The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: April 1999 (page 1 of 2)

Jun II 16

The Italians pull back the divisions they pulled from the front lines. They concentrate these divisions to bolster the defenses around Verona and in front of Milano. The French consolidate their defense and pull back behind the Marne River. The French also disband the rest of their rifle brigades for the manpower points. The British build up to continue the offensive against Lens.

The British open up on Lens with a bombardment after the recon missions were returned to base by German fighters and anti-aircraft fire. The bombardment goes through at a disadvantage (-1 DRM from the fort) and disrupts two divisions and a cadre. The Germans fire a defensive bombardment, this time at the two flanking corps from the two flanking German corps. This bombardment succeeds in disrupting the artillery and support units in both corps and a division. The attack is now a 3.0:1 with no modifiers. A 1 is rolled – an AX! The result cadres 12 British and 3 Canadian divisions. The Germans cadre 4 German and 1 Wurttemburg divisions. A clear German victory.

The Zeppelins terror bomb London yet again. A lack of resource points with the proper HQs keep the Austrians from reacting. A lack of reaction from the German HQs save the French for at least one player turn longer.

The Entente lost 54 British, 20 Canadian Manpower, and 34 Equipment points. The Central Powers lost 24 German, 6 Wurttemburg Manpower, and 10 Equipment points.

Tom: This turn is a disaster. The fall of Reims during the Central Powers turn and now the damaging of the British army is almost too much. The French are below 20 morale points and the game could end this turn anyway. I hope to hold out until next turn, a production cycle, and activate the French training garrison. What does the effect on French Manpower points matter now? My only hope is that the German losses will be enough to slow Carl down for a while. Things are pretty bleak.

The Germans build new Zeppelin bases in Gent (KLM) and Lille. This will enable them to reach London on a single leg. A Zeppelin is aborted by anti-aircraft fire over London. The Austrians continue to reinforce their drives on Milano and Verona. The Germans follow the retreating French and prepare to cross the Marne River at Epernay.

The Germans attack the French 17th Corps at Epernay. The bombardment is extremely deadly and the French 17th Corps is pounded into oblivion. The French refuse to reinforce the hex with reserves (what reserves?) and the Germans capture Epernay. The French 9th Corps is attacked from Toul and a DX results. A joint Austrian and German assault on Verona begins with a bombardment with fixed results. The following assault ends in a DX result.

The Entente fail to react.

The Central Powers lost 5 Austrian Manpower and 16 Equipment points. The Entente lost 17 French Metropolitan, 12 Italian, 5 French African Manpower, and 35 Equipment points. French morale stands at 7.5 points.

Carl: The French are doing a forward defense. This is what has really cost them in bombardments. I have almost the entire German artillery located around Epernay, a total of over 45 artillery regiments that were able to reach that hex and bombard. I do not know if I would do this type of artillery concentration again, but the only counter to it is to keep a few divisions in the front lines and keep a massive amount of reserves that can enter the hex to hold the line. If I had spread the artillery out along the line, I could be attacking in more places. At the moment, however, I do not have the manpower or equipment points to maintain any type of offensive and I am also running low on resource points. The British offensive is halted, at least I hope so. I do not have the reserves to continue losing the manpower up there and maintain the pressure on the French. The French should only last another turn or two at most. Tom will probably call up the training garrison (nothing to lose at this time) and hope to hold me up some how. The British may do another attack on Lens, but if they do not capture the hex I should be okay. We both need the upcoming production cycle for the manpower, equipment, and resource points.

Dec II 1942

In Allied Army HQ, in Trondheim, the British C-in-C is briefing his new US subordinates on the expected future of the campaign. His Canadian and British Divisional Commanders have returned from the front to help sort out supply difficulties to ensure the final break through to Oslo can occur. While they speak, it is noticed that the air has become chilly. Stepping outside, they are confronted by falling snow, becoming thicker as they watch. Its going to be a white christmas in Norway.

Glomma Valley

Several Allied units are pulled back to remain in supply leaving an advance guard in position. This is done over the protest of the Norwegian government who asks to form a flying column of volunteers to try and wrest Oslo from the German occupier. The request is politely refused. The Germans remain in position and the 69th is rebuilt to full strength. With the worsening weather and the extended supply lines, the German commander knows he has held on long enough to defeat the Allied plan of capturing Oslo He relaxes in his HQ with a cigar and brandy, savouring the bitter sweet semi victory he has achieved when the door is kicked in and Gestapo agents drag him off to Rastenburg to explain in person to Hitler his account of the campaign before being flown into Stalingrad to take charge of the situation there.

