May was a pretty wild month as far as the progress of the war. Fair weather provided a way for a huge push by the Germans through Belgium into Northern France. Skirmishes in Libya and Southern France have left the Italians on their back foot.
Stalemate Outside Tobruk
The Italians opened up June with an offensive launched against the British Forces pushing through Libya. They deployed tanks to try and catch the British by surprise but the Desert Rats are a tenacious bunch, and were able to fend off the Italian offensive not once, not twice, not even three, but four times all told. When the British tried to counter attack, they too could make no progress.
In Northern France, the fighting was fierce and unrelenting. There was a significant German advance and both Antwerp and Lille fell to the Axis forces. Again the Luftwaffe sustained attacks on the French Air Force to keep them combat ineffective. The 1st French Army were battered by the German 7th and ended up surrendering after taking heavy casualties. The Germans then pushed the French back to the outskirts of Calais.
In a daring gamble, the German 9th made a mad dash to Paris in order to try and take the capital and throw the French defenses into disarray. They were unable to take Paris as crossing the Somme proved too much of an obstacle across which to fight.
In the forest south of Aachen, the 18th German Infantry attacked the French 2nd Army causing them to be reduced. Then the 1st and 6th German armies assaulted at the end of the turn to finish them off. Between the losses of the 1st & 2nd armies, as well as the capture of Lille, the French National Will dropped 4 points.
French forces were able to retake Lille with the help of air support from British Fighter Command in London but were unable to effectively take care of the German 9th Army that are now cut off from the main spearhead. The recapture of Lille raised the National Will of France by 2, recovering some of the damage done. The BEF, after fending off the Italian onslaught in the South of France, rushed northwards and set up a position east of Paris to help defend the capital.
The 1st RAF were mobilized in Southampton and will move out to fields all across south eastern England to help by flying sorties across the Channel. And French forces are gathering in Le Havre to try and stem the Axis tide.
On the Eastern Front, forces are positioned for future conflict. The Axis forces pulled an Area Seized token from the diplomacy cup, and as a result, Latvia ceded to the USSR. The Western Allies could not afford any resources to pull a chit from the diplomacy cup. The USSR decided to buy an Area Seized marker back into the cup to keep the mix favourable for them in future rounds.
War with the USSR seems inevitable, but the Axis have until October before Stalin rethinks his Pact with the Nazis. The Axis forces are trying very hard to push for the collapse of France before they start charging east in order to try and not split their production between two fronts.
Thanks for reading and watch out for July, and the guaranteed good weather, coming soon.