Western Desert Conclusion: Order of Battle WW2 Allies Defiant Scenario 4

Turns 3 to 6

My holding force will destroy the remnants of the Italian infantry on the coast road.  The engineers will clear the minefield and the infantry will crush the Italians.  My fighters will both attack the damaged Italian bi-plane.  The rest of the force will advance to attack the position next turn – starting with the AT Gun which is the key to the entire position.  The key to this move is positioning the mechanized infantry so it can launch a dismounted attack on the AT gun. 

Turn 3 Start
On to Bardia
Conclusion of Turn 3

The dawn of turn 4 finds an unescorted Italian Bomber had hit my combat engineers.  Unfortunately, my Spitfires must drop the heavily damaged Italian bi-plane fighter to allow the Fairey Battle Tactical Bomber to hit the AT gun. 

Turn 4 Start

During the Italian part of Turn 5 their armor made an unexpected attack on my infantry.  This leaves their advanced armor unit heavily exposed.  During the British turn the Italian Bomber is almost destroyed by the Spitfire Squadrons, the lead Italian armor is mauled, and the Italian Infantry garrisoning the town is down to 50% strength.  The pesky Italian AT gun is almost destroyed.  The British AT gun covers some of the troops.

Turn 5 Start
End of Turn 5

The Italians should have withdrawn to Tobruk.  The British take advantage of this error.  First, the gunboat destroys the last of the anti-tank unit.  Next, the Matilda and the lead British Infantry take the town.  The British AT gun, tactical fighters and British Armor destroy both Italian Armored units.   By the end of Turn 6 the only things outside the Tobruk minefields that have been spotted are an anit-aircraft unit outside the landing field, two tankette units and some empty trucks. 

Turn 6 Part 1
Turn 6 Conclusion

Turns 7 to 10

The British capture the landing field after destroying the anti-aircraft unit on turn 7.  The gunboat, tactical bombers and Matilda unit all damage the Bardia fortress.  On Turn 8 the Bardia fortress is almost captured while my forces take reinforcements and the Spitfires refuel with the anti-tank gun on over watch. 

Turn 7
Turn 8

Bardia easily falls on Turn 9.  The tankette unit pinned by the minefield is almost destroyed.  Infantry and the anti-tank gun are positioned to guard the Spitfires taking reinforcements. 

Bardia Falls

Turn 10 sets up the Battle for Tobruk.  The damaged tankette unit is destroyed and combat engineers move up to remove the Italian minefield on the coast road.  British Armor and anti-tank gun maul the remaining tankette. 

Preparing to Take Tobruk

Turns 11 to Victory

Combat engineers eliminate the minefield on the coast road.  Armor moves to attack the Italian fortification guarding the approach to the port from the East.  Motorized infantry runs through the desert to take Tmimi in a sandstorm. 

Turn 12

By turn 13 the fortress has been destroyed and the anti-aircraft and artillery units are damaged.  Tmimi falls.  Isolating the rest of the Italians from resupply will be accomplished before the port of Tobruk is taken. 

Breakthrough to Tobruk Port

By the end of turn 14 Tobruk is isolated, the Italian anti-aircraft and artillery are almost destroyed, and all Italian units outside the port have been cut off from supply. 

Italians Outside of the Port Cut-Off

Since I have until turn 20 to take Tobruk, there is no hurry.  I conserve my forces and pound the port from the air and sea.  Tobruk falls on turn 16 with minimum British casualties. 

Tobruk Falls
Victory

Note that most of the Italian fortifications, minefields, and infantry guarding Tobruk were never attacked.  I had to take the port, not destroy all of the Italian forces.  My battle plan accomplished the tasks determined by HQ with minimum casualties (and reinforcement points).  Before the next battle I finally achieve the scrambling technology which will prove essential to taking the rest of Libya.

Finally Gain Scrambling Technology

Western Desert – Allies Defiant Scenario 4

Western Desert December 1940 – Allies Defiant Scenario 4

Italy declares war on the UK and invades Egypt.  Italy has a large North African army, but it lacks motorized transport.  The Italian supply chain breaks down after capturing the Egyptian border towns and they dig in and place minefields. 

