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Total War in Europe: War on the Southern Front Scenario Overviews

 

Total War in Europe Master Scenario List and Overview Part II:

It seems that the scenario numbering convention for this series goes like this:
1XX = TFB, 2XX = WSF, 3XX = Next title in series, etc...

It also bears noting that the scenarios' numbering system can sometimes look as if perhaps a scenario is missing, it appears that the fist digit refers to the title (e.g. 2 = WSF, per above, and the 2nd digit may refer to theater or campaign. E.g. -21X -where the 1 refers to the Greek campaign - just an educated guess on my part, though). I felt this note was needed as the list jumps from 219 to 221 (it may just be period as well - as 22X seems to refer to CW vs Italy and 23X seems to be CW vs Italy/DAK). -ST

War on the Southern Front:

#200-Mareth Line Started Scenario:

The Mareth Line, Tunisia, March 20th 1943. After finally pushing Rommel's DAK and their Italian allies back to Tunisia early in 1943, almost 3 years after the desert war began, Montgomery and the 8th Army had to wait for their supply to catch up with the spearheads, before attacking the pre-war fortifications called the Mareth Line. Finally, by March 20th, Montgomery was ready to breach the line. Getting Started: "On the Mareth Line" is the Getting Started scenario for War on the Southern Front and is to be used, along with the Getting Started help file, to gain familiarity with the game system.

#210-Greece-10-40.scn Italian/Greek War:

Albania, Oct 28th 1940: Mussolini wanted a conquest to show Hitler and the rest of the world that the Italian Army was a capable force. With much bravado, the Italian Army invaded Greece in late 1940. Over 6 divisions' worth of men spearheaded the invasion. Initially taken by surprise, Greek outposts were driven back; but the invasion lost its momentum and stalled. The Hellenic Army rallied to the cause and within a month the Greeks were counter-attacking, forcing the Italians back into Albania. Designer Note: This is a longer scenario than we normally would include, as it covered periods when there was little action, but we felt players would want to try it, although gauging meaningful victory levels for it was challenging.

#211-Greece-10-40_short.scn Italian/Greek War (short):

Albania, Oct 28th 1940: Mussolini wanted a conquest to show Hitler and the rest of the world that the Italian Army was a capable force. With much bravado, the Italian Army invaded Greece in late 1940. Over 6 divisions' worth of men spearheaded the invasion. Initially taken by surprise, Greek outposts were driven back; but the invasion lost its momentum and stalled. The focus of this scenario is the first 16 day (8 game turns) where the Italian Army had the momentum.

#212-Greece-11-40.scn Italian/Greek War (Greek counterattack):

Albania, Oct 28th 1940: After some initial success in the first 16 days, the early invasion of Greece by the Italians came to a stalemate. By mid November the Greek reserves began reaching the front and, while the front with Bulgaria remained quiet, the Greek High Command transferred a number of divisions to the Albanian frontier for their own attack. But the Greeks did not succeed in breaking through and their offensive towards Valona failed. Another stalemate prevailed.

#215-Balkans-4-41.scn Invasion of the Balkans 1941:

Invasion of the Balkans, April 1941: Hitler's advance on the Balkans was motivated by the desire to secure his southern flank before invading Russia, rather than helping his Italian allies. "Operation Punishment" was a masterpiece of German efficiency and the Yugoslavs stood little chance against German organization and armaments. They surrendered unconditionally on April 17th. The Greeks, with their British allies, were left to face the onslaught and the Greek army eventually surrendered April 23rd. The British forces remaining moved south, and some 43000 men were taken off the mainland to Crete, which also fell to the Germans shortly thereafter.

