For those who may not know, the SoS Campaign for Norway EA game report project is at the May II 40 Allied turn. Per Rule 41B-Campaign for Norway Scenario, this would be the final player turn of the Scenario.
Thus, this Europa wargame Scenario, like others in the series (ie., FitE/SE 1941 Scenario, WitD Western Desert Scenario),ends in the midst of the campaign at a somewhat arbitrary photo-finish point in time, with the future hanging and swinging in mid-air, so to speak.
The actual historical Norwegian campaign, especially during the second half of May and most of June 1940, was not carried out in a vacuum.
Select Mid May-June 1940 Chronology:
May 10: Germany invades Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg. British troops land in Iceland. Resignation of Mr. Chamberlain; Coalition Government formed w/ Mr. Churchill as PM.
May 13: Germans capture Liege, push through the Ardennes, and reach the Meuse River. Dutch government transferred to U.K. Churchill’s “blood and toil and tears and sweat” speech in Commons.
May 14: Holland surrenders “to prevent annihilation.”
May 15: Germans capture Sedan and in battle break through across the Meuse between Mezieres and Namur; the bridges not destroyed.
May 16/17: Gap forms in Sedan sector of Allied front; the panzers “race to the sea.” Brussels abandoned.
May 18: Germans reach Amiens, capture Antwerp.
May 21: Germans reach the English Channel. Br cruiser Effingham sunk off Norway.
May 22: Desperate Allied counterattack to rescue trapped Western Allied forces in Channel pocket at Belgium-French border.
May 23: Bolougne captured by Germans.
May 26: Lt. Gen. J.G. Dill becomes British C.-in-C. General Ironsides becomes C.-in-C. of British Home Forces. British cruiser Curlew sunk by LW aircraft off Narvik. Calais falls that evening.
May 28: Belgium surrenders. Dunkirk evacuation begins; continues until evening of June 2/3. 337,000 Western Allied troops evacuated. Narvik captured by Norwegian and British forces.
May 30: “Uncounted thousands” of Western Allied troops reach England.
May 31: President Roosevelt pushes “billion dollar” defense budget.
June 4: Churchill’s public statement saying “we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight in the fields…we will never surrender.”
June 5: Germans launch their 2nd major French offensive in the West, from the Channel coast to Laon.
June 8: British aircraft carrier Glorious sunk during Allied withdrawal from Narvik, British destroyer Acasta sunk during the same naval battle.
June 9: Norwegian King Hoakon announces the collapse of Allied resistance to the Nazi invasion of Norway.
June 10: Withdrawal of the remainder of British and French troops from northern Norway. Norwegian king sails to U.K. Italy declares war on the Allies.
June 12: Soviet ultimatum to Lithuania; accepted June 14th. New government by June 16th.
June 14: Germans enter Paris.
June 15: New Russo-German frontier agreement announced. Minor changes around E. Prussia, if I recall.
June 16: USSR demands change of government of Estonia and Latvia. New Latvian Cabinet by June 20; new Estonian Cabinet by June 22.
June 17: Marshal Petain’s new Cabinet in France. New French government asks for armistice terms. British evacuation of France completed.
June 18: Churchill gives “finest hour” speech in the Commons.
June 19: French agree to prohibit transport of war material to China through Indo-China.
June 21/22: Armistice negotiated and signed in Foch’s railway carriage at Compiegne. Polish exile government reaches London from France.
Thus the SoS Campaign for Norway Scenario ends at the finish of the May II 40 game turn, well before the end of the historical campaign for Norway. For that matter, the Campaign for Norway Scenario ends well before the end of the SoS NTO Scenario, which can continue until the end of the Jun II 40 game turn.
What the Campaign for Norway Scenario offers wargamers is evidently an “historical” set-up of the Norwegian forces. In the NTO Scenario the Soviet player on their Dec II 39 player turn evidently conducts the Norwegian partial mobilization per the Norway, 1939-1945 Europa OB beginning on p. 31 of the SoS OB booklet. This in effect is a rules sanctioned limited Norwegian “free deployment” as opposed to the Campaignfor Norway Scenario “historical” deployment for Norway.
