Torch PBEM: Allied Feb I 43 Turn – A Walk in the Sun
CCC of US 2nd Armored XX moves to gain control of the rail line between Sousse and Tunis. This will prevent admin movement and rail movement in the following Axis player-turn. During the exploitation phase CCC and CCA will move to keep the cork on Rommel’s Africa Corps bottle as it tries to retreat from Libya into Tunisia.
Montgomery’s 8th Army rushes forward in an attempt to destroy the Italian divisions left as rear guard. No air support is provided for these 3:1+3 attacks. The Axis should also take note that a US motorized AT Bn was shipped into Allied controlled Sfax.
Rather than the usual DAS most of the Allied air units within range of Bizerte flew escort or offensive ground support for the attack on Bizerte. Axis fighters could not afford to let all that GS thru and opted to patrol attack escorting fighters, then intercept. None of the 6 patrol attacks met with success. Six Axis interceptors were engaged by seven Allied escorts resulting in 1 US Spit 5 KIA, 1 Br. Spit 5 Aborted, 1 US Spit 5 and 1 P-40B returned while 1 Me109G and 1 Me109F were aborted with an MC.202 returned.
Axis flak had more luck. Over Bizerte a P-38G was aborted and six other air units flying GS were returned, allowing 10 air units with 17 TBF thru – not bad for 8 AA factors. Axis flak at Cagliari had a field day where 4 out of 5 B-17s and B-24’s were returned.
Elsewhere 4 harassment hits were placed on Sousse and DAS was flown over the two hexes where American c/m troops will try to keep Rommel from entering Tunisia proper.
The attacks by 8th Army are spectacularly successful. All three Axis stacks are eliminated and many thousands of prisoners fill Montgomery’s POW cages. Rommel’s back door is kicked in!
Everyone awaits the outcome at Bizerte, a 3:1 -1 attack goes in. And the roll is . . a big fat 2 . . No Effect! Worst possible result for the Allies. British Infantry will be left in a vulnerable position with no DAS. But can the Axis take advantage of this or will they be compelled to try and rescue Rommel? It seems unlikely they can do both. And what of the weather in the last half of February?
Montgomery moves quickly to surround the Africa Corps which will be out of general supply in the Axis Feb I 43 player-turn. No soup for YOU!
A photo of the Allied position near Bizerte is unavailable, but the British Arm XX moved to 25:3310 and the 6-4-6 Arm X moved to 25:3210. A stack of 12 DF including a British 7-8 Inf XX, 5-3-8 Art and French 2-8 Cav III are exposed to a ZOC surround at 25:3409. The Axis could possibly put in a low odds +1 DRM attack if they throw in most of their air force, but what of Rommel? Without general supply his cadres are quartered when attacking. and how would the Axis fair in Tunisia with no DAS next turn? The Axis is on the horns of a dilemma.