Report on the crossing to Italy (USEAAR, #18)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) and therefore entirely fictitious.

Written by Salvatore Graniti, Secretary of Legation in the Italian diplomatic service, assigned as liaison officer to the staff of the British Army in Italy

Palmi, November 1, 1941

To his Excellency the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Italy
Sir,
the following report on the military progress of the forces of the Kingdom of Italy and those of our esteemed ally, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in the Italian theater of war is most humbly submitted to you.
I am pleased to report that we have taken the initiative and crossed an entire army into Calabria. The German forces have been forced to retreat. The commander of the British Army in Italy, Lt. Gen. Bernard Montgomery, is confident that we can hold the bridgehead over the winter and threaten flanking attacks either into Lazio or into Apulia early in 1942.

1941-11-01

Bernard Montgomery watches his tanks move up. Original picture taken in North Africa, November 1942, National Archives of the United States, National Archives identifier 535938.

Our own forces are in the process of rebuilding. We have put together a division which participated in the crossing of the Straits of Messina. As a testament to Italian spirit and courage, our men have been among the first to disembark on the shores of mainland Italy. However, I must report to you that this has effected disproportionate losses among them. With heavy hearts, we have buried 3,597 soldiers and 183 officers.
As the officers in the recruitment centers in Palermo and Catania report, volunteers have become scarcer since the news of the crossing. However, we have every reason to be confident that our ranks will swell with patriots from the mezzogiorno and that by spring the division will be combat-ready again. In any case, when Garibaldi set out from Genoa to Sicily, he only had 1,000 with him, and yet his expedition was irresistible. We shall march that way in the opposite direction.
I have the honor to remain your most obedient servant, yet now on the soil of our beloved peninsula,
Salvatore Graniti, Secretary of Legation, assigned as liaison officer to the staff of the British Army in Italy

You can see the current state of affairs in the game in the Twitter thread:

5 thoughts on “Report on the crossing to Italy (USEAAR, #18)

    1. cliosboardgames Post author

      Thanks for stepping by, Sal!
      Salvatore Graniti was originally planned as a one-off (https://cliosboardgames.wordpress.com/2019/09/08/notes-of-the-diplomatic-proceedings-in-rome-useaar-4), but by now he’s one of my favorite recurrent characters (https://cliosboardgames.wordpress.com/2019/11/28/report-on-the-new-prime-minister-of-the-united-kingdom-useaar-12/). I feel like he should be promoted to Counsellor of Legation soon!

      Like

      Reply
    1. cliosboardgames Post author

      Thanks! I am surprised myself at the turns the game takes – most recently, when the British invasion of Brittany failed (despite having a +6/0 combat modifier – but they rolled a 1 and the Axis a 6, not enough to dislodge the defenders). And, of course, there is always the uncertainty which strategy the community will decide on in the polls (like the current one on the British invasion plans for 1942 – vote if you have not already: https://twitter.com/cliosboardgames/status/1216292308687163398).

      Liked by 1 person

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