October 21st, 2018

 

World in Flames: Spring 2007 Campaign

     "Depths of Despair"

Axis players A. J. Brown and Prof. Schwartz. Allied players Prof. Hight and Kyle Spencer.

Game reports: 'Depths of Despair' - Spring 2007 WiF Campaign Game
  Germany: A.J. Brown
  Japan/Italy: Jeremy "Oil Baron" Schwartz

  Russia/France/Com China: Kyle Spencer
  US/Commonwealth/Nat China: Marc Hight
 

Sept/Oct 1939: Germany takes out Poland and Denmark without loss, redeploys westward. Japan reinforces southern China, rebases divisions to It. Somalia at the end of the turn. Italy enters the war, sinks 2 Allied convoys in the Cape St. Vincent. Russia keeps a moderate force in Siberia, moves corps to the Persian border, and takes the Baltics and E. Poland. France pulls in corps from Syria to mainland. CW reinforces Egypt. France and CW both lose two subs in Baltic after freak break in weather allows the Germans to close the canal unexpectedly.

Nov/Dec 1939: Weather uncommonly pleasant, with 3 of 4 weather rolls fair in Europe. Despite incomplete deployment, Germans DOW Netherlands, who aligns with the Commonwealth. British troops flood into Amsterdam and Rotterdam before the Germans can arrive. One Ger FTR3 and one CW TAC3 destroyed in air combat. Japan DOWs Persia and takes two oil. Persia aligns with Commonwealth. After some rules confusion, ruled that the USSR cannot send peacekeepers into Persia until at war with a major power. Crucial attack in central China sends the Chinese packing, but Japanese also suffer two losses for the victory. China pulls back. Italy attempts to cut off French oil supply, succeeds. French manage to cut off Italian convoys as well, also damaging a TRS. Commonwealth diverts reinforcements for Egypt to Netherlands, allowing the Italians to march right up against Alexandria. Serious naval positioning war to cut supply to N. Africa, but attempt fails.

Jan/Feb 1940: Weather finally turns sour. Germans face off against reinforced British in Netherlands and finish brining up their air force and army, now fully deployed on the western front. German navy sorties into the North Sea, but fails to find CW transport fleet, which delivers two more corps, this time to France. The Royal Navy, formerly unable to do much of anything, hits its stride with a bit of luck, severely punishing the Italians in the Med. Four Italian CAs are damaged, one sunk, and one BB sunk in fierce fighting. Brits suffer three CAs damaged and lose a second CVP in combat, but manage to down an Italian NAV. A decent Commonwealth corps finally makes it to reinforce the WDF, along with a TAC and FTR2. Italian TERs take A-E Sudan from the CW. Japan postures in China without attacking, enjoying their additional 'free' Persian oil. Axis have triggered US entry on only one of seven rolls. CW sends 2 oil to France to help with the oil situation, aided by good fortune in getting nearly all of the available minor convoys from Denmark and Holland.

Mar/April 1940: The weather for the two months remains mediocre, neither clearing nor turning wintery. Despite the poor weather the turn is amazingly long, finally automatically ending when the Axis pass (!). The Germans complete the movement of their considerable land and air forces to the west front and maintain the bad weather 'sitzkrieg.' The navy sorties once into the North Sea, and a brief battle results, sinking a British battleship at the price of two damaged German cruisers. Italy and Britain continue a deadly game of 'keep the Axis in supply in Africa,' resulting in the another damaged British battleship, but the Italians suffer the loss of a sub and the CA Pola. The Japanese consolidate their holdings in southern Persia and reinforce with additional marine corps (danger - more perfidy coming). A massive strategic bombing campaign starts in China, resulting in a persistant loss of one production point per turn for the Chinese. Yet no attacks are made in China. Japanese forces begin to appear in Manchuria as the Soviets are clearly packing the border with lots of corps and aircraft. In the west, the Soviets demands Bessarabia and the Germans allow the claim. The Hungarian and Bulgarian claims are allowed as well. Bulgaria is pulled into the war as a German minor ally.

May/Jun 1940:  The weather clears for the Germans, who start the month of May with a DOW on Belgium (align with CW). The Brits, who still hold both Amsterdam and Rotterdam, slow the first impulse surge of the Germans, allowing French and Belgian forces to man the river line including the capital Brussels. The Germans take Liege and ground strike lots of Allied troops, with slightly below average luck (flipping on average only one unit per stack for four stacks). The Allies retaliate with a series of daring groundstrikes that stun the Germans with their success. The key lead elements of the German thrust into Belgium are completely disorganized, forcing the Germans to wait an impulse to reorganize. They do, and the Brit bombers return and flip two corps in the same stack yet again! So the Germans decide to oust the British from their line. First they assault and expel the British from Amsterdam (+6 attack succeeds with one German loss). Later in the turn the German unsuccessfully assault Rotterdam, but cause another CW casualty. The British lines are thinning with the stream of combat casualties. The turn ends before the Germans can muster a serious attack into the heart of Belgium, but the arrival of two new FTRs and another TAC gives the Germans a significant edge in the air. Germany activates Hungary as a German minor ally (US doesn't care).
  In Africa, the Italians manage to re-establish supply and actually reinforce Balbo in the Egyptian desert. Fortunately, they launch a risky attack which fails. The Italian force is flipped and suffers two casualties for one CW loss. The rest of the long turn (11 impulses) sees the British trying impulse after impulse to put the Italians out of supply. After three failures, the British finally expel a lone remaining Italian TAC - but by AA fire (the CVPs could not do it despite good odds). The WDF then eliminates the flipped out of supply Italian units, including Balbo. The road is now clear to Tripoli! In the naval frays the Brits lost another BB (Royal Sovereign) and has a CA damaged. The French suffered massive convoy losses, cutting off all incoming oil and resources. The Italians had their last TRS damaged. British territorials take It. Somalialand.
  The Japanese continue their relentless campaign to piss off the entire world by DOWing Saudia Arabia and seizing the oil fields. Again, amazingly, the US does not care. The Soviets continue to pack the Manchurian border - could the Japanese be about to DOW the USSR as well? The strategic bombing campaign in China continues, causing another production point to be lost. US picked the resources to China option (Mar/April) and the British began sending oil to China this turn.

Jul/Aug 1940: With clear weather the Germans attempt to push through Belgium. During the turn they make three separate assaults (at +11, +10, and +5) - all of which fail to take the city. The attacks do take their toll, however, as the French lose 5 units (four corps) in the three assaults. After the second attack, the French lost two TAC and two FTRs, leaving them with virtually no air force at all. Coupled with the loss of British TAC, the Germans have massive air superiority on the front. They have not, however, taken Belgium.
  The Italians lose their last CP in a port strike, but otherwise the Med is quiet. The British slowly push across Libya and reach Homs, still short of Tripoli. CW troops reinforce Kuwait. At the end of the turn, partisans rise up in Burma, blocking the oil to China. The CW does have some success, however, taking Eritrea from the Italians.
  The Soviets continue to build up on the Manchurian border, but despite the tension nothing comes of it. The Japanese are feverishly redeploying forces to the theatre to counter the threat. Meanwhile, the Japanese strategic bombing campaign continues with unnerving success, taking three to four (!) production points per turn. Worse yet, the Nipponese shoot down the lone Chinese FTR. Fortunately a replacement is on the spiral for next turn. The US freezes Japanese assets.

Sept/Oct 1940: The Germans suddenly decide that their army is powerful and take Brussels on a +5 assault in the rain, without loss. Brussels has been such a meat grinder for French units that the line behind is weak and the Germans advance steadily once through Brussels into France before the turn finally ends. Belgium is incompletely conquered. The unexpected turn end also catches the Allies by surprise. They were about to remove the Belgians from Belgium so they could keep fighting, but lost them all instead during the victory phase.
  The CW liberates Eithiopia, effectively removing the Axis threat from Africa for the time being. The turn ends suddenly (on an early roll of '1' by the Axis), just in time to prevent the CW forces from attacking Tripoli, which had been struck and put out of supply. Troops are sent to Burma to remove the pesky partisan, but had to flip into position. They should remove the rebels next turn.
  China suffers another 3pp loss to Japanese strategic bombing. They lose, for the second straight turn, the lone FTR they have. Again, another FTR is on the spiral to come in next turn. More Manchurian posturing, but still no war. The US embargoes strategic materials.

