In the pre-dawn hours of April 9, 1940, flotillas of German warships, their decks crammed with Army ground troops, bluffed and fought their way into the six major ports of neutral Norway. Meanwhile, far off to the south, a huge armada of Ju-52's, supported by hundreds of bombers and fighters, was already droning into the air laden with hundreds of tons of supplies and thousands of additional troops that were destined to reinforce the sea-landed forces. In a dramatic bid to guarantee access to the Swedish iron mines through the port of Narvik, and to secure bases from which to prosecute the maritime war against England, Hitler had risked losing his entire fleet at the hands of the vastly superior Royal Navy.
Although the first part of the gamble had succeeded, the German ships still had to sail home through hundreds of miles of open seas dominated by the enemy. Even if all went well for the Kriegsmarine, the Allies would be left in absolute control of the waters off Norway, able to land troops any where they wished along its deeply-indented western coastline.
Indeed, several British and French brigades were already preparing to come to the aid of the ill-prepared but valiant Norwegians and assault the weak German garrisons that were cut off in their enclaves around the handful of major ports. The Germans planned to use their overwhelming advantage in airpower to counter the Allies' naval superiority, while maintaining and reinforcing their isolated bridgeheads by means of the first major military airlift. Both strategies were without precedent in the history of warfare, and therefore involved enormous risk. The German invasion of Norway led to one of the most innovative and dynamic campaigns of the entire Second World War.
Invasion: Norway simulates this fascinating campaign using a streamlined version of the acclaimed Britain Stands Alone game system. Fully integrated land, air, and naval rules accurately portray the complex interplay of warfare in three dimension (land, sea and air) in a way that is easy to learn and play, and keeps both sides constantly involved in the game, because very action you take may be detected and reacted to by your opponent. Special rules are included to simulate such unique aspects of the campaign as:
- the effect of the severe Arctic winter
- the haphazard mobilization of the Norwegian Army
- the use of shipwrecked sailors as ground troops
- the impact of die-hard Norwegian commanders