Eighty years on. 30th August 1940


Rumania ceded half of Transylvania to Hungary.

Fine weather allowed concerted attacks on RAF airfields.  The Luftwaffe flew over 1,300 sorties.  Most airfields in south-east England were bombed.  Six RDF stations were disabled for three hours when a power line was hit.  Biggin Hill was bombed twice and put out of action with 74 casualties.

Squadron Leader Tom Gleave of 253 Squadron downed four Bf109s in one sortie.  Air Vice-Marshall Park’s 11 Group felt let down when fighters from 12 Group commanded by Air Vice-Marshall Leigh-Mallory did not arrive to cover the airfields.  The RAF lost 39 fighters and 8 pilots.  The Germans lost 33 fighters and 30 bombers.

Overnight, Liverpool is heavily bombed for the third night, as well as London, Portsmouth, Manchester, Worcester, Bristol and the Vauxhall Motor Works at Luton, where 50 were killed.

RAF Bomber Command again bombed Berlin as well as oil refineries near Rotterdam.  4 RAF bombers were lost.

Within the space of 30 minutes U-32 sank 3 ships in convoy HX-66A off the Isle of Lewis, Scotland.  British SS Mill Hill sank with all 34 hands lost.  British SS Chelsea sank with 24 dead and 11 crew rescued. The Norwegian MV Norne sank with 17 dead and 11 survivors rescued from the water.

Later, within 20 minutes U-59 hit 2 ships in convoy OB-205 70 miles north-west of Ireland.  The British tanker Anadara was towed to the Clyde by the tug HMS Schelde.  The Greek SS San Gabriel also did not sink.  She was abandoned, declared a total loss and beached.

Vichy France announced that it would allow 6,000 Japanese troops to be stationed in Indochina and use ports, airfields and railroads for military purposes.  However, the French government attempted to delay the implementation of this plan for as long as possible.

German submarine U-93 was commissioned.

Game Day 365.  Week 52.  European Neutrals

Today I have been working on the complex subject of the remaining neutral countries in Europe.  My best efforts below:

Albania has a population of one million and a small army of 13,000 men.  The country is self-sufficient and contributes no coal, oil, iron or steel to the world economy.

Bulgaria has a population of six million.  Despite treaty limitations the army has been increased to 160,000 men.  Bulgaria is self-sufficient.

Greece is more prosperous and better armed.  The two major cities of Athens and Thessaloniki have a population of 7 million.  The army is 430,000 men in 15 divisions, the air force has 4 fighter and 3 bomber squadrons, each of 12 aircraft.  The navy is equipped with 21 cruisers, 10 destroyers and 6 submarines.  The country is self-sufficient as to food but has no coal, oil, iron or steel resources.  (Odd that in my 1938 world atlas Thessaloniki is depicted about 50 miles from the sea.  I have been there, sat on the harbour wall and watched the ships, so I know it’s wrong.)

Hungary has a population of 9 million, sufficient food and no useful resources.  The country is friendly to the axis powers.  The army is 80,000 strong and the air force has 16 squadrons, half fighter and half bomber (as well as some reconnaissance and training units not counted in the game).                      

Iceland, separated from occupied Denmark in April, was occupied by Royal Marines in May, now occuppied by 4,000 Canadian infantry.  The population is less than one million and the island serves only as a base.  

The Republic of Ireland (still shown as the Irish Free State on the map) has a population of 3 million, sufficient food supplies and is strictly neutral.

Portugal is neutral, but a hotbed of espionage (outside the scope of this game).  The indigenous population is 4 million, but Portugal also has Angola and Mozambique in Africa with a further 13 million people, as well as the Cape Verde and Azores islands off Africa.  All of the territories are self-sufficient for food, contribute no useful game resources and can be left to their own devices.

Spain has 26 million people and a further 1 million in Spanish Morocco.  The country is just about self-sufficient in food.  Spain can produce 40,000 tons of iron ore per week but has no natural coal or industrial capacity to process it.   Spain is neutral, but in the recent civil war relied heavily on German and Italian support.  Details of the armed forces are not known, but 50,000 men and a squadron of aircraft were later made available to the Germans, so that is what I have used, based in Madrid.

Rumania (Romania, Roumania) is also associated with the axis cause.  It is particularly important to the war effort because of the 160,000 tons of oil produced each week.  The navy has 4 destroyers, based on the Black Sea coast, but nominally allocated to Bucharest.  The air force consisted of 11 fighter and  4 bomber squadrons of 25 aircraft each. The army was 21 divisions of 33,000 men.

Sweden was nominally neutral, but supplying iron ore to Germany, which probably explains why it was not included in the April 1940 assaults.  Sweden produces 150,000 tons of iron ore per week.  Although historically the ore was produced in the north of Sweden and shipped via Norway, for game purposes I need to allocate it to either Stockholm or Gothenberg.  90,000 tons to Stockholm, 60,000 tons to Gothenberg.  Sweden appears to have called up “Home Guard” type defensive forces, had a few small motor vessels in the navy and an aborted contract for fighter aircraft from the USA.  I have not included any forces in the game.  The country is self-sufficient as to food.

Switzerland has a population of 4 million and is self-sufficient.  430,000 home defence forces have been called up but most were dismissed during the “Phoney War”.  I have allowed 3 units of 10,000 based in Bern.

(with apologies for the horrid mix of past and present tenses in this post).

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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