Nov/Dec 1940: The Germans now clear Belgium except for one hex and push deeper into France, crushing corps wantonly with blitz attacks even in the rain and snow. The Wehrmacht is now two hexes from Paris and panic grips the capital city. The turn ends after only three impulses (the Allies only get one impulse!), most favorably for the Axis. The Allies in France were caught in disarray and the British managed only a naval before the turn ended. The anticipated attacks on the partisan in Burma and on the Italians in Tripoli were precluded by the second straight early end of a turn by the Axis.
  Naturally, the Chinese FTR was shot down (three in a row in three straight combats). Of course, another replacement FTR is on the spiral for next turn. Journalists are taking bets as to which Japanese plane will shoot this one down and how quickly. At least this last FTR managed to abort a bomber in a strat run before biting the dust. The pilots keep surviving, enabling the stream of new FTRs to continue. The short turn meant that China lost only 1pp this turn.

Jan/Feb 1941: The desperate situation in France improves slightly after the Allies finally (!) win initiative 10-9 on the rolls. The Allies go first and start the 'Paris huddle,' reorganizing the front to hold onto Paris. The turn goes on longer than predicted (6 total impulses, 3 each) and the Germans methodically eliminate French units, managing to get two hexes on Paris by the end of the turn. The Germans suffered their first strategic bombing losses of the war (one measly point in Aachen, but at least it is something). However, in trying to save the French, the CW lost a FTR and and TAC in bombing runs over German occupied France. German ground and air superiority continues to increase. Late in the turn the British decide to try and save the army, removing several corps from the continent in a Dunkirk-esque operation. After three turns ended early, the CW finally manages to isolate, assault, and take Tripoli, to much rejoicing across the globe. The lone pesky partisan in Burma is also eliminated, opening the oil to flow to China. Late in the turn the weather turns stormy and the Italian navy sorties, bloodying the British nose. For a loss of one cruiser sunk and one cruiser damaged, the Italians sank a battleship and damaged a battleship - not a good day for the Royal Navy.
  The Japanese continue to pound away at the Chinese with strategic bombing, taking 2 production points again this turn. Not much else happens in the Pacific. The US still has not geared up and does not look likely to do so in the near future. What are those isolationists thinking?

Mar/April 1941: The game name becomes increasingly apt as the Axis have an excellent turn overall with only minor reverses. The Axis win initiative despite a requested reroll by the Allies and then the weather miraculously clears (weather roll of '10'). The Germans overrun a small corps (Bordeaux militia) near Paris and clear out more space around Paris, preparing to assault the beleaguered city. The weather turns muddy but near the end of the turn the Germans boldly drop an offensive chit and assault the French capital, taking it on a +16 assault without loss. At the end of the turn a Vichy government is installed, with only French Equatorial Africa and the Pacific territories remaining free. The new FF home country is Gabon.
  Meanwhile in Europe the battle in the Med continues to simmer. For the loss of a CW and French CA, the Italians lose the Andrea Doria (HS) and another cruiser of their own. The Allies start to dominate the Med. Britain invades Sardinia and clears the one Italian corps defending it. CW FTRs rebase into the theatre in the hopes of achieving air superiority off the Italian coast. Unfortunately, the Germans started building large numbers of cheap militia which now are railed all over Italy. The boot is grey with German corps and green with a swarm of Italian FTRs recently built and placed on the map. Taking Italy out of the war now looks surprisingly difficult despite the recent fall of Tripoli. The A-E Sudan is liberated, freeing all of Africa from the Axis scourge (except Vichy forces).
  In the Pacific, Soviet troops start leaving Manchuria, much to the surprise (relief?) of the Japanese. Tensions appear to be easing on that front. The Japanese strategic bombing campaign continues unabated, with 4 production points being taken this turn. Finally, however, the Japanese suffer a loss as a bomber is shot down over Chungking. The Japanese navy and air force looks enormous - might we see an early DOW on the US?

May/Jun 1941: The war stays surprisingly hot this turn, despite the majority of the turns being witness to a mass relocation of German forces from west to east. A small contingent of German armor head to Brest where the remnants of the BEF are stationed, while the rest of the Wehrmacht is split between Poland and the border of Yugoslavia. Early in the turn the British invade and seize Albania, prompting the Germans to pack the border in case of a pro-Allied coup. The British evacuate Brest before the massive German armor columns can mount an attack, leaving France entirely in the hands of the Axis. Trieste is bombed (-1 pp) and nuisance raids net nothing over Germany.
  In the Med the British mass a clearly superior air and naval force off of Italy and engage Italian FTRs and NAVs, hoping to shoot down some of the pesky planes. Despite 10 impulses and 6 separate combats (where the British never flew at less than +3 on the air combat tables and often much higher), the Italians suffer *no* losses, shooting down a CVP and eventually sinking the CV Glorious. The defeat is the worst in recent memory for the Commonwealth and Churchill vows revenge. New forces are dispatched to the Med front.
  The Chinese theatre also is hot. The Japanese predictable continue to strat bomb, inflincting another 3 production points of loss. Their air success also emboldens them to try an attack. They assault Chengchow at +8 and roll a '3' for the worst failure of an attack this war (1/-). Despite the failed attack, the Japanese line is still strong. The constant strategic losses have kept Chinese builds low.
  In the Persian area, British reinforcements continue to slowly trickle into the area. CW troops now occupy portions of Persia, Kuwait, and Saudia Arabia as peacekeepers to moderate Japanese aggression in the Middle East.
  The US Congress finally starts to see the threat of Japanese aggression and agrees to gear up the economy to prepare for war. Sentiments have reversed sharply in the last six months, forcing some to ask whether the US might be in the war this calendar year. Could the arsenal of democracy tip the balance of the scales in this conflict that has driven the whole world into the depths of despair?
 

 

 

 

July/August 1941: A brilliant turn for the Allied cause, all things considered. The Allies win initiative (only the second time this game). The Germans start their turn by declaring war on the poor Yugoslavians, who decide to defend Zagreb and leave Belgrade to the Germans. Initially things go well for the Hun, as every groundstrike succeeds and four of the five Yugos are flipped. The next impulse the Germans mass for an assault, but pesky British TAC intervene and lower the odds slightly. The +10 assault fails (-/1) although the Germans take no losses. von Bock and Guderian reflip the army and the Huns attack a second time after the last face up Yugo corps slips into Zagreb. Once again the valiant British airforce rises to the occasion, aborting the German Stukas and clearing just enough to drop the odds again. The +6 assault fails again (2/1), this time with German blood left in the streets. Yugoslavia holds! The British send four corps into the south from Albania, but a German wall of corps marches south and the Brits retreat, despairing of helping their brave friends in Zagreb. The Americans are impressed, however, and get a chit for supporting a minor.
  Meanwhile, the CW strives to keep German forces away from the Soviet border by being a nuisance elsewhere. Two waves of strategic bombing finally hit home, causing the Germans to lose 5pp and the Italians 1pp. In mid-turn British forces storm ashore just south of Bordeaux and reinforcements secure the southern tip of occupied France. Germans rush to the area and establish a bridgehead across the river outside of Bordeaux, but the British force looks solid (even if it is unlikely it is going any where). The Germans do not look ready for an invasion of the USSR - where are they headed?
  In the Pacific, disaster strikes the Japanese. In impulse 3, the Communists make a daring attack on the occupied city of Wuhan. The +4 assault against the city succeeds with heavy casualties (2/1), flipping all of the attacking forces. Next impulse, the Japanese see a golden opportunity and attack a flipped Mao in Chengchow at +9! But the Imperial forces are surprised by the ferocity of the defenders, rolling the dreaded modified 14 (3/1!). American entry continues to climb.

 

Sept/Oct 1941: The success of the Allies earlier in the summer are short lived and we enter into another phase of despair. The Germans assault Zagreb a third time, this times rolling a modified 27 to take the city without loss. Yugoslavia is conquered at the end of the turn. CW forces are turned back and are forced to retreat back into Albania. Rumania is activated as an Axis minor ally; German troops start to pour into their new ally.
  In the west, the CW seek to widen the beachhead around Bordeaux, taking a daring attack (+7 blitz) north of Bordeaux, which is a minor success (-/R 1/2 flip). The hoped for breakthrough, however, fails and the Axis are able to form a solid defensive line hemming the British in around Bordeaux. A port strike damages the German amphib, but the Nazis repair the ship immediately.
  The Pacific is more of the same. The Chinese lose two more build points. The Imperial navy relocates to Truk, raising tensions with the US and the CW.

