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Op. Narwhal - Cabinet War Rooms - British defence of England

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  • #61
    September 28, 1940 - Turn 20

    Army Report

    In the last two days we have conducted a phased withdrawal from the Sussex positions while digging in deep for the defence of London. This withdrawal was generally conducted with success though it is with great regret we report that the 48th Division was surrounded and destroyed by German armour as it attempted to retreat through Sussex.

    Our right wing now consists of a very long position stretching from West London down to Winchester (just N of Southampton). In the centre part of this line the rivers Wey and Blackwater and the Basingstoke Canal form a succession of water obstacles which should help to slow down further German attacks. In the rear of this position, Newbury, Oxford and Swindon will also be garrisoned to prevent a further German attack breakthrough exploiting the lines of communication.

    The German troops are now coming up to this new front. They will shortly capture Portsmouth and Southampton, to which we are offering little opposition. It may take them some time to establish supply to the West end of their advance as the coastal railway which runs from Dover via Eastbourne to Portsmouth is badly smashed up. The other train line into Western England is located just behind our current front.

    Our current position is strong enough to badly delay the Germans but it is not, presently, strong enough to defeat a well-planned attack. In particular, many of our infantry divisions in this part of the line are badly shot up. Anti-tank guns remain in very short supply (and there is no prospect of remedying this). Armoured divisions are being forced to stand in the front line.

    On turn 30 we can expect the release of 8 further divisions which are currently in the North of England or Scotland. Two more can be recalled from Northern Ireland (at a cost in Victory Points which reflects the political consequences of that decision).

    There is perhaps an opportunity for a small diversionary operation near London. The German front here is held fairly thinly at present and it might be possible for us to seize a hex, say the one NW of Sevenoaks. This would be of great inconvenience to the Germans as it would cut their supply line on the Sevenoaks - Crawley railway temporarily and it would be likely that we would be driven back shortly. The risk involved is that a number of divisions would have to abandon their fortifications for a short period and we would suffer casualties amongst the few fresh formations we have, and on which we depend entirely for the defence of London....

    Air Report
    Fighter Command - 6 out of 11 wings available for operations today.
    Bomber Command - reasonable readiness. A number of wings have been given "interdiction" orders, i.e. attempt to attack moving enemy formations. This has had some success. We can step this up to interfere with enemy movements; though doing so will tire the fighter formations a bit more.

    Navy Report
    All quiet. German supply operations continue uninterrupted. In the next two days we will receive reinforcements of destroyers and cruisers. It remains possible to recall the Med Fleet at 10 days' notice. Perhaps thought should be given to a further naval operation interdicting the enemy supply lines. If a date for such an operation is set it may be possible for the RAF to ensure that a maximum effort is available in the air.

    MAP: Start of British Turn 20
    My board games blog: The Brass Castle


    • #62
      yes. sounds good guys. I reckon ASAP is a good time. so whens good?
      Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.
      ~Noam Chomsky


      • #63
        Orders Submitted.
        "... and that was the last time they called me Freakboy Moses"


        • #64
          4 October 1940 - Turn 26

          The past few days have been quiet on land, dramatic but inconclusive at sea.

          Army Report. The Germans have manouvered to turn our right flank (a few hexes North of Southampton) with infantry. We were unable to offer any real resistance to this. However, during the time it took the Germans to do this, we were able to dig in along the rest of the line satisfactorily and in some depth.

          Intelligence located the German panzer formations in the Brighton area but they have now moved up to the line, along with infantry and artillery reinforcements, and it seems apparent that the Germans will make an attack in the area of Guildford tomorrow, perhaps with an additional West hook that would make it into a general advance of their line West of London. Unless otherwise instructed, we will make a fighting retirement in the face of the German attack and endeavour to hold the enemy in front of the London-Bristol railway line.

          Navy Report Recent days have seen simultaneous sorties by all parts of the Royal Navy. The heavy ships of the Scapa Force pushed into the North Sea at the same time as the destroyers of the Channel and Western fleets entered the Channel from the other end.