#216-Greece-4-41.scn Invasion of Eastern Greece:

‘Unternehmen Marita’, Greece, April 6th 1941: The German invasion of Greece relied as much on politics as it did on military force. Bulgaria joined the Axis in March 1941, thereby giving Germany excellent bases for an invasion. Yugoslavia joined the Axis on March 25th, and rights were secured to pass through her territory and drive into northern Greece. Greek political pride played into German hands as well; resentment of Italy and Bulgaria resulted in 90% of the Hellenic Army being deployed in Albania, or along the border with Bulgaria. A single division held the entire Yugoslav boundary. Greece’s ego would be her downfall. Britain attempted to parry German gains; the pro-Nazi Greek king was wooed by the Allies, and one armored and two infantry divisions were stripped from North Africa and sent to Greece. OKH had devised an ambitious plan. Using an Army split along two axes, a force of six divisions would drive into Thrace from Bulgaria, lulling the Greeks into believing the Bulgarian deployment was sound, while the main Panzer force passed through Yugoslavia, invading down the Axios River corridor into the Greek heartland. Italian forces would also attack to keep Greek units fixed on the Albanian Front. The plan was nearly un-hinged by a coup in Yugoslavia. The new regime nullified transit rights and renounced all treaties. In response, Hitler ordered the immediate invasion of Yugoslavia to occur with the invasion of Greece. The tanks of the Axios River thrust would just have to fight their way to their start positions.

#217-Greece-4-41_Alt.scn Invasion of Greece (Reinforced):

In his book, "The Grand Alliance", Winston Churchill was often writing his generals in Cairo expounding on them the importance of doing everything virtually within their power to support Greece and the Greek Army in their coming fight against the Germans. Even at the expense of stripping the Middle East of forces needed to defend Egypt and the Nile. The actual plan called for a stronger force to hold the Aliakmon. The army started to move units to Greece on March 5th, but before the plans were complete, the Germans struck. This scenario has the British Army reinforced with the Polish Motorized Brigade and the 7th Australian Division.

#218-Crete-5-41.scn Invasion of Crete:

Crete, May 20th 1941: In the desert, Tobruk was surrounded and Rommel stood on the Egyptian frontier facing the British, who, a few days previously, had halted Operation Brevity to relieve Tobruk. Operation Seelowe, the invasion of Britain, had been cancelled and all eyes were now looking east. Six weeks had passed since the Germans had invaded Yugoslavia and Greece to bail out their Italian partners. Now their attention was focused on the Soviet Union, where Hitler had massed his army on the Russian border for Operation Barbarossa. Thus, in the big picture, Crete was a small sideshow where the Allies clung by their fingernails to southern Europe, the Germans having far greater issues pressuring them. It was at this time, the Germans, at the pinnacle of their airborne power, decided to invade Crete using Generalmajor Kurt Student's crack force of Fallschirmjäger. There were several plans proposed, ranging from one major Drop Zone, to others where troops would arrive scattered in 7 locations. The final plan for "Operation Merkur", or "Mercury", represented a compromise imposed by Reichsmarshall Goering, calling for a morning assault in the Maleme\Canea sector, followed up with two afternoon drops in the vicinity of Rethymnon and Heraklion. Designer Note: To investigate alternative Axis Drop Zones, see scenario # 219.

#219-Crete-5-41.scn Invasion of Crete (Variable Entry):

Crete, May 20th 1941: In the desert, Tobruk was surrounded and Rommel stood on the Egyptian frontier facing the British, who, a few days previously, had halted Operation Brevity to relieve Tobruk. Operation Seelowe, the invasion of Britain, had been cancelled and all eyes were now looking east. Six weeks had passed since the Germans had invaded Yugoslavia and Greece to bail out their Italian partners. Now their attention was focused on the Soviet Union where Hitler had massed his army on the Russian border for Operation Barbarossa. Thus, in the big picture, Crete was a small sideshow where the Allies clung by their fingernails to southern Europe, the Germans having far greater issues pressuring them. It was at this time, the Germans, at the pinnacle of their airborne power, decided to invade Crete using Generalmajor Kurt Student's crack force of Fallschirmjäger. There were several plans proposed, ranging from one major Drop Zone, to others where troops would arrive scattered in 7 locations. The final plan for "Operation Merkur", or "Mercury", represented a compromise imposed by Reichsmarshall Goering, calling for a morning assault in the Maleme\Canea sector, followed up with two afternoon drops in the vicinity of Rethymnon and Heraklion. Designer Note: This scenario explores an alternative landing zone plan using the Strategy | Operations Feature where the Axis player can select where the drop zone will be - historical or alternative.

