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Bill101, December 13, 2012 in Strategic Command - World War 1: The Great War 1914-1918
Dar-es-Salaam has finally fallen, and we must salute its brave defenders for their heroic stand.
Wintgens has outmanouevered the Portuguese, and is now poised to liberate Kionga. The most surprising thing is that the Portuguese forces are deployed along our frontier, but have failed to garrison Palma!
Wahle succeeds in liberating Usinge and beating some South African cavalry to within an inch of their life. Was it a wise move on Wintgens part? It’s too early to tell, but it was certainly a bold move!
- Bill breaking the stalemate boldly, should be fun the next few turns to see the result of this gamble !
- I wonder what those Portuguese were thinking... Seems they were completely surprised. I can only hope a lone shell from that cruiser doesn't kill the brilliant Wintgens.
The Portuguese lure of seemingly empty cities along the coast line (notably Palma) has convinced the Germans to move south. Will the rest of them follow? De Palma hopes to see the easternmost German force cross the river, hopefully allowing him to pin them with their backs to the sea. While the Portuguese ground forces are weak, with the support of naval gunfire, they can make up for their lack of artillery.
As will be seen, the victorious British forces at Dar-es-Salaam are now flush with replacements, and will soon move---well, they will move. Let's just leave it at that for now.
But suffice it to say, Smuts has a plan. Part of it depended upon the Germans fragmenting their forces all over the theatre, which now seems to be the case. If we can cut their lines of transport and communication, they have a big problem. And even if we don't succeed in that, we would be equally happy to see them spending scarce resources on transporting their units from one place to another, rather than on replacements.
We'll see how that works out
The following map shows the options for the British at Dar-es-Salaam. Move south? West? Both?
- Mmmmh, going for a second encirclement in the south east to split german forces in three looks very tempting but it will widen the gap between UK forces. Maybe is it what Germans are waiting for... And it's not like Wahle is bottled up yet ^^ .
- I'm a bit afraid for that 8 steps portuguese division, many Askaris around, if it breaks, those regiments along the coast will be in trouble.
The Portuguese lose Kionga and their Askari unit too!
Wintgens is our hero in the east, and von Lettow-Vorbeck may well be our hero in the west, as a large German force is now advancing south down the eastern side of Lake Nyasa.
Wahle succeeds in destroying those pesky South African cavalry near Lake Tanganyika. Despite the joint attacks of thousands of British and Belgian troops, Germany still retains a strong presence here, and we intend to hold it for as long as the war continues.
Here is the situation in April 1918:
Our advance into Portuguese territory is going well, both in the west and in the east!
Portuguese African Levies are really no more than speed bumps, and two are destroyed with another badly damaged.
The British Nandi Scouts also take a hammering. Given their low supply level, one has to wonder what are they doing North East of Fort Maguire. Were they planning an ambush perhaps?
Wahle carries out a successful mobile operation at Usinge, to the east of Lake Tanganyika, to free our Askari at Usinge from the clutches of the British advance there. The British lose a regiment in the process.
The Entente strategy in East Africa is in tatters, and the war cabinet back in London has no idea how to fix it. Instead of trapping the Germans and cutting them off from the sea, all that has been accomplished is to scatter the Entente forces all over the map, fighting everywhere, and winning nowhere.
There was little in the way of combat and so all that there is to report is that the supply of propaganda posters is in good shape, unlike the morale of our men in the field.
In all likelihood, a pullback will be required, and some R&R time to bring morale up to snuff.
Wintgens and von Lettow-Vorbeck continue their respective advances into Portuguese territory, down the east and western sides of the colony. Enemy resistance is overcome, though it looks as though the British are shoring up their defenses near Fort Maguire, and the Belgians have sent some Recon Bombers too.
Wahle rests his men at Ujiji this turn, pending the next bout of fighting.
Meanwhile, Kraut discovers that an enemy advance on Tabora was merely a distraction, as the village of Kitunda to its south west was taken by the British, but then evacuated.
A little operation elsewhere is also planned, details to follow once all can be revealed…
Palma is taken from the Portuguese!
Their defenders are destroyed as Wintgens leads his men to victory.
Meanwhile, von Lettow-Vorbeck now has Fort Maguire directly threatened as the 4th King’s African Rifles were defeated in a valiant but futile attempt to halt our advance.
Neu Langenburg is re-garrisoned and an enemy unit of Levies destroyed. The situation here is a little precarious, but that is the price of our commander’s advance into Portuguese territory.
It looks as though the enemy spotted my small force that was advancing on Dar-es-Salaam from the south. It was too weak to liberate the city, but sufficiently strong to distract the enemy from operations elsewhere. So, mission accomplished!
AT NEU LANGENBURG, BRITISH TEN POUNDER ARTILLERY BEING PREPARED FOR ACTION!
Operations in most sectors were confined to maneuver, but there was a brief artillery bombardment of Neu Langenburg, followed by another attack. Although the defender was not destroyed this time, the losses to the Germans were quite significant and a follow-on attack certainly seems warranted.
The first British units are trickling into Portuguese territory now, and at Ujiji we are feeling confident that we will eventually eliminate the German presence. In hindsight, more artillery would have been a good idea.