However, due to the Initial Phase “activities” numbering sequence of the SoS Master Sequence of Play Summary, it appears impossible for NTO Campaign wargamers to “tweak” their Scenario into a parallel Campaign for Norway “historical” format, with the Russo-Finnish War conveniently ended, and thereby legally smuggle in the extra turns allowed in the NTO Scenario. At best the Soviets can end the Russo-Finnish War (per Rule 41G3d-End to Russo-Finnish War) “at the start of…the Soviet initial phase” on their Apr I 40 player turn. But at that moment, “if the Russo-Finnish war ends before any Allied or Axis Intervention occurs, the [NTO] scenario ends at that point.” Per Rule 41G3c-Axis Intervention, the Germans “automatically intervene on the Apr I 40 turn even if the Allies have not intervened,” but per the SoS Initial Phase activity listing this does not occur until step 4, apparently well after “the start” of the Soviet initial phase, when the NTO Scenario would end if the Russo-Finnish war ends per Rule 41G3d.
There is the unusual “alternative history” possibility of a NTO Scenario with a Russo-Finnish War continuing through the Apr I 40 game turn, but still without direct Allied intervention into it and played alongside a separate “automatic” German invasion of Denmark and Norwaybeginning on a joint Apr I 40 Soviet/Axis player turn. Per Rule 41G3a-Allied Intervention, on the following Apr I 40 joint Finnish/Allied turn, Allied intervention into that new Scandinavian conflict would “automatically” occur along with “automatic” simultaneous Allied intervention also occurring into the ongoing Russo-Finnish War. See Rule 41G3c-Axis Intervention for German restrictions. In this situation Rule 41G3d says “The [NTO] scenario continues [presumably as long as the Jun II 40 game turn inclusive] with the remaining warring nations.” The Soviets would then, beginning on the Apr II 40 Soviet/Axis turn, begin using a -10 DP (demoralization point) factor when determining if the Russo-Finnish War ends (Rule 41G3d). This may well compel the Soviet army to advance all the way to Helsinki in order to gain the additional DPs, rather than ending/winning their Winter War by capturing Viipuri (without the -10 DP factor), as might often be the case prior to any Allied intervention into the conflict. However, although the SoS Scenarios don’t express the final peace settlement of such an alternative history situation in terms of Grand Europa country borders, probably in a real life situation with the Soviet army capturing both Helsinki and Viipuri by either the Jun I or Jun II 40 turns (eg., in effect at or right after the fall of France), this might just mean the end of an independent Finland. However, the Soviet Union probably would not have incorporated the three Baltic States, which in real life occurred only after they realized that the fall of France was imminent, until after a settlement of the Russo-Finnish War, and therefore in this situation might have delayed this incorporation event (or its attempt) until maybe the late summer of 1940.
We will skip for now the admittedly quite appealing issue of creating an “expanded” SoS Campaign for Norway Scenario lasting at least to the Jun II 40 game turn inclusive, perhaps using the NTO Allied and German OBs as a basis for the added on Jun I and Jun II 40 game turns. For a first class effort I’m thinking the proposed Campaign for Norway Scenario expansion likely needs more study and perhaps some additional SoSRules and OB tweaking. Someday it probably should be done. A first class scenario of this type might also include provisions for the war in the Atlantic in the 4th quarter of 1940.
Even better would be a Campaign for Norway/Fall of France/Their Finest Hour Grand Europa campaign scenario, beginning likely on the Apr I 40 turn and ending perhaps on the Dec II 40 turn. Here the interaction between the time period’s three war regions would be more apparent.
SoS Rules Issues:
- The hex entry side of a port, in particular the Bergen port. See Rule 27B4-All-Water Route/Adjacent for this. The center, or main entry hex side of the Bergen port should be the 3016/3017 hex side, I believe. The center, or main entry hex side of the Stavanger port should be 3619/3620.
