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Subject: It Begins... Narrative AAR before the opening of Eastfront rss

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Steven Fuller
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September 1939
: The Invasion of Poland

The banners of war are raised once more as France and Britain mobilize against German aggression. The spirit of diplomacy, which was so vaunted in the Czechoslovakia question, has been revealed to be powerless. At the Polish border German soldiers begin their invasion, attacking from three directions towards Warsaw.

The campaign lasts a single month. The initial German attempt at encirclement is unsuccessful as their infantry corps meets resistance at the Slovakian and East Prussian borders. The Polish HQ located in the north is threatened by German infantry. They pack up their bags and retreat towards Warsaw but are harried heavily along the way and many are lost. The Poles had set up their command centre so as to allow a maximum number of divisions deployed against a Nazi thrust along the Katowitz-Warsaw rail. While this allows the Polish army to make a determined stand they are bypassed at points of resistance and Warsaw falls at the end of September.

December 1939-May 1940
: The Finnish Campaign

Europe is silent. A second conflagration begins in the East, this time in Finland as Stalin declares war. Red Army soldiers march into Karelia and Joensu. The battles are bloody but after a month the Soviet army has gained ground only in the north. It is not enough. They break into Kuopio but the route to Helsinki is blocked at Lahti. Have exhausted their resources, Stalin orders a build-up of material to begin in Karelia while Red Army forces continue to make unsupported attacks. The result is a stalemate but the Soviet build-up forces Finland to seek an armistice in May to preserve its army.

March 1940-may 1940: The Norwegian Campaign

German troops preempt a British invasion with a surprise attack of their own, taking Denmark, Oslo, Bergen, and Narvik but failing to engage Norwegian troops at Trondheim and Namsos. British troops arrive as reinforcements just in time for the Norwegian government to dissipate. Dietl is forced to march his troops north to besiege Trondheim, which falls in May. The Nazis now have control over the northern seaway. Britain begins to look that much smaller.

May 1940-July 1940: Case Yellow

In their aircraft the Fallschirmjäger wait anxiously to takeoff. The plan is to land at fort Eben-Emael and secure passageway for the Wehrmacht to outflank the French Maginot line. Their stomachs turn as the aircraft accelerates down the runway. Taking off into the predawn sky the earth is black below them. They know however that the Wehrmacht has begun to march forward, making their way through the low countries. The fate of nations is at hand.

The Fallschirmjäger neutralize the fortress and German armour and infantry force their way along the road towards Mons where it destroys a weak Belgian division. Simultaneously along the front German troops sweep into the low countries like a scythe, knocking out Holland and threatening to encircle the Belgian Army at Antwerp. The rest of the German army marches into France, seeking to breakthrough towards Paris.

An immediate counter-attack is ordered and joint Anglo-Franco mechanized forces advance on Mons. In a bloody battle they fail to retake the city but establish a perimeter around it. British and Canadian divisions march to Brussels to assist the Belgian Army. At Ostend British amphibious troops land, quickly taking up positions along the river to prevent a crossing. The French armies in France hold their position fiercely as heavy artillery takes its toll on the invading forces.

At Mons the fighting is the greatest and the ground blazes as both sides batter each other with tanks and mechanized units. French and British units fight alongside one another, spewing their shells through masses of smoke as they attempt to hold back the Nazi beast. They contain the breakthrough at heavy cost. Wrecked vehicles litter the battlefield, polluting the earth with oil and blood.

In the Low Countries, German infantry succeed in crossing the strait and cutting off Antwerp. British and Canadian forces around Ghent and Brussels maintain constant pressure. The situation is very fluid. The Allies still hold a line from Ostend to Reims. The German forces around Brussels are ordered to disengage and prepare a renewed offensive at Mons. Their arrival in June is enough to destroy the remnants of the Allied mechanized forces.

With the rest of its army now surrounded, the British HQ is ordered to leave the continent while it is still able. Shortly thereafter German divisions take Calais, cutting off the British and Canadian pocket in Brussels. They will never see home again. Panzer Divisions flow through the gap and begin to turn south around Paris, outflanking the main French forces. Italy joins the Axis side and the French government surrenders in July. The British amphibious units in Ostend are finally ordered to leave and retreat skillfully back onto their transports. The Battle of France is over.

MedFront and Greece

Following the entry of Italy into the war, Britain began to send units from India and Britain to Suez. Similarly, Italian forces began to concentrate around Tobruk. Italian units also launched an offense in East Africa, closing the straits to British elements rounding the cape. In December the Axis chose not to increase MF production and 1940 ended with no action on both sides. The new year sees both Axis and Allied reinforcements arrive and a build-up of troops and material begin around the Egyptian-Libyan border. The year also sees a series of diplomatic victories hand Hitler nearly all of the Balkans save Greece. Seeing its fate, Greece deploys the bulk of its forces in and around their capital. They will hold out as long as they can.

December 6th we will be continuing from April 1941

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Juan de Marco
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The Italian in East Africa dies after it leaves the base, right? In the opinion of the Axis player, is delaying the Brits with one turn worth losing the unit? I've never come up with a satisfactory answer what to do with the unit. If it is removed, the danger of cutting off the western desert force supply is gone, but on the other hand, it is an extra unit the Axis could use in Libya (since they are so short on units in the MF).
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