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JFKoski
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"New" Front: Italian East Africa Tue, 13 August 2013 03:46
Hi,
I've been playing old scenarios with Italians (online on Vassal), using the New Italian High Command rule: start w/6 cards and hand reduced by 1 for each unit loss (but not below 3). I found that some scenarios aren't really set in the Mediterranean; they're set in Italian East Africa.

In the 1800s there were only two African countries that weren't conquered and turned into colonies: Liberia in West Africa (where freed American slaves went, which then might be called a colony) and Ethiopia (Abyssinia) in East Africa. The Italians saw an opportunity first colonizing neighboring Eritrea then invading Ethiopia, but the Ethiopians repelled them in 1896. The Italians returned under Mussolini in 1936 to conquer and occupy Ethiopia in what's called the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. It's written this was his main conquest without German back-up or rescue. (Did he have help in the Invasion of Albania?)

When World War II was declared, Britain was concerned Axis forces in Italian East Africa (modern-day Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Djibouti) could threaten Egypt and the Suez canal. However, Italy was a poor country and had trouble supplying Italian East Africa. Ethiopia was a fertile land, so Italian occupying troops were pretty well-fed.

Allied forces fought the Italians from Kenya, Belgian Congo, and Sudan, defeating them and liberating Ethiopia in 1941.

I found that jdrommel came up with an interesting look for the East African front: he used a countryside board with normal hills, but used desert roads & towns, palm forests and field bunkers, escarpments and wadis. I like this look! So far RBorg hasn't used it for Gallabat & Metemma.

[update:]
Some people have said they want more from Memoir '44. I think there's plenty to keep us occupied this year. The Equipment Pack for instance, has more than figures and several scenarios. It has new and updated rules that can apply to East Africa:
-Italian High Command (Nations 6: start w/6 cards, and lose a card with each unit loss, down to 3),
-French Army (Nations 7: Stay-in-Place attack for Vichy French & Free French),
-early war Machine Gun (SWAs #8: move OR battle),
-Allied Air Power = 1 die.

Previously I posted some pics of SFTF with the East African look. When going back to add links, I figured I'd put them in chronological order.

Battle of Moyale, Kenya, 1940:
http://www.daysofwonder.com/memoir44/en/memoire_board/?id=12297
==========

Gallabat & Metemma is a lame scenario unless you play with Air Rules and/or Italian High Command and BCF rules (and 1d Allied Air Power?). But here's my version of it in this format (the river represents a gorge, but there's only 6 wadi's in TP + Med Theater). Even if you set it up in M'44 Online where there's no limit, you couldn't have bridges over wadis without units being able to enter them from the bridge, like Balkas.

Gallabat & Metemma, 1940:
http://m44sed.wikispaces.com/file/view/Gallabat-East-Africa.jpg.jpg/446430344/Gallabat-East-Africa.jpg.jpg

Some of jdrommel's East African Scenarios use the desert board. I've asked him to update them.

EAST AFRICAN SCENARIOS:
Battle of Moyale: Kenya, July 15, 1940.
Gallabat & Metemma: Sudan/Ethiopia border, November 1940. By RBorg.
French Cavalry's Charge: Eritrea, Jan. 2, 1941. Italians 2-4 cards like Pegasus Bridge, Cavalry, 5 Medals.
Battle of Agordat: Eritrea, Jan. 21, 1941. Cavalry.
Battle of Cub-Cub: Eritrea, Feb.19-21 1941. Stone Fort, Free French.
Capture of Asosa: Ethiopia, March 11, 1941. Machine Gun, 5 Medals.
Gambela: Ethiopia, March 22, 1941. MG, depleted unit, Fordable-41.
Storm on Massawa: Eritrea, April 8, 1941. Forts (on hills), shore, marshes, Free French.
Bortaï river - Action 1: Ethiopia, April 15, 1941. MG, Fordable-41.
Bortaï river - Action 2: Ethiopia, April 24, 1941. MG, Mortar, Fordable-41.
Bortaï river - Action 3: Ethiopia, June 8, 1941. MG, Mortar, Fordable-41.
Mogi Pass: Ethiopia, June 9, 1941. Machine Guns & Mortars.
The Fall of Saïo: Ethiopia, July 3, 1941. MG, Fordable-41.

I don't know if you'd consider Madagascar as East African. With deforestation today, it probably looks like it, but I don't think it's yet to the point of a North African desert.
Capture of Diego Suarez: Madagascar, May 5, 1942. British vs Vichy French!

[Mis à jour le: Sun, 25 August 2013 22:30]

      
JFKoski
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Re:"New" Front: Italian East Africa Mon, 19 August 2013 17:44
Here's a couple more for those interested:

I'm happy to report that jdrommel updated more of his East African (Eritrea & Abyssinia) scenarios to match others with desert tiles on inland board. In the next one, French Army (Nations 7) rules are now standard for the Free French.