Italy Joins the War

Your intelligence briefing suggests that the Italian Troops in Egypt are poorly supplied and may surrender if their logistics and communications are severed.  You are warned to protect your supply lines.  Winning requires capturing Bardia and Tobruk with a secondary victory for destroying the Italian positions in Egypt.

Possible Encirclement?
Be Careful About Your Supply Lines!
Victory Conditions

Amateurs study tactics and professionals study logistics.  Let’s look at the logistics situation in the Western Desert.  All supply points are on the coast and are connected by a road network.  The major supply points are the 15 point position on the Egyptian Coast, Bardia (30 supply); Tobruk (50 supply) and Tmimi (40 supply).

Italian Supply in the Western Desert

Early Turns Strategy

Scout planes spot an Italian Infantry unit at Sofafi guarding the pass through the escarpment.  An Italian Tankette unit is on the Coast Road.  I then place my troops to cut off most of the Italian Army in Egypt.  Please note that any competent commander would send scout planes out prior to battle and place troops to exploit perceived enemy weaknesses.  Thus, placing my initial troops based on what is revealed on a turn 1 move by scout planes is neither a cheat nor an exploit (in my opinion). 

Scout Plane Scouts Italian Positions

My first goal is to attack isolated Italian units to cut off supplies to the remainder of the Italian Army in Egypt.  Initial attacks will be on the Italian Infantry at Sofafi holding the pass through the escarpment.  A combined arms attack will be made.  First, tactical bombers hit the unit.  Next, a Cruiser tank unit will secure the southern flank while the heavy infantry moves to the North.  Heavy Infantry attacks first, followed by armor with mopping up done by motorized infantry.

This should open a route to attack the Italian light armor on the coast.  My initial attack will include my largely indestructible, but slow Matilda Tanks, one unit of fast Cruiser tanks and a motorized anti-tank gun attack the Italian light armor on the coast.   The gunboat and both fighter units will attack the Italian infantry holding the Egyptian port.

A holding force is on the coast road.  After destroying the Italian tankette and the infantry unit guarding the pass, one Cruiser tank will take the Egyptian port cutting the rest of the Italians off from their supplies.  The engineers on the coast road will then remove the mine field allowing the infantry on the coast road to mop up any surviving Italian infantry on the coast road.  Other troops will speed (or lumber in the case of the Matilda) towards Bardia. 

All armor and mechanized units are initially positioned in the Southern Desert.  They include mechanized heavy infantry, mechanized regular infantry, mechanized combat engineers, a Matilda tank unit, two Cruiser tank units and motorized anti-tank guns.  Two Spitfire squadrons, a Fairy Battle squadron (tactical bombers) and a seaplane scout comprise the remainder of my forces. 

My troop placement has a secondary force along the coast road to prevent the Italians from moving down the coast road and capturing my supplies.  A unit of foot combat engineers has spotted the minefield and is backed by a foot infantry unit. 

Troop Deployment

Turns 1 & 2

I executed a combined arms attack on the Italian infantry at Sofafi.  In order it was attacked by tactical bombers, heavy infantry, Cruiser tanks and the remainder mopped up by mechanized infantry.  The armor moved opposite the heavy infantry before the attack to gain the benefits of attacking on opposite fronts. Result is annihilated Italian infantry at the cost of one point of damage to the British heavy infantry unit.

First Attack Phase 1
First Attack Part 2
Part 3 First Attack
First Attack Part 4
Initial Attack Complete

The pass through the escarpment is now open so the Cruiser tank attacks the Italian Tankettes at Buq Buq causing 50% damage to the Italians with no damage to the British.  The Cruiser unit does not advance to Buq Buq because it would have been cut off from supply by a counter-attack from the Italian “armor.”  The Matildas and mounted anti-tank guns advance to protect the flank of the Cruisers.  Last, the gunboats and two Spitfire units rake the Italian infantry in the port. 

