Narvik PBEM2: Allied Turn 5 (April 24 – 27, 1940)
The Empire Strikes Back!
In their headlong rush to take Oslo and the nearby airbases German troops leave their rear areas undefended. A 1-3 Norwegian reserve Infantry Bn which had pretended to retreat from a German attack turns around and makes a lightning raid on the Oslo West airbase where six entire squadrons of He111 medium bombers sat napping. Only two of the air units managed to escape while four others (an entire Gruppe) lays in neatly parked ashes beside the runway. Bombing supply bases and ports is going to be a lot harder for the Luftwaffe from now on.
Adding insult to injury the RAF scrambled every aircraft it could (15 air units) to conduct a strike on the main Ju88 base at Stavanger. Six German squadrons (air units) sat under the sun as the Skuas, Swordfish, Whitleys, Blenheims Wellingtons and Hamptons unloaded. Only one squadron of Junkers was destroyed, but the Germans now know the RAF is not to be trifled with. Two squadrons of Messerschmitt 110s stationed at Oslo failed to defend their comrades. Word has it they were paralyzed by fear. HMS Glorious and her Swordfish hover like ghosts at maximum strike range from Stavanger, awaiting any retaliation.
Just to the east of Stavanger three Norwegian battalions out maneuver German troops to establish a line in the mountains defending Haugesund. Meanwhile the British replace their U-1 troops at Bergen and Haugesund with fresh troops, as they have for the last few turns.
North of Oslo the Norwegians defend on a 3 hex front, with one of those manned by the Kings Own Guards who can automatically retreat before combat. Now that the Germans have a full complement of c/m units a defense in depth is required. More shuffling also takes place along the Trondheim siege line with the 10 DF 15th Bde from Namsos swapping with the 7 DF 148th Bde at the airbase adjacent to Trondheim. A matter of changing the guards at POW camp Trondheim so to speak. The Nazis even sent in more prisoners.
Up north the Norwegians and French sent units to Bodo and the 2-4 Mtn Bn at Bodo advances on the rear of the German 3rd Mtn Division. Rough terrain means drawing the noose tight will take a week or more, so no action is expected right off. HMS Ark Royal delivers a squadron of Gladiators and lends a squadron of Sea Gladiators to the defense of Narvik when these transfer to Bardufoss.