October 21st, 2018

 

World in Flames: Spring to Fall 2014 Campaign

     “Liesl's Gambit" - ended Dec 2014

   
Axis players: James Crandall (Jpn), Logan McDonald (Italy), Hight (Ger) Allied players: Alex Abbott (CW), David Hart (US/Chn), Joe Lantagne (replaced by David Hart) (Fra/USSR)

Game reports: "Liesl's Gambit" - Spring 2014 WiF Campaign

Preamble: Country bidding was lively as a few Allied players were keen for particular countries, forcing the bids up a bit early. The Axis are last to be selected. The bids end up at:

US/Chn  +4
Fra/USSR +2
CW +3
Japan  +5
Germany -7
Italy -7

Sept/Oct 1939: The weather started clear and immediately turned sour - bogging the Germans down in Poland. The Poles fell at the end of the turn, but the vast majority of the German army remains in Poland at the end of the turn. France and Britain attacked Italy, sinking a BB and damaging a Trs in the Med before the turn ended. The Italians lurch into Tunisia and Egypt. The bad weather prevents an attack on Denmark, and the CW takes advantage, sneaking into the Baltic and sinking two German convoys, aborting 2 more. The Germans manage to repair the line before the turn ends, but at the cost of moving their army. The Axis make 9 naval attacks but fail every single search roll. The CW sits triumphant. The Japanese, however, find the turn much to their liking, taking Si-an without casualties and advancing in the south as well, seizing a resource point south of Chang-Sha. The Americans could care less as the Japanese storm through city after city.

 

 

 

Nov/Dec 1939: Weather starts off snowy, so the Germans take Denmark and the Netherlands. The CW sets up the Neth Trs in Batavia. Rumblings are heard among the Allied players, and then the French dow Belgium. The Germans quickly seek to protect the attacked minor, helping their new friends to resist French aggression. The Italians push forward in Egypt and the A-E Sudan. During the turn the CW strongly reinforces Malta, Gibraltar, and Egypt, but at the cost of a reduced presence in France. The Italians manage to get into Cairo and conquer Egypt at the end of the turn, but the Brits are defending the canal. It is another turn of fruitless Axis searches as they fail to find the CW ships on another 5 attempts, making them 0 for 14. The turn runs unexpectedly long (two impulses needing an '8' to end continue!) and allows the Germans to punch a hole in the French northern line. Lille is surrounded and the German approach Paris. The Japanese continue to slowly grind forward in China, taking hexes in both the north and the south, liberating another resource point and slipping into Nanking. The Americans continue to remain unimpressed by events in Europe and Asia. The turn ends with a partisan in Malaya (will the Brits go kill it?) and partisans suppressed in Poland.

 

 

 

 

Jan/Feb 1940: Initiative is crucial - and the Axis win it. The Germans manage to exploit the double-move and push up next to Paris. The weather, however, is again as bad as it can be (another '10'), so progress in the early turn for the Germans is slow in the unexpected blizzard. The Soviets shock the world by declaring war on Japan - and US public opinion is outraged at the perfidy of the communists. Not much happens straightaway, but the Soviets are massing troops all along the Manchurian border. It is likely to be ugly when the weather clears. Meanwhile the bad weather continues through both months. The Italians use the storms in the Med to sneak up on the Commonweath, sinking the CV Furious to the loss of the CA Fiume. They also surge forward past Cairo and shut down the Suez canal. The British are quick to reinforce but their position is precarious. The turn ends early, with 2 impulses per side.
  Aside: As the high allied bids might indicate, allied play has been reasonably aggressive, with several gambits in play. The Germans now commit to the aptly named "Liesl Gambit." What is it? What could the Fuhrer be thinking?

 

 

 

 

Mar/April 1940: The weather remains poor for yet another two months, causing some agony in Berlin and Rome. The Soviets demands Bessarabia and the Germans relent, ceding the territory. Hungary and Bulgaria promptly claim their share of the Rumanian spoils. As a result Hungary activates as a German minor ally next impulse. The Germans start to reduce the Maginot area and continue to occupy more hexes around Paris, but the progress is glacial in the mud and storm. The French launch a series of desperate counter-attacks, including some into the Fatherland, but to no serious effect. Italy performs a daring attack on Suez, liberating the city and pushing the British across the other side of the canal. El Duce in command! The Soviets cannot do much in the rain in Manchuria, but they continue to build up. The Japanese lose a resource point to a spirited Chinese attack, but counter with gains of their own in the north. China looks precarious, but the Soviet menace is a clear counter-balance. To the dismay of the Axis, the Allies again end the turn early, with only 2 impulses per side yet again.

 

 

 

 

May/June 1940: The weather clears! The Germans take advantage and use elite paratroopers to take and clear Paris. The cost is high - the Fliegerkorps is badly mauled (lost the paratrooper), but Paris has finally been liberated. The CW seeks to punish Italian convoys, but loses both of their subs off the coast of Italy. Having broken through Suez the previous turn, a combined German-Italian force led by Graziani push east, taking Palestine and Trans-Jordan. Italian units are moving up, but are unable to get four corps next to Iraq before the end of the turn. Italy does manage to conquer both Cyprus and Algeria. The Brits deliver a nasty surprise, port striking and damaging an Italian TRS. In the Pacific, Japan launches a +10 assault on Chungking and - again - rolls well and takes it without loss. Americans just don't care as city after city falls. At turn's end, Germans declare Vichy, and all of the French possessions dutifully remain with the new government except the Pacific territories. New Caledonia is the home of the Free French government in exile. 

 

July/August 1940: In an interesting turn of events, the Germans spend much of the turn seeking out and attacking CW convoys. The Germans do declare war on Yugoslavia (now the Americans get upset), clearing it easily and without loss. In the naval combats little damage is done to the convoys, but the CW lose the BB Nelson to the Italians and a TRS to the Germans. The Soviets demands the Finnish borderlands, and the German pressure the Finns to relent. The Finns are fuming and swear revenge. In Manchuria the Soviets make a daring 4:1 attack, but Japanese TAC clears and drops the attack to +4, which then fails with 2 Soviet casualties. The rest of the turn is spent positioning. The Japanese, now in firm control in China, slowly maneuver to form up attacks on the scattered Chinese. US Entry is clearly behind, but chits are starting to come. Turns ends - predictably - at the earliest possible (Axis not only roll a '1' but it initiative shifts against them).