- Stored replacement point locations, both infantry RPs and special replacements. The Allied player in theCampaignfor Norway Scenariomight ought to note that the Norway, 1939-1935 Europa OB, used for the Norwegian forces in the Scenario, lists Trondheim, Bergen, and Oslo as the hex locations where their May I 40 Allied turn infantry RP Production Ground Replacements are “received.” Accordingly, for reasons of efficiency and expediency, Norwegian infantry RP “special replacements,” which per Rule 40B-Replacements are “calculated” and their residual hex location “designated” during the Allied initial phase following the affected ground unit losses, might ought to be placed at one of these same city hexes, if the combat hex is not “isolated” from the particular city hex. Similar cautions need to be done for German and Western Allied inf RP OB arrivals and special replacement infantry RP accounting. Even apparently isolated ground unit losses can be calculated and then designated at a friendly owned hex existing in the isolated geographical zone. Evidently they may be stored there as long as the hex remains friendly. Of course they may just be hard to retrieve and assemble with other inf RPs into a replaced ground unit.
- Floatplanes in theCampaignfor Norway. I think that WW Optional Rules 23G2a-Floatplane Airbase Capacity and b-Floatplane Transports might ought to be incorporated into SoS as optional rules. The Floatplane Airbase Capacity optional rule says that “a port…with a port capacity greater than 0 has a special floatplane capacity of 1. This capacity is not damaged due to any hits achieved against it due to airbase bombing. …[A]irbase bombing is allowed against such a hex and code F air units at the airbase [port] can be hit, but the special floatplane airbase capacity does not get damaged.” The Floatplane Transports optional rule says a floatplane “may land its cargo in any friendly-owned partial-sea/lake hex. It may not, however, fly a one-way transport mission in this manner.”
Victory Points and Rule 42-Victory:
Here is a preliminary estimate of projected end-of-game and/or accumulated Victory Points done at the beginning of the May II 40 game turn for the EA reported SoS Campaign for Norway Scenario.
Ownership of Norwegian Cities and Ports (all on map 10B, unless noted):
- point city/minor port of Halden (4308): +2
- point city/minor port of Fredrikstad (4309): +2
- point city/minor port of Tonsberg (4310): +2
- point city/minor port of Larvik (4311): +2
- point city/minor port of Arendal (4413): +2
- point city/minor port of Moss (4208): +2
- point city/minor port of Drammen (4009): +2
- point city/minor port of Egersund (4019): +2
- point city of Honefoss (3808): +1
- point city of Hamar (3605): +1
- point city/minor port of Frode (2613): +2
- point city/standard port of Kristiansand (4416): +4
- reference city/standard port of Stavanger (3619): +6
- reference city/major port of Narvik (5C:1010) +8
- dot city/major port of Bergen (3016): +10
- major city/major port of Oslo (4007): +20
Capturing [Norwegian] Objectives:
Capture of Norwegian capital [evidently the map hex and not the marker]: +10
Enemy Losses [in Norway or at sea]:
- Nor inf II and Nor cav II: +1
- second Nor cav II: –
- two isolated Nor inf IIIs: +4
- one Nor inf III unable to mobilize: +1
- one Nor inf XX HQ unit unable to mobilize: +1
- sunk Nor CD TF Norge: +2
- aborted Br Skua (C code) FAA air unit +2
- British heavy TF hits (11 total): +33
Ownership of Danish Cities and Ports (all on map13A):
Note: in this game Denmark became a “German protectorate” in the Combat Phase of the Apr I 40 Axis Turn per Rule 38D2-The Danish Protectorate. In this particular situation I believe all Danish cities and ports captured by the Axis at that “point during the player turn it is invaded by Germany” when it “accept[s] the imposition of a German protectorate over the country” ought to be counted for VPs per the notes indicated on the VP charts found on p. 70 of the SoS Scenario Rules booklet.
