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Total War in Europe: The First Blitzkrieg Scenario Overviews

 

Total War in Europe Master Scenario List and Overview Part I:

It seems that the scenario numbering convention for this series goes like this:
1XX = TFB, 2XX = WSF, 3XX = Next title in series, etc... -ST

The First Blitzkrieg:

Getting Started: Sparks Along the Polish Corridor:

Along the Polish Border – 1st September 1939: The Polish Corridor, a strip of German territory awarded to newly independent Poland extending along the Vistula River to the Baltic Sea, was to provide Poland with permanent access to the Baltic Sea. However, the Corridor cut East Prussia off from the rest of Germany and was one of many points of resentment by the German people as a result of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. Hitler demanded permission to build a road and rail connection across the Corridor, and that Danzig would come under German control once again. Poland staunchly refused, thus the Polish Corridor would become the spark to ignite the Second World War in Europe. "Sparks Along the Polish Corridor" is the Getting Started scenario and it should be played in conjunction with the Getting Started help file. The purpose of the scenario is to get you acquainted with the mechanics of game play.

100: Invasion of Denmark (Hypothetical):

Denmark - 9th April 1940: Coincident with an ambitious plan by the Germans for the invasion of Norway, German troops also occupied Denmark. There was very little opposition by the surprised Danes as Copenhagen was captured within 12 hours with the loss of a few soldiers and members of the King of Denmark's Guards. This is a hypothetical situation using historical forces on both sides and the actual "pre set" German invasion plan. However, this scenario depicts what "might" have occurred had the Danes had the will to resist. *Designer Note: This is a beginner scenario created to familiarize players with Sea Movement. The Player should consider alternative approaches to the invasion as what appears to be the direct approach may not be the best solution.

101: The Fall of the Netherlands:

The Netherlands – 10th May 1940: While much of the attention of the German assault on the Western Front was focused on the fighting in Belgium, including the first use of airborne troops at the Forts of Eben Emael. However, little known, but significant German airborne operations were mounted to assault "Fortress Holland". This task fell to the German 18th Army and the air forces of the Luftwaffe. A large bomber force struck Rotterdam on the 14th of May, after which, the Netherlands surrendered and the Dutch Royal Family evacuated to England. Will this be a Dutch side show or can the Dutch hold out long enough to affect the battles raging in Belgium and win the Dutch a pyrrhic victory?

102: The French Offensive in the Saare:

The Saare Gap region on the French-German frontier – 6th September 1939: Only a week prior to the outbreak of war, the Commander of the French Armed Forces, General Maurice Gamelin, told his government that France could not hope to launch a major offensive for at least two years. Yet two weeks later, more as a matter of honor, a token advance in support of the much beleaguered Polish Army was made in the Saare Gap region directed at the industrial center of Saarbrücken. The advance penetrated a bare six miles into Germany and no sooner had it begun, it became apparent to those in the West that the Polish situation was rapidly becoming hopeless and came to an abrupt stop. The French had no intention of forcing the Germans' hand in this early attack and, therefore, no additional support was committed. Thus a golden opportunity may have been lost as even some high ranking German officers believed a determined offensive might have carried the French through the West Wall before the Germans could have brought back formations from Poland. This scenario covers the limited focus Saare offensive by the French in 1939 with forces available and forces that could have been committed had the French had the will to do so.

103: Gamelin’s Gamble (Sept '39 Hypothetical):

French-German Frontier – 6TH September 1939: With five full Armies deployed in the east, to conquer Poland, Hitler was taking a calculated gamble that the French and British would be paralyzed with indecision, and not take action in the west before events in the east were concluded. While General Maurice Gamelin, the Commander of the French Army, did launch a limited, face-saving offensive in the Saare region, a real opportunity may have been lost by the Allies. General Franz Halder, the German army’s Chief of Staff, was astonished by the weakness of the French attack. He wrote, "If the French had used the opportunity presented by the engagement of nearly all our forces in Poland, they would have been able to cross the Rhine without our being able to prevent it, threatening the Ruhr with decisiveness for the German conduct of the War." *Designer Note: Unlike the Saare Offense Scenario (#102), this Scenario depicts a full scale attack by the French on Germany with all forces mobilizing to aid the Poles. However, Belgium neutrality is honored and this area on the map is marked as impassible terrain.