Second Attack Part 1
Second Attack Part 2
End of UK Part 1

The Italian response was an ineffectual attack on the mounted anti-tank unit.  Scout planes reveal an Italian Fighter squadron has scrambled.   Note the entrenched Italian Infantry in Sollum is backed by anti-tank guns.  The anti-tank guns must be neutralized before Armor can attack Sollum.   The British goals this turn are destroying the Tankettes; attacking the Italian fighters; capturing the Egyptian Port through combined arms attack; and advancing towards Sollum. 

Italian Response is Poor

Both Spitfires attack the Italian biplanes heavily mauling them.  British anti-tank guns almost destroy the Italian Tankettes.  British Heavy Infantry mounted on Bren gun carriers complete the task.  Next the British soften up the Italian infantry guarding the port through bombing and guns from the gunboat.

Bombing the Port

British Cruisers rout the softened-up Italian Infantry seizing the port.  The remainder of the advanced Italian infantry and guns are totally cut off from supply.  The second Cruiser tank unit accompanies mechanized infantry and engineers racing through the desert towards Sollum.

End of British Turn 2

Almost all Italian defenders in Egypt surrender!  Plus, plans for the defense of Tobruk are captured!  Even better, there is a big gap in the Tobruk defenses.  Only a minefield and a fortification guard the coast road approach to the port.

Huge Italian Surrender!
Tobruk Defense Plan Captured
Tobruk Defenses

My results on the first two turns may seem impossible. I’ve destroyed a heavily defended position with almost no losses. But this is close to what happened in December 1940.  The Italians were caught by surprise with most units surrendering before entering heavy combat.  My results are better (10% losses on one heavy infantry, one anti-tank gun, one Cruiser Tank unit and one Spitfire squadron), but not wildly dissimilar to what the British achieved.  Furthermore, I’ve played this scenario more than 20 times and with this battle plan I get this result 95%+ of the time.  Try it for yourself and see.

Dunkirk Conclusion

Turns 4 Through 6

Lille held easily against the German attacks on Turn 4. 

Lille Holds

On Turn 4 for the Allies all troops save two units are withdrawn across the river from Lille and the bridge is dropped.  I used the railroad to evacuate units in town hexes with railroad lines.  There was not enough space to withdraw one French anti-tank gun and the heavily damaged British infantry unit could not move out due to multiple adjacent German units.

Successful Fighting Withdrawal From Lille

As a reward for holding Lille four turns, several British fighter squadrons are sent from England. 

Additional Fighters Arrive

WARNING! – Your fighter squadrons now reinforce/refuel quite differently.  Your core forces can fly to an evacuation hex.  You can then fully repair them and place them at sea or at the Dunkirk airfield if you hold it the very next turn!  This is not an exploit – this is how the scenario was designed.  IMHO there should be a turn delay and repaired squadrons should be placed on a sea hex, but we are working with the scenario as currently designed.  But noncore fighters will be removed permanently if you fly them to an air evacuation hex.   Noncore fighters must land at Dunkirk to refuel.  I recommend against spending the points to repair these fighters.  This is yet another reason to rename all of your core units to avoid such problems.

On Turn 5 an undetected German infantry unit penetrated within three hexes of Dunkirk.  Stopping or eliminating this unit is vital to winning the scenario.  Another German infantry unit attempted to cross an intact bridge SouthEast of Ypres, took heavy damage, and was stranded on the bridge.

Oops! German Infantry Within 3 Hexes of Dunkirk!

On the allies Turn 5 (not shown) the Brits maul and contain the German Infantry close to Dunkirk and destroy the Infantry stuck on the bridge.

On Turn 6 Germany masses infantry troops to attack Ypres from the North.  An armor unit attempts to ford the river South of Ypres.  The Allies destroy the heavily damaged German Infantry close to Dunkirk.  The vulnerable German Armor attempting to cross the river close to Ypres was hit by a strong French armored unit and a British AT gun.  The heavily damaged German Armor retreated to the Lille side of the river.  Other defenders dug-in close to Ypres. 

Turn 6 Part 1
Turn 6 Part 2

Turn 7 to Victory

Ypres needs to hold two more turns.  The only significant threat is an attack from the North, so the defenders have focused on that potential axis of attack.  The Ypres-Dunkirk bridge has been wired for demolition by combat engineers.  Two French and two British units have boarded ship and are moving towards England.

