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Subject: Seelöwe Nord rss

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Colin Raitt
United Kingdom
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1941 The axis have 1 year to deal with Britain or Russia before the US joins. I chose Seelöwe. This is a homebrew scenario.

Set up. Russia forgot she owned Bessarabia and left it empty. The garrisons were in the Pripet marshes. To the north and south the front line was weak infantry. The second line had strong infantry stacked with tank and gaps covered by zoc. The beaches in Estonia and Kerch were not masked. If I had been intending to attack the soviet union these beaches would have greatly helped me envelop both flanks.

Italy mandatory set up in Tobruk and Naples. 5 TAC, a tankette and good infantry in Albania, I slipped 2 German panzer corps in underneath as well which he didn't notice till they attacked. The remainder stretched along my coastline.

Greek line was a hex longer than need be and nothing in Athens.

British GHQ ½ way between Tobruk and Suez. 1 infantry and western desert force around Tobruk and the other on invasion watch at Gaza beach. South coast of UK strongly held. 10 TAC and carriers in Portsmouth. Surface in Belfast. Surface and armour in Glasgow. Garrisons London and Scapa Flow. Norfolk beach wide open, I think he was luring me in with this because he covered it with 2 corps in strategic redeployment. No naval units in Rosyth and Newcastle so no pre-landing naval combat there. No naval or air units in Scapa Flow so I knew I could control the Norwegian Sea.

Germany 2 panzers and a sub in St Nazaire. 2 panzers, Centre HQ and a sub tucked away in Narvik at the edge of the map. I hoped he wouldn’t notice these. 10 TAC and 7 subs in Cherbourg. 10 TAC, 18 surf and a sub in Bergen. West HQ and a para in The Hague. Infantry in Rennes and Calais. I forgot to set up next to Vichy. The rest of my army lined the Russian Front. I kept the panzers out of Eastern Poland in case the weather was mud but it turned out dry. I easily outgunned Russia’s infantry but he had a slight tank advantage and complete air superiority. If it came to war on the Russian front I expected to hold reasonably comfortably and to make slow progress at high expense.

Spring. Production. Greece 1-3 infantry in Athens.

Italy 5 TAC Messina, 6 subs Cherbourg, 2 tankettes Genoa and 2 landing craft Narvik.

Russia 3 cavalry were built and strategically redeployed into the gaps, landing craft built in Leningrad, without a half strength unit it won’t be landing this turn.

Britain built 4 sub, armour, infantry and landing craft in Southampton and 6 TAC in Rosyth. Didn’t repair his CV in Portsmouth.

Germany. 13 sub, 10 TAC, 2 panzer and 2 landing craft in Kiel. The LC could have joined my panzers in St Nazaire if Western Approaches had looked easier to control at this stage. Para obvious on top of 2 infantry in Konigsberg, I was still hoping he would believe I was attacking Russia. I cut back my spending to make sure I had more BRP than Russia.

Political chit Armee Navale Axis, Vichy France gifts Hitler 9 surf which rebases to Cherbourg. Lady luck couldn’t have been kinder for a mad dictator bent on seaborne invasion.

Offensive Purchase. Italy none, she will ride on Germany’s coat-tails. UK 2 naval and 2 attrition. Russia North, South and attrition. Germany general.

Diplomacy was a bit of a disaster for me. Italy up 1 then down 2 with Spain. Germany down 1 with Bulgaria. I will need to withdraw or go to war if I don’t get her back to client. Vichy up and down 1. US should haves spent 2 BRP on Vichy but he forgot. Spain declared war on Russia. Not terribly significant as they are so far apart.

Sea control. Russia Black and Baltic seas. German 30 TAC and a surf in North Sea. The invasion coast is mine to choose from.

9 German surf in the Norwegian Sea. Russia can plead for lend lease all she wants there won’t be any this season.

Italy 5 TAC and 9 surf control Western Med challenged by 18 British surf and 2 carriers. The carriers are sunk and both surface fleets lose 3 factors. All but my TAC withdraw. Mainland Italy is safe from invasion.

