Narvik II: German turn 2 (April 12 to April 15, 1940)
The German Advance
Before anything else occurs, the Norwegians get two artillery battalions (1 & 2) at MC 1 & MC 3. The Germans gain an artillery battalion at Trondheim for capturing the third of the artillery stores. In the place of the captured artillery, the Norwegians receive an artillery battalion organized as infantry at MC 13.
The German also receive a captured supply depot that can be placed anywhere in Sweden. It is placed right across the border from Mo.
The Germans attempt to slip two supply depots into central Norway, one at Trondheim, one at Namsos. The Trondheim shipment is sunk, but the Namsos shipment makes it to its destination.
The push away from the coast begins in southern Norway. Forces push out from Larvik against the 2nd m/c company, while the forces from Horten push against the newly assembled 2nd artillery battalion. In both cases, the Germans interdict the hexsides behind them to prevent any kind of retreat to the ports.
Across the Oslofjord, forces push out from Frederikstad against the 1st artillery battalion. Infantry sweeps around the 1st mobilization center to capture Halden, and prevent an armored cavalry battalion from forming next turn. Two mountain battalions and a armored company land at Frederikstad and push to MC 1, interdicting the hexsides behind them. They are joined by artillery and armor, interdicting and trapping the Norwegian artillery.
Landing behind these forces at Horten, Larvik and Frederikstad respectively are two mountain artillery battalions and an artillery company.
Forces at Kristiansand break down into battalions, while waiting for supply to be delivered. One battalion moves north to block the east-west rail line. The regiment at Haugesund begins moving down the road towards Evje, in the Setesdal, and is replaced by an artillery battery. Forces in both these locations are out of general supply at the moment (symbolized on the map by counters with the supply symbol with a slash through it).
The push from Bergen concentrates on the Norwegian 4th brigade HQ, south of MC 10. One battalion attacks in the rough south of the forests while the second holds MC 9. A successful attack here will open the Hallingdal for advance.
At Trondheim, two battalions from the 388th regiment, along with the captured Norwegian artillery, strikes out west to attack the 5th brigade HQ, and the two battalions from the 139th regiment spreads out to prevent the Norwegians from breaking out from the MC 13 region.
At this point, the units to be staged must be declared. Three units are being shipped, all from the 214th infantry division: 2 x 9-4 infantry regiments, and the IV/214/214, a 4-4 artillery battalion.
The Germans have to fly supply in to support these attacks. Ju-52s fly supply depots (3 transports each) to Larvik, Horten and Frederikstad. Another mission is flown to air drop supply at Kristiansand. The final mission flies to Trondheim proper to deliver an antiaircraft battalion (He-115 floatplanes).
They are all flying into a hornet’s nest. There are five squadrons of Allied aircraft in the area. One or more of these German transports may be destroyed. All of this is a result of incomplete planning on the part of the Germans.
Unless the fighters are forced to defend their airbase. Four Ju-88 squadrons, along with six squadrons of He-111s fly from Hamburg to put the airbase out of commission. This is a strategic mission, utilizing the full power of the bombers. The He-111s are flying at extended range.
Six Me-110C squadrons bomb the Norwegian 2nd artillery battalion in hopes of disrupting it before the attack.
Gardermoen Air Station is likely to be shut down during this raid. There are 10 squadrons flying in, meaning during air combat there will be 2 groups of five bombers each with a combined defense strength of 25. The Allies can muster a total of 5 fighter squadrons, with a total attack strength of 13. They would be attacking on the 1:2 column (while the bombers would fight at 1:1). Of course, there isn’t much difference between the two.
But in the end, the Allies choose to attempt to disrupt the shaky supply chain. The three Skuas fly to Larvik to intercept the Ju-52s there, while the Norwegian Gladiators and British Blenheim 1-Fs intercept the Ju-52s at Frederikstad.
Larvik: Skuas v. Ju-52 (1:1); Ju-52s v. Skuas (1:2)
Both sides miss, failing to shoot down any enemy aircraft.
Frederikstad: Gladiator/Blen-1F v. Ju-52s (1:1); Ju-52s v. Gladiators/Blen-1Fs (1:3)
The Allies shoot down one Ju-52, destroying the supply depot (+1 Allied VP (3)). This could be bad news for the attacking Germans. The Ju-52s fail to hit any targets.
The RAF and Norwegian planes return to Fornebu since they know Gardermoen is being attacked.
The Me-110Cs bombing MC 3 with 6 TBF. They hit and disrupt the Norwegian 2nd Artillery battalion, returning to the offmap Denmark airfields.
The bombing of Gardermoen comes in 3 waves; two waves of Ju-88s (two squadron each with 10 SBF), and six He-111s (combined 8 SBF). The Germans achieve 2 hits and a miss, shutting down the airfield (for this turn anyway). The Heinkels land at Værnes Air Station, while the Ju-88s return to Germany.
The He-111s land and offload the AA battalion before turning back to Germany, as the Ju-52s over Kristiansand drop supply on the 334th infantry regiment.
Attack at Mobilization Center 1
At MC 1, the Germans are unable to attack due to lack of supply, and are all forced to retreat one hex. Each unit is retreated across the hexside it entered combat from, and leaves the Norwegian artillery battalion surrounded.
Attack against the 2nd motorcycle company
High odds attack (6:1): The Norwegians fail their retreat roll and have to stand and fight. The motorcycle gang fights hard and stops the Germans in their tracks. No Effect.
Attack at Mobilization Center 3
High odds attack (6:1) due to the disruption of the Norwegian 2nd Artillery battalion: The Norwegians pass their retreat check, despite being disrupted, and retreat one hex to the north, across the Drammenselva from Fornebu.
Attack against the 4th infantry brigade HQ near Bergen
Medium odds attack (3:1): The 5th HQ also luckily makes its retreat check, and runs away from the Germans.
Attack against the 5th infantry brigade HQ near Trondheim
High odds attack (6:1) to attempt a breakout to the west, -1 DRM for the forest. The HQ fails its retreat check and stands its ground. Defender Retreat. The Norwegians are forced back, but not destroyed.
Only one of four attacks was successful. Two turns in and the Germans have been stymied so far. This plan may need some tweaking to it. Of course, if I had run supply on the first turn, the Germans would not be in this position, completely, anyway. One breakthrough has been achieved, but can the Germans take advantage of it?
So far, this game is reminding me a lot of the game against Alan. The frustration of not being able to complete an attack on the Norwegians, which may be the point, I don’t know. But so far, the dice are tending to roll low, as reflected in the combat rolls and the anti-shipping rolls.
But this is what I wanted. I wanted the frustration to see if this plan would work. So far it isn’t looking promising, but a few tweaks to this plan and we may find one that works.