WW 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario: May I 41 Axis EOT Dispositions

The WW 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario May I 41 Axis Turn EOT Dispositions

 

Mainland Europe off-map holding box:

  • 2.5 Italian inf Replacement Points at start of turn, + .5 reinf It RPs this turn = 3 It inf RPs, end of I. Phase and end of turn.
  • 1 Ger ARP (carried over from previous Air Cycle inventory of 2 Ger ARPs), + 3 Ger turn reinf ARPs this turn = 4 Ger ARPs
  • 5 It ARPs this turn (0 before this turn) – 2 spent in initial phase = 3 It ARPs left
  • It ARPs expended this Initial Phase: 1 ARP spent repairing aborted SM 79-1 2B3 1-5/22 (which was also converted); 1 ARP spent moving eliminated SM 79-1 2B3 1-5/22 to aborted box.
  • An Italian Ju87B D type air unit turn reinforcement begins in Europe and is placed at the 3-cap permanent airfield at 18A:0603, in Sicily.  At the beginning of the M. Phase it is aborted by flack over the Valletta hex doing the airfield bombing air mission.

 

In Sicily [end of turn]:

Licata (18A:0102) [point city/minor port]:

3-cap permanent airfield

 

Coast hex 18A:0403:

3-cap permanent airfield

CR 42 3F3 0/9 [operative; never moved]

Ca 309 2B1 1/L/9 [inop.; began turn here; tac bombed Malta Status; Miss; returned to base here]

 

Coast hex 18A:0603:

3-cap permanent airfield

1 x G 50 3F3 0/9 [operative; never moved]

Me 109E 7F5 1/7 (Ger LW) [inop.; began turn here; provided escort for the big Valletta hex bombing air mission in M. Phase; rolled an Abort against Hurri 2 interceptor; returned to base here]

 

Syracusa (18A:0702) [reference city/minor port]:

3-cap permanent airfield

 

Augusta (18A:0701) [point city/minor port]:

3-cap permanent airfield

 

Malta Status:

At the beginning of the Movement Phase: 9, +1 for Malta Status hit prior to the shipping segment of the M. Phase = 10 at the beginning of the Axis Naval Movement Step and at the EOT.

 

In Libya [end of turn]:

Tripolitania Garrison Box:

0-1-6* Inf III 280 GaF

0-1-6* Inf III 290 GaF

0-1-6* Inf III 340 GaF

0-1-6* Inf III 350 GaF

0-2-6* Inf III 330 GaF

 

Tripoli (18A:0121) [dot city/major port hex]:

Axis Supply Terminal marker

fort marker

three steps of attack supply [2 steps began the turn here; 1 step is a turn reinf, in the I. Phase placed in the Mainland Europe holding box; in M. Phase it was successfully sea transported to Libya and disembarked at Tripoli; did not move from here; the second turn reinf step of attack supply was sunk in transit (see WW Rule 31D-Allied Anti-Shipping Forces) per the Shipping Results Table]

1 resource point

0 pos flk unit AA=3 [Italian]

 

18A:0122 [Castel Benito; clear terrain secondary rail line hex, S of Tripoli]:

3-cap permanent airfield

 

Homs (18A:0522) [rough terrain point city/minor port coast road junction hex]:

One step of attack supply [never moved]

 

Misurata (18A:1022) [point city clear terrain coast road hex]:

1-cap temporary airfield

SM 79-1  2B3  1-5/22 [inop.; began turn at Licata, in Sicily; strat bombed Malta Status in M. Phase; Hit; returned to base here]

 

Sirte (18A:1727) [point city clear terrain coast road hex]:

fort marker

3-cap permanent airfield

1 resource point

 

18A:2227 [sand coast road hex]:

3-10 Mot Inf III 115 (Ger) [turn reinf, in I. Phase placed in the Mainland Europe off-map holding box; in M. Phase successfully sea transported to Libya, disembarked @ Homs; from Homs admin moved 12 hexes along the road to Buerat el Husn (18A:1226); then exploited to here]