          The Scapa Force met with continual and grieviously heavy air attacks as they entered the North Sea - Nelson was sunk and Rodney and Hood damaged. The remaining ships have returned to Rosyth for repairs.

          A cruiser squadron encountered Gneisenau in the North Sea on the 2nd, and engaged her with the assistance of Coastal Command. This engagement was inconclusive with the sides losing touch in the fog before any result could be determined.

          In the Channel, we swept the coastline interfering with some German supply operations. However, the main enemy supply line to Newhaven remained open until a concerted action beginning two days ago. In this action, all available destroyers and cruisers atacked German supply operations, in the face of heavy enemy air attack; the Germans were forced to send Gneisenau into the channel to try to fend off our attack. Both Gneisenau and a number of German destroyers were sunk, but this was at the expense of a large number of our own destroyers. The KM appears to have been able to re-establish supply operations via Dover and we have so far lacked the strength to contest this.

          The Mediterranean Fleet has been recalled and will arrive in due course. HMS Revenge has just finished repairs. It would be possible to send Revenge into the Channel with two or three escorting destroyer flotillas, and attempt to put an end to the German supply operation once and for all. Alternatively we could wait for the Mediterranean fleet to arrive.

          Air report The air continues to be most heavily contested. RAF pilots have done a valiant job protecting our ships from the attentions of German dive-bombers and the exchange ratio has been satisfactory on the whole. Nevertheless, fatigue remains a serious concern among fighter formations.

          MAP: Land situation start of British turn 26
          My board games blog: The Brass Castle


          • #65
            I say we go for it: sooner is better than later and it looks like i only have the luftwaffe to deal with now
            Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.
            ~Noam Chomsky


            • #66
              6th October 1940 - Turn 28

              A German attack has developed towards Newbury. Guildford has been lost and 1st and 4th Divisions have been rendered ineffective for the time being.

              Our tired troops, including our armour, are concentrating on protecting the area bounded by Newbury, Swindon and Oxford, which contains the key road and rail junctions in the area W of London. Between Oxford and London, the Chiltern Hills are garrisonned by a mixture of brigades and HQ units. West of Swindon we have only a few infantry brigades. The whole position W of London is fairly perilous and there is a chance the Germans could outflank it on either side or even drive through it. However it should last until further reinforcement can be given.

              Western Command has already activated and has provided the equivalent of two divisions. On turn 30 our final six divisions from Eastern and Northern Commands will become available. A division and a half can also be recalled from Northern Ireland starting on turn 30 at the cost of some Victory Points. It is not possible to reduce the defences of London any further without creating a grave opportunity for a direct German attack. Shortening the front around Chatham by giving up ground would free up a further division but would also reduce more German troops.

              Map: end of turn 28.

              My board games blog: The Brass Castle


              • #67
                October 9th, 1940 - Turn 31

                The German attack has continued, reaching the outskirts of Bristol. The German operation swung West to avoid our concentration of troops around Newbury and Swindon. Their attack was spearheaded by panzers supported by motorized and light infantry and the very light forces in this sector were swept aside, 36th Infantry Brigade being entirely overrun. German motorized forces have also been operating in Devon, clearing Home Guard away from the lines of communication in this area. Devon and Cornwall are not cut off from supplies, which has forced No.10 Group RAF to evacuate the peninsula to the Midlands.

                We made counterattacks at Marlborough on the 7th and Bath on the 8th using both armour and infantry and had some local success. Both of these locations are now in German hands and both 1st and 2nd Armoured Divisions have retreated in disorder meaning there is no effective force for a counterattack against enemy armour.

                We have deployed reserves as quickly as they have become available. 5th Division, 1st London Division and 2nd London Division have moved to bolster the defence of Bristol. 44th, 54th and 59th Divisions are further back in reserve. There are also a couple of shattered divisions which are in the process of recovery and a number of the fairly useless MMG brigades.