German Victory Points- 34

Allied Victory Points – 30 + 26 for cities and ports captured = 56

Comments

The key to German victory is use the KM to take on the Allied TFs. Even if all German ships are sunk, as long as they get equal amounts of hits on the Allies, the German player will get twice the victory points to help make up for the loss of ports he will suffer. I didn’t use my German TFs aggressively enough and tried to rely on the LW making naval strikes. Pretty much a waste of time due to high AA cover, especially in Port.

For the Allied player, they have lots of LCs and Amphibious units and more (yes more!) task forces available for this campaign than are available in Second Front. The secret is to use them to over come the piffling CDs and set up for some good NGS to support to seize the ports. The Guerrillas are pretty powerful too. They caught me on the hop several times, especially in the initial set up and their use in overrunning the Trondheim Airbase and CDs in the area. I think the Russian front is a bit of a waste of time. No victory can be won here, although you could lose by being too reckless.

Overall a pretty mobile and fluid game. Short too, we were in the Pubs after a few hours making a nuisance of ourselves to the locals.

Dec I 1942

Only southern Norway remains free from heavy snow falls which deluge northern Scandanavia. At sea, the conditions remain unstable and rough.

Oslo Airfield

Incessant air raids continue from British P 51s on Oslo Airfield. Luftwaffe mechanics are unable to maintain unit readiness and another Ju 88 wing is damaged by the ferocious air campaign. Over Stavanger, the FW 190A2s circle awaiting expected Allied air attacks from the Orkneys, but the Beaufighter and Sunderland bomber pilots have decided that the threat of air attacks on the Kreigsmarine is more than enough to keep the Germans on tenterhooks and remain in their Nissan huts, drinking cocoa.
(Forgetting to move the remaining Ju88 to Stavanger pays dearly when another Airbase raid goes in and scores an abort)

Bodo

The US Commander brings the tank battalion back to Bodo to participate in the final offensive that should seize the city. With a superiority in strength three times that of the German defenders, the attack is started off by artillery bombardments and American soldiers advance under the cover of smoke. German troops have now spent a long time on their fire plans, and accurate defensive fire catches the Americans before they can bring their superior numbers to bear. The assault pauses and while front line company commanders struggle to bring sense and order to their men, a rumour starts at Corp HQ that the German 236 battlegroup and ANS Battalion have made an unexpected crossing of the strait protecting the US flank. This rumour, subsequently proved false, causes a panic to set in. A ripple effect occurs throughout the Corp formations and a hurried retreat is made. Vigorous local counter attacks by the Bodo Garrison keep the Americans unsettled and off balance until the truth is discovered. The Corp, Divisional and Regimental Commanders are sacked en masse.
(3:1 -2, AR result)

Glomma Valley

The 25th Panzer is assaulted by the main Allied Army. The panzers try to take their toll on the attacking Scots and Canadians, but the armour piercing rounds their tanks are supplied with makes little impression on the infantry. Tanks are hunted down one by one in the woods by parties of troops armed with PIAT launchers specially flown in from Britain. Heavy artillery fire breaks up what ever resistance the remaining Germans have and they fall back, a shattered shell that was the German-in-C last hope. The Canadians of the 2nd Division are eager to press southwards. Intelligence reports indicate only a weak OKW brigade occupies Oslo and feelings are strong that the city can be liberated within a week. Orders are received that no advance south of their present position is to occur – the reason is difficulties in geting the supply columns over the mountains, through the forests to the head of the advance. Long distances and poor weather are affecting the supply route. Disappointed, the lead allied units can only watch a build up of German units in front of them where only days previous there had been nothing.
(9:1 -4, DE result. This occurs right at the limit of the Allied supply line)

Oslo

The OKW Bergund Brigade is marched up the road towards the broken wooded terrain just south of the city of Hamar. There they link with the southern forces of the stretched out and weakened 69 cadre. This line is all that protects the German hold on Oslo, so the 613 infantry cadre and Kirsten fortress brigade is sent to Oslo to hold the city. These troops dig trenches on the outskirts of the city to the jeers of the locals. They are silenced when the Naval punitive battalion is marched into the area to aid the construction of defences. These desperate criminals threaten to do worse than any battle could do to the northern Oslo suburbs.

Bodo

The 236 cadre and ANS approach the outskirts of the city, greeted ironically as liberators by the 270 Fortress XX. The commander is gracious enough to allow the Luftwaffe to once again return to the airbase for anti-shipping patrols in the North Sea.

Jun I 16

The British 5th Army takes over the defense of another hex from the French. The French are beginning to fray, but they do manage to defend every hex with at least 25 defense. Two of the hexes have only a single division and some support troops. The Reims area is well defended with six full strength divisions in each hex. The Italians pull back behind the Adda river in front of Milano. They also reinforce the Verona area and are forced to pull the 1st Corps back from Trient.