 

18A:2629 [clear terrain coast road hex]:

3-4-8 Art III 221 (Ger) [began turn at 18A:1026; admin moved 16 hexes along road to here]

 

18A:2730 [clear terrain coast road hex]:

3-cap permanent airfield

 

18A:3228 [clear terrain road hex}:

one step of attack supply [began turn at 18A:1025; spent 23 SMPs moving along coast road to here in the E. Phase]

 

18A:3622 [stony desert road hex]:

3-6 Inf XX 55 Sav [began turn at 18A:2829; admin moved 12 hexes along road to here]

 

El Agheila (18A:2930) [point city clear terrain coast road hex]:

1-cap permanent airstrip

 

Agedabia (18A:3327) [point city clear terrain road junction hex]:

1-cap permanent airstrip

 

18A:3631 [sand road hex to Gialo]:

1-6* Inf III A [began turn at 18A:3832; regular moved to here after capturing the Oasi di Gialo point city hex and then doubling back on the road towards Agedabia; a 3-6 Inf XX 25 Bol brkdwn]

 

Bengasi (18A:3121) [clear terrain reference city/major port transportation line junction hex]:

3-cap permanent airfield

12 hits on the port

4 pos flk AA=1 [Italian; never moved]

one step of attack supply [never moved]

 

Soluch (18A:3222) [point city secondary rail terminus hex]:

3-cap permanent airfield

 

18A:3617 [rough terrain road hex]:

3-cap permanent airfield

CR 42 3F3 0/9 [operative; never moved]

MC 200 3F4 1/8 [inop.; began at 18A:0403, in Sicily; air transferred to here in E. Phase]

 

18A:3618 [Maraua; rough terrain road hex]:

3-cap permanent airfield

 

Derna (18A:4116) [point city/minor port rough terrain coast road hex]:

3-cap permanent airfield

0-6 Lt AA II AA=1 38 [never moved]

1-6 Hv AA II 29 [began at Bengasi; admin moved 11 hexes along road to here]

Ju 87B 2D3 4-1/8 (Ger LW) [inop.; began here; did GS bombing air mission at Tobruch in the C. Phase; returned to base here]

Ju 87B 2D3 4-1/8 (Ger LW) [inop.; began here; did GS bombing air mission at Tobruch in the C. Phase; returned to base here]

SM 79-2 2B3 3-2/V/20 [inop.; turn ARP build/conversion; placed at Bengasi in I. Phase; did GS bombing air mission at Tobruch in the C. Phase; returned to base here]

 

18A:4216 [stony desert coast road hex; SE of Derna]:

3-4-6 Art III 5 A [began at Bengasi; admin moved 12 hexes along road to here]

 

18A:4318 [stony desert road hex]

3-6 Inf XX 27 Brs [never moved]

 

18A:4417 [stony desert coast road junction hex]:

0-6 Cons III 5 A [began turn at 18A:3219; admin moved 12 hexes along road to here]

 

Ain el Gazala (18A:4518) [point city clear terrain coast road hex]:

1-6* Inf III A [began turn at 18A:4119; moved to here; a 3-6 Inf XX 25 Bol brkdwn]

 

18A:4618 [clear terrain coast road hex, SE of Ain el Gazala]:

2-3-6 Art III 24 C [began turn at 18A:3916; admin moved 7 road hexes to here]

 

18A:4718 [clear terrain coast road hex; SW of Tobruch]:

3-6 Inf XX 17 Pav [began at 18A:4618; moved one hex to here; did not participate in the Tobruch attack]

0-6 Cons III 10 A [began at 18A:4216; regular moved 5 road hexes to here; spent remaining 1 MP beginning to build 1-cap temporary airfield; did not participate in the Tobruch attack]

9-10 Pz XX 15 [assembled from the unsupported component parts at the end of the E. Phase]

