Eighty years on. 6th June 1940


In France Rommel quickly learned to use his tanks to bypass Weygand‘s defensive “hedgehogs”.  They made rapid progress as there was no secondary defensive line.  Infantry were used to contain and reduce the hedgehogs.  5th and 7th Panzer Divisions make an initial breakthrough between Abeville and Amiens.  The French managed to halt the German advance at Oisemont, although both sides took heavy casualties. Further east, the French 6th Army was pushed back by the German 9th Army on the Ailette north of Soissons.  Elsewhere, camouflaged hedgehogs in wooded areas continue to confound the Germans, with fire coming suddenly from the side or rear.  French 75mm field guns of 1898 design, although obsolete as artillery, turn out to be as effective as German 88mm Flak guns when used in flat fire anti-tank role.

At  Narvik  another 5,100 men embarked overnight.  About 15,000 Allied troops left aboard six liners; the Monarch Of Bermuda, Batory, Sobieski, Franconia, Lancastria and Georgic, escorted by the destroyer HMS Arrow and the sloop HMS Stork.  They rendezvoused with the cruiser HMS Vindictive, then Arrow and Stork turned back for Narvik.

In the afternoon U-46 torpedoed the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Carinthia west of Galway Bay. Carinthia stays afloat for another thirty hours, but sank while under tow.

The Norwegian submarine B.3 departed Harstad for Tromso but was crippled by an explosion.

All ships of the Italian merchant marine received government orders to proceed immediately to Italian ports.

A memorandum created in the German Foreign Office proposed several measures for solving the “Jewish question”, including mass deportations to the French colony of Madagascar.

 In China the Japanese captured Chingmen in the province of Hupeh.

Game day 280.  Germany

Germany collected 11.5 industrial points, including 1.5 from the newly captured countries.

The two ships in the Bay of Biscay headed north into the expected path of any British convoy.  They did not sight the French convoy moving south.

At Narvik, facing superior numbers on two flanks, the two infantry battalions remained dug in.

In France an all-out attack was launched against the British Expeditionary Force at AV29.  Two armoured battalions attacked from the north, while seven armoured and one infantry battalions attacked from the east.  They were supported by five fighter squadrons.  The British put up a poor show, taking out one enemy armoured battalion for the loss of four armoured and three infantry battalions.  They retreated westwards, pursued by the strongest German group.

At the same time five bomber squadrons attacked six infantry battalions at AV30 (about 100 miles east of Paris).  For the loss of one squadron four infantry battalions were destroyed.  Attacked only from the air, the French were not forced to retreat.  Paris was still defended, if not safe.

[I instituted a new game rule for countries in dispute, to simulate the historical French capitulation and the establishment of the Vichy government. 

On the nominal owner’s turn, the total of friendly and enemy fighting units (land and air) is totalled.  The ratio of allies to enemy is converted to a percentage, which is in turn converted, rounding up, to a number to be rolled on a standard die (D6). 

If higher than the number needed is rolled, the country surrenders.   All areas currently occupied by the enemy are surrendered and a new border is drawn on the map.  If the enemy occupies the industrial zone, all resources come under the victor’s control.  If the enemy occupies the capital, the country will henceforth fight on the enemy side, otherwise it will become neutral.

Colonies roll a die to decide (50/50) whether they join the parent country’s approach or continue to fight as exiles.]

Credits:   Historical information:  http://www.worldwar2daybyday.blogspot.com, Wikipedia, Chronicle of the Second World War (JL International Publications, 1994).  Background image to game maps: Hasbro Ltd. 

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General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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