Nov/Dec 1941: More gloom. The Japanese start the turn by controlling Indo-China. They quickly manage to push north from Hanoi into China, unhinging the Chinese line. The Burma road is cut and Kunming falls to the Japanese. The Japanese could have pushed further inland, but they lost control of their troops, who engaged in a four day orgy of violence and terror against the citizens of the city (forever known as the 'Rape of Kunming.' In addition, Japanese bombers take two more production points. The US passes the War Appropriations Act in December 1941.
  Feeling the weight of the war on their shoulders, the CW seizes the initiative and invades Lorient (just south of Brest) in an attempt to expand the beachhead around Bordeaux. The Axis are caught by surprise, but manage to extricate themselves before the maneuver can cut five units out of supply. The Allies do take Brest, denying the Germans the sub-base. Reinforcements arrive and the beachhead expands in the north. British bombers pound Hamburg, taking 2 pps. A port strike fails. The turn again runs long (the winter turns have been good to the Axis). Germans redeploy into Poland and Rumania.

Jan/Feb 1942: The Americans now are plunged into the depths of despair. The Allies win initiative for the third time all game. The US attempts to DOW Japan, but roll a '10' as Republican isolationists honor their bribes from Axis fifth-column agents. Japan then declares war on the CW and the NEI and seizes Madagascar as well. The sneaky Japanese invade near the Suez canal, take Rabaul, and invade near Palembang. Buoyed by the entry chits the US attempts to declare war on Japan again (this time with a really high chance!) but incredibly roll a second '10' and fail. Churchill gives a speech openly attacking elements of the American Congress in a radio broadcast from Whitehall. Fearful that the Americans might actually find a spine, the Japanese then DOW the US and execute a port strike on Pearl Harbor. Two HSs and one LS are sunk, with a HS and LS damaged. Enraged by the perfidy of the Axis, the US in the next impulse tries to DOW Germany and Italy, but, as expected, fail the roll. The Soviets can wait no longer and DOW Germany and Italy, opening a massive front in the East. In the last impulse, however, the Germans and Italians finally oblige Congress and DOW the US, sinking an American cruiser in the surprise impulse.
  As per usual, the Chinese lose two production points to strategic bombing. The Germans lose 2 pps in Hamburg again. Another CW port strike fails in Kiel. We finally have total war, with all the belligerents in the conflict.

Mar/Apr 1942: The nasty weather keeps the turn surprisingly short. The Allies go first, allowing the Soviets to rationalize their line and make two important attacks. The first is in the Rumanian swamps as the Bear tries to seize the vital Ploesti oil fields. That attack ends 1/1 and essentially a failure as the Soviets are not able to advance. The attack in the north fares better, however, killing two German corps for no loss. The turn continues with the Germans and Soviets trading attacks in impulses 2 and 3. The Germans do well in the north, pushing the Soviets back a hex or two, but the Soviets continue a general, if slow, advance in the south, breaking a key hex into Rumania at the end of the turn.
  In the West, the Allies reinforce the beachhead in France. A high odds blitz succeeds, trapping two German corps and a division in a pocket in the Loire valley. The Germans, relatively corps poor, are forced to retreat one line of hexes to rationalize their line, but the end of the turn prevents much from being accomplished. Heavy air casualties on both sides keeps the Allied advance limited.
  The Japanese start the turn by sailing out most of their main battle fleet off the coast of Hawaii, threatening a massive port strike. The US Navy decides to give battle and the first major naval conflict of the Pacific war begins. Search rolls are even, and an air is declared. In the ensuing battle the Japanese lose three AC (including one of the precious 13 range Zeroes) and the Americans lose two, although the CV Shokaku is sunk as a result. The Japanese aborted after the costly first round. The Japanese get their revenge by sinking a British battleship off the coast of Africa. Japanese corps reinforce Palembang. Some nefarious plot was foiled when the turn ended early as the Nipponese had a ship with a division ready to invade (Mozambique?) off the southern coast of Africa. China, for the first time since this war reporter can recall, built at maximum.

May/June 1942: As short as the preceding turn was, June stretched long. The Axis win initiative and the weather is fine. The Nazi-Soviet dance continues, with the Germans repeatedly getting good attacks in the north, but the Soviets getting good attacks and advancing in the south. As the turn continues, the Soviets manage to get adjacent to Ploesti and even attacked the key hex, but the attack failed as the turn ended. Axis forces in Rumania are spread thin and it appears likely that the Soviets will remove the Rumanians from the war.
  In the Med, the Allies open a new front by invading La Spezia in northern Italy. The Italians saw the convoy coming, but the NAVs in the sea-zone failed to locate the incoming invasion fleet. The attack suffered one loss, but the Allies were able to reorganize and advance another hex into Italy. A quick Axis response ringed the beachhead and stopped its advance, but the joint CW-US force managed to partially cut the Italian peninsula in two.
  The Allies also continued the advance in France, eliminating the pocketed corps in the Loire and advancing two more hex rows after two additional attacks (one successful, the other partially successful). The Germans are preparing defenses along the Seine, but still defend the western bank of the river. At the end of the turn major German reinforcements appeared in western Germany. Allied reinforcements are light with the new front in Italy, but overall air superiority seems to be shifting towards the Allies in France. At the end of the turn the weather turned stormy and the Germans sank the vital British amphib, causing much consternation in London. The turn finally ended when the Axis passed.
  The Pacific was also eventful. The Japanese opened again by posting a serious fleet off the coast of Hawaii. The Japanese had managed to replace their air losses from the previous turn quickly, but the Americans had not, so 'Ballsy Hallsey' decided to take the US fleet and go convoy raiding off the coast of Japan. It turned out to be a serious error! The fleet located nothing and two impulses later a Japanese reaction fleet did find the Americans. In the ensuing air battle the crack Japanese pilots downed key US CV FTRs. Fortunately, AA fire reduced the incoming attack enough such that the fleet only suffered two abort rolls. Deprived of key carrier cover, the US fleet aborted home to Pearl. Knowing that the Japanese fleet was offshore ready to strike the helpless fleet, all of the face-up Pacific assets were aborted home to Pearl to provide AA fire to defend the carriers. Sure enough, the Japanese struck the fleet in Pearl, the rolls provided no surprise bonus (despite some rain). In one of the most shocking events of the war, the US anti-aircraft fire was so effective that *all three* incoming Japanese CV bombers were shot down - saving the fleet! (Worst 3 of 5, lowest rolls were 5, 6, 8!) The Japanese had replacement CVPs ready to go, but the result was incredible. The CW finally expelled the Japanese from Persia, retaking the vital oil fields of Bushere. The Japanese now only have Palembang and Tarakan, as American forces hold Balikpapan on Borneo.
  Not to be held back, the Japanese DOW'd Free France and invaded Gabon, the current home country for the French. One cheap US corps landed behind the Japanese, but could not stop the invasion or the fall of Gabon. The French home country moves to the Congo. The Japanese also crawl into the northern Philippines, setting up for an attack on Manila.

July/August 1942: The Germans pull back out of E. Prussia, tempting the Soviets to raise their gearing limit, but the Soviets resist the temptation. The Germans focus in the east on preserving their line, which is being seriously stretched by the advancing Soviets armies. In the south the Bear conquers Rumania and manages to sneak a CAV corps out to cut off the resources in Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Turkey, and the Iraqi oil. The slow Soviet forces are half-way through the Carpathians, but the Axis forces look thin between Yugoslavia and southern Poland. Reinforcements are coming!
  The Allied beachhead in northern Italy remains quiet after an improbable series of groundstrikes flip key Allied units in La Spezia. The Italians manage to maneuver to open up some factories, but the balance is precarious. Each side is waiting for the other to make an ill-fated attack to open the front.
  In France the front advances a measely two hexes when high-odds Allied attacks go awry. A beautiful chance to bust the German line and exploit across the Seine is lost on a +12 blitz attack and a rolled '5.' The Germans manage to reinforce the line and dig in behind the Seine. The front stagnates.
  The Royal bomber command, however, has a brilliant turn, taking 5 German and 2 Italian production points for the turn. The Furhrer promises significant FTR reinforcements for the homeland. No oil is taken despite a few attempts, but the Germans are starting to feel the impact of the RAF.
  In the Pacific, the Japanese manage to establish a major beachhead on Luzon and start to threaten MacArthur and Manila. A slight break in the weather allows the US Marines to try a daring invasion of a defended Kwajalein. The attack succeeds and provides the Americans with forward bases (Eniwetok is also taken). During the turn four long-range FTRs are brought up to the front. Britain continues to build basically only Australians. At the end of the turn Indian infantry from Persia land on Java, preparing to threaten the vital oil center at Palembang. The Japanese rearrange their line in China, but nothing else of much consequence occurs, except Truk is reinforced.

