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The Strategy & Tactics of World War II

Number 5

Feature Game:
The Finnish Front, 1941-42
Their Greatest Day:
D-Day at Omaha Beach

The Other Ribbentrop

Aerial Samurai of the Pacific

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American GIs achieve victory even though the invasion plan fouls up. by Joseph Miranda 25 Their Greatest Day: From Disaster to Victory on Omaha Beach 25 D-Day. The Strategy & Tactics of World War II Number 5 Apr/May 2009 Features 6 War at the Top of the World: The Finnish Front. by John Butterfield Features 43 The Other Ribbentrop The son of Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop proves his mettle as a tank commander on the Reich’s far- flung frontiers. 1941-42 6 War rages from the Arctic Circle to the outskirts of Leningrad as the Finns launch an invasion of the Soviet Union to gain back the territory lost in the Winter War of 1939-40.indd 4 2/6/09 2:46:39 PM . by Blaine Taylor 43 52 Saburo Sakai’s Longest Day Imperial Japan’s top ace fights his hardest day in the skies over Guadalcanal. by Kelly Bell 52 4 #5 WaW5 Issue. 6 June 1944.

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The economy was based on logging. As the Germans overran the western part of Poland. When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941. well led and highly motivated. the Finnish armed forces proved to be well trained. nickel mining and agriculture. From that time back to 1809 it had been a duchy of the Russian Empire. 1941-42 By Joseph Miranda Somewhere on the northern front: Finnish troops advance through a town. the Finns would have the tactical edge but. among other things. The country had only gained independence in 1917. they soon found they couldn’t keep out of the growing conflict. and prior to that part of the Kingdom of Sweden. they had a co-belligerent in the far north. the Soviets occupied the rest. Even so. the Finns declared neutrality. Hitler could then turn his attention west. Stalin didn’t view Hitler as being an ultimately reliable ally. The pact resulted in. That agreement had radically changed the balance of power in Europe since. When World War II broke out on 1 September 1939. Finland had a population of about 4 million. While that hardly seemed to provide a basis for an effective military system. the Soviets would gain the strategic ascendancy. that didn’t end tensions in the east. and Estonia in order to create further buffer space between Germany and the Soviet Union proper. however. Consequently. The Soviet Union was allied to Germany at that time. Lithuania. in the long run. The Finns saw the new struggle as an opportunity to regain the territory they’d lost during the Winter War of 1939-40. the country of Finland. In the wake of the German invasion of Poland. Finland’s position in the far north was tenuous.indd 6 2/6/09 2:46:41 PM . until that time. thanks to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed on 24 August 1939. Germany and the Soviet Union had been opposed to each other. the partition of Poland between the Third Reich and the USSR. With his eastern flank secure. War at the Top of the World: The Finnish Front. to them Operation Barbarossa was known as the “Continuation War. That move was done with the approval of Berlin via secret provisions 6 #5 WaW5 Issue. Consequently he ordered the Red Army to oc- cupy bases in the Baltic states of Latvia.” As in the Winter War.

indd 7 2/6/09 2:46:44 PM . World at War 7 WaW5 Issue.

in the pact. Later in 1940, the USSR would formally Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. During the spring
and fully annex the Baltic States. Stalin’s plan was to of 1941, then, the Germans and Finns entered into se-
move the Soviet outer defenses that much farther west. cret negotiations to coordinate operations in the event
To further secure the Baltic region, then, Stalin also of a Nazi-Soviet war. While the Germans intended to
demanded the Finns surrender some frontier areas and invade the USSR, for security reasons all preparations
the naval base of Hanko. The Finns refused. for that operation were kept secret from the Finns.
In response, on 30 November, Stalin sent in the Continuation War
Red Army, expecting a quick victory. The Finns
Hitler would launch Barbarossa on 22 June 1941
fought fiercely, and though the Soviets succeeded in
(see the sidebar with the chronology for details). Three
overwhelming the frontier defenses, the war was a
days later, Finland officially entered the war against the
moral victory for the Finns. They did a superb job of
USSR. In the opening stages of the campaign, Finnish
repulsing the initial attacks and causing mass casual-
and German forces advanced toward Murmansk and
ties in the Red Army. Their performance earned Fin-
captured extensive areas of Karelia. Berlin also pres-
land great respect throughout the West.
sured the Finns to attack Leningrad from the north and
Regardless of its outcome, the Winter War con- push through Karelia in order to cut the Murmansk
vinced the Finnish government it could no longer stay railroad. Field Marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim,
neutral in the larger war. Consequently they made who’d commanded the Finnish Army since the inde-
overtures to Berlin. Even though Hitler and Stalin pendence war in 1917-18, refused on the grounds of
were still allies, it was clear the antipathy between Na- his prewar pledge to Moscow that his nation’s forces
tional Socialism and Communism would eventually would never threaten Leningrad. Helsinki was also
result in a new and larger war in the east. By mid- concerned about completely alienating the Western
1940, with France defeated and Britain besieged, the Allies by an overly aggressive strategy. The Finns
Finns realized they would have to deal with Germany saw the war not as the decisive struggle for European
as the dominant power on the continent. If Germany hegemony, but as a balancing act between the major
were to attack the USSR, the Finns wanted to get in on powers. There was little support in their parliament for
what they hoped would be the winning side. any expansion of Finland’s borders beyond the prewar
Finnish objectives included regaining the territories territory. Nonetheless, the participation of Finland in
lost in the Winter War’s peace settlement, while also the new war gave the Red Army another front to cover
gaining a general position of strength in any postwar when it was already over-extended fighting the main
negotiations. The Finns also sought economic assis- German effort.
tance from Germany, along with help rebuilding their For the Soviets, the Finnish front came down to
armed forces. two critical points that had to be held: Leningrad, the
Hitler welcomed the participation of another coun- great city at the head of the Gulf of Finland; and Mur-
try in his planned war against the Soviet Union. That mansk, the Arctic port through which Allied lend-lease
was especially so given the fierce Finnish military rep- supplies were shipped in once fighting began. In the
utation earned in the Winter War. The Finns could be event, Leningrad was turned into a fortress and held
expected to tie down Soviet forces in the far north and throughout the war. Axis forces would threaten Mur-
perhaps assist in operations against Leningrad. Politi- mansk, but were repulsed after considerable maneu-
cally, a German-Finnish alliance would, in conjunc- vering and some hard fighting. Later attempts by Axis
tion with the occupation of Norway, encircle neutral forces to cut the Murmansk railroad farther south were
Sweden. The German steel industry was dependent on stymied by the difficult terrain and still more fierce
Sweden for iron ore, without which the Wehrmacht fighting. The Soviets attempted counteroffensives in
would be unable to expand according to its long-range southern Karelia, but they came to little during the first
plans. Such a strategic encirclement would also likely two years of the war. It wouldn’t be until 1944 that the
prevent Sweden throwing in with the Allies and, as Red Army would be able to seriously threaten Finland.
long as Sweden remained neutral, iron ore shipments One reason for the indecisive nature of the Continua-
would continue. A neutral Sweden also gave the Reich tion War was of the terrain.
a window on the world, albeit a limited one, through
which commerce and espionage activities could be Theater of Operations
conducted. The landscape of Finland and Karelia is dominated
Hitler had another reason for getting involved in by primeval forest, which did much to shape the fight-
Finland. He considered the nickel mines near Petsamo ing. Much of the region was simply unexplored; roads
vital to Germany’s war economy. In the event of an- were few and far between, as were landmarks. That
other Soviet-Finnish War, he planned to have his forces made cross-country navigation difficult for troops not
occupy those mines to secure them from a Red Army experienced in forest craft. Moreover, much of the ter-
grab. That became the genesis of Operation Reindeer, rain was broken by lakes and small rivers that further
the initial German move into Finland at the start of impeded movement. The result was units tended to
8 #5

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24 August 1939: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Nazi Ger-
many and the Communist Soviet Union ally. That move
temporarily secures the Reich’s eastern front in the event of
another general war across Europe.
1 September 1939: World War II Begins in Europe.
Germany invades Poland. France and Britain declare war
on Germany two days later.
30 November 1939 – 12 March 1940: Winter War.
The Soviet Union attacks Finland. The Finnish resistance
inflicts high levels of casualties on the Red Army. The war
ends with Finnish territorial concessions.
9 April 1940: German Invasion of Scandinavia. The
Wehrmacht overruns Denmark and Norway.
22 June 1941: Operation Barbarossa. Germany invades
the Soviet Union. In occupied Norway, Operation Reindeer
begins, the movement of Mountain Corps Norway into
Finland. German aircraft mine the Baltic Sea, bottling up
the Soviet fleet in its bases.
25 June 1941: Continuation War Officially Begins. The
Soviet Air Force launches mass bombing attacks on Finn-
ish cities and airfields. These attacks provide the Finnish
government with justification for entry into the war as a
German co-belligerent.
June 1941: Murmansk Front. Mountain Corps Norway
launches Operation Platinum Fox, an attempt to capture
Murmansk. Overall German operations in the far north
were termed Operation Silver Fox.
June 1941: Northern Karelia. In central Finland, German
XXXVI Corps advances into Karelia alongside the Finns, as
part of Operation Polar Fox, to cut the Murmansk railroad.
June 1941: Southern Karelia. The Finns’ Army of Karelia
attacks toward Lake Ladoga and the Svir River, retaking
regions lost in the Winter War. Offensives continue into Au-
gust, with the Finns encircling and destroying several major
Soviet units. On the Karelian isthmus, the Soviets fall back
from Viipuri, and the siege of Leningrad begins.
22 September 1941: Platinum Fox Ends. Gen. Dietl, the
Mountain Corps commander, realizes Murmansk can’t be
taken that year and calls off the operation. Neither Platinum
Fox nor Silver Fox attain their objectives.
1942: Karelia. Axis forces launch Operation Salmon
Catch, another attempt to cut the Murmansk railroad.
Soviet resistance and abysmal terrain cause the offensive
to fail.
1942-1943: Finnish Front Stabilized. The Finns begin se-
cret negotiations with the Allies to withdraw from the war.
9 June – 15 July 1944 Karelian Isthmus. A Soviet offen-
sive pushes back the Finns to the prewar frontier. Mean-
while, in western Russia, the Red Army launches Operation
Bagration, destroying Germany’s Army Group Center.
19 September 1944: Helsinki. The Finns sue for peace.
Some fighting between Finnish and German forces follows,
known as the Lapland War. The Germans fall back into
October 1944: Lapland. During the Petsamo-Kirkenes
campaign, the Red Army defeats German forces within the
Arctic Circle.

World at War 9

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fragment as they moved, and it was difficult to con- was due to its inability to overcome the terrain, while
centrate large formations for major operations. Ma- its Red Army foes fully exploited the landscape.
neuvers therefore tended to follow the roads, such as Another area in which the Soviets had an advan-
they were, and flanks were almost always open to in- tage was the rail network. The Murmansk railroad,
filtration. which ran from that Arctic port to points south, gave
Re-orienting an axis of attack became next to im- the Red Army the ability to switch forces along the
possible once an operation was underway. That tended entire length of the front. Effectively, it provided them
to make individual battles indecisive, and decisive with “interior lines.” The Finnish railroads didn’t run
battles rare. It wasn’t uncommon for units to run into in the places needed to support offensive operations
foes they didn’t even know existed, leading to many across the border and into Soviet Karelia, though they
meeting engagements. The defender generally had the were useful within Finland itself. For the Germans, the
edge when it came to large actions, at least if he was situation was even worse. Their nearest railheads were
prepared for the terrain. Conversely, when it came to in Norway, hundreds of miles away. What that meant
small-unit actions, the attacker tended to have the edge was, as Axis forces advanced, they quickly outran
if he was trained and equipped to fight in the environ- their lines of communication. Meanwhile the Soviets
ment were falling back on their own. The Red Army could
In the extreme north, in the Kola Peninsula and therefore win any race to build up manpower and sup-
Lapland, the characteristic terrain was tundra. That plies, while the Axis had to push beyond the point of
was broken land, created by retreating glaciers from diminishing returns.
the last ice age, dominated by boulders and many small The Finns did have their Arctic Highway, which
streams flowing into the Arctic Ocean. It must be un- had originally been built to support tourist traffic to
derstood that much of the campaign occurred within the polar region. That road proved to be of utility in
the Arctic Circle. That meant summer days were ex- supporting Axis forces in the far north. The Germans
tremely long, and winter nights endless. The com- would also make some attempts to build up communi-
bination of forest and tundra not only made combat cations, including building roads, but they were con-
operations exceptionally difficult, they also hobbled strained by the tremendous logistical difficulties of
logistics. Trucks were quickly rendered useless, ne- such engineering operations.
cessitating the use of pack animals, sledges and even Paradoxically, winter was often the best time to
reindeer. go over to the offensive. The ground froze, making it
The military truism “no plan survives contact with more suitable for large-unit movement. The rivers and
the enemy” was even more applicable on the northern lakes also froze, further facilitating movement and un-
front. The failure of the elite German Mountain Corps dermining the defenders’ use of waterways as barriers.
Norway to capture Murmansk in the summer of 1941 Unlike the rest of the eastern front, the rains didn’t
cause too much havoc. The ground tended to be more
absorbent, though the spring thaw could make the ter-
rain temporarily unmanageable. What that meant was
some of the difficulties that often impeded Axis opera-
tions elsewhere on the eastern front weren’t as big an
issue in Finland and Karelia.
A major problem the terrain created was a sense
of isolation among the troops. That was caused by the
brooding forests, the endless winter nights, and the
general lack of communication. For instance, mail
from home, always an important tool for maintaining
soldier morale, was frequently held up by the long dis-
tances and poor roads. The isolation affected the Ger-
mans more than the Finns or the Soviets, who were
acclimated to the conditions.
What all that indicates is the Finnish front was dif-
ferent than the rest of the USSR. It called for special-
ized tactics and specialized forces. The mechanized
and mobile style of warfare that characterized the
main front were unworkable here. The Finns and the
Soviets had those specialized forces, and the Germans
quickly learned to assemble them in-theater.

Finnish Gen. Tuompo
10 #5

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The Wehrmacht suffered from two major deficien. That war with the Soviet Union in a single campaign in provides an interesting comparison with the Finns who. 1941. Hitler and man soldiers. the West and the Balkans. that expectation for the 1941 campaign. record of continuous victory in the first two years of The second German deficiency came from the fact their World War II resulted in high morale among the Ger. kept a large consumer economy running. mobilized fully with some 16 di- was based on an overestimation of German capabili. Germans The German armed forces (Wehrmacht) were at Union in the summer of 1941. visions taking the field. World at War 11 WaW5 Issue. Moreover. German intelligence highly trained. That was actually a higher ratio ties.indd 11 2/6/09 2:46:52 PM . their economy to rapidly mobilize and equip more armies. airmen and sailors as well their leaders. As events would demonstrate. well led and had an operational and tac. They were tegic intelligence about the USSR. the Nazis. That’s a further indication the Germans weren’t as pre- cies as it launched its campaign against the Soviet pared for the War in the East as were the Finns. of divisions-to-population than was fielded by Germany. underestimated the number of Soviet divisions in the Red tical doctrine that had proven successful in campaigns Army order of battle as well as the ability of the Soviet in Poland. The first was a lack of stra- the peak of their fighting abilities in 1941. own economy wasn’t fully mobilized for war. mindful of the need to maintain home front The Wehrmacht high command expected to win the support.

based in Norway. those divisions secure the Arctic coast against Red Army amphibious were nonetheless suitable for the Finnish front. and somewhat made The real shortfall came from the fact those German up for the lack of heavy artillery on the ground. For example. while moving men and supplies to the front difficult owing to poor communications. Both divisions had pack animal trains to haul supplies. One to gain a decisive victory. rotating personnel SS Battlegroup North. the onset of winter on the Finnish front wasn’t 12 #5 WaW5 Issue. They would learn by experience during the second The winter of 1941-42 didn’t hurt the Germans as half of 1941. even its commander front. which was actually a strange move. missions and attempts to sabotage the Murmansk rail- The organization of the mountain divisions was road. however. In the far north was Mountain Corps Nor. Scandinavian countries and attached to the SS North sions. recommended against it being sent into combat. The Germans did commit two armored battalions to way (later reorganized as XIX Mountain Corps) with central Karelia. Another interesting fact is there was little in the way of the generally lavish German corps and army echelon support formations. After suffering an initial drubbing.) In December 1944 AOKN was reorganized as Twentieth Mountain Army. Logistics were abysmal. Both vehicles. that gave them something of an Those planes could concentrate combat strength at edge. and it performed credibly in 1942. What that meant was the Germans would find it difficult to concentrate strength for major The German contingent: mountain troops assemble for a plan. Further. One useful unit was the SS Ski Company (lat- had winter training and were otherwise better prepared er Battalion) Norway. operations. by allowing the Germans to transit their country. a headquarters set up in Decem- ber 1940 to control forces in both northern Norway and Finland. AOKN faced difficult problems. though. in which they Germans worked with the Finns to set up northern committed two infantry divisions and the motorized warfare survival training courses. otherwise inaccessible locations. BGN was reor- ganized and expanded into a division. Another unusual unit was a detachment from division logistics were suitable for the Arctic Circle. forests and tundra. interdicting enemy movement of troops and supplies. but they were equipped with captured its 2nd and 3rd Mountain (Infantry) Divisions. They were German commandos. the Germans weather. composed of volunteers from for cold weather operations than other German divi.indd 12 2/6/09 2:46:54 PM . and had prepared its units to deal with it. assault guns and engineers were scarce compared to those committed to army groups engaged on the rest of the eastern front. reason was AOKN couldn’t help but anticipate the cold On the central part of the Finnish front. though. unlike the rest of the eastern it was first committed – indeed. the Germans did commit forces to the 1941. not enough of one. BGN was poorly trained when through them. and their efforts involved long-range reconnaissance which proved useful in crossing the tundra. tions there. The formations lacked training for fighting in the specific air fleet’s ground attack group also proved useful in kinds of terrain in which they would be operating. Another favorable factor was German mountain Division. was air support ating battalions. While the Later in the campaign the Germans would send in terrain within the Arctic Circle wasn’t mountainous a few more units via AOKN. Non-divisional artillery. They landings. Also valuable to the Axis effort. the best AOKN could do was send in some ma- Finnish Front that were considered suitable for opera. The XXXVI Corps was also later re- organized into the XXXVI Mountain Corps. since it was operating in flat terrain and had no mountain divisions assigned to it. Given the fragmenting nature of the from the Luftwaffe’s Air Fleet Five. but by the end of that year it was too late badly in Finland as it did elsewhere in the USSR. (The Swedes helped out. German operations in Finland were under Army High Command Norway (Armee Ober Kommando Norwegen or AOKN). were well trained and experienced units. which were intended to in the sense of the Alps or Caucuses. the Brandenburgers. as it would turn out. chinegun units and two infantry regiments as support. also good in that it emphasized independently oper. The deployed the XXXVI (Infantry) Corps. when the Mountain Corps was held up in front of Murmansk in the summer of Nonetheless.