On Turn 8 British Fighters shoot down another German Squadron.  Another attack South of Ypres was repulsed with the remaining shattered infantry stuck on the bridge. 

Ypres Well Defended on Turn 8

Ypres holds and is evacuated during the Allies phase of Turn 9.  Some units have withdrawn to Dunkirk while the rest set up a defensive perimeter around the Ypres-Dunkirk bridge.  All secondary victory conditions have been achieved.  Dunkirk is well defended with armor, infantry and artillery.  I have seven more turns to evacuate three additional British ground units. 

Retreat from Ypres on Turn 9
Victory Progess

On Turn 10 the last bridge to Dunkirk is blown.  All remaining defenders have successfully retreated behind the river.  Two ground units have embarked on craft to sail them to England.  The rest of the scenario is easy and leads to a “victorious retreat.”

Turn 10
Victory!

One important reminder.  If you win this scenario all surviving core units carry over to North Africa.  You do not have to actually withdraw your core units to the sea evacuation hex.  If I had to withdraw all of my core units, especially my armor, this scenario would be considerably more difficult.

Dunkirk – Allies Defiant Scenario 3

Before Dunkirk, you can spend research points to obtain combat technology.  I had enough points to purchase some tech, but banked the points with the goal of purchasing the 10 point cost “scrambling” technology.  The best British Fighters have short ranges.  With scrambling you gain half movement on the takeoff turn.  Since Spitfires and Hurricanes can only stay aloft 8 turns, getting an extra half turn of movement is significant. 

Germany has more and better aircraft early in the war so getting the most out of your fighter coverage is critical to gaining parity.  For this reason, I’m saving up my research points for the scrambling technology.

Scenario Briefing and Setup

Your intelligence brief is grim. Germans surround your forces.  The Belgian army is on the brink of collapse.  This necessitates a fighting retreat.  Lille must be held four turns.  Ypres must be held nine turns.  You must evacuate by sea six British and two French units.

Belgian Surrender? Yikes!
Scenario Objectives

The following screenshot shows the map.  Key bridges, cities and the Belgian Army is highlighted.  There are significant French troops in the vicinity of Lille.  Some non-core British units including a unit of combat engineers are also present.

I plan to blow the bridge where the engineers are placed and then send them North on the coast road to blow the bridge leading to the Belgian Army.  A mounted unit of combat engineers from my core force will be placed close to the bridge near Lille so it can be wired for demolition.  Hopefully Lille can hold out four turns and the bridge dropped after the defenders have retreated over the river. 

Key bridges indicated on the map will either be defended or destroyed.  There are multiple areas that must be defended.  The most critical area is immediately North of Ypres.  This ground is flat and German infantry have penetrated within two hexes of Ypres.  If this German probe succeeds, the Lille defenders will be surrounded.

The next most critical areas are just over the river close to the town of Maulde and the open ground North of Lille.  The Germans have crossed the river in force close to Maulde.  A German Heavy Infantry unit has been spotted in the open plains North of Lille.  Last, a German Infantry unit is attempting to ford the river to the South of Lille.

If Ypres falls, everything is doomed.  Thus, both British Armor units and a motorized infantry unit are placed to turn back the German attack North of Ypres.  The slower Matilda unit is placed closest to Dunkirk.

Motorized combat engineers will wire the bridge close to Lille for destruction.  The non-core engineers will blow the Calais bridge on turn 1 and then advance to blow the coast road bridge to the Belgian sector.  Motorized infantry, heavy infantry and an anti-tank gun are placed South of Lille to hopefully stem the German advance from the Maulde bridges.

I purchased a third Spitfire fighter squadron.  All of the fighters are airborne at Lille to hopefully draw in German fighters where the French anti-aircraft gun is placed. A strategic view after troop placement is below. 

Strategic View

Troops can evacuate either at a port or when a unit is adjacent to an allied naval unit.

