Turn 3. Jan/Feb 1940. Summary.
1. Deleted trade. With the closing of the Burma road (by the Japanese), the USA stops the trade of the Philippine RP to China.
2. New trade. With passing of USE option 16, the USA sends 4 oil to the CW for storage in Canada. President Roosevelt was able to get this through Congress in a bi-partisan bill known as, “The North America Strategic Oil Reserve”.
Initiative. Axis 1+1=2, allies 3. The axis elect not to re-roll wishing to keep the +1 on the initiative track. The allies, with the initiative, elect to move second.
North Sea, Faeroes Gap and Atlantic
3. The Germans fly their NAV3 to the 3-box of the North Sea. With no German air (with air-to-sea) or SCS’s that began this impulse in the North Sea, this move will not negate the -1 for “in the presence of the enemy” this impulse but will next impulse if still there.
4. The German battleship Scharnhorst, heavy cruiser Blucher and light cruiser Nurnberg move out from Kiel with the intention of passing through the Faeroes Gap into the North Atlantic and raiding convoys there. The RN and French ships, consisting of several battleships and heavy cruisers, operating in the (3-box) of the North Sea attempt intercept and manage a roll of 3. However, with “snow” in the sea area, the roll of 3 is one too high to successfully intercept. The 3 German surface raiders manage to run the blockade and make it to the 2-box of the North Atlantic for the surface raider. As a matter of note, no allied patrols were currently operating in the Faeroes Gap, so once past the North Sea it was clear sailing to the North Atlantic. Also, as a reminder, the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and light cruiser Koin remained at sea last turn along with a u-boat flotilla in the 2-box of the Faeroes Gap.
3. The German surface raiders attempt to find the 10 lone CW CP’s operating in the North Atlantic. However, with search a roll of 8 the German surface raiders are lucky they even found the North Atlantic. The allies rolled a 1 but with only CP’s in the area their search roll is irrelevant with the axis not finding. However, if they had, then the roll of 1 would have greatly limited axis surprise points and convoys sunk/aborted.
4. In the Faroes Gap, the mixed German force (CA, CL & u-boat) attempt to initiate combat against the lone CP. The RAF reacts a squadron of Harrows to the 0-box. The axis search roll is a 10 (allies 9). The Germans again fail to find.
5. In the North Sea, the Germans elect to attempt combat with the NAV in the 3-box. The first round has both the axis and allies rolling a 3. Only the axis find, but have 0 surprise points. Allied AA reduces bombs from 2 to 1 and produces an expected result of only A. The Germans target the battleship Renow with the A, however, the Renow passes the roll and remains. Both sides stay and round 2 sees searches of axis 5, allies 2. Only the allies find, however with only 2 surprise points they’re unable to avoid combat. They use their 2 SP’s to increase AA to the minimum of 4 and roll 7,7,4 …… 1 (dang!). German bombs are again reduced to 1 and have an expected result of A. The Germans (again) target the Renow, which again makes the roll and stays. Both sides remain but both searches miss and this bloodless battle is over.
6. The RN Home, Atlantic and Med fleets sortie in numbers to meet the German surface raider, sub and air threats in the North Atlantic, Faeroes Gap, North Sea. These fleets also have to maintain their requirement from escorting convoys in execution of their vital mission of protecting Britain’s convoys and routes. After the RN finishes sending out their ships and escorts, it was discovered that the RN convoy escorts in Cape Verde were 1 CL (i.e.,two DD’s) short. The French navy, in a one off, was gracious enough to provide the needed two DD’s (i.e., 1 CL).
7. In the North Sea, the RAF sends a long range Blenheim squadron out to the 4-box along with the fleet carrier Furious escorted by the battleship Repulse and 5 heavy and light cruisers. The CVL Hermes and a few of the older RN battleships (i.e., 4-movers) are sent to the 3-box and link up with the RN and French forces already operating there.
8. In the Faeroes Gap, a force led by the battleship Warspite, sorties from Malta to the 0-box and meets up with the squadron of Harrow already on patrol there to provide defense of the lone, but vital CP. A CP that’s required to maintain supply to the Home Fleet based in Scapa Flow. From the Home fleet, the Ark Royal escorted by 6 heavy and light cruisers move to the 4-box. And a mixed RN and French force centered around the CVL Argus moves into the 3-box. With the stage set the RN and French navies go about the task of trying to find and sink the German raiders, subs and aircraft. Point of fact, shooting an aircraft at sea will, in my estimation, as sink it.