French Cavalry's Charge in Eritrea, Jan. 1941. Axis start with 2 cards and draw 2 each turn until full, like Pegasus Bridge.
http://www.daysofwonder.com/memoir44/en/memoire_board/?id=6807

==========

Here's another cavalry battle in East Africa; it's an official scenario from the French Open 2013. This one uses Night Attack rules which gives the Italian cavalry (all Axis units) an advantage against British units out in the open, if they can attack quickly.

Battle of Agordat, Jan 21, 1941:
http://www.daysofwonder.com/memoir44/en/memoire_board/?id=10795

[Mis à jour le: Sun, 25 August 2013 05:46]

      
JFKoski
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Re:"New" Front: Italian East Africa Wed, 21 August 2013 07:07
Here's a scenario that looks much better in East-African style! The Free French are attacking an Italian fort in Eritrea. The sandbags represent a permanent defense like Sea Wall, and jdrommel clarified bunkers are field bunkers. He's also made French Army (Nations 7) rules standard for the Free French.

Battle of Cub-Cub, Feb. 1941:
http://www.daysofwonder.com/memoir44/en/memoire_board/?id=6605

==========

The Belgians from Belgian Congo (Free Belgians?) decided to join the fight against the Italians in East Africa. They put together a force and sent it up-river in the Congo, where it crossed very difficult terrain to invade Ethiopia.

Capture of Asosa - First Belgian Victory, March 1941:
http://www.daysofwonder.com/memoir44/en/memoire_board/?id=10452

[Mis à jour le: Mon, 26 August 2013 17:39]

      
JFKoski
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Re:"New" Front: Italian East Africa Sat, 24 August 2013 21:32
I decided to start playing with the Air Power rule from Equipment Pack: Allied Air Power only rolls 1d for each target. France 1944 saw Allied dominance of the air, so 2d makes sense there. But I think that wasn't the case during Sicily and earlier. Gambela is the first scenario where I used it.

Gambela- The Sugar Loaf, Ethiopia, March 22, 1941
http://www.daysofwonder.com/memoir44/en/memoire_board/?id=10465

==========

Meanwhile, the Free French continue to fight the Italians in Eritrea. Here they "storm" the defenses on the coast of the Red Sea. French Army rules are now standard for the Free French. Two of the forts are said to be on hills, so they can get the plateau effect when battling other hills. It's such a beautiful map in East African format!

Storm on Massawa, Eritrea, April 8, 1941:
http://www.daysofwonder.com/memoir44/en/memoire_board/?id=6606

[Mis à jour le: Sun, 25 August 2013 06:07]

      
JFKoski
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Re:"New" Front: Italian East Africa Sun, 25 August 2013 06:26
The Belgians and Congolese are having a hard time coming up to the highlands of Ethiopia (referred to as Abyssina). There's 3 scenarios (terrain differs only slightly so I'll spare you 3 pics) in the region of Bortaï, also called the Bortaï brook or flood. I haven't tested the Bortaï River scenarios yet, but other scenarios still hold together upon reducing Machine Guns from Late War MG (SWAs 7) to early war (SWAs 8) where they can either move OR battle.

Bortaï river - Action 2, April 24, 1941:
http://www.daysofwonder.com/memoir44/en/memoire_board/?id=10585
==========

Case in point, I did play this next scenairo with early war MGs, and it was quite a challenge. If you played that they had late war MGs that could move and battle as normal infantry, it would be that much harder for the Belgians to take them out.

Mogi Pass, Ethiopia, June 9, 1941:
http://www.daysofwonder.com/memoir44/en/memoire_board/?id=10607

[Mis à jour le: Mon, 26 August 2013 17:41]

      
JFKoski
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Re:"New" Front: Italian East Africa Sun, 25 August 2013 06:51
As far as I know this is the last in sequence of jdrommel scenarios in Italian East African. If I missed one, please let me know. I see there are other sub-Sahara African scenarios, but they wouldn't fit the East African look (exception follows).

The Fall of Saïo - Last Victory, Ethiopia/Abyssinia, July 3, 1941:
http://www.daysofwonder.com/memoir44/en/memoire_board/?id=10591

=========

I don't know much about Vichy France. Was it a puppet government to avoid formal German occupation of southern France? Or was it a full fascist state, like Spain? With the fall of France, it appears the French colonies had to decide to whom their loyalties lie. Some became Free French, and others like this one in Madagascar became Vichy French. As a result, in May 1942, the British fought the Vichy French! Besides BCF (Nations 5) rules, jdrommel has updated it to include French Army (Nations 7) rules standard.