Sept/Oct 1942: The Axis win initiative and elect to go first. The Japanese shuttle troops around and continue to pile into Luzon in preparation for the conquest of the Philippines. The British have relocated four CVs and a small surface fleet to the Indian Ocean. Despite trying to pick off several Japanese ships all attempts at locating them fail. Meanwhile, the British try to shuttle troops into the NEI, New Ireland, and the Philippines. An Aus corps and inf div land just west of Rabaul on the island and a joint force kills a partisan on Java (on the road to liberate Palembang from the Japanese), but an attempt to relocate troops to the Phillippines fails. A sneaky Japanese cruiser damages a TRS with an Indian HQ, sending him back to Calcutta.
  The Americans seek a major battle in the Caroline Islands, but fail over and over again to find the Japanese. US Marines do storm ashore Bonin Island, giving the US a small base on the Sea of Japan. Two new Essex-class carriers arrive in the Pacific and the balance of naval power is starting to shift.
  In Europe the Soviets slowly grind ahead, push the Germans out of Rumania. No gains are made in Poland. The Allies re-invade Italy, this time taking Taranto directly by amphibious assault. The invasion unhinges the Axis defenders and creates disorder in the Italian high command. The Italian navy sorties to try and clear the transports with waiting Allied reinforcements, but the Royal Navy is up to the task, scattering the Italians while suffering only a damaged cruiser in the process. In France several attacks are made to cross the Seine, but all of them fail; the German defenses continue to get stronger in the area. In one bright spot, British strategic bombers hit several factories, lowering German production.

Nov/Dec 1942: The Allies win the first initiative die roll, but the Axis demand a re-roll and (naturally) win the re-roll. Axis go first. The war in the Pacific heats us as the Japanese sortie right away and assault Manila. MacArthur does his best, but the Japanese banzai attack is too much for him and all the defenders are lost. MacArthur swears "I will be reconstituted as an effective military commander." The US navy sorties in the Bismarck and Caroline Sea zones, but again fails to find any Japanese fleets. Despite numerous attempts in various sea zones, the US navy did not succeed in finding a Japanese fleet ever (when added to the zero percent score of search rolls in Sept/Oct 1942 it makes the US navy look rather pathetic). Nonetheless, the marine corps was busy. Saipan was taken and the Australians took Rabaul at the end of the turn. The Allies now a major port only two zones from Japan. Near of the end of the turn the Allies boldly aborted two corps into Legaspi to try and keep a foothold in the Philippines. A Japanese port strike on the TRS was narrowly avoided in the surprise rolls. The British reinforce their Asiatic fleet with a few more ships and another CV.
  Russia lumbers forward, clearing Bulgaria and pushing into Yugoslavia, ending the turn shy of Belgrade. A daring attack is made on Warsaw that succeeds brilliantly, liberating the strategic city from the Germans. Medals are handed out to several generals. Late in the turn the Soviets play an o-chit to take another key key beyond the river line. The attack succeeds and the Red Army presses forward another precious hex. A late attack in Yugoslavia, however, fails miserably, killing a white-print inf and a mech unit.
  The most shocking news is that Italy is conquered. A flood of Allied reinforcements into the boot of Italy overwhelms the sparse southern Axis defenders. When Naples is taken (defended by Balbo and a German MIL), all of the southern force is free of ZOCs and the garrison ratio is achieved. Italy abandons the Axis cause! Northern Italy still has several German corps scattered about. Will they retreat to the mountains or be picked off by the Americans in the Po valley?
  France continues to be a thorn in the side of the Allies, as another attack in France fails to gain any ground. Will the Allies ever advance in France again? Another round of strategic bombing does minor damage to the German war industry.

Jan/Feb 1943: The Allies win initiative and go first. The weather, however, is positively evil. With a +2 modifier, a 10 is rolled (modified 12 weather in J/F is the worst possible). The next impulse sees the same weather! With the new Asiatic Fleet in Singapore and the US Navy in Rabaul, a joint fleet sails into the South China Sea in an attempt cut off the Japanese from their oil. The Japanese respond to the challenge, moving most of their navy out into the sea zone. The initial battles go poorly with poor weather and good Japanese search rolls. The CVL Independence and two British cruisers are sunk, but four Japanese cruisers and some shipping join them at the bottom of the sea. An American task force off the coast of Japan tries all turn but fails to locate the convoys or fleet units there even once. For a second consecutive turn a Japanese cruiser finds Mountbatton on a TRS and damages the ship, sending the HQ back to the spiral.
  In Europe, the bad weather slows the Allies. The Soviets make two attacks but both fail. The Reds do manage to extend the line in the south, take Belgrade, and link up with the British in western Yugoslavia near the Italian border. The joint US-UK force in Italy starts the process of clearing the German corps trapped there. Germans reinforce the mountain passes, protecting the southern flank. No progress is made in France and the weather prevents strategic bombing. The turn ends early after only 3 impulses. Germany builds and builds well....

Mar/April 1943: The Axis win initiative and go first. The Japanese seek to defend their oil line and post the majority of their fleet in the South China Sea, including all of their carrier fleet. The joint Allied naval command makes a strategic decision - to engage! In the clear weather, the search rolls produce five consecutive rounds of combat and the carnage is significant. Both sides lose many carrier planes and a few land-based planes. After a rough first round where the Essex class CV Intrepid is sunk, subsequent rounds of combat favor the Allies. At the end of the long battle, CVs Zuikaku, Kaga, Hiryu, Zuiho, Ryuho, and Hosho are sunk. BBs Kirishima, Yamato, and Shinano are also sunk. Both sides suffer numerous damaged ships as well. The bloody series of naval engagement temporarily strips the Japanese of its carrier force, since the aborted ships went to Canton (they did not want to risk running a picket fleet off the coast of Japan).
  Aside from sea battle, American and Australian forces continue to carve out new bases in the Philippines, liberating some of the islands in the south. Four more corps are unloaded around Palembang as the Allies are obviously planning to assault the oil production center. Mountbatton finally manages to make it to the island to lead the attack. The Chinese launch two daring attacks. The Communists use their newly arrived Mech corps to attack, but fail a +3 blitz attack. The Nationalists, however, make their first attack in the game (also at +3) and 'win' by killing a 2-2 Mil in exchange for three of their own corps. They at least take a mountain hex in the south near Chang-Sha.
  Europe is equally active. The Soviets assault Lodz in Poland at +1 but roll a 19 and take the city! A second attack further south in the line (+4) fails on a '4,' but the Soviets are starting to hit their stride. Given Allied bombing and pressure in the west, the Soviets are starting to near air parity on the Eastern front.
  The US-UK Italian clears several more hexes in Italy - only a Gar in Venice remains. After a heavy series of air strikes the Allies launch two blitz attacks north and south of Paris and both succeed. The northern attack establishes a bridgehead across the Seine. The Germans, fearing the potential liberation of Paris and France, collapse Vichy. The Germans pull back slightly and re-establish a line. Meanwhile, the weather clears near the end of the turn long enough for the British to launch an invasion into Holland. The attack succeeds, but the Germans are surprisingly able to mount a defense and stop the beachhead inside Holland, although the Allied forces (under Lord Gort) took four hexes.
  The British Strategic Bomber Command also returned to action with the clearing weather, bombing (but not destroying) two oil, and causing an economic loss of 6 production points. With the German build multiple at 1.75 (Soviets entered East Prussia) such production losses are vital to the Allied war effort. The German long-term economic plan is starting to pay dividends, however, as their synthetic oil plants are arriving. Three have been built and will all be on map by July 1943.
  By the end of the turn the Axis line in France in intact but looks, for the first time, vulnerable. The Germans were fortunate in May to receive massive land reinforcements, most of which went to the west to counter the rising threats in France and Holland.