  • 5-3-10 Pz III 8 (Ger) [began turn at 18A:2227; admin moved 20 hexes along road to 18A:3821, then exploited to here and assembled into the Pz XX 15]
  • 10 Pz XX HQ 15 (Ger) [began turn here; moved to adjacent hex 18A:4719 in M. Phase; exploited back to 18A:4718 and assembled into the Pz XX 15]
  • 3-10 Mot Inf III 104 (Ger) [began turn here; remained here in M. Phase; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4719; exploited back to 18A:4718 and assembled into the Pz XX 15]

1-10 Mot Hv AA II I/33 (Ger LW) [began turn here at 18A:4818; regular moved to adjacent hex 18A:4718; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4719; exploited back to 18A:4718]

1-10 Mot AT II 605 (Ger) [began turn here at 18A:4818; regular moved to adjacent hex 18A:4718; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4719; exploited back to 18A:4718]

1-8 Mot Art III 2 AC [began turn at 18A:4721; moved to here in the M. Phase; attacked Tobruch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4719; exploited back to 18A:4718]

one step of attack supply [never moved]

 

18A:4818 [clear terrain road hex; 1 hex S of Tobruch]:

8-7-10* Pz XX 5 Le (Ger) [began turn at 18A:4718; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4719; exploited to here]

5-8 Lt Arm XX 132 Ar [began turn at 18A:4818; did not move in M. Phase; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4819; exploited to here]

2-3-8 Art III 16 C [began turn at 18A:4618; regular moved to here; did not participate in the Tobruch attack]

1-8 Mot Art III 1 AC [began turn at 18A:4720; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4819; exploited to here]

 

18A:4819 [clear terrain road hex; 2 hexes S of Tobruch]:

1-8* Inf III 61 [began turn at 18A:4417; moved to 18A:4818 and assembled into the 5-8 Inf XX 102 Trn; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4819; at the beginning of the E. Phase the inf XX broke down into its supported components; supported inf III remained here at the end  of the turn]

1-8* Inf III 62 [began turn at Ain el Gazala; moved to 18A:4818 and assembled into the 5-8 Inf XX 102 Trn; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4819; at the beginning of the E. Phase the inf XX broke down into its supported components; supported inf III remained here at the end of the turn]

 

18A:4720 [clear terrain hex]:

2-10* Mot Inf III 7 B [began turn at 18A:4819; in M. Phase moved to 18A:4818 and assembled into the 5-8 Inf XX 102 Trn; attacked Toburch in C. Phase, AR’d to adjacent hex 18A:4819; at the beginning of the E. Phase the inf XX broke down into its supported components; the supported mot inf III exploited to here]

 

18A:4712 [stony desert hex]:

1-8 Mot Art III 3 AC [began turn at 18A:4819; regular moved to 18A:4818; did not participate in the Tobruch attack; then exploited to here]

 

On Scarpanto:

Scarpanto (19A:0701) [rough terrain minor port point city hex]:

3-cap permanent airfield

 

At Rodi:

Rodi (20A:2230) [clear terrain major port point city coast hex]:

3-cap-permanent airfield

 

20A:2331 [rough terrain coast hex]:

3-cap permanent airfield

 

Axis Near East Command

Axis Intervention in Iraq [OptionaL Rule 39E4]:

Iraqi Coup Turn 3

German:

Southeast or Med/NA:

Arrive:

Rodi (20A:2230):

3-cap permanent airfield

Mxd A 2A3 1-1/16 (Ger LW) [Axis Conditional turn reinf; placed here in Initial Phase; see below for subsequent movement in the turn]

 

In pro-Axis coup Iraq (end of turn):

