British Intelligence Assessment Report, April 7, 1941
The following reports were obtained from assets in Eastern Europe following the German invasion of that area.
Advances in Yugoslavia: Nisava Bridge
The following photo details Yugoslavian preparations in the face of German armored advance to claim bridges in the area.
Note that Yugoslavian leaders and heavier firepower were held back until the German intentions were known. Reports from surviving units indicate a rapid German advance and overwhelming firepower. The Germans were able to drive the Yugoslavian troops off of the bridge and faced little coordinated resistance as they breached the hedge wall and gained the bridge. Leadership casualties were high and the Yugoslavians were dispersed. The bridge was taken and secured by the advancing German forces.
The photo below shows the post-battle disposition of forces.
Metaxas Line Holds Against Assault
The Greeks took a cue from the French Maginot line in setting up their Metaxas Line. This line would eventually fall by being flanked. This was necessitated by fierce resistance along the line itself. The following report indicates stiff Greek resistance and a brief battle ending in a German surrender.
Initial force dispositions are seen below.
A strong position was held on the right by leader, squad and team emplaced in a bunker with a French ’75 and HMG. These units were able to stop the German advance on the right. Germans forces attempting to reach the cliffs were halted and eliminated.
The German IG on the left was ineffectual. Heavy fire from the higher Greek bunker’s HMG and French ’75 dispatched the German leadership, leaving their troops in disarray. A Pionier was able to close on the left Greek bunker but unable to breach the defenses with a satchel charge. It Advanced into melee but those men were killed or captured. The Germans realized that they could not breach these defenses and laid down their arms in surrender.
Photo showing the Metaxas line holding at this point:
Scenario 18 is from Combat Commander: Mediterranean. The Yugoslavians use the French deck. While the Yugoslavians can drop their HMG in anywhere they have friendly units, the absence of Fire Orders for several hands, and the absence of Recover orders made it a bad time for the Allies. The Germans were able to advance quickly and though the HMG and LMG both appeared on the bridge, I couldn’t get good shots. Wire slowed them on to the bridge but once they took the first section, it was just a matter of blasting the Yugoslavians off and picking off several more units. The Allies were one unit away from surrendering but the game hit its end by Sudden Death on the first roll. A clear German victory with 12 VPs. It was tough trying to pass that “personal morale check” on this one!
Scenario 19 is the next one in the CC:Med Playbook.
Here the Germans just dashed like waves against a seawall. It’s not hard to see why the Germans just ended up going around! Unlike the first battle, the French deck was handing out better cards and rolls. It was, in effect, the opposite result of Scenario 18 we had just played. It was funny to see the Germans drop an ‘8’ smoke marker only to have it blow away by a breeze when I fired on them. More smoke might have been helpful. The French ’75’s ability to fire twice on one Fire Order was also a big deal. From left to right were the 8FP mines, the wire and the cliffs. There wasn’t much room for the Germans to come through and there was a nice HMG crossfire set up.
Our play through of the whole war has taken us just into early 1941. The war rages in Europe but is pretty one sided as the Germans continue their steamrolling. Right now, our series stands at Allies (me)- 3 wins to the German’s (Marcuswoot) 4.
It’s pretty fun watching the war unfold in little pockets of fighting around Europe.