Torch PBEM: Allied Feb II 43 Turn
Let’s Try That Again
With a 1 in 6 chance of clear weather the Allies roll, expecting anything but . . clear weather for a second turn! Must’ve been all those combat DRMs the Germans used last turn that turned the dice against them. During their initial phase Allied engineers complete three airfields, replace a US Spit5, 2-10 Mot Art X and 2/CCB Arm X along with bringing the cadred 46th Inf XX (Br) back to full strength. Next they roll to see if the Americans can start organizing divisions. What do you know, a 6, they got their act together. This is turning out to be a great turn for the Allies. Not so lucky when a pair of 5’s are rolled for air repairs, but that’s a small problem.
Looking at the map, there are only 9 DF in Tunis while Bizerte is stuffed with flak and has 19 DF, a very tough nut. Theater command determines it is time to attack Tunis. The US brings together all three Rgts of the 1st Inf XX and forms up to the northwest of Tunis. Meanwhile the British 6th Arm XX swings around to the south and cuts off any retreat. A hord of American ants along with the British 6-4-6 25T Tank Bde round out the attack force of 37 AF. British Infantry divisions set up a siege line to the west and south of Tunis and French units perform useful work forming a second non-overunable line. Regardless of the outcome at Tunis Axis troops to the south will be out of supply in their player-turn, and will therefore not present a significant threat.
As demonstrated last turn, the DAK is still formidable if given enough air support, and true to form Montgomery’s 8th Army takes no risks. The lone Italian 2-8 Mot Cadre is overrun at 12:1 odds and the DAK is left with 1 hex it can move into. Transport Counters are positioned to speed the arrival of 50th Inf XX and 30th Art X which admin moved from Libya. 10th Art X, 2x 1-10 Mot Cav Bns and a US 0-1-8 Cons III land at Sfax (the Axis could’ve taken control of this port but did not) to further complicate things for the Axis in southern Tunisia. Allied engineers open up several airbases near the Libyan/Tunisian border and an airbase is built at Tebessa using quick construction. This flurry of activity is just in time for units flying DAS from last turn to land (Torch/WitD1 rules have DAS land in the owning player’s following turn).
Allied air forces fly DAS over one of the hexes adjacent to Tunis and three of the hexes adjacent to the DAK. A large air raid is made against Sousse and the largest yet raid is made on Cagliari (earning 4 victory points). Port damage is maxed out at Sousse and 2 harassment hits are placed there. Unfortunately, Allied aircraft attempting to bomb their counterparts at Sousse all missed their targets. No ground support is flown over Tunis as that would’ve made scant difference.
The ground attack at Tunis is very important however. After failing to take Bizerte last turn the Allies can ill afford a repeat. The attack goes in at 4:1 -1 and a 1 is rolled. Normally a NE, the DRM makes this an Exchange. 6th Arm XX (Br) is cadred and a US 1-10 Arm Bn completed the exchange. All 9 Axis DF and 4 points of positional AA are lost, along with two inoperative Me109F. When they advance the Allies capture a step of supply and immediately open Tunis as a supply terminal.
During their exploitation phase the recently replaced 2/CCB Arm X 5-3-10* occupies the last hex adjacent to Bizerte. Had the (8-7-10) 6th Arm XX not been cadred it would’ve moved here along with some other units, but the Americans drew the short stick. With 3 DF 2/CCB is not overrunable, and it is easily replaced if need be. With a Spit9 and 3x Spit5 at nearby Beja and longer range fighters from Souk Arras in intercept range the Axis will not have a free ride providing GS.
The DAK and Axis at Sousse are doomed, their ending might be delayed by committing precious DAS, but will be problematic. The end is near, it is only a matter of rearranging the chairs on the deck of this sinking ship.
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