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Op. Narwhal - OKW - German Invasion of Britain

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  • The Land
    Heer (Army) Briefing

    This is a detailed briefing for the Heer - also relevant to other arms.

    Order of Battle:

    Units from 6, 9 and 16. Armees comprising:
    * 18 x Infantry Division - 17,000 men lavishly equipped with machine guns, AT guns, and mortars. Integral artillery support includes 105mm and 75mm howitzers and a small number of 150mm infantry guns.
    * 2x Mountain Infantry Division - somewhat more likely equipped than Infantry Divisions.
    * 7th Flieger Division: 4x Parachute regiment, 3x glider regiment. Regiments are stronger than regular infantry regiments and more capable of independent operations. (NB these formations are under Luftwaffe control until they land in England).
    * 4x Panzer division, 2x motorized division, 2 independent motorised brigades.
    Panzer divisions have a tank strength of 120 tanks, a mixture of Pz III, Pz IV,Pz II and Pz 38t plus a strong motorised infantry component. Motorized troops have a much lower rifle strength than a leg infantry division, but heavier integral support, including a small number of Sturmgeschutz. On the whole a motorised infantry division is a little less effective than a leg division.
    * 4x independent Amphibious Panzer battalion - each has a strength of 80 amphibious tanks and should be used to support the initial attacks. They have no infantry component.
    * 3x Army HQ formation - these are rear-area units which can improve supply to nearby units, and also conduct engineering tasks like rail repair.
    * 12x Corps HQ formation - Corps HQs have two regiments of 150mm artillery. They also have the same supply effects as Army HQs but have no engineering ability.

    In England there are approximately 15 Infantry and 2 Armoured divisions and apparently a number of independent brigades.

    British Infantry divisions are smaller than German divisions and have fewer machine-guns and AT guns, but they have a larger complement of artillery. According to their TOEs, all British divisions are motorised. Many British Army units are short of equipment, which we are still recovering from the beaches at Dunkirk.

    The British Armoured divisions are equipped with a mixture of "Matilda" heavy tanks, "Cruiser" and "Light" light tanks. The "Matilda" is formidable but the lighter tanks are less effective than our Pz II.

    The British Army is reinforced by a "Home Guard" militia force. The strength and effectiveness of this force is unknown.

    Reports suggest that the enemy's divisions are distributed around the coast to control a long area of coastline, with a substantial central reserve. It is not know how quickly the British will be able to concentrate troops against the invasion.


    The mission of the German Army is to land in England, establish a beachhead, defeat the British army and conquer the country.

    The plan for the invasion is of crucial importance. See separate briefing about invasion transport an logistics. However OKH should also give some thought to subsequent strategy. There are not enough troops available to fight all the way up England attritionally. It will be necessary to encircle and destroy a substantial part of the British army. OKH should give some thought to such an operation. OKH also need to consider whether London, which is the main operational obstacle as well as the major objective, will be captured directly, or bypassed.

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  • The Land
    started a topic Op. Narwhal - OKW - German Invasion of Britain

    Op. Narwhal - OKW - German Invasion of Britain

    This is the thread for the German team in the Operation Narwhal game. It is 'out of bounds' to players from the other team, but it might be an idea to set up a social group for any detailed planning, just in case...

    Here is the Invasion Planning briefing:

    Invasion Planning briefing.

    Choice of theatre.
    There are many plausible invasion areas along the South and East coasts of England. On the screenshots, the blue blobs with anchors in are "anchorage" hexes to which amphibious assault is allowed.

    The initial invasion force consists of up to 8 Infantry divisions, plus 4 Amphibious Panzer battalions and the airborne troops (up to 4 Parachute and 3 Airlanding Regiments).

    Not all 8 divisions need be employed on the first day, some can be scheduled to arrive on turn 2 or turn 3. Indeed, unless you are attacking on a very long frontage, not all 8 divisions will fit onto the invasion beaches on Day 1 - and such an attack is not necessarily advisable.

    OKW should consider which of the following areas are preferably for the initial attack.

    Map 1: South East England:

    1) Kent. An attack into East Kent at Folkestone, Ramsgate or Dover has the virtue of being very close to the occupied Channel ports and airfields. Dover is also a major port which will be of great value to subsequent action (and can be expected to be well-defended). The disadvantage of Kent is that it forms a peninsula, the south side of which is made up of the inaccessible Romney Marsh. There is a risk that troops in East Kent would be bottled up with only a two-hex frontage to attack on.

    2) Sussex. The coastline from Hastings to Shoreham is also close to the Channel ports and largely consists of shingle beaches (the exception is one hex filled by the cliffs of the South Downs, W of Eastbourne) The only significant port on this stretch of coastline is Newhaven. The Sussex coast is very open and potentially vulnerable to attack from three directions: from the W (via Portsmouth), NW (via Crawley) and N (via Sevenoaks). However, it also provides a base of operations against all of those objectives

    Map 2: SW England

    3) Hampshire. Portsmouth and Southampton are both major ports and Portsmouth is a major naval base. Attempting an amphibious landing onto one or both of these areas would be possible but very difficult as this area is inevitably heavily patrolled by the Royal Navy and strongly garrisoned. Success would risk a counter-attack on both flanks.

    4) The West. It would be possible to launch attacks on Dorset, Devon or even Cornwall. The ports at Plymouth or Portland could be used, at a stretch, to support an invasion. However, this risks creating a very long sea supply line and a long distance for air support. The Army would be ashore a very long distance from its objectives. Expect RN patrols in the vicinity of their naval bases, which would need to be dealt with.

    Map 3: East Anglia

    5) East Anglia. There are beaches in the vicinity of Great Yarmouth and Ipswich that could support an invasion, and the port of Harwich (Ipswich) could be used as a supply base. These beaches are the closest to Germany, but attacking here does place the Royal Navy bases in the Thames Estuary between most units from France and the invasion theatre. If the British are deployed to protect London from an invasion in Kent and Sussex, then landing here will wrongfoot them. However, the road an rail network in East Anglia is sparser than in the South East, perhaps slowing down an advance.

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