From: Ottawa, Canada
Allied Impulse #15
Boy, the turn's gone by fast.
Weather: There's a lull in the weather in February, with a roll of 3 becoming 6 (Snow/Snow/Rain/Fine/Storm/Fine).
Impulses: With an 80% chance of ending the turn, I decide everyone will act, save for the US. Actions are US pass, China land, everyone else combined.
End of Turn: The end-of-turn roll was 9, so the turn continues.
Raids on Kiel
Allied intelligence reports that the port of Kiel no longer has nearby air cover. (No planes in range to intercept, and Ge declines to CAP.)
With great enthusiasm, Churchill requests an all-out air raid against any German ships that might be in harbour. RAF Bomber Command demurs, wishing to reserve long-range land bombers to support operations in the Netherlands. So Churchill orders the Gladiators aboard HMS Ark Royal be outfitted with torpedoes. The carrier and escorting ships approach Kiel in the early hours of 19 February and launches planes.
The Gladiators discover there are only merchant ships in harbour. Poorly-designed for such work, they simply aren't up to the job of inflicting losses. Some merchantmen take damage, and a freighter or two are sunk, and harbour facilities are also damaged, but it amounts to little more than an inconvenience (1 cp aborted).
Redeployment on the Western Front
With the troopships put out of action in January, the RN is concerned that refueling and resupply efforts will temporarily halt the flow of supplies to the Netherlands. (I don't really want to have the fleet in the North Sea sitting in the 0 box at the end of the turn.) As such, the RAF squadron based out of Rotterdam returns to bases around Dover.
Battle of the Atlantic
Light carrier HMS Hermes, outfitted with Baffin planes, sails to the North Atlantic to hunt for submarines and protect merchant shipping there. (0 box North Atlantic.)
The Axis subs at sea search for the merchantmen, but the weather is still too foul and the seas too vast. (Axis initiates combat, search rolls are Axis 3, CW 8.)
Battle of the Mediterranean
The French send cruiser Primaguet from Marseilles to patrol the Western Med, undertaking spotting duties on behalf of their British allies. (4 box W Med.)
As for the Royal Navy:
- The Australian cruiser HMAS Australia and her destroyer escort, laden with the men and matériel of the British 2nd Infantry Division, sail across the Mediterranean, hoping to reach the Suez Canal. (My goal was to go to the Red Sea and disembark there.) However, she is spotted by Italian reconnaissance planes as she crosses the narrower passage between Malta and Tunisia, and briefly makes contact with ships believed to be RM warships. Her CO decides to link up with Royal Navy forces on patrol near Alexandria. (Italians intercept with a roll of 3, so the cruiser stays in the E Med.)
- For its part, the Royal Navy continues its own hunt for the RM and Italian merchantmen, but to no avail despite the better weather. (CW initiates combat in E Med, with search rolls of CW 4, Axis 5.)
- Unbeknownst to the British, in response to the sighting of Australia, the Axis scramble large numbers of planes in the hopes of catching and sinking her and/or RN ships at sea. (Italy sends 2 ftr2 and a nav2, and Germany a ftr2, to sea in various boxes as part of the combat.)
In the end, Australia and her escorts are able to disembark the 2nd Infantry Division and return to sea to patrol the waters of the Eastern Med.
Defence of Egypt
- Egypt's monarchy and the British work out an arrangement whereby the former's militia are stationed in Port Said to defend the harbour there (Egyptian TERR moves to Port Said).
- The French XLII Corps moves to the western banks of the Suez canal, positioned to guard both Suez and Damietta.
- RAF fighter squadrons in Tunis, bound for Egypt, redeploy to the Tunisian frontier with Libya along the coast. (They're now in range for a naval air mission to the Eastern Med 0 box.)
War in China
- Believing his position in the plains around Tungkwan to be exposed (i.e. no doubled defence factors), Mao retires CCCP forces there to the highlands between that city and Sian.
- For his part, Chiang and his central formations (including the Chungking WLD), reposition to the highlands somewhat southwest of Chihkiang, while KMT formations far to the south retire in good order across the Hsi river.
- Sydney MIL rails to Adelaide.
- The Red Army 3rd Infantry Division marches from the Dnepr river bend not far from Dnepopetrovsk into Sevastopol.
< Message edited by composer99 -- 1/10/2020 5:34:44 PM >