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)
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)
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.
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.
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)