The British attack at Lens again. This time, the Germans fire a defensive bombardment. The British bombardment disrupts five German divisions while the German bombardment disrupts five British artillery units. The attack continues home and gets a DX result.

The Austrians fail to react. The German 3rd Army reacts and hits the French 35th Corps with a 4:1 +5 attack which yields a DL result and another hex near Reims falls.

The Entente lost 14 French Metropolitan, 11 British Manpower, and 6 Equipment points. The Central Powers lost 12 German, 5 Saxon, and 22 Equipment points.

Tom: The British have been able to continue their offensive. With the current lack of Central Powers manpower and equipment points, it is beginning to force Carl to look at the situation and react to it. The defensive bombardment was pretty heavy, fortunately they were all 1H results that I could place on my artillery – since they were already halved it did not really matter. The artillery from the Germans were from an adjacent corps, not the target corps. The retreat of the French 35th Corps was a surprise. The five divisions in the hex should have been able to hold off any of his attacks, but Carl was able to get that +5 DRM and blew the corps back with only light losses for the Germans. Hopefully, the attacks on Lens and the withdrawals to the East Front (to counter the Russian Brusilov offensive) will make him slow his attacks against the French.

The Austrians advance towards Milano and Verona. The Germans reinforce their defenses at Lens and their offensive against Reims.

The German 4th Army attacks from Toul against the French 9th Corps and achieves a bloody repulse. Another heavy bombardment on Reims followed by an attack which results in a 9:1 +3 DRM and a DD resulting in the fall of Reims! As Reims has been surrounded with enemy ZOCs, only the two chssr divisional cadres manage to retreat. This is a heavy blow to the French. A combined Austrian and German attack captures another hex adjacent to Verona. An attack by the German Alps Corps advances another hex and Verona is now surrounded by enemy ZOCs.

The Italians react by stripping a division from each of their front line corps and sending them back as a reserve for the endangered areas around Verona and Milano. The French 7th Army near Belfort also strips out a division from each of its corps to send to the Reims area for bolstering the French defenses there. The British sit and watch.

The Central Powers lost 6 Bavarian Manpower and 32 Equipment points. The Entente lost 44 French Metropolitan, 8 Italian Manpower, and 58 Equipment points. The French morale stands at 19.5 morale points left.

Carl: As you can see from the above losses, both the French and the Germans lost some divisional cadres. The Germans lost them around the Toul area in their attack while the French lost them all over the place. It is coming ever so closer to a French surrender, only 19.5 points and victory is mine! I am in a hurry because Tom and I will play the game again (probably starting next September) with the sides switched, so speed is of the essence at this point. The Italian campaign is going well, but it has taken a back seat to the real decision approaching against the French.

Nov II 1942

Weather conditions throughout the theatre remain the same, at sea the conditions calm some what but remain rough and tumultuous.

Glomma Valley

The security troops of the Hird Brigade relax along the road side during a break in their march to the front. Pickets have been posted as early warning while the Brigade commander has headed north to liase with German units the Hird are expected to fight with in the next few days. Dozing troopers are startled suddenly by rapid gunfire coming from the east and west. Unknown to them, Norwegian Guerrillas have marched overnight to attack the Hird. Through the wooded terrain, the Guerrillas can be seen in a mixture of Norwegian, British and Civilian clothing. Lightly armed they they inflict a terrible toll on the Hird soldiers, but also suffer terrible losses themselves in a bitter fraternal conflict neither is willing to end. SOE operatives send a call through to London asking for Air Support to help the Norwegians. A personal directive from Downing Street sends Sunderland Flying Boats across the sea to deep into Norway, where their bombs make all the difference. The Hird are demoralised and surrender en masse to the Guerrillas, only half of whom remain following the terrible battle on the banks of the Glomma.
(4:1 -1 EX result)

North of here, the Canadian 2nd XX and Engineers push through the resistance of the 710 Static XX, 196 cadre and 1/72 Hvy AA II to drive down the Glomma. The German force is pocketed as the 3rd Canadian breaks up into brigade battlegroups and the 15th Scottish and massed Artillery and USAAF airpower slams into the Germans. AA fire from the Germans has no effect on the Allied air cover and the Germans are thoroughly destroyed. The Allied C-in-C is pleased, but the Canadian and Norwegian governments question the cost with the loss of the 1/3 Cdn X and the Norwegian Mountain Battalion.
(Odds not recorded but HX result)

