Unfinished business in the Gulf.
You may remember that from this position:
I captured Basra, causing the Brits to scuttle the carrier in port. That left the three BBs. They were free to move to the Atlantic, where they were liable to meet lots of hungry U-boats. I was free to bomb them to pieces; if I didn’t mind running the gauntlet of Kragdob’s FTRs. So there they sat for quite a while. Eventually I overran Ahwaz and the FTRs moved off. And I had a couple of spare subs and moved them to the Gulf. Whilst this was happening I was shipping round a flow of transports from the conquest of Morocco to Basra. Each one popped out of the transportation hex and neatly into Basra port. I was nearly ready to start Operation Clear-the-Gulf when a German submarine upgrade came up. As nothing exciting was happening I nipped into Kuwait City to take advantage.
Mistake. The next transport decided not to head straight for port, but instead parked itself next to an Allied BB! I wish that I knew how the AI decided where to deposit ships leaving transportation loops. The red blobs are all that are left of my transport:
I hit back with the German sub but decided to keep the Italian as a surprise:
Then some odd moves from Kragdob. The damaged BB runs for the Atlantic. The Free French BB tries to join it but runs into the Italians – who inflict no damage but at least don’t get too badly knocked around themselves. The third BB proceeds to hide in a corner of the Persian Gulf. This seems a very odd move.
I close up and hit the FF BB:
Kragdob swaps his BBs and the second gets the treatment:
Meanwhile the damaged BB has arrived in the Atlantic:
Note that it is now on 5 steps, not 7. This makes me think that it was ambushed by the Italian sub, lost a couple of steps and was involuntarily sucked into the Atlantic transport loop. I didn’t realise that that could happen. A couple of feeble attacks by the Italians:
And the survivors ran for the Red Sea. They would keep. Note in the last pic my sub near the convoy bouncing off one of Kragdob’s subs, which he is gamily but effectively using as escorts.
In the Gulf I finished off the British BB and then sent the Italian sub back to the Atlantic:
The FF BB proved a tough nut to crack. (So did the other one, off Casablanca. Do they have some special inbuilt anti-sub advantage?)
Then off to the Red Sea:
And the Casualty Table end of the Axis move, turn 57. Kragdob has lost 5 BBs, although 2 have been Free French. The rest of his naval losses will be DDs.
You might gather from this, quite correctly, that the war in Russia is not going well. More on this later.