#221-North Africa 12-40.scn Operation Compass:

North Africa, December 8th 1940: Operation Compass in 1940 was the first battle of the desert war in North Africa. The original intent of the operation was reconnaissance and a limited offensive, with the objective of disrupting Italian forces that had invaded Egypt in September 1940. After the attack began, it soon became clear that the British forces could accomplish more than that. In less than two months the British conducted what turned out to be a blitzkrieg across 500 miles of North Africa, destroying nine Italian divisions and taking 130,000 prisoners. The result of this devastating Italian defeat is what directly caused the arrival of the Desert Fox and his Afrika Korps to Libya in March 1941. Designer Note: Please note the unit withdrawals on both sides.

#230-North Africa-4-41.scn Rommel's First Offensive:

North Africa, March 24th 1941: Rommel had arrived in Tripoli mid February, by mid March he assessed that the British were not going to attack, indeed they were using troops from North Africa to bolster the defence of Greece. Accordingly, he attacked using 5th Light Division with two Italian divisions. Meeting little opposition they swiftly moved east along three axes of advance, arriving piecemeal at Tobruk on April 10th. The British had reinforced Tobruk with the 7th Australian Division which grimly held the port. Rommel bypassed Tobruk and finally ran out of steam after taking the Halfaya Pass at Buq-Buq on April 25th.

#231-North Africa-5-41.scn Operation Brevity:

May 1941: After the Axis had captured the Halfaya Pass, both sides continued to build up strength. Gen Wavell realised that he could not mount a relief operation without occupying the pass, therefore he ordered a three pronged attack to take the pass, Sollum, and Fort Capuzzo. Rommel believed this to be a major advance and swiftly counter attacked in strength, retaking all but the pass. Later, on May 10th, the VIII. Pz Regt outflanked the defenders and compelled them to withdraw. The pass was then reinforced with more fortifications and 88mm anti-aircraft guns.

#232-North Africa-6-41.scn Operation Battleaxe:

June 1942: By June 14th, Gen Ritchie had accepted the fact that the battle for the Gazala Line had been lost, and ordered the units remaining on the front line to break off the action and withdraw. The Axis closed in at once and surrounded Tobruk by June18th. The Australians had held a long siege the previous year, so the upper echelon expected the same again this time. The Tobruk Garrison this time was roughly the same size as before, and was organized around the 2nd South African Division, but the fortifications were not near as strong. Many of the mines had been pulled to be re-sown on the Gazala Line and, through the changing of the garrison, many minefields were simply lost track of. As before, Rommel by-passed Tobruk and drove the 8th Army back across the border into Egypt. But on the night of June 19th, Rommel disengaged his tanks at the front line and doubled back to strike at Tobruk. When the attack began, General Klopper thought the first strike was a diversionary attack and thus was slow to react with his reserves. Before he could, it was too late. The front line was broken in a sector held by the 11th Indian Brigade, with the Cameron Highlanders and Mahratta Light Infantry, perhaps two of the best regiments in the 8th Army, that were, as it turns out, stretched over too much frontage. The fortress of Tobruk, having withstood the siege for months the previous year, fell in a single day's fight. It was a staggering blow to the British, in particular their leader Winston Churchill, who was said to have muttered, "Defeat is one thing, disgrace is another!"

#241-Syria-8-41.scn Invasion of Syria:

Syria, June - July 1941: The Vichy French forces holding Syria and Lebanon were seen as posing a direct threat to the Allies. After the fall of Greece and Crete a force was sent to break the Vichy hold of these countries. It was outnumbered by the Vichy forces, and it took fairly heavy fighting to take Damascus. The force pushed on north and was joined by troops from Iraq, an armistice was signed July 11th which gave control of Syria and Lebanon to the Free French forces.