                The principal question for GHQ at the moment is whether to continue to hold the line around Bristol, Swindon and Newbury or whether to conduct a further retreat. The Germans must be at the end of a long cross-country supply line and they must be tired, but they evidently have not stopped yet. Committing all the reserves may hold the Germans in the West but there is no guarantee.

                Shortening the lines by retreating from Swindon and Newbury to Oxford, and from Bristol to the direction of Wolverhampton and Birmingham, might offer us the opportunity to gather a reserve for a counter-attack. The German line is thin in a number of places, including in Kent near Chatham...

                Orders please.

                In a few turns the Med Fleet will be ready and we can engage at sea once more.

                My board games blog: The Brass Castle


                • #68
                  Orders Sent.
                  "... and that was the last time they called me Freakboy Moses"


                  • #69
                    October 16th, 1940 - Turn 38 - The Turning Tide?

                    In the last week, we have made successful counterattacks on both land and sea. German troops appear currently to be cut off from naval supply and are reliant on airlifts of fuel and ammunition.

                    RN Report

                    On the 14th (Turn 36) the RN made a full-strength attack into the Channel. The Mediterranean Fleet, comprising Barham, Resolution and Renown together with cruisers and destroyers, joined up with the newly-repaired Revenge and moved into the channel from the West. Nelson and Hood and their escorts moved in from the North.

                    The last German supply convoy made its way into Dover on the evening of the 14th. On the 15th, our force came under extremely intense air attack. The RAF provided strong fighter cover and shot down over 100 enemy aircraft for the loss of 30 fighters - but not every attack could be beaten off and we lost both Resolution and Renown, the latter in a spectacular magazine explosion after a dive-bomber penetrated her armoured deck. Barham, Nelson and Hood all suffered temporary damage and withdrew. At this point, the Kriegsmarine's remaining heavy units (Scharnhorst, Blucher, Hipper ) reappeared and commenced to harrass our cruisers and destroyers. Blucher was sunk but we suffered many hits to destroyers and cruisers ourselves. When Revenge arrived to intervene, the German heavy ships left. Recon on the evening of the 15th and morning of the 16th showed that Scharnhorst had returned to Dunkerque to refill her magazines, while Hipper was attempting to escort a convoy to Brighton and Eastbourne.

                    Revenge and several flotillas of destroyers set out to engage Hipper, and sank her. Scharnhorst was shadowed by our destroyers and, when she attempted to break out of Dunkerque harbour again, was torpedoed several times with the hits going to destroyers Highlander and Cossack. The German ship was forced to beach and has been abandoned by her crew.

                    The Navy is now patrolling the Channel, and blockading the remaining active German destroyers in Dunkirk harbour. Revenge is currently off the Sussex coast providing fire support to our land attack. Nelson and Barham have taken the opportunity to bombard German airbases in the Pas-de-Calais area.

                    If this situation remains then German troops will be cut off from supply and reinforcement by sea, and reliant on airlifted supplies.

                    GHQ Report

                    A week ago, GHQ ordered a shortening of the line around Oxford and Bristol in order to produce a reserve capable of mounting a counterattack. This occurred, and the Germans pushed a salient between Bristol and Oxford, though their attack had ran out of steam and there were no further assautls.

                    On the 14th our counterattack began in the area of Sevenoaks, SW of London, on a 15-mile front. 43rd, 45th, 46th and 1st New Zealand Divisions made an attack supported by a concentration of every available artillery piece - in total some 20 Medium and 12 Heavy Regiments of the Royal Artillery, making nearly 700 guns, not including mortars and anti-tank guns.