Bodo

Allied frustration grows as the US troops again fail to take the city. Cases of frostbite are reported as becoming more frequent by unit Medical Officers and morale is low in the infantry. The Tank Battalion guarding the straits send frequent requests for assistance as the German battlegroup advances towards it. The tanks are confident they can hold, but the cost may be high.
(2:1 – 2, AS Result)

Oslo Airfield

LW crews prepare their newly repaired Ju 88s for take off. Justifiably proud of their efforts to return to service, the bombers are prepared to once again strike at the Allied fleet. A sudden phone call from the 181 XX at the front east of Bergen alerts them to the sighting of a large swarm of British fighters heading in their direction. Frantic shouts and orders to get the Ju 88s cleared from the runways and in some protection of to get them aloft to fly to another airfield arrive too late. P 51s scream in at tree top and, with guns blazing, tear up the airfield and one of the newly repaired Ju 88 wings. AA return fire is feeble and uncoordinated. The P 51s return to their base in Bergen for some cocoa.
(Airbase raid – abort Ju88)

Glomma Valley

The German 25th Panzer cadre occupies positions on the east bank of the Glomma River, its mission to block the Canadian thrust down the valley. It is joined by a Mountain XX to its north who occupies mountainous terrain. Both forces are relatively weak when compared to the remaining strength of the Allied Army. Further north, German troops are pulled back from the mountains to the south. The German commander has decided that it is better to lose all of Central Norway than to try and cling in the mountains too long and lose Oslo.

Oslo/Stavanger/Narvik Airfield

Local Luftwaffe commanders are rounded up at midnight by Gestapo and Military Field Police. The abject failure of the Luftwaffe to launch any air attacks on the Allied Fleet is condemned as criminal behaviour. Later investigations by internal investigators uncover a complete failure of the central Luftwaffe command to organise and coordinate the operations for this period. The potential damage to the Allied fleet can only be wondered at by the German C-in-C as he digs in deeper in Oslo.
(Completely forgot to use the LW here, at this stage I was on my fifth or six scotch, not that I believe it was responsible mind you!)

Nov I 1942

In the Arctic circle, heavy snow falls, effectively closing down this front, not that any significant events had occurred here since October. Further south, the air is cold and crisp, with the muddy conditions becoming stable underfoot and allowing easy vehicle movement on the roads and tracks. At sea however, the conditions are attrocious, with wild North Sea storms lashing those ships unlucky enough to be caught at sea.

Bodo

At Bodo, the US commander sends his tanks north to block the straits crossing at 0914. Reports have been received from spotter aircraft of a large German battlegroup, some motorised units attached, are heading south at great speed, and the straits crossing is selected at the best place to hold them while Bodo is invested. Using Sunderland Flying Boats as tactical ground support, the American forces attack the 270 Fortress XX holding the port. This unit has long been prepared for this attack and numerous traps and minefields hamper the attacking American infantry who are forced to call off their attack, albeit with minor losses only. Planes continue to take off from Bodo Airfield causing anxious enquiries from Allied theatre command to the US Corp commander as to when he expects to take the city. “Soon” is the confident reply.
(2:1 -2, AS result)

Bergen

Royal Marines take Tysnes Island, rounding up the German Coastal Artillery troops who quickly surrender, convinced the war is lost.

Main battle front – south of Trondheim

An attack by British infantry and Norwegian Mountain troops against the 3rd Mtn XX and 69 Cadre fails to make any impression on the Germans. The British and Norwegians are exhausted after climbing numerous ridges and when their attack goes in it is poorly timed and results in the attack stopping almost immediately. Few casulties are suffered and the Corp commander is asked for an explanation from the Army C-in-C.
(2:1 -2 AS result)

South and east of this action, the Canadians and mountainers of the 52nd XX again attack the hapless 702 Static XX, forcing them back again despite the protection of mountain defences. This attack is critical for the Allies, as it effectively means the mountain barrier to the south has been breached. Standing atop the mountain ridge line looking south, the Canadian Corp commander can look down the long deep valley full of forest. To one side is the Glomma River. The German line has been cracked open and the British and Canadians can now leave the cold mountains and return to more hospitable altitudes.
(5:1 -2, DR result)

Oslo

Norway C-in-C orders units to fall back from the mountains to try and throw up a stabilised front along the Glomma River. The sub-units of the 214 Infantry XX reform into their parent body, relieving the 3rd Mountain XX facing the British 49th and 15th XXs. The 3rd heads south to try and build a defence line along the Glomma. The Mountain troops march furiously to get to their positions in time, driven by their NCOs and Officers who squeeze every ounce of energy from their men.

