Torch: Allied Mar I 43
The turn begins with a 50% chance of clear weather, but that is not to be. March comes in like a Lion! During the initial phase 4 out of 5 Allied air units are repaired, a US Hvy AA Rgt, 2 steps of supply and a US Armor RP arrive in Tunis. 2/CCB is replaced at Tunis, various air units are placed or converted and British 6 Arm Cadre is returned to a full-strength 8-7-10 XX. All Allied units are in general supply, but Rommel and the Axis units at Sousse are not.
Bizerte is tempting, but there are simply not enough Allied troops to make a good attack against 29 DF. Air support would face 17 flak factors and rain has already cut ground support in half. So, we’ll go after other targets.
Allied units roll up opposite the unsupported axis stack adjacent to Bizerte (25:3509). Meanwhile to the south Rommel has circled his wagons allowing the 8th Army and friends to surround the out of supply Axis. 3rd US Inf XX forms and moves east from Kasserine toward Sousse, along with a Construction Rgt that repairs the airbase in 25:3616. Two Cbt Engineer Rgts will be flown in and a Spit5 will transfer to the forward airbase. The impressive looking Axis stack in Sousse is out of supply and therefore not a threat.
The Allies put 16 air units on GS over the DAK but AA fire is heavy and well directed. Three air units are aborted, seven are returned and six with 13 TBFs make it thru the curtain of flak, just enough to bring the odds up to 6:1 and avoiding a possible NE result.
Allied bombers attack both Cagliari and Palermo seeking victory points. Axis patrol attacks, interceptors and flak return a couple, shoot down 1 and abort 1 bomber. USAAF gunners manage to kill an Re.2002 over Palermo, drop their bombs and mostly miss, getting only 1 hit. The Allies also make an airbase raid on Bizerte, hoping Axis fighters will intercept, which they do. In the ensuing air combat a pair of Spit5s are KIA and a Spit9 is aborted in exchange for a dead MC.202 and an aborted FW190A. Flak misses and so do the bombers. The Allies have ample air RPs so they are not unhappy with the results.
Time for the combat phase. The 6:1 at 25:3509 doesn’t require a dice roll due to ZOCs. 8 points of Axis units are eliminated with no chance of Allied casualties. Rommel and his merry men have full AETC verses Allied full AECA, so they get a -1 DRM and a 1 in 6 chance of a HX. A 2 is rolled, becoming a 1 for a DR. With no place to retreat another 24 DF of Axis troops are taken off the board. This leaves the Axis holding Bizerte and Souse.
Final positions in the north.
Allied units in the north make the hexes adjacent to Bizerte strong enough that Axis would risk elimination of they tried an attack, but not so strong that they could not try.
Now that the DAK is no longer the c/m portions of 8th Army move north into weather zone E, hoping for clear weather in the following turn.
8th Army moves north.