 

 

Sept/Oct 1940: Another shockingly short turn (ends early again). We start in the Pacific first, where all the action is. Japan occupies Indo-China, which gets America's attention. The Japanese make a +12 assault on Lan-Chow which is again successful, but America is finally outraged at the Japanese treatment of the civilians afterwards. The US could not buy an entry roll early, now the Axis seem to fail every roll. Italy declares Iraq a minor ally (+1 chit for the US...). The Italians and Germans spend most of the turn hunting CW convoys, with minor success.

 

Nov/Dec 1940: Summer turns are short, winter turns go long. The Japanese continue to grind the Chinese down, taking Chang-Sha without loss and fracturing the last of the coherent defense positions in China. The weather is consistently bad, so not much happens in Manchuria. The Soviets have advanced 1-2 hex rows into Manchuria, but the Japanese managed to throw up a line or resistance. There have been no attacks since the abortive 4:1 attack in July. What are Soviets doing? In Europe the hunt for convoys continues, but finally the Axis see some serious success. In a daring surface raid off the coast of Gibraltar, the Kriegsmarine surprise and sink the Dutch TRS and the CV Glorious (and the CA Berwick) to the loss of the Admiral Hipper. The CW start to take some convoy losses. With the Suez canal open and some pressure on the chain in the Indian Ocean, the CW start to slowly reposition their convoy lines. Italy aligns Persia and German and Italian troops start moving up to the Soviet-Persian border. Despite the bad weather, the Axis manage to stagger forward as the turn goes longer than normal for a bad weather turn. US Entry is starting to creep up - the US picks "Escort US East Coast."

 

Jan/Feb 1941: More bad weather plagues the Axis cause, resulting in a short turn. Nothing happens in China except Japan killing some partisans. The Soviets suddenly do an about-face and start a partial withdrawal in Manchuria (perhaps worried by those Axis units in Persia?) but Japan has committed a fair number of land units to the theatre now. The Japanese start to push back in the north, reclaiming the lost resource point in northern Manchuria and pushing back to the original Soviet border. Talk of a negotiated peace abound, but the Soviet offers are not particularly tempting. Germany aligns first Rumania and then Bulgaria during the turn (both causing US Entry shifts), and suddenly German korps start appearing on the Soviet border from Odessa in the south to Memel in the north. Italy takes Aden with a Mar division. CW convoys are harassed, to minor effect, as the Germans take only land impulses. The US freeze Japanese assets and show chits at levels well into the 20s.

 

Mar/April 1941:  Yet more bad weather, so the Germans wind up taking nothing but combined actions to harry the Allies - and harry they do! In one of the worst nor-easter storms in memory, the Scharnhorst finds, surprises, and sinks the American CV Lexington that was doing convoy escort duty off the East Coast. It is immediately rebuilt, but the Japanese have a 2 year respite from that bad boy flattop for some time. The weather prevents much else from happening. The Axis use the impuleses to move land and aircraft towards the Soviet Union, who is looking increasingly worried at the prospect of a three front campaign. The Soviets do manage to strategically bomb a resource in Manchuria. Not much else happens as the belligerents prepare for the next phase of the war. The only item of interest is that the US - who are now routinely picking options - cannot seem to fail a tension roll. They have a huge pile of chits in the entry pool, but only 2 in the tension pools.

 

May/June 1941: Tired of Soviet provocations and their aggressive Pacific moves, the Germans and Italians declare solidarity with the Japanese by declaring war on the Soviet Union. Finland eagerly joins the war (+1 entry chit), anxious to reclaim their stolen land and more. The Finns quickly take Murmansk and push around Lake Ladoga to cut off Leningrad. The Germans smash forward, clearing the Baltics and pushing past Kiev in the turn. The Soviets were simply stretched too thin, defending the Caucasus from Persia, Manchuria (where most of the quality units still reside), and the huge front from the Black to the Baltic Seas. They do manage to rail out three factories. Fortunately for the Soviets, the summer turn again ends at the earliest possible roll (another '1' + the shift against the Axis), so the damage could have been much worse. The Japanese push north in Manchuria and cut the rail line, effectively trapping the cream of the Soviet army in the backwater of Manchuria. The Fuehrer sends a happy note to Emperor Crandall with a box of fine German chocolates expressing his gratitude. With the Axis failing virtually every entry roll now, the US Entry pool looks huge. The US has yet to gear up, however, mainly because the US cannot fail a tension roll. They end the turn by embargoing the Japanese.

 

July/August 1941: The onslaught in Russia continues. The only reverse the Germans have suffered is in assaulting the swamp hex next to Leningrad. By the end of the turn the Germans will have assaulted it three times, rolling a 6, a 4, and a 3 on three separate assaults (2d10 system), killing nothing except lots of fine young German soldiers. Elsewhere things look good. The Germans need two attacks to clear Moscow, but clear the European map except for Leningrad, which - along with that swamp hex next to it - remain standing. Soviet armor still holds Baku and a line of hexes up the Caspian to Astrakhan and at the turn's end Soviet corps are building a line to the east of Perm. The Germans, however, have corps struggling forward to the Pacific map. The Italians spend most of their time trying to pester the CW, but without much luck. They do sink the BB Repulse off the coast of India, but elsewhere CW convoy lines have never looked stronger. The turn, for once, does not end at its earliest possible, but nonetheless ends on a roll of a '3' with only 5 impulses. The Germans again curse the weather, as the short turns might allow the Soviets to recover. The Japanese mop up some Chinese, but have virtually eliminated the Chinese as a military presence. They also land marines behind the Soviet lines on the coast by Sakhalin Island, causing consternation amongst the Soviet command. There are only a few signs of preparation for a war with the CW and US, however, so it is unclear what the Japanese intentions are. The US pick "Reinforce Pearl Harbor" and "Repair Allied ships," and get tension, so all expect a gear up soon. Could the US be inching towards war?

