Narvik: German Turn 5 (April 24-27)
Before I start with this, I should clarify something for those who are not familiar with how the Narvik and Storm over Scandinavia games work.
If you click on the photos to get a closer look at them, you will see a lot of counters that have what appear to be flags on them, denoting different unit types. For example, a box with an X through it denotes infantry. Regular units do not have the flagstaff on them. Headquarters units do.
Headquarters units can “absorb” other units into them, leaving just the headquarters unit itself on the map. The units that have been absorbed are put aside in a holding box that is off map.
It looks funny when a zero strength HQ unit appears to be threatening a 6 strength mountain unit near Narvik, but that isn’t the case. The HQ unit has “absorbed” other units into it.
A German HQ can only absorb units from its own division. In most cases, this is three infantry regiments and an artillery regiment. There are a couple of exceptions to this.
British HQ units can hold anywhere from 2 to 4 battalions, depending on how many battalions are attached to the unit.
French HQ units hold 3 battalions.
Norwegian HQ units can absorb up to the stacking limit of the hex. A hex can hold two units, regardless of size and type, plus one artillery battalion or two artillery battalions. An unlimited number of supply units, tank units (regardless of size), and company sized units can stack in a hex. For the purposes of stacking, artillery is considered to be any unit with an artillery, mountain artillery, anti-aircraft or anti-tank symbols.
A group HQ can absorb that limit, while a Norwegian brigade HQ can absorb two groups (which have each absorbed the stacking limit), plus an artillery battalion or two artillery batteries.
Allied HQs cannot absorb Norwegian units, but a Norwegian HQ can absorb Allied units, but only if it has absorbed a Norwegian unit first.
So, if you see the French 5th Mt Regiment with an attack strength of 1 moving to attack a German 6-5 mountain regiment, it has absorbed units that are off map and is stronger than it appears.
I hope this straightens out any confusion.
I apologize in advance for the poor quality of some of the photos. I didn’t angle the camera enough to prevent flash feedback on the some of the counters, and didn’t notice it until this morning.
With the fall of Oslo, German activity picks up all over Norway.
Both the 214th and 196th infantry divisions hop trains and head for the Trondheim area, capturing Mobilization Center 5 on the way.
The II battalion of the 3rd antiaircraft regiment moves to capture Mobilizations Centers 2 & 4.
The 181st infantry division, which has absorbed the 349th infantry regiment and 222nd artillery regiment) race by rail to reinforce the 159th regiment in the long valley that leads to Bergen.
The 236th infantry regiment moves out of Stavanger and into the mountains near MC7 to attack the Norwegians protecting the area. To protect Stavanger, the 1st battalion of the 69th infantry division is brought in by rail from Kristiansand airfield.
The 334th infantry regiment (181st division) moves by rail to Evje, then by foot towards the mountains outside Haugesund that is held by the Norwegians.
The Luftwaffe musters all of its bombers for a raid on the British supply terminal at Bergen. They are escorted by Me-110C’s. They are intercepted by Skuas and Blenheim 1F night fighters. The escorts put down one of the Skuas and the night fighters while chasing the surviving skuas back to their base, while suffering no damage themselves. The antiaircraft defenses are ineffectual as three waves of bombers pass overhead, dropping their loads.
The supply depot is completely destroyed, and Bergen can no longer be used as a supply base. The British in the Bergen area are now in deep trouble, and will be out of supply starting their half of the turn.
The Allies lose 4 victory points for the loss of the aircraft.
Dive bombers hit the Norwegians at MC7, disrupting a mountain battalion. The attack begins as the Stukas fly back to their base. The Norwegians are forced to retreat further into the mountains, giving the Germans control of MC7.
Finally, after long deliberation about whether to withdraw into Narvik, or to withdraw into the mountains, the German 3rd mountain division consolidates into Elvegaardsmoen. The reason for this is simple. The Germans don’t have to hold Narvik proper, only Narvik OR one of the hexes surrounding it. By occupying Elvegaardsmoen, they also keep the supply line to Harstad where the naval regiment is, open, and prevent the Allies from gaining entrance to that port.
The plan is to hold in the arctic. In the Trondheim area, the Germans may cross the mountains into the Trondheim airfield and attack from there. Now that it has been discovered that the easiest way to defeat the Allies is to destroy their supply, the Luftwaffe will bomb the supplies in Trondheim into oblivion, then the Allies have a choice. Stay and die, resulting in a major loss of victory points, or evacuate back to England/France, something the Brits were very good at in 1940.
The Allies are now faced with the same decision in Bergen. Evacuate, or flee to Haugesund, Andalsnes, Trondheim or Namsos. The Allies have no air power, and are completely at the mercy of the Luftwaffe. Their supply line is as good as toast.