Narvik II: Allied Turn 1 (April 9 to April 11, 1940)
As the Norwegians, the goal of this game is not to win the battle, but to screw up the German timetable, and cause as much havoc as possible.
To that end, I made a tactical error (I made one as the Germans earlier, so I guess it balances out). The 5th brigade HQ had the option of standing or retreating. I chose retreating. By doing so, it allowed the Germans to advance to the Trondheim airfield, and they will likely end up in possession of it. I should have left them to stand and fight, to prevent that advance on the airfield, especially since there was a negative DRM for the fight.
The airfield is very important to the RAF as it makes it easier for them to reach Bardufoss. In theory, the bombers can make it by flying an extended range bombing mission, but because of the range, they do not have the bombing strength to do any damage, and I personally do not believe that faux missions are acceptable within the parameters of the game; that is, flying a mission that can’t be accomplished by virtue of being unable to roll on the bombing table.
The Allies choose to forgo the 5 VPs by interdicting the port of Mo (in the arctic). This prevents the Germans from receiving naval troops next turn. Instead, they choose to interdict Bergen (with 2 AA cruisers; 18 total points AA), and Kristiansand (with 3 AA cruisers; 23 total points AA).
In the arctic, the generals don’t wait for the general mobilization order to come from the government. They issue the order themselves, and they receive two battalions at Tromso, a battalion at Alta, and a battalion at MC 14 near Mo. Since MC 14 is occupied by the Germans, this battalion appears on the road just south of the mobilization center.
The downside to the Germans not landing at Narvik is that it gives the Norwegians time to get organized. A battalion is dispatched to Narvik while another is naval lifted to Harstad. If the Germans attempt to land, it will be opposed everywhere.
The Norwegians hold the road from Mo to Namsos closed to the Germans for the moment.
At the Trondheim airfield, the disrupted II/12 mountain battalion is absorbed by the 5th infantry HQ. It will not contribute to any Norwegian attacks at the airfield. The II/13 battalion also moves to the airfield (and is absorbed), followed by the 3rd armored cavalry battalion. The Norwegians have 6 strength points, the Germans have 6, with a -1 DRM.
It is not great circumstances, so why are the Norwegians attacking?
The light armored cavalry is trapped. It can’t escape the area, so it may as well try to go out in a blaze of glory. Who knows what may happen? If I were playing Alan, he would roll a ‘no effect’ at this point and force the decision onto me.
However, I’m not Alan, and the result is that the Norwegians are driven from the airfield. The armored cavalry retreat back to MC 13 since they cannot enter the mountains, but the 5th brigade retreats into the mountains (allowable. Non-mountain divisional HQs can’t enter or cross mountains, smaller HQs can.). At least they did not take any casualties.
The entirety of the RAF is sent from Hatston Field against the German transports at Bergen. All air units fly at extended range, reducing their bombing factors to 2 1/3 (collectively). They don’t hit anything, but it allows the RAF to land at the northernmost Oslo airfield, where they can be more effective, as long as they don’t get trapped at that field.
The Norwegians back off from Bergen, abandoning not just MC 9, but MC 10 as well. By only backing up to the edge of the forest between MCs 9 & 10, the Germans can race around and trap the Norwegians. As much as they want to hold MC 10, the Norwegians have little choice but to abandon it.
To the south, forces from Evje and Stavanger reinforce the battalion that was driven off from Kristiansand and cut the Germans off from the forces. To the east, a battalion races south from Lillehammer to take up position on the eastern outskirts of Oslo. Second brigade HQ moves west to protect the airfield (and the Gladiators), while the 1st brigade HQ moves north from Halden to take a blocking position between the Glomma River and the Swedish border.
Not a lot of strength, but mobilization has not begun yet. At the end of this turn, two artillery battalions appear at their mobilization centers. This should slow the Germans down a bit.
Not a lot to be done this turn. There aren’t many units to move. The basis of the defensive is set up. The question now is how many units are going to mobilize.