Saturday, 24 October 2009

Narvik (5): The cunning KM plan [Hypothetical Wargame]

Studying his options Captain Von(J) decided that his worst enemy was the complete lack of accurate intelligence. The best the German Naval High Command could offer was to inform that they expected half the Royal Navy to be potentially outside the entrance of Narvik Fjord in less than twenty four hours time.

German Naval Intelligence estimates of Royal Navy strength in the Narvik Region:

Definite Information:
  • The flotilla of destroyers identified (5 destroyers, of which 1 was sunk and 1 badly damaged)
  • An Unknown Destroyer Flotilla (4+ destroyers)
  • Light Cruiser
Whereabouts unknown:
  • Light Cruiser Squadron 4 ships
  • Battleship HMS Warspite + destroyer escorts
Possibly within 24 hours steaming:
Three separate RN battlegroups:
  • Battlecuiser HMS Hood + 6 Destroyers
  • Battlecruisers HMS Repulse and HMS Renown + 4 destroyers
  • Aircraft Carrier HMS Ark Royal +  2 light cruisers + 6 destroyers
The unexpected appearance of Royal Navy destroyers in the Fjord had obviously upset the KM Naval Intelligence Community and Staff Planners alike. Previously all these ships had been plotted in Scapa Flow. The clarification that there was five German U-Boats on station, but not where, did not really help him much either. Nevertheless Von(J) determined that if at all possible he would attempt to break out, but was it possible?

Quickly he organised a search two steps. A small patrol (single destroyer) to the North West of the Fjord as a safety check in a region unlikely to be seeded with RN vessels, which would sweep down to rendezvous with a stronger patrol exploring the South West of Narvik. The second patrol was three destroyers strong and expected to encounter a Royal Navy picket, if any were at all there.This would indicate whether an immediate breakout was feasible as the three destroyers oiling desperately tried complete the process as fast as possible.

Not long after departing, a mere six nautical miles, South West of the fjord the second group encountered a lone RN destroyer on picket. Captain Von(J) immediately ordered the two remaining fully fueled destroyers to sea and the concentration of his forces against whatever the Royal Navy was mustering outside Narvik.

Visibility conditions five nautical miles (twilight)
Sea state - slight swell

Next related post will be of the resulting GQ2 Naval Wargame: Narvik Breakout [Hypothetical]


Stryker said...

Hi - I've only just discovered your blog and have enjoyed browsing through the posts. I noticed that in one of them you had some queries about photographing miniatures. I'm no expert but I have discovered a few basic things that seem to work. Firstly don't use the flash and don't take pictures in direct sunlight either. Take the pictures indoors in normal daylight near a window (you may need to shine some light from a normal desk lamp to the front of the figures if its a dull day). Digital cameras are best left to do their own thing on the Auto setting but use macro for close up shots. The resulting images may seem a bit dark when you load them on the PC but if you use the auto-correct function in a basic photo software (I use Snapfire) they will come out fine. My own camera is just a cheapish one but the £25 I spent on the photo software is what really counts! Hope this helps...


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Thanks for the tips, I'm slowly developing a style. I agree with the natural but not direct sunlight and the careful use of a desk lamp.

I'm glad you like what you have read so far, it's been fun posting it. Let's see if I can keep it ;)