May/June 1943: The Allies win initiative and the US immediately drops its first 'super-combined' chit. The navy sorties to try and dominate the China and South China Seas, and marines invade Formosa, seizing the island for more American airbases. Joint American and Commonwealth forces under the command of Mountbatten isolate Palembang and assault the oil center at +9 but fail, killing one defender for the loss of three corps. A second assault is made later in the turn at +7, but another horrible job of coordination sees no effect (-/-) in the assault. The Japanese strike back by re-invading and taking Saipan. Naval skirmishes result in some light Japanese naval losses.
  In Europe the German front suffers from over-extension in both the east and the west. In the East, the Soviets enter East Prussia and attack across the Oder river. The results of the attacks are mixed, but there are enough successes to force the Germans to pull back their line inside Germany proper in the north, and into northern Hungary in the south.
  In the west, a double-pincer move finally succeeds in isolating Paris. The French capital is liberated. Two small pockets of German forces remain in France, but otherwise the front pushes all the way through Belgium and eastern France right to the German frontier. The Germans are scrappy foes, however, and manage to build a respectable line with timely reinforcements from the south. The Allies manage to assault and take Cologne, however, seizing one of the vital synthetic oil plants. By the end of June, France is mostly clear of Germans (just two isolated hexes) and a ragtag Allied line stretches from Bremen to the Swiss border, with three hexes of German in the hands of the western allies. No progress is made along the southern border, but the Americans are winding their way to Zagreb and link up with the Soviets in force just north of the Yugoslavian city.
  Allied strategic bombing is successful, causing the destruction of a factory and the loss of 6 production points for the turn. Soviet attempts to stop the Swedish convoys fail repeatedly, but their effort is roundly applauded by the Commonwealth leadership. Overall, the turn sees the largest gain in territory for the Allies for the entire war.

July/August 1943: Short summer delays Allied cause! Despite a reroll with an advantage, the Axis win initiative and elect to move first. The Japanese sail their main fleet out into the China Sea under FTR cover and post a surface fleet in the S. China Sea to keep open the convoy lines to the NEI oil. The Americans respond to the implicit challenge by sailing out major forces into both sea zones. An early battle results off the coast of Japan and American brute strength breaks the quality Japanese forces. CVs Akagi, Soryu, and Junyo are sunk, along with the CA Atago and the BB Nagato. Later in the turn a joint Commonwealth and American force finds the Japanese near the NEI, sinking the Mutsu and damaging the BB Ise. The Allies suffer as well, losing five cruisers in the various battles - but no CVs or large capital ships.
  Taking advantage of the dominance of the sea zones, the US invades Port Arthur in Manchuria, successfully seizing the port city. Later in the turn a MIL is killed in Mukden, yielding the city to the Americans. An ENG unit makes it to Taihoku to repair the port facility. More US planes relocate to the area. An assault on Kunming (now isolated and both corps flipped) fails with no losses to the Japanese (+4 assault, 2/-).
  In Europe, the strat bombing fails miserably (only one pp taken and no oil taken). Worse yet, a large series of US/CW attacks mostly fail. The western allies roll the first '2' on an attack roll (on a +13 blitz!). Only a few Germans are killed and only a few hexes are taken in the west. A strategic retreat in the south allows the Allies to push across the Alps to Munich, but otherwise progress is slow. The Allies do manage to link with the Soviets in the north, cutting off the Germans from their Swedish and Finnish resources.
  The Soviets fare somewhat better, taking Vienna in the south and execute a brilliant blitz attack in the north allowing them to blitz into an unoccupied Berlin! The line starts to stagnate after that, however, and limited gains are made in the east. Just as both sides were about to ramp up new attacks, the turn ends on a '1' at the first opportunity! Before the turn ends, however, the Germans launch a surprise raid and invade Latvia with Finnish troops! The Soviets manage to rail some units into defensive positions, so the raid does not look to be going anywhere, but the nuisance value is worth it!

Sept/Oct 1943: Bad weather gets continually worse. The turn sees not even one marginally clear turn. It is storm in the temperate the *entire* turn. As a result, the Allies are again largely stymied. Several attacks are made, but at a high price. Frankfurt is assaulted at decent odds and falls, but with a (2/2) result - including two Allied MECH corps. A +4 assault on Munich does nothing except two more American units. Two Soviets attacks are made, one is a marginal success (2/1) and the other a blinding success (rolled the first '20' for an attack). The Soviets lurch forward two or three hexes, the other Allies only one or two. The storm prevents strat bombing and the Germans continue to hold onto three precious oil resources/synth plants. Denmark is conquered, opening the Baltic completely - but it doesn't matter.
  In the Pacific, the Americans and British finally manage to get oil to the Chinese, who took the port of Hainan the previous turn. Picket fleets patrol virtually unopposed off the coast of Japan and the NEI. A Japanese AMPH and the CVL Taiyo are sunk trying to sneak back to Japan. Mountbatten tries for a third time to take Palembang - this time assaulting at an impressive +12. Unfortunately, Allied ineptitude continues and the attack fails with a rolled '6'. Ack. The US reinforces the invasion of Manchuria and repairs the port at Port Arthur. Again the turn ends fairly early.

Nov/Dec 1943: Allies win initiative and the weather first impulse is unseasonably good! The Allies take advantage.... The USSR starts by declaring war on a now reeling Japan, hoping for some easy swag. The US and Commonwealth both take super-combined actions. The US sorties the Pacific Fleet and dominates the sea zones all around Japan. Osaka is successfully invaded on a +10 assault. A simultaneous +15 attack on Fukuoku goes awry as the Allies roll another '2.' The marines get ashore, but they are flipped. Another attack led by Mountbatten is launched against Palembang, and this time finally succeeds (+11 attack -/2S*). The Chinese, feeling the spirit, attacks Kunming at +5 and succeeds in killing thousands of unarmed Chinese soldiers in human wave attacks - but no Japanese (2/- result). Another attack on Shanghai by the communists is more successful, killing a Japanese corps with no losses (-/1). Later in the turn American CVs port strike Tokyo, sinking the CV Hiyo and scattering more of the fleet. The Japanese navy is a small shadow of its original might. Later in the turn more forces are funneled into Japan, and the small linked islands in the Japanese chain of islands are taken. The weather turned bad after the first impulse, so no further attacks were made in Japan.
  In Europe the super-combined allows the British strategic air arm to bomb away. Germany loses all of its oil (taken, not destroyed) and all of its production for the turn. Ground strikes disrupt most of the German front as the Western Allies are close enough to help their Soviet friends with ground strikes. Hannover is successfully assaulted (+8, no losses) and a blitz attack splits the German front in twain. Soviet attacks ground German hexes as well. By the end of the turn, the Germans hold only Munich and Leipzig as factory cities.
  The bad weather for the remainder of the turn hampers Allied efforts, but the end is in sight for Germany and CW and US forces are ashore in the Japanese homeland.

Jan/Feb 1944: Bad weather blues for the Allies. Axis win initiative. The Japanese sortie with the remainder of their navy in an attempt to link up with the one remaining oil hex they control in the NEI (Tarakan - they lost Palembang in Nov 1943). At first the sortie goes well, as the Japanese find and surprise the BB Idaho and a laden Amphib. The Idaho sinks and the Amph is damaged before escaping. The next impulse, however, the US has the good fortune. In fierce surface action, the CV Shinano, CVL Chiyoda, and CA Kinugasa are sunk. The BB Hizen is damaged. The remainder of the Japanese fleet flees for Tokyo harbor.
  The US plays a chit in the bad weather (storm!) to assault Kyoto. The +7 assault is another Allied land disaster as a '4' is rolled (1/-). More corps land in Japan, however, and TAC and new US strategic bombers start to arrive in the newly repaired airbases in Japan proper.
  In Germany the Soviets take Leipzig but the CW fail in their attack on Munich. Germany will see another turn.

28 February 1944: Axis power seek terms for surrender! Game ends.

 

WAR NEWS!

GERMANS CRUSH POLES. Sept 1939
Dateline Berlin: In what can only be described as masterful military execution, the Wehrmacht dissected the Polish army in three short weeks, suffering no casualties from enemy fire. About 420 German soldiers did die in accidents unrelated to combat, mostly attributed to poor hygiene according to sources in the OKH. During his celebratory speech, the German leader remarked, "It might be too early to say this, but ve vill never surrender!"

JAPANESE EMBARRASS ALLIES WITH SNEAKY MOVES. Sept 1939
Dateline Tokyo: Heads are rolling in Whitehall as British 'intelligence' officials are being sacked over their failure to predict and counter a bold Japanese ploy to seize Persian oil fields. Persian forces are being mobilized to reclaim the vital oilfields, but they lack the strength to expel the invaders and a standoff appears to be developing. Meanwhile, the Japanese are feverishly extracting petroleum from the fields at a record pace.

