead into Finland. Controlling the rail line to the east will be critical to moving supplies here. If I can't, my units on the other side of the river will quickly fade away.

Yelets



Mark has some pretty strong reserves in this sector, but I have to keep pushing here because it's the only place along the main Eastern Front that isn't static. My main goal right now is to open up the hold a little more, allowing more units to funnel in and keep the main attack force fresh.

Central Caucasus



Before my flanking move could even get off the ground, Mark has begun his managed withdrawal to the north. As his forces fall back to the more secure position on the northern banks of the river, I'm keeping close and harassing him at all available opportunities. This doesn't preclude my original idea for moving around his western flank. It just complicates it a bit more, since I now have to move much more quickly to achieve any of the ambitious goals I had set for myself. The big one--trapping a few divisions and completely destabilizing his southern armies--may be gone before I could even attempt it.

North Africa - Mareth



Punching a hole in the Mareth Line was a huge development in North Africa. The "vice grip" can now begin to close tighter and more quickly, as the Americans and Canadians are once again on the move in Algeria. I'm hoping this breakthrough at Mareth can provide a window of opportunity for the strong British armored divisions to finally start the advance north to Tunis.

(in reply to mike1984)
Post #: 42
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T045 - 2/16/2013 5:00:35 PM   
mike1984

 

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T045. 03.12.43

Svir River

I'm cancelling this offensive due to lack of supply to the bridgehead force, and lack of reinforcements. The net gain wouldn't be enough to warrant the loss of so many men and machines. I'll keep the pressure on here, but can't commit to another river crossing until I'm sure it'll be worth it.

Yelets



Fighting has been heating up for a few turns here, but now it's really starting to flare up, as Mark is committing several Panzer divisions to push back the main point of the spear. Fortunately, I've brought in reinforcements from the south, so I'll have enough manpower to keep the fight going. This could end up being costly for both sides, but I have a distinct advantage: replacements. The Russians can afford the losses, while the Germans cannot, especially if it's over a long period. One of my main goals is to sever the rail line directly behind the German main line. This would reduce supply to a several-hex-wide swath of their line and allow me the opportunity to widen this offensive to the south.

Central Caucasus



The western German flank is beginning to bend, but I'm concerned it won't break quickly enough for me to sweep around into the interior. The biggest problem here is supply, as I don't have a direct rail line to the front. Once I can get the Axis forces moving back, it will push them out of their prepared positions, giving me a chance to fight them on open ground. There are now two more armies waiting at the supply hub just south of my lines, but they won't be ready for another turn or two.

North Africa

The Americans are pushing eastward toward Tunis, while the British are on the verge of breaking through the Mareth Lines. I'm expecting a more detailed update next turn.

(in reply to mike1984)
Post #: 43
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T048 - 2/16/2013 5:01:46 PM   
mike1984

 

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T048. 04.02.43

Surprisingly, not much has changed since the last update three turns ago. The battle lines in Russia have been tough sledding, particularly in the tempest around Yelets. I'm shifting fresh formations up there from the south, which has not seen nearly as much fighting as earlier in the scenario. The Caucasus lines are moving steadily northwestward, as Mark is executing a managed withdrawal with great skill. I've not been able to take advantage of his mobile formations that are now out of strong fortifications. Supply has become a significant issue in that area.

North Africa



The British have now done their main job of breaking through the Mareth Line. The secondary line south of Sfax was broken with one try, though I didn't have enough in the tanks to advance into the gap. I'll need to call up the III Corps from Egypt--waiting in reserve for months--to take up the offensive northward, hopefully linking up with the Americans in central Tunisia. Capturing the port at Sfax is my main goal at this point. I'm not sure if I'll need the III Corps to make a landing directly into the city, or approach it from the land. Either way, the Americans to the north are moving at a snail's pace, so help from them might not be readily available for some time. The Canadians in Algeria are an option, but I don't want to waste them here. They will likely take the lead in the north from the Americans, once the rail line from Algiers is repaired.

(in reply to mike1984)
Post #: 44
TR 42-45 1.8 ALLIED T054 - 2/16/2013 5:02:40 PM   
mike1984

 

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T054. 05.14.43

The mud has finally dried up, so I'm expecting a storm of action over the next few turns.

Murmansk



I need to open up another front somewhere. Since the Murmansk garrison held strong early in the game, I have the chance here to pump reinforcements into the port and launch an offensive southward. It seems far-fetched, but if I can knock Finland out of the game, it will really change the dynamic in northern Russia. The first wave consisted of the 4th Guards Army. Waiting back at Onega and Archangelsk are the 6th Guards Army and a bunch of artillery divisions.

North Caucasus



After sitting around for a few turns not doing much, it took a few good pushes to get things rolling again here. Three attacks broke through front line German divisions, but I'm afraid Mark has "double-fronted" his position here, forcing me to fight through lines twice as deep as elsewhere. My reserves are nearby, in case of a counter attack. Mark has had some time to rest, which was much more beneficial to him than to me.

Tunisia



Once the Mareth Line was broken, things started moving much more quickly in North Africa. The British X Corps has moved west to assist the clean-up efforts at Kessarine Pass, relieving the US I Armored Corps to advance east to link up with the lead elements of the British XXX Corps. I've initiated the very first paratrooper drop of the scenario, as the US 82nd Airborne was flown over the top of Tunis, cutting off the eastern approach to the city. It wasn't a very dangerous or critical operation, but necessary to get this division some experience in advance of the invasion of southern Europe. Meanwhile, the Canadian I Corps and Polish II Corps moved in tandem to contact the defenses outside the western limits of Tunis. I expect the city to fall within a few turns. The Royal Navy has cut off all evacuation routes.

(in reply to mike1984)
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