Saturday, July 11, 2015

Holding Action - Sealion

In the third game the LDV were attempting to slow a German advance. After some minor shooting and a few causalities (4 German and 2 British) the brave volunteers attempted to launch an anti-tank attack with a Molotov cocktail.  The die roll says it all.

The British pull back and leave the battlefield to the Germans. For those playing at home that is 3 - nil to the Germans. Next up a change of scenery.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Mystery Writers at War

Many of the mysteries written in the late 1930s and into 1940 took the approaching conflict in Europe and China as a backdrop. What is interesting for me as the historian is how close many of their suppositions were correct. Well at least some of them.

Agatha Christie in N or M and Margery Allingham both write about the fears that were prevalent in England in 1940. Both talk of the concerns of Germans landings (some dressed as nuns), 5th Column activates and a general feeling of fear. France had fallen, the army lacked arms and there were no easy solutions. All took time and that appeared to be in short supply.

In these stories, as in the reality of 1940, the British saw it as their duty for each individual to do their part. While not everyone can be an Albert Campion or Tommy and Tuppence, there were the Peter Fleming and George Orwell.

The stories give a good feel for the period. A time when no one knew if America would be entering the war or if Germany was going to cross the channel. When most people were not aware of what Peter Fleming was up to or the fellows in Bletchley Park.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Taking the LDV Out for the Weekend

This past weekend I took Chain of Command (CoC) out for a spin using my 1940 early LDV (Home Guard) for a little Sea Lion fun. And I wish it was fun for the British. This game was mostly to let me re-remember the rules before taking it to the club in general and Mark in particular. So while I was learning some of the rules again I was finding the LDV a difficult force to command.

In the first game, the LDV barley lasted past the pre-game patrol phase with the Germans quickly splitting the British and called the game. The issue was the British had little depth and were quickly going to lose not one but two Jump Off points. There are no pictures of the first game.

In the second the German Platoon with two tanks were going to try to spit the British again. A fire fight occurred by the German Jump Off Point at the church and the Germans took significant causalities. And than the German Oberleutnant showed up. He organized the Panzer I to support the second section and the two MG34 teams were in support. The significant firepower on the center farm house and the infantry went in and cleaned it out. After breaking the center of the British line the Germans turned right and headed for the second farm house when I remembered I had enough Command Dice saved up to end the turn. That forced the British section to rout with both the British Senior Leader and Junior Leader in tow causing the British moral to collapse.

Will have to rethink how to effectively use the LDV. At a minimum forces with only a couple of Lewis guns for support have to stay closer. Limited support will force them to concentrate firepower and the limited leadership. Looking forward to the next game.

The Battlefield

British Command on the run.

Causalities were heavy to both sides.

Germans advancing on the next farm...

...and than I remembered.

British trying to get around the Germans but ran out of time.
Would hate to see them meet up with two MG34.

Overview by the church.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sea Lion Books Part 1

Wanted to share with you my reading list for this project. It will grow as there are a number of titles I am reading grow.

  • Operation Sea Lion by Peter Fleming 1957
  • Invasion: The German Invasion of England, July 1940 by Kenneth Macksey 1980
  • Sea Lion by Richard Cox 1977
  • More to come…
  • Hitler's Pre-Emptive War: The Battle for Norway, 1940 by Henrik Lunde 2009
  • Hitler's Armada: The Royal Navy and the Defence of Great Britain, April - October 1940 by Geoff Hewitt 2008
  • The Home Guard: A Military And Political History S.P. Mackenzie 1995
On the reading list to get
  • Ultra goes to war by Ronald Lewin 1978
  • The Ultra Secret by F. W. Winterbotham 1975
On order
  • When Britain Saved the West: The Story of 1940 by Robin Prior 2015
  • If War Should Come: Defence Preparations on the South Coast, 1935-1939 by Philip MacDougall 2013
 As the list grows I will move it over to its own page. Any suggestions are welcome.