BRITANNIA RULES THE WAVES! Jan 1940
Dateline Gibraltar: The Royal Naval Command, Med Front, has struck a blow for democracy and the Allies by punishing the upstart Italians who, completely unprovoked, declared war on Britain and its allies three months earlier. The Royal Navy has been tasked with the mission to cut off Axis forces in Africa from supply and reinforcements. In fierce fighting over the past three months, the British have had several cruisers damaged and had their carrier air wing depleted, but have sunk the C. di Cavour (BB) and several cruisers in addition to damaging several other cruisers and a transport flotilla.

FRENCH CLAIM WAR READINESS Jan 1940
Dateline Paris: Defiant even in the face of overwhelming odds, the French PM Kyle 'Jacques' de Spencer (don't pronounce the 'r') issued a public declaration daring the Germans to attack across the frontier into the vaunted 'Maginot Line.' Unofficial sources reveal some concern, however, as German forces seem to be concentrating along the Belgian frontier....

 

 

 

 

 

KRIEGSMARINE SURPRISES ROYAL NAVY March 1940  
Dateline London: The battleship HMS Resolution was sunk and another BB damaged in fierce fighting with the Kriegsmarine in late March 1940 after the German navy sortied to try and gain dominance in the North Sea. Two German cruisers, including the Admiral Hipper, were damaged, but intelligence reports seem to indicate that both cruisers made it back to Kiel for repairs. The Royal Navy continues to suffer casualties at a rapid pace, having lost several cruisers sunk and damaged in previous months.

GERMANS SMASH INTO BELGIAN 'BRICK WALL' May 1940
Dateline Brussels: Despite massive air and ground superiority, the advance of the Wehrmacht has been temporarily slowed by the valiant intervention of French and Commonwealth forces in Belgium. The Germans, who declared war on Belgium 1 May 1940 because "we like the countryside and want to have more picnics," Overran border defenses, seized Liege, and successfully assaulted Amsterdam in the north before finally meeting stiff resistance outside the Belgian capital of Brussels. Fierce fighting with heavy casualties has been reported in the outskirts of Rotterdam, where remnants of the original BEF tenaciously hold on the flickering idea of freedom in Europe.

JAPANESE PERFIDY RISES TO NEW LEVEL June 1940
Dateline Tokyo: The Japanese PM J. "we love German radio gameshows" Schwartzihito announced that a state of war existed between Saudia Arabia and Japan in the early hours of 1 June 1940, some two days after Japanese marines seized the key oil fields in eastern part of the Arabian peninsula. Said the PM, "We need the oil more than they do." The US Congress passed a resolution freezing Japanese assets in response to the aggression, but refused to vote on the President's recommendation for a formal declaration of war.

WESTERN DESERT FORCE VICTORIOUS! June 1940
Dateline Cairo: After repelling a 'surprisingly fierce' attack just 110km west of Alexandria, the Royal Navy managed to block the Italian supply lines long enough for the WDF (under command of recently knighted Sir Gen. Wavell) to smash the Italian front lines and encircle the entire Italian African expeditionary force. By the end of June, the entire Italian force had been captured. About 90,000 Italians are said to have surrendered in the fighting. "The way is open to clearing the Italians from all of North Africa, if we only have the will and the support of the high command," reported Sir. Wavell. Urgent calls to relocate the WDF to meet other threats have been gaining strength, especially in the face of growing Japanese expansionism in areas historically within the British sphere of influence.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALLIED FORCES BLOODY GERMAN NOSE August 1940
Dateline Brussels: Despite repeated fierce attacks by German ground and air forces, the valiant defenders of the Belgian capital continue to hold the line in the now devastated city. Civilians continue to stream out of the area as best they can and relief organizations claim to be overwhelmed. Apparently the Luftwaffe has been strafing columns of fleeing refugees in open defiance of the Geneva Convention. When asked about the alleged crimes, Air Marshall Goring responded, "Geneva? What Geneva? That is the in the French part of der Schweiz and ve don't pay attention to that."

TENSIONS ESCALATE IN FAR EAST OVER SOVIET BUILDUP August 1940
Dateline Vladivostock: Soviet air and ground forces continue to pour into Siberia as tensions mount between the Soviet leader K. 'I love combineds' Stalencer and Japanese PM J. 'who needs to fight when you can bomb them into the stoneage' Schwartzihito. The Japanese have shifted major military forces of their own into the theatre, sparking concerns about a widening of the war in the Pacific.

 

CHINESE LEND LEASE PLANES RECALLED FOR DEFECTS Sept 1940
Dateline San Diego: In a surprise move, the American lend-lease board admitted to the press that it had sold the Chinese government military aircraft with known defects, partially explaining the recent air disasters the Chinese air force has had against the Japanese. The listed problems include improperly tightened bolts, planes shipped without quality inspection, and planes that reported "lacked engines and other minor parts." A Congressional panel has been convened to investigate charges of fraud and misconduct.

COMMONWEALTH FORCES DOMINATE AFRICA Oct 1940
Dateline Aden: The Italian government has put an all out effort into conquering Africa, first from Libya with a major campaign into Egypt, and then more recently with a massive attack from Ethiopia and Eritrea into British east Africa. The Egyptian campaign was crushed earlier in the summer of 1940, and now the Royal Army reports another stunning victory, seizing both Eritrea and Ethiopia from the Italians with only minor casualties. "It is rough business fighting the Italians when they do not show to the battles, but we have managed to win the day," reported Gen. Rowan, chief of east African military headquarters based in Aswan, southern Egypt.

GERMANS SMASH FRENCH LINES, DRIVE INTO FRANCE Nov 1940
Dateline Paris: Despite the heroic efforts of the French people and their army, the Germans have simply proven to be too powerful for the Allies forces. Relentless waves of aircraft and troops have worn down the defenders, allowing the Germans to achieve a breakthrough after finally battering their way into Brussels last month. After the Belgian capital fell the Germans executed a masterful campaign to shatter French resistance. Said one French military spokesman, "If it were not for the British holding the northern line and slowing the Germans down, Paris would be German even now."

SECRET OF GERMAN ADVANCE REVEALED: ITALIANS Dec 1940
Dateline Rome: A communiqué leaked to the neutral press in Switzerland reveals that early German reverses changed only after Italian military advisors were placed in charge of the campaign against France. One part of the document read: "The infusion of Italian air power and military thinking were vital in the change of fortunes. We should endeavor to send all of our units to Italy for an extended period of time for training."  According to Allied intelligence reports shared with this reporter, in fact several German corps have been relocated for unspecified duty in Italy in the last two months, with more corps receiving orders as we speak. No official explanation has been issued by the German high command.

 

CW ENDS ITALIAN HEGEMONY IN LIBYA: Feb 1941
Dateline Tripoli: With crowds cheering and giving gifts to Allied soldiers, the residents of Tripoli celebrated their liberation from their Italian overlords on 12 Feb 1941 after the Italians surrendered in the wee hours of the morning. The Italians were described as "tired and hungry" after being cut off from meaningful supplies for nearly six months. One anonymous Italian captive expressed disgust with his government, saying "How could they leave us here and not mount a rescue or reinforcement mission?" No Italian campaigns to relieve the Tripoli garrison were attempted.

GERMANS PUSH TOWARDS PARIS, BRITS MAKE 'STRATEGIC CHANGE' TO DEFENSE PLANS IN FRANCE: Feb 1941
Dateline Paris: Despite heroic measures taken by the BEF, German units continue to identify and attack dominantly French positions in order to continue their advance into NE France. "If the Jerrys would only fight the real military units in the theatre, we would give 'em a bloody nose to remember!" said one Colonel in the Expeditionary Force. Early this month the Royal Command decided to shift British forces in France to defend more strategically important targets, including portions of southern France and the port city of Brest. Only troops in Belgium were evacuated and returned to Britain to avoid being pocketed and destroyed by the advancing German menace.

GERMANS ROLL INTO PARIS, LIGHT OF WORLD CULTURE DIMS: April 1941
Dateline Geneva: Unable to hold off the mass German armored attacks, the French government formally petitioned for terms of surrender on 2 April 1941. The Germans completed the largest operation of the war on 1 April 1941 by encircling and destroying the French defenders of the capital city. A new French government was formed and asked for the terms, which were presented unconditionally to the French representatives on 7 April.  The new French government, headed by Marshall Petain, will be located in Vichy. Gen. DeGaulle railed at the surrender, vying to fight on from "wherever my British friends will let me." DeGaulle concluded his radio address by lamenting the fact that with the German occupation of France, "the light of world culture has visibly dimmed."