  • In the WW 1941 ME/ER-II/Crete Scenario, the pro Axis Iraqi coup occurs in the Apr I 41 Axis initial phase.
  • Per the WW Master Sequence of Play, early in the Axis initial phase the Allied player for the second time checks for an Iraqi Coup Collapse by a dice roll done using the Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse Table to determine results. There is a +1 Modifier for the Allied-owned dot city of Basra; but the roll isn’t done, because the best result could only be a 13, not enough for a Coup Collapse, which requires at least a 14.
  • Per the Iraq OB in the WitD Neutral Nations OB booklet it appears that Iraq gets an ARP this air cycle, assuming it has mobilized.  The ARP is stored at the Baghdad hex.
  • In the Initial Phase 4 Iraqi specific gsp’s are generated at the Baghdad hex, which is the Iraqi standard supply terminal.
  • Coup Iraq rail cap is currently 3, with the loss of the dot city/major port of Basra in the Apr I 41 Allied turn.
  • Bandit Fawzi al Qawujki:
    • WW Optional Rule 39E4-Fawzi al Qawujki action die roll: 4; Fawzi does not change mode and moves randomly during the upcoming movement phase.

21A:5122 [ravines hex]:

Pro-Axis Guerrilla unit Fawsi, in guerrilla mode [began at 21A:5022; ends movement here as a result of the Fawsi random movement die rolls]

 

22A:3232 [stony desert hex]:

Pro-Axis guerrilla unit Fawsi, in guerrilla mode [dummy guerrilla-capable unit per Rule 39D; began at Ramadi (22A:2830); ends movement here as a result of the Fawsi random movement die rolls]

 

Mosul (21A:3509) [dot city rail/road junction hex]:

three Iraqi specific gsp’s, generated this turn at Baghdad and railed to here

Mxd 2A3 1-1/16 (Ger LW) [inop.; Axis Conditional Reinforcement; begins at the Rodi point city airfield (20A:2230); in the E. Phase it does a 4X air transfer mission to here from Rodi]

 

Kirkuk (21A:3904) [clear terrain reference city transportation line junction hex]:

one Iraqi specific gsp, generated this turn at Baghdad and railed to here

 

21A:4402 [clear terrain secondary rail hex]:

1-6* Inf XX 2 [admin moved to here from Baghdad]

 

Baqubah (21A:4802) [canal intensive reference city transportation line junction hex]:

1-0-8 Lt Arm X 1 [began at Baghdad; exploited to here in the E. Phase]

 

22A:2725 [canal intensive secondary rail line hex; NE of Baghdad]:

1-6* Inf XX 1 [began at 22A:2928; regular moved to here]

 

Baghdad (22A:2825):

1-2-6 Inf XX 3 [began at 22A:2928; regular moved to here]

Mxd  1A2  1/8 [operative; never moved]

 

22A3224 [swamp secondary railway line hex]:

0-1-6* Inf XX 4 [began at 22A:3423; regular moved to here, where it spent 4 MPs destroying the bridge]

 

Allied Air Unit Activity Late in the Axis Exploitation Phase:

The Br Blen 4 B type air unit based Habbaniya does a non-phasing air transfer to the 3-cap permanent airfield at 19A:1418, in Egypt.

 

Med/NA Replacement Pool

1 x 2-6 Inf XX 60 Sbr

1 x 2-10 Mot Inf III 10 B

1 x 2-1-8 Lt Tnk III 3

2 x 1-8 Lt Tnk X 1,2

5 x 1-6 Tnk II 1, 3, 5, 6, 21

1 x Para Inf III Tonini

3 x 0-1-6* Inf III 300 GaF, 310 GaF, 320 GaF

1 x 3-4-6 Art III 24 dM

3 x 2-3-6 Art III 10 C, 20 C, 21 C

1 x 1-6 Art III 23 C

4 x 0 pos flk unit AA=1 [Italian]

Med/NA aborted air units box:

1 x CR 42 3F3 0/9 [here per the 1941 ME Scenario at-start set-up]

1 x SM 79-1 2B3 1-5/22 [in the I. Phase the Axis player spent 1 Italian ARP to move this air unit to here from the Eliminated Air Units box]

1 x Italian Ju 87 B 2D3 4-1/8 [turn reinf, in the I. Phase placed at 18A:0603, on Sicily; aborted this turn by the 5 factor flack while flying the airfield bombing air mission over Valletta hex, on Malta]

1 x Br 20M  3NB4  2-5/24 [began turn at 18A:3617; aborted in the C. Phase by flack while flying the GS air mission over Tobruch]

 

Turn Activity:

At step 16 of the Initial Phase the Allied player converts one of the two steps of attack supply at Tobruch into 12 new gsp’s, per Rule 12C4b-GSP’s from Steps of Attack Supply. At step 24 in the Initial Phase the 12 old gsp’s at Tobruch that were generated from a converted step of attack supply in the Apr II 41 Axis Initial Phase are removed from the map.

