From: Bedfordshire UK
Turn 04 - July 16th 1943
Allied Air total (17) - with (15) on air superiority – (2) Ground Support - Losses (0) – Enemy superiority (0) - Enemy losses (0)
Essentially the air war is over. The Axis is providing no air ground support in battle reports and no further Allied air losses have occurred.
The US 3rd and 45th INF Divs. are holding the mountain hexes overlooking the main landing beach at (08,11) over which most of the US zone's supplies are landed and until GELA reaches full port capacity, this beach is vital. These mountain hexes are still below 25% hex supply, so no combat supply can be delivered to these units. They cannot attack, even though ITL 202nd Coastal Div. looks like a very weak unit, because they would drop to low combat supply after launching an attack and it cannot be replenished.
The captured ports are only slowly beginning to gain capacity, GELA 11% / SYRACUSE 17%, but the primary beaches 8,11 (at 55%) and 13,14 (at 71%), is what is leaving the two mountain hexes, with US 3rd and 45th INF Divs., in low hex supply.
These two units need to stay up in the mountain hexes, where the hex stacking value is (5), so a limited total Axis unit size can attack these hexes and HG Div. is a size (5) unit, so it would have to attack the mountains alone. The alternative Axis tactic would be to attack with ITL 4th 'Livorno', probably with no hope of success, but forcing one of the Allied units to use up 'combat supply', which cannot be replaced whilst in low supply, and then hit them with HG Div., whilst the target unit remains with low 'combat supply'.
But then I don't know what the Axis supply situation is.
Either way, this is the time that the Axis should attack and force these Allied units to use up 'combat supply', whilst it cannot be replaced, for this situation will not last much longer. I have pushed forward to take this mountain line, overlooking the US beaches, to stop the Axis gaining these positions. However, the AI is losing the chance to strike, while the Allied forces are unable to respond.
So the bad news is that these divisions cannot risk being drawn into combat, but the good news is that they got to the high ground before the Axis and are screening the one beach over which all the US supplies are being delivered.
I am using all the available port workers to unload supplies over the beaches and to develop the capacity of the recently captured ports. This means that the are are no port workers left in the pool to support any more amphibious landings, which would need (2) workers in the pool, so the reserve units at MALTA will have to stay there for a while longer.
In MALTA the GBR 78th INF Div. has just entered the theatre, so there is now a useful reserve of two GBR infantry divisions (including GBR 50th INF Div. already in MALTA) and GBR 231st INF Bde., for use when the opportunity arises. I am not sending them directly into the existing beach-heads, expecting that there might be the need for another separate amphibious landing later.
Assigned (2) air points to Ground Attack (leaving 15 to air superiority), as Axis airpower should be negligible by now and I need to allocate some missions later to Interdiction, to have some air recon capability.
Enemy air losses are now (0), so I guess there is no opposition left.
On the Western boundary of the Allied lodgement the ITL 136th Coastal Div. and 54th 'Napoli' INF Divs have appeared on the River Salso, with the coast road leading straight to the US landing beach, however the ZOC exerted by US 3rd INF, in the mountains should slow any progress, if the Italians try to cross the river.
GBR 1st ABN Div. sent to help clear the remaining Italian division (ITL 28th) trapped within the Allied lodgement.
GBR 5th Div. has made it into the mountains in the centre, which hasn’t quite linked the two Allied beach-heads, but it has completed a line of ZOCs, which will slow any attempt by the Axis to push between the US and British zones. Meanwhile, the Axis AI has also achieved a line of ZOCs closing off the bridgehead from any quick outward exploitation.
Meanwhile, GER 15th MOT has seized a bridgehead across the River Gorna Lunga in the British sector and GER 29th MOT has sidestepped to cover CATANIA, leaving behind fortifications on the Axis side of the river. Whilst FOW hides the strength of the 15th MOT, its unit size is (4), so quite a strong unit, but I do not know its supply status. I will not know that unless I engage it in combat, which I have been delaying in order to build up 'combat supply'.
However, the Allied units (CDN 1st INF Div., GBR 1st ARM and 4th ARM Bdes.) stacked on the coast road are now at full 'combat supply', so the initial weakness has passed.
These units have been protecting the main British landing beach, just to the South, so although I would like to push on to CATANIA, I have been happy to sit on the river and let sleeping motorised divisions lie, but soon the Allies must push on in this short scenario.
ITL 26th 'Assietta' Div. is the weak spot in the Axis line, so a plan is forming and rather than hammer at the stronger German units, it may be possible to break through more easily in the centre.
< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 10/20/2020 8:23:51 AM >
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