UK has the advantage of seeing axis placement and steers well clear of the North Sea. 9 ex-Vichy surf in the Western Approaches are ambushed by 18 British surf and 3 carriers. Only 3 ex-vichy survive to withdraw although 2 carriers sink too. The British can land where they choose along the Bay of Biscay.

Maltese TAC and 2 subs have the central med, Italian reinforcements to Tripoli. Eastern med is British.

Raiders. Britain for 15 in the North Atlantic with U-boats and 1 in the North Sea from surf. 9 British surf escorting convoys did no good. Britain hits back for 2 with Baltic subs.

Declarations of war. None. This was a game of bluff. Russia went before Germany because she had fewer BRP. If Stalin declared war first it would cost him 30BRP but if Germany declared it would cost the axis 30BRP. Russia passed and so did I. I wanted to concentrate my efforts overwhelming Britain.

Strategic Redeployment. Italy moved 2 corps to Gascony. Britain covered the Norfolk beach with 2 strong corps where I had been hoping to land. I have spent the only general offensive I am allowed this year but can’t use it to land on a beach where it has most advantages. He also reinforced Portsmouth with a ground unit but that was unnecessary as I couldn’t risk interception by the 16 TAC in the Western Approaches. Germany forgot to bring the para back from Konigsberg, hem in Vichy and evacuate Hungary. I could have air SRd funds from Romania but that would halve my BRP gain so I delayed.

Germany landed panzers in Newcastle and Rosyth and a para in Manchester. Both landing craft were damaged and the British retook Manchester. 10 Luftwaffe TAC landed in Rosyth, in range of the Western Approaches come summer. Britain passed her surrender roll (2 on 2d6).

Italy attacked the centre of the Greek line and broke up the lightly armed infantry corps in the mountains. Italian tankettes failed to open up the road along the Aegean coast in their exploitation. This was the first time I had used exploitation after each attack. The panzers in Albania hit the Aegean flank supported by Italian TAC. Breaking through they quickly followed through to Athens where the TAC landed. Est HQ was left far behind by the speed of advance and picked off by the Greek counterattack. Greece swapped sides.

Libyan-Italian infantry slipped past western desert force searching for supply. WDF moved up to El Agheila then retreated. The fortress in Tobruk can supply only units actually inside it so 2x1-3 infantry died. WDF was repaired but at double cost. Jon disbanded GHQ voluntarily to rebuild it in Southampton.

Britain landed infantry just south of St Nazaire with the first naval offensive and reinforced with armour from Glasgow in the second . This brings Vichy to allied client.

Summer. Production. Italy landing craft. Britain GHQ and Polish exiles. Germany LC and para.

Political chit. Cross of Lorraine. Britain gets a 2-4 free French infantry in his force pool.
Offensive purchase. Britain GHQ and attrition. Russia and Germany both North South and attrition.

Diplomacy. Italy up and down with Spain. Vichy 1 to the axis. Germany +1 with Hungary.

Sea Zones. Russia Black and Baltic Seas.

Italy and Greece destroyed Malta’s 2 TAC and 2 sub with 6 TAC, reinforcements can reach Tripoli.

Italy Western med. Britain Western Atlantic.

20 German TAC from Cherbourg and Rosyth beat back 6 British TAC for the Western Approaches. No funds can flow to Britain. His landing craft in Plymouth can be intercepted and his landing in France is out of supply.

10 RAF TAC and a carrier meet 10 Luftwaffe TAC and 3 surf in the North Sea. Britain rolls very well and has 7:2 after 3 rounds. The zone counts as contested so the German landing is supplied and can be reinforced by sea.

Britain North Atlantic. Germany Norwegian Sea. Overall heavy losses in TAC but I have enough BRP to replace them and Britain doesn’t.

Raiders. Germany suffers 2 in the Baltic. UK takes 17 in the North Atlantic but sink a U-boat. Britain is down to -11BRP.

