Torch PBEM: Axis Dec I 42 Turn
The Axis Advance
The Axis are being unusually cautious? Pot, meet kettle.
The bulk of the Allied ‘offensive” has consisted of Allied units crossing the Tunisian frontier, then running back for cover, claiming they are gaining ground. It seems as though General Montgomery has been transferred to Algeria.
To be honest, though, I said before this game began that while I love this game, I suck at it, especially as the Axis. I have never figured out how to put up a decent defense. The problem is now compounded for me because I have a serious shortage of supported units, divisions and artillery. I have tons of supplies in country, but a serious lack of artillery. As Alan pointed out to me, and I am well aware of the problem, everything the Axis do in this game is on a shoestring.
It’s true that the Axis have not moved out of Tunis or Bizerte up to this point. The reason is that so far, it is a collection of unsupported units, with the exception of a single Italian division. Part of the 10th Panzer was sunk in transit. Another motorized regiment was returned to Palermo.
This turn, however, the Axis luck has changed, even though the Allied naval war has tightened up. This time, all units make it to Africa without making contact at all with the Allies. These units include:
- SVT 287 motorized infantry regiment (2-10) from Palermo
- 50 S Italian infantry brigade (2-3-6)
- 69th Panzergrenadier regiment (3-10*)
- 86th motorized infantry regiment (3-10*)
- 47th infantry regiment (2-6*)
- 160th motorized infantry regiment (2-8)
- 54th & 55th motorized heavy antiaircraft regiments (2-10, with 4 points of AA each)
- Afr combat engineer regiment (1-8)
- and finally, the 501st Panzer battalion (3-2-8). The Tigers have arrived.
Large amounts of supply also land in Tunis & Bizerte, by sea and by air.
Now that there are some self supported units, the Axis are ready to start the dance for position.
The Italians move up from the rail junction in the south to Sousse, taking control of the roads, and the port of Sfax as they move. In Sousse, the Vichy still have a 1-8 cavalry regiment that needs to be disbanded. There are still a pair of Vichy units just a bit NE of Sousse that need dealt with.
The Italian 50 S infantry brigade heads south to link up with the 10B regiment, taking complete control of the coast road from Tripoli to Bizerte.
The SVT 287 motorized regiment moves to disarm the Vichy heavy AA, while the 55th motorized heavy AA moves to the adjacent hex to attempt to disarm the 1T/Tun inf brigade and capture the supply, if possible.
Unfortunately, there must be Vichy spies among us, as all units manage to escape again. It’s okay. Disarming the Tunisian Vichy is not high on my priority list. Chasing them away is on my list, though.
The 86th motorized regiment races along the coast to the Algerian border to take back the roads that the British have been using.
The 69th Panzergrenadier regiment makes a parallel thrust on the road to the south, approaching the British 78th infantry division, stopping on the Tunisian border.
The combat engineers that just land in Tunis start building an airfield.
Having taken control back of most of the norther roads in Tunisia, the Axis occupy Beja, on the banks of the only river in Tunisia, while another kampfgruppe forms a few miles away, blocking the approaches to Bizerte. Both groups are equipped with antiaircraft and are underneath the fighter umbrella.
I am hoping, however, that I have not hung the units in Beja out to dry. Now that my turn is over, I’m feeling as though I should have backed them up one more hex.
Life would be so much easier if I had the 7th Panzer regiment. The 10th Panzer Division would be right there, ready to crush the British……