104: Hitler's Directive #6: Case Yellow in '39 (Hypothetical):

French-German Frontier - 26TH October 1939: Flush with success from the Polish Campaign, Hitler was beginning to look westward. Hitler intended to hold on to Germany’s eastern conquests, either through intimidation of Britain and France, or by conquering them too. He put out peace feelers in early October, but was met with no response. On 9TH October, he issued a long memorandum to the leaders of his Armed Forces, explaining that Britain and France had kept Germany down throughout history, and that now was the time to strike to establish a united German Reich. On the same day, Hitler issued Directive #6, giving provisional orders for an attack in the West - Code-named: CASE YELLOW. Hitler stressed the importance of attacking as soon as possible; using the same forces that had been used in the Polish attack. However, the movement of these forces to the German-French frontier would have taken a super human effort, even for the well-oiled German military machine and was ultimately delayed 27 times. The CASE YELLOW Plan was modeled after the Von Schlieffen Plan utilized in 1914. This scenario explores the possibility that the Germans moved their forces, albeit somewhat weakened, across from east to west, and attacked using the 1914 plan.

110: The Invasion of Poland: Case White:

Along the Polish Border – 1st September 1939: "A Gathering Storm" had been building in Europe, and then lightning struck in the form of the First Blitzkrieg. Hitler unleashed five Armies in a lightning attack on Poland from the north, west, and south. Air strikes crushed the weak Polish Army Aviation on the ground, as nine Panzer Divisions led the drive into Poland, quickly slicing through the Polish Army, which was made up largely of infantry units, supported by a few horse cavalry and light tank brigades. By 27th of September it was over. Warsaw had fallen and the Polish government had fled to Romania. Sir Winston Churchill called this "a perfect specimen of the modern Blitzkrieg", and the Poles were not to be the last to endure this ordeal! Can the Polish troops delay the inevitable or will the Germans surpass the historical precedent set in September of 1939?

111: Poland Stands Ready (Hypothetical: stronger Poland):

Along the Polish Border – 1ST September 1939: As the storm gathered over Europe, the Allies began to mobilize their armies, but not too quickly, lest their action repeat the mistakes of 1914. The Poles were far too complacent about the danger threatening them. Thus, when the Germans struck with a surprise attack, the thirty divisions available to the Polish Army represented only two-thirds of the troops they could have called upon had they been more vigilant. In fact, a large measure of the German plan had called for overrunning Polish railheads near the frontier before additional Polish Reserves could be called up. In this scenario, we are depicting a historical German attack upon a reinforced Polish defender, deployed, with reserves in depth to prevent rapid penetration by the panzers. *Designer Note: The additional 18 Polish Reserve divisions represent the full mobilization of the Polish Army prior to the German attack. There are also a few more Level 1 Forts for the Poles and the scenario lasts longer than the historical version.

112: Poland Stands on the Vistula Line:

Along the Polish border – 1st September 1939: As the German High Command gauged the risk of launching their attack on Poland, their biggest fear was that the Poles would be able to disengage their Army and retreat intact toward the Vistula River line to reorganize their defense. And, while the Poles may have been criticized for their military incompetence, it is hard to see what else they could have done, except stand and die at the frontier as the Germans had planned. If not, much of the industrial heartland of Poland would have been abandoned, including the Silesian coal fields, not to mention the population centers, where they had planned to mobilize their reserves. *Designer Note: This scenario features historical forces but with the Polish deployment slightly back from the frontier and a defense in depth - would it have made any difference?