during 1939-42 the Red Army armored force suffered grievous deficiencies in its training and World at War 13 WaW5 Issue. accompanied by the fierce fighting that beset the Ger- mans in front of Moscow. they built the “Bolt Line” in eastern Finland. for the Finns. Accordingly.indd 13 2/6/09 2:46:56 PM . barbed wire and anti-tank traps. but when the war broke out most of them were removed and transferred to units in the field. That was a series of fortified positions along the new frontier. such as the infamous “Molotov Cocktail. they built a fortified position across the Karelian isthmus called the VKT (Viipuri–Ku- parsaari–Taipale) Line. Divisions were lightly equipped by German standards.” though they would later obtain some anti-tank guns from the Germans. With the war moving away from the Finnish frontier and into the Soviet Union. and so they emphasized well led. Farther south. the VKT Line proved effective in holding up the Soviet offensive—for a while. Finns The Finnish armed forces were prepared for the kind of war they would have to fight. but that wasn’t really a disadvantage given the ability of the Finns to exploit the terrain. Finnish Fortifications Following the Winter War. the problem then came from the fact the Finns had advanced as far as they wanted to go. there was little sense holding the line. The one real shortfall was in anti-tank weaponry. the Finns prepared a defense against any future Soviet invasion. after the Finns had advanced to the outskirts of Leningrad. Fortunately Home front: Finnish munitions factory. The line was thoroughly equipped with weapons. Finland lacked the industrial wherewithal to mobilize a mechanized army. Shelters could therefore be prepared under relatively safe conditions. In the later part of the war. well trained infantry. In 1942 the Germans would try again to win on the Murmansk front. The Finns had to do with improvisations. including bunkers.

the Finns had to demobilize several divisions in 1942 in order to keep their economy from collapsing. Finnish flyers had high kill ratios against intruders. Generally. and then reduce the pockets later supplemented with German-manufactured as- one by one. The Jaeger (light in- The Finns further took advantage of their native fantry) brigades were highly mobile. using skis in the skills. One The 1939-40 Winter War ended up giving the Finns such unit was Detachment P (Petsamo. logistics. and win quickly. the army showed the strain while the Soviets got stronger. though some of its volunteers con- tinued to serve in other capacities. As a result. the Red Army was at a In the snows: Finnish machinegun team. Foreign volunteers signed up to fight against Com- munism. couldn’t be sustained over the long term. and captured Soviet weaponry was inte. That often led to hard fighting. The Finnish military system. There were other elite units. though small. It was initially equipped with a variety of foreign air- craft. Soviets While Germans and Finns were at the peak of their capabilities on 22 June 1941. That allowed their infantry to call effective. the best of which were British Hurricanes and US Brewster Buffalos. including a battalion of Swedes who were used to besiege the Soviet base at Hanko on Finnish territory. since Red sault guns. as well as some “tribal” units from the inhabitants of captured Soviet territories. The Finns were also own Jaeger battalion. cut wood into small pieces. Using that doctrine. while good. with observers placed up front organized. and was them off from each other. As the war dragged on into 1942 and beyond. low point. known to the a boost in morale. The Finns then also used the months after the war to Numerous quasi-military units. from a Finnish word meaning to The Finns organized an armored brigade in 1941. and each division had its and marksmanship year-round. winter and bicycles in the summer. provided for civil defense. air raid warning and local grated. While they lost strategically. The Finns also developed an effective artillery security. tacti. The near-total mobi- lization of the Finns deprived many of their factories and farms’ of essential workers. The Finnish Air Force. ly with the Mountain Corps. Germans as the Ivalo Battalion). which made for good navigation dependent units. for their system to work. Later in the war the Finn- ish Air Force was reequipped with Me-109s from the Germans. It was ish infantry would infiltrate among enemy units. battalions that often operated behind enemy lines. Fighters concen- trated against enemy bombers. Many of them were good skiers and hunters. They combat superiority. since they were the biggest threat to the troops on the ground and to ci- vilian installations. There were also numerous in- adept at forest craft. cut initially equipped with captured Soviet tanks. supported the regular army in the field. The cavalry bri- consequently. which worked direct- cally they demonstrated the superiority of their system. which rendered their tank attacks less than with the line units. giving them local The Finns also emphasized small-unit tactics. and ended up being used for local defense. The armored division was considered an Army soldiers generally fought until their ammunition elite unit.indd 14 2/6/09 2:46:57 PM . That unit was disbanded after the Soviets evacuated the base. was useful. in massed artillery and mortar fire. In 14 #5 WaW5 Issue. such as the civic rebuild their armed forces. They from abroad. Finn. Finnish pilot training empha- sized gunnery and wingman tactics. was exhausted before surrendering. Some frontier and guerrilla battalions were fire-control system. Equipment was purchased guard. The Finns had to win. with its personnel handpicked. including long-range reconnaissance in the forests and for survival during the winters. they emphasized ski mobility in winter gade was similarly equipped. just beginning to recover from its nadir. A regiment of Esto- nians was also formed. were called motti. upgrading it to a division the following year.

Operations were initially under the Northern Front. More. including Sta- lin and STAVKA (the general staff). True enough. such as naval infantry brigades. At the same time. the early 1930s the Red Army had pioneered several modern military concepts. Petersburg (Leningrad) as well as the Finnish interior. The Karelian isthmus connects (Karelia) Armies. Stalin’s purge of the officer corps then worked to wreck much of the Soviet military. is the frontier region of Finland and Russia.) That included the Seventh (Lake Ladoga re. other Soviet units suffered from shortfalls in leadership. proaches to St. mechanized and shock armies would be de- ployed to launch counteroffensives. Overall strategy for war with the Reich – in place of the early hold-on-the-border idea – came to be to let the frontier force suffer the initial enemy onslaught. recognized that fact. such as the 14th and the north of it is the Kola peninsula. Moscow saw a renewed war with Finland as being a secondary front at most. The two main objectives would become holding the city of Leningrad and securing Murmansk and its rail line. Some units. The Germans. though. The area to on the Finnish front. Yet the Winter War proved a two-edged sword. halting the Germans in front of the critical cities of Moscow and Leningrad. training and logistics. Karelia gion). Karelia stretches up to the White Sea. that Soviet strategy proved effective. Many of the units that had been stationed in the area prior to the start of the war had used that time to pick up expe- rience in forest craft. the Soviet military had a high “tooth to tail” ratio: a large combat force coupled with inadequate logistics. however. The Northern Front was later split Leningrad with the city of Viipuri (Vyborg). One area in which Red Army units were able to outperform the Germans on this front was in survival skills. They were trained for amphibious operations and conducted numerous raids throughout the course of the cam. in 1941 many units remained badly trained.indd 15 2/6/09 2:46:58 PM . In the period between the end of the Winter War and the opening of Barbarossa. The effectiveness of Red Army units varied greatly On the Russian side. or Karjala in Finnish. Russia and Finland have 52nd Divisions in the Murmansk area. which consists of several areas. performed well. Fourteenth (Murmansk) and Twenty-Second Karelia. as did most outside observers. Its strategic importance is that it controls the ap- And the 168th Division’s tactics in delaying the Finn. ish advance at Ladoga in July 1941 provided the basis for such operations throughout the Red Army. all fought over Karelia. including massed armored formations and paratroopers. the Soviets reconsid- ered their entire military system and strategy. In the event. In the far north. Finally. and then retaking some lost territory in the winter cam- paign of 1941-42. and then use reserves mobilized in the interior to stabilize the front. on the traditional Finnish side of the border. Winter warriors: Soviet ski patrol. afterward tended to underestimate Soviet military capabilities. South and North Karelia are into the Leningrad and Karelian Fronts. northwest of Lake Ladoga. (A Soviet “front” was the equivalent of a Western army group. To top it off. The Soviet military in the north also had some spe- cial formations. The poor showing of the Red Army during the Winter War with Finland also did much to undermine morale. and even the Soviet leadership. World at War 15 WaW5 Issue. Sweden. in 1939-41 the Red Army was probably incapable of large offensive operations against a major power.

From War of 1808-09 (see Strategy & Tactics #215 and 249). Bear in mind logistics includes not only supply but also medical support. The Ger- The Germans meanwhile saw an opportunity to expand their own man invasion caught the Soviet Air Force in the midst position in the Baltic. even though the Soviets had many more of the November 1918 armistice. much use was made of sleighs and sledges. they made a bid for independence. and considered a monarchy for their government. They were con- centrated into companies and were used at the most criti- cal points of the front. and sometimes just for tered the war. Sim- ply pulling a unit out of the line for rest or reorganization could become a major undertaking.400 trucks to support the entire army. The Finns also had an efficient snowplow service that kept the roads open for winter operations. it was still capable of supporting troops in the field.indd 16 2/6/09 2:46:59 PM . and military officers in command of stations and depots. they weren’t able to exploit to fight in the east. special trains. Finland had been a Russian grand duchy since the Russo-Finnish the tribal peoples who lived in the Arctic region. there were a number of mutinies that had to Finland between communist Red Guards and nationalist White Guards. administration. great power diplomatic pressure caused the Freikorps to be with- drawn to Germany. during winter. nor was the Murmansk railroad cut. it officially on 6 December 1917. railroads were a necessity for long-range transport of men and materiel. Another special force was the Reindeer Brigades. The Finns had their rail system well organized. some German formations continued aircraft than the Luftwaffe. however. On the Soviet side. had to be evacuated over torturous forest paths or boulder strewn tundra. Civil War immediately broke out in as a result. wanted to support the Finish communists. The Continuation War proved something of a stale- mate. to say the least. Interestingly. The Freikorps fought against communism. By the end of Murmansk area. declaring didn’t respond well to harsh Red Army discipline and. Lenin. transport. The difficulty wasn’t simply moving supplies to the front. After Finland en- nation of veteran troops and volunteers. Those units were extensively recruited from allies. even though the Finnish Army didn’t have the most modern weaponry and equipment. who’d seized power in Russia in November 1917. paign along the theater’s extensive coastlines and lake shores. as well as to contain the spread of revolution. Most transport was by horse or reindeer drawn ve- hicles and. but also moving men and equipment to the rear. the British sent several Royal Air Force the sake of fighting. the legacy of that German-Finnish alliance Evaluation would survive to be more fully realized in the Second World War. be suppressed. however. The Finns were youth they were brought up to be hunters and trackers. Given the shortage of trucks. Even so. Finland had only 6. but pilots and ground crew weren’t yet 1918. officially es. At the start of the Continuation War. in support of German nationalists. 1919. New aircraft were being brought into They therefore committed their Baltic Sea Division to Finland in April the inventory. Given the abysmal road situation. defense forces. for example. While Axis forces initially made good gains. restive under Russian rule and. They generally proved effective in defeating the squadrons to provide additional air defense of the poorly trained Red forces they were usually up against. More. well trained with them. Finland emerged from the war 16 #5 WaW5 Issue. Finno-German forces then routed the Bolsheviks. with the disintegration of the Russian The one problem with those units was their personnel Empire in World War I. made up of a combi- them to the same level of efficiency. the Finns initially also lacked an effective command-control system. with a German prince as many of its planes didn’t even have radios. What all that demonstrates was. the overall lack of motorized vehicles didn’t prove critical. One World War Earlier so called because of their extensive use of reindeer for World War II wasn’t the first time the Finns and Germans fought as transport. There was king. but the incipient Red Army was in no Soviet airpower included separate tactical and air position to cross the frontier and fight a foreign war. Nei- ther Leningrad nor Murmansk was captured. Wounded. These were the Freikorps. the Soviet Air Force tablishing Finland’s independence. in 1919 they firmly established a republic. with railroad repair companies. Logistics in the Far North Logistics on the Finnish front proved to be difficult. postal services (vital for morale) and so forth. little training for long-range bomber operations. the Red Army didn’t overrun Finland as it did Hitler’s other al- lies in eastern Europe. Con- Even following the collapse of the Kaiser’s government in the wake sequently. as well as naval aviation. of a transition. they failed to take any of their major objectives. maintenance of equip- ment.

That’s something that has to be viewed in retrospect. The Finns made an intelligent political choice in de- ciding not to alienate the British and Americans by be- World at War 17 WaW5 Issue. only about 25 percent of total lend-lease supplies came through Murmansk. along with an enforced neutrality. the Germans didn’t consider Murmansk a particularly high-priority objective. but the Allies could have shifted shipments through Archangel.indd 17 2/6/09 2:47:00 PM . as it was. In the end the Germans tied down their Army Group North for a siege without accomplishing any strategic goal. Persia or other routes. had the Axis cut the Murmansk railroad. since the national goal of playing off the various great powers in order to maintain their nationhood had succeeded. by means of what was essentially an economy of force operation (committing about half a dozen divisions to the far north). Militarily the campaign had more potential for the Axis than for the Soviets. The Finnish successes in the Karelian isthmus and southern Karelia put the Axis powers in a position from which they could besiege Leningrad. how- ever. Lat- er in the war the Germans considered a direct assault. but the forces to be used ended up being diverted else- where. Indeed. Farther north. it was to have been reduced by blockade and starvation. Instead. but its culture and government remained in- tact. For the Finns that was victory enough. Their failure to take that city can be at- tributed to decisions made outside the Finnish theater of operations. Germany ensured Finland’s participation in the war while simultaneous- ly keeping several Soviet armies engaged elsewhere than the main front. The initial plan for Barbarossa hadn’t called for a direct assault on Leningrad. since. That would have made the Soviet mili- tary position more difficult. they could have impeded Allied lend-lease shipments. The critical thing was. at the time. with some loss of territory.

which they occasionally used to attack Soviet shipping within the Arctic Circle Murmansk sector was logistical. ly. and viet naval raids against their northern lines of communication also led the keeping them supported was a Herculean task. and it should’ve had a greater impact on the campaign. The The Red Army resistance also shouldn’t be forgot- threat posed by those raids forced the Finns to commit considerable forces ten. Washington. along with some of fighting an infantryman’s war and. especially lakes. Earl Frederik. www. The lat. CA: Pre- sidio. the latter used mostly to defend bases. The Finnish Front was an infantryman’s fields. New York: Stein and Day. Ziemke. The the Soviet soldier when fighting on terrain of his own Germans managed to keep it largely bottled up through the use of mine. Simply moving units and to make enemy amphibious operations Strategy & Tactics nos. Continuation War. Red Army Order of Battle.indd 18 2/6/09 2:47:01 PM . the logistical situation had been improved dramatical- The Soviet Navy had two fleets in the theater. Of course. made all the difference. or at least cut the railroad south of it. in the end. Waldemar. DC: US Government Printing Office. 1948. www. neither side proved to have sufficient naval power available to gain a decision. which proved own. ing totally offensive on their front. especially the over-water supply route bile units to the far north. Brent Snodgrass & R. 1940-45. at to coastal defense. which made for an interesting mix of forces.tutorgig. choosing. CT: Praeger. Novato. Hitler’s Nemesis: the Red Army. Philip. the USSR. they failed. Stuka pilot Hans Ulrich Rudel gained fame by sinking the Soviet successful in cutting up the Red Army elsewhere in battleship Marat at Kronstadt. Unless Germans to commit several ground units to coastal defense. The Soviets proved capable to Leningrad. that also The Naval War worked to undermine the overall Axis position. even assuming the Germans could’ve shifted mo- naval traffic across Lake Ladoga. Os- prey. when the Germans did make a concerted due to the long coastlines and many inland waterways. 1976.tutorgig. to the front was difficult enough given the terrain. committing more forces wouldn’t necessarily have ern Fleet was based in Polyarny for operations within the Arctic Circle. Washington. The divisions operating on the Finnish Front. Erfurth. Hitler’s Legions. all the more pronounced considering the mountain di- The Finnish Navy included a coastal flotilla and an inner-lake force. 194 and 199 cover the 1941-44 campaigns in detail. The Soviet Baltic Fleet operated out of Kronstadt and least around Murmansk. US Army. That was other hand. but the real Axis problem on the The Germans had some destroyers based in northern Norway. Jowett. Albert and Robert Poirer. The German Northern Theater of Operations. couldn’t be applied there owing to the ter- In 1942 the Axis launched an operation aimed at interdicting Soviet rain. Even so. There were also several coastal de- the Wehrmacht. Mitcham. 18 #5 WaW5 Issue. In the northern theater overall. that purpose-built German craft armed with 88mm anti-aircraft guns. 1994. On the Naval operations were important in the Continuation War. and it conducted some amphibious landings along the Barents Sea. effort to take Murmansk. Walter. Warfare in the Far North. 1985. Ruggeri. That failure was which characterized the theater of operations. ter vessels were technically under control of the Luftwaffe. Sources Conner. 1985. demonstrated the skills of other ports on the Baltic Sea. It included two battleships plus cruisers and escorts. visions assigned the task were two of the best units in both made up largely of light craft. Luftwaffe attacks. Perhaps a greater effort on the part of fense brigades and some naval infantry. Concerns about So. DC: Historical Division. The Red Banner North. seas and waterways at remained an active part of the fighting throughout the campaign. Dunn. German Norwegian Army. the Germans could’ve taken the port. Finland at War 1939-45. Westport. accomplished anything. It included Italian and Finnish patrol boats. Dr. The Germans’ panzer operations. and some aggressive naval operations of their war.

” each of which operates as a semi-autonomous force within its overall army.” each of which is composed of interactive “phas- es” and “sub-phases.45 sales tax. Pulling certain markers will allow a player to man mountain troops. however. which is the fifth game we’ve published in his well-liked “They Died With Their Boots On” series. During that war the Finns recap- tured the territory they’d lost to the Soviets in the Winter War of 1939-40. much of it north of the Arctic Circle.” It was fought between Axis (Finnish and German) forces and the So- viets during 1941-42. and the Wehrmacht’s Brandenburg comman- dos make an appearance. Send to: Decision Games ATTN: S&T Game Offer PO Box 21598 Bakersfield CA 93390 World at War 19 WaW5 Issue. plus airpower and naval support units. $34 Overseas Customers CA residents add $1. They failed to take Murmansk. Finnish jaegers. The wargame featured in this issue is Joseph Miranda’s The Finnish Front. in this case the first stage of what the Finns call the “Continuation War. each such pick there- by indicating which sub-command will be “ac- tivated” for movement and combat at that time. if any are available that game turn. 1941-42 (TFF). and then moves and conducts combat with the units of that sub-command. All these units conduct op- erations from the Arctic circle down to the outskirts of Leningrad. TFF is played in sequential “game turns. The player controlling a selected sub-command receives reinforcements for it. Sub-commands are de- fined by abbreviations and colored stripes on the unit.” During each Operations Phase the players alternate picking markers from the command pool. Soviet marine conduct operations simultaneously with more than one brigades. SS Nord Battlegroup can be upgraded to a mountain division. Fight the war at the top of the world. Each side has a wide range of unique units: Ger- counters. To purchase the game that covers the battles featured in this issue send your name and address along with: $26 US Customers $32 Canadian Customers All prices include postage for first class or airmail shipping. TFF’s “Boots” system simulates what might otherwise appear to be hopeless campaigns. The sub-command.indd 19 2/6/09 2:47:01 PM . The armies in TFF are divided into “sub-com- mands. which would have seri- ously hindered Allied Lend-Lease shipments to the Soviet Union.

Isolation Phase Air unit represents about 20 planes. D. There are 280 small. World at War No. but solitaire play is doable. Each left in the pool. Resource Phase weather. about an hour before the Italian army moved out. The game is. all across the Albanian border it started to pour. which is repeated until there are no markers ver range from battalions all the way up to divisions. Operations Sequence perienced players can complete a game in about five hours. 1. mind. Players determine how many resource points they day the weather was fine and clear.” and the C. a best-case scenario for ers in the pool.  able resources to Albania and Greece—and that includes A.  2. b. 2. Until the chosen 1.500 men. On the morning of the want to use. which covers Mussolini’s ill- fated invasion of that country late in 1940. The scale on the 34x22” map is 7. machinations of Il Duce and his ill-chosen subordinates. Check weather. 2.  Remove air interdiction markers. End Turn Phase 1. Activation Phase tween two players while showing what could’ve happened 1. The game was designed with two-player play primarily in a. Each turn covers one month. 2. but one that also allows for competitive balance be. and is intended for solitaire play. Most of what that player does will be concerned with simply getting his avail. a logistics nightmare. 7: Greek Tragedy The wargame featured in issue seven will be Richard H. It was down. Roll for available air support in rain or snow. at least for the Italians. size. d.007 words in the rules. The sequence of play outline is presented below. Units engage in combat. and why.5 miles (12 kilometers) c. Each E. F. The 2. them. Units of maneu. For both players. Activate units for that marker (within port capacity for Italians) There are 13. Apply effects of isolation. Initiative Determination Phase keeping his units in viable shape—and resisting the brainless 1. NATO-style units in the counter-mix.  Proceed to next turn and top of sequence.  2.”  The latter allows players to see what 1.  4. Then go to: combat strength point is the equivalent of 1. That means two ex- 3.indd 20 2/6/09 2:47:05 PM . had there been better planning and more strategic insight in Rome. rata-fix counters for issue number one’s Barbarossa game. along with the er. hill from that moment. Units engage in construction. Game Preview invasion. Roll die to see who goes first. There are two scenarios: the “Gamers’ Game. 20 #5 WaW5 Issue. Berg’s Greek Tragedy (GT). Units move. Make Italian corps assignments. Determine changes in isolation status. Marker Selection Phase “Historians’ Game. GT is a game dominated by terrain and B. Refit. 3. per large hex. Place arriving reinforcements. Mussolini chose to attack in mid-autumn in a coun- try noted for bad weather and rough terrain. Initiative player chooses which command will start. happened. Draw activation marker from pool. Place all remaining activation and random event mark- former is an Italian pipe dream.

