Cardboard Wars

War is the continuation of politics by other means

Torch PBEM: Allied Jan I 43 Turn

It Never Rains in California

Everyone was hunkered down expecting foul weather, but it didn’t come to French North Africa this turn.  With the Germans holding up in their supply terminals under heavy DAS the Allies continue to inch forward and nibble at infrastructure the Axis needs to maintain their position.  First to go is the line of fortified hex sides near Mareth, poof, gone! Monty sends his thanks!

Allied operations in Tunisia, Jan I 1943 (click image to enlarge)

Allied operations in Tunisia, Jan I 1943 (click image to enlarge)

More good news – the Vichy colony of Tunisia joins the Allies.  Not much in the way of troops come over (1x 1-8 Cav X, 1x 1-2-6* Inf III and 1 point of positional Hvy AA along with 1 step of supply), but this cleans up possession of uncontrolled hexes.  Most  importantly, French units from Morocco and Algeria can now enter Tunisia.

All three Rgts of the US 3rd Inf XX arrive in Kasserine, but the assembly roll fails (1 in 6 chance rolled during Allied initial phases, beginning Jan I 43).  Further to the east 2/CCB advances to Sfax where it puts down an airbase hit and then rolls another hex north to break the rail line.  5th Motorized Arty X moves due west as far as possible, stopping adjacent to the coastal road at 25:3521.  During exploit it will place a hit on the junction at 25:3621, then it and 2/CCB will dash westward to the oasis at Gafsa where the Mech Cdo Bn is waiting.

British Armour in Tunisia (click image to enlarge)

British Armour in Tunisia (click image to enlarge)

US units near Beja (25:2311) advance to place a couple of rail hits, then retreat back to their start points.  2/CCC 3-10* Arm X (US) lands at Bone and joins 2/CCA in 25:3113 to back up Beja.

Allied bombers fly a number of  DAS missions, most notably at Beja where 4 bombers are escorted by 8 fighters.  Axis fighters attempted to patrol attack the escorts, but only turned back one.  They declined to intercept.  Four other hexes receive DAS.  Meanwhile Allied transports are busy bringing more troops forward and moving the 540th Engr Rgt from yet another new airbase (25:2420) back to the forward base at 25:2721.

Reverse Lend-Lease: Spitfire Vb of 308th FS, 31st FG, 15th AF, USAAF North Africa 43 (click image to enlarge)

Reverse Lend-Lease: Spitfire Vb of 308th FS, 31st FG, 15th AF, USAAF North Africa 43 (click image to enlarge)

Allied bombers visit Cagliari again and obtain 2 hits/VPs for naval harassment, a 5th port hit is placed on Sousse and 4 harassment hits are put down to slow Axis movement.

With only 2 British divisions on the map the Allies don’t possess the wherewithal to stage a major attack on an Axis supply terminal.  Were a low-odds attack to fail they would be wide open to crippling counter-attacks.  Allied Engineers have been tied to important airbases in anticipation of rain and the damage it will cause.  Had they been building airbases instead the Allied fighter umbrella would cover Bizerte and perhaps Tunis.

On an administrative note, the e-mail count for this PBEM game is already over 400 messages, and I have not kept them all.


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10 thoughts on “Torch PBEM: Allied Jan I 43 Turn

  1. 29delta on said:

    The Allied build up given all the good weather makes the Axis reaction seem just pitiful.


    • I can see that, but considering that I have a single battalion of tanks (an entire regiment of tanks was sunk on the first turn of the game), a lack of artillery, and a lack of fighter aircraft (compared to the Americans), I don’t see much that I can do at the moment. If the 10th Panzer was whole and present, you might be seeing something completely different. However, as it stands, I am on the defensive, my primary concern being holding my two supply terminals. maybe with the DAK arriving, things will change…..

      If you go through the blog posts, and see what I have, what would you have done differently? I’m always open to observations.


      • 29delta on said:

        No criticism was intended. I’ve read through every move carefully, and I fully understand why you are where you are. Really the comment regards just the size and the speed of the build up–given great weather. Oh, and the Allied landing at Bone, ugh.


        • I wasn’t taking it as criticism. I’ve been very open about being lousy at this game (though I love it so). I was just wondering if you had some insight that I was missing. =)


          • Mark E. Owens on said:

            I would like to remark that I remember the Fw-190A Fighters as being…well…horrible to the Allies. You actually have to eat the eggs or the young before they grow up to defeat them. You may not need to be so reticent about engaging with those fighters.

            Now, you are playing the slightly older title, but I remember them as even more fearsome then, as 10 F 8 fighters. I remember them in the original TORCH as being able to eat handfuls of Allied fighters which tried to ‘gang up’ on them in the air. The Allies want to destroy or occupy the air bases because it’s really hard to nail them in the air.

            At least, that’s how my memory has it.

            Mark E. Owens
            Tampa Bay, Florida, West of Casablanca


            • alant14 on said:

              Oh they are quite deadly (10F8) and the Allies would be foolish to engage them with multiple fighters. Italian fighters and Me109s would be engaged with multiple fighters if there were no bombers to take on.


            • Oh, I’ve been trying! So far, they have come up with a big goose egg! In fact, neither side has scored a kill on any enemy fighter thus far. We have both aborted a couple of enemy fighters, but that is as close as we have come.


      • alant14 on said:

        That is a Tiger Bn after all!


  2. 29delta on said:

    In my Europa Gaming I just gave up on F to F combat and bypassed to get to the fat stuff they were escorting. My kill/abort rate went up nicely and getting to the bombers was a delightful +. F to F combat typically goes nowhere. Certainly in FITE I felt no horrible F loss due to this tactic, fighting either side.


    • alant14 on said:

      In this case the bypassing Fw190 cannot fire back and gets double or triple teamed by escorts with 6 or 7 attack strength. In FitE the Soviets generally have DRMs that favor teh Germans so you may be able to get away with Germans bypassing. Soviet fighters would get creamed trying to bypass when the DRMs go against them.


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