Narvik PBEM 2: German Turn 6 (April 28 – May 1, 1940)
No more Namsos, and the Trondheim Breakout
Having watched Star Trek: Into Darkness over the weekend, it struck me how much of the end of the movie was a rewrite/lifted from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Because of that, I had to sit and watch The Wrath of Khan, and I was right. But, watching that old movie, something else struck me.
Captain Kirk said he doesn’t like to lose (which I don’t either), and that Khan caught him with his britches down. But Kirk didn’t quit, he went and fought Khan, fighting him in a place that evened the odds, and won.
Well, Alan caught me with my britches down. Now it’s time to stop farting around and fight back.
As of the end of this turn, I now control MCs 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 12. Half of the available mobilization centers, depriving the Norwegians of a potential 15 battalions. Of the others that they have left, (5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15 & 16) there are only 8 battalions available, of which five are of the 1-3 variety, and one is a 1-2-4. That leaves only two quality battalions (2-4). They can no longer replace them at the rate that I can kill them (which is still kind of slow). MC 9, 13, and 16 have mobilized all of their forces, leaving the Norwegians with five working mobilization centers.
The current plan is not working, so something has to change. Antiaircraft units are on their way to SW Norway to help protect the airfields, and three squadrons of Me-109s have been stationed in the area, along with several Me-110Cs in the Oslo area. Yes, the Evil Empire caught us with our britches down, but we dare the King to try that again. Nay, we DOUBLE DARE HIM! On second thought, WE TRIPLE DOG DARE HIM!
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
The 3rd Mountain Infantry Division is still holding its position to the north, just outside of Narvik. I didn’t think the Allies would risk their precocious little regiments to try to drive the assembled German division away.
The raid on Fornebu and Stavanger is what it is, but since the British had the audacity to raid Sola, and since the Allies made the claim that striking his ports was now that much harder, the strategic bomber force has been ordered to strike the port of Namsos, especially since the British split their AA fleet in order to protect the HMS Glorious. The Ark Royal, on the other hand, is hiding in the upper NE corner of the map, cowering in fear.
The raid succeeds beyond my wildest dreams, as the port is completely obliterated, along with the supply base, putting all Allied units south of the arctic out of supply, at the cost of a squadron of Ju-88s. There, that was hard.
I anticipate that the Allies will put a new supply base at Mo in anticipation of the pesky LC arriving on turn 7. They will use the LC to reestablish the supply base at Namsos, but their troubles are only beginning.
There is finally action at “Stalag” Trondheim. If the Allies think these forces are penned up, they are sadly mistaken, and are about to discover how mistaken, especially as the 1st Mountain Division starts to arrive, courtesy of “Air Goering”. While two mountain artillery battalions and an AA battalion hold the city, the 367th regiment of the 214th division, using the Norwegians own artillery against them, push out to the west, towards Andalsnes. There is no need to bomb the Norwegians, as the Germans have a 6:1 combat ratio on them. Unfortunately, the defenders are only disrupted and flee into the mountains overlooking Trondheim. But the road to the west is now open.
To the south, at the mouth of the two long valleys leading to Trondheim/Andalsnes, the Norwegians think they have everything blocked off, claiming a 3 hex defensive front. The HMKG battalion is going to retreat no matter what, so we just have to maintain pressure on them to encourage them to move along. The Norwegians seem to think the only road to Trondheim leads through Hamar and Elverum, but German troops, including an infantry regiment, an artillery regiment, an infantry battalion and two artillery battalions strike off through the mountains to the north to put pressure on the “defense in depth”. The Norwegians depth may not be deep enough. Their little 3 hex frontage is about to double.
The HMKG battalion, as predicted, ran, and one of the other disrupted units also managed to hold it together long enough to retreat, taking this from three battles to a single battle, the end result of which was a defender retreat. The Germans are being continually confounded by the lack of DE results, except in the one battle at the airfield, where a DE result was not needed. Fornebu, to the west of Oslo, is back under German control.
to the NW of Oslo, the 69th division continues to push towards Bergen, but combat results in a no effect, leaving both combatants in the hex. There is always one combat per phase that ends in an NE.
The 2nd Mountain division is making quick time in the mountains to the SW. They are to trap as many Norwegian troops near Haugesund as possible, then continue to head north towards Andalsnes. The 163rd division, with elements of the 181st and 196th are swarming through the mountains on the attack.
Another air raid is made on the Bergen airfield, with dive bombers targeting the Skua in order to force it to the air. The Allies choose to take the risk, and the Stukas miss the target (the only miss in all of the air raids).
Fresh German troops were brought in and landed at Stavanger, Kristiansand, and Oslo, with a single artillery battalion being put to the bottom off Kristiansand. Since the first turn invasion, I have been having relatively good luck ferrying troops across the Skaggerak. More mountain troops from the 2nd Mountain division are flown into Kjevik outside of Kristiansand, while two mountain artillery battalions are flown to Trondheim.
The motorized infantry that allowed the raid on Fornebu has been ordered back to that airfield, where, along with a newly landed artillery battalion at Oslo, cuts off and traps the battalion that raided the airfield. I’m sure Alan knew it was a suicide mission and the trade off was well worth it. All exits from the hex have been interdicted, so all that is needed is a DR result, and there is nowhere to go, but instead, the Germans roll a DE, which is overkill in this hex. Could have used that roll elsewhere.
The breakthrough to the south is on the verge of happening, and the “Allies” are afraid to commit troops for fear of losing victory points. I, on the other hand, have nothing left to lose at this point.
There are still a large part of one division, and almost all of a second division left to come across, and at this point, (as soon as possible) the 1st Mountain Division will be activated. This will cost me an additional 10 VPs, but I’ve already given up +62 (26 on the parachute units alone), so what’s another ten? I’ve backed myself into this corner, and now, like Ali, it’s time to fight my way out. I’ve rope-a-doped long enough.