Proudly marching out of the city, the Norwegian collaborationist Hird Brigade march to join their German comrades at the front line. As they enter the thick forests along the Glomma, locals ask them if they had heard what happened to the SS police units only a few weeks before. Officers of the Hird try to recruit locals through night time torchlight rallies and veiled threats, but the locals remain unimpressed.

At the airbase outside the city, the Luftwaffe ground crews bring back into service two Ju 88 wings.

Bodo

The Luftwaffe commander announces to the garrison commander of Bodo that he is unable to maintain the integrity of his units under the increasingly heavy and accurate fire from the US artillery on the perimeter. His bomber wings must be flown out to Narvik to ensure they are not overrun and can continue to provide a threat against Allied sea power. The Garrison commander waves him away in disgust – he knows the Battle for Bodo will not be won in the air but in the trenches outside the city.

Huguersund

Todt engineering staff are photographed proudly in front of their latest work – the upgraded port fortifications, similar in design and strength to Stavanger’s and Kristiansand’s. Sullen conscripted Norwegian labourers and Yugoslav POWs are in the photo background.

May II 16

The Italians fall back towards Milano and attempt to build a defensive line. The British take over two more hexes in front of Paris to defend with their 5th Reserve Army. The French spend a long time reorganizing their forces to plug their holes.

The British attack at Lens. They use poison gas for the first time and fail to do more damage to the Germans than their selves. The losses drop the British NW down to 3 and they lose their NW advantage.

The Germans refuse to attack with their reacting armies. The usual London Zeppelin raid is stopped by great die rolling as the anti-aircraft fire (of 5 points) return three of the four Zeppelins.

The Entente lost 20 British, 14 Canadian Manpower, and 16 Equipment points. The Central Powers lost 24 German, 6 Wurttemburg, 5 Saxon Manpower, and 12 Equipment points.

Tom: The bright side was the Zeppelin raid. Great anti-aircraft fire! Unfortunately, the British have lost their NW edge. It was expected, but I do not think I have gotten the desired effect, i.e. stopping or delaying the German offensive against the battered French army. I have tightened up the defense as much as possible. The only thing that I may be able to do more is to evoke CR #2 and call up the training garrison. I hesitate to do so as that would effectively eliminate any further manpower points during the next two production cycles, but if it looks like France will not be able to survive until then it really wouldn’t matter.

The Austrians follow the retreating Italians towards Milano. They have almost completely captured the Alps while the Italians are defending in the Italian plains with fieldworks. The Germans maneuver to continue putting pressure on the French. Zeppelin raids hit the French factory at Lyons and do another terror hit on London. A large air battle over Reims sees the French have air superiority and destroy a German LVG C2.

The Austrians attack an Italian emergency corps and destroys it. The advancing Austrian Corps is now on the Italian plain and is only three hexes from Milano. The Germans attack out of the Alps near Trient and force the Italians back into Verona. The French 9th Corps is attacked near Toul and manages to make the Germans pay (a BX result). The French 15th Corps is attacked near Reims. The Germans lead off with a bombardment which disrupts the entire corps but the French again hold with a BX result. The attack on Reims starts with the bombardment missing the first eight die rolls (+1 DRM) on the 9 column of the bombardment chart (66% chance to hit) and is then stopped as a bad chance. The attack goes on at a 5:1 +1 and achieves a DX result.

The Italian 4th Army reacts and sends all of its reserves to plug the hole near Verona. The French 10th Army sends up two reserve divisions to help the defenses around Reims.

The Central Powers lost 43 German, 6 Bavarian Manpower, and 29 Equipment points. The Entente lost 41 French Metropolitan, 10 French African, 6 Italian Manpower, and 27 Equipment points. The French morale now stands at 51.5 points remaining.

Carl: I started the offensive on the Jan II 16 turn. It has lasted 9 turns but it is about over. I cannot continue to replace the losses. I will have to conduct bombardments and hope for effective ones before hitting with an attack. The good news to all of this is that the British are in the same boat. Without the manpower and equipment point reserves, divisions stay cadred, and you cannot replace the divisional cadres very easily in this game. A division that is destroyed tends to stay destroyed. My offensive lasted 9 turns and cost the French over 100 morale points. There are only 51.5 French morale points standing between me and victory. I will have to play it smart to continue chopping down those morale points and still stay an effective force. The Italian front has seen me break into the Italian plains towards Milano and near Verona. I am surprised at how well the offensive towards Milano has gone. I think that Tom’s preoccupation with France’s troubles have helped.

Oct II 1942

Heavy Task Forces combine at Trondheim, determined to prevent the Kreigsmarine open passage of the sea again. Air cover has become scarce over the fleet but Allied Sea Captains rely upon their superior range and numbers to destroy the German Fleet at sea. With German units no longer positioned along the coast in the immediate fighting zones, the USN and RN are free to engage the enemy.