 

Sept/Oct 1941: The German hopes for even just a wee bit of good weather to finish off the Soviets are dashed - the weather starts bad and finishes worse. So the Germans slowly slog eastward, barely cresting into Siberia with lead units at the end of the turn. The storms prevent German attacks on Leningrad, which continues to hold. The Italians make gains, seizing Aden from the unsuspecting British. The Axis do find a small bit of success in raiding convoys, picking off a few and causing the British to build under their maximum. The British cruisers Devonshire and Glasgow are sunk, and two more are damaged. Nonetheless, overall the British Isles look strong. Malta is bombed repeatedly, one unit is disorganized and the island is placed out of supply. Japan continues to maneuver in Manchuria, moving units in and out, apparently seeking troops for operations elsewhere. The Soviets continue to dig in as best they can.
 

Nov/Dec 1941: The weather remains poor all turn. The Germans assault Leningrad by extending troops out on to Lake Ladoga. Predictably, the +12 assault fails. Despite nothing but wintry weather, next impulse the weather magically warms, destroying two Finnish corps on the lake. But their memories live on as next impulse the weather returned to snow and the Finns finally broke through and took Leningrad. A large granite monument has been erected on the shore of the lake to commemorate the sacrifice of those brave Finns. The Germans consolidate their advance in Siberia and the troops are starting to mass again on a new front near Sverdlovsk and Magnitogorsk. A wayward Soviet armor corps tries to push forward near Baku, but the German airforce strikes it, allowing the Wehrmacht to annihilate it. The Germans are hopeful their army will be in place by summer to renew the offensive against the Soviet peril. Italy pushes out from Aden in the Indian Ocean, causing the Brits a few headaches, sinking a cruiser and a few convoys. More convoys are lost in the Faroes Gap and strategic bombing takes a build point as well from England. The Soviets launch an attack in Manchuria which is costly (3/1), but the line does not move. The world awaits better campaign weather. Japan activates Siam as a minor ally. The US is busy shuttling ships to Pearl, but there is no gear up as the US continues to have trouble generating tension. With the new ships in Pearl, that changes. American entry into the war cannot be too far off.


Jan/Feb 1942: The new year finds the weather... just as bad as it usually is. Italy seizes some islands in the Indian Ocean, advancing naval bases to harry the Brits. Strategic bombing fails in England and the convoy raids are also unproductive. German bombers flip a second unit in Malta (there are three, with one up and two down now). Italian marines and paratroopers arrive, moving into position for an assault on the island. An attack on the island seems imminent if the weather will clear. German units finally make the border of Turkey and they join the Axis cause, mostly doing partisan duty. Japan is hastily moving forces around and at the end of the turn assaults Kunming, taking it with heavy losses. China finally surrenders and the Americans are incensed. Early in the turn the Japanese navy spreads out across the Pacific... but then nothing happens. The Italians catch, surprise, and sink the BB Royal Oak in the Indian ocean. Bad weather rolls (it has been a theme for the Axis for the last 3 turns) likely preventing any action. At the end of the turn the US gears up and they look primed for war.
 

Mar/April 1942: The Allies win initiative and the US declares war on Japan! They had a 60% chance and clever political maneuvering by FDR makes it work. The Japanese are crestfallen, having planned an attack of their own this turn. So no strike on Pearl Harbor - the Americans are the aggressors. In response, the Japanese declare war on the British, expending their offensive chit to do a supercombined. They surprise and find the CV Ark Royal, sinking her with all hands lost. They ravage the convoy line from Australia to Canada, and then seize a number of islands. They advance into Bangkok, invade the NEI (taking Batavia, and the Borneo oil points), take Malaya, invade Legaspi in the Philippines, and take a few islands further east, including Suva. Notably they do not take Rabual, which is defended by a Commonwealth corps. The combined Italian and Japanese fleets in the Indian Ocean currently outclass the British, but the Americans are undamaged and marshalling their forces. Meanwhile, back in Europe... the weather clears in the Med. The Germans strike Malta disrupting the last corps and the Italians send in the marines with airborne troops supporting. Malta falls without loss in a brilliant maneuver (Italy rolled a '20'!). At the end of the turn the Brits are stunned with bad luck, suffering a 10% chance of a partisan in India, which is rolled, and then discovers that Calcutta is unprotected. The partisans seize control of the city and prepare to turn it over to the Japanese. Allied morale plummets.

May/June 1942: The Axis win initiative. Germany and Italy immediately declare war on the US to forestall any unusual surprise problems later in the war. In a surprise move, the Germans declare war on Ireland, invading from the south. The gambit is a success, and Ireland is conquered by the end of the turn. Germany now has a a huge airbase astride the British convoy lanes. Strategic bombing continues in England, but the Brits are feisty. The Germans lose a FTR and shockingly three TAC in raids. The Brits lose two FTRs but have yet to lose a pilot. The Axis manage to take 3 production points in the raids. Italian and German aircraft rebase into Ireland at the turn's end. In the Pacific, the Japanese manage to isolate and trap an American fleet at Pago Pago. In the port strike, the US loses the CVs Enterprise and Wasp along with an AMPH. The Americans in turn catch the CA Aoba, sinking her. Bad weather in the north monsoon keeps other operations to a minimum, but the Japanese do start to position troops in the Philippines and there is movement on the Soviet front as the Japanese look to prepare for an assault on Vladivostock. The Germans break the Ural line, taking Sverdlovsk and removing the last effective resistance in Siberia west of Irkutsk.