- reference city/standard port of Esbjerg (0621): +2
- dot city/major port of Aahrus (0616): +4
- reference city/standard port of Odense (0918): +2
- major city/major port of Kjobenhavn (1113): +7
Capturing [Danish] Objectives:
Capture of Danish Capital [evidently the map hex and not the marker]: +3
Enemy Losses [in Denmark]:
- three Danish non-mot REs eliminated: +3
- eliminated Danish C.V air unit: +2
- CD TF N. Juel scuttled/sunk: +2
Accumulated Friendly Production:
- three accumulated Ger inf RPs +3
- fourteen accumulated Ger LW ARPs +14
- .5 resource point –
This tallies to an Axis VP total of: +164
Enemy Losses [in Norway or at sea]:
- three Ger inf/mtn REs eliminated while isolated: +6
- one aborted LW Ju 52 air unit +1
- German heavy TF hits (14 total): +84
Accumulated Friendly Production:
- one accumulated Br ARP +1
- one accumulated Nor ARP +1
- .25 accumulated Nor inf RP –
This tallies to a possible Allied VP total of: +93
Technically, that’s it for the Allies so far in this wargame, if one reads without questioning the VP charts found on the back side (p. 70) of the SoS Scenario Rules booklet. Under “Ownership of Cities and Ports” is the parenthetical stipulation, “count only those that were enemy-owned at start of scenario,” which means, as far as I can tell, that the Allied player never gets to add any Ownership VPs for Scandinavian city/port ownership in either the Campaign for Norway or NTO Scenarios. The VP tallies are so lopsided that I believe the Axis could still afford to lose at least two or maybe up to three of their five remaining Kriegsmarine TF naval units (they begin the Scenario with a total of 9 naval TFs) and still possibly manage to win at the game’s end.
In the Campaign for Norway Scenario wargame done for the EA game report, this poor Allied VP tally is the case despite of the fact that both the Norwegian forces and the Allied Scandinavian expeditionary forces remain basically intact, that the Allied player holds securely for now both Trondheim and Bergen, and that the still intact and quite potent Royal Navy has inflicted grave damage to the Kriegsmarine. Moreover, even if one goes ahead and adds the VPs for currently Allied controlled Norwegian city/ports on the stipulated SoS Campaign for Norway maps per Rule 41-Preparing for Play (this tallies to 53, I believe), the new Allied VP total is now at 146, still 18 points below the current Axis VP tally.
Also, most of the 14 Allied hits done on German heavy TFs were achieved due to a misunderstanding regarding the supply status of the German forces in the Narvik hex, which were also being threatened then by an Allied build-up in the Narvik zone. This threat of a beefed-up Allied attack against the German held Narvik hex, aggravated by the erroneous belief that the German forces there were also out of regular supply, compelled the Axis player to execute his ill-fated Kriegsmarine naval mission to reinforce the Narvik hex, which resulted in most of the Allied hits against the German naval units done in the several naval battles in the Norwegian Sea. The better way to reinforce Narvik, which was nevertheless necessary due to the Allied build-up in the zone, would have been to air transport at night unsupported German inf III breakdowns into the Narvik hex. This air transport reinforcement of Narvik would have also given the Axis player game turn time and preserved the Kriegsmarine naval resources for different and possibly more rewarding Axis naval operations in the vast geographical coastal “bulge” region of SW Norway. These Axis naval operations would have undoubtedly also resulted in some Allied hits to Axis TF naval units, but a preliminary guess/estimate would be ½ to 2/3rds of the current tally.
Right now I’m tentatively thinking that perhaps the Allied player should get VPs for ownership of Norwegian cities and ports at the end of the Campaign for Norway and NTO Scenarios. This would at least more properly channel some of the wargame strategy and tactics of the Allied player. But I probably ought to play a few more scenarios completely through before firing off a protest letter to HMS.
I’m currently thinking that in the SoS Campaign for Norway Scenario the Axis player is faced with reliving a whole series of ordeals and risks which in the historical campaign appear to be “done deals” and thus in hindsight perhaps sometimes skipped over by WWII students as inevitable historical success. But these “done” historical realities are not so in SoS. These relived Axis historical ordeals and risks might now be worth listing:
- Conquering Denmark in the context of Rules 38A and D; specifically capturing Kjobenhaven (13A:1113). The trick here is that the Axis must somehow get ground units onto the Danish island of Sjaelland and then successfully attack and occupy Kjobenhaven. I suspect this will often be done by amphibious landings, as the LW para IIs will likely be required for more critical air drops in southernNorway. In many games the amphibious landings necessary at Sjaelland Island will likely be done at either Korsor (1016) or Helsingor (1012), the later of which is conveniently adjacent to Kjobenhaven. The otherSoS Campaign for Norway game report that is posted in the EA files does the amphibious landing onto Sjaelland at Vordinborg (1412) if I recall and am understanding it correctly. But I don’t know how the amphibious landing (and presumably) non-divisional ground units subsequently cross the adjacent causeway (eg., without a ZOC to initially gain control of the other side) onto the Danish isle of Falster to the north in order to continue moving in order to gain control of Nykobing (1516).