Early in the Movement Phase the Axis player achieves one Malta Status bombing hit at the Valletta target hex. But the fresh reinforcement Italian Ju 87B D type air unit attempting to bomb the Valletta airfield is aborted by the Allied flack shot. The air combat between the Allied Hurri 2 interceptor and Axis ME 109E escort fighter air units results in an Abort of the Hurri 2 F type air unit.

In the combat phase the Axis attacks the unimproved fortress Tobruch hex (18A:4817) with ground units in adjacent hexes 4718 and 4818 and with 4 Axis air units flying the GS air mission.  Not all of the units in the two adjacent hexes contribute to the attack.  One of the Axis air units on the GS air mission is aborted by Tobruch’s 3 factors of flack, after a 2 is rolled.  Afterwards, the Axis player carefully tailors his attack so that only 1 step of attack supply (at 4318) needs to be expended for the maximum combat odds.  He attacks at a 2 to 1, -1.  He rolls a 2, which is factored to a 1: AR!   The Axis player retreats his ground units that engaged in the attack, leaving those that didn’t attack in the two said hexes adjacent to Tobruch.

Axis end of turn accumulated replacements (RPs): 4 Ger ARPs, 3 Italian ARPs; 3 Italian inf RPs.

 

Commentary:

Tobruch is presently an unimproved fortress.  Per the Grand Europa Fortifications Chart used in WitD and WW games, this means a -1 modifier, no AEC, and the Engineer modifier.  In this game the Allies currently have 17 defense factors in the Tobruch hex.  By my estimate here at the game board the Axis can muster a total of about 34 ground attack factors and around 13 tac factors for a Tobruch hex attack in the Combat Phase.  This means the best possible Axis attack on Tobruch this turn would still be only a 2 to 1, -1.  Note, however, that had the Allied player not sea transported in the British 2-8 Inf X 23 to Tobruch on their May I 41 turn, Tobruch’s defense factor would be 15, and that this turn the Axis could have attacked at 3 to 1, -1, which is not so bad, with the AH then not a possible die roll result.  The next Axis player turn, on the May II 41 Axis turn, Tobruch will be an improved fortress, which per the  GE Fortifications Chart means -1, no AEC, and the Attacker halved except for engineers, artillery, and heavy AA.

So, what should the Axis commander do:  bravely challenge Death and Mars on the battlefield and attack Tobruch at 2 to 1, -1, or for now be a cautious Chicken Little and maybe do a Tobruch port bombing air mission with the available Axis air unit assets in the zone, or else maybe after having arrived there forget all about Tobruch and instead send many of the Axis air units in the Cyrenaica to Sicily, to attack Malta?  After all, under the circumstances at the game board the best the Axis can achieve in the attack on Tobruch is an EX or HX.

On the war game board as in the real life war situations, perhaps it is futile to try to judge before the big battle, because judgement makes its sentence with hindsight.  And so in the EA demonstration the war gamer goes for the gusto and and “like Rommel” back then throws in the assets for the Tobruch assault, thinking the gamble must be worth it.

