Cardboard Wars

War is the continuation of politics by other means

Narvik PBEM: Allied Turn 7 (May 2 – 5, 1940)


Go Away, or I Shall Taunt You a Second Time!

Current Allied VP: +33

Here’s how the German assault on Trondheim went down. Just substitute the Germans for the English.

Battle of Hegra Fortress, April, 1940 (click image to enlarge)

Battle of Hegra Fortress, April, 1940 (click image to enlarge)

The battle for southern Norway has ended. All resistance has been crushed and Bergen has fallen. I have a feeling that the ability of the Allied sea lift woke my opponent up to Bergen, and rightfully so. I had planned, with the arrival of a Polish brigade and the French Foreign Legion to reinforce Bergen this turn. I guess he decided to get Bergen while the getting was good.

Although Bergen fell, the Germans did not capture the trucks.

The important battle took place at Trondheim.

Historically, the Norwegians fought the Germans at Hegra Fortress just east of Trondheim (most likely in the hex with the Trondheim Airfield) from April 15 (turn 2) to the end of this turn, May 5 before they finally surrendered.

I’ve managed to nearly reproduce this effort in the Trondheim area. The Germans began to filter into the area on turn 3 (April 16-19), and slowly reduced the Trondheim pocket from then until now, May 5, 1940.

The end of Trondheim (click image to enlarge)

The end of Trondheim (click image to enlarge)

Trondheim has been a pain in my opponents backside, but I still came very close to getting my teeth kicked in. The Gods were with us once again, and we drove the invaders from the city, just as we had driven them from the airfield two turns before. I nearly lost this battle because I miscalculated on the move of a single unit.

I have held the Germans up for an amazing 5 turns, and the French 27th Alpine Regiment has so enraged Dear Leader, that he has invaded France in retaliation.

If you do something daring and succeed, you are brilliant. If you fail, your a blithering idiot. Just ask General Bernard Montgomery.

I took a long hard look at my options. I looked at what was coming up, and what I could bring into Trondheim to relieve the forces there, and if I could get any out to be resupplied. In the end, counting French reinforcements, I could bring the defense up a couple of points, but with the fall of southern Norway, the Germans now have the full power of the Luftwaffe at their disposal, and I honestly think I have pushed my luck as far as it can go in Trondheim.

It is with sadness that the Allies pull out of Trondheim, leaving the valiant Norwegians to their fate. I tried to get them out, but couldn’t take Namsos back. The Norwegians have a limited sea lift capacity and can only move a single unit to an adjacent port. It doesn’t make sense that the Royal Navy would arrive to pick up the British and French, but refuse to stamp the tickets of the Norwegians.

The Norwegians fought hard, driving back German attacks on not only Trondheim, but on the airfield as well. They have brought much honor to themselves.

Trondheim will now fall and the block will be removed.

Allied arctic defense (click image to enlarge)

Allied arctic defense (click image to enlarge)

Only to be replaced by another.

Mo is the next logical chokepoint. Norway narrows to a single hex at this point. There is no bypassing it (without great risk), the Germans have to pass through this hex. There is also a -1 die roll modifier for the forest in this hex, the last forest in Norway.

Once the 24th Guards returns to Mo (which I fully expect it should be able to), there will be a total of 35 defense factors in the hex (there is currently 26), an amount the Germans will have great difficulty with. In order to bring that number down to the level that the Germans need to achieve a 3:1, he has to disrupt almost every unit in the hex, a monumental task, even for the vaunted Luftwaffe.

Most of the units that were in Trondheim went to Mo. Here is a breakdown of the units currently in Mo:

  • 5 x 0-1-4 infantry companies (5 DF)
  • 2 x 1-2-2 marine battalions (4 DF)
  • 1 x 2-4 French AA battalion (2 DF, 4 points AA)
  • 1 x 2-6 French armor company (2 DF)
  • 1 x 3-5 French Alpine artillery battalion [to pull out on the return of the 24th Guards Brigade] (3 DF)
  • British 15th infantry Brigade (10 DF)

Total: 26 defense factors.

Add another 9 to that total when the 24th Guards returns.

In addition, a British landing craft (LC) has arrived in Mo.

So? What’s the big deal?

The LC can act as a supply base, and does not require a port, cannot be captured, bombed or sunk. It has to be within 10 hexes of an active supply base. It extends the tether that held the Allies in Mo. It is this new base that has allowed the British to creep out and destroy an artillery battery.

Preparing anti-air defenses near Narvik (click image to enlarge)

Preparing anti-air defenses near Narvik (click image to enlarge)

Barring an attempt to disrupt the Allied forces in Mo, I think his only real option is to attempt to destroy the supply base in Bodo, but his bombers will be facing at least 2:1 odds in the AA department.  A two in three chance of killing a single bomber per wave, plus a one in six chance of getting two per wave. If the Allies keep firing like they have over the course of the game, that will equal a lot of twisted wreckage, and the elimination of his strategic bombers as a threat.

Even if he does fight through and destroys the base, the LC will just slip in and replace it.

If he attacks and gets an attacker retreat result, and slips through to the north, he has no supply.

The Poles and the British 148th Brigade have been sent to Narvik, where up to six battalions will be detached from their parent headquarters to spread out and keep all hexes adjacent to Narvik safe from an airborne assault. The fallschirmjaeger return on turn 12, but it may be at least turn 13 before they are ready to drop from the skies. That gives me four turns to get to that one hex southwest of Narvik that I have to traverse through two other mountain hexes to get to.

We are entering the second half of the game. The pressure is not on me anymore as it is on my opponent.

Can he figure out a way to break the Allies at Mo? Especially since he lost a company of tanks being shipped over to Norway? That’s 2 fewer points he can stuff into the attack.

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11 thoughts on “Narvik PBEM: Allied Turn 7 (May 2 – 5, 1940)

  1. Mike Phoenix on said:

    So nice to see an effective Allied attack. Love the LC use. Oh, and all hail the brave defenders at Trondheim! Poor bastards.

    Like

  2. Alan Tibbetts on said:

    Historically the Allies withdrew from Namsos on 2-3 May 1940. By that measure the Germans are ahead of schedule.

    The Allies do not consider the Germans capable of airdropping supplies north of Mo? Really? We have so many Ju52s with nothing else to do.

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  3. Alan Tibbetts on said:

    The huge flak concentration at Bodo waives at the Luftwaffe which sends 3x Me110, 2x He111 and 8x Ju88 to hit the nearly undefended ports of Narvik and Harstad. A note drifts from the sky saying “We’ll be back!”

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