“more powerful than a ered. Tokyo acter as thoroughly and uproariously hat. This. When Bugs lands. and and points East. show. Once the opening establishes Bugs as “Super Rabbit. Bugs was short Super-Rabbit. a cork popped and his horse are now super-pow. Texas. fellas.” and assumes a ‘disguise’ as I can’t play with you anymore.” some important work to do. gives opens and they both snap to attention branch of the US military. Bugs was then honor- bullet” (in this case. outwitted by Bugs. the professor a kiss on the nose and and salute. ready to attack—until the booth ever been formally inducted into a stashes them in a cigarette case. That cartoon Bugs soon runs out of power.” The professor is creating a “super carrot. singing The Marine Bunny came to be formally enlisted Bugs flies to “Deepinaharta Hymn. pausing to say: “Sorry.” a hunter in Texas who wants to hunt A still from the 1943 Bugs Bunny cartoon “Falling Hare.” the story moves to the lab of a scientist. self-confident Brooklyn. radio another carrot. this being Bugs He ducks into a phone booth. that a Marine was more superman really any surprise Bugs is the only nonball once it’s fired at him. He must eat another one from time to time to replenish his new powers. and later movie serials and tele. readers.” made by Disney in 1943. ground.indd 21 2/6/09 2:47:06 PM .” while finishing the as Bugs Bunny. Marine uniform. is it then plays ‘basketball’ with the can. Given his sheer joy another carrot (“Just a precaution”). And no character has starts to have fun with him. by the USMC during World War II.” before bit—has captured the American char. a “mild-mannered forest creature. When Hymn. eats against the Axis powers. Bugs hands him a cannonball. but regularly promoted. and he immediately wolfs down the carrot.” The He was awarded an honorary piloting a control stick and the top Marines even went so far as to issue enlistment in the USMC following window of their plane—and nothing Bugs his own dog tags. The Marines accented bunny. until he 1940s Superman cartoons. course of World War II. and is still listed as a out of a gun). trying to swoop issued an honorary enlistment order United States Marine Corps? in on Bugs. Behind the Lines Ehh. ably discharged.” The book title refers to down all rabbits. Bugs marches out in a is the story of how and why Bugs flies off. whose name sounds like “Professor Can- nafraz. I got No character—much less a rab. Bugs then turns to the camera former Marine. Seeing a need. but soon find themselves for one “Private Bugs Bunny. Bunny. such as invulnerability and flight—but only temporarily. they all fall to the attained the rank of master sergeant. The than Superman—and they were also cartoon character ever bestowed an bemused Smith and his horse are cognizant of the great public relations official position in the US military. dominated the medium of animation Smith tries to shoot Bugs. Through the his appearance in the 1943 animated else. following mini- opens in a fashion similar to the when he tries to recharge by eating mum time in grade standards. What’s up Sarge? Only one cartoon character has Bugs gathers up all the super carrots. he finds the second-highest enlisted rank in vision show: “Faster than a speeding a line of eaten carrots—both Smith the USMC. complete with oversized glasses and marching off toward “Berlin. The pair fly into the sky in Super-Rabbit presented them—they ably discharged master sergeant in the their own airplane. He soon encounters Smith. WWII propoganda film “Victory Through Air Power. were honored by Bugs’s intimation for living and his personality. none of the bullets will penetrate. World at War 21 WaW5 Issue. Bugs had entered the Allied fight smart-aleck. then. which then gives him super-abilities. give up.” Bugs is his test sub- ject. Bugs falls frantically as soon and both Smith and the horse are ~David Tschanz as he clears the building). Bugs then pulls out a newspaper article about “Cottontail Smith. In 2002. Bugs Bunny locomotive” (a “choo-choo” train). he finds In 1943 the implication was clear: for as long as the unabashedly bold. but they don’t and recruitment opportunity that and is currently listed as an honor. and says: “This looks like a job for a was voted the most popular cartoon “able to leap tall buildings in a single REAL superman!” character of all time by TV Guide bound” (of course.

and 3rd Canadian Divisions attacked gade. but British Division. 2nd Great Britain for a projected cross. while the 51st and 2nd Canadian commanded Canadian artillery at casualties. On the 17th Those formations. the advance disastrous raid on Dieppe in which six Meanwhile.200 men out of a force of 5. handed over to 4th Canadian Armored mand of Gen. ley’s Operation Spring. in the Italian campaign. During the coming the wooded high ground about eight Armored Division. made the push into east. sisted of 7th and 8th Infantry Brigades. and took McNaughton’s with the British 51st Division sup- Canadian government began a furious place. clearing it out by the Armored Division. 4th Canadian Armored Division and 2. the northern thrust led by heavily defended French port. On 4 August. Mont. unleashed Operation Cobra. By the ashore on Juno Beach during Opera. each supported by an armored regi. advanced along a two-division front After the fall of France in 1940. The advance was the Canadian Corps. There the 2nd the 3rd Canadian Division’s 8th Bri- More successfully.000 men volunteering France actually belonged to the 2nd supported by 2nd Canadian Armored over the summer. along the coast with the object of Adriatic coast in December of that Crerar command of 140. and taking part in the fighting five divisions (2nd Canadian Infantry the first major port to be liberated by south of Rome in the spring of 1944. Division and 1st Polish Armored Divi- veteran of the First World War who’d points until dark while inflicting 946 sion.G. Crerar’s 2nd Corps al officers and a backwoods militia. mained stalled. moving several miles combat in several different actions. but nevertheless the German 12th Panzer Division. elements of the 2nd Canadian Divi- effort in Italy. Ironically. and 1st Polish Ar. then. After the capture of Falaise. a some of whom held on to strong. the advance re- gradually assembled and trained in by 12th SS Panzer Division. Vimy. Bradley more days of tough slogging through up the coast to Messina. seas amid stout German defenders. 335 of which were fatal. the Calabria in the tip of the Italian boot Montgomery. 51st sion entered without resistance on 1 resigned. next morning. ported by 33rd Armored Brigade in the and successful recruitment effort. While the Canadians about three miles. The corps was soon reinforced By evening the division had advanced respectively. G. Canadians saw Caen. In July. Elite Beat First Canadian Army on the Channel Coast gomery ordered Crerar to strike east toward Falaise. Division. A. McNaughton. over the Germans.indd 22 2/6/09 2:47:06 PM . Gen. there were 57. September. with the objective of When the Second World War be.G. the 1st Canadian Army Canadians began a general advance in September 1943. which were fensive that broke the Allied armies the Canadians fought their way into later reinforced by 5th Canadian out of Normandy and into the French Falaise proper. Divisions branched north and south. the Canadian Army amounted to of Canadian forces. on the night of 7 Canadian troops in Great Britain. rar pushed forward in two armored launched a frontal assault on that with elements going into action in late spearheads. 4th Armored Division and Polish 22 #5 WaW5 Issue. Organized into nized into fighting formations and the 3rd Canadian Division. played key roles interior. Dubbed little more than a cadre of profession. McNaughton 2nd Canadian Armored Brigade. acquiescence to the parceling out cutting off the retreat of the German gan. commanded three villages atop a strategic ridge the end of the day they’d advanced by Gen. 3rd Canadian Infantry Divi. The first wave con. Operation Totalize. only about five miles inland (the plan tion was stubbornly resisted by the In the meantime. the 1st Cana. later. the of. which dian Divisions were cobbled together Canadians had carved out a toehold battled the Canadians and Poles for in Canada. The Canadians landed in rough miles beyond it. 3rd Division pushed inland and miles west of Falaise.000 tion Overlord. the 3rd participated in the assault on Canadian Division advanced south Channel assault. The most famous of them was the the city’s southern suburbs. year. Omar Brad. They were designated ment. H. under the com. troops battling his 2nd Army. where he’d commanded the 1st Cana. By as Canadian 2nd Corps. flank and. Canadian troops was Dieppe. as was the 5th Canadian on the continent. That phase of the opera- by the 1st Canadian Armored Brigade. On 14 August. Despite two While men and equipment were fought off a counterattack launched days of hard fighting. Crerar returned from Italy. via orders from Gen. The first Canadian troops in north. From there the Canadian also because he objected to Ottawa’s mored Division). the dian Corps. days.000. There followed two Montgomery’s left flank in his drive were fighting outside Caen. fighting for On 23 July. They were orga. called for 10). Simonds.G.L. They were the men of Brigade in the south. British Army.D. partly due to ill health. with the southern column led dian Division and the 1st Canadian south along the road to Falaise and by 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and Armored Brigade fought in Sicily fought a series of see-saw battles for 2nd Canadian Armored Brigade. riding along south of Caen.000 men in taking the Channel ports. 4th Canadian Armored Division. enemy line and advanced several dian Divisions. which During the course of the Canadian sion. holding down the Allied right of Falaise road. and the 3rd Canadian Division with over 77. the 3rd and 4th Cana. August the Canadians breached the principally with the 1st and 2nd Cana. Once more Cre- regiments and two commando units Army gradually crossed the Channel. the 1st Canadian on Falaise resumed. In March 1944. driving up the was formally activated. losing July as part of US Gen. On the right flank. who came armored and mechanized columns shipped across the Atlantic. that were ordered to simply roll autumn of 1940. fierce German resistance. giving Gen.

held by the German 64th Royal Engineer) Churchill tanks Infantry Division. 2nd Canadian Infantry Division town of Woensdrecht. the entire gave up on 7 May. was ferried across the small chan. 4th Canadian Armored ern tip at the town of Westkapelle. That effort was led armed with bunker-busting 290 mm by 3rd Canadian Infantry Division “Petard” guns and collapsible bridges and 4th Canadian Armored Division. The main approach. Canadian Armored Division and the forcing the Germans’ surrender. logne. most of which were across the Albert Canal toward the actually below sea level. 4 nadians. as the Germans still Two days later British 52nd Division Canadian Armored Division. came ashore behind Sherman “Crab” 1st Polish Armored Division The advance onto the peninsula tanks equipped with flailing anti-mine ~ Will Stroock paused while the Canadians worked chains. 2nd Canadian Division attacked along the shoreline. and several large- 1st Canadian Infantry Division 2nd Canadian Division’s drive north caliber guns. the RAF bombed and breached the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division trance to the Beveland peninsula. and AVRE (Assault Vehicle Scheldt. the Canadians launched 1st Canadian Armored Brigade when 5th Infantry Brigade reached a three-pronged assault. land was fortified with bunkers. the attack defenses. was completed. For 9th). On Brigade landed on the island’s west- the right flank. On the 25th. Accordingly. took part in clearing the By September the Allies had taken pushed its way across the peninsula Rhineland. and the place was entirely in Ca. British No. pushing of eight LVT Buffalo amphibious peeled off from the main advance and the diehard German defenders off the through the waterlogged terrain to the invested Dunkirk. while British 4th Special Service several German counterattacks. but were and cleared it of Germans by the 28th. In 9th. considerable skill acquired by the Ca. while 3rd Canadian estuary while the 7th Brigade.indd 23 2/6/09 2:47:07 PM . Commando attacked across the West tacked north across the Albert Canal. The 8th Brigade reinforced the the bank of a causeway. Estuary to the north. On 17 September. World at War 23 WaW5 Issue. Canadian First Army Order of Battle. which cleared paths through to clear the shoreline along the West the beach. Three days later. at the en. It took 2nd nel that linked the two in tank and 1st Belgian Infantry Brigade Canadian Division two more days to infantry landing craft. flooding German 4th Canadian Armored Division Launched on 4 October. along finally stopping outside Bruges. the 4th undefended western edge of the town. Weser. on 6 October 7th Brigade at. the next three months the 1st Cana- nadian hands by the 22nd. 1st Canadian Infantry Division and 5th unable to use it. an amphibious landing on Walchren German 70th Infantry Division. By early November the task into Antwerp on 28 November. 9th Middleburg. and executing Walcheren Island. There Canadian Division came across the 3rd Infantry Division (British) German paratroopers contested every causeway that linked the island with 49th Infantry Division (British) piece of ground and launched vicious Beveland. militia had indeed matured into an West Scheldt shore. Boulogne British 52nd Division did the same on The first Allied supply ships sailed was attacked by two brigades (8th and the left. Canadian troops take a breather. The 2nd 2nd Canadian Armored Brigade the outskirts of Woensdrecht. by 4th Brigade. The Canadians to the south shore of South Beveland they pushed across the North German were then tasked with clearing that Island. On 23 October. the Canadians dian Army maintained a position the 3rd Canadian Division attacked also assaulted Beveland Island. in the island’s center. 2nd Canadian Division ary 1945. was heavily which the Germans had fortified. but a local led a company the meantime. mine. In the wake of the dyke 5th Canadian Armored Division made good progress for four days. Led on the River Maas and. surrounding dykes. taking the South All that remained was to liberate elite force of the British Common- Beveland peninsula. breaching. when the Germans finally overall mission entailed three tasks: By the morning of the 31st. The is- Island. Division crossed the canal and pushed The Germans still held the town of west as well. The backwoods crossing the Leopold Canal and the peninsula was in Allied hands. After being reunited with the crucial port of Antwerp. landing at the town of Flush- carved out a beachhead and repelled ing. Scheldt and landed behind German by water. in Febru- Calais and cleared it by the 29th. lines. as the British 52nd Division counterattacks against every posi. At the same time. while 2nd Canadian Division plain to occupy Bremen on the River waterway and opening Antwerp. that could be deployed over craters In an operation that demonstrated the and other obstacles. Division lay siege to Calais and Bou. Scheldt. The troops Royal Netherlands Brigade push into the town. 1st Armored Division spearheaded Brigade was ferried through the West which was fortified and surrounded the army’s advance into Belgium. May 1945 The operation began with the strewn beaches. which held key positions along the Scheldt was ferried across the West Scheldt had returned from Italy in March. and together the two formations defended. That attacked across the northern shore. defended by the wealth. 308th Infantry Brigade (British) tion the Canadians seized.

It large quantity. pioned the production of 100-octane zero octane rating. The world was struggling was by increasing the engine’s com. based on the effects of the reach of the Air Corps budget. would be more powerful than those faster planes could be. and those results were continues on page 41 24 #5 WaW5 Issue. tetraethyl however. Doolittle is By 1930 most of the problems new fuels to meet Air Corps needs best known for his eponymous air associated with pre-ignition had been without going bankrupt. When 52-octane fuel was the therefore had both flying and engi- spontaneously detonated before the industry norm. The more mance penalty. in power for only a 10 percent engineers 100-octane fuel would be a ous combustion of fuel in a cylinder increase in price. it didn’t take long for two Corps understandably became the Then known as a test pilot and air new problems to manifest themselves: leader in pushing for the development racer. In 1931. Doolittle had earned a Ph. situation. fuel development through the Great Depression. Shell Oil and guided Eighth Air Force’s “Big heptane and isooctane. more difficult phenomenon. Both reduced the The Army Air Corps then began delivering 100-octane fuel in 1934. those with more than casual also made strides in overcoming its fuels. however. running on 87-octane. which broke the caused knock at low compression ra. one that cut manufacturing Air Force in 1944. It was soon ily on the technical prestige offered sion. that until someone began turn. As ratio of heptane to isooctane. even the highest ratios. As Doolittle predicted. US development rating of 100. War II was actually made in 1934. An “octane” fuel. fraction in gasoline. pushed for 87 octane. He tion occurred when the fuel mixture fuel. He also recognized. Isolating iso- raid on Tokyo in 1942. Technology Backdate Jimmy Doolittle’s 100-Octane War equally impressive. Another additive. the contract. they’d 100 times more than conventional however.D. a com- pression ratio. Engine weight and fuel weight. expensive than 87-octane. no company was gasoline.D. raised the octane rating up to 20 build engines optimized for them. then working for Shell victories of the war. The problem. but with an engine perfor. quickly went on to discover a way to back of the Luftwaffe in February tios. though. were also tried. immediately after the spark plug the new aviation standard. made with the processes then it his most significant contribution come aware ping was a different and available. meant 100-octane fuel cost to Allied victory in World War II. lowing for much larger aircraft. fouled cylinders with carbon while would in turn create more demand for power per pound of engine weight. but within tribution to Allied victory in World tablished. he convinced Shell when there was a second. that gasoline isooctane. Doolittle planned contained two major hydrocarbons: costs 90 percent. manufacturing 100-octane fuels in Much effort went into improving that able anti-knock characteristics. with possibly decisive con. in 1926. or Eighth discovery. Heptane licensed the Standard Oil process and Week” offensive. in fuel lines. As technicians drove focused on increasing the isooctane mitment to mass-produce 100-octane development along that pathway. Without Doolittle’s efforts consisting of isooctane had an octane eager to bid. believed in the potential of 100- The first decades of aircraft devel. tial beyond Air Corps needs. Aircraft engine Other aromatics. The Army Air fuels was a ‘bet the company’ gamble. Both Oil. 60. It was still significantly more Yet Doolittle’s single greatest con. A fuel exclusively Initially. benzol and alcohol worked to reduce octane aviation fuel. designers wouldn’t ratio. Shell built the plant and began ignited the fuel. While designers had be. of higher octane ratings in aviation aeronautical engineering at MIT. lead (TEL). proved to have remark. power in each stroke of the cylinder experimenting with 92. It was one of the invisible Empirical solutions to knock had Doolittle. the Army Air Corps neering credibility. That er alone—it was measured by horse. Both additives had engines built for 100-octane fuel powerful the engine.and 100. One such development was the by developing a new process to create teenth Air Force in 1943. Knock. or “ping. Many consider controlled. exclusively made of heptane had a major contract for 100-octane fuel. in pre-ignition and knock. however. demand for it and damaged the engine. octane. A fuel The Army Air Corps put out a an executive at Shell Oil.” occurred found to deliver a 33 percent increase by his Ph. the bigger and lower specific energy than gasoline. thereby al- power wasn’t measured by horsepow. Standard Oil came to the rescue cite Doolittle’s command of Fif. sequences. and quickly became successful investment for Shell.indd 24 2/6/09 2:47:08 PM .. while isooctane resisted knock at further reduce the cost of 100-octane 1944. Pre-igni. lay in making enough of the James “Jimmy” H. realizing for more powerful engines. World War I aviation a refinery to mass-produce 100-octane of 100-octane fuels would’ve been gasoline had an octane rating of 40 to fuel wasn’t justified by the volume of delayed. octane fuels. By the 1930s. toluene and xylene. like benzol. also dissolving rubber gaskets and 100-octane fuel. The expense of building in that direction. knowledge about the war might also effects. he cham. Trading primar- cylinder reached maximum compres. both detracted from payload. been found during World War I. but they. He saw its poten- opment were dominated by a search knock. spontane. rating for gasoline was therefore es. The most straightforward way to percent and soon became standard in It was a classic “chicken and egg” increase the power-to-weight ratio aviation fuel.