 

July/August 1942: A horrible turn for the Commonwealth, who despite some early good fortune sees their luck dry up at the end of the turn. For three impulses the Axis pour NAV into the Faroes Gap, searching for the CW convoys and escorts. For three impulses the Axis find nothing. And then - all hell breaks loose. The Brits are found and surprised three consecutive times in one impulse late in the turn. The CW loses the CV Formidable, BBs Lion, Howe, and Renown, CAs Norfolk and Sumatra (Neth), and 16 convoys. The Italians sink the CA York in the Indian Ocean. Strategic bombing takes 4 production points as the British are starved for resources. US aid reaches Canada to keep the British builds afloat, but the turn was costly. Germany collapses Vichy, advancing troops to the Spanish border as Axis units also enter Morocco and Syria, claiming each. Italian forces bomb Gibraltar and isolate it, flipping two of three units. A German AMPH is damaged in a brief skirmish in the Bay of Biscay, and more air losses are taken (a FTR and TAC), but the Brits lose 2 more FTRs of their own and the attrition is starting to favor the Germans. The Italians land more forces in Persia and march into India, taking Karachi at the end of the turn, threatening both Delhi and Bombay to the south. Japan reinforces Calcutta and lands more troops in the Philippines. Naval skirmishes in the Pacific are inconclusive as the Americans consolidate. At the end of the turn, partisans appear in NEI, seizing the Palembang oil fields. Malayan partisans during the turn move and take the aluminum mines there. The Japanese build at a reduced level, not having enough resources to feed all of their factories.  A Japanese port strike to finish off two US ships in Pago Pago fails.

 

Sept/October 1942: The Allies win initiative, but the US persuades his allies to go second. The Japanese start with a naval, shifting more troops near Vladivostock, Manila, and positioning units to land in the NEI. Next impulse, the weather clears and the Japanese assault Vlad (+9 assault succeeds without loss), Manila (+12 assault succeeds without loss), and Palembang (+11 assault succeeds without loss). Good luck for the Japanese. The Soviets mount a counterattack against Vlad, hoping to save the country. Germany has already taken all of the other factories, so the Soviets are hoping to stave off unconditional surrender. The first counterassault fails, but Zhukov reorganizes what remains for what all expect to be a second attack. The Brits move naval forces from Auckland and Rabaul and sink the CA Myoko, while an American sub sinks the Kako. Mid turn the US navy moves en force off the coast of Japan in a low box, but fails to find the Japanese convoys. In Europe the Germans are taking airs to bomb England and control the seas, and the first two impulses see 6 production points lost in the UK. England is waiting until near the turn's end to try and sneak convoys out and avoid the German patrols. More German units and planes congregate on the Spanish border. Italy pushes further into India and amasses force in Morocco as well. Could there be a push for Gibraltar? Late turn the Brits send out the convoys - but they are discovered and all are lost. More strategic bombing sees the English economy ground to dust. The turn ends with bad weather before the Soviets can attack Vladivostok again, and the Soviets sue for peace. In the aftermath, the Germans ceded the far eastern portion of Siberia to Japan and Italy gets a resource deal for their help.

Nov/Dec 1942: The weather starts bad, stays bad, and the turn ends after only three impulses! The Axis strike England again, taking more production points. The early turn prevented the CW from trying to re-establish their convoys, so the British Isles are starving. The CW does manage to down two more Axis bombers (to loss of a FTR), but the weight of the Wehrmacht is too much. The Germans use the turn to push more troops to the Spanish border. Italy moves corps to the Indian Ocean and pushes units from Persia into India, taking Karachi. The Japanese start to reposition troops and naval assets, but at least clear the NEI of partisans. Partisans still hold the Malayan resources and at the end of the turn, a new partisan pops up in China, seizing Canton!

At this point, the Allies concede the game to Germany/Italy. Play continues in the Pacific only for the purposes of play experience.

Jan/Feb 1943: The Allies win initiative and elect to go first, but not much happens. The US brings some FTRs to Hawaii and repositions some naval forces. Japan also is hesitant, taking a naval to grab troops with TRS for rebasing later. On the next Allied impulse, however, the US strikes forward, invading the northern most island in Christmas chain and Majuro. Both attacks succeed (at high odds), resulting in the loss of a Japanese DIV and two quality planes that could not rebase. The Japanese respond by aborting TRS into Kwajalein and Eniwetok to protect those island bases. The CW tries to raid the oil lines in the South China Sea, but fail to find anything. The succeeding impulse the cream of the Japanese navy sails out and surprises the Brits, sinking the CV Victorious and the CA Australia. Italy continues to advance in India, reaching Bombay. A lone CW HQ defend the city. More US FTRs make their way to the Pacific.

Game continued in Pacific until Jan 1944, with a see-saw back and forth between the US and Japan. Truk changed hands twice in one turn!

 

FINAL RESULTS

Germany
Italy
Japan/US
Commonwealth
France/USSR

 

 

 

 

 

WAR NEWS!

Poles Flock to Welcome New German Reich. Dateline Warsaw (API): Despite grandstanding from the Polish government, the military leaders of the Polish army were shocked to discover rampant defection among the ranks of their enlisted soldiers as German units crossed the border into Poland. "We were so fearful that some units might turn on their officers that we had to order the air force to simply disband to prevent our planes from bombing our own front line units," reported General Azsinski of the Polish Supreme Military Headquarters. In the early hours of 1 September 1939, German tanks and infantry crossed into Poland in response to atrocities committed by communist Poles seeking to ethnically cleanse western Poland of Germans. "We found evidence of pogroms and mass graves," said a spokesman for the Wehrmacht. "I only fear that we should have intervened some months ago." Germany has called for an international investigation into the matter.

Germans and Soviets Reveal Pact. Dateline Minsk (UP): European leaders were shocked to learn of secret provisions in a treaty between the USSR and Germany calling for a division of Poland. After reports of Polish atrocities had rallied many world wide to the just German cause, doubts are now being raised about the role of the Soviets. When asked why Soviets troops were occupying Eastern Poland, the supreme leader Joseph "Old Stalin" Lantagne replied, "Because we can." The move was met with international outrage, especially from the United States, where the isolationists gained traction in Congress. Some have speculated that the Germans made the pact in a desperate attempt to avoid general war in order to help the oppressed Germans still living in Poland.  