South of Trondheim

In continuing pouring rain, German soldiers of the 702 Static XX trudge wearily along mountain paths and roads, for the past couple of weeks they have been forced to retreat in the face of strong British attacks, especially the 52nd Mountain XX, who constantly outflank and out march the Germans. Reports from across the front indicate that the Germans units everywhere are trying desperately to mount some form of viable defence in the mountains of Norway. The Canadian and British advance is seemingly unstoppable with their superior artillery and air power. German soldiers can only scan the sky and wonder where the once vaunted Luftwaffe are.
(3:1 -2 DR result 52nd versus 702 Static)

Bergen

Royal Marines move as swiftly as they can to destroy the CDs defending Huftar Island and battery positions on Island 2816. Layforce Commandos march along the Bergen-Oslo rail line heading deeper into Norway, everywhere welcomed by the inhabitants of small Norwegian hamlets who come out to wave homemade Union Jacks. With no opposition, it seems an easy victory. Quickly following them is a US Task Force of brigade size, quickly landed at Bergen. This self supporting unit marches into the mountains to add strength to the commandos.

South of Bodo

Not so lucky are the American forces facing the 199 XX. An assault on the Germans is ordered by the US Corp commander, and the 29 and 34 XX, with artillery, tank and engineering support assault the German 199 XX. The confident Germans defend with all their resources. Mortar and machine gun fire takes a heavy toll on the young soldiers of the 34th, inflicting 50% casulties in some units. For several days the battle rages, but to the consternation of the Germans, the Americans show no sign of breaking off the fight. In the rear, the German Divisional commander tries to find more ammunition and supplies for his tired troops. Gradually communications are lost with his forward positions and the sound of battle edges closer to his dug out. Reports are recieved that American tank units are in some rear areas. Signals are sent to Oslo outlining the desperate situation, but no reply is received. In great sadness, the commander of the 199th faces the truth and orders his outnumbered and tired soldiers to lay down their arms. The superior strength and numbers of the Americans has won the day, but at a bitter cost to the men of the 34th. The US tanks are again thrust ahead of the main force following the battle on towards Bodo. The lead tank units halt and can see through their binoculars the airfield with the Luftwaffe bombers landing and taking off.
(EX result, odds not recorded, -1 modifier)

Oslo

Atop his podium outside the city hall, the Commander in Chief Norway takes the salute of the hastily formed 25th Panzer Division as it parades down Drammensvien towards Radhusgata Street. The sullen stares and jeers of the Oslo population are juxtaposed against the gaily coloured Swastikas that hang off every window and lightpole. A decision was made to risk the early call out of the unit while it was still in training. Although proudly titled a division, it is little more than a scratch built battlegroup based on nearly obsolecent tanks and young half trained youths. For the Germans though, this unit is their potential battle winner. The unit is mounted into the flatbed rail cars at Oslo station and sent up to the front.
(Not too sure if this was legitimate, calling up the 25 Pz Cadre from forming box. Rules didn’t say we could do this, but they didn’t say we couldn’t!)

Hardanger Jokulen Glacier

High in the mountains of the Keel of Norway, German soldiers from the 181 XX position themselves just south of the main transportation line running from Bergen. On their left is the majestic Glacier, worming its way through the mountains. With this securing their flank, the German commander is confident he has cut the US/British line of advance and halted them. Neither has sufficient strength to attack the other at this point in time and fighting is limited to small patrols battling for control of the various hair pin turns on the mountain roads and paths.

Mountains south of Trondheim

The German troops in this area continue to receive reinforcements, and the local commander attempts to position his units to maintain an even spread of strength across the front that widens every time the Allies advance.

Narvik

In the quiet port city, the arrival from the Eastern Front of the 236 XX cadre and the motorised ANS Battalion is greeted with relief by the local garrison. News of the disaster outside Bodo has been recieved and the panicked garrison had already made plans for a withdrawal into Sweden. The hard cases of the 236th and ANS are eager for a fight, especially against the new comer Americans. Using local garrison guides, they quickly set off by road for Bodo, but the mountains of Norway are not the steppes of Russia and the formation comander is angry at the lack of march speed and the daunting terrain he is confronted with.

Bodo

Under strict orders to fulfill Goering’s pledge to Hitler, the LW crews of He 116 H6s, H4s and BV138s take to the sky, the crew easily able to see the US tanks positioned to the south of the city. As they fly south, they fly over the marching US infantry, struggling to catch up with the tanks at Bodo. Mile after mile of trudging olive figures, their trucks buried up past the axle in sticky mud, their artillery bogged and useless and their engineers cursing and swearing as they try to help the advance. Although tempted to release their payloads onto the inviting targets, the bombers fly on to the greater prize to the south – the Allied fleet.