the heroism and initiative of the US soldiers prevailed to establish a viable beachhead. It was the greatest day of victory in World War II for the United States. when faced with failure. That plan. from generals to junior officers and NCOs. and finally achieve victory. was actually ill-suited to reality. US forces assaulted a stretch of sand held by the Germans on the Calvados coast of France—a shore ever since known by its code name: Omaha Beach. yet Omaha Beach also represented an appalling failure of planning. though. engineers. Of the five beaches assaulted by the Allies on D-Day. In the case of Omaha. the plan was a mismatch to the particular terrain and enemy preparations. artillery and support troops also landed in the first hours. What saved the day. On 6 June 1944. Ultimately. developed in such detail. Butterfield Allied units are in plaintext. produced soldiers who. The various levels of US command on the beach. A nearly identical plan succeeded brilliantly that same day on nearby Utah Beach. most of which fell by the wayside in the chaos. and preparing them for battle. For several hours the fate of the invasion hung in the balance on Omaha. tried to execute the plan. however. Their Greatest Day: From Disaster to Victory on Omaha Beach By John H. In that story lies one of the great controversies of World War II. World at War 25 WaW5 Issue. Omaha Beach commonly conjures images of US infantry struggling from landing craft across the sand. through defensive obstacles and into the teeth of German machineguns. Axis units are in italics. All had missions to perform. recover. tanks. but then had to adapt to its failure in order to go on. was the fact the US approach to training officers and enlisted men. anti-aircraft. then. Omaha was the bloodiest and the hardest-won.indd 25 2/6/09 2:47:09 PM . took stock of the terrain and the enemy and improvised a victory.

just after low tide. the COSSAC plan called for an invasion of three linked with the British who landed at Gold Beach to the east. Each zone directly supported by DD (amphibious) tanks as well as by was further subdivided into colors. and 29th Infantry Division. In January 1944. fortunately. Along the western half of the beach the shingle was interrupted by wooden and stone sea walls. they could also be con- the east half.” was the last exposed ground the attackers would have to cross before reaching the bluffs. The invasion the morning two additional infantry regiments were to land was first intended to establish a front in France with secure to reinforce the push inland. backed by bluffs and slopes Maj. to conduct the D-Day assault. In addition. In addition. followed by the other two bat. providing more protection. come from the bluff line or below. Leonard T. the best time to land was air and naval bombardment. The choices all offered flat expanses ideal for assault craft. flanks and sufficient depth to protect it from German coun. Sword. Eisenhower was named Supreme Allied Com. called the “pavilion. The plan called for the beach defenses to be neutral- terattack. At the top of the beach. a Red and so on. The shingle had a downside for the invaders—it couldn’t be crossed by vehicles until cleared by engineers. from 657 yards (600 meters) in depth at low tide to just a few The infantry landings were to be preceded by an intense yards at high tide. ranging in height from 100 to 150 feet (91 to 137 meters). the Germans set up firing positions at both ends Gen. Dog. Based on the projected available ha beachhead was to be five miles (eight kilometers) deep. Easy and Fox. beaches on the Normandy coast. ready for traffic within three hours. the beach. H-Hour.indd 26 2/6/09 2:47:09 PM . however. instead of toward the sea. were exposed only at low tide and so had to be destroyed ried approximately 30 men assigned specific objectives. beach four and a third miles long (seven kilometers) and The assault on Omaha was assigned to US V Corps under shaped like a shallow crescent. with the objective of eliminating the Cotentin peninsula to the Orne River—over 50 miles of the defense.000 men and mander. aided by the gentle concave curve. All together. Un- minutes before H-Hour to provide immediate fire support. Just beyond the shingle. No position inland of the bluff could see the beach and vice versa. The beach itself had a gentle slope ranging company of Rangers were to land west of the 116th.000 vehicles were to land on Omaha Beach on D-Day. commanded by Maj. tage of that. Gen. Charles Gerhardt. Juno and enemy counterattack. Sheer cliffs on both ends framed a sand assault. Utah Beach to the west. running its full length. they also limited the defense by denying it depth. the Oma- tive being Germany itself. Within that area. Invasion Plan stacles exposed by low tide to allow safe passage for the In early 1943 the Allies formed COSSAC (Chief of later landings during the rising tide. and prepared to link up the next day with US VII Corps at Dwight D. Gerow. A battalion from each regiment was to land at cealed and protected from naval gunfire. Gold. and the 16th Regiment of 1st Division would go in on laterally. Taking advan- Clarence Huebner. They immediately The plan sought to put overwhelming force on Omaha expanded the plan to include five beaches from the base of Beach in a matter of hours. Unfortunately. was the shingle: a slope of loose stone that planners identified as the first line of cover for assaulting troops. with the final objec. running the length of the beach. Gen. Gen. Later in sion of western Europe—Operation Overlord. The attack plan called and bluffs had unobstructed views along the full length of for units of 1st Infantry Division. The from which to cover the entire beach with overlapping fields 116th Regiment of the 29th would land on the west half of the of grazing and enfilading fire. and General Sir Bernard Law Montgomery took 3. On before they became submerged and threatened incoming the heels of the first wave. over 30. Easy conventional tanks landed from assault craft. and establishing coast. ed according to plan. under Maj. 26 #5 WaW5 Issue. At day’s end. armor and support troops. Allied planners selected individual a defensive perimeter capable of holding off even a strong invasion beaches code-named Utah. On Allied planning maps the beach was divided into al- talions over the next 90 minutes. Their landings were to be phabetical zones: Charlie. and were spaced such that landing forces at each one Battleground could link up with each other in one day—if things proceed. part of the First Army com. gave defenders tremendous positional ad- vantage in setting up fields of fire and protected observation points. Omaha. a narrow stretch of flat and sometimes marshy ground. Omar Bradley. artillery. though the occasional beach cot- tage provided protection (to attacker and defender). The Allies would then build up and launch power. the Germans constructed landing obstacles that The infantry were to arrive in landing craft that each car. It looked good on paper. ized within two hours and the exits from the beaches to be ful offensive operations across France. providing protection from flat trajectory fire. cluded anti-air. tasked with clearing and marking lanes through beach ob. Battle plans are shaped by the terrain of the battleground. resources. such as Dog Green. Defenders atop those cliffs manded by Lt. with the DD tanks arriving five at high tide to avoid a long beach crossing under fire. For an attacker. Follow up forces in- Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander) to plan the inva. command of the invading ground forces. Gen. The bluffs. seizing the local high ground. All German fire on the beach would have to Aerial view of Omaha Beach taken just after D-Day. Because the positions fired beach. the bluffs’ looking north across the bocage toward the beach. Omaha Beach was also and the unique shape and features of Omaha Beach called an ideal place for the Germans to defend against amphibious for a unique plan. engineer demolition teams were landing craft.

Heinz Guderian favored a central reserve. though it had been in Normandy for three months before tions in and around them. The Division at Omaha Beach. he’ll put every anti-tank gun and tank he can into the Five draws (narrow valleys) pierced the bluffs. from Omaha Beach weeks before D-Day. The US plan win Rommel. ground. foot in. The troops are unsure and possibly even seasick. France. and re- improvements to defenses throughout the coast of northern mained fixed on fighting just the 716th Division. Even so. His experience operating in the face of Allied airpower in North Africa convinced him Allied air forces would heavily interdict the movement of more distant reserves. leading bridgehead and let us beat our heads against it. Field Marshall Gerd von Rundstedt. was two battalions of the 352nd bluff. Any given beach landing might prove to be only a diversion. The Allies named the draws for In the end. records show US intelligence and another world. so they could reinforce coastal anti-tank obstacles and minefields would prevent movement units and counterattack within hours of an enemy landing. the German strategy for D-Day came to nearby towns and assigned them code-words: D-1 (Vier. Heavy weapons are not yet available in sufficient quantity. toward Easy Red beach.indd 27 2/6/09 2:47:11 PM . forms. D-3 (les Moulins). No one on the beach below could tion was shared with all levels of Allied command. understood the importance of the draws cial history. D-Day—and only reported the much weaker 716th Infantry Beyond the bluffs and the draws was the high ground— Division in the area. He was. of course. however. but he succeeded in moving mans. tying up mobile forces while the main thrust developed elsewhere. World at War 27 WaW5 Issue. concrete fortifications In Rommel’s words: “The enemy is at his weakest just after would conceal and protect guns covering every inch in over- landing. overlooking the beaches. and that informa- the bocage of Normandy. be a compromise between Rommel’s plan and that of Rund- ville). folds and gullies offered the attacker avenues of advance to ing at night. and armor expert Gen. Control of the draws was essential to the US plan That led to the presence of the German 352nd Infantry of getting vehicles off the beach and into the interior. intel- ligence on German infantry movement capabilities should German Defenses have indicated elements of that division could be at Omaha In late 1943. then. E-1 (St. eas of likely invasion sites. the 716th and 352nd Divisions were thinly strike at them and defeat them. Rommel argued: “If the enemy once gets his infiltrate the enemy line. alone in that opinion among the German high command. lapping fields of fire. had then been moved up to the beach itself. Actually. mined obstructions would He therefore advocated placing reserves in operational ar- ensnare and destroy landing craft. the two armies of Army Group B initiated wasn’t modified to take that capability into account. Rommel also intensified the construction of bar- fensive strategy based on immediate counterattack. and vice versa. both lateral and plunging. Rommel proposed an active de- the beach.” inland to the high ground. inland and. He be- riers at all likely invasion sites. At Omaha they took three lieved the invasion would have to be defeated at the beach. Roads. Beach within three hours of an invasion alarm. at the top of the beach. under the command of Field Marshall Er. E-3 (Colleville) stedt.” spread over a 43 mile (70 kilometer) front. That is the moment to On 6 June. In charge of that Rommel believed centrally located reserves farther in- land would be unable to reach the beaches until after the Allies had gained the material and manpower advantage. On the low-tide beaches. beaches than Rommel wanted. In addition to improving fortifications and weapons To give teeth to his strategy of defeating the invader at systems along the coast. Laurent). led from the beach through the draws to the high quality infantry reserves up to the beaches. They are unfamiliar with the terrain. According to the US Army’s offi- Germans. Beach and bluff suddenly change to located the 352nd Division some nine miles (15 kilometers) green fields and villages in a quilt of berms and hedgerows. capable of massing armor and attacking when the enemy’s intentions were clear. What the see or conduct lateral fire onto the high ground beyond the Allies didn’t know. mined and blocked by the Ger. US intelligence missed the 352nd entirely—even as beach exits and so established most of their fortified posi. senior commander in the west. Guderian believed Allied air supremacy could be countered by mov- GIs struggle through the surf. creating two distinct battlefields. however. The armor (panzer) divisions were farther from the and F-1 (Cabourg). Only local reserves could reach the battle in time.

indd 28 2/6/09 2:47:15 PM . 28 #5 WaW5 Issue.

indd 29 2/6/09 2:47:20 PM . World at War 29 WaW5 Issue.

Gen. was developed at the army group of the beaches clearing the way for the invaders. augmented by that of the large ships after they completed their counter-battery mission. The Assault Plan. First. After the first-wave landings. The first Allied Plan Unfolds mission was achieved prior to D-Day. Heavy cloud cover that day meant the bombers had to rely on radar to find targets. was based on misunderstanding the Eighth Air Force’s defi- It included air bombardment. The reason lies in what waited beyond the beach.” which was in turn due to the rect fire support by approaching assault craft to prepare the US Army Air Force’s (USAAF) own over-reporting of its effectiveness over Germany. precision meant the ability to hit specific structures and positions. not a single bomb was dropped on Oma- ha Beach by the Eighth Air Force on the morning of D-Day. Maj. with precision daylight bombardment naval and ground forces. and di- nition of “precision bombing. Farther inland. Gerow. the battle area by interdicting enemy movement and com- munication. Gen. subjecting the enemy to a full day or more of pummeling before the ground force hit the beach. precision meant putting a bomb in the vicinity of an entire facility. ions ashore. That belief and army levels by the staffs of Montgomery and Bradley. Eisenhower. locations and missions of assaulting forces. Assault Plan. resulting in a rain of bombs on the farms inland of the beach. Precision daylight bombing at that time simply wasn’t capable of de- pendably hitting specific targets on a thin strip of beach. As it turned out. Bradley. the bombardiers feared hitting the invading troops. and the Assault Plan was then developed based on the assump- tion the Joint Fire Plan would achieve its objective.Omar naval fire-control parties assigned to the assaulting battal- N. In the Pacific Theater of Operations. The planners’ faith in firepower resulted in the ground 30 #5 WaW5 Issue. so called because it combined air. the interior of the relatively small islands be- ing assaulted could be targeted with naval gunfire. even when it wasn’t. the Allies vehicles reached Omaha Beach on 6 June. intermingled with four fore had to be maintained in order to get ashore before the companies of the 916th Regiment. all craft would switch to support-fire called in by Aboard an LCI on their way to the invasion beaches: Lt. artillery batteries with The air portion of the Joint Fire Plan called on the US 105mm and 88mm guns targeted the beach with the aid of Eighth Air Force to: 1) establish air superiority. To counter. In the Pacific. Huebner. 352nd Division at Omaha enemy reserves could deploy. laid out the specific ordering. Maj. In France the enemy held reserves inland and demonstrated great skill Maj. The second mission was success- advantages of Omaha Beach could potentially hold off any fully carried out on D-Day: no German forces transported by invasion force thrown against them.Clarence R. Yet the fire plan for Omaha Beach didn’t call for a prolonged pre-invasion bombardment. Gen. To Bradley. allowing concentra- Allied planners knew prepared defenders with the terrain tion on the other missions. and thus de- layed their bomb releases a few seconds. counter-battery fire from battleships and cruis- ers would take out German artillery positions. the beach de- fense was often the entire defense of the island and. Then. developed at the corps and division levels by Gerow and Huebner. The third mission developed two coordinated plans: the Joint Fire Plan and the failed. Gen. with enough time for those reserves to move for- ing officer of the 352nd. The naval portion of the Joint Fire Plan called for 40 minutes of intense fire from an Allied flotilla off Omaha Beach.indd 30 2/6/09 2:47:21 PM . Rear Adm. most in Widerstandsnester (WN—resistance points) tion in the air. Dietrich Kraiss. John L. drench- ing fire would hit the beach defenses from destroyers and small craft. defending the beach. Here emerges the key de- fect in the Allied plans: the objective of the Joint Fire Plan was to suppress and disrupt the enemy at Omaha Beach. 2) isolate forward observers. Any lengthy bombardment would raise sector overall was Maj. and 3) neutralize the coastal defenses. beach and support the assault as soon as it got underway. Hall Jr. Gen. command. He deployed five companies from ward and engage the invaders at the beach. And then there was the situa- Beach. Without visual target-sighting. Leonard T. the alarm. Surprise there- the 726th Regiment. extensive bombard- ment preceded island invasions. Dietrich Kraiss. To the bomber forces. such as a Ruhr factory complex. naval bombardment. would win the battle. at employing them. 716th Division. Montgomery and Bradley believed airpower The Joint Fire Plan.

“the greatest show on earth” as airpower unknown to the Germans. Third. Sixty-four DD Tanks of the saulting at low tide took on enormous tactical importance. tablish a viable defensive perimeter before any enemy coun- despite the fact intelligence estimated the defensive prepara. Word went down vantage over the enemy and bolster the confidence of the that the soldiers approaching the beach would witness. Accordingly. vances on the draws. and 3) speed. and as was dem. Those DD tanks The beach obstacles presented major planning challenges. to overwhelm the enemy numerically. delivering direct fire against German move the exposed obstacles before they became submerged. the number of ships as. the artillery and rockets on the small craft had no way of Gerow and Huebner were responsible for developing compensating their aim for the unpredictably of the waves. terattack. At Pointe du Hoc. ing the beach individually. DD tanks offered the enemy only Low tide in early June was at dawn. Four months before D-Day. But the bombers didn’t have the technical capability to hit Gerow didn’t share the confidence Montgomery and specific targets in overcast conditions. No such damage is vis. positions to cover the assault troops’ arrival. concentration of force. Due to the rough Channel waters. down to details of how com- who witnessed it. which might slow the movement of vehicles. assault forces to fight the wrong battle. in friendly troops. to es- signed to Omaha and Utah beaches were roughly equivalent. within the parameters of the resources and so most of their fire fell short. instead combat engineers into the first wave who needed protection of grouped together on landing craft. the Allies become aware of The Joint Fire Plan at Omaha Beach called for the early German efforts to fortify the defenses with minefields and deployment of DD tanks. with flotation provided beaches dangerous places to land at mid and high tide. The overall naval they would carry. to get ashore without forewarning the enemy. ashore on landing craft with the first wave of infantry. beach. his assault plan of the bombardment force concentrated against the German called for an additional 48 conventional tanks to be brought big guns. as was shown in the Pacific Theater. As a result. surprise. Gerow and Huebner prepared the ments. As- by an inflated canvas shroud. Accordingly. the assault plan called for direct ad- tions at Omaha were much tougher (even without the battal. Inexplicably. but all the fireworks had little impact on panies were to be divided into boat teams and the weapons the defenses overlooking Omaha Beach. since the existence of DD tanks was Bradley’s words. to land sufficient men and material ible on Omaha Beach. so Gerow and Hueb- World at War 31 WaW5 Issue. commanders preparing to fight the wrong battle. were favored over conventional tanks for several reasons. The assault plan focused on the tactics of fire plan also employed too few ships and too little fire time where to go and what to attack. so they could destroy the obstacles before the tide rose. and in small individual targets. Joint Fire Plan would thoroughly suppress the enemy prior Naval bombardment can devastate defensive emplace.indd 31 2/6/09 2:47:21 PM . to 741st and 743rd Tank battalions were to land just ahead of the avoid the beach obstacles and to land engineers who could re- first wave of infantry. affecting the mission of the tanks and introducing teams of First. no more than two hours. by approach. to the assault. Fourth. The barrage impressed those forces defined by First Army. One reason for that was the inva. those vehicles’ unexpected emer- and naval gunfire neutralized the enemy’s coastal defense. and the large ships Bradley placed in the DD tanks. the early presence of the DD the men of the assault force being given a wrong impres. they could arrive along the length of the beach. the assault plan. making the to the beach under their own power. not the beach. gence from the surf could be expected to surprise them. 2) ping craters and blasted concrete. each launched offshore to navigate obstacles placed beneath the high tide water line. based on the assumption the between first light and troop landing. tanks would provide both a psychological and firepower ad- sion of what the battlefield would be like. onstrated next door to Omaha Beach. with the objective of clearing them in ions from 352nd Division). the Three principles drove their assault plan: 1) tactical destruction is still visible today in the form of deep overlap. That would enable the waves that sion planners didn’t want to risk damaging the exits from the followed to move off the beach immediately on landing. Second.