Britain Launches Surprise Attack on Italy! Dateline London (Reuters): In a move that President David Roosevelt called "One of the most cowardly acts I have ever seen," the naval of Great Britain launched surprise attacks on the Italian navy in the Mediterranean, sinking the battleship Guilo Cesare and damagaing other Italian naval forces. When asked about the attack, the Prime Minister Abbott had only this to say: "Brittania rules the waves! Now that we have sunk that battleship, we promise the war will be over in six months."

Japan Advances against Communists in Northern China. Dateline Beijing (INews): In a daring frontal assault against the strongly held city of Si-an, Japanese forces under General Umezu smashed the Red Guard and secured the city. The assault began on 4 September and the city was declared secured by the 11th. "We bring prosperity and cooperation to all of Asia," said the Emperor in his radio speech to the people of Japan, "Si-an is only the latest city to join our glorious cause. We welcome all of China to the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere!" Action continues in southern China as well, where Nationalist resistance seems to be faltering.

 

Winter Storms Not Enough to Stop Germans from Helping Neighbors. Dateline Berlin (AP): The Reichsminister for Information reported on 12 November 1939 that a breakaway government in the Netherlands contacted the High Command pleading for German intervention. Apparently this group of high ranking politicians and military leaders discovered a vile plot by the French to invade and occupy both Belgium and Holland. "There are traitors in control now," said Anders Neijerhoot, a politican from Maastricht, "and they mean to turn over our beloved country to - of all people - France. I could not let that happen. Better the Fuhrer Hight than Blum (a socialist leader in France)!" Despite the presence of a massive winter storm, Germany obliged, occupying the Netherlands and Denmark to forestall a French coup in their neighbors.

German Intervention Vindicated as French Reveal Belgian Plans. Dateline Paris (DuMonde): On 19 November, the French government declared war on Belgium, seeking to advance into the country to take up positions further east. In the official communiqué, French President Francois Lantagnerie stated, "We ran out of cheese and everyone knows we cannot make good beer. Where else could we get this in time for our troops? We needed the Belgian products more than they did. The world will understand." Secret French documents were released suggesting that the surprising claims of the Dutch politician Neijerhoot were in fact true and that the French have designs on European domination.

Japanese Advance Continues, Punctures Line in South. Dateline Nanking (AP): The site of a surprisingly brief battle, the citizens of Nanking are going about their usual business, this time under the watchful eyes of Japanese troops. The Japanese seized the city on 2 December as a part of a general advance along the southern front in China. Nationalist forces are retreating in the face of superior Japanese forces. There are some reports floating about that the Chinese are thinking about abandoning Chang-Sha in order to fall back and form a new defensive line in the interior of the nation.

 

German Army Unslowed by Extreme Winter. Dateline Calais (UPI): Despite one of the worst winters on record, the Wehrmacht managed to break through the French lines on the Belgian border. The attack, which started on 15 December 1939 has continued unabated through this, the first week of January 1940. French forces have been isolated in Lille and German tanks are said to be in sight of the Eifel Tower on the outskirts of Paris. "We had thought that our allies the British were going to cover that flank, so naturally we were surprised when we saw Germans coming instead of the Tommys," said General LeFleuff, commander of the army now trapped in Lille. The Commonwealth forces in France have apparently been sightseeing in Bretagne and eating the local food. "Bloody mess, that one," said Brigadier General Howard. "We would have made the front in time to stop the Germans had the line for the crepes not been so bloody long. And our boys, well, they can eat. Well, we will get them next time!"

Commie Perfidy Strikes Again! Dateline Vladivostock (AP worldwide): Joe "the bloody red" Lastalin lived up to his name again this week by declaring war on the enlightened Japanese civilization. Soviet troops attacked into northern Korea and along a broad front in Manchuria. Many credible reports of atrocities have come in to the International Red Cross, including instances of Soviet troops eating small babies. "What would prompt such savagery?" asked one young Manchurian woman this reported stopped to interview as she fled south along the highway to Harbin. "I am not even sure those Russians are fully human." After seeing the front, this reported wonders the same thing.

British (Over-)confidence Shaken as Furious sinks. Dateline Palermo (Whasamattanews): In a daring naval raid that can only be described as "a daring naval raid," the Italian Naval Command reported this morning that the HMS Furious - a main line carrier in the British navy - was sunk in heavy action off the coast of Sicily. "The British have been patrolling the Med heavily for months now," said Admiral Pastafagoul, "and it was time we taught them a lesson. They had been broadcasting open air propaganda about how great they were and how they ruled the waves, so we thought we would rub their ruddy noses in it." The Italians lost the cruiser Fiume in the same action.

 

Soviet Aggression Continues Unabated. Dateline Geneva (UPI): In the morning hours of 8 March 1940 the USSR delivered an ultimatum to the Rumanian government, demanding Bessarabia. Germany volunteered to serve as an arbitrator in the dispute as fears of an escalation of the war mount. On 10 March the Germans announced a resolution to the crisis, which amounted to the dismemberment of the proud nation. The Soviets occupied Bessarabia, and both Hungary and Bulgaria gained territorial acquisitions as well. "This is unpleasant politics, I know, but all will be made right eventually. We support all of the Balkan peoples in their right to self-determination inside the greater Reich," concluded Reichsminister Supercoolguy in his speech after the treaties were signed.

Pathetic French Counterattacks Amuse Wehrmacht. Dateline Strasbourg (DuMonde): A short break in the horrific weather gave the French high command the opportunity they were seeking: a chance to counter-attack against the German armies who were liberating the French from the oppressive democratic regime that had been ruling over them for such a long time. Unfortunately for the French, the attacks were a universal disaster, causing significant loss of life and further lowering the morale of French forces. Rumors are circulating that an opposition government is forming, seeking to end the war with Germany on any terms.