Off the Norwegian Coast

Sailors aboard the destroyer HMS Spotter are the first to see the waves of bombers flying overhead. Radio calls are made through to Trondheim field for air cover to be provided by the USAAF P-40Fs based ashore. The American pilots are swift in response and the He 116 H4s are chased from the skies back to Bodo. Fire Control officers aboard the capital ships of the fleet begin to coordinate the AA response. Again the courageous pilots try to hold their craft steady through the buffeting flak while their bomb aimers stare carefully through their bomb sites to the small toy like ships below. Bombs rain down on the squadrons below who zig zag furiously. This manouevering upsets the AA site layers and the AA has no effect. Two major ships are struck, a serious blow to the Allies. Luckily in the calm waters, most of the crews are rescued. Goering victoriously announces his Luftwaffe can do anything, for example supply by air an entire army trapped behind Russian lines if needed.
(Shore based interceptors RtB the Heinkel H4s but AA fails to stop the Germans getting two hits on the Allies – another 6 victory points)

Oct I 1942

Norway is deluged by rain, churning the battlefields into muddy morasses. Troops are forced to painfully march through knee deep mud, made all the worse by the dropping temperatures. At sea, the rolling swells make many a soldier violently ill as they are carried across the North Sea.

Bergen

Some of these sea sick soldiers are the Commandos of Layforce, packed once again into damp, dark transports with their Royal Marine brethren. Despite the heaving dark seas, Allied High command has gambled on taking the Germans by surprise by forcing a landing in such bad conditions. The Kreigsmarine attempt to put to sea from Stavanger, but despite the relatively short distance, reduced visibility makes it impossible for the Germans to locate the Allied units who slip through to face the CDs defending the outer islands of Bergen. Again the rumble of heavy guns is heard as ships and CDs exchange fire. Again the CDs fail to inflict any significant damage while the Light cruiser units give gunfire support to the Commandos and RMs. Caught by surprise, the Bergen Fortress Brigade, obviously made up of 2nd rate personnel, is overwhelmed. Bergen is quickly invested by super fit commandos and marines running about with sharp knives scaring the Germans who flee in abject terror and disintegrate as a fighting force. The German Commander in Chief – Norway is extremely bitter. He is now faced with an open flank at Bergen and trying to justify to himself how a supported unit, relatively strong, could be defeated by an amphibious landing in such poor weather. The Battle of Bergen is celebrated widely throughout the British Press and the sea sick commandos and marines are justifiably proud of their achievements.
(CDs again suppressed by TF fire, DH result – actual odds not recorded)

Mosjoen Front

At Mosjoen, the American soldiers attack and destroy the last units of the 69 XX. The tired German troops surrender en masse to the overwhelming US numbers, but are confident they will be released once the 199 XX attacks the cocky Americans and overruns them. The Americans have an ace in their sleeve – a single tank battalion which speeds off through the foul muddy conditions to enter the mountains by itself. This relatively tiny unit milks every ounce of petrol from their machines to just halt on the northern side of the mountains. Effectively this has blocked any chance of the Germans gaining the high ground.
(4:1 -2 EX result. Tk Battalion exploits into mountains making any German attack on it to be at 2:1 -5 die roll. Ouch!)

South of Trondheim.

Within the deep canopy of forest south of Trondhiem and before the mountains rear up to the south, the survivors of the 196 XX desperately dig in to protect themselves from the Allies. Intermingled with the German infantry are the SS Police units of Norway, supported by the 109 Artillery Brigade and some Construction units. The SS Police have refused to dig deep. Arguements between Whermacht and SS have raged for several days on tactical positioning of units. The SS Police are unafraid of the Allies. The British are weak and the Canadians nothing more than a mongrel race of mixed French and English ancestry, mutated by years of early colonial interbreeding. How can these defeat the superior racial forces of the Fatherland? The answer is soon in coming as the combined might of two British and three Canadian divisions smash into the Germans with a mass of USAAF air support. The fighting is fierce and bloody, the 1st Canadian XX takes heavy losses, but not before the Germans are broken and destroyed. The surviving SS Policemen are hunted down by local Norwegian forces over several days in the dark forests. Few are ever heard of again.
(4:1 -2, EX result)

Oslo

Scrapping together wounded from rear hospitals and shaking out service units, cadres of the 69th and 196th divisions are formed and railed into the mountains to try and stem the bleeding that is occurring on this front. These weak units are joined by other forces pulled back from Forde, Alesund, Andalsnes and Kristiansund.

