Occupying Denmark in SoS
This HowTo is from my notes from when I wrote up this scenario during development of Storm over Scandinavia (SOS) and my solitaire playthrough to make sure it WAS possible to take out Denmark during invasion turn. Note that this discussion pertains to the Europa-level invasion of Denmark, using the SOS Scenario Rules (as modified by the 18 January 1999 errata sheet that came out with the game). Note also that this plan uses only those assets historically committed by Germany to invasion of Denmark.
Important initial considerations:
- Surrender of Denmark is secondary to fact that Germany needs airbase at Aalborg in order to project airpower into Norway properly to support the main effort. The Aalborg airfield must be taken by German ground forces during Axis movement phase of Apr I 40 turn. Historically it was taken by dropping one para company, followed up almost immediately by airlift of one infantry battalion, followed up less than a day later by relief by force built around the 11th Mot Inf X. However, committing one of the precious two para battalions Germany has available in game to represent drop by only 1/3 of the battalion is not an option. Both of these para Bns must be committed to Norway (historically they can be used to represent the para drops at Oslo and Stavanger then). This means that Aalborg must be taken in Axis movement phase by 11 Mot X alone.
- The plan must maximize chances for Danish surrender. Per Rule 38A6 and 38D2 Denmark will either surrender or acquiesce to German Protectorate during the Allied initial phase of Apr I 40 turn if both Aarhus and Kjobenhaven are Axis-owned and the Danish government has gone into exile or been captured. However, there is a 1/3 chance that capital at Kjobenhaven will NOT be captured when Kjobenhaven falls (must roll on success table per Rule 38A3). If the capital is not captured, it will not go into exile until Apr II 40 (as capital relocation occurs after national surrender per the MSOP), so failure to capture the capital opens up possibility of additional Danish units mobilizing. Our plan must therefore ensure that all Danish mobilization cites are overrun during the German Player Turn of Apr I. Finally, should the assault on Kjobenhavn fail to take the hex completely, the invasion must maximize the possibility of any follow-up attack required on Apr II 40.
- The Danish deployment is mostly fixed by OB. The 1-8 border regiment can be placed in either hex 13A:0922 or 1021. 1021 is preferable as it blocks the German use of the rail line and forces an overrun of border regiment. The only real use for placing it in 0922 is that would make it impossible for any 6-mp unit to both reach Esbjerg and then get back into position to attack the Danish regiment at Haderslev. The Danish air force can deploy at any airbases in Denmark, but all except Kjobenhaven will almost certainly fall during invasion turn. Also, the special surprise rule means that the fighter can only intercept in hex where based, so Kjobenhaven is best.
|C Breakdown Box:||6-6 Inf XX 170|
|E Breakdown Box:||6-6 Inf XX 198 (Wint)|
|Rostock:||Me 109E, 2-6 Inf III E, 1-6 Inf III E, 6 Inf XX HQ E, 1-10 Mot MG II 13|
|Kiel:||Me110C1, Ju87R, 2-6 Inf III E, 3pt B TF Schlesien|
|Flensburg:||3-10 Mot Inf X 11|
|13A:1022:||2-1-10 Pz II 40, 2-10 mot Hv AA III 162 (LW), 1-10 Mot MG II 4, 1-10 Mot MG 14, 1-8 Art X 109, 2-6* Inf III C, 2-6* Inf III C, 1-6* Inf III C|
Weather will be clear and seas calm and Denmark will be surprised (per Rule 37H and the errata) during Apr I 40.
- The 2-6* Inf III C and 1-6* Inf III C in hex 1022 overrun the Danish 1-8 border regiment in hex 1021 and then move along rail line to hex 0820. As the border regiment is halved for lack of support and halved due to surprise, its strength is 0.25, allowing for a 12:1 overrun.
- Our other 2-6* Inf III C in hex 1022 moves to Esbjerg and then to hex 0820. This will allow 170th XX to reassemble at the end of the movement phase, prior to attacking the Danish regiment at Haderslev. Note that the capture of the standard port at Esbjerg means the Axis player gains 1 RE of rail capacity on the Germany/Denmark rail net per the surprise rule.
- Our next move is to advance the 1-8 Art X in hex 1022 along the rail line through Kolding, Frederica, Vejle, Horsens, ending its movement at Aarhus. Note that the capture of Aarhus and its major port gains the Axis Player 2 additional REs of rail capacity on Germany/Denmark rail net.
