Thursday, April 6, 2017

ROMMEL IN THE HOUSE

     It's Feb 1 and the Axis forces are beginning to stir. 10 Panzer Division extricates itself from the Tunis stalemate and moves south to Sfax. There it goes into reserve to await Rommel's forces from Libya.
     The Italians arrive first, making to occupy the Mareth Line, where they will await the British 8th Army. Rommel, with the 21st Panzer and some Afrika Korps units, moves to Gabes and after spending a turn assembling there, goes straight into action. (I had not planned it that way, but once the Germans were in place I decided there was no reason to delay since the Allied position would only get stronger.)

Rommel attacks immediately from the south. 10 Pz's intended attack is shown dashed. Once Rommel's attack was successful, however, 10th Pz used the Exploitation Phase to follow quickly on Rommel's heels.
Achieving surprise, Rommel's infantry take out a French Bn holding the fortified village of El Guettar. The infantry, in move mode, gain an E result and will advance against the American armor in the next village. 10 Pz will assist with another inf bn and some arty. Stukas will also pay the Americans a visit.
And here's 10 Pz now! While the infantry attack across a wadi into the village, the panzers look to overrun an artillery position in the rear. A mobile AT unit moves ahead to establish a defensive position against US reinforcements.
A setback for the Germans. The Stuka attack fails to impress during the movement portion of the Exploitation Phase, and a 10-factor artillery barrages fails as well in the barrage portion of the phase. (Oops! That might have been against the rules. Two barrages in a single phase. Oh well, no harm done.) Without DGing the defenders, the attack is only 2:1. Attack canceled. An all-out assault will be ordered next turn. 10th Pz is inside the American perimeter. Rommel's panzers will join them next turn.
Solid green lines show probable axes of the American response. The Allied player has to be careful not to overreact, though. The dashed orange line shows where the Germans could still attack if the Americans weaken their left too much. This is a tough one for the US player.

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