Thanks to Steve for the following battle report:
Axis – Steve (Germany / Italy) & Mark @Credulous (Japan)
Allies – Mike @Aftertaste (Russia / USA) & Andrew @h0lym0nk (UK)
Turn 1 – Spring/Summer 1942
The Japanese begin the year with 2 sweeping offensives, manoeuvring Taskforces so as to unleash concentrated airpower against allied forces in the Indian Ocean and off the coast of Hawaii threatening and ultimately forcing the withdrawal of both Commonwealth and United States Naval forces from these areas. Several Infantry divisions push their way through eastern China with the intention of fighting their way up the coast.
The Soviet commanders clearly began to believe their own propaganda and conceived of an ambitious plan to unleash a full blown assault across the whole German front. Army Groups’ North, Central and South all advance west with the intent of pushing the Germans back. The Germans had other plans however and manage to almost annihilate all but the South Army Group. The Soviets withdraw into the Caucasus and shore up their defences around Moscow.
After their successes in the east, Germany found herself in a very strong position and sent forces north into Karellia and successfully take and adapt the Russian industrial facilities and recently acquired Eastern labour for their own production needs. Meanwhile across the Mediterranean the Afrika Korps stationed in Libya were reinforced with units from the Balkans in the absence of Allied shipping. U-Boat Wolfpacks cross the Atlantic and sink several transports in Hudson Bay.
The British Empire sorted its accounts, production and despatch forces to the Hudson Bay to deal with the submarine threat. No Kriegsmarine returned.
For the Italians, Africa was a tempting target, with Egypt held with only a few British Divisions and so send more Italian units to Libya to bolster the German and Italian presence there. Other units are sent to France to help defend the Atlantic wall and the rest are sent toward the Eastern Front to partake in some of the glory that their German allies had recent enjoyed.
The United States prepare more materiel ready to be shipped to both the Pacific and Europe.
In the Far East Chinese forces manoeuvre in an attempt to concentrate their units for a defensive campaign against the Japanese.
Turn 2 – Autumn/Winter 1942
The Emperor’s Imperial forces continue their operations in China, forcing their way further along the Chinese coast and either obliterating or pushing Chinese forces out of their way.
Despite Soviet pride taking a hit during the previous seasons the Russian forces manage to push into and take Ukraine. Meanwhile more units are brought to bear in and around Moscow.
The German high command face a quandary and in the end hesitate with regards to taking out the Soviet capital and instead declare two large offensives into Archangel in the North and the Caucasus in the South. Both fall to the Axis and Soviet forces withdraw further into the Motherland. German Panzer production begins to increase almost exponentially with the abundance of captured resources and factories. Whilst Western Europe appears quiet more units are sent east to try and tie up the Russians.
Whilst Western Europe is certainly quiet, an Allied landing to relieve pressure on the Russians occurs in Norway, shifting the theatre of operations into Scandinavia and Northern Russia.
Italians forces in Southern Russia manage to push the Russians out of Ukraine. Meanwhile in North Africa a moderate contingent of Italian Divisions invade and take Egypt destroying all Commonwealth forces in Africa and the Middle East. Il Duce is thrilled as now both Japan and Italy have a clear path to India. More units are sent from Italy to the Atlantic wall and South Russia.
For the United States poor Roosevelt is getting pulled in all directions. Japanese expansion in the Pacific has MacArthur practically eating a Pipe a day. Meanwhile, Eisenhower wants US forces in Scandinavia to relieve the pressure on the Russians and Commonwealth forces. In the end more units are transported into Norway and a bombing campaign of Berlin commences in an attempt to stem the steel tide churning its way East.
Unfortunately for China the Japanese successes left few resources or stomach for fighting the invaders and units begin withdrawing to north-west China.
Turn 3 – Spring/Summer 1943
Japanese forces continue their operations in China, meanwhile more troops mobilise for the coming attack on India.
Russia turns to a policy of holding what they have. More units emerge around Moscow.
The Germans, pre-empting a western allied thrust into Karellia, reinforces the area and prepar to defend their factories. German troops also reinforce some parts of France and conquer Trans Jordan so as to open up the Suez canal for Italian naval operations.