                    Progress on the 14th was modest with a gain of some 8 miles NE of Sevenoaks. However the pace has picked up since then, with the commitment of our armoured reserve (1st, 2nd Armd and 21st Amd Bde) in the direction of Eastbourne-Hastings, and the commitment of 1st, 15th, 18th and 59th Divisions to widen the attack to the W of Sevenoaks. A map showing current progress is below:

                    RAF Report

                    The battle in the air over the Channel and over Kent has been bloody and we have suffered losses to both fighters and bombers. However we have also downed a very significant number of enemy bombers in the past few days and morale is high. Coastal Command has also operated against enemy ships in the Channel, though with no sinkings as a result.

                    MAP: The state of the offensive in Kent
                    My board games blog: The Brass Castle


                    • #70
                      October 21st, 1940 - Turn 43

                      Army Report

                      The 17th and 18th saw the continuation of the attack in Kent, which was thwarted by a strong German counter-attack involving the commitment of all their Panzer troops. Our armoured formations (and much of the infantry we committed) is exhausted and the net territorial gain is small. However we believe that German casualties in this operation were just as great.

                      On the 18th we began a limited operation in the area of Swindon to push back the German salient that had emerged between Oxford and Bristol. This offensive gained ground as far as Swindon and yesterday the Germans retired completely and quickly from their positions adjacent to Bristol. We have attempted to follow this movement up as quickly as possible and today 3rd Motor Machine Gun Bde has pushed down into Devon as far as Exeter, with 5th Division at Taunton. We appear to have cut off the German 34th Division in Cornwall, where it had previously occupied Plymouth. However, we lack the troops to turn this into a major flanking movement.

                      The plan now is to continue the attack from our Right wing, as there is some momentum here and there is a reasonable prospect of "rolling up" a long section of German line. We have transferred artillery from the London Command to assist this attack and may move armour if the armoured formations are in any state to be moved.

                      Royal Navy report

                      On the 19th, German destroyers made a break from Dunkerque harbour and with the assistance of aircraft evaded our blockade. These destroyers succeeded in running two further supply convoys across the Channel, one to Dover and one to Newhaven. However, in both cases we were able to intercept the German ships on the return journey and they were sunk or forced to strike their colours. We do not know of any further Kriegsmarine units in operation but the possibility of more ships returning from drydock cannot be excluded.

                      We are continuing to patrol the Channel and harrass enemy units as appropriate. Some of the heavy units have temporarily returned to Scapa for rearming and minor repairs.

                      RAF Report

                      Fighter Command has had decisive air superiority over the last few days, with German fighters scarce. We have been able to intercept German bomber raids and often prevent them reaching their targets. How long this superiority will last remains to be seen.

                      1 - the state of play in the London area.

                      2 - positions in the Western Counties.
                      My board games blog: The Brass Castle


                      • #71
                        October 23rd, 1940 - Turn 45

                        Army Report

                        The Germans attempted yesterday to launch an attack West of London. While they inflicted serious damage on 45th and 55th Divisions and broke our lines, advancing as far as Kingston-upon-Thames and Heathrow, we immediately counter-attacked with the Armoured Corps and nearby infantry reserves, pushing them back.

                        Perhaps more significantly, our offensive in the West has gone very well indeed. Commencing on the 21st near Swindon, we shattered German lines with minimal losses thanks to an intense hurricane bombardment. The Germans were pushed back in disorder. We forced three divisions into a pocket S of Swindon and these surrendered yesterday, yielding some 15,000 prisoners. The German left flank is extremely weak and we look set to continue to make quick progress with few losses. It would be possible to move even faster if more casualties were acceptable.

                        RAF Report

                        Fighter Command continues to have a relatively easy time with few enemy raids and those easily dealt with. Bomber Command is providing support to our operations.

                        RN Report

                        The blockade of the Channel continues in force.

                        MAP: Current state of play.
                        My board games blog: The Brass Castle


                        • #72
                          Congratulations on a well played game .
                          How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic:
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                          • #73
                            Good work gentlemen, good work.
                            Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.
                            ~Noam Chomsky


                            • #74
                              Well done!
                              Silent Hunter UK
                              Member of Phoenix Roleplaying

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