Japanese Fashion Show Huge Hit in Shanghai. Dateline Shanghai (JNN): Citing the need to provide some pleasant relief from the stresses of war, the Japanese Occupationist Government (JOG) in China sponsored the first ever Asian Fashion Show. Designers from around the Pacific Rim showed up to participate, including Seymour Wavely, the star of the Australian design world. "We just loved it," Waevely raved. "And the Chinese models were so easy to work with. So cooperative! Now I understand why the Japanese are winning the war." Plans are already being made for another show next year in Chungking.

 

Paris Falls! Women and Children Weep for Joy around the Arc de German Triumph. Dateline Paris (DuMonde): 2 May 1940 is a date that will brief tears to the eyes of many for years to come as the date when France was liberated from its communist democratic rulers. A government is being formed in the city of Vichy to negotiate terms of surrender and to discuss plans to join the German Reich. "We are not German speakers, we know, but we can learn! We hope the Germans will welcome us if our enthusiasm is great!" said Marshall Petain, the leader of the Vichy government.

Italians Liberate Egypt, Suez. Dateline Cairo (IWS): Demonstrating the clear superiority of the Italian soldier over the Commonwealth, Egypt was nearly swept clear of petty criminals, vagabonds, and Englishmen during the month of June. Italian military patrols and sanitation sweeps have been trying to solve the rampant corruption and public health crises to bring well-being to the people of Egypt and Africa. "We finally figured it out: the Commonwealth soldiers were actually infecting the populace with disease. Get rid of those Tommys and everything got better right away!" exclaimed Guiseppe Boil, the head of health services in Italian occupied Egypt.

 

Yugoslavs Provoke Justified German Intervention. Dateline Belgrade (AP): On 5 July 1940, agents in the employ of the Yugoslavian government attempted to assassinate the rightful leader of Rumania during a state visit to the Yugoslavian capital. German police agents (in charge of assisting the Rumanian security detail) uncovered the dastardly plot only two hours before the planned assassination. The brave German police agents then fearlessly burst into the government offices, shooting all of the conspirators, which included every Yugoslavian civil servant in the government. "We have irrefutable proof that the plot included every member of the Yugoslavian government. You are welcome to interrogate the members of the government to confirm our suspicions," said Jungst Todkiller, the head of the German Foreign Service. There were no survivors. As a result of the provocation, Germany declared war on Yugoslavia on 7 July.

Soviet Incompetence: "They have planes?" Dateline Harbin (JNN): On 10 July 1940, Soviet forces under the command of General Zhukov launched a massive offensive against the brave Japanese defenders, most of whom are older men called up for emergency service after the Soviets attacked Japan. The plans, however, neglected to consider the possibility that the Japanese might commit aircraft in support of their troops. "It vas horrible!" said Ivan Bingsky, a Soviet soldier captured during the battle. "Novody even mentioned that they might bomb us as we vere advancing. Why vouldn't ze tell us zhat? So I surrendered as soon as the NKVD agents were out of sight." The Soviet high command has not commented on the battle, nor on the comments of the some 25,000 Soviet prisoners taken by the Japanese. 


Iraq Joins Italian Cause, Rebels Against British Oppressors. Dateline Baghdad (UPI): In a move that few find surprising given the long period of despotic control by Great Britain over the middle-east, a group of Iraqi generals and politicians pulled off a bloodless coup on 25 Sept 1940, and formally ended their ties with Britain. The next day they petitioned Italy to join the Axis Alliance and sought out closer formal ties with Rome and Berlin. On 28 Sept 1940 a formal treaty of alliance was signed in Baghdad, and Iraq joined the Axis. "Its cause is just and the people of Iraq rejoice in our ability to contribute to the Axis cause," stated Abdul Ramalama, the new head of the Iraqi government. First on the list of provisions was a deal to sell Iraqi oil to Italian companies.

 

Kriegsmarine Flexes Its Teutonic Muscles. Dateline Berlin (AP): In a surprisingly brief but intense naval action on 17 Nov 1940, the Admiral Hipper and the Gneisenau engaged a surperior Commonwealth naval force. In under 15 minutes of heavy action, the CV Glorious was sunk with all hands lost. A Dutch transport flotilla filled with British troops was also ravaged, with a great loss of life. At the end of the action, the Admiral Hipper - undamaged in the fight - accidently ran aground off the coast of Morocco and had to be scuttled. "Who needs carriers? With this horrible European weather, our pocket battleships are better anyway," said Admiral Raeder, commenting on the recent decision of the Kriegsmarine to commission the Graf Zeppelin, Germany's first carrier.

French Populace Surprised to Find Life Better. Dateline Paris (Le Monde): In a poll conducted by several independent organizations (funded by the Deutschesbank Consortium), pundits were shocked to discover that the French populace in occupied France are happier than their counter-parts in Vichy, and report a level of life satisfaction higher than they experienced before the war. "We were, I confess, surprised to learn that the average French citizen is happier under German rule. The trains run on time, wages have increased, and the beautiful German language is so much more pleasing to the ear than French, which leaves you feeling sort of molested in your ears upon hearing it." So said Michel St. Germain, the lead researcher who oversaw the poll. "It has only been six months since the surrender, but we seem to be remarkably better off. Economically we are doing well despite the occupation, culture is flourishing, and with a stable government in place, policies meant to help people are actually doing so. It makes one wonder what we were doing before."

 

Zhukov Loses Nerve in Face of Japanese Bansai. Dateline Vladivostock (Pravda): No misprint here: Marshall Zhukov was so unnerved after a demonstration of the ancient art of cultivating bansai trees - the miniature trees that require amazing care and attention to craft - that he gave an impromptu order to retreat in northern Manchuria. No other explanation for the reversal has been offered. Marshall Zhukov was unavailable for comment. Some have suggested that word from the Soviet Military Command about the German buildup in Persia and Poland might have had something to do with the surprising orders, but Zhukov's second in command dismissed such speculation, noting "The Marshall does not fear Germans. But those little trees are creepy."