- Capturing Narvik. On the initial turn the Axis will likely amphibiously disembark only one stripped down and supported mtn III breakdown, then roll for disruption on the Disruption Table and see what happens.
- Capturing Trondheim. Here the risks for the Axis are apparently identical to the situation at Narvik. Here the Axis player will likely use his other stripped down supported mtn III breakdown, reliving once again the Disruption Table die roll ordeal and being the slave of its verdict. At either location, if the Axis player loses out on these initial player turn amphibious disembarkation die rolls, it is likely that the Allied player can take these hexes on the Apr I 40 Allied turn and will remain there until the end of the game.
- Capturing Bergen. I believe both historically and in theSoSScenario its capture is critical for both the Axis naval war north of Stavanger and in the military task of quickly continuing northwards towards Trondheim (if it is not Axis) and even farther on towards Narvik, either by the overland route in Norway (basically starting from Oslo) or by sea round the great eastern bend of the Scandinavian peninsula. In the current EA reported wargame the Axis player used two unsupported inf IIIs in the initial turn amphibious disembarkations and both managed to land disrupted. Vigorous Allied countermeasures done in their subsequent player turn won back the disputed Bergen hex from the disrupted Ger inf IIIs, as was also the case at the disputed Trondheim hex, where the single stripped down supported Ger mtn III landed disrupted, also. Once the Allies gain firm control of Bergen in the Apr I 40 Allied turn, the reinforced intrinsic Norwegian CDs in the hex make Bergen a tough and hazardous nut to crack. If the Axis come after Bergen again later in the game, there will certainly be plenty of blood.
- Capturing Oslo. This is admittedly the gentlest of the uncomfortable ordeals facing the Axis player in theCampaignfor NorwayScenario. Here the Axis used an unsupported inf III breakdown along with a LW para II air dropping at a clear terrain coast hex adjacent to Oslo and still both became disrupted. However, in the subsequent Allied turn the Norwegians evacuated the contested full city hex, opting to run away then in order to regroup and fight another day. On the Apr I 40 Allied turn the Allied position at the disputed Oslo hex would have been better, I think, had the Kjobenhaven hex still been Danish controlled. This prevents it from being a convenient 6-cap Axis airbase. The other available LW para II will likely often be used at either the critical Bergen assault, or perhaps at the strategic 3-cap permanent airfield at clear terrain coast hex 10B:3720 on the SW Norwegian coastline, or maybe at the adjacent reference city/standard port hex of Stavanger.
- The May I 40 game turn weather die roll. Things get better for the Nazi German invasion ofNorwayif the weather goes their way this turn. It’s a 50-50 chance of either clear weather or mud in the C weather zone, which includes Namsos, Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger, and Oslo. I believe historically the Nazis rolled good and got clear weather in the C weather zone. In the Campaign for Norway Scenariothe Axis gets to again relive the worry of the weather in central and southern Norway on the May I 40 game turn. Imagine asking SE/FitE/TW Axis players to do a weather die roll at the start of the Jun II 41 initial turn.
However, even though the current Allied position on the SoS wargame maps might appear impressive in the Campaign for Norway Scenario EA game reports, I suspect that this is an illusion caused by the campaign being played in the “small box” of the localized scenario with the rest of contemporary WWII reality being necessarily cropped out. I believe it is quite likely that in either a similar hypothetical “real life” alternate historical situation or in an extended and revised Campaign for Norway Scenario play (eg., played beyond the May II 40 game turn), all Allied forces currently on the Norwegian mainland would soon be evacuated or lost, perhaps even as early as the end of the Jun II 40 game turn. The superficially strong Allied positions at Trondheim and Bergen in the current Scenario wargame might, in the end, not become historical strong Allied bastions like Tobruk, bur rather would become additional historical Narvik, Dunkirk, and Crete Allied evacuation ordeals, full of loss, grief, and regrets. In Europa wargame play I suspect this would be most evident in a future Grand Europa battle scenario situation essentially combining the SoS campaign for Norway scenario with the Fall of France historical scenario.