#250-North Africa-11-41.scn Operation Crusader:

November - December 1941: At this time, both sides were short on supplies, more so the Axis, but Churchill pressed Gen Auchinleck to mount an offensive. XXX Corps would advance to engage enemy armor and relieve Tobruk, while XIII Corps would invest the frontier positions around Fort Capuzzo. Rommel mistook XXX Corps' attack for a strong reconnaissance, and instead of meeting it head on, made strong countermoves to secure the border area. After much confused fighting during which the British lost a large number of their tanks, and a South African Division was nearly destroyed, the 2nd New Zealand Division was able to break through to Tobruk. Rommel decided to withdraw to El Agheila as his troops were close to exhaustion and the supply situation was critical.

#260-North Africa-1-42.scn Rommel's Second Offensive:

January 21st 1942: After the German offensive following Crusader, the Germans were in a position which was, in fact, strategically not too bad. They could not be outflanked and they were closer to their supply base at Tripoli. The British on the other hand were thinly stretched across the Cyrenaica with a long line of communications trailing all the way back to Egypt. With the forces at hand Rommel thought if he struck quickly he could gain local superiority and drive the British back across the desert once again, this time capturing Tobruk and driving all the way to the Nile. Ambitious plans which almost succeeded.

#261-North Africa-5-42.scn Gazala to Alamein:

Gazala, May 27th 1942: After recapturing Cyrenaica early in the year, Rommel and the Africa Korps paused to catch its breath. Facing them, across a minefield stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the French stronghold at Bir Hacheim, some 65km to the south, was the 8th Army. It was led by the ever tentative British commander, General Ritchie, a staff officer who had never commanded anything larger than a company in battle. Ritchie deployed his infantry in a number of defensive boxes along a static front line with an open left flank. This position, known as the Gazala Line, was backed with the only mobile formations, the armored divisions that represented his reserves. Everyone at 8th Army HQ expected Rommel to drive down the main road along the coast. Therefore Rommel provided a diversion in that direction to keep the British command occupied; while he led the powerful panzer divisions and the best of the Italian mobile formations around the end of the line into the British rear area. Dawn found the Axis forces slicing through the screening armored car recon units Ritchie had deployed to cover his open flank. This would be a battle where the British led 8th Army was once again outmanoeuvred. While the position Rommel placed the Africa Korps in was very tenuous for a number of days, due to the lack of supply, poorly co-ordinated British counter-attacks left Rommel to turn a bad situation into one of the greatest victories in his career.

#270-North Africa-10-42.scn Alamein:

El Alamein, October 23rd 1942: Two years had passed in the struggle for control of the Western Desert. Each side had won, and each side had lost, neither side had managed to inflict a decisive defeat on the other. The two sides had frequently been compared to two boxers, each tied with the elastic rope of their supply line, as one moved further from the supply source, the stronger the pull his rope exerted to get him back to his corner. The balance had now passed back to the 8th Army, close to its supply and getting stronger each day, while the Afrika Korps was at the end of its rope and getting weaker. Montgomery had planned a deliberate bleeding of Rommel's daunted troops, attacking here and there to cause them to react and burn precious fuel in constant movement. The time was now ripe to finish the Afrika Korps once and for all. Monty's plan was for XIII Corps to mount holding attacks, while XXX Corps delivered the main blow in the north. Two corridors were to be secured so that the armor of X Corps could move through the extensive minefields and destroy the Axis armor. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the Allied victory at Alamein "The End of the Beginning!"

#271-North Africa-10-42.scn Alamein HTH:

El Alamein, October 23rd 1942: Two years had passed in the struggle for control of the Western Desert. Each side had won, and each side had lost, neither side had managed to inflict a decisive defeat on the other. The two sides had frequently been compared to two boxers, each tied with the elastic rope of their supply line, as one moved further from the supply source, the stronger the pull his rope exerted to get him back to his corner. The balance had now passed back to the 8th Army, close to its supply and getting stronger each day, while the Afrika Korps was at the end of its rope and getting weaker. Montgomery had planned a deliberate bleeding of Rommel's daunted troops, attacking here and there to cause them to react and burn precious fuel in constant movement. The time was now ripe to finish the Afrika Korps once and for all. Monty's plan was for XIII Corps to mount holding attacks, while XXX Corps delivered the main blow in the north. Two corridors were to be secured so that the armor of X Corps could move through the extensive minefields and destroy the Axis armor. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the Allied victory at Alamein "The End of the Beginning!" Once through the Axis line a swift advance was aided by Rommel's withdrawal to El Agheila. Designer Note: This scenario is best played HTH.