the soldiers faced a second line of For those soldiers. The first landings scheduled. they would still be approaching in darkness. when they were exposed. and three were wanted an hour over their targets. accepting the risk that led to the misconception that. to 7:30 a. direct in. to carry the DD tanks to the beach on their landing craft. draw. As it turned out. Of the 32 tanks launched. anti-tank ditches and Strong cross currents to the east.m. and one Ranger company constituted the assault craft to go off course. still in their landing landed directly in front of German strong points suffered the craft. and take out already suppressed enemy posi. A 6:30 6:30 A.m. the ramps of the landing defended area. their boats drifted east and craft went down onto Omaha Beach. Bradley brush fires set off by the naval bombardment caused many believed the precision air bombardment would take out that boats to miss their assigned landing locations. traded one hazard for another. watching two tanks sink upon The naval bombardment would likewise be more ef- launch was enough. vegetation. Half Omaha Beach draws. to make their way to the beach get their wish. manders of companies B and C of the 743rd Battalion at- tached to the 116th Regiment. made it ashore. The a new plan.M. the decision was to launch despite rough be at low tide. ashore. obstacles in the form of concrete walls. between the Vierville and Les Moulins draws. Most of them second line of obstacles. positions at Les Moulins draw. The German beach obstacles needed to be removed at For companies B and C of the 741st Battalion attached to low tide. Following that close-in barrage. at H. causing many four with the 16th. as practiced in the Pacific. scathed.m. which generally worked only at night or in dense west to east. Thirty of 32 tanks bombers. but were given only 40 carried in due to launch failure. But the training the St Laurent draw.indd 32 2/6/09 2:47:22 PM . Those obstacles needed to be removed. Infantry (190 men) landed on target in front of the Vier- diers trained to jump off their assault craft in front of the ville draw. while those to the west happened junior officers found a way. and the first-wave landings were set for 6:30. and 32 conventional tanks were carried to the beach The daylight requirements of air and naval fire won out. tions. Initially quiet as the Germans waited for more to debark and • E Company/116th drifted far to the east. almost half the DD tanks got ing craft would be more likely to miss their specific targets. who landed on target in front of the deadly German in front of Vierville draw. Landing at low tide also created a tactical the potential hazards and unknowns of piloting DD tanks in problem. for the com- minutes. the infantry night operations tend to be more disorganized and the land- lost all tank support. Those boats that forces and arriving tank and artillery. Allied planners wisely left a key decision to open beach before reaching protective terrain. From such fortunate boats emerged small groups of soldiers that were the first to advance off the beach. are the Germans gone? Then hell was • E Company/16th Regiment. Gerow and Huebner didn’t tanks offshore. if conditions were unfavorable. the fire plan called for naval drifted well to the east of their targets. landing meant they would be coming ashore in daylight. with the first wave of infantry. direct assault • C Company/2nd Rangers (60 men) and A Company/116th was indeed the right call. up a compromise between several competing priorities. Due to working time. and smoke from barbed wire. ing ashore wondered. were for fore the engineers landed. to drench the defenses with direct fire just before the heaviest casualties. the GIs wad. the infantry got the worst of both worlds. Among the first to land. operating in the same timeframe as the take the rest of the tanks to the beach. scattered. as the timing of the first-wave ended under their own power or. and to give the engineers more the DD tanks of the 741st and 743rd Tank Battalions.M. The beach obstacles would be exposed from seas. darkness. for H-5 minutes. the most heavily defended on the beach. however. Two made it to the beach on their own. scattering into enter their pre-set fire zones across the beach. If not. Given their experi- ence and the promise of the Joint Fire Plan. which started at about 5:50 a. intermingling with the boats of F Company/ A Company of the 116th Regiment was on time and on target 116th. Here is Huebner and Gerow also rejected the tactic of indirect how fate played out for the first wave at Omaha Beach. a lightly Hour. survival was primarily a matter of luck. 32 #5 WaW5 Issue. on the west end of Omaha Beach. on one of the seams in the German defense between draws. Other craft that happened to find gaps infantry went in. darkness to gain tactical surprise. the first-wave sol. scheduled to land in front of unleashed and all the planning evaporated. the 16th Regiment’s sector. That proved a disaster. Actually. as men would have to cross hundreds of yards of Channel waters. Gerow and Huebner wanted the first wave to land un- The problems with the DD tanks at Omaha Beach have der cover of darkness (prior to 5:50). drift- survived. A Company was virtually wiped out. 15 minutes late but on target. 27 bombing. as planned. first wave to land on Omaha Beach. from infiltration. about 6:00 a. then. but Nine infantry companies. One fortunate boat from E Company/116th found itself in the same location. Unfortunately. The bombers sank. The US victory at Omaha Beach is the story of E Company boats to the east of the draw found them- how that new plan emerged as small groups of soldiers and selves under heavy fire. with their failure. so the landing needed to the 16th Regiment.m. between enemy strong points were able to hit the beach un- fantry assault would be most effective. to engage the enemy be. four with the 116th Regiment. perhaps attributable to the “can The Eighth Air Force required daylight for precision do” attitude of the 1st Division. ner favored landing the first-wave infantry in the pre-dawn 6:25 A. from 5:50 to 6:30. They then ordered the landing craft to fective in daylight. Accordingly. All that was the tank company commanders: whether to launch the DD more reason to land in the dark. • The landing target for G Company/116th Infantry lay After 18 months of planning and training. cross a beach cratered by air and naval the Rangers managed to reach the cliffs to the west of the bombardment. Once on the beach. 6:30 a. Conversely. Even as the first tanks sank. on 6 June 1944. aboard 50 landing craft. the launchings continued. then. and it would be up to the survivors to improvise ing east and landing on both sides of Colleville draw.

It was 9:30 a. Folds in the steep grade afforded protec- vancing up Vierville draw and then heading west to seize tion from a nearby German pillbox. He instead began a Capt. Spalding’s men crossed the to keep German fire away from the engineers.m. Of the nearly vigorous German defense (4). That unit across the flat to the safety of a stone cottage at the base of the bluff. Spalding’s 21 men were joined by doned the planned advance up the draw.m. (2). Those teams. by their determined actions. the team rushed a the German strongpoint on the promontory of Point de le machinegun nest and took its lone occupant prisoner. posed flat of the beach while the first-wave infantry stormed He then turned south to follow G Company to Colleville.. C Company wire beyond the shingle with Bangalore torpedoes (1). unfortunately drifted east just enough to encounter the intense German fire from Colleville draw. obstacles were gap between his team and G Company. shielded from most enemy fire. What- ever they’d been told to do earlier was no longer possible.000 engineers landing in the first wave. World at War 33 WaW5 Issue. they made it back to between the heavily defended draws. Those soldiers who made it there amid the carnage hunkered down and waited for someone to tell them what to do. and Spalding had taken WN 64 without a casualty (3). It wasn’t the hail of bullets that stopped the US soldiers at the shingle so much as the totally unexpected situation. They’d been told the beach would only be lightly defended by second-rate troops. and that meant reaching the slanting stone shingle at the top of the beach. On the way up. The commander of 2nd Battalion arrived at 1. Moving through drainage ditches. out of contact with other units. • L Company/16th. and soon Spalding’s team was blown and gaps were created. Only survival remained. who revealed a Ger- Percee. the GIs encountered a new kind of fighting— bombardment. zyk immediately led forward their men. and he directed 6:35 A. where they started their climb. Again. those who landed in surrounded and under counterattack (5). and even that defense was to have been thoroughly suppressed by air and naval bombardment. Dawson planned to press on toward Colleville. Sgt. Setting up defensive positions in the seams between the draws were more likely to survive to drainage ditches. the mis- sion plan fell away. • Navigational errors sent I Company/16th so far to the east it missed the beach entirely and had to make a second run. outflanking maneuver. and many of those not dead or wounded were paralyzed by confusion and shock. Blasting a gap through barbed To the west of the deadly Vierville draw. over half become noon and ordered Spalding’s team to the right (south) of the town in an casualties. Capt. There should have been a lot going on ing advantage of the bocage. but the beach and bluffs were unmarked and his lone boat team from E Company. • F Company/16th. As Spalding moved out. Tanks were to provide covering fire while small pockets of experienced German snipers and machinegun crews tak- the teams worked. not landing until 8:00 a. NCOs and enlisted men They were supposed to charge up the draws and rout out won the battle of Omaha Beach. Following a trench Among those suffering the heaviest casualties at Omaha system along the bluff. Ralph Goranson appraised the situation and aban- Atop the bluff at 8:00 a.m. composed of combat engineers and naval men worked their way through the trenches from the rear. Under fire from the Vierville man strongpoint firing on the beach was located 656 yards (600 meters) strongpoints as he crossed the beach to the base of cliffs. drifted east to relative safety beneath the cliffs on the far eastern edge of the beach instead of landing in front of Colleville draw. happened. then came upon an elaborate German dugout network on the east stacles in the first half hour of the assault. gaps had been created and marked in areas out for Colleville. As the men of the first wave crossed the beach under deadly fire. not only due to the sent back to the right flank to dig in for the night (7). the team decided to break belt at 9:00 a.m. west. Advancing enemy positions that had been disrupted by air and naval through hedgerow country. demolition specialists. Spalding’s War The initiative of individual junior officers. That limited success the 2nd Battalion outside the village (6). of the 116th. were to perform their work on the ex. Lt.indd 33 2/6/09 2:47:23 PM . Spalding to move against the strongpoint to the west. Dawson and G Company plus a few GIs from two lost boat teams climb directly up the cliffs. Spalding’s team took out another machinegun po- Beach were the demolition teams tasked with destroying ob. with casualties piling up and their objectives nowhere in sight. but none of it farmlands and caught up with Dawson at the south end of Colleville draw. from arrived in only two landing craft. sition. west of Omaha Beach. ground. Phillip Strec- the German defense. By the time the tide covered the obstacle rounded and low on ammunition at 7:00 p.m. Whereupon they were promptly saved many lives in the later landings. the team dashed of the 2nd Ranger Battalion stuck to its mission. as was exemplified by Lt. On reaching the shingle and except for smoke. who had independently followed a similar route to the high In that way his men became the first off Omaha Beach. Laurent draw... Germans moved into the Nonetheless. after the second wave.M. Still sur- fulfill their mission. with the mission of ad. and there was nothing second-rate about finding themselves alone. his men fought off the Germans all afternoon. John Spalding the few survivors. The exposed engineers were mown down as they where G company was attempting to advance into the village against a attempted to wire obstacles for demolition. delayed by heavy seas. Spalding and his NCO Tech. scheduled to land around that same seam. before the tide side of St. The surprised crew surrendered as Spalding’s rose. Nonetheless.

officers on a few of the incoming craft then advanced cautiously toward the village. US victory at Omaha Beach. quarters staff.m. Col. then advance up the lightly defended bluffs instead talion. a concrete wall. In similar fashion. commander of the 116th Regiment. he crawled actually seemed to be to give the Germans more targets at forward to scout a position from which covering fire might be which to shoot. through a second line of barbed wire and into a network of un- 7:15 A. where soldiers from C Company and other units hugged the breakwater. No off the beach. The 81st Chemical Mortar Bat. port of the infantry assault. John Spalding’s boat team from E Company/16th already on the beach.M. opening a of daylight on their approach. a shift in strategy began to emerge: first. Norman neers suffered heavy casualties and weren’t able to start their Cota. From those who still in the WNs to the north of there were cut off. Cota immediately set to orga- An unidentified officer on a control vessel. surveying the nizing ad hoc teams and ordering groups over the seawall grim situation at Vierville draw and the lack of obstacle de- and up the bluffs.m.M. four companies. fortune delivered unexpected help in the 116th sec- 7:30 A. (2) He then directed a firefight to clear some greeting the first wave. They were joined there by the newly high ground. Gen. was able to disembark its passengers: Brig. Canham. lins and Vierville draws. Beach. strolling among them with the star plainly vis- German aircraft attacked Omaha Beach that day. landed its of the draws. crossing through barbed wire. Their mission was to provide fire sup- landed in the first wave In the seam between the Colleville port to infantry clearing the draws and then to deploy on the and St. Vierville was in US hands and any Germans their assigned destination at Vierville draw. Under heavy fire. Gen. land away from the draws. Charles assigned missions for at least three hours. could see the need for it. In the meantime. They would be the first regular infantry to One crew managed to set up its 300 lb. Col. others exhorted by Cota. most of the men made it to 7:20 A. After reaching the safety of the seawall. Even so. Norman “Dutch” Cota stands out for his audacity and tireless habit of leading from Landing just 30 minutes after the first wave was the the front. With the terrible carnage now road toward Vierville. That was an improvised mission in sup. between Mou. over a road. Brig. Eight companies of the 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions. Canham moved molition there. C Company/116th was after being shot through the hand. Laurent draws. sible to offload and deploy under the intense fire. four companies each in climb and reached the top between Vierville and Les Moulin the 116th and 16th sectors. tor where C Company/116th had just landed. the combat engi. only to find Cota already there ish commander’s decision to shift three landing craft east of (3). blocked the beach exits with barbed wire. All of obstacles in the rising tide made its way to Dog White that had to be cleared before vehicles could get off the beach. much of it More than 500 yards (456 meters) from the nearest Ger. Most mortar crews who survived man strongpoint. where living soldiers could be seen. mortar and fire at a reach high ground. one per draw. He made the right decision. The cumbersome equipment was nearly impos- arriving G Company commanded by Capt. The Germans had 7:40 A. ordered Dog Green Beach closed to further up and down the seawall and shingle with his arm in a sling landings. landed under fire as heavy as that draws at 8:30 a. removed obstacles.indd 34 2/6/09 2:47:23 PM . Their plan was to set up at intervals of the beach. town center without incident. second in command of the 29th Division. sinking in the rising tide. the AAA battalion proved more provided for the advance and directed a Browning Automatic useful than some units landed later that morning. Surprisingly. diverting to the east to land in good order in the relative quiet of Dog White. tor—reinforcements perfectly suited to deal with the chaos. had origi- 34 #5 WaW5 Issue. expecting strong were able to discern the deadliest areas were in front of resistance. but with the navigational advantage Germans out of the hedgerows on the high ground. total- ing with the plan’s timetable.M. Cota joined the The second wave of infantry. outfitted with conventional heavy mortars. and further protected by stone cottages the landing were forced to abandon their equipment and join and walls. the craft Landing on target at their assigned draws. Joseph Dawson.M. Support units began to arrive in greater number. B Company/116th benefited from an alert Brit. At 10:00 a. He immediately set out to rally men and groups along the beach to defend against German aircraft attack. The 397th ible on his helmet (1). There a stone sea wall at the level of 7:50 A. Beach. exhorting men to advance the first to benefit from it. at Vierville draw. but also because it tended to direct later Gen. Elements of C Company and other units visible on the beach. was up the bluffs. one in support of each infantry battalion Lt. waiting to be climbed. combat engineer battalions. as a few Rifle (BAR) to set up there. Cota took in the with crews carrying . off the beach. Among the many individual soldiers contributing to the 7:00 A. Some groups on their own.M. this group also concluded the way off the beach the ad hoc infantry groups forming at the top of the beach. Cota’s War landing craft to the seams. Despite striking a pole topped by a mine.M. in keep. ing over 600 men trained for commando missions. but the target was too close for the shells’ arc- Following the second wave of infantry came four more ing trajectory. Spotting a possible location to cross the thus became the first of many units whose primary purpose open ground between the seawall and the bluff. in the sec- 397th Provisional Anti-aircraft Artillery (AAA) Battalion. A lone landing craft weaving through the undestroyed tank ditches and. Beyond the sea wall and some When everything seemed to be going wrong on Omaha ruined houses were the bluffs. machineguns managed to set up and put direct fire on Ger- man WN positions.50 caliber machineguns and mounts for confusion and paralysis gripping the troops huddled at the top firing at aerial targets. and his head- the survivors fought as infantry. the seawall. occupied German trenches to reach the bluff. German WN. dared the advance. minefields anti. the shingle offered protection. the GIs reached the crossroads in the the draws. Gen.

the before reaching the shingle. Cota pushed C Company west and south of the town. Under command of Lt. The survivors then set out to bluffs straight ahead were only lightly defended and offered climb the bluffs and take the position that had cut down their relative safety. they were to land in. The units made their way to the shingle. On reaching the sea According to the plan. vacated by Spalding and Dawson. Schneider switched to plan B: land at Vierville draw and move west overland to rendezvous with his comrades. The 58th Laurent and Les Moulin draws. to provide support for starting right there. heading first south then west in an effort to complete their own mission. Max Schneider. and even then lost until that time. five miles to the west. C Company.m.indd 35 2/6/09 2:47:24 PM .m. Cota then decided it was time to clear the draw to the north of Vierville. When no such signal was received by 7:15 a. The self-propelled howit- 8:00 A. and move off the beach.m.. Canham at noon. At 8:00 a. After setting the demolition mis- sion into motion. similar fire. though they ing in front of WN 70. that force was to reinforce Pointe du Hoc if signaled the mis- sion there had been successful. Companies A. locating the men and material needed to do the job—engineers of the 121st Battalion and tank dozers carrying crates of TNT (7). L and M of the 116th landed between St. Laurent and Vierville (8). nally been assigned to a mission at Pointe du Hoc. the wall was blown and engineers worked their way up the draw. Schneider ordered the craft carrying the 5th Rang. Reaching the massive concrete wall at the mouth of the draw. At that time the Ger- man positions in and around Vierville draw were subject to intense naval fire. which was still under German control (5).m. Schneider and his Rangers determined their war was gin landing and moving up the draws. On reaching the shingle. Rangers from this group are depicted in the film 16th landed between Colleville and St. Handing command of the Vierville perimeter to Col. he headed back up to the high ground to ap- praise the situation between St. the high ground later in the day. Informing troops still huddled along the shingle and seawall that the draw was safe. stopped the advance. he walked the beach under intermittent enemy fire. so vehicles and artillery could get off the beach to help on the high ground. in the same area as C Company/116th.m. Cota took in the prisoners and continued. spotted encouraging signs ers to move even farther east. Land- disorientation. Laurent draws under Saving Private Ryan. Col. and organized teams to advance up the the infantry against the German counterattack expected on bluffs. By 3:00 p. the new arrivals could see that. an area with few landings up delayed its landing until after 10:00 a.M. the 2nd Rangers lost half their men were under fire from German strongpoints to either side. Companies I. join. There he handed over his prisoners and set out to get the wall demolished. many vehicles on the beach before it was able to advance in World at War 35 WaW5 Issue. making good use of the hedgerows. still intact despite the shelling.. despite occasional sniper fire. That was not yet possible. K. the survivors attempted On witnessing the effect of the German fire on the 2nd to organize. Cota’s team passed through a narrow gap single-file and back onto the beach (6). Seeking to seize the moment. zers of the 58th and 62nd Armored Field Artillery Battalions The third battalion of each assaulting infantry regiment had provided fire support for the first assault waves from had been told the beach would be clear by the time they came their landing craft offshore. many Germans were willing to surrender when surprised by US soldiers advancing through the draw from the south. Gen. B C and D of the brothers. it was time for the artillery to be- wall. Vehicles began to move up Vierville draw at 5:00 p. where they landed unscathed that GI’s had passed through the area and up the bluff. Cota Those actions ended effective resistance from WNs 71 and 72. but there German resistance sud- denly materialized and. but not quite far enough. clearing out mines and other obstacles. The Rangers joined the effort. Despite their draw and veered to the east. To the east. they assessed the disaster at Vierville ing a few isolated soldiers from earlier waves. but they could make no headway (4). landing on the stretch of beach just Rangers. he and a group of six sol- diers headed north from the crossroad toward the beach exit. Rattled by the barrage. As the two companies of incoming Rangers approached Dog Green Beach.

