Narvik II: German Turn 3 (April 16 to April 19, 1940)
Germans Are Busting Out All Over
Now that the campaign is 10 days old, the supply situation is getting critical for the Germans. Some of the units are in danger of having their defense strength reduced to 0 during the Norwegian half of the turn. This situation has to be alleviated.
The photo to the right shows the desperate situation for the Germans. A dashed line signifies the first turn out of supply, while the solid line shows where units are in their second turn out of supply.
While there is no specific time that general supply must be checked, it appears that it has to be checked prior to movement, because lack of supply can impact a unit’s movement.
Last turn, when the eastern side attempted to attack in anticipation of receiving supply and when the supply failed to get through, they retreated where they came from. They should also have been disrupted. Fortunately, this did not affect the outcome of the later combat, and the disruption goes away this turn.
But the offensive can’t wait for the supply situation to resolve itself. The troops have to continue to move and try to break through. This is the great opportunity because much of the anticipated Norwegian mobilization has not occurred.
The time has come to try to split the Norwegian defenses by conducting an opposed landing at Oslo. There is a -2 DRM for the opposed landing, and an additional -2 DRM for the city itself, combining to make a -4 DRM. I must be crazy right? Not as crazy as one might think. This may look like an extreme risk, but I assure you, it isn’t. It is very calculated (and should be done on turn 2 rather than turn 3), as I will explain shortly.
Meanwhile, forces on the eastern side of Oslofjord push north, trapping the Norwegian forces that just broke out last turn behind enemy lines. The I/138/3rd mountain swings around Oslo, overrunning a regimental HQ and attacks the 2nd motorcycle company at Gardermoen. Another group moves to attack the 1st brigade HQ on the Swedish border. In order to keep the Norwegians from capturing supply that is going to be airdropped at Frederikstad, the Germans decide to give up Norwegian mobilization center 1 temporarily.
On the west side, forces also push north from their ports to push on the Norwegian flank. They push closer to Fornebu and the shores of the Tyrifjorden. They have plenty of attack supply.
Artillery forces from the Larvik/Horten ports push west on the railroads to support an attack at Kjevik Air Station, while two battalions move up the Setesdal to attack Evje and MC 8. They carry their attack supply with them.
The 307th/163rd pushes down the Setesdal, but slowly due to lack of supply.
In every game of Narvik that I have played where the Germans have captured Trondheim, I have struggled to break out of the area. This is the furthest the Germans have pushed out in any game that I’ve played.
As I am reading more and more on the Norwegian campaign, historically the Germans struggled to break out of Trondheim, failed to capture the airfield, and were having trouble supplying the area. So, I think I am a bit ahead of the schedule here.
In the south, by the end of turn, the German advance should be reaching the base of the Gubrandsdal and Osterdal, reaching the area just south of Hamar by the 17th of April.
The attempted push out of Trondheim continues against the 5th brigade HQ. If the 5th infantry brigade HQ can be destroyed, the Germans will have breached the Norwegian defensive line around and be set to break out.
Over at Bergen, the 1st and 2nd infantry battalions continue to push towards MC 10, attacking the 4th brigade HQ again, in rough terrain.
From Namsos on north, the Germans hold their position, awaiting a breakout from Trondheim.
There is heavy air activity, especially in the south. Transports are carrying supply to Bergen, Trondheim, Frederikstad, Horten, and Kristiansand. The transports at Horten and Kristiansand are escorted by Me-110s out of the Danish offmap airbases. The transports at Frederikstad are unescorted. The thought is that there are enough of them that if they are intercepted, they could possibly fight the attackers off.
More Me-110Cs accompanied by He-111s out of Værnes Air Station attack Oslo in order to disrupt the King’s Guards battalion in Oslo. Dive bombers, also from Denmark raid the I/3 infantry battalion at Kjevik, escorted by Me-109s. Bombers also attack Sola Air Station and Forneb u Air Station in an attempt to shut them down and trap RAF fighters.
A supply depot is also flown to Trondheim.
So, the RAF has a lot of targets to choose from for interception. The question is, what do they intercept? Obviously, they stay away from missions that have escorts.
Interception goes to Frederikstad once again. They won’t stop all of the supply from being dropped, but they can perhaps take down some more transports. However, neither side inflicts any damage to the other. Since it is becoming a little crowded in the Fornebu area, the intercepting aircraft flee to Sola Air Station at Stavanger.