Americans Freeze Japanese Assets, Hope to End Depression. Dateline Washington, D.C. (AP): In partial recognition that democracy is a failed experiment, the US Congress voted on 18 February 1941 to freeze Japanese commercial and financial assets in the United States. "Freezing these assets might give our hard-working people the chance to compete against the technologically and culturally superior Japanese," said Senator Daniel "ain't got no" Hart. Senator Hart is related to President Franklin "the Hart" Roosevelt, who declined to comment on his cousin's remarks.

 

USS Lexington Sinks, All Hands Lost! Dateline Norfolk (UPI): The US Navy released a report yesterday, 21 March 1941, detailing the loss of the US fleet carrier, Lexington. Apparently the Lexington was escorting a convoy bound for England during a severe storm when it accidentally rammed the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst patrolling the same waters. The collision caused massive damage to the carrier, which sank in less than 15 minutes. There was no reported damage to the battlecruiser. The incident raises new concerns about the policy of using American naval assets to protect the ships of other belligerents. The Boston Globe reported yesterday that the convoy was in fact carrying illegal military supplies to England and should not have been protected by American vessels. The contravention of international protocols drew a sharp protest from Berlin. "These sad occurrences need not befall our friends the Americans if they would simply obey international law," said Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop.    

 

 

Tea Shipments "Will Remain Unaffected" Says Churchill. Dateline London (Reuters): Despite numerous attempted raids by the nefarious navies of Germany and Italy, the brave sailors of His Majesty's Navy were able to keep the tea flowing from India to shops throughout England. One British captain thumbed his nose at the Italian submarines patrolling the North Atlantic, saying, 'You'd think the Eye-Ties would be more interested in sinking our boats than trying to work on their suntans, but they had no such cares. Time and again, we'd sail out of a port and catch an Italian boat with all its sailors on deck soaking in the sun. We'd just reverse quickly and sail on by before they had a chance to come after us. Strange. Must be something to do with them missing that Mediterranean sunshine.' Uninterrupted convoy lanes have ensured that the British military machine is firing on all cylinders.

Fascists Finally Move to Punish Commies! It's War! Dateline Berlin (Der Welt): Nations from the around the world have been sending notes of approval and congratulations to Berlin on the announcement by the Fuhrer on 1 May 1941 that Germany was in a state of war with the Soviet Union. In one part of the address Fuhrer Hight waxed poetic: "The international scourge of communism must be brought to heel. With them, no state of integrity can make an honest deal. We must, therefore, bring the scoundrel hordes to heel!" Early reports suggest that the German invasion is, if anything, ahead of schedule. The port city of Odessa and the vital rail hub of Minsk were both in German control as of 10 May. German paratroopers apparently seized the naval base at Sevastopol. Joint German-Italian forces  

 

 

Swamp Must Die! Dateline Ivangorad (AP): For three bloody weeks in August, the mighty Wehrmacht - the same force that has swept the Soviet army from virtually all of continental Europe - has been humbled by a lowly swamp. "At first we thought there were Soviet forces defending the swamp," said Hauptmann Futil, an officer involved in the campaign, "but now we think that the swamp is so dismal and foggy that we have been shooting at our own men." The swamps guard the northern approaches to Leningrad, the only remaining Soviet redoubt in European Russia. Reports indicate that nearly 18,000 German and Finnish soldiers have died in the campaign to secure the swamp. Operations have halted until the chaos could be better managed.

Clever Asians Surprise Soviets. Dateline Sakhalin (Tass): In the now nearly year old conflict between Japan and the Soviet Union, little action has been seen on the front as each side digs in. The initial Soviet offensive took large tracts of land in Manchuria, but then the Soviets retreated in the north, allowing the Japanese to surge forward. On 17 July 1941, elite Japanese marines crossed from Sakhalin Island to mainland Siberia, threatening the Soviet forces in Manchuria. At the same time, Japanese forces under Terauchi pushed northward into Siberia, cutting the strategic Trans-Siberian railway, effectively trapping Zhukov and his forces in the east. The rearward invasion threatens to make the Soviet position unstable. "At the very least it makes going on the offensive difficult, since any setback could lose us our supply sources, which would then spell the end of our forces in Siberia," said Grigor Badnewski, the Soviet military liason to Tass.

Americans Debate Militarization. Dateline Washington D.C. (UPI): Congress debated a bill on 27 August to reinforce military installations in the Pacific. Only two fistfights were recorded (between the Pacifist Party and the Republican Non-Violence League) and ultimately a vote passed the House by a margin of four votes. A rider attached to the bill made 1 September 1941 "Democracy is a Failure Day." Looking ahead to the day when German will likely be the lingua-franca, public school systems are encouraged to offer German culture programs for their students.   

 

 

'Uncle Joe' Gambit Fails as Germans Pour over Soviet Border! Dateline Stockholm (AP): German panzers little resistance and captured enormous numbers of Soviet units in another blitzkrieg campaign, this time against their erstwhile allies, the Soviets. Despite many efforts, 'Uncle Joe' Stalin could not be reached for comment, but the Kremlin did release a brief note. "Comrades of the world, we must unite to defend the Motherland! If that fails, buy stock in Siemens, Bayer, and Messerschmitt." The Kremlin has since denied that this communiqué was issued from Moscow.

 

Italians Score Vital Victory on Persian Border. Dateline Tehran (Spag Universal): Special Persian troops, trained by their Italian allies, executed a daring maneuver in the open lands to the east of Lake Caspian, cutting up Tashkent from its vital rail link to the Soviet Union. The mining and industrial center looks unlikely to be able to contribute to the war effort against the Axis and is a major coup for Italy. "We are no longer the junior partner in the Axis alliance," said General Balbo, in charge of the Caucasus Front. "We stand proudly by our German allies as we advance the cause of fascism to all of the oppressed people of the world." 