As expected, the Commonwealth begin their offensive into Karellia, but are stopped by superior axis armour and tactics.
Italy, now with free access through the suez canal, ship an infantry division off to start taking British and former French overseas territories. Meanwhile, an armoured division blitzkrieg through central Africa, robbing the allies of more resources. In the Caucasus the Italians seize and adopt the Soviet industries they’ve captured.
For China, their country continues to be carved up by the marauding Japanese. Without any airpower to speak of or mechanised units the Chinese stay holed up in their North-western provinces.
With the US unable to show superiority in either Europe or the Pacific MacArthur moves his Taskforces to Wake island hoping that taking it might improve morale and home support for the war. A fear of long range Japanese airpower forces the US to keep their distance. In Europe the daylight raids over Berlin continue, however US losses are higher than anticipated and the frequency of bombing missions and their successes begins to tail off as the year continued.
Turn 4 – Autumn/Winter 1943
Japanese forces sweep in and take India. Since China is essentially out of the war, Japanese forces cross into eastern Russia bringing several armoured divisions and aircraft with them.
In the Soviet Union news of Japanese forces entering the country is met with little surprise and all available units are continually funnelled to Moscow.
With Moscow now heavily defended with perhaps 30 divisions and Karellia now having to withstand attacks from Scandinavia the Germans realise that they’ve most likely missed their opportunity to take Moscow without huge casualties. However with Japanese, Italian and German forces constantly arriving, Russia doesn’t seem like it will have much fight in her anyway. German factories continue to churn out more and more Panzer and Infantry division all destined for the eastern front and the Atlantic wall.
The UK, despite their financial losses, still have enough land units to threaten Germany in Russia and enough airpower to take on the vastly undervalued German fleet. The RAF enters the Baltic Sea and proceeds to sink everything it finds, leaving the whole of Western and Central Europe open to naval invasion by the allies. However, with so much of their overseas territories under Italian and Japanese control they can’t purchase enough units for another major landing. With the loss of German shipping, however, the whole of the North Atlantic is now open for Allied shipping.
Italy continues to seize African territory unopposed and Il Duce decides that perhaps a naval invasion of Brazil with impunity may just put the Allies noses out of joint. Unfortunately due to some manifests going missing during the Italian conquest of South Africa the ships required are not made available in time. Italian forces flank around Moscow meaning the Axis powers almost completely encircled the Russians.
For China their war is pretty much over. With few, if any recruits coming to Mao’s cause the Chinese are marginalised in their own lands.
US forces need a victory and send marines to the Soloman Islands, Japan loses their foothold but with Japanese supremacy across much of Asia and the Pacific the US are low on options following the gain.
Turn 5 – Spring/Summer 1944
1944 begins with the Japanese subjugating more and more of the Chinese and in their arrogance they decide to invade Alaska. Miraculously a small Japanese force successfully seizes this part of the US mainland without the Allies putting up a fight or indeed noticing.
For the Soviets they push the Italian forces out of their rear and begin sending units west to try and provide a buffer to delay any future German offensives. The Russians are reasonably successful, however they are unwilling to extend their forces too far from their Capital and the Russians defer to adopting small tactical victories instead of larger strategic ones.
With the North Atlantic, Baltic and English Channel now open to the allies the Germans push units into their Atlantic Wall. In the east they continue to reinforce Karellia as well, so as to keep pressure on the smaller contingent of Allies in Scandinavia and to keep Russia focused on Moscow. Germany also begins to build up its submarines wolfpacks again.
The Commonwealth cannot reach a decision on what to do. Pulling units out of Norway and Sweden to be shipped elsewhere would leave the Russians open and alone. Across the globe much of the British overseas territories are lost and each of Axis powers looks to exceed the combined Industrial Capacity of the Allies.
Diplomats are summoned and talks begin. Whilst fair to say that Russia may not have fallen to the Germans, with Italian and Japanese forces around a prolonged effort by all Axis powers is likely to have taken Moscow and with Italian and German production so high a strong flow of men and weapons would have kept flowing to keep the axis war machine running indefinitely.