CHINESE AIR FORCE STRIKES A BLOW FOR FREEDOM: 20 April 1941
Dateline Chungking: The valiant Chinese finally had some good news to report. Despite more than a year of withering air attacks on their homes and industries, the small but dauntless Chinese air force has continued to fly and fend off Japanese air attacks. On 20 April 1941, a squadron of Chinese planes shot down 26 Japanese bombers over Chungking - the largest single day loss of Japanese aircraft thus far in the war. Damage to Chinese industry elsewhere was nonetheless significant, but the victory was significant.

COMMONWEALTH FORCES SUFFER REVERSES IN MED: May 1941
Dateline Malta: British fighter pilots flying covering air protection over the British fleet operating off the coast of Italy had a rude surprise early this month when Italian NAV forces caught them off guard and attacked the HMS Glorious. It took 14 hits to eventually sink the grand old ship, the first carrier loss of the war for the Royal Navy. Apparently the planes were so old and slow that forward observers mistook the lumbering planes for foul fowl and neglected to report them to the task force. Cmdr. Roy "rattlin" Gattlin remarked, "We are altering our intelligence systems to account for the Italian forces, although we have noticed that Italian air power has grown considerably in the last year in size, technical quality, and pilot competence. Good old English tenacity will win the day, however, never fear."  The Italians suffered no losses in the battle.

AMERICAN CONGRESS PASSES MILITARY EXPENDITURE BILL: 30 June 1941
Dateline Washington D.C.: After months of intense lobbying by the President and his political allies, Republican foes finally caved into domestic pressure from public opinion and agreed to increase military spending to improve the readiness of the American military. "This is only the first part of my preparedness plan," said the President, "I will take the second half of the proposal to Congress soon. We will stand up to bullying and force the Germans and Japanese to act like responsible world citizens instead of playground bullies."

TENSIONS RISE AS SOVIETS, GERMANS EXCHANGE DIPLOMATIC INSULT:
June 1941. Dateline The Hague: In a European conference about wartime trade and protecting the status of neutral powers, evidence of the rising tension between the alleged 'allies' Germany and the Soviet Union emerged. Outraged at recent evidence that Germany wanted to invade Yugoslavia and "enslave all of Slavic Europe", the Soviet delegate sponsored a motion in the general session to automatically invoke trade embargos against countries that invade other neutral European states. The German delegate politely inquired whether this would apply to the states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The Soviet reply came quickly as the entire delegation removed their shoes and began beating nearby delegates about the head and shoulders, crying "those German bastards tricked us." The exact meaning of the outburst is as yet unclear, but the recent massive redeployment of German troops to occupied Poland has many fearing the worst.

BRITISH RETURN TO CONTINENT TO FIGHT HUNS: July 1941
Dateline London: British commandos surprised German coastal garrisons in southern France near Bordeaux, seizing the strategic city and points south all the way to Bayonne. CW forces quickly exploited the success, reinforcing the beachhead. Meanwhile, more British forces poured into Albania in an attempt to draw off German forces attacking our ally Yugoslavia. The ploy worked as several desperately needed German corps were sent south to counter the strong British presence. "This could be the start of the drive to Paris and the Berlin!" exclaimed Lord Marshall Gort.

ALLIED BOMBERS FINALLY LEARN NEW TRICK: July 1941
Dateline London: Early attempts at bombing German industry have been a complete failure, and now the Royal Air Force knows why: crews had been accidentally disabling the bomb sights prior to take off, making targeting nearly impossible. "Bit of a wanger, that one," said one crew chief, whose name has been omitted to protect his career. Once the error was discovered, the RAF has scored a number of important bombing successes.

STALIN PLEDGES COOPERATION WITH ALLIES: 3 August 1941
Dateline Moscow: In a surprise move that has sent shockwaves through Berlin and Rome, Comrade K. "Happy" Stalin delivered a public speech yesterday pledging a "renewed spirit of cooperation and international amity" with the Allies. Britain and Yugoslavia were explicitly mentioned in the speech, prompting some to speculate that Stalin is upset by the German invasion of Yugoslavia last month.

JAPANESE NAVY LARGEST IN WORLD: August 1941
Dateline Tokyo: In an impressive display of naval firepower, the Imperial Navy conducted a naval parade off the coast of the Philippines 5-10 August. With the new 'super-heavy' battleships Yamato and Mushashi and nearly a dozen new carriers, the Japanese navy has the most tonnage of any major power in the world. The Americans have started a crash building program, but they will need some time to catch up with their oriental rivals.

MIGHTY GERMANS SUBDUE YUGOSLAVS: 12 Sept 1941
Dateline Belgrade: After fierce resistance for three months, the Yugoslavian army finally surrendered on 10 Sept 1941 after the Germans broke through the lines and occupied Zagreb, the interim capital. British air support was present but not enough to stop the Wehrmacht, who executed a masterful operation to crush the last of the resistance without casualties.

JAPANESE STRIKE DEAL WITH VICHY, PUMMEL CHINA: Nov 1941
Dateline Hanoi: In a surprise move, the Emperor of Japan announced that Japan would be administering the territory of Indo-Chine, relieving the Vichy government of its responsibility in the area. Japanese troops immediately secured the capital of Hanoi and pushed northwards into the mountains of China. The Chinese, unprepared for the move, sat dumbstruck as the Japanese columns advanced all the way to Kunming, severing the vital lifeline China had to Allied support. When asked about the events, General Kai-Shek could only remark "They are our military superiors. But at the end of the day, there are more Chinese bodies than Japanese bullets."

DARING RAID DEPRIVES JERRIES OF SUB BASE: Nov 1941
Dateline Brest: After the southern beachhead near Bordeaux was stopped by Axis reinforcements, the British Royal Army launched a daring plan to expand the Allied drive towards Paris. In the early hours of 20 November 1941, a break in the weather allowed British commandos to wade ashore near Lorient. The operation took the local garrison by surprise and soon British troops were pouring ashore through the small port town. The Germans evacuated the doomed port of Brest just as major British forces were about to assault the isolated city. Although the Germans did manage to escape, the vital major port of Brest was returned to the Allies, depriving the Germans of a key forward submarine base.

A WORLD IN FLAMES! USSR, USA JOIN ALLIED CAUSE Feb 1942
Dateline Geneva: Despite what some political analysts are calling America's "most shameful days and hours," the United States has joined the Commonwealth in the war. On 13 Jan 1942, Imperial Japan declared war on the Commonwealth and NEI, taking key bases around the Pacific and landing a raiding force near the Suez Canal. Support in Congress looked good for a war resolution, but Republican isolationists stalled the bill with a series of filibusters. A second attempt to pass the war resolution failed on 19 Jan after Rep. B.L Owhard (R - Mass) filibustered the measure for 49 hours. The Japanese declared war on the United States anyway in the wee hours of 24 January, two hours after Japanese bombers viciously struck the US fleet at Pearl Harbor. A new war resolution to expand the war to include Germany and Italy was proposed the following week, but stunningly the Republicans decided to filibuster again, stopping a record third war resolution. The day after the filibuster started, German leader A. "Everything is Coming Up Roses" Brown decided to put an end to the embarrassment and declared war on America on 2 Feb 1942.
  Not subject to the whims of a representative legislature, K. "I love combineds" Stalin declared war on the Germans and Italians on 26 Jan 1942. We have, for the first time since 1918, a world in flames that is also a world that has been plunged into the depths of despair.

GERMANS, SOVIETS EXCHANGE BLOODY BLOWS Apr 1942
Dateline Berlin: The valiant Wehrmacht struggles against the numerically superior Soviet army, inflicting losses at every turn. Although the front has actually pushed eastward in the north, Axis ally Rumania has found it difficult to hold the Soviets back. The Russian bear advances menacingly toward the Ploesti oil fields. Heavy German reinforcements are expected to repel the invaders and secure the vital supply of oil.

GERMANS START STRATEGIC SYNTH PLANT PRODUCTION Apr 1942
Dateline Berlin: The super-scientists of Germany revealed a breakthrough this week, namely the production of synthetic fuels that require significantly less petroleum. "This discovery will change the course of the war as we will no longer be tied to defending sources of petroleum," stated Werner von Humperpumper, the lead German scientist on the project.

 

 

 

 

 

SOVIET SPEARHEAD DRIVES TOWARDS VITAL OIL FIELDS 3 May 1942
Dateline Moscow: The brave men and women of the Red Army march relentlessly towards destiny as the Huns betray the weaknesses of fascist will. Lead Soviet divisions are now within sight of the oil fields of Ploesti and will soon add these vital resources to the larder of the Motherland!