In Playfair’s volume 2 of The Mediterranean and Middle East, in Chapter VIII, The Desert Fighting in May and June 1941, the author describes the parallel real life battle:

  • “General Rommel’s plan was for the two German divisions to make the break in, [into the Tobruk defensive perimeter, at the SW] 5th [Le XX] on the right, 15th [Pz XX] on the left, … [aiming towards] the small hill [there] named Ras el Medauar.
  • “[T]he posts immediately north and south of Ras el Medauar were heavily shelled and dive-bombed, and under cover of dust and darkness the Germans began to filter in.  There followed hard fighting, of which little, save that it was going on, was known at … headquarters.”
  • “[But] several Australian posts could not be overcome; the [Axis] reconnoitring detachment vanished; and the Italians muddled in their tasks.  The night passed in outbursts of fighting….”
  • “[S]ome of the Australian posts were still holding out in the morning and a thick mist made control difficult.”
  • “The German tanks … struck the inner and unreconnoitred minefield, were met by anti-tank fire, and turned back.”
  • “All the available German troops had now been used.  [A dent had been made in the perimeter], but [the Axis troops] were much exhausted and a rising sandstorm added to their hardships and difficulties.”
  • “All next morning, 2nd of May, in a thick dust-storm, hard fighting continued …  with the Germans trying to trickle forward.  [The Australian General Morshead] used his reserve brigade-the 18th-in a counter-attack on Ras el Medauar … [which] soon became a series of unrelated combats, [after which the desultory fighting petered out on both sides.]”

Meanwhile, in Coup Iraq, the Iraqi army this turn can only maneuver and see what the next move of the Allies will be.  A second attack on the Habbaniya airfield hex seems out of the question, with the additional Allied air reinforcement present there.  For the Golden Square junta everything will depend on the upcoming Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse dice roll on the May II 41 Axis turn.  Is this turn’s Axis intervention in Iraq LW air unit reinforcement arrival at the Mosul hex too late?

 

May I 41 Axis end of Initial Phase dispositions: off-map display detail
May I 41 Axis end of Initial Phase dispositions: off-map display detail

 

May I 41 Axis end of Initial Phase dispositions: Libya and Malta
May I 41 Axis end of Initial Phase dispositions: Libya and Malta

 

May I 41 Axis end of Initial Phase dispositions: eastern Libya, Egypt, and Rodi
May I 41 Axis end of Initial Phase dispositions: eastern Libya, Egypt, and Rodi

 

May I 41 Axis end of Initial Phase dispositions: Iraq; note the new locations of the two Fawsi guerrilla units due to the random movement die rolls
May I 41 Axis end of Initial Phase dispositions: Iraq; note the new locations of the two Fawsi guerrilla units due to the random movement die rolls

 

May I 41 Axis beginning of the Movement Phase air raid over Malta: detail
May I 41 Axis beginning of the Movement Phase air raid over Malta: detail

 

May I 41 Axis end of Movement Phase dispositions: Libya and Sicily
May I 41 Axis end of Movement Phase dispositions: Libya and Sicily

 

May I 41 Axis end of Movement Phase dispositions: eastern Libya detail
May I 41 Axis end of Movement Phase dispositions: eastern Libya detail

 

May I 41 Axis end of Movement Phase dispositions: Iraq
May I 41 Axis end of Movement Phase dispositions: Iraq

 

May I 41 Axis Combat Phase at the moment of the combat die roll for the Tobruch attack; Axis units adjacent to Tobruch covered w/ red markers did not participate in the attack
May I 41 Axis Combat Phase at the moment of the combat die roll for the Tobruch attack; Axis units adjacent to Tobruch covered w/ red markers did not participate in the attack

 

May I 41 Axis end of the Combat Phase dispositions: after the AR movement and the basing of the Axis air units on the GS air mission
May I 41 Axis end of the Combat Phase dispositions: after the AR movement and the basing of the surviving Axis air units on the GS air mission

 

May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: Libya and Sicily
May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: Libya and Sicily

 

May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: Western Desert region
May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: Western Desert region

 

May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: eastern Libya detail
May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: eastern Libya detail

 

May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: Iraq; note the LW Conditional Reinforcement air unit at Mosul
May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: Iraq; note the LW Conditional Reinforcement air unit at Mosul

 

May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: off0map display detail
May I 41 Axis EOT dispositions: off-map display detail

 

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