From: Ottawa, Canada
The war at sea goes on!
Highlights of Axis Impulse 7
Air Raids: The Luftwaffe launches vicious, unjustifiable air raids on French cities, damaging priceless city centres in Paris and Lyons! (And also hitting factories & stuff for 1 pp of damage each.) This is, of course, to be contrasted with the vital, strategically necessary Allied air raids on Germany.
Redeployments: Japan shuffles units around in China and debarks the MIL at sea into Canton, while Germany continues its build-up along its western frontiers.
Submarine Raids: Axis subs in Bay of Biscay try to find convoys, but to no avail. Subs in Cape St Vincent are far more successful (search rolls Axis 2 versus Allied 9), evading the Hurricanes trying to spot for them (4 surprise to call the combat). The submarines disregard most of their usual targets to close in on troopships (3 surprise to pick a target). A TRS takes an X result, but fortunately makes its save (8 rolled for a damage result). A damaged and aborted convoy point round out the damage to the Allies, while both Italians involved in the combat are aborted, ending the combat.
Battle of the Mediterranean: Nothing happens as the Italians elect not to initiate combat.
End of Turn: The Axis roll a 2 to just barely not end the turn.
Allied Impulse 9
Weather roll is 8 (Snow/Snow/Rain/Fine/Rain/Fine).
US passes again; CW naval; Ch & Fr land; USSR combined.
Battle of the Atlantic
Such spare convoy points as can be found are sailed to Cape St Vincent (to replace the losses) and to Bay of Biscay (because of lending to France). The U-boats in the Bay of Biscay hear reports of new convoys in the area and try to hunt them down, but someone must have been reading their mail (as it were), because they are caught on the surface by an RN cruiser (search rolls CW 1, Axis 4 - because the Axis are in the 2 box they don't find). One SUB unit is damaged, to no Allied damage. Search rolls in the second round are CW 5, Axis 10, ending the combat.
Battle of the Mediterranean
A bunch of RN cruisers try to sail through Italian pickets in the Eastern Med to break out westwards. Those that succeed sail to the Italian Coast, while the ones that are intercepted join the rest of the fleet in the Eastern Med. Submarines in Gibraltar also sail to the Italian Coast.
The RN tries to find and sink Italian naval forces and/or merchant shipping in the Italian Coast, but the Italians intercept their signals and manage to evade them. (Search rolls are CW 6, Italy 2, Italy pays 4 surprise to avoid combat.)
In the Eastern Med, in the meantime, both sides enter battle fairly well prepared (search rolls are CW 2, Italy 1), making it the Italians in the 2 & 4 boxes versus the RN in the 3 box.
First Round: Neither side has enough surprise to call the combat, so it's a naval air battle. This suits the RN just fine given the air battle is +3/-3 in its favour - provided the Gladiators perform better than last time, of course. They perform just well enough by sending the Gabbianos packing to Malta.
Second Round: Both sides are still pretty well prepared (search rolls are CW 1, Italy 3), making it the RN 3 box versus RM 4 box, with 2 surprise points for the RN. The Royal Navy could have made it a naval air combat in the hopes of getting a better surprise split, but opts for a gunnery battle instead (surface combat), boosting the damage it inflicts on the RM. Damage results are 2X, D, and A inflicted on the Italians, and X and D inflicted on the British.
In a vicious battle, RM cruiser Pola is sunk and Gorizia and Trieste are damaged. For the Royal Navy, HMS Warspite led the charge right into the thick of the Italian formation, but took an unlucky hit to her main magazines and exploded. (Warspite took both the X and D result, rolls were 9 and 4 respectively, the latter being just enough to sink her.)
With damaged ships still at sea and with the Royal Navy possessing a decisive advantage in both firepower and airpower (insofar as its CVP is part of its main fleet, while the Italian FTR is sitting in the 0 box), the Regia Marina flees from the Eastern Med, leaving it in Allied control for the time being. (Italy aborts, ending the combat.) First Sea Lord Churchill gets to present the House of Commons with a present for Christmas: an important victory at sea only months into the war.
The Air War
The French and British launch retaliatory raids on Berlin and Prague, to no avail.
War in China
Not much happens up north, where the Chinese are hoping snowy weather will keep Japanese attacks at bay. In the south, the KMT leaves the disorganised 20th Reserve Army (4-1 GARR) to its fate, and the units stacked with it withdraw in good order into the nearby mountains.
The USSR continues adjusting positions along the Rumanian frontier. In the Middle East, the French infantry in Syria march down (both last impulse and this one) into Egypt. British Fairey Battle bombers (LND2) fly from London to Bristol, with the thought that they might sail out to Egypt at some later date.