Narvik

In an effort to provide more troops for southern Norway, the 405 Static XX is ordered aboard LCs in the port for transportation south. The Northern Fleet, led by the Tirpitz, is assigned to escort the convoy on its journey south to link with the Baltic Fleet, still kicking its heels in Stavanger. Setting off into the rough seas, the convoy makes good distance without the Allies aware of its presence until a British Submarine spots them as they pass Bodo. The alarm is raised by the Admiralty. Carrier based aircraft attempt to locate the convoy as it approaches the Trondhiem area, but the pilots have a hard time staying airborne without the added worry of searching the seas. Two separate heavy Task Forces, USN and RN also fail to locate the Germans. It is late in the day when Cruiser Task Forces 1 and 3, about to return to base, spot off in the distance during a break in the rain the low silhouettes of the German destroyers and cruisers. The Royal Navy gives chase and C-3 engages the heavy ships based around the Tirpitz and Scheer while C-1 attempts to cut through to the LCs and their cargo. In the swirling weather, the Scheer shudders from a heavy blow to it from the accurate RN. In reply, a ship in C-3 is hit and sunk. The Tirpitz trains its guns on C-1 and catches a couple of the cruiser Task Force members and shells them into oblivion. As the terrible weather continues, the Royal Navy is unable to accurately target and cause any damage to the transports. The Germans attempt to open the gap in distance between them and disengage. The cruisers are unable to maintain contact and the battle is over. The 405 Static XX disembarks at Hegersund and allows the 191 XX to march towards Bergen to try and prevent the Allies expanding further, the pride of the Royal Navy is damaged and the 1st Sea Lord offers an apology in Parliament.

To add insult to injury, the sea conditions become calmer towards the middle of the month.
(Lots of reaction movement by Allies fail except for two lonely looking Cruiser TFs who valiently try to take on the most powerful units of the KM. 3 hits on the Allies, only one on the Germans)

May I 16

The French factory at Lyons is still functioning and the Entente match their historical production of 17 resource and 11 equipment points. The British are able to shift some of their forces south and relieve some French troops defending the way to Paris. The French are in desperate straits. They are unable to rebuild the cadres defending near Reims (they are not in fortifications) and have used all of their manpower already. The French disband more rifle brigades for the manpower points. The Italians shift around their forces trying to enable the rebuilding of their cadres and stop the Austrian – German offensives.

The British again launch an attack at Lens. The tactical recon missions fail as they are chased away by the German fighters and only a single bombardment is successful. It is only the concern for the French situation that causes the attack to be launched. But the attack succeeds in causing more German casualties than British.

For yet another turn, no Central Powers reaction.

The Entente lost 11 British Manpower and 4 Equipment points. The Central Powers lost 18 German Manpower and 6 Equipment points.

Tom: The French are in really bad shape. It is possible that the game will be over by the end of this summer. I am hoping that the British can maintain their offensive because it is a drain on the German resources. It does not seem to be helping the French any, but Carl smells blood and victory by pressing the attack home time after time.

The Central Powers produce 22 Resource and 20 Equipment points. This tops the historical production of 21 Resource and 19 Equipment points. The Germans reorganize to continue their offensives against Paris and Reims. The Austrians reinforce their drive through the Alps towards Milano.

The Austrians manage to advance a hex in the Alps and threaten the supply line of the Italian 3rd Army that was slowing them down. The French 8th Corps is attacked from Toul and manages to hold their ground with heavy losses on both sides. The French 16th Corps near Reims breaks and routs from the enemy contact. The French 15th Corps also routs and allows the Germans to threaten to cut off Reims. The French 20th Corps, holding the flanks of Reims, is destroyed without survivors or German losses. This is a severe blow to French morale.

The Italian 3rd Army reacts and begins to retreat from the Austrian offensive. The French react and begin to prepare to entrench behind the Marne river. The British do not react.

The Central Powers lost 6 German, 5 Bavarian, 5 Saxon, 2 Austrian Manpower, and 7 Equipment points. The Entente lost 66 French Metropolitan, 3 French Foriegn, 2 Italian Manpower, and 43 Equipment points. The French morale is now at 64.5 points.

Carl: In the last two turns, the French have lost over a third of their morale points. If I can continue this pace, the French will surrender in two more months. Reims is threatened with my troops covering three of its adjacent hexes. This could be a serious problem for the French as the fall of Reims would be a loss of 10 morale points in itself. I have been able to absorb the British offensive while maintaining a two or three army offensive myself. It is costly in manpower and resource points but I am beginning to get the hang of offensive trench warfare. It is not easy, but I have had the advantage of good timing and a French army that is on the verge of defeat.

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