Capture of Diego Suarez,
Operation Ironclad - British Landing in Madagascar,
May 5-7, 1942:
http://www.daysofwonder.com/memoir44/en/memoire_board/?id=4790

Again this looks much better in East-African format, than on the North African desert map. Thanks to jdrommel for coming up with this idea and updating his other East African scenarios to be consistent!

I believe many of the above scenarios are balanced, can use new rules (from E.P.), and have sufficient variety for entertainment. If these had been published in booklet-form, I think many of you would have been pleased to purchase it.

=====
There had to be scenarios to depict the sad conflict between Free French forces and Vichy French colonial forces for control of the colony. The one I saw ([Gabon] Landing near Libreville) was in tropical Africa, and is a better fit for the Pacific Theater than East Africa. Both sides use French Army rules standard, but the Free French have landed several special forces units from the Foreign Legion.


[Mis à jour le: Sun, 25 August 2013 07:05]

      
van Voort
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Re:"New" Front: Italian East Africa Sun, 25 August 2013 23:41
JFKoski wrote on Sun, 25 August 2013 05:51



I don't know much about Vichy France. Was it a puppet government to avoid formal German occupation of southern France? Or was it a full fascist state, like Spain?


Little bit of A and a little bit of B.

There were certainly enough French not enamoured of the Republic to view a Conservative Dictatorship as not the worse thing that could happen.

Enthusiastic fascists were rather thinner on the ground (as they were in Spain, there were fewer after Franco allowed them to volunteer for Russia)

It's probably fair to say that were was more Anti-British sentiment than pro-German sentiment.


Most of the French military stayed loyal to Vichy rather than go with De Gaulle, but many of them were waiting for an opportunity to backstab the Germans.


After the event of course many collaborators rationalised their behaviour claiming exactly that.


It's a complex position full of moral ambiguities for all concerned



Quote:


With the fall of France, it appears the French colonies had to decide to whom their loyalties lie. Some became Free French, and others like this one in Madagascar became Vichy French. As a result, in May 1942, [b]the British fought the Vichy French



One of my first designs is on that:

http://www.daysofwonder.com/memoir44/en/editor/view/?id=1031 9

[Mis à jour le: Sun, 25 August 2013 23:41]

      
JFKoski
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Re:"New" Front: Italian East Africa Sat, 07 September 2013 06:03
I read something interesting (or perhaps relevant to today's events) regarding the Italian conquest of Ethiopia.

The League of Nations was set up with one of its principles being that if one nation launched agressive war against another member, the others would join forces to stop it. Ethiopia was a member, but France and Britain did nothing to stop Italian aggression and their invasion from Eritrea and Italian-Somaliland. After the Ethiopians launched an offensive (or counter-offensive) against Italian troops, apparently the Italians used chemical weapons against the Ethiopians, particularly dropping a blister-agent or mustard gas by plane.

With the outcome now an inevitable Italian victory, Emperor Haile Selassie fled to exile. He gave a speech to the League of Nations, saying "It is us today. It will be you tomorrow."

In July 1936, the League of Nations voted to end sanctions against Italy for their invasion of Ethiopia. France and Britain recognized Italian control over Ethiopia in 1938.

-Wikipedia, The Second Italo-Ethiopian War

My history books, classes and programs, always said the European nations were so horrified by poison gas that they signed a treaty in Geneva, and it was such a great accomplishment that they didn't use chemical weapons during World War 2, or in wars since. Well, that's obviously not true. Apparently, the lessons learned were that you don't use chemical weapons against a nation that can retaliate with it. Ethiopia didn't have the capability of a chemical weapons attack on Rome, nor could the Kurds have struck back against Baghdad, and the rebels in Syria can't launch a chemical weapons attack in Damascas... so there we are.
      
van Voort
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Re:"New" Front: Italian East Africa Sat, 07 September 2013 12:52
The British had plans to use chemical weapons to repulse an invasion, and I believe it was mooted at some point later as well.

I believe it was also planned for the Invasion of the Japanese Home Islands, which would have been a truly unpleasant affair for all concerned.

Neither Stalin nor Hitler did so, even in extremis.

The Japanese did some biological and chemical research at Unit 731, which is not a place I advise you to research unless you want to destroy whatever faith in humanity you still retain, and used them in China on a small scale.


Pre WWII also say the British use them in various colonial campaigns, I believe the French and Spanish used them also.

Post WWII the Iraqis used them in the war with Iran, needing to break up attacks of massed Iranian volunteers and there are rumours of some special gas used by the Soviets in Afghanistan.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.


The rule of thumb is that pretty much you don't use chemical weapons against anyone able to retaliate, largely because anyone able to retaliate also has a defence and chemical weapons are very good against anyone who is defenceless and pretty useless otherwise.
      
    
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