Turn 107 - Axis Turn
24th September 1941
12 attacks from the Axis, and more air assistant woes for both sides it would appear .
1. An Axis bombardment of Sollum
2, 3, 4, 5 and 8. Attacks against Tobruk's Southwest Strongpoint. After one bombardment (2) an attack is made (3) - seemingly with the II Battalion, 8th Panzer Regt. only. However the tanks were supported by 31 artillery units!! 74 bombers take part, supported by 186 fighters. The CW respond with 25 fighters, 19 of which are lost (5 destroyed) but one Hurricane squadron evaporates... Almost half the rifle squads in place are destroyed in this attack that sees the Axis lose just 16 aircraft (5 destroyed). More unfathomable is that despite attacking a Strongpoint alone, the tank battalion loses 5 tanks (just 3 destroyed) out of 52 that attacked (and half of these were panzer MkII's - not a single MkIV, and only 2 MkIII (1 destroyed), were lost....
Another assault is made (4) using more troops this time - support from Italian and German infantry and a flak unit is given to the tank battalion in addition to the 31 artillery, 107 bombers and 125 fighters. For the CW a Hurricane that should have been at rest decides to join the fun and loses more than a third of its squadron (2 destroyed). Again half the remaining rifle squads are destroyed. An entire brigade of New Zealand troops evaporate. While the Axis lose 20 aircraft (10 destroyed), the panzers are able to avoid any damage - except to 1 MkII which was disabled.
Sensing victory another assault is made (5) using largely the same troops and artillery support as the second attack. 31 bombers are available and these are escorted by 143 fighters. A Blenheim bomber squadron and one (rested) Hurricane squadron fly in support of the 7 remaining rifle and machine gun squads, with their solitary AT gun, 3 mortars and a single AA gun..... The Tobruk Strongpoint is at 12. This time things are a little different and although the CW lose a third of their aircraft (3 losses), and all remaining infantry (the 3rd Polish Battalion evaporates - as does the British 94th Heavy AA Regt.), the Axis lose 10 aircraft (5 destroyed). Moreover, the 8th Machine Gun Battalion and II Panzer Battalion, 8th Panzer Regt. are eliminated. Interestingly the German tanks lost 44 tanks - but only 6 were actually destroyed.....
The last attack is a bombardment that fails to trouble the scorers.
6 and 7. are airfield attacks. The first is against Buq Buq, which is defended by 57 AA guns, 16 Blenheims and 6 Hurricanes. 17 bombers attack, escorted by 36 fighters. The Axis lose 20 aircraft (6 lost) and no damage is done to the airfield. In return, the CW lose 6 aircraft (3 destroyed). Attack (7) is against RAF Dekheila by 19 bombers, 4 of which are lost (2 destroyed) for no loss.
9, 10, 11 and 12. The final 4 attacks are made against the Western Strongpoint. The first three are artillery barrages, and the fourth (12) is an attack by entirely Italian infantry, supported by 26 artillery units and 109 fighters. The defenders lose half their 48 rifle squads (one third of which are destroyed) and more than half their 37 Blenheims and Hurricanes (5 destroyed) - and the Blenheim squadron evaporates. The Axis lose 5 aircraft (2 destroyed) but are more seriously hurt in the infantry dept. Almost three quarters of their 105 rifle squads are lost (and over half of them are destroyed).
< Message edited by warspite1 -- 2/18/2018 5:57:12 AM >
England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805