Evacuation Procedures

German Stukas are the primary air threat against troopships and other naval targets.  Hence, my fighters will concentrate on damaging and hopefully eliminating Stukas.

Turn 1 – Germany moves first.  There are land attacks towards Ypres from the North.  There are attacks targeting Lille from the South, North and East.  One French infantry unit is destroyed East of Lille.  

During my turn I decide to reinforce the 2 strength British unit on the beach to 7 points so it has a better chance to survive evacuation.  Next my unmounted and noncore combat engineers blow the coastal bridge at Gravelines.  My fighters and AA guns concentrate on knocking out Stukas wherever possible.  My mounted, core engineers move to wire the bridge West of Lille for destruction.  Multiple, limited counter-attacks are executed East of Ypres and South of Lille to maul the relatively unsupported lead elements of the German Advance.  Still, my forces retain anti-tank protection close to Lille.  At Ypres I am careful to keep my troops in a formation that makes encirclement difficult.  Note also that both Ypres and Lille are garrisoned by entrenched, heavy infantry in case I made a mistake in my defenses.  All is lost if either city gets taken before the evacuation order.

German Attack Towards Lille Turn 1
Gravelines Bridge Dropped
Targeting Stukas
End Turn 1

Turn 2

German attackers on turn 2 around Ypres are left in a horribly exposed position.  They will pay for their daring!  Close to Lille the Germans are quite conservative bringing up top tier armor units and putting a pincer movement on a French infantry unit.  It will be difficult, if not impossible for the Southernmost French unit close to Lille to survive long enough to be evacuated.

German Attacks Turn 2

The British with help from a unit of French armored cars destroy both over-extended infantry units attacking in the vicinity of Ypres.  British fighters converge and heavily maul a German bomber.  Around Lille units are reinforced and make a slow, fighting retreat. The 7 strength British infantry unit on the beach boards small craft and starts the trek across the English Channel. 

Allied Counterattacks on Turn 2
Strategic View End of Turn 2

Turn 3

Belgium surrenders!  This opens up the Northern flank.  On a prior turn I had put the British infantry unit in Dunkirk on a train and moved it to the bridge.  It will dismount, occupy the city south of the bridge, and stand guard until the engineers can blow it.

Noooooooooo!

The Germans continued their slow advance towards Lille.  However, if they do not take it next turn I can (hopefully) evacuate everything over the river and blow the bridge.  The Ypres sector is largely quiet.

End of German Phase

A German Schnell Boat (think USA PT Boat) attacks North of Dunkirk.  Two gunboats and a French bomber attack it while the British Infantry have moved to one of the evacuation hexes.

Schnell Boat Attacks & British Infantry Evacuates Successfully

British Fighters splash two Luftwaffe squadrons!

Victory 1!
Victory 2!

British and French units retreat towards Lille.  Almost all units are under anti-tank gun over-watch. It will be very difficult for German forces to take Lille next turn. 

Withdrawal Towards Lille

Smoked Spaghetti Squash

I smoked a Spaghetti Squash today. It turned out better than any Spaghetti Squash I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve had it prepared by my Mom growing up, my wife, and one sister-in-law.

What I did was very simple. I split the Squash length-wise. I lightly basted it with olive oil using a brush. I left it on the counter for three hours or so while my salmon steaks were smoking.

After taking the Salmon steaks out, I changed the wood to apple in the smoker. I had soaked the apple wood for two hours, then drained the water and let it sit for another hour or so before starting the squash.

I gave the squash halves one more light basting with olive oil and put a small amount of kosher salt on the halves. The amount of salt was perhaps a teaspoon total for the two halves. I smoked it for 3 hours at around 225-250 keeping the water dish filled. The squash were placed meat down on the rack.

I removed the squash and let them cool. Then I used a dinner fork to remove the meat and discarded the rinds.

They came out very tender and flavorful.

I think you can do two to four spaghetti squash as easily as you can do one – something to remember for next time. I would not use a strong wood for the smoke – a fruit wood is probably best.

I did not use a remote or instant read thermometer for the squash. I tested one half after 2 hours with a metal probe and it was not quite tender enough. So I put it back in for a total of three hours. I think that testing it after 1.5 to 2 hours is probably best.