- The 2-1-10 Pz II 40 in hex 1022 moves along rail line to Horsens, then to hex 0517.
- The 2-10 Mot Hv AA III 162 in hex 1022 moves up through center of Jutland, ensuring it passes through Viborg (a Danish mob center) before arriving at 0417-Randers.
- Next the 3-10 Mot Inf X 11 at Flensburg entrains, moves by operational rail movement to Randers (spending 3 MPs) then moves overland along rail line through Aalborg, the airfield in 5014 and stops at Frederickshaven. Note that it requires 2 MPs to cross the causeway north of Aalborg. This move uses 2 REs of railcap, but as this also results in capture of 3 more REs of rail capacity (2 for the major port at Aalborg and 1 for the standard port at Frederickshaven), the Axis Player now has 5 REs of railcap left. Additionally, the Aalborg airfield is now available to stage aircraft into southern Norway during Apr I 40 turn.
- Following up, the 1-10 Mot MG II 4 and 1-10 Mot MG II 14 in hex 1022 move along the rail line to Frederica, then cross the causeway to Funen island (spending 2 MPs for crossing causeway), proceed through Odense (capturing another RE of rail capacity due to the standard port there), and ending up at Nyborg. Note that the two batallions had to move together in order to effect the permanent capture of Odense since a single batallion by itself does not gain permanent ownership of anything.
- The 1-6 Inf III E embarks on an NTP activated at Rostock and moves to Nykobing (1516) at other end of the rail ferry. Per the surprise rule, the infantry regiment on NTP is allowed to amphibious land at the port. Also per the surprise rule, the normal -3 modifier to the disruption die roll for making an amphibious landing when not amphibious-capable does not apply. This means only an 1/6 chance of landing disrupted.
If the regiment should land disrupted anyway, it will unfortunately not gain control of the hex. Should all be well and the regiment gains control, it will then be able to use rail movement across the rail ferry. Also, sicne there are no enemy unit in the hex, the infantry regiment still has MPs enough left to move overland to 1415 if not disrupted.
Note that you can indeed make an amphibious landing from a NTP and that cargo can be disembarked from a NTP at beaches as well as at ports (this is clarified in errata). Historically, the seizure of this rail ferry was effected by infantry company sealed in rail cars who came out in mid-transit . Also para platoon landed at the 1315/1415 hexside to seize the causeway there. Both of these operations are below the game´s scale, so an amphibious landing by the infantry regiment stands in for them.
- Assuming the successful capture of Nykobing, the 2-6 Inf III E at Rostock moves by operational rail movement across the rail ferry (using 2 REs of railcap, double normal because the rail ferry is considered low-volume RR) to hex 1415, then moves overland (including spending 2 MPs to cross causeway) to Roskilde, where it is now positioned for an attack on Kjobenhaven.
- Assuming further the successful capture of Nykobing, the 1-10 Mot MG II 13 moves by operational rail movement (using 2 REs of rail cap, 0.5 RE doubled twice for c/m plus low-volume rail ferry) to hex 1415, then continues overland to Korsor (1016). The Rail ferry between Funen and Sjaelland is now under Axis control and will allow reinforcements to add to any second attack on Kjobenhaven in the Apr II 40, in case this should prove necessary.
- The 2-6 Inf III E at Kiel embarks on the Schlesien TF. (This should be an errata, type B taskforces are supposed to be light in game, but even without this errata, you could use another NTP if necessary). TF and regiment move through the little Belt between Funen and Sjaelland and approach Kjobenhaven from the north, stopping at Helsingor (1012), where the regiment will make an amphibious landing per the surprise rule. Again the regiment has only a 1/6 chance of disruption. If not disrupted the regiment will be in position for attack on Kjobenhaven. In any event Schlesien will remain at Helsingor spending MPs in order to be eligible to provide NGS for attack on Kjobenhaven in the combat phase.
Note that due to the surprise turn rule, the Danish CD taskforce at Kjobenhaven cannot react and, since its combat zone does not extend beyond Kjobenhaven’s hex, it cannot affect the landing. The Danish coast defenses are also toothless because of the surprise rule: They are limited to the hex they occupy, and the landing force is in neither Mittlegrundsfoort or the Kjobenhaven hex. Historically, of course, only one battalion of a regiment landed (directly in Kjobenhaven harbor), but CDs and navy did nothing, so landing at Helsingor approximates this. Also one additional battalion landing on west end of Funen to help secure the causeway there, so the landing of a full regiment overall is about right.
