Friday, 29 January 2010

Operation Hannibal - Corinth Canal Bridge, April 1941

This was a WW2 NBC game which I playtested earlier this week and played with Martin Rapier at the Sheffield club on Wednesday night.  The scanario was based on the version on the Rapid Fire website ( which contains a lot of useful material.  This report is of the playtest game.

Allied Orbat and Briefing

Isthmus Force HQ - HQ with lorry - deploys anywhere on table
Composite Greek Battalion - 3 Inf Co - Corinth
Composite ANZAC Btl - 3 Inf Co & HW Co - N of canal, 4+ hexes from bridge
2 AA Batteries - Bofors 40mm AA - anywhere on table
Combined Carrier Plts - Carrier - enter on S road turn 1
C Sqn NZ Div Cav - Mk VI light tank - enter on N road turn 3
26 NZ Btl  - 2 Inf Co (mot) - enter on S road turn 5

Set up after the Germans have plotted their drop zones. On board forces may be dug in. The Bofors guns are emplaced any do not have any transport. Only the Bofors may fire on turn 1.

Reinforcements are placed on the first hex in on the turn they arrive.

Allied forces must control or failing that, destroy the bridge. Surviving forces must attempt to escape to the south.

German Orbat and Briefing

Fallschirmjager Regiment 2
Regt HQ  - HQ  - arrives by para anywhere, turn 3
I/FJR Rgt 2  - 1 Para Co  - arrives N by para, turn 1
                      2 Para Co  - arrive N by para, turn 2
                      HW Co  - arrives N by para, turn 3
II/FJR Rgt 2  - 1 Para Co  - arrives S by para, turn 1
                        2 Para Co  - arrive S by para, turn 2
                       HW Co arrives  - S by para, turn 3

FJR Assault Engineers  - 2 Glider Co  - 1 in place at either end of bridge

4 on-call Ju-87B sorties, max of 2 per turn.

The Germans win if they achieve 2 out of three of the following:
1. Control both ends of the intact bridge.
2. Eliminate both AA batteries.
3. Eliminate all Allied forces.

If the Germans fail to achieve any of their victory conditions the Allies win. A draw occurs if neither side can achieve their victory conditions.

Below - the situation at the end of turn 1.  The first paras have arrived safely and while the carriers trundle along the road the ANZACs dither.  Corinth is just off to the top left (south west) corner of the photo.
The mighty carriers advance.  All toys by Heroics & Ros except the MkVI tanks, which are GHQ.

As the Allied troops start to gather, the Fallschirmjager (FJR hereafter) in the south overrun the Bofors battery.

At the end of turn 2 a mysterious (but entirely historical) event occurred.  A stray shell from a Bofors ignited the charges which the efficient glider engineers had removed and piled neatly beside the bridge...  Some of the engineers paid the ultimate price.

As more FJR land on both sides of the canal, some of those in the north suffer casualties on landing. As the ANZACs advance Stukas swoop out of a previously empty sky.  While the bombing causes no casualties the Stukas live up to their reputation as morale-busters.  ANZAC will wavers (the yellow marker).

The same scene from a different angle.  Under the unforgiving camera flash my Stukas look very scruffy but their service life stands at 20 years and counting.

In the south the Greeks were also targeted by Stukas.  Again there are no losses but morale snaps.  The FJR then close assault the hex containing not only the Greeks but also the surviving carriers and Isthmus Force HQ.  The FJR suffer 2 hits but dish out 4.

Back in the north the ANZACs rout to the perceived safety of the Bofors battery.

In the south the FJR have now seen off the Greeks and overrun the HQ.  The NZ 'Battalion' finally arrives on the hill but is shot up as it dismounts.
Turn 7 - the FJR in the north overrun the surviving Bofors battery and the Allies chuck in the towel

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