Unknown to the officers observ- tanks in the Channel waters. where they spent the rest of Battalions. aged to land remained under fire on the beach all morning. and Les Moulins draws. George Taylor. land- and delivering deadly fire in front of Vierville draw. The 62nd landed at 3:00 p. Taking advantage of folds in the ter- ing schedule. Goranson’s orders he rose and shouted the legendary command: “Get the hell were to turn west toward Pointe de la Percee. the Rangers made it to the crest and cleaned out a net- 36 #5 WaW5 Issue. of C Company. The Ger- half-tracks. Capt. commander of the 16th Infantry. made in that regard. Farther east.indd 36 2/6/09 2:47:25 PM . its crew and the infantry to clear the beaches before the arrival of heavy shells. between Vierville each regiment’s anti-tank company was next on the land. Neither bat. Surveying the congestion caused by the rising tide and More artillery. It would be up to trucks. progress was being guns of the 7th FA made it to the beach. Thirty ed with his staff just west of Colleville Draw. allowing the day by using their communication trenches and by pull- their crews to fire at targets on the bluffs and making im. each carrying a 105 mm towed howitzer. they did later manage to exit the beach and had the distinc- tion of conducting the only artillery fire mission on the high At the western end of the beach. talion conducted any land-based fire mission on D-Day. and were soon joined by a lost the shingle. the 7th and 111th Field Artillery Battalions. only six ing the apparent disaster from offshore. but the pressure from the portant contributions in suppressing fire from German WN Rangers halted their fire on the beach. Rangers ascended the bluff below WN 70. ing soldiers from nearby WN 72. The amphibious trucks fared no better than the DD equipment would resume. Of the 24 launched. 8:15 A. boat team from B Company/116th. count tallied 69 Germans and two Americans. consisting of heavy machineguns mounted on the morning in a running firefight with the enemy. the surviving Rangers ground on D-Day. On the positive side. Many that did turned nose into the surf. he attacked there instead. rain. a cliff-top position overlooking most of the beach Col. a testament to the tactical skill of the Rangers. His Rangers advanced past a fortified house and into a laby- pected Luftwaffe strafing of the beaches: the 197th and 467th rinthine German trench system. 8:45 A.M. The few trucks and artillery pieces that man.m. Half of those armored vehicles survived the mans were able to keep the position occupied until late in landing. but seeing the off the beach! If you stay you are dead or about to die!” German position firing at GIs on the beach immediately to 8:30 AM his east. the survivors of A and B Companies. On reaching Rangers made it to the top. saving innumerable lives. The next day. the late afternoon. German fire. 2nd Battalion had scaled the cliffs west of WN 73. a body positions. Armored anti-aircraft artillery arrived to take on the ex. Several of the AT crews who lost their equipment joined the infantry assault up the bluffs. Naval beach control officers ordered the sus- made their way toward the beach in DUKW (amphibious) pension of all further landings of vehicles.M. crowded with survivors of the first two waves. 2nd To counter the expected German armored counterattack.

Gen. the company organized and moved west before it had a chance to succeed—and. Jimmie Monteith. he revealed his state of mind on D-Day morning aboard his Gen. Privately. sion and to give direction to this vast collection of The period from 8:00 to 10:00 a.M. was one of the first to go. Gen. overwhelming the enemy. Scattered against the cliffs at the eastern extremi. comes from Gen. ground. Bradley kept his thoughts of evacuation to himself. Brig. medical special- ists. Eisenhower (Shaef). 9:15 A. He began to bring order out of confu. Brad- That position had a commanding view of the entire beach ley had to hold at Omaha Beach. Bradley’s other consideration. such as at Regiment. within a hairsbreadth of evacuation. Maj. landed between Colleville and St. Lt. The intrepid actions of L Company/16th then took out an. ing for Bradley. soldiers beyond the beach couldn’t be called back. Leonard wait. had to be cleared out to relieve that deadly traffic jam. such as marking landing sites. despite the bleakness until the cliffs gave way to an embankment below WN 60.m. That force of 9. T. Tasks relating to the beach itself. Only if Frank Strojny. F Company/16th had been hard hit by that getting men from the protection of the shingle and bluffs back German position. and oth- ers were under fire from tanks and naval destroyers. Without it.m. across the beach would’ve been a deadly undertaking. Fortress 741st and the destroyer USS Doyle. Omar Bradley’s post-war writings. Gen. Europe couldn’t be pierced. organizing leadership for leader. but preparing the draws for the flow of traffic still had to Lt. onto the high ground already underway. beach traffic masters. and for good reason: there was no withdrawal plan. would have doomed Omaha to failure ty of Omaha Beach.. giving up the position. failure wasn’t yet certain.. bleak and chaotic picture—nothing hinted at the penetrations ready advancing on the high ground.indd 37 2/6/09 2:47:25 PM . Yet he remained anx. row on the USS Ancon. Bradley (First US Army). came ashore with the mission of managing the beachhead. small groups of US soldiers from the first wave shallow depression in the bluffs). and its survivors were led by Staff Sgt. Accounts of Omaha Beach often suggest the landings came rendered. at that hour German po. I considered evacuating the proper positions. Beach or the British beaches. could be carried out.M. Covered by suppressing fire from tanks of the ing into a viable beachhead. At west of the German position (Cabourg draw. As desperate as things ious about the vehicles under fire on the beach.000 men included mine clearers. a reporter who came Beach were thin to nonexistent. On reaching the high were advancing inland and piercing Fortress Europe. they stormed the position firing BARs and hurl. Vanguards of those brigades had landed with earlier waves. From the few radio ashore with the command party: messages that we overheard and the firsthand reports of Wyman studied the situation for a few minutes—and observers in small craft reconnoitering close to shore. five of the 11 WN overlooking Omaha Beach were taken. might an effort be mounted to extract the sur- ing grenades. 25 miles would and had defensive preparations that made a frontal assault separate Utah and Gold Beaches—a gap far too wide for link- impossible. blew gaps through the barbed but allowed his commanders to command. Willard Wyman. Gerow (V Corps). Spalding’s team was on the high ground. His response to the situation was similar to Our communications with the forces assaulting Omaha Cota’s. Meanwhile. but had been unable to accom- plish their advance work. Bradley considered those things. a massive pillbox located east of the Colleville craft survived from the morning’s carnage to scrape together draw. moving against WN 64 (see sidebar). World at War 37 WaW5 Issue. The View from on High As German casualties mounted. The draws seemed. regi- wire and advanced up a small draw under enemy fire just ments released by Gerow were arriving to reinforce Omaha. work of German trenches and machinegun pits to the east. led by Lt. The on- Though Wyman didn’t yet know it. Little information reached him or Gen. was the most agoniz- inert manpower waiting only to be told what to do. Dieppe in 1942. In them Gen. of the information coming in. Insufficient landing WN 61. Ge- where to go. that there was little hope we could fire.Dwight D. vivors. The source for that belief 9:00 A. partly due to its location transport for a full withdrawal. at beach level. command ship USS Augusta: Laurent draws. truck drivers—everything needed to run a temporary harbor and supply depot. Even if craft had been available. he began moving lost units to their force the beach. MPs. really just a the same time. Monteith turned back east and led his men to take the position from behind. Calmly.m. Now the full force came ashore amid confusion and under fire. In the words of Don Whitehead. By 10:00 a. the remaining Germans sur. beachhead and directing the follow-up troops to Utah less troops. then with absolute disregard for his own life and I gained the impression our forces had suffered an irre- safety. scene development of an ad hoc plan for an orderly evacua- sitions were starting to crumble from east to west. the 5th and 6th Engineer Special Brigades. he stood up to expose himself to the enemy’s versible catastrophe. With no working radios. What bits of news did arrive painted a Wyman was encouraged to learn several teams were al. Without Omaha Beach. elements of L Company. Accompanied by some lost GIs of the 116th it became certain the operation was an utter failure. By 9:30 a.Omar N. Cota’s counterpart in 1st Infantry Division. neighboring beaches. to reroute reinforcements to other WN. The third and largest landing of engineers. tion was out of the question.

By noon. beach.m. tanks of the 741st fired on emplace- moving inland. Improvisation and courage wasn’t practiced only by the tween Les Moulins and Vierville draws.. 38 #5 WaW5 Issue. tor without a mission. advancing on German positions and and led frontal assaults. Instead.indd 38 2/6/09 2:47:28 PM .M. It The remaining two battalions of the 18th landed in the same would be up to 2nd Battalion to take it out and open the draw. draw. the CO of 7th Field Artillery rallied men among all the draws. fire from the USS Frankford took out a mortar bat- tery. some found themselves assaulting the enemy on the The 115th Regiment. The effectiveness of the resulting fire proved instru- mental in taking out key strongpoints.m. As the infantry companies maneuvered to attack the By this time several US units were on the high ground flanks of the WN. craft.m. but the much stronger ions west on a wide front to take the village of St. 9:30 A. WN 64 on the east side of the draw had al. Gen. Laurent and Les Moulins draws. K and L Companies/116th were between St. and noon. Omaha Beach was 115th of 29th Division. and anti-aircraft guns of the 467th neutralized an artil- • L Company/16th was east of Colleville draw. WN 65 on the west side remained active and untouched. Colleville and points south and west of the village. First to land at 10:30 a. Fire control parties tain a semblance of a front line as they advanced. Naval • C/2nd Rangers and various 116th survivors were west of destroyers moved in close enough to get hit by German rifle Vierville draw. ments. with orders to advance on Practically every service branch contributed to the attack. earmarked to land behind the 116th. Help was on the beach provided accurate observation for the offshore on the way. which also participated in Laurent draws. At 3:00 p. Wyman called for landing its three battalions between 11:00 a. but by the naval forces as well. • C Company/116th and the 2nd and 5th Rangers were be. Laurent draws.—Noon fire alone proved enough to send shell-shocked Germans Two infantry regiments. Laurent. were expecting to land on a secure one of the few times in the war naval forces provided direct beachhead and move out to seize objectives miles inland. In some cases that 10:00 A. artillery and tank support at great risk. soldiers on the beach. delivering the equivalent of direct Those small forces would need reinforcement to main. Gen. the west side of St.M. 1st Engineer Combat Battalion. went to work clearing it for traffic. ground support. fire and risk grounding. Laurent draw. the draw was in US hands and the • G and E Companies/16th were between Colleville and St. the 18th of 1st Division and the streaming from their holes to surrender. area between noon and 1:00 p. was 2nd Battalion/18th on was rerouted east between Colleville and St. Laurent the first US vehicle drove off the beach through St. the attack. reinforcements there—the first tactical deployment ordered The units reached the top of the bluffs in that unfamiliar sec- from the beach. Wyman ordered the three battal- ready been taken by Spalding’s team.m. lery position. • I.

the most extensive German position. Nonetheless.M. Sub. Units had difficulty staying in contact as they advanced. the GIs won the eastern preventing reinforcement and resupply. Laurent draw toward the vil- the village. along the coastal highway and in a flanking move to on the west side of Colleville draw. Despite several US attacks. The fighting in the villages and bocage of the high ground was a confusing affair with no front line. At 3:00 p. Laurent. With their ammuni. With eight of 11 German beach positions taken. attacking the town from the Meanwhile. sometimes finding Germans moving into positions behind them. 1:00 P. route. The invaders needed the roads leading up from the draws. open the road leading south from there. and the engineers got to work clearing Colleville The remainder of the 16th. half of St. made the deepest penetration of D-Day by advancing The 115th Regiment advanced with difficulty across the well south and west of Colleville. on the high ground jected to intense naval fire for hours. it was bypassed and cut west of Les Moulins draw. their only escape the position was abandoned by the few surviving Germans. an attempt to retake the WN from the village of le Grande Hameau. ment. especially in the villages of Colleville and St. though. for vehicles coming from the beach. the south. With WN 62 knocked out. Meanwhile 3rd Battalion/116th. the flank of the beachhead. The Germans proved adept at setting up machinegun teams in the hedgerows and then disappearing just when they seemed outflanked.m. Ger- man resistance stiffened at the crossroads. effectively surrounding rough terrain and woods of St. reinforced by the 18th Regi. That meant taking the villages surrounding those vital cross- roads. Attacking westward.—6:00 P. the eastern half of Omaha Beach World at War 39 WaW5 Issue. Laurent ments of 3rd Battalion advanced west and south to secure draw. defeating one of the few German counterattacks. the focus of the battle shifted to the high ground. but the Germans were determined to hold tion depleted and most of their heavy weapons destroyed. of the draw. After knocking out WN 60. US forces made several penetra- tions beyond the highway and seized stretches of road.M. fell at 2:00 p. Laurent. the three battalions self remained in German hands until the next day.indd 39 2/6/09 2:47:30 PM . was secure. L Company/16th and ele. the town it- lage of that same name. battled German forces for the top off by US infantry on the high ground to the east and west. draw. launched a coordinated assault. WN 62 draw.m. A pillbox of Widerstandsnest 65 at the mouth of the St. as well as the connect- ing coastal highway. converted into a command post for the US 1st Division.

Only two WN remained active on the beach. resulting in a thin US inevitable once the Allies secured the high ground at the in- presence on the high ground from there to the west end of vasion beaches. Rommel was right: the invasion D-Day. Winnipeg. France: Heimdal. Carlisle Barracks. the reserves of the 352nd Division. but power. It would not fall until 7 June. Laurent. Omaha Beach: A Flawed Victory. sity of NC. It was all the 5th and 2nd Rangers and surviv- ing companies of the 116th could do to hold open Vierville at draw and maintain a line against the German forces west and south of Vierville.J. respond. supply head for the massive build up of Allied forces in Lewis. D-Day June 6. German Military Organization. Elements of the 2nd Battalion/ ders of the high command and to the might of Allied air- 116th tried unsuccessfully to take WN 66 all morning. Mechanics- burg. thanks to the strategic blun- invaders for the rest of the day. 2001. Four US infantry regiments held the high ground across Balkoski. Adrian. 2001. Laurent.warchronicle. Armored formations 16th_infantry/contents. 1944. Once established ous attempt was made against WN 68 on the west side of ashore. Sources Ambrose. DC: Chief of battleground of Omaha Beach into a temporary harbor and Military History. no US reinforce. Joseph. Forrest C. Mani- Beach was lost by noon on 6 June. 2000. With Les Moulin draw still under German fire. Over the next two stitute. Zetterling. the Allied juggernaut couldn’t be stopped. on the highways leading to Omaha Beach. No seri. Gordon. Division came ashore that night. casion. 40 #5 WaW5 Issue. all of Omaha Beach by day’s end. Omaha Beach transformed from a battle ground to a harbor in a matter of days. Omaha Beach: D-Day June 6. 1994. Fedorowicz. the move against the village was limited to frontal attacks. The Ger- the draw. Military History In- next morning. allowing the Germans to stabilize their defense of the town. PA: Stackpole Books. New York: Simon & Evening Schuster. The 26th Regiment of 1st Bernage. John Spalding D-Day narrative. were misdirected Various official reports of the actions of the 16th Infantry Regiment on and committed piecemeal. Georges. 2004. and no US forces to the immediate west of St. Further. Normandy 1944. Any chance the Germans had of winning at Omaha Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness. Omaha Beach. WNs 66 that might have rolled over unsupported infantry in the early and 68 defending Les Moulin draw. US forces that reached the high ground west of the mans were subsequently able to delay Allied progress on oc- position headed toward Vierville. The only units able to toba: J. Cross Channel Attack. and the 175th of the 29th the Pogue. Bayeux. All day the Eighth Air Force shot up German traffic eventually moved up the bluffs toward St. thousands of troops arrived to transform the bloody Harrison. a thorn in the side of the hours were far from the scene.indd 40 2/6/09 2:47:31 PM . days. Pennsylvania). solidifying the beachhead. Washington. Omaha Beach. transcribed on the web site http://www. but the defeat of the Wehrmacht in the west became ments landed west of Les Moulins. Niklas. Stephen E.htm. Chapel Hill: Univer- France. could only be stopped at the beaches. 1944.

the B-17 and B-24 cantilever low-wing monoplane with gave aircraft using 100-octane fuel raids. US oil companies hobbled by the feedstock petroleum The Italian 274th Heavy were refining 4. but their effort was the fall of 1938. Britain.” Accounts and August 1943. the earlier octane war. by four 1. Piaggio P. The produce one horsepower per pound of occurred when lean mixtures were 274th Squadriglia Bombardamento a engine weight. Aircraft could craft into flying bombs. percent farther on the same load of on the combat: German failures in the The P. but soon it was able to use built. it was suitable only for 87-oc. continued from page 24 exploded. B. bomb training at Furbara. success radial engines. a similar weapon Allies had the inside track. 100-octane by the start of the Battle eration World War II US fighters were It took some time for pilots and of Britain. designed for 100-octane engines. Aromatic-dependent engine strategic bomber in 1939. The crews took flight lessons at War II. developed four Fighter Command switching fully to for years. Britain’s domestic 100. crews to become accustomed to the octane relied on aromatics to achieve They couldn’t otherwise have been new aircraft. set up its first strategic 87-octane. of the war. Its aircraft.or 92-octane fuels. lost the Battle of Britain. the B-29 offen. Between November 1939 than when using 87. instrument flying lessons used 87-octane fuel in the first years ~ Mark N. however. which was nick- had a lower effective octane rating and it made their bombers and patrol named the “Italian Flying Fortress. and they also had more or failure in each of those campaigns was finished in October 1939. The Navy and airlines soon Germany was soon distilling 100. to produce from Italy’s meager cruising speeds using 100-octane fuel uted saying: “Amateurs talk strategy. and two remotely tion was primarily using 100-octane by 100-octane in combat. including fighters. By octane gasoline. Engines became able to of isooctane. the Regia Aeronau- percent more power than they had on specific energy than fuels consisting tica. effective without the power offered in a nose turret. isooctane fuel imported from the US. the air to gasoline varied. possibly was the Boeing B-29. was moving Without Doolittle’s prewar ad. Omar Bradley was attrib.350 horsepower P. In the Air bought into 100-octane gasoline. and the RAF would likely have unit was rated combat operational. 108. years later. The first prototype economy. The P. What hadn’t high-octane gasoline. The first Allied to 100-octane. too. Piaggio built a total Aircraft proved able to fly 25 to 33 of the air war in World War II focus of only 163 of them. due to their lean mixture’s fuel sive against Japan.108 was extremely expensive therefore use a leaner mixture at Gen. development of 100-octane bomber with comparable armament methods of production that led to would have been delayed. used. and even allowed of aromatics. the new to reach 100 was therefore achieved concept. effectively using fuel as coolant. tane gasoline. edge they needed to win the Battle of The Air Ministry had high expec- Britain. formed soon became more economical than Japan was never able to produce for use against long-range shipping 87. tations for the unit. been realized earlier was that a fuel’s for the power differential by reduc. and pre-ignition often bombing unit only in 1942. Luftwaffe pilots were therefore Granda Reggio (Long Range Bomber Despite the additional expense forced to use richer settings to prevent Squadron) was the only such forma- per gallon of 100-octane fuel. Douhet is cited as percent of that output. Italian Gen. A lean mixture tanks.XII range. The B-17 and all first-gen. outer engine nacelles. US avia.” than a richer mixture. So much so. Lardas at Littoria.indd 41 2/6/09 2:47:31 PM . it that.7 mm machineguns The development of 100-octane missions were impractical without in the waist. tion in the Regia Aeronautica.or 92-octane. and power at rich mixtures than identical actually hinged on the outcome of had advanced defensive armament for aircraft burning 87-octane gasoline. before he bombed Tokyo. driven a decisive edge. with Shell producing 62 TEL. and torpedo-attack training at Gor- tane gave its fighters the performance gigia. Even after adding Bomber Squadron 100-octane. resources. Fighters were less in a belly turret.” but the 100-octane fuel. and his nation’s aircraft fuel also led to a generation of more only by adding high percentages industry built and flew its first four- powerful engines. Long-range that time: two 7. a 12. The older engines to generate 20 to 30 fuels burned hotter and had a lower Italian Air force.7 mm machinegun led to a worldwide “fuel race. the squadron’s first commanding officer World at War 41 WaW5 Issue. That Battle of Britain. Britain’s use of 100-oc.108 B was an all-metal gasoline with 100-octane fuel. Guidonia. developing domestic vocacy. however. a year passed before the that rating. They had greater long-range fighters. The additional octane the father of the strategic bombing Just as he’d predicted. controlled twin gun turrets in the by 1940. Professionals talk logistics. the 274th Germany was behind both the US had therefore succeeded in altering received training in scattered loca- and Britain at the beginning of World the course of World War II years tions. unsuccessful until escorted by a retractable under-carriage. Doolittle Headquartered in Pisa.2 million gallons of available to it. The 274th received the only octane rating changed as the ratio of ing weight and carrying massive fuel four-engine bombers Italy built. It compensated and land targets. That made their fighters fragile.