 

 

 

 

BB Repulse - Repulsed! Dateline London (Reuters): In a sad for the Admiralty, His Majesty's ship the Repulse was sunk off the coast of India in the late afternoon of 18 July 1941. Eyewitnesses report that exceptionally accurate gunnery from the Italian ships "simply overwhelmed" the ship. "She was the pride of the Asian navy," said Admiral G. Billy Blunderforth. "Why, the old gal was as pretty as anything the British navy has to offer, although they new Italian 'Roma' class battleships are probably better, and maybe the food on board of 'em is better, and... well... maybe their crews are better trained, but they don't look better than ours! And that means a lot!" Admiral Blunderforth has since been reassigned to the Caribbean.

 

Germans Look for a Way into Leningrad. Dateline Berlin (Die Zeitungen): Despite massive success in the invasion of the Soviet Union, including the seizure of the vital Donets basin, Moscow, and critical oil fields in the Caucasus, the Wehrmacht has been held up in the swamps outside of Leningrad. "The Soviets have been reinforcing the city via small boats over Lake Ladoga, but we have now closed the circle. The defenders have no place to go, no hope of relief. We hope they will spare us the necessity of slaughter and will surrender." The hopeful words of Field Marshall von Bock were relayed to the Soviet military commanders in the city, along with a generous proposal for their surrender. "Too many have died in a cause that no longer matters. The war has moved on to Siberia."

 

American Senate Passes Controversial "Pacific Bill." Dateline Washington D.C. (AP Newswire): Long delayed in the Senate by concerned lawmakers, President Franklin "he has a Hart" Roosevelt managed to secure the votes necessary and passed the so-called Pacific Bill. The bill gives the navy resources to fortify the Hawaiian islands and rebase the main Pacific fleet to Pearl Harbor. The bill is generally considered aggressive and provocative. Said one senator, "This is clearly an unprovoked moved aimed at our friends the Japanese. What is Roosevelt thinking?" Ships are allegedly already on their way to Pearl, loaded with men and material. Speculations about the US entering the wider conflict in the Pacific and in Europe are running rampant. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's War! Dastardly Americans Launch Surprise Attack on Japan! Dateline Washington D.C. (UP): Despite months of careful negotiations by Japanese diplomats made in good faith to bring about an end to conflict in the Pacific, the United States Senate revealed a secret vote authorizing a declaration of war on Japan on 2 March 1942. President "doesn't have a Hart" Roosevelt made a national radio announcement at noon, eastern standard time, informing the public of the state of war. "We must fight the scourge of efficiency and good government represented by fascists everywhere," said the President. "We have nothing to fear but the resolve and moral rectitude of the Japanese people. May our propaganda and cultural vices undermine those virtues as quickly as possible."

Japanese Respond by Declaring War on America's Commonwealth Allies. Dateline Melbourne (The Dingo Times): Australians woke to the somber news that the Americans had dragged them into another war, this time with the Japanese. Hopes ran high that peace negotiations between Japan and the US would finally lower tensions in the Pacific, especially since the Soviet Union seems on the brink of collapse. Instead, PM Winston "just sayin'" Churchill made a secret pact with the Americans. There is evidence that the British were planning a surprise attack on the Japanese. As a result, the Japanese declaration of war is being viewed by most independent observers as a rare case of justified preventive strike. Japanese forces are now moving into Burma, Malaya, Hong Kong, and a number of other Commonwealth bases.

Italian Military Competence? Oh Malta, Say It Isn't So! Dateline Athens (Greek World News): In what some observers are calling one the most well-executed operations of the European conflict, Italian marines and airborne troops surprised and completely routed the British defenders of the strategic island of Malta, not far off the coast of Sicily. Apparently weeks of bombing and isolation left the defenders weakened. In the early hours of 27 March 1942, Italian special forces came ashore west of Valetta, seizing a critical airfield. Paratroopers landed further south, seizing the other airfield, allowing for reinforcements to arrive unmolested. By the time British resistance was roused, the battle was all but lost. "We are proud of our troops, who, with a teeny bit of German instruction and training, have become some of the elite military units in the world!" bragged General Artissimo Loganuigni. This latest attack now sets a record for the most consecutive battles won by an Italian force since Roman times. 

 

Ireland Opts for the Axis, Sheds British Shackles. Dateline Dublin (Dubliner): In the morning hours of 17 May 1942, German marines were welcomed by Irish partisans in Waterford and Cork, helping the Germans set up an advanced based as additional units were ferried from France into Ireland. A few loyalist units in Dublin held out for two additional weeks, but the capital of Dublin was eventually turned over to the Germans with only minimal damage to the beautiful city. German forces immediately proceeded north into Ulster, where crowds cheered as advance German units entered Belfast and Derry.

US Carriers Sunk in Pago Pago, part of Reef Building Initiative. Dateline San Diego (AP): The US government released a report today, indicating that the 'ageing' carriers Enterprise and Wasp were to be sunk not far from the port of Pago Pago in the south Pacific. "This is a part of our initiative to rebuild reefs and aquatic wildlife in threatened areas," said Misty Propagandason, head coordinator for the US led initiative PEC (Pacific Environmental Concerns). Reports from Tokyo indicating that Japanese warplanes sunk the vessels is being vigorously denied in Washington. Said one unnamed official, "Maybe the Japanese hit the carriers as we were setting off the charges to sink them anyway, but we were planning on sinking them to build a new reef, so they were just wasting ordinance. Silly people."

 

 

Disaster at Sea?!? Dateline Liverpool (Reuters): Details are sketchy, but three weeks have now passed since a British naval unit has entered Liverpool harbor, despite the fact that a battleship flotilla and hundreds of cargo ships have been scheduled to arrive. Food, fuel, and strategic resources are running low across Britain. "As soon as we hear anything from anyone, we will let you know," remarked George Stuffedcoat, British liaison from the Port Authority in Liverpool. "Unfortunately, we have not found any survivors from any ships, military or civilian, to question." German reports of massive naval airstrikes inflicting heavy casualties on Commonwealth shipping are now being taken increasingly seriously at the Admiralty. A new verse to the old song "Britannia Rules the Waves" is being circulated, despite efforts by the Home Office to suppress and censor the lyrics. "On Britannia, we sink beneath the waves..." is the only line Royal Censors will allow us to publish here.