#280-NW Africa-11-42.scn Torch Landings:

North Africa, November, 1942: For the powerful Wehrmacht, 1942 was a good year. On the Eastern Front they had reached the Volga and the battle for Stalingrad had begun. In the North Atlantic, the wolf packs roamed, sinking more ships at an alarming rate. But in the desert while the Suez Canal had been threatened, Rommel had been in retreat for a week or more. Now, although things were looking better for the Allies, they could not be said to be winning yet. It was not the Beginning of the End, rather it was perhaps the End of the Beginning. American ground forces were about to enter the war in Europe, coming ashore in Vichy held territory at various strategic places. They were not sure what, if any, opposition they would face. But as author Rick Atkinson said, "They were ready to right a world gone wrong". Designer Note: This is a very small scenario depicting the invasion phase, as the American army sought to secure Casablanca, Oran and Algiers. As the Allies did not know what they would face, which units would fight and which units would surrender, it makes use of Strategy | Operations which under AI Axis control will give this scenario variations in play each time.

#281-NW Africa-11-42.scn Tunisia Campaign:

Tunisia, Nov-Dec 1942: This scenario covers the initial Allied attempt to take Tunis from mid November to late Dec 1942. It starts on Nov 17th, when first contact was made between Allied forces rushing eastward and Axis units that were rushed to Tunisia from Sicily. The Allies tried a quick push to Bizerta, using the British 36th and 11th Infantry Brigades from the 78th Infantry Division, supported by an armored regiment from the British 6th Armored Division. Although this attack was unsuccessful it was quickly followed up by a more concerted and deliberate attack with US, British, and French forces. The scenario ends on Dec 31st, 1942. Historically the Allies halted their offense on Dec 26th after minimal progress was made after a month of tough fighting against Axis forces that continued to grow in strength as reinforcements flowed over from Sicily. Allied casualties were nearly 21,000 over this period.

#283-NW Africa-2-43.scn Tunisia (Kasserine Start):

Tunisia,- Feb, 1943: By early 1943, Rommel was holding off the cautious British on the old Mareth Line where Monty was waiting to build up his supply for the next push. Anderson with a mixed force of British, American, and Free French Troops were pressing from the west. At this time, the Germans tried an audacious plan to strike at the largely green US troops putting the Allies back on their heels. But in the end, the Axis troops were too badly outnumbered and, without control of the sea, they were doomed to wither on the vine. Still, they were able to hold until May 12th, all the while delaying the next phase of the Allies plan to attack Sicily and Italy.

#290-Sicily-7.43.scn Operation Husky:

Sicily, July 9th 1943: With the North African Campaign over, the Allies, at the behest of an impatient Soviet Union, turned towards the invasion of Hitler's Fortress Europe. The island of Sicily was the logical stepping-stone between the Allies' desert victories and the European mainland. In what was something of a dress rehearsal for the much more famous Normandy landings a year later, two Allied armies, the American 7th and the British 8th, set out to invade Sicily. Each supported by its own airborne assault, the invading armies would hit the southern shores and immediately push northward, their ultimate objective the port of Messina at the island's north-eastern tip. The plan called for a Commonwealth thrust along the eastern coastal roads and for an American drive directly through the island's center. The Italian 6th Army, supported by two German divisions, lay in wait across the rugged Sicilian landscape. The Axis forces would use the unforgiving terrain to offer opposition that historians would later immortalize in books with names like "Bitter Victory" and "Sicily: Whose Victory?"


Related Links:

Total War in Europe Spotlight

The First Blitzkrieg Scenario Overviews

 

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