Two waves of bombers strike Fornebu, but the mission is only partially successful as the bombers deliver one hit to the airbase.
The airstrike on Oslo disrupts the King’s Guards battalion. Combat odds there are now 11:1 (6:1).Two of the Me-110s return to Værnes Air Station with the He-111s.
The Sola Air Station raid is also only partially successful. One hit is delivered to the airfield, but it is not enough to shut the airbase down.
The bombing of Norwegian troops at Kjevik is more successful, disrupting the defenders one more time.
So let’s start withe the combat at Oslo. I said earlier it was a calculated risk, the risk being that the bombers could not disrupt the defenders. Since the King’s Guard is disrupted, the combat odds are on the 6:1 column. With a -4 DRM, the worst possible outcome the Germans can get is a No Effect, while the best is Defender Disrupted. The most likely outcome, however, is a Defender Retreat. Given this, the King’s Guard chooses to retreat east out of Oslo, abandoning the trucks. Probably should have moved the trucks out of Oslo earlier. The 0-4 regimental HQ also skips town while the getting is good, following the King’s Guards.
And that is how Olso is captured with a minimum muss and fuss if the Norwegian player is playing the “defense in depth” strategy. Just make sure that the disruption is virtually guaranteed. The anti-shipping roll, however, is beyond the player’s control. All you need is two 9-4 regiments and a 4-4 artillery battalion landing in the city. Of course, I doubt I’m the first person to ever figure this out, but it does put the Norwegian player on the horns of a dilemma. Do you put an extra unit into Oslo to thwart this attack or not? If you do, the Norwegian front line just got weaker somewhere else.
The attack at Gardermoen at 3:1 results in a Half Exchange. Both the m/c company and the German mountain battalion are eliminated, leaving Gardermoen in Allied hands for the moment.
Attack at hex 4009, across the river from Fornebu is another 3:1 attack. The artillery battalion escapes across the river to Fornebu, but the Dahl regimental HQ is eliminated.
Attack at hex 3910, on the shores of Tyrifjorden against the 2nd armored cavalry battalion, also at 3:1. The cavalry escapes but the Mork regimental HQ is destroyed.
Attack at hex 4206 against the 1st brigade HQ on the Swedish border, north of Halden: The HQ does not retreat before combat, and faces 5:1 odds. The HQ is easily destroyed.
Battle of Evje: The unidentified Norwegian mountain artillery battery holding Evje cannot escape, so it stands it ground, facing 4:1 odds. The attackers roll a 6, but due to the -1 DRM for the forest, the results are a Half Exchange. The Norwegian battery takes out a battalion, but ultimately, Evje and MC 8 fall to the Germans. +1 VP for the Norwegians (Total Norwegian VP thus far: 9).
Attack at Kjevik: The combat odds are 6:1 when the Norwegians fail to retreat. There is only one corridor out, towards the rail line north of Kristiansand (I forgot to place my interdiction markers in the photo). The result is a No Effect. The Norwegians, despite the confusion and chaos hold the Germans off again.
Attack at hex 3213, just east of Bergen: Another 6:1 attack. The 4th brigade HQ fails to retreat. The HQ is destroyed, but once again, the result is a Half Exchange. The Germans lose an infantry battalion. +1 VP for the Norwegians.
Finally, the push out of Trondheim against the 5th brigade HQ: 6:1 combat odds, -1 DRM. The result is a Defender Eliminated. The Germans have no forced the road out of Trondheim open.
In Oslo, one of the regiments of the 214th loads up on the newly captured trucks and moves to Gardermoen to capture the airfield. The bombers (Wellingtons and Whitleys) don’t get lucky and don’t escape. The Germans no have command of Gardermoen, and take 4 VPs away from the Norwegians.
The trucks from Bergen move out and catch up to the battalion just outside of MC 10, while the trucks at Trondheim move forward and into the breach made so the Germans can possibly exploit the breakout.
The Norwegian defense in the Oslo area is starting to crack. They need reinforcements badly. The road to Bergen is now open, and the Germans are starting a heavy push out of Trondheim. In the Southwest, more mobilization centers have fallen and the RAF is on the run. All in all, a pretty good turn for the Germans, I think. Now the question is, can the Norwegians slow them down, or will the German supply situation slow the Germans down?