ALLIES OPEN NEW FRONT IN ITALY 17 May 1942
Dateline Malta: Allied forces launched a daring attack into northern Italy in the early morning hours of 16 May. Lead commandos seized the port of La Spezia and opened the way for transports to unload their precious cargo of Allied freedom fighters. Under command of US General Mark Clark, the joint Anglo-American force struck deep into the Po valley, nearly cutting the Italian peninsula in two before stiff resistance slowed the advance.

COMMONWEALTH 'FRONT FRANCE' ADVANCES TOWARD PARIS
1 June 1942 Dateline London: The beachheads in Bordeaux and Brest finally linked on 30 May 1942, allowing the united front to pressure the Axis occupiers even further. General DeGaulle landed an armor corps and led the way in pushing the Germans back out of Brittany. "We will drive the Germans out of our homeland and see Gaulling things yet!" proclaimed the French leader of the Free French forces.

DISASTER AT SEA! 27 June 1942
Dateline London: The amphibious transport "Titanic" was lost with all hands in the stormy waters of the North Sea after German cruisers found their way in the high seas into the center of a British naval convoy. The loss was catastrophic, causing the Royal Navy to lose half of their amphibious lift capacity.

AMERICAN ANTI-AIRCRAFT INGENUITY SAVES FLEET 28 June 1942
Dateline Honolulu: In what shall forever be known at the "Great Hawaiian Turkey Shoot," four waves of Japanese bombers were aborted or destroyed in the largest naval port strike since Pearl Harbor in January of 1942. Having lost a minor battle off the coast of Japan, the US fleet had to retire to Pearl for refitting. The mighty Japanese navy then sortied and launched a massive naval strike against the combined fleet. Brave US FTRs aborted one bomber, but the remaining three air wings pressed home the attack. But American anti-aircraft fire was so heavy that not a single Japanese bomber made a successful bombing run. "The air was so full of bullets and tracers that the sun was blotted out," reminisced one US sailor. "No wonder they missed - it was dark!"

 

 

 

RUMANIA CONQUERED, ALLIES WORRY ABOUT SOVIET MIGHT
10 July 1942 Dateline Bucharest: The German line finally was spun too thin and snapped early this month. Soviet forces quickly eliminated the meagre Rumanian resistance, seizing Bucharest and sweeping west and south. In the west, Allied commanders have called a meeting to discuss postwar plans for the Balkans, fearing that comrade Stalin might not honor his pledge to allow the peoples of Eastern Europe to "freely choose their own government."

FRONT FRANCE STALLS IN FACE OF GERMAN RESISTANCE 15 July 1942
Dateline Bordeaux: At the Commonwealth HQ, leaders are worried about another repeat of the first world war as the battle lines in France are starting to become static. Two vicious attacks by the Allies netted only small gains, and a key thrust across the Seine was repulsed with losses. Reported Monty, the Allied commander in chief, "If we must bleed them dry, we will!"

JAPANESE LAND IN PHILIPPINES, THREATEN MACARTHUR 3 August 1942
Dateline Tokyo: The Emperor ordered the seizure of the Philippines, so that the peoples of all Asiatic islands may know the glory and benefits of the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. As a result, brave Japanese marines landed on the northern coast of Luzon, opening the way to the liberation of the Philippine people from their American overlords. We will be much better overlords.

MARSHALL ISLANDS INVADED! 12 August 1942
Dateline Honolulu: The 1st and 2nd US Marine corps landed on the shores of Kwajalein island in the early hours of the morning yesterday. They landed with complete surprise, seizing the island with few casualties. A marine detachment then occupied nearby Eniwetok Island. Seabees are already constructing new larger airfields for the FTRs and NAVs en route to protect the island.

RABAUL FORCE LANDS, ALLIES SEEK KEY PORT 16 Sept 1942
Dateline Brisbane: Valiant Australian veterans landed on western New Britain in an attempt to liberate the island and its strategically vital port of Rabaul. "The landing went off just as we planned," said Gen. John "Dingo" Wallaby, the commander of the Aussie invasion. "We even had beer and shrimp on the barbie first day!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MACARTHUR SURRENDERS MANILA, VOWS SWIFT RETURN 14 Nov 1942
Dateline Brisbane: Stepping off a small patrol boat in Brisbane harbor, General MacArthur looked haggard but in high spirits after losing his command in the Philippines. "Plans are already in the works to retake these vital islands and free those brave people," said the General. Indeed, this reporter can confirm that a joint Australian-American force has already landed at Legaspi in an effort to retake the island of Luzon. Japanese forces have secured the rest of the Philippine islands.

RABAUL LIBERATED, NEW FORWARD BASE ESTABLISHED 1 Dec 1942
Dateline Rabaul: After landing on New Britain in Sept, a crack Aussie force defeated stiff Japanese resistance to claim the prize of Rabaul harbor on 30 Nov 1942. The port is important as it puts Allied naval forces in striking range of the Japanese home islands.

WARSAW FALLS TO SOVIET ASSAULT! 4 Dec 1942
Dateline Moscow: In a battle our children will sing about for decades, the staunch defenders of the proletariat struck a blow against fascism by prying German defenders out of Warsaw house by house, street by street. The bloody week-long battle culminated in the early hours this morning when the Germans finally gave the order to withdraw their remaining forces from the western suburbs of the Polish capital.

GERMANS BLOODY ALLIES IN FRANCE, FRONT STALLS 5 Dec 1942
Dateline Berlin: The Fuhrer continues to lead the valiant German nation in its righteous battle against the decadence of democracy. Two vicious Allied attacks were repulsed with heavy casualties to the foe on 20 November and 22 November. The attacks were designed to isolate Paris, but failed miserably. The people of Paris may now breathe easier for Christmas as they need not fear exploitation by the rampant evils of the democrats. The Fuhrer said "Ve vill burn Paris to the ground before letting such a great city return to its former depraved state."

AXIS MINUS ONE MAJOR POWER! 24 Dec 1942
Dateline Rome: In a solemn ceremony on Christmas Eve, the representatives of the Italian government formally surrendered to Gen. Mark Clark of the US-UK Italian Expedition in a small building near the famous coliseum. "We recognize the error of totalitarian fascism," said the Italian representative, "and can only hope that the kindness and mercy of the Allies will prevail and allow Italy to rejoin the world as an equal and productive partner working towards freedom and self-determination." Strong German forces remain in northern Italy, however, and are continuing to resist Allied efforts there.

 

BLIZZARDS STRIKE EUROPE, STORMS IN PACIFIC 25 Feb 1943
Dateline Washington D.C. In the National Weather Service has called the "worst seven continuous weeks of weather in recorded history," it is as if the entire globe is revolting against the evils perpetuated by the aggressive Axis powers. Blizzards gripped Europe from Gibraltar to Moscow and storms raged all across the Pacific from Japan to Australia. The NWS predicts a clearing trend, however, in mid-March.

 

MASSIVE NAVAL ENGAGEMENTS IN S. CHINA SEA PRODUCES CARNAGE
15 April 1943: Between 12 March and 14 April Japanese, Commonwealth, and American naval forces have been engaged in a virtually continuous series of naval engagements in the South China Sea from the coast of Java to the northern Philippines. The battles started poorly for the Allies, who on 14 March lost the CV Intrepid to Japanese bombers not far from Saigon. Allied fortune quickly improved the next day, when the CV Zuikaku was found and sunk not 100 miles from that same location. Then the waters turned the blood red of the Japanese sinking sun. Between 16 March and 8 April, American and Commonwealth found the main Japanese strike fleet and hit it repeatedly as it fled northward to the safety of Canton harbor. In those strikes the Japanese lost the pride of their fleet - the Yamato battleship. CVs Zuikaku, Kaga, Hiryu, Zuiho, Ryuho, and Hosho were also sunk. In addition to theYamato, and Shinano and Kirishima were also sent to watery graves.

GERMANS MAKE SOVIETS PAY FOR ADVANCES 17 April 1943
Dateline Breslau: At the German military headquarters in Breslau, Germany, the Fuhrer's generals are grim but determined. The massive weight of the Soviet army is imposing, but despite giving ground the soldiers of the Reich are extracting their pound of flesh. Soviet casualties are reportedly high in the face of staunch German resistance. Fight on brother Germans! Fight for the Fatherland!