Wintgens attack on the Portuguese continues successfully, and we are now poised to strike either Mueda or Mocimboa da Praia. Or both.
Von Lettow-Vorbeck captures Fort Maguire and the Entente’s defensive strategy in this area looks to be in a bad way, depending on what reinforcements may be on their way. Those Portuguese are going to be lucky to escape to Fort Johnston with their lives!
Major Kraut now makes his surprise move at Neu Langenburg! He’s advanced round the British northern flank, liberated Mbejahof, and now has the enemy caught between two fires.
Very little movement by Entente forces this turn. The German offensive at Fort Maguire is forcing us to use new units that were supposed to go elsewhere. The flanking move at the Neu Langenburg front was a complete surprise. However, I think we can manage that problem more easily than the problem at the Fort Maguire front.
Mmmh very interesting moves Bill ,
- But I understand why Happycat isn't so concerned about Neu Langenburg. Narrow front and mountains at Mbejahof help defense. At worst, falling back on Fife seems possible.
On the other hand, Mbozi gap looks open for new adventures if supply can follow ^^ .
- I'm also worrying a bit about that ongoing Ujiji kessel, will it keep all those enemy units busy long enough to achieve decisive strikes on other fronts ? Counting on you two to come with a fun answer .
Wintgens seizes Mueda on the east coast, destroys some Portuguese Levies to the North East, and then decides to consolidate his position for the moment.
Von Lettow-Vorbeck is bolder in the west, destroying one British and one Portuguese unit, and capturing Blantyre is now a distinct possibility.
Kraut is also on the move, destroying some Belgian Levies in Mbozi and threatening not only the British rear facing Neu Langenburg, but also Bismarckburg and Abercorn further west.
Both British and Belgian Imperial Prestige are falling, the British now standing at 66% and the Belgian at 72%. Portuguese East Africa is currently in a better position, standing at 84%, but that is the most visibly in decline as our forces invade it from multiple directions.
About the only opportunity on this front is an attack on the levy at Mkalinzo. Even that paltry unit manages to hold out against two regiments of British troops.
All in all, when looking at the current situation it's difficult for us to remember that we actually DID have a strategy for East Africa. It has proven to be a bankrupt one. Cutting the Central Railway did nothing for our cause, and the mobility of the Germans, coupled with a superb plan, has been our undoing.
The best we can do now is try to hold on at Ujiji---while we are deployed for attack, in truth we are very much on the defensive. At Neu Langenburg, the Germans have some options, but probably not enough troops to capture Fife. The terrain is in our favour here.
The Portuguese are in serious difficulty, and their territory will soon be split in two, we fear. But with British troops and an HQ backing them up, they should be able to hang on to their coastal cities (those they still control, that is).
Fort Maguire is an unmitigated disaster, and there is little we can do about it except swallow hard and take our lumps.
The prediction is that this war will not go into another winter, and if that is true, then major parts of East Africa will have changed hands. It will be a mess for the negotiating teams to work out at some future date. We simply need to do what we can to ensure that our losses do not put our dear General Smuts in too bad of a light when compared to his colleagues, who have performed rather better on the Western Front.
Here is an overview of the current situation:
The brave defenders of Fort Johnston resist our attacks, at least for now!
Wintgens is continuing to regroup and resupply his men in the east, though some finish off an enemy unit whose presence was disturbing their rest.
On Lake Tanganyika, Bismarckburg is liberated! This may be our high water mark in this area, but this success alone has been worth it, especially as it has taken the pressure off Neu Langenburg.
Further north, we batter, but do not destroy, a Belgian unit. The enemy’s attack on Ujiji really does appear to have been slowed to a halt compared with how things looked last year.
August of 1918 now, and things look grim for the Entente in East Africa. The fighting at Ujiji has drained Belgian morale to the point where they must be withdrawn from the front lines.
The map below shows a quick view of other aspects of the East African campaign, but overall not much is happening with Entente forces now. With only five turns left, we're not making any plans for a victory parade in Nairobi, and will be fortunate to not lose Blantyre, which would be severe blow to British pride.
The Belgians have disappeared! We aren’t going to get too carried away though, just in case Tombeur is pulling back to regroup and attack us should we overextend ourselves.
Kraut sends some Askari to capture Saisi in Northern Rhodesia, only a short distance from Abercorn. But at the same time a British brigade takes a hammering near Fife. What do we do next?
While Wintgens rests his main force, he sends some to deal with a minor Portuguese incursion into our territory near Tunduru.
Von Lettow-Vorbeck captures Fort Johnston, and some enemy Levies are destroyed at Ncheu to the south west. The way is now clear for a march on Blantyre!
Looks like the germans will hold out after all.
Now the British are retreating too! Either we have beaten them up so badly that they don’t want to get beaten any more, or they are trying to lure us out into the open field away from our more secure positions near Ujiji.
Fair play to the enemy for capturing Tabora!
We’ve had to force march some Askari from Mueda to prevent the Portuguese from seizing Tunduru in the south. This will unfortunately buy the Portuguese some time in which to restore their defences, but cannot be helped.
Aside from these distractions from the main areas of conflict, von Lettow-Vorbeck now stands poised to attack Blantyre, and Kraut’s position north west of Fife is improving as we destroy a British unit there.