120: The Invasion of Norway:

Norway – 9th April 1940: The confrontation between the Germans and the Allies over Norway during the beginning rounds of the Second World War in Europe is no surprise. Norway stood on Germany’s northern flank and offered an opportunity to secure supply lines from which Germany could import iron ore from neutral Sweden. Therefore, the Germans launched a bold naval invasion at six points along the Norwegian coast with seaborne infantry. The landings were further supported by paratroopers. Norwegian defenses were weak and quickly overrun. Some Allied troops did attempt to intervene and, in fact, the Allies did have some success in the north. In the end, with the collapse of France, Allied troops were withdrawn and Norway was to remain an occupied country for the remainder of the war. The scenario depicts the historical setup, German invasion and Allied intervention in Norway.

121: The Invasion of Norway (Allies Free Hand):

Norway – 9th April 1940: In a confrontation between the Germans and the Allies over Scandinavia, the Allies sent British, French, and even some Polish troops to Norway. In the historical scenario #120, "Invasion of Norway", these Allied reinforcements arrive by sea, but adjacent to the landing points in Norway where they historically landed. In this variation, Allied reinforcements arrive by sea one turn earlier where the Allied player can move and land them in Norway at places of his choosing.

130: The Invasion of France and the Lower Countries:

France - 10th May 1940: On this date, the German Army launched a massive attack on France, Belgium, and Holland. The attack was aided by massive aerial bombardments and supported by small, but highly effective, paratrooper landings. The following morning, the Allies began to execute their own pre-planned war maneuvers. On the coast, the French 7th Army began a dash toward Holland. On their right flank, the British Expeditionary Force, along with the French 1st Army on its right, advanced to the Dyle River in central Belgium. However, the German’
s move in central Belgium was only a feint. The bulk of the German forces were coming through the Ardennes, where they broke out over the Meuse River five days later. Thus, pinning the mobile elements of the French Army and the BEF to the coast and leaving the French with virtually no reserves to stave off disaster. *Designer Note: If players wish for historical results in Human vs. Human Play, then apply these House Rules or conditions on the Allied play - All French and British units that are not fixed, with the exceptions of the French 18th, 22nd, and 1st Light Divisions, must move into Belgium and continue moving east for three turns. Also, any unit that enters Belgium must stay north of the Meuse River.

131: The Invasion of France & Belgium (Smaller Scale - Historical):

France - 10th May 1940: According to Allied strategy, if and when the German Army attacked in the west, it would occur mainly on the plains of Belgium. As such, the Allies poured troops and resources into Belgium from the outset of hostilities, where the Allies planned to re-fight the First World War. The Allies did not anticipate or plan for strong German panzer forces to navigate the Ardennes Forest, a rough and forested area covering Luxemburg and some of the French-Belgian border. It was this area where the Germans, or more specifically, General Manstein, planned his surprise attack to outflank the Allied Armies pouring into Belgium, and pin them to the sea. Within 5 days of entering the Ardennes, the German Panzers broke out over the Meuse River and raced for the coast, creating a large pocket of French, British, and Belgian troops in what is arguably the swiftest, most decisive action of the Second World War. *Designer Note: This is a smaller and shorter version of Scenario #130. For Historical Allied play - All French and British units that are not fixed, with the exceptions of the French 18th, 22nd, and 1st Light Divisions, must move into Belgium and continue moving east for three turns. Also, any unit that enters Belgium must stay north of the Meuse River.

132: The Original German War Plan (Hypothetical):

France - 10th May 1940: On the morning of 10th January 1940, two Luftwaffe majors prepared to fly to Cologne, only eighty miles distant from the little airfield at Munster, Westphalia. One of the majors was a member of the planning staff for General Student's newly formed 7th Air Division. He knew it was expressly forbidden for members of the planning staff to fly, but knowing the long waits on the trains at the time, he had weighed up the risks and accepted the offer of the flight. Initially it went well, in glorious sunshine, and then murky tendrils of clouds started to engulf the plane. The pilot continued on, seemingly unconcerned, but when the clouds were too thick to see through, he changed course several times. He was trying to find a gap in the cloud cover to find the Rhine. Eventually he saw a winding black trail of water under the white horizon, in his mind; it had to be the Rhine. As he raised himself in the seat to get a better look, disaster struck! His hand hit the fuel cut-off switch and the engine sputtered, then died, he was too low to do anything but try to safely land the Me 108. This he did, but both men were badly shaken by the crash. It was only after being found by an old farmer did they realize the river was in fact the Meuse, and that they were in Belgium. They hastily tried to burn the Top Secret documents of Hitler's plan to invade Western Europe. Unfortunately, border guards caught them and rescued the burning documents from the fire. Belgian Intelligence soon translated the documents and decided they were genuine. This was the course of events that led the German High Command to adopt Manstein's plan instead of the original CASE YELLOW. In this scenario, the historical CASE YELLOW plan is used for the set up of opposing forces at their approximate start positions.

