Eighty years on. 15th June 1940


The German 7th Army under General Friedrich Dollmann crossed the Rhine 40-50 miles north of the Swiss border and penetrated the Maginot Line, fanning out on the Alsace plain to join up with Guderian’s Panzers making their way south towards Switzerland.  The French fortress at Verdun, which famously never surrendered in World War I, capitulated.

Twelve million French refugees were now on the roads heading southwards.  Operation Ariel, the evacuation of allied troops from the Cherbourg, began.

U-38 attacked convoy HX-47 west of the Scilly Isles, sinking the Norwegian tanker Italia carrying 13,000 tons of aviation spirit and the Canadian SS Erik Boye carrying 3,568 tons of wheat.

The German submarine U-137 was commissioned.

The Soviet army marched into Lithuania.  Kaunas was occupied, martial law was declared and a curfew imposed.  Germans living in the country besieged the German legation demanding to be taken home.

Game day 289.  Britain, the Empire and Dominions.

The two battleships sent to escort the cargo ship home from the Bay of Biscay encountered the two German battleships.  A battle ensued in which one German ship was sunk, but both British ships were lost.  The merchantman escaped to seek the safety of the neutral Portuguese harbour of Oporto, from whence under international law, she would need to sail next turn.

Five infantry battalions were landed in Scotland, having returned from the aborted campaign in Norway.

The four infantry battalions in France headed for Cherbourg to be evacuated.  Two troopships were sent to collect them.  Five submarines in the North Sea were ordered to Gibraltar for operations against the Italians in the Mediterranean.

The remaining three RAF squadrons in France attacked and destroyed an armoured battalion in northern France (AU28) before flying back to England.  One squadron was lost in the attack.

The battleship south of Sicily sailed on towards Alexandria, bound for Singapore.  The convoy of Australian troops headed on up the Red Sea en route for Cairo.  Six Indian battalions crossed the border from Egypt into Libya.

With the Italian entry into the war the British had to focus more on the Mediterranean theatre as well as defence of the British Isles.  The Germans also had to be prevented from interrupting convoys across the Atlantic.

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. 

Published by

General Whiskers

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

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