In summary:

1] Split the squash in half lengthwise.

2] Lightly baste the interior flesh with olive oil.

3] Use apple or another mild smoking wood. Soak the wood six hours or so before cooking. Thoroughly drain the wood an hour or two before smoking.

4] Preheat your smoker to around 225-250 degrees.

5] Lightly baste the squash flesh a 2nd time with olive oil. Lightly season with coarse kosher salt.

6] Put the squash flesh down (rind up) on directly on the grill rack.

7] Check squash after 2 hours or so of smoking for tenderness using a knife or fork.

8] I smoked it a total of 3 hours.

Hickory Nut Smoked Lamb Roast

We were delighted to have Brian & Lisa Anderson visit us in Franklin over the weekend of June 13th. I asked Brian if he wanted me to smoke a pork or a lamb roast – and he enthusiastically said “lamb.”

The night before I rubbed it with large chunk, kosher salt and cut off any excess fat. I also cracked the hickory nuts and immersed the broken parts in water.

The next morning I was up early preheating the smoker, getting the lamb on the counter to raise its temperature, and cutting up half a head of garlic into chunks. I made incisions about a half inch apart throughout the lamb and inserted the garlic chunks. Last, I scored the meat about 1/8th of an inch deep and rubbed in brown mustard with seeds ensuring to get the mustard into the scores on the lamb roast.

I smoked it around 8 hours at 250. I got a good bark on the roast after letting it creep up 10 degrees from 150 to 160 for three hours while the fats and the cartilage melted. When smoking, you will get a steady rise in meat temperature up to the point where the fats and cartilage melt – which cools the meat.

The ingredients are nothing special: good lamb roast, fresh garlic, kosher salt, brown mustard with seeds (I used squirt bottle brown mustard) and hickory nuts.

Gulf Fishing Trip

We went on a 12 hour fishing trip out of Panama City on June 9, 2021. We caught 199lbs of fish – mostly in the Red Snapper family. Our fishers were myself, Lynn, Sam, his friend Ben, Tom Nixon, Danny Butler, Richard Biel and Dan Padgett. Tom’s Granddaughter had a good time also.

Due to the plague, last year was the first time in a decade I did not go deep sea fishing.

We had a very nice day and I think I’ve figured out a way to handle the diabetes dehydration problem. I felt better this trip than I have in the last six or so.

Low Countries Conclusion: Scenario 2 Allies Defiant Order of Battle WW2

Turn 15 to End of Scenario         

Woops!  A German Army advanced through the Ardennes, broke through at Sedan, and is threatening Allied troops in Belgium and Northern France.  Destroying most of the advance units arriving somewhere South/Southeast of Lille is a new secondary objective. 

The last road bridge in the North is blown.  French forces broke contact with the pursuing Germans and another bridge is wired by British Combat Engineers for demolition. 

French forces continue to retreat towards Lille on turn 16.  Since no German bombers have been reported on the front, two fighter units are scouting in the South and Southeast for approaching German units. 

Pursing German units fail to catch up with the French rearguard by turn 18.  A bridge is blown on the approach to Lille making the French defenders task easier.  There are only seven turns left.  All of the road bridges from the North towards Lille have been blown.  The railroad bridge has been mined.  There are a significant number of defenders blocking the approaches to Lille from all directions. 

On turn 19 the lead German spearhead from Sedan attack British forces South of Lille capturing Arras. 

Allied counter attacks near Arras destroy all of the lead Ardennes force spearhead excepting two units on turn 20.  German armor attacks on turn 21 destroying a unit of French armored cars.

However, the British main force with support from French Armor and Infantry attacks on turn 22 destroying the initial spearhead from Sedan giving the Allies a major victory. 

In sum, I’ve played this scenario about a dozen times on the First Lieutenant level of difficulty.  By chance, when I played this scenario for the AAR and screenshots the Allies got very lucky.  Both German Stuka Units blundered into French AA guns without fighter support in the first couple of turns and were destroyed.  Then, a Bf-109 unit made the same mistake and was destroyed.