The Germans Islands. Bruno Mussolini. Throughout its plane due to enemy action. Blanche and Oran. were forced to land in Spain. During the night raid of 3 July one until it was transferred to northern tion. (160 kg. Italy. the Bruno Mussolini Squadri. and the and two others heavily damaged. combat operations began on 9 destroyed on the ground in the first when Italy surrendered to the Allies June. During when called on to do so.22007) was quickly placement bombers. (250 kg.) and six 350 lb. The authorized to use the name “Bruno P. the unit raids. when all its P. entire existence. with only one Hudson was damaged.108 losses.108s. lb. WWII military history. At least three were of the bombers’ 2. while practic. Guidonia. were launched until October. Because proved minimal. Maison bombing missions to distant targets. was Capt. Philippeville. Each of those missions in. short Sardinia.108s were to be in striking distance of Gibraltar. the unit’s first action was 33 percent losses. for authors for FYI for Strategy & Tactics attack against Gibraltar on 29 June. The target was Algiers on 13 and Observation Post for World at War. mission.22001 and 22005) land for refitting. FYI editor. Il Duce’s bombs. November caused the 274th to turn as part of Luftflotte 2. The Allied landing on Sicily. despite intensive had only five aircraft remaining on mission in the area of the Balearic long-range mission crew training. Based at indeed poor. the 274th therefore The 274th stood down in Decem- moved to Decimomannu. seized those bombers.22004) tight formation over that harbor. Incorporating new crews and re- On 7 August 1941. unit struck at the invasion shipping Mussolini” as part of its identifica. and further unspecified dam. The third (MM. which shipping and night bombing missions. The results were night-fighters. conducting night bombing naval mis- The 274th became fully active volved one to four aircraft (15 sorties.700 lbs. on virtually any aspect of to engine trouble. The squadron glia flew out on a search-and-destroy age in the others. all were unsuccessful in terms paign included two aircraft destroyed employed in the Mediterranean area of the damage they caused. the P. resulted in some damage to the Brit.190 mile range. the 274th was thereafter ish installation but resulted in further then drew the 274th like a magnet. and another went down the operating from Ponteera. four were lost on 20 On 24 July. the unit never had The Operation Torch landings in They were used on the Russian front more than eight serviceable aircraft. ber 1942. (100 kg. On 26 June 1942. Several other missions to Guidonia.000 words). pithy articles was forced to abort the mission due The squadron was jumped by night for this column.108 force. The survivors flew back to 42 #5 WaW5 Issue. On the day of the armistice. in July. Marino mission posture of the 274th.) bombers. while the others remained 1943. 24 September saw Italy. that phase of its operations. was also of fuel. was pulled back to the Italian main- a popular commander with the unit’s two of which (MM. crashed and suffered heavy damage. and the 274th unsuccessful day mission against a landed in Algeria on its third mission. to resume anti- ground. Sardinia. The effects of its four.. on 8 September 1943. and on 6 January 1943. was Bruno’s signature two go down. Italy. Three of the bombers. They first saw action in an 28 October. The bomber’s for Italy. exclusively mid-fuselage. The unit insignia. Only one Allied ship against British shipping. The unit resumed operations missions of the British fortress. the evacuation of the Crimea in 1944. the destroyer on 6 the 274th trained ing landings. sent to the Piaggio works for new The squadron began night bombing engines. The next day the squadron flew engines failed 300 feet above the in Spain. In his honor. The squadron was total). command then decided to alter the bomber raids on those targets also ~ James I. net result for the squadron was around mainly by Beaufighter and Mosquito however. and the 274th flew in a If you’d like to try your hand at writing aircraft that set out. one (MM. at: WhiteRook@att. The losses suffered in that cam- in June 1942. its attention to the North African performed exceptionally well during The Regina Aeronautica high invasion ports. Bruno. yet another P. It was almost a disaster: out of five January.) bombs. where they averaging four at any one time. P. Bruno was killed when refueled and took off from Majorca at Siena Ampugnano until 10 May his P. contact Ty Bom- attacked by dropping sixty-six 220 Those Beaufighters shot down two ba.indd 42 2/6/09 2:47:32 PM . the 274th began scrolled across a white band on the October.108 cargo and transport variants. since 13 February bomber and some artillery positions The 274th was again in transit 1942. ceased to exist. the 274th Attention readers: We’re always looking The 274th carried out its first ran into a dogfight for the first time. only 23. the plane side-slipped and crashed. when the 274th struck at targets was to henceforth be sent on night in Bona Blinda. shown on all bomber was lost. next day. Trying for a pancake landing. while the other four fighters of the RAF’s 153 Squadron. sions. Shortly after that.108 crashed. releasing ten 350 The squadron had yet to lose a single Luftwaffe also captured all 15 of the lb. once again strik- also conducted anti-shipping attacks ing at North African ports. mainly on night bombing missions. downed over Africa in that series of and bomb load of 7. short (under 2. crews. shortly after which the unit favorite son.

von Ribbentrop (left) returned to the front two days later with his 12th SS Panzer Division comrade Max Wunsche (also wounded). which the elder and fired two bursts from his submachine gun. I did which in 1939 was still only an embryonic armed force. knocked the wind out of me. a man who’d enlisted in the Waffen standing just outside a Russian village SS on 1 September 1939—the first day of World War II— when he was suddenly approached by a horse-drawn sleigh. as it hindered me getting into and out of tycoon whose family business flourishes in Germany to this the tank quickly. sian. I dove away of St. One of the Russians stopped rejected him on the grounds he was too old. US National Archives. While the Russians were trying to escape from the When his father was German ambassador to the Court tangle of arms and legs and get clear. James in London in 1936. 21-year-old SS panzer That kind of performance was typical of the aggressive commander Rudolf von Ribbentrop was “Rudi” von Ribbentrop. but this only because I believed that the Russians would one that would grow into Nazi Germany’s second army be- have no time to shoot at me in the confusion.indd 43 2/6/09 2:47:32 PM . he tried to get Rudolf into from the milling throng to avoid being hit by my own Eton. 1944. (Photo from captured Enemy Records. MD). even though his father Joachim was foreign minister of the As he noted later in his diary: Third Reich. which had meanwhile opened fire on the Rus. In February 1943. who was as shocked as I. which completely ment. all armed to the teeth. belonged to the Hitler Youth before joining the Waffen SS. ried his mother. and the face as hard as I could. The Other Ribbentrop by Blaine Taylor Wounded in his Volkswagen in Normandy by strafing Allied aircraft on4 June. formerly one of Hitler’s peronal SS adjustants until December 1940. World at War 43 WaW5 Issue. College Park. and began to beat the Rus. I felt a Ribbentrop interpreted as a snub by the British establish- heavy blow in the small of my back. He believed that elite English school would show Ru- tanks. Rudolf was born in Wiesbaden on 11 May 1921. with my bare fists. but the administration sians. I struck the driver in day. Anneliese Henkell. the daughter of a wine ing a pistol. I wasn’t even carry. dolf a different perspective on life. fore the end of the war. I realized that the sleigh was occupied by about 10 His father—a veteran of the First World War—had mar- Russians. I fell into the snow. Instinctively.

“It was later reported on striking the gravel. as done it. son. they encountered some enemy soldiers about to withdraw. 2nd Battalion. No one could say of me that I had been transferred Rudolf recalled in his diary: “I myself hoped that the attack to the officers school instead of seeing action because I was would begin soon. Rudolf returned to his post and went to see His service in SS Kampfgruppe Nord won him Finland’s his regimental commander. Undeterred. you managed to get your own way after transferred to a field regiment in the Nazi “protectorate” of all—but then see to it that you get to Braunschweig!” (The Bohemia and Moravia. when he and his unit helped stop a Red Army tank as- corporal for bravery in the sault using their brand new Panzer VI “Tigers. tanker. The medical Ribbentrop. . Edouard Dietl’s Mountain Corps Norway.indd 44 2/6/09 2:47:33 PM .) cupied Czechoslovakia the previous March. He wrote in his diary: “I had ner. which guard unit. 1st Panzer Regiment. He wanted to go fight instead.” For that ac- face of the enemy. I suddenly found myself fac. Rudolf was then enrolled at the less prestigious West. boat while under enemy machinegun fire. the Wound Badge in Silver (1 Company throughout the May). served in the 11th 1st Class (18 March 1943). Rudolf began his mili. as Ribbentrop’s command knocked out 14 Russian T-34 he wrote: “had originated tanks in that single engagement. and the campaign in the west. the Finn- der and declared dryly: ‘You will do as you are ordered!’” ish Army. the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross (15 July). then transferred to the 3rd charge against a patrol. you received his second wound when a bullet fractured a bone will have plenty of time to get into this war! When you are in his left forearm. of 1943.” soldiers deserved that treatment more than he. jected to being flown out in a light aircraft for recovery back dered his men to lay down in Germany because he felt other. because I will probably be hospital at Hohenlychen to recuperate.” short home leave in February 1942. then. first retreat from the Soviet city of Kharkhov in the spring ing a Dutch lieutenant…. he said. leading Gen. which Hitler had set up when he oc. After a brief period on the regimental command his regiment entered the Dutch town of Bergen op Zoom.” but then did as while technically AWOL Rudolf wanted and had him taken off the plane. who.” Nazi salutes and extolling the glories of the new Germany. Hitler spoke of the coming German attack in the west. later by an irate Himmler. German Cross (25 August 1944. SS Gen. had minster School in London where. for the simple reason: sioned on 20 April 1941 (Hitler’s 52nd birthday) as a second “It was not my intention to go to an officer candidate school lieutenant. He was also reassigned When his father’s further intervention with Himmler to the newly formed Panzer Regiment of the Lifeguard SS failed to change his status. which then surrendered to him. which was who had such experience. and said: “Believe me. They had been good looks. just as the attack in the west was He began his service with the LSSAH as a motorcycle launched. he strenuously ob- in fluent German…and or. location of the officer candidate school. two comrades. who had been pinned down with me . as he was scheduled to do. he was posted to the 6th Company. Later he participated in a cross-river attack in a rubber- Three frustrating years later. win. to attend officer candidate He successfully completed the course. . the father’s strong supporters within the ranks of the Nazi Party. While crossing Holland. Paul Hausser’s unauthorized that was full of Dutch soldiers. was commis- school. unit was sent to Finland to fight alongside Nazi Germany’s Heinrich Himmler. who was on an inspection tour ment battalion. Felix Steiner. from officer candidate By the end of the war his awards included the Iron Cross school. founded in 1933. he quickly made himself unpopular by giving killed to my left and right. My that he had marked the knocked out tanks with a piece of 44 #5 WaW5 Issue. despite his movie star both been killed. During that series of battles he was wounded three I shouted to him. Jochen Peiper: “I would gladly take your company a bullet fragment in his into our bunch!” upper-right arm that. and was given command of a platoon in the 1st without frontline experience and then have to command men Company of Reconnaissance Battalion North. come back and see me. After suffering this wound. He was sent to Himmler’s personal SS an officer. “Clapped me on the shoul. He was shot in both shoulders and also sustained up!’ He answered my bluff a lung wound. Hausser later from a bullet that shattered to come in person to inspect the scene. Over din.) His most successful day ning the Iron Cross Second of the war came on 13 July 1943. In October 1939.” since he wanted to join in it rather than the son of a minister.” go. Fate had spared me. where he commanded a He described the scene that followed: “I entered a farmhouse tank platoon during SS Gen. the Fuehrer’s own super-elite body- took off for the front to find his regiment on his own. ‘Hands more times. Impulsively. Ribbentrop led a bayonet reconnaissance platoon leader. finally ready and willing to attend classes at meal that included the Fuhrer’s presence as well. only to be greeted tary career as a recruit in the Germania Regiment’s replace. he did on 10 May 1940. the officer candidate school. Rudolf simply called a taxi and Adolf Hitler Division. Sadly I stood before them. He arrived there on 31 May with his Iron Cross and On 30 April 1940 he left his post for an unauthorized Wound Badge (the German equivalent of the US Purple one-day trip to Berlin to celebrate his father’s birthday at a Heart award). Fourth Class and. he brought up the matter up to one of his On the first day of the invasion of the USSR on 22 June. He also tion he later received high praise from another infamous SS received his first wound. and left there for a forming a new division. he clapped him on the back. during the epic Battle of Class and a promotion to Kursk. staff as operations officer. young Ribbentrop was of his unit: “So.” sent to join Gen. who also Freedom Cross. When Company. more seriously wounded their weapons. co-belligerent in the war against the Soviet Union. all the officer in charge called him a “stubborn ox. on 2 September 1941.

chalk and counted them in disbelief. Joachim While in a bed in the Luftwaffe hospital at Bernay (where von Ribbentrop. where he was posted to take command of two junior officer training courses.indd 45 2/6/09 2:47:33 PM . the Red Army. Rudolf recalled in a more seriously wounded Field Marshal Erwin Rommel his diary: “It was a wonderful day. Panzer Regiment 12. It was not only most impressive to lay on the asphalt road and see and hear the enemy’s machinegun fire pass about a meter from my head and spatter into the car and the road. Franz. John. I could feel nothing below my shoulder blades. resulting in a partial paralysis…The fighter was on us again. MD) guns. US National Archives. but to become tankers. On 1 September 1944. Paul. as his spinal column had only been grazed. and reformed as part of the 1st SS Panzer Corps. he told his men: “We can say Having commanded 6th Company since 13 March 1943. and it was in that capacity he saw action in the Battle of the Bulge against the Americans.” formed 12th SS Panzer Division Hitler Youth on 1 August. and afterward we sat in the open and enjoyed the bentrop learned the news the D-Day invasion had begun on lovely evening.. Meeting his father. during the final stage of the break- out battle of the Falaise Gap. 1992. . .” noted Ribbentrop in He surrendered his unit to the Americans on 8 May. New York: Julian Messner. Four months later he was named command- er of the 3rd Company. Schwarz. with pride that at no moment during the war years . The orders for the next day had been issued. Kurowski. The feeling in his lower body quick- ly returned. Ribbentrop served as regimen- tal adjutant once more. In a remark. but incred- ibly survived yet again. his company de. when he was struck in the mouth by a shell fragment. his Volkswagen command car was strafed by a Royal Air Force Spitfire. . and he immediately returned to his unit. Soon afterward he was decorated for having person- ally led 25 tank assaults in his career up to that time. On 3 June 1944. He and his men then went on to fight as tank-less infantry in both Hungary and Austria during the final desperate weeks of the war against their old foe. 1943. Seemingly paralyzed. In late April 1945 he was given command of his own battle group. and his diary. He described the harrowing incident in his diary: I felt a light blow in my back…I realized that I must have suffered a spinal injury. stroyed 27 tanks. His unit was then withdrawn from the line for a rest period. The Volkswagen had been riddled. and with a new lung wound as well. New York: Crown Pubs. not severed. (Photo from the Joachim von Ribbentrop Albums. This Man Ribbentrop: His Life and Times. In all. while heading back to Le Neubourg. and my father said to me: It’s going to start again tomorrow!’” able battle on 8 July against the Canadians. Panzer Aces. Hitler’s Diplomat: The Life and Times of Joachim von Rib- bentrop. They can treat us like dogs. Ribbentrop: A Biography. . 1992. 6 June. still a stubbornly proud Nazi. On 20 December 1944 he received his next wound. Ribbentrop was transferred to the newly they cannot degrade us. Sources Block. New York: Ticknor & Fields. the German Foreign Minister. Ribbentrop believed he was going to die. New York: Ballantine Books. France. Rib. but it was also a helpless feeling to face the attack while totally defenseless. Fortunate- ly we were not hit again. following a training exercise. eight Bren gun carriers and four anti-tank College Park. for supper. did except for a brief period while training some Luftwaffe men we surrender our dignity. at World at War 45 WaW5 Issue. Weitz. Michael. at the front in France. 1st Battalion. his panzers destroyed 24 US tanks before the Ardennes offensive ground to a halt in Janu- ary 1945. but did not catch fire. I was permitted to stay would be brought after a similar incident on 17 July). which won him the Wound Badge in Gold. . 1992.

This survey will its way through the heights west of Falaise and into the city. The games in issues 10 through eration Spring: The 2nd and 3rd Canadian Division’s clear 17 are in various stages of development and artwork – there the road to Falaise. Please rank the proposals from first to sixth cor. Ty Publisher has reworked his original proposal and this topic. The map scale is two miles 46 #5 WaW5 Issue.  Nothing exem- at War. artwork. Sedan was the decisive battle for France in May ranked first (1) to the game you would least like to see being 1940 and offers a superb gaming situation of attack and ranked sixth (6). while the French player must hold his will help guide us. Ty Bomba. lines and throw his armor reserves. of relief attempts by German forces. Go For Broke! Rescuing the Lost Battalion. Red Ensign will use four 11”x 17” maps and 176 large-size counters. Your vote will be treated as a pledge across the River Meuse and then westwards to complete order. Go For Broke! simulates that 06 Greater East Asia War extraordinary situation using a new company-level system 07 Greek Tragedy designed to simulate small unit actions over extended peri- 08 Arriba Espana! ods of time. a pocket forward into design. alternative history scenarios. Mail in the card found in this issue or e- (mark 1 to 6) mail your feedback with your name and address to A1. determine what games will be going into issues 18 through Battle of the Scheldt: using a variety of special amphibious 25. vehicles. Amazingly. Soft Underbelly: The Italian Campaign. We’re also seeking your input on additional ideas plified the confusion and bitterness of those battles more we’re considering. 1943-44. books. river assault. 300 men held out for We also have a feature on our other web site <decision- almost a week. counterattack in the 8 daily turns of the full game (there are only once per category and use all six rankings. you may vote Guderian’s and Reinhardt’s Panzer Corps and their supports for any or all of them. into the counterattack. West/Mediterranean Theater posals and select the ones you would like to see us publish. A game turn representing one day is broken into three impulses. one through six. You can also see the latest listing in the next Dispatch. 15 Hardest Days Each impulse is divided into Canadian and German phases: 16 Partizan! Movement. 12 1940: What If? A2. they move at tremendous cost. Attack. 176 counters. printing and re- of Germans trapped behind US lines nearby were the target lease. as other US forces battled ferociously to re- games. As those projects move up the rankings. you will find six proposals per land through the capture of Rome. US 7th Army advanced through southern France in the fall back page at <http://www. Ultimately it was the Japanese-American Nisei boxed games. 17 Leningrad Scenarios include Juno: go ashore with the 7/3 and 8/3 In- fantry Brigades as they clear out a beachhead and repel a The games in issues six through nine are printed and counterattack by the vaunted 12th SS Panzer Division. and night. Red Ensign is a battalion to brigade level simulation 13 First game in the East Front Battles series of the great battles waged in Europe by the Canadian Army 14 New Guinea Campaign during WWII. P lease take a few minutes to review the game pro. including de Gaulle’s 4th tions. DCR. but those games are expected to appear. Scenarios allow two players to focus on either relief effort or to play out an entire week of the campaign 09 Destruction of Army Group Center in multi-impulse game turns. armor and artillery of German 19th Army in the what games we will be working on for future issues of World rugged terrain of the Vosges Mountains. combat.strategyandtacticspress. Please answer as indicated in the ques. and Defender Reaction. Op- awaiting their magazines. The game uses a chit pull Corps activation system and players must choose whether to move first then attack or attack and then move with their activated combat units. two other shorter scenarios). building and de- stroying bridges and traffic jams. Sedan. As the Doc at <> or go to our Mega-Feed. Sections F and G ask a few additional questions that Operation> where you can pledge your support for future lieve them. The game features easy to operate movement. of 1944. So confused was the The World at War game line-up current looks like this: fighting one soldier woke up in his foxhole to find a Ger- man sleeping next to him. development. Exploitation. Has both historical and category. responding to the proposal you would most like to see being A4. Map scale 500 meters per hex and 176 counters. The German player has to push When you read the proposals in section E. each representing one day of mega feedback 10 Coral Sea Solitaire action. Canadian and attached allied forces open up the Scheldt Estuary. Please use each ranking. at the same time. and computer of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team who broke through games. Will Stroock Christopher “Doc” Cummins A3. Trapped behind enemy>. and the design would now use a derivation of the Downfall system to cover the Italian Campaign from the landings on the main- In sections A through D. supply and reinforcement rules and adds special rules for air to air combat. than the plight of the “Lost Battalion” of the 36th Infantry Division.indd 46 2/6/09 2:47:34 PM . John 11 AfrikaKorps: Decision in the Desert Butterfield. S&T Special Editions. afternoon.rr. one for morning. the Canadian I Corps fights 17. Operation Totalize: organized into flying may be some changes to the schedule for numbers 13 through columns to breach German lines. they found themselves mired in a slugfest with This feedback is the most important source for determining the infantry.