133: Belgium - On the Dyer Line (Hypothetical):

Belgium – 10th May 1940: It is easy to see why from the German’s Point-of-view, the best route into France lay through the Belgian plain. It was the route the Germans used in World War I with the Von Schlieffen Plan. After the First World War, the Franco-Belgian Treaty of Alliance (1920) was signed between the French and a pro-Allied King Albert of Belgium. This treaty called for Allied troops to be invited into Belgium before the start of hostilities. The reason for the advance into Belgium was two fold: First, it was to protect the industries of Northern France that were devastated in the First World War. Secondly, it was the desire of the British to remove the possibility of Germany using airfields located in Belgium from which the Luftwaffe could mount air attacks on Britain. But events were to conspire against Allies. King Albert was killed in a climbing accident in 1934 and was succeeded by his son, Leopold, who abrogated the Treaty to pursue a policy of neutrality. In January of 1940, the German’s Plan for the attack through Belgium was discovered by Belgian authorities (See the overview for scenario #132) and for a period of several days the barriers on the French border were removed but no official invitation for Allied assistance came. This scenario depicts the Allied Armies occupying their "Dyer Plan" positions. The German setup is historical.

134: The Breakout from the Ardennes - Panzer Country:

Northern France – 16th May 1940: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was rudely awakened, in the early morning hours of 15th of May, by a call from French Premier, Paul Reynaud. Reynaud exclaimed, "We have been beaten, we have lost the battle!" Churchill tried to calm him down, explaining that it was only one penetration, and that they would have to slow down in a few days, this would present an opportunity to counter-attack. Reynaud responded that, "The front is broken near Sedan! We are faced with a torrent of tanks." As the 16th dawned, the extent of the disaster that had befallen the French on the Meuse became clearer. The Germans had smashed through the line and were now racing over the northern plains of France unopposed. The French tried to gather together units to counter-attack, but the French armor forces had been split into penny packets and were spread out all over the place. Desperately, the French began to throw units in piecemeal to staunch the flow of German units flooding in to the plains.

140: Operation Sealion - The German Invasion of England:

The English Channel – 24th September 1940: OPERATION SEALION was the German plan to invade England in 1940. Earlier that summer, the Germans had swept through Europe, crushing France and the Low Countries and forcing the British Army to make a chaotic escape from Dunkirk. These German forces stood waiting on the Channel coast for the invasion order of England. By mid-September, the plan was in motion. OPERATION EAGLE was the Luftwaffe plan to systematically destroy RAF bases and ground support and gain air superiority prior to the invasion. The German High Command had also been busy refining "Sealion". This was done with such precision and thoroughness they were ready, after barely three months, to invade. Due to the bravery of the RAF, OPERATION EAGLE failed and OPERATION SEALION was never put the plan into action. What if OPERATION EAGLE was successful and OPERATION SEALION was launched in September of 1940?

141: 'Operation Sealion' (More Axis Challenge):

The English Channel - 24th September 1940: OPERATION SEALION was the German plan to invade England in 1940. This scenario is the same setup for both sides but with a stronger Allied Side and a faster release of FIXED units to respond to the invasion so it can be played HTH, but may be best played as Human Axis vs. the Allied AI opponent.


Related Links:

Total War in Europe Spotlight

War on the Southern Front Scenario Overviews

 

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