Cardboard Wars

War is the continuation of politics by other means

Narvik PBEM: German Turn 1 (April 9 – 11, 1940) Floating like a butterfly

We’ll save stinging like a bee for the near future.

The Germans unload in Norway (click image to enlarge)

The Germans unload in Norway (click image to enlarge)

After learning a lot in our first attempt we decided to start over and switched sides to see what something completely different would look like.

Rather than making opposed landings and “all or nothing” landings at the Regimental level the Germans opted for only one opposed landing (at Kristiansand) and a Battalion level grab for as many ports south of the A weather line as possible.  At risk of tipping my hand, the strategy is to confine the British and French to landing far away or in places they can easily be dealt with.

Starting in the center of Norway the 214th Inf XX lands three 3-4 Bns at Namsos.  A second wave 1-4 Art Battery was sunk trying to sneak past British destroyers.

German Invasion of Norway, Trondheim Region (click image to enlarge)

German Invasion of Norway, Trondheim Region (click image to enlarge)

At Andalsnes three 2-4 Bns from the 196 Inf XX attempt a landing, only two made it ashore.  They were joined by a 1-5 Mtn Art Battery and a Depot airlifted in by four He115 floatplanes.  During the second wave landing a 1-4 Arty Battery made it in, but a 2-1-4 non-divisional Arty Battery was sunk.  Norwegians at Trondheim face German troops coming from east and west.  They could probably deal with either alone, but will struggle to manage both.

Any allied force landing at Trondheim is within bomber and fighter range of Oslo.  A supply base there wouldn’t last very long.  It’s a long haul to Trondheim from the ports north of Namsos and Bergen to the west is not of any assistance to Trondheim.

Southern Norway is the center of attention for the first few turns.  German forces must quickly overrun the many mobilization centers as possible while seizing ports and airbases.  In addition, they must move north toward Trondheim as fast as possible and dispose of the Norwegian Army along the way.  The Germans have a phrase, “make haste slowly.”  Muhammad Ali would say “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” but trust me, you don’t want to hear that in German.

As tempting as Oslo is it involves a great deal of risk.  Using this strategy Oslo will fall soon enough, along with the nearby Mob Centers.  Paratroopers seized the Oslo West airbase, but a similar attempt at Kristiansand ran into the unpredictable Norwegian weather (only a 1/3 chance of landing).  But all was not lost, two 3-4 Inf Bns along with a 4-4 Rgt were airlanded along with the other two Para companies.  The 1-hex move after airlanding put 7 attack factors of Germans adjacent to Oslo on its western approach.

German Invasion of Norway, southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

German Invasion of Norway, southern Norway (click image to enlarge)

German troops from the 181st and 163rd Inf divisions land at three ports at the mouth of the Oslo fjord.  Two artillery stores are overrun, though only one is occupied (probably a mistake not to occupy both).  A 2-4 Inf Bn advances after it’s 1st wave landing to be adjacent to Oslo on the east side of the fjord.  Second wave landings include a 6-4 Rgt (a 9-4 Inf Rgt was the only unit sunk near Oslo). Along with two Divisional HQ, artillery and the Panzer Co.

The opposed landing at Kristiansand could’ve turned sour.  With only one ground combat the Luftwaffe was easily able to disrupt the defending 2-3-4 battalion.  A 1st wave 3-4 Bn was sunk off Kristiansand, but luckily the 6-4 Rgt landed intact.  Norwegian troops failed their mandatory retreat roll and this allowed the Inf Rgt a 1-hex exploit move. This came in handy when the parachute assault at the adjacent airbase failed and an attempted coup de main landing by a Ju52 crashed and burned.  2nd wave artillery took control of the port, but two 1-4 Batteries were lost I transit.  Finally, a 2nd wave landing by a single arty battery at Haugesund took that undefended port.  The Norwegians hold Bergen and Stavanger, if the Allies want to land at either they are welcome to them.

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2 thoughts on “Narvik PBEM: German Turn 1 (April 9 – 11, 1940) Floating like a butterfly

  1. Mike Phoenix on said:

    Fascinating. 180 degrees different from my thoughts on German best move. Love this, what a learning opportunity. Question: Haugesund. Unsupported Arty lands there? Your thoughts, please.


    • Haugesund is kind of an out of the way place, not easy to get to even with the road. The Narvik rules are about 80% different from the standard Europa rules, due to the change in scale. Support is something that isn’t considered. Artillery units can make unopposed landings, like the one performed there, but do have to be supported by infantry to make an opposed landing.

      He can have that port, though. It isn’t on my radar. Bergen and Trondheim, are though. Not trying to take them really surprises me.


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