Next, German Armor pursued without adequate infantry support which enabled the French defenders to effectively use anti-tank guns to severely damage most of the armored units.  This made it easy to pick off the heavily damaged units or to surround and destroy German light armor if it advanced too far in advance of the infantry.

Overall, the strategy was sound but the Allies benefitted from a lot of luck this play through.  I’ve never had this battle nearly this well in a dozen attempts.

Would this strategy work on a higher difficulty level?  I played Norway on the Captain level of difficulty and had no problems.  The Low Countries scenario is more difficult on the Captain level of difficulty – the basic strategy of carefully blowing bridges and having units covered by anti-tank guns is sound. 

This scenario’s AAR contains 69 annotated screenshots and five pages of text.  I’m not redoing the AAR on a different level of difficulty.  However, I did pare down the screenshots from a level 3 difficulty to about a dozen that I will post in the upcoming week on the Slitherine website to demonstrate how the strategy works on a higher difficulty level.

Low Countries Part 3 – Scenario 2 Order of Battle WW2 Allies Defiant

Turns 7 to 9

The allies retreat and the Germans pursue on Turn 7.  During the UK phase another bridge is blown.

German pursuit continues on Turn 8 while the UK combat engineers wire another bridge for demolition at the next defensive river line.  French forces carefully retreat keeping their infantry covered by anti-tank guns. 

British Engineers blow another bridge on Turn 9 and move towards blowing the last bridge in front of the 2nd defensive line. 

Germany faces disaster on Turn 9 on the French sector.  Damaged armor units advanced too far and did not secure their flanks.  Four different armor units were destroyed either by blundering into entrenched infantry backed by anti-tank guns or advancing without flank support. 

Turns 11 to 14

French Forces slowly retreat in an organized fashion.  The biggest German push is by infantry and armored cars on the South bridge, but the assault is repulsed.  By Turn 14 the French have successfully broken contact and are entrenched east of Mons. 

British forces hold their second line behind the blown bridges and by Turn 14 are withdrawing towards Lille. 

Last, I’m providing an overview at the end of Turn 14 showing the Allied armies and spotted German units.

My next update wraps up scenario 2.

Franklin Greenway: Winter 2020 to Spring 2021

Franklin has a multi-purpose Greenway running through much of the town. Much of the greenway is adjacent to the Little Tennessee River and some of its tributaries. Other walking trails lead off the Greenway. The Greenway is in the lowest part of the floodplain – and sometimes parts are underwater for a couple of days. March, 2021 during a week of heavy rain flooded parts of the trail.

Most of the trails are paved with many benches and picnic tables scattered around. There is an extensive kids playground at one spot, an “exercise trail” with places you can do light muscle exercise, a frisbee golf course, many bird houses, and two enclosures for picnics or meetings. During the plague a Zoomba Class ran in one of the enclosures.

People walk, bike, run, sit and read, have picnics, play, and walk their dogs. Most weeks we are in Franklin, we will walk the trail at least twice. Three bridges were taken from other parts of Western North Carolina and relocated to the Greenway.

These pictures are from multiple months when we cared to take pictures. Some outside dog pictures from previous posts were taken on parts of the Greenway. Many of our guests have walked parts of the Greenway.

We love hearing the water and the birdsong, and seeing happy people and dogs on the trail. It is so close that we can take an hour or so to drive, park, walk and return. Our neighborhood is very hilly, and this is a pleasant alternative.

Chimney Swift Tower
Start of a Kids Book Trail
A Fall Bloom from a Plant Unknown to Us
River Very Early Fall
Panzer ready to cross the Nikajack Bridge
River View From Nikajack Bridge – Fall
Nonah Bridge Fall 2020
Nonah Bridge Fall 2020
Third Bridge
Fall Path Beside the River
Nearby Cow Pasture – You can hear cattle and donkey’s on parts of the trail
Fall River
Squat & Gobble Bridge Club Bench

The benches have been donated by various people to commemorate various things. The “Squat & Gobble Bridge Club” bench in memory of Margaret Henry is our favorite.

The closest trail parking area is less than 1.5 miles from our house.