Declarations of war. None. Russia still thinks the UK can hold.

Strategic Redeployment. Britain wanted to draw funds from the US but can’t trace a path through the Western Approaches, Rosyth or Norwegian Sea, she is stuck on - BRP. Italy sent 2 tankettes to France, a garrison and 2-3 inf to Tripoli and drew 4 BRP from Greece. Germany moved 2 panzers, 2 paras and Centre HQ to the UK and drew 10 BRP from Romania.

Operations.WDF returned to Tobruk and killed 1 of my infantry but 10th Indian was flipped as he had no BRP.

Britsh troops in Gascony wound their way to Cherbourg , regaining a supply line.(I should have pointed out he didn’t have the movement to do it as they left 3 ZOCs getting there).

The panzers that started in Britain took Glasgow forcing out 18surf and moved south to the British line. The surf lost 5 factors to TAC on sea control.

Italian TAC rebased to Suda Bay ready to control the eastern med next turn. Britain passed her surrender roll (2-3 on 2d6).

The allies surrendered because Britain was on - BRP. She couldn’t go to sea control, attack, buy Vichy units or take losses in ground combat. Likely Vichy, the UK, Suez, and Yugoslavia would fall to the axis which Spain and Hungary would join. Russia’s attack would be thrown back. Only a Pearl Harbour political chit could help.

Axis Strategy. Disguise helps surprise. Spread your opponent out then strike where he is weak. Panzers weren’t needed for Russia so the spares could be sent to rectify the Greek situation. Italy maintained the pressure in the med rather than shifting TAC to the channel to draw British effort away from the home-island. Preparing to sail from 3 zones split the defenders. British BRP was put under pressure by triple TAC battles for sea control and raiding. Let Britain expend effort for Tobruk then reinforce Tripoli.

What could Britain do? Persuade Stalin to declare war in spring. Leave some TAC for ground counterattack and pre-landing naval combat (post sub/surf to call them in). Shave BRP from diplomacy. 1 Naval offensive is better than 2. SR GHQ back to Britain rather than disband-rebuild. Bring WDF back to Britain. Don’t waste effort on a ground attack in Africa. Finally, if the worst comes to the worst, if the arch-bishop has fled Canterbury, if Nazi storm-troopers are rattling the doorknob of Downing Street, if the Bank of England is down to its last farthing, then the time has come to sell the surface fleet!

Was this really possible? Jumping across the channel is safer from the navy and airforce point of view. The risk of the weather turning bad and barges getting swamped is far lower on such a short trip but still causes me disquiet. Coastal artillery and mines should give a little help to fend off the Royal Navy. Being in range of your own fighters is all important if your bombers can sink ships. Were aircraft good enough at sinking ships for the Luftwaffe to drive off the Home Fleet's battle ships? From the armies point of view the south coast is terrble. Beaches are nice but the defenders are just too strong. Far better to have an unnopposed landing and fight the enemy army afterwards. Taking a barge across the North Sea is possible but risky. Facing the might of the British fleet out of range of your own fighters was just suicide. I think the game is wrong to allow this. A quick attack across the channel before the British army has recovered from Dunkirk was the best chance the Nazis had and even then not very hopeful.
Drive of the beach.
Capable of crossing the North Sea
Barely capable of being towed across the Channel and beached.

General von Rundstedt Sealion commander. "The proposed invasion of England was nonsense because adequate ships were not available. They were chiefly barges which had to be brought from Germany and the Netherlands. Then they had to be reconstructed so that tanks and other equipment could be driven out of the bows. Then the troops had to learn how to embark and disembark. We looked upon the whole thing as a sort of game, because it was obvious that no invasion was possible when our navy was not in a position to cover a crossing of the Channel or carry reinforcements. Nor was the German air force capable of taking on these functions if the navy failed". And he was talking about a channel hop.

Thanks to my opponent Jon (UK, USSR and Greece).
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