Narvik PBEM2: German Turn 7 (May 2 – 5, 1940)
Nothing is happening in the north at the moment. The status quo is maintained, as the 3rd Mountain Division rest comfortably, eating their rations imported from Sweden.
The Trondheim area is quiet this turn, except for around Andalsnes. As stated in our last report, the 1st mountain division has been activated, and the division HQ and a battalion of artillery have been flown into Trondheim, along with the last remaining battalion of the 112th mountain artillery regiment of the 3rd mountain division. That regiment quickly assembles to make room for the new units, while the 1st mountain HQ absorbs the I/79th artillery battalion.
As an interesting aside, I discovered that three of the four artillery battalion counters have been printed with battery symbols rather than battalion symbols. Since we do not have the last, definitive errata, it should make flying them into Trondheim much easier. 😀
I tell you what, though. That Royal Navy interdiction squadron is doing a lot to prevent the Germans from reinforcing Trondheim.
Since the British have proven once again that they are craven, retribution is to be taken out on the port of Andalsnes in retaliation for the cowardly attack on Denmark. All strategic bombers, plus a few Me-110Cs from Trondheim are flown in to destroy the port, and mess up the British supply situation again. Five hits are placed on the port (at the cost of an Me-110), completely annihilating it. Soon, We will have our breakthrough to the south, and we will begin the push for Namsos, which, I might add, that the Allies boasted they would hang on to through the end of the game.
In the southeast, we continue our drive to where the valley splits and heads to two different towns. Hamar, MC 5 and Elverum fall without a fight as the enemy is backed up into Lillehammer. The push out of Trondheim has caused much of the Norwegian army to flee the north in order to staunch the bleeding around the so-called “POW camp”. The only prisoners there are the ones on the outside.
A thin screen holds the valleys, but German forces are bypassing them through the mountains. More panzers arrive in the area from Germany, but unfortunately, one of them was sunk enroute, in the Oslofjord. While our losses have been minimal in the shipping department, we really could have used those panzers.
Alan did note that I had shipped 13 battalion equivalents instead of the 14 that I was allotted, and it was making him nervous. I did that on purpose to screw with him (as I had mentioned I might, some time back). I’m glad to see that he has feelings over there! 😀
The HMKG battalion retreats, as it always does, but so does the I/2 infantry battalion, fleeing into the mountains overlooking Lillehammer. No combat in the SE, but the German army continues to trek through the mountains, and the 2nd mountain division is beginning to arrive in the area to race around Norwegian blocking forces.
This is an aspect that begins to get very frustrating after awhile. The Luftwaffe bombs these units to disrupt them, and minimize the chances that they can retreat. A disrupted unit can only retreat on a roll of 1, as opposed to a roll of 1 or 2. The HMKG battalion can retreat regardless. This turn, Alan rolled two 1’s, meaning that two of the four units under attack retreat. One was here in the SE, and the other is in the SW, but it can’t escape it s predicament. Instead of standing and fighting, they get to run away. Killing units in combat is really hard in this game, but it is even harder when they won’t stand still!
The campaign to the SW is beginning to wind down. [It needs to be noted that the position of the Norwegian I/3 infantry battalion to the NW, near Haugesund is incorrect. That unit should be in Haugesund. This is the result of a typographical error that was not caught until after this was published.] The Allies boasted that their mountain forces had “outmaneuvered the plodding Germans” now find themselves surrounded and trapped against a lake where they will soon be dispatched, and put an end to the Norwegian mountain forces in the area. The holes were deliberately left open to tempt the Norwegians into thinking they could escape, and possibly perform some more airbase raids along the way.
The Norwegian unit to the north successfully makes its retreat check, and flees SW, but there is nowhere to go. It has been forced out of the mountains (where the Germans had a -2 DRM), and into a forest at the base of the mountains.
The unit to the south was forced to stand and fight against German mountain units (no DRM), but ended with a No Effect result. The Germans are getting very frustrated at the inability to kill Norwegian units, with them either successfully retreating, or getting at least one NE result per turn. The other alternative is that the Germans have got more HX results (1 in 6) than Defender Eliminated results (3 in 6 chance).
No wonder we’ve been setting everything on fire that we come across.
The I/5 infantry battalion outside of Haugesund is also trapped. It cannot move as fast as the Wehrmacht mountain forces. It finds itself cut off from Haugesund, and I would be very surprised if the Allies don’t abandon Haugesund completely.
The push for Bergen continues, with Norwegian forces backing up as we close in on MC 10. The Norwegians continue to practice their defense in depth, but are running out of real estate. Combat here was a little more successful, but the Norwegians managed to destroy one of my few motorized battalions before surrendering. That leaves only the II/3 infantry battalion between us and Bergen.
We are approaching the halfway point of this game. Time is running out for the Germans to rescue the 3rd Mountain division stuck up in the arctic. The 1st mountain division is assembling as fast as it can, but I’m not sure if it will be soon enough.