Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Strange Defeat: The invasion presses forward

Turn two opened with the fall of Defiant Holland as the Germans overwhelmed the defenders of Amsterdam – with German motorized forces roaming the rest of the country at will the Netherlands would surrender at the start of Allied turn 2.

Farther south, German forces expanded their crossing of the Dyle and fought their way through additional Belgian fortifications. Strong counter-attacks by the BEF inflicted some casualties, but by the end of the turn only a lone step of Belgian forces remained on the map.

Panzer forces rolling out of the Ardennes continued driving toward Paris, overrunning Chalons in the process. Additionally, the fall of the northern-most Maginot fortifications would allow the Germans to push forward more of their infantry to support the spearheads.

Turn three went pretty badly for the Allies. The Germans used their greater mobility to re-direct their strongest panzer forces against the weak Allied ‘center’ – wiping out three French corps in the process. A clever little operation along the coast near Antwerp nailed a fourth French corps and the BEF reserve corps, and threatened to turn the northern anchor of the Allied line. They also launched a couple of attacks against the thinned Maginot defenses, causing the Allies to think perhaps they had combed out too many of the line’s better formations.

A French counter-attack mounted with three corps near Chalons met with some limited success, trading an infantry step loss for the reduction of the Germans’ strongest unit, the 19th Panzer Corps. Most of the German panzer units on the map are now operating at reduced strength – but the Allies have been so pummelled at this point that it may not matter.

In addition to the counter-attack, the French began trying to form up a defense of the capital in an attempt to stave off the Germans for a turn or two and gain some political points. In the north, the BEF operated in retrograde somewhat pell-mell to form a new line anchored on Ostend along with several French units. Their objective at this point is to divert Germans from the main thrust and to try to maintain a position that will allow for a rapid evacuation via Operation Dyanamo when the time comes.

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