Thursday, April 6, 2017

NEW YEAR, NEW PLAN

     Something's rotten in Tunis, that's for sure. That stench in the air? That's stalemate, my friend. As the Allies, the only way I'm going to get a numerical superiority on one flank is to shift units -- say, the 2nd Armored. But with their interior lines and some strong 10th Panzer units, the Germans can easily out-shift me.
     Time for a new plan.
  

Impressive gains by 2nd Armored in December.
Germans establish a new line.
Bizerte is in the bag, but strong German reinforcements keep Tunis just out of reach.
     By the end of December, I'd decided on a new strategy for the Allies. I'm withdrawing the 2nd Armored Division from the north and sending it to the Kasserine area. My initial idea was to launch an attack against Sfax on the coast south of Tunis. This, I thought, would isolate northeastern Tunisia. Rommel will be arriving from the south soon. My plan was to keep him from reinforcing Tunis.
     But a look at the map shows the folly of this plan.
  
Solid green = defensive perimeter. Dashed Green = scrapped offensive towards Sfax.


     A) My southern flank is wide open. The grey lines above show Rommel's routes of advance. He could easily get behind my entire army, the Sfax force and the Tunis force both. Disaster.
     B) There is no way I could keep a supply line open to Sfax -- or anywhere else on the coast, for that matter -- until I linked up with the Tunis group. Since it is so lightly defended, I could try a lightning strike up the coast. But it's risky. Patton says "Yes!" Eisenhower says "No!" (We've been lucky with the weather so far, George. We could easily find ourselves caught with our pants down and up to our knees in mud.)
     So the new plan (January 1, 1943) is to form a defensive perimeter in the south and attack enough in the north to keep Jerry honest. If Rommel goes up the coast, maybe I can catch him in the flank. If he heads into central Tunisia, then I'll have an awesome battle to fight. Regardless, I think this is the wiser course.
     As far as the game's victory conditions go, there is really no reason for the Allies NOT to go onto the defensive now that they control Bizerte. I can see I'm not going to get Tunis, so best to kick back and let the Germans do the attacking for a while.

Coming attacks are limited.
     My planned attacks for January 1 are limited. The French are going to launch a 3:1 attack across the river (IF they get a DG from artillery fire or air barrage - otherwise NO attack), while the Germans are launching a limited offensive through Djedeida into Tebourba Gap.

The Allied perimeter. Green circles = proposed Hedgehogs. 8 SPs-worth.
     The above pic shows where the Allies will create their strongpoints. El Guettar, Sidi bou Zid (south of), Faid Pass, Pinchon. Sound familiar?
     So, bring it on, Rommel!
     But remember this, you magnificent bastard: I read your book!

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