- Air Support: The Me 109E at Rostock and the Ju87R & Me110C1 at Kiel fly to Kjobenhaven, the Me109E as escort, Ju87R as ground support, Me110C1 as either escort or ground support, depending on the success of Nykobing/Helsingor operation. If our Nykobing operation failed, but Helsingor operation succeeded, the Me110C1 searves as an escort, as getting the Ju87R through becomes critical. If the Nykobing operation succeeded but the Helsingor regiment landed disrupted then the Me110C1 switches to ground support. The Danish Gaunt at Kjobenhaven can intercept, and the only hope for Danes is if it successfully bypasses and successfully attacks the Ju87R. The most probable result is that the Gaunt will fail to do anything other than die itself.
Note that this is the historical amount of airpower that Germany committed to the Denmark operation (although much of this was used on Jutland instead of Sjaelland).
- Now we resolve the Flak at Kjobenhaven against the Ground support mission. The Lt AA II has 1 flak point, plus 1 flak pt is intrinsic to major city hex of Kjobenhaven. This, however, is halved to 1 point overall due to -again – the Surprise Rule. The probable result is no effect on any attacking air units.
- Finally,, we get to resolve the attack on Kjobenhaven: Our best possible attack is the 2-6 Inf III E at Roskilde (halved to 1 pt as unsupported) and the 2-6 Inf III E at Helsingor (supported by the 3 pt taskforce), so our total ground attack strength is 6 plus 0-5 pts of ground support for a total of 6-11. The danish defenders muster 0.75 pts (1-2-6 Inf III and 0-1-8 Lt Inf III both halved due to lack of support and halved again for surprise), so the odds should be anywhere from 7:1 to 9:1.
Note that Danish C.V. cannot fly DAS due to the surprise rule and that the Danish CD taskforce cannot provide NGS since it is not prepared. Furthermore, even when using the optional rule regarding coast defenses as ground strength these still count as zero since Kjobenhaven has 1 CD level during neutrality watch and its ground strength is half of the CD level, with any fractional strength rounded down. Further note that Kjobenhaven is treated as a dot city (not a major city) due to surprise. The elimination of Danish force is a given, no matter what amount of air gets through, but the capture of the government must be rolled for.
Should the Nykobing operation fail and only the regiment at Helsingor be available, the odds go down a bit, as the strength the Axis Player can bring to bear ranges from 5-9pts – depending on how much air gets through, which translates to odds of 6:1 to 9:1. Again, capture of Kjobenhaven is a given, except in the case of all air being driven off (reducing the odds to 6:1) and a 1 being rolled (resulting in an EX leaving no German unit to occupy Kjobenhaven hex).
Our worst case attack on Kjobenhaven is if Helsingor force lands disrupted (and thus cannot attack Kjobenhaven), leaving only the 2-6 Inf III at Roskile to attack, supported by air (Ju87R, Me110C1, and maybe the Me109E, since in this situation it might be preferable to put everything on ground support) and 3 pts NGS from Schlesien in Helsingor hex. The total strength the Axis Player can bring to bear varies from 5-8 pts (again depending on what air gets through). The odds will therefore range from 6:1 to 9:1, with chance of failure again if odds are 6:1 and a 1 is rolled.
Of course our absolute absolute worst case is if both Nykobing and Helsingor ops fail and no attack on Kjobenhaven is possible, but that should occur only 1/36 of the time. This remote possibility cannot be completely ruled out using historical force levels.
Overall, however, chance of failing to take Kjobenhaven is quite low. After that, we proceed to finish the occupation of Denmark as follows:
- The 6-6 Inf XX 170 at 0820 attacks (at 9:1) the Danish 1-2-6 Inf III at Haderslev, then advances after combat into Haderslev itself to position itself at a port for naval transport in the next turn
- The air units participating in the attack on Kjobenhaven return to base: The Me109E to Aarhus, and all others to Aalborg.
- During exploitation, all c/m units not at ports already move to a port.
- Should the attack on Kjobenhaven have succeeded in capturing the Danish capital, then during the Allied initial phase of Apr I 40 turn, Denmark becomes a protectorate. If the capital was not captured, Denmark remains in the war, but has no eligible place to receive any reinforcements. The Danish capital then evacuates into exile and Denmark surrenders during the Axis inital phase of the Apr II 40 turn. Of course, if both Nykobing and Helsingor ops fail, the Danes might be around for quite a while.