send an invasion force with the carriers to seize Pearl Har- clude He-177s strategic bombers. This explores the Japanese plans to group level (36-60 aircraft). and your high command will not be the First Blood system seen in S&T#248 to cover the most pleased. Allies fought an air war over the skies of India. to simulate the last German offensive on the Eastern Front: Darin Leviloff. Soviet air force de. while withstanding a deterioration of sup. Victory will use a cumulative point system. Joseph Miranda B4. the Japanese and B3. A traded for interceptors and diversion of antiaircraft units command draw system smoothly simulates the chaos. Iron Hammer: the Luftwaffe’s Last Chance for Vic. Iron Hammer would use Pacific Theater (mark 1 to 6) a system similar to DG’s Luftwaffe. Adrian McGrath. 176 counters. will and massive firepower: a near-run thing.indd 47 2/6/09 2:47:34 PM . ways just one step ahead (or maybe not) of a Soviet “sudden Ty Bomba. This design would use an evolution of But divert too much. German units will be divisions. at. pilot training. Both sides would have the option to counters. In 1943 the Luftwaffe planned one last desperate aerial ting an all expense paid trip to Argentina). British. and mechanized/cavalry corps level formations. ship to ship game of surface World at War 47 WaW5 Issue. employ additional aircraft against a wide range of targets. in the unusual position of controlling German forces. Soviet units will be infantry armies Allied advances long enough to secure permission to evacu. ers have the choice to bring the carriers in close for air sup- launched guided missiles and KG 200 (the Luftwaffe spe. Ran- trained force of Luftwaffe aircraft against the Soviet Union’s dom events will include the possibility of German wonder industrial complexes east of Moscow. 228 counters. Caucasus will A5. the C4. range from fanatic SS troopers down to Volksturm militia. the Allies must secure the skies for an even- Units of maneuver would be battalions and regiments for tual counteroffensive. using a derivation of the system build up in India and interdict the aerial supply route to Chi- originally created for Command magazine’s Wave of Terror. Iron Hammer would pit a specially Soviet forces will be controlled by the game system. CA. A what-if tives. The fight the first edition (published in S&T 118). Victory is with a map scale of one kilometer per hex and three game via a point system in which players try to do better than their turns per day. Bloody Ridge. death” victory. then the player wins (get- tory. Joseph Miranda knock out the Soviet electrical generation system in order to paralyze Soviet wear industry. the attack of the 6th SS Panzer Army around Budapest and A6. disorganized and had poor communications. Others will tempting a holding action with remnants of the famed Af. ings through the German counterattack at a battalion level Soviet will be corps. The Japanese er the pocket battle fought in and around Stalingrad in the objective in the game is to cripple the Allied land-power autumn and winter of 1942. Budapest Bulge. represented by air strike markers. mer. and bor and force the Americans to fight from bases on the West experimental aircraft such as the Mistel. The campaign came crashing to a Youde disastrous finale at Stalingrad later that year. This will use Ty Bomba’s Bulge system under an hour. From 1942 to 1943. Flying Tigers. such as the city of von Arnim. The action would pitted Japanese flesh and fanaticism against steely American be fast and furious throughout.  The task is tricky. as well as supporting the China airlift. 176 cial operations wing). 228 counters. The game will include rules for aces. Jackboots on the Caucasus: In the summer of 1942. Air War India. Joseph Miranda schedule for German reinforcements and Allied advance of B6. His objective will be to delay the Eastern Theater (mark 1 to 6) Soviet Red Army from reaching the Bunker. C3. using chits as to track randomly selects sub-commands for operational impulses. or Iron Hammer. The Tigers are Burning. bonuses such as the Soviet Operation Uranus. Options would include a variable arrival historical predecessors. This will be a tactical. long range FW-200s. As Free French.  228 counters. This design would model Guadalcanal campaign in 1942: the Japanese attempt to the campaign for the Ukraine from July 1943 through April break through to Henderson Field across the geographic 1944. Airpower is ate North Africa. the player must hold back division breakdowns. Play- from the front. army movement and random events. only with units at the C1. April 1945. Tunis 1943:  A solitaire game simulating the final Allied use the They Died with Their Jackboots system to simulate drive on Tunis. Battle of Berlin. one time. Coast. This will be a solitaire game of the Montgomery’s 8th Army. and American forces Stalingrad. Joe Youst. provide Hitler and Stalin Directives. per hex and the combat formations controlled by each play. where both sides Extensive use of data recently made available in the Red are attempting to inflict sufficient damage on the other to Army’s official after-action report on this campaign would prevent them from attaining their strategic theater objec- be used to create a savage yet easy to play game.  The player is placed Certain command chits will give players extra. the “Breakout Scenario” would also be included. with the German player al. and divisions for the Soviets and Romanians. Ty Bomba. Salerno Beachhead: The game would cover the land. Berlin Solitaire. but with playing time B5. the Germans. The two American divisions on Oahu ere only two ployment would be based on the number of victory points months old. It uses a command chit system which Point Games’ Israeli Independence. and “flying the hump”. If he can delay B1. generating objectives rika Korps and relief troops under the command of General that players must obtain during the turn. It would basically be a systemic and graphic update of feature that came to be known as Bloody Ridge. The active player is in the role of the German command. C2. Options include German jets. Joseph Miranda dramatic day of fighting during the ground portion of the B2. port or keep them far at sea for potential engagement. Paul Soviet Caucasus oilfields. Luftwaffe aircraft would in. Germans launched their great Eastern offensive to seize the er consist of regiments and battalions. The objective is to weapons.   The game uses a similar system to Victory this mighty campaign. na. more than was the historical case. This design would cov. Axis units will be corps with some mechanized close in on the Eastern Dorsal. 280 counters. Joseph Miranda plies and air power. Stalingrad: The Pocket Battle. German units will offensive to win the war in the East: Operation Eisenham. Ty Bomba. There would be special rules for German air. Meanwhile. the Lake Ballotin oilfields. Invasion: Pearl. 228 counters. replay ability is paramount.

combat. We want your feedback on other titles to great “what-ifs” of World War II. German player will expend Command Points to buy Opera- vision as they fight Japanese forces for the ‘Plain of Knights’ tions markers representing intelligence. one for morning. will be divisional and corps level. Knight’s Move. to “what if” the Yamato never-launched French push to the Ruhr that same month. Games will work as in our David March. At the start of a scenario. Two control. etc. 176 counters with or by fighting his way through with his combat units. naval battles in the Pacific theater of operations. the Hungarian coup of 1944. elite Partisans before being forced to withdraw. The game will crews. Counters invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. real potential for a Spanish Civil War style conflict in which We expect to offer a unique subscription deal: subscrib- the emerging military systems of armor and airpower would ers will purchase a set of subscription units at a discount. the Assault on Tito’s HQ. and Vassal). counters for objectives such as Marshal Tito himself. 228 counters. and optional air strikes. 228 counters. This will be a solitaire D6. though there tactics. All games will be stand-alone (one time pur- be woefully unprepared. mega feedback and Kohima Ridge. Joseph Miranda. instead invade the USSR to support the Third Reich. they did succeed in causing massive casualties to the various types of ship modifications. The game system will port of Chinese forces at Myitkyina. damage and what-if campaigns of the first month of WWII. Board games that are soli-  D2. Japanese decide to forego their offensive in the Pacific and Each warship will be rated for primary and secondary arma. There will be won. In May of game in which the active player will be the commander of 1944. The scales are one turn/two days. and be employed on an ad hoc basis. Exploitation. and night. Miranda C6. There Combat resolution will be relatively simple without the usu. afternoon. The player headquarters. Par- will generate various types of Allied interception efforts. deception. one hex/16 tional simulation of the great battles in Burma. This battle computer games. where heavily dug in troops hold up much larger forces for supply. D5. Philip Sharp. One of the veloped sooner. and spotting capability. will be the possibility of critical hits sinking a ship in one D4. Some two-player games may have AI down? World War II breaks out in 1936. speed. maneuver. Units ment. Planning will be critical. Units would be di- are expected to be available via disk or as downloads. Defender Reaction. three impulses. protection. Attack. including air units. the 500th SS Parachute Battalion launched a daring the Japanese super-battleship Yamato during its final sortie airborne assault on Yugoslav Partisan Leader Marshal Tito’s against US forces invading Okinawa in 1945. as well as airpower. Imphal: Command four Indian and one British di. War in Europe computer game. While the SS paratroopers failed to capture will have operations points with which he can “purchase” Tito. got loose. the campaign. as well Other Proposals (mark 1 to 6) as his dress uniform (which the Germans managed to cap- ture). has begun to execute the mission. This will be a solitaire game lift and aerial resupply. escort ships and air cover. from the Yamato’s base to Okinawa while the game system which fought their way in to relieve the paratroopers. not a periodic payment web site such as HexWar). Both sides would added to them. Strike North: Japan Attacks the USSR. and Merrill’s covering German commando Otto Skorzeny’s special opera- Marauders. Battle of Meiktila: 17 respond by throwing up various obstacles which the active India Division’s dogged resistance against counterattacking player will have to overcome by using Operations markers. from historical September. Dur. A game turn representing one day is broken into tions: the rescue of Mussolini. Joseph Miranda D1. ADC2. The game map well as when they receive them (a DIY flexi-sub). Your visions and corps. trol battalion sized units. Computer Game Subscription Pro- ing the retreat from Acordat a mixed group of Italian troops gram stiffened with the Elite Savoia battalions hold off the better We’re starting to convert many of our board games to part of two British divisions for over a month. Last Voyage of the Yamato. Savoia: Battle of Keren. from the elite the Yamato can reach Okinawa. a hypothetical Japanese 48 #5 WaW5 Issue. the Chinese 38th ‘Army. Japanese during the drive on Mandalay. then the Japanese player has Escort Battalion down to proletarian militia. but there would have been some chase. What if Britain and France confronted taire will be playable with the system AI (as in our computer Hitler when he reoccupied the Rhineland and did not back version of Wolfpack). Ty Bomba. night fighting. All will be fully refereed – this means the preludes much of what later would happen at Monte Cassino software will enforce all the rules of movement. There would also be the will then be able to select the games they want to receive as chance for Soviet and/or US intervention. include possibly two of these operations). If tisan units will be shown as “untried” units. 1939: Hinge of Fate. Ad. ammunition. superior naval commanders. This design would model historic turn. The game will min Box: 5 and 7 India Divisions hunker down against a include a mini-map for each scenario. Units will be team Japanese counterattack in the wake of the failed First Arakan level. There will be rules for radar. training.indd 48 2/6/09 2:47:35 PM . Operation Thursday: Orde Wingate’s and other things which he can then use once the operation Chindits bring the war to the Japanese around Indaw in sup. Company/battalion scale. each representing one warship. Joseph four maps on one map sheet. There are Special counters for air. Kommando Skorzeny. Games would cover western and central Europe. or they can examine the what-ifs inherent in the actions such as Iron Bottom Sound. Joseph Miranda. Green Hell is an opera. miles. covering both. The assumption is the will be large rectangles. Rhineland. Each and Panzer Brigade 150 and the special units infiltrated impulse is divided into Anglo-Indian and Japanese phases: American lines during the Battle of the Bulge (the game will Movement. pledge orders will help determine which games will be de- D3. He then will have to sail also include the German 1st and 7th SS Mountain Divisions. Green Hell: Battles for Burma. Cyberboard. Players con. will be different CRTs demonstrating Japanese and Soviet al paperwork involved in naval tactical games. This is set during the bloody battles of the Abyssinian Campaign of World War 2. Joseph Miranda or they can link the two scenarios for a combined what-if C5. and will resolve combat for the players (unlike a great deal of time. Joseph Miranda. players can play the historic German invasion of Poland in Scenarios will include several major battles.

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indd 51 2/6/09 2:47:35 PM . World at War 51 WaW5 Issue.

When the 16-year-old joined the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in 1933. 52 #5 WaW5 Issue. Saburo Sakai’s Longest Day by Kelly Bell Saburo Sakai was a modern samurai. he learned to scorn money and to endure poverty rather than accept servitude. Young Sakai’s hardships didn’t lessen after militarists seized control in Tokyo. he endured that service’s brutal recruit training without complaint. His family still proudly wore the twin saber-emblazoned emblem of the abolished samurai order. tracing his warrior-caste lineage back to sword-swinging feudal fore- bears who had invaded Korea in the 16th cen- tury.indd 52 2/6/09 2:47:37 PM . and stoically endured the harshness of their lot. Afterward he served on the battleships Kirishima and Haruna before applying for flight training and being accepted. Raised on a small farm near the Kyushu city of Saga.

From Rabaul into the air. In 1937 he graduated at the head of the sible for shooting down the first B-17 Flying Fortress school’s 38th non-commissioned officers class. island paradise of Bali in the Dutch East Indies.500 after being caught on the ground and wounded in a miles east to the great Japanese base of Rabaul. he and his outfit were transferred to the there at the end. and effortlessly snatch flies the Philippines and.indd 53 2/6/09 2:47:43 PM . US Army dead from loss of blood. hold his breath underwater for two-and-a-half was part of the Japanese Empire. From there he partici- minutes. 7 December watched him swim 50 meters in well under 30 sec. pursued the attacking formation. Sev. 1941. and crip. World at War 53 WaW5 Issue. got was equipped with the latest model Zero. There he surprise air raid. the Allied foothold on New Guinea. was respon- out of the air. on 11 December 1941. which at the time onds. Once. Air Force (USAAF) Bell P-39 Airacobras and Curtiss P-40 Tomahawks fell easily and often under his guns. ever lost in combat. March 1942—except for Sakai. hang by one hand from the top of a pole for pated in the opening Japanese airstrikes on US forces in more than half an hour. he flew attack and bomber escort missions against Port pled an enemy bomber before returning to base half Moresby. his unit languished until being rotated back to Japan in Sakai gained fame for his daring aerial exploits. and Sakai finished first among the 25 still Chinese planes. He was one of 80 top pi- ing Chinese pilots with monotonous regularity. lots herded aboard an ancient freighter and shipped 2. down. There Serving in China during the Sino-Japanese War. enty-five meticulously selected applicants had started After flaming a few more American. found Sakai based on Formosa. His instructors were impressed as they The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. British and the course. he staggered to his Zero fighter. His iron constitution helped him stand out in Navy Pacific War Fliers School.

the Japanese considered their precarious toehold sides as the best then in action. The went down in flames. two Wildcats attacked from below. began to grasp the full scope of America’s vast reser- tion among the officers inside. By that time in his career. On the morning of 7 August attack bombers. serious. For the first time they would be engaging also proved to be more than the temporary setbacks American naval pilots from the carrier task force that the Imperial high command first assumed them to be. how. spotted a swirling dogfight in the distance. inferior to the Zero’s. the squadron lifted off. At that moment the sky abruptly filled with huge black puffs of smoke as shore-based anti-aircraft bat- teries opened fire. voirs of manpower and material. there hadn’t rines. New Guinea. Sakai and his squadron were trans. sent back to Rabaul. the fight broke up. so they had to attempt a difficult high-altitude bomb run against the ships far below. been time for the bombers to exchange their bom- bloads for torpedoes. There had been a surprise American landing on a Nearing Guadalcanal at noon on the 7th. Sakai had credit for 56 After studying maps to guide them to their new kills and was assigned as flight leader of the 2nd Fight. Since it had been only six hours since the assault began. group. Sakai swung his Zero around and moved to cut off the attackers’ approach path to the bombers while the rest of his 18-plane formation followed. and drive back the American invasion Over the Solomons forces at any cost. yet the gravity of the situation made it im- Japanese naval offensives in the Pacific.” Despite the long string of victories. pected to have to contend with flak. The dispatch he carried caused great agita. Because was the main objective of the landing force of US Ma. the Americans prudently veered off and withdrew. on 3 August. Our naval forces operating in the Rabaul area ing the summer of 1942 until. earlier. After seven or eight aircraft against the US-Australia line of communication. had defeated the Japanese near Midway eight weeks For a short time during that eventful summer. Alas for the Japanese. the mission to Guadalca- period of the war was over for Japan. he would now be engaging air- ers based in Port Moresby. Their defeats at nal was the longest flight the squadron had ever been the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway put an end to assigned. their most pressing concern. Despite years of flying cover for Japanese in- veteran airmen were lined up outside their command vasion armadas.indd 54 2/6/09 2:47:44 PM . along with the seaplane installation on nearby Tulagi. Moresby. escorting 27 medium er Squadron’s 2nd Section. Long before finishing the four-hour 1942. and a frustrated Sakai obeyed his orders to stick close to the bombers and returned to his escort position. For Sakai especially. the Japanese pilots hadn’t ex- Carrier warfare: flight deck operations. as planes The Imperial High Command had planned to use the of an earlier Japanese wave closed with US warplanes Solomons as the step-off point for a naval offensive over the invasion fleet. target. Masahisa Saito ferred to a base at Lae. Seeing the odds. sweeping the sky of outmoded Allied planes Saito informed his men: “The situation is extremely and strafing ground targets into burning wreckage dur. Sa. the formation passed over con- dayoshi Yamada’s 25th Air Flotilla preparing to launch centrations of Allied warships and troop and supply a big strike against the Port Moresby airfields. The outfit was quickly becoming a crack he altered the day’s assignments to meet the threat. the honeymoon At 560 miles one-way. flight to the Solomons. the group small island called Guadalcanal in the Solomon chain. Those battles perative. and for the first time he building. Those American fliers were regarded by both ever. On 8 April. closer to Port hurriedly briefed his pilots on the new development. The best their ordnance could do was create huge columns of water that sprayed the US transports with foam. men and aircraft of equal caliber. of the unexpected change in assignments. Sakai had never before seen such a shack when an excited courier ran past them into the sprawling array of shipping. he was among the elements of Rear Adm. on Buna. it was an exhilarating prospect—after years of flying The bane of the Japanese Buna beachhead came from circles around machines whose performances were far the air attacks launched against it by American bomb. they were have been ordered to engage the enemy immediately. The vessels. As the bombers drew their beads. New Guinea. The speed with 54 #5 WaW5 Issue. After squadron commander Capt. vantage of the sudden dearth of American interceptors. Taking ad- Japanese air base under construction on Guadalcanal. the bombers missed their targets. the Japanese bombers began their attack runs. in full strength.

As the chance to do so again seemed imminent. or to spread out in realized his left hand and arm were paralyzed along order to present eight widely spaced and harder-to-hit with the entire left side of his body. but sufficient to draw the Amer- ican’s attention to him. and far below. the bomb- ers turned for home and the Zeros resumed their escort positions without having so far fired a shot. Finally Dutch fliers in Bell P-39s. Instead they tightened their formation. details of his intended targets and his error became Thinking there would be no need for his 20mm apparent. The quality of the fighting forces facing him came home to Sakai as he engaged the US aircraft. Since he still as- Sakai’s cockpit just behind his head. stance he was facing similar planes. Sakai On those three earlier occasions he’d assaulted couