Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

After Action Reports
HvonMoltke
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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

(Operations at the Bardia-Front)



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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

The offensive actions have not gone as well as planned. The British Tank Btl has staved off the entire Mamarcia Div's assault, even supported by our medium Sparviero-Bombers and heavy Corps Artillery, and we have taken massive losses, almost half the attacking Division.



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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

Our Attack down at Bardia has gone better, but we did not manage to annihilate the enemy force. The Supply base itself however lost more than 80% of its substance, and will probably be rather ineffective for a while. During the attack, parts of our force have been disorganised and were not able to retreat towards Tobruk, so half the Sirte Division, including its MG-Btl, will have to remain south of Bardia.

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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

FINAL SITUATION 14th DEC





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Mangiavi and I are at the little Airfield at Bardia. The General, irate about the failed attacks, has ordered us both to visit Tobruk and inspect the positions there. We are not entirely sure whether we are relieved of duty at his staff, but we do very much think so, as we have been "replaced for the time of our absence". We can't really argue with that, and are happy to leave this city and the staff, of which we are not certain that it will still exist in a couple of days.

Mangiavi and I enter the little transport plane, and argue about the entire situation through the entire flight.

"I think the retreat is too slow!" I yell over the roar of the engine. "Yes, undoubtedly!" he yells back, and adds: "There is no real chance the second half of the Cirene Div is going to make it back to Tobruk in time. And our reserves really lack numbers! If the enemy decides to attack Derna and Cyrenaica in force, we have not too much to hold against it!" We both fall silent, thinking about the entire situation, while the little plane, escorted by two CR 32 biplanes, flies westward, to the great Port and Fortress of Tobruk.
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HvonMoltke
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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

Thank you very much budd for your suggestion! I feel that the pictures have increased in quality and... readability by using screenpresso. I am a little sad there is no software with accurate NATO-Symbols, but I am rather sure this will do.

Thanks to all readers for the support and to each and every hint you give me!

(And before anyone thinks I am stupid: Yes, I do very much want to retreat X Army GHQ, but they simply won't activate and so I can't :D)
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budd
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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by budd »

Glad to help, i find it easy to use.

Here's a program with a whole lot of nato and other symbols, i find it more work and time consuming. My thought was to use the nato symbols in this program in screenpresso but haven't got around to it yet, all the symbols appear to be in.gif format. The free download is a little hard to find as it seems the site is no longer available but here's a short tutorial youtube video on it. i probably have the download on a memory stick somewhere if you cant find it online.

The program is called Milsketch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMqkzUeedgw
Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde

*I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.
HvonMoltke
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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

ORIGINAL: budd

Glad to help, i find it easy to use.

Here's a program with a whole lot of nato and other symbols, i find it more work and time consuming. My thought was to use the nato symbols in this program in screenpresso but haven't got around to it yet, all the symbols appear to be in.gif format. The free download is a little hard to find as it seems the site is no longer available but here's a short tutorial youtube video on it. i probably have the download on a memory stick somewhere if you cant find it online.

The program is called Milsketch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMqkzUeedgw


It really is! Thanks again.

Milsketch looks awesome, but I fear that the site 404'd and it's rather hard to get a copy. Should you be able to give me the file, it would be very much appreciated and I would be forever in your debt, but only if it really, really, really does not bother you!
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budd
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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by budd »

Sent a PM to you
Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde

*I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.
HvonMoltke
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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

Staggering back- 14th-18th December

The British pursuit surely lacks speed. Mangiavi and I bend over a map at XXI Corps HQ in the staff base at Tobruk. "It is wondrous how passive they were during the last days." I say, pointing out how little gains they had made. "They have not even started to break through to Bardia. Our main issue this time is that Cirene Division is in disarray and won't be able to make retreat further towards Tobruk. They are sitting ducks on the road."
Mangiavi strokes his beard. "Yes. What is really puzzling me is how few of them are actually assailing Tobruk. We have what we call a Mobile Battlegroup (MBG) the strength of a weak brigade there.Tank Btl, Mot-Inf Btl and AT-Regiment (mot), nothing more. Yet they are running at our first defensive line like madmen, suffering heavy casualties."





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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

I shrug. "It is hard to say, really. I can't really say where the rest of their forces is. Another, stronger MBG has cut the line between Sollum and Bardia, driving a wedge through the Cirene Div. I am afraid that our Halfaya-Line will collaps rather soon." "Yes indeed. Bardia is doomed to fall. What we are not sure of is whether the road to Tobruk is still clear. The HQ has recently got a message that the Army Commander is finally willing to move from this damn trap to Tobruk. He'll be safe here. I am pretty positive that those damn Brits and their friends will get a bloody nose here!".

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I choose to keep my doubts to myself, but I have to admit, the two defensive lines in Tobruk are quite impressive, and even the Royal Navy, which roams the Mediterrenean freely at this time, has not dared to bombard it yet because of its strong Coastal batteries. "The enemy air force is still dealing with some left-behind forces around Buq-Buq and Sidi Barrani, so we have some breathing space here. Yet, as we have seen in the last turn, any of our Combat Support missions has been overwhelmed by their Air Force and we have suffered heavy casualties.

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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

"Well, since our hands are quite bound, I assume that the General will order the Blackshirts at Sollum to reform in any way possible, and then evacuate with hit staff to Tobruq. I just hope that he will scout the road before he leaves the city. And of course, we will move up our reserves. Rumour has it that the Germans actually have send two AA-Btl to the Tunisian Border, and that they are digging in there. Nice to see what our allies think of our Army." The bitterness in his voice can't be overheard. "Anyways, we are expecting a new Division, the Sabratha, to turn up over the course of the next week. And I do believe that there is the plan to move up 10th Besaglieri to Tmimi, so we are in close reach to Tobruk and can see how the situation unfolds there."



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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

A Captain gives the orders for the honour guard to present their arms, as the Commander of the Army approaches in his staff car. I am the poor sod who is to receive him, and he is furious. "Good god, that has been a hell of a ride." Indeed, it had been. After the detached Motorcycle Coy of the Blackshirt-Division had spotted enemies blocking the road to Tobruk, the General and his staff had to leave the road and drive through the rugged terrain at the coast, barely making it to Tobruk in time. "I hope you have overseen the regrouping at Sollum and the advance of 10th Besaglieri while I have been absent?" he says, looking at me a little more relaxed. "Yes sir. Everything has gone as planned, and we are quite positive that we can delay the enemy for a bit now. Furthermore, the Besaglieri have reached Tmimi, and Sirte Division has rerouted to save our rear. Their scouts have advanced quite a bit, but no enemy has been found operating in the desert."

"Where the hell are they then? Why is their operation so sluggish? I would have expected them to be way more... aggressive after the successes of the first half-week." The general strokes his beard, a gesture quite familiar in the Army Staff, as it appears. "Anyways, Maggiore, I am afraid I have wronged you in kicking you from my staff. Mangiavi and you are again very welcome in our ranks. I would say this matter is settled now." He turns to his staff. "Gentlemen, we will move to the heart of the Fortress, and we will either defend it until help comes or until each and every one of us is dead. Long live Italy!"




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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

Surprising Appearance-21st-24th December


"By God", the General says, after receiving the G2 report. "An entirely new division we have not seen before roaming somewhere south of our forces with several options as where to go?". "It appears to be so, sir.", the new G2 says, as the old one had been sacked after his disastrous performance before the British attack. "It appears an Australian Motorised Division has overrun the Bir-El-Gubi AFB and destroyed the two AA-Detachements down there. Our Fighter Squadron could evade them in time. The bright side is that the can't be very well supplied, which should limit their options quite a bit." The G2, a man looking like the definition of a bureaucrat, fiddles with his glasses as he continues.

"My primary concern is that the enemy has finally assailed and penetrated our positions at Sollum. Although his first waves have sustained terrible losses, the 4th Indian Division has reached the outskirts of Bardia. Only Fort Capuzzo remains with the remnants of 2 Blackshirt divisions and a lot of light Army-level artillery

Futhermore, Cirene Div remains disorganised and won't be able to muster an attack or reach Tobruk, which would be ideal. The enemy 70th Motorised Division, which is now starting to attack in force, is quite probably still out of supply until Bardia falls. This may allow for us to cut it down in size a bit."

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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

The G2 continues "General, let me please adress the issue of the free-roaming Australian Division. From what we gather they have three options.

The first option would be operating towards Derna and Tmimi. There, they would meet our best troops, the 10th Besaglieri, which are reinforced by a medium tank batallion. After spending probably almost two weeks in the desert and being out of a working supply line, I do assume that they will not be able to surmount our well-rested and supplied resistance there. Even if they should be able to, I do doubt that they can defeat the Derna Garrison afterwards.

The second option would be passing the mountains and roaming freely in the Cyrenaica. While we have no forces there yet, although the weak Libyan Division, reinforced by the Libyan Para-Regiment, is currently en route. It would be rather easy for them to pass, but the strategical gain would not be worth risking an entire Division.

Thirdly, there is the option of jumping at our throat and advancing to El-Agheila. There, the entire Sirte Division is currently entrenching on all roadblocks, and I do doubt that they could push through there. I do hope they try this option, since it would probably cost them the entire force. If they should succeed, the outcome would be catastrophic for us, and they know that."




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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

Mangiavi rises from his chair in the opulent command bunker and advances towards the map. "General, I advise you to remain cautious this round. Although and all-out-offensive against the 70th Division at Tobruk may be tempting, I would suggest we only attack the exposed forces currently blocking the route of advance of the remaining parts of Cirene Div. Furthermore, this would allow us to get a little more breathing space. Those forces lack AT-weapons, so even our L33 "Carro Veloce" Tankettes can do something against them."

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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

A smile appears on the General's face, the first one in quite a while. "Maggiore, this operation has worked excellently. Two enemy batallions have been broken up into their companies, as well as one Tank batallion. I am optimistic that the rest of Sirte Div. will be able to break through the ring of besiegers and will be able to join our lines. I have phoned Rome about this, and I intend to make you a Tenente Colonello for this meritorious planning. You can consider this certain!"



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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

I want to express my gratitude to budd for sending me the MilSketch-File. It's a bit flimsy, but I think the results speak for themselves.
Furthermore, thanks for the many kind PMs and replies! :) You guys are awesome!
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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

Of Troubles and Chances- 25th-28th December

"Merry Christmas sir!". My Aide, a young corporal, wakes me up. "The General wants to let you know that there will be a staff meeting at 0800 hours." And just like that, he disappears from my room.

After my morning shave and a quick breakfast, I join the Army Staff. The G2 officer, in his bureaucratic tone, just starts his report as I enter. "General, I have dire news from the Bardia-Front. It appears that all our defensive lines are broken except for the very last. Bardia itself is still holding, but will probably fall rather soon."

He makes a short pause, apparently thinking what to say. "Tobruk itself can be considered surrounded. There have been signs of enemy motorised columns at Gazala moving towards it. Furthermore, the 70th Division has apparently been reinforced with some heavy artillery. Our first line of defense has been bombarded intensively. In addition to that, the 2nd Armoured Division's Tank Btl that seems to reinforce the 70th Division has managed to overrun Cirene Div Engineer Btl and one of its Infantry Btl."



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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

"I have taken the freedom of using the Besaglieri Regiment's Motorcycle Company to keep looking for the enemy after we have received reports of the Australians overrunning Mechili. Apparently, the enemy is moving in a column for Tmimi."

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RE: Under the African Sun- North Africa 40D-43 Axis AAR

Post by HvonMoltke »

Mangiavi being absent for a reason not known to me, I rise from my chair. "General, there is a great chance unfolding in front of us. Our Besaglieri can assault the unprepared and ill-supplied Australians in this open terrain while they are not completely assembled. This will probably annihilate a good portion of their strength and will foil any further attempt to assault Cyrenaica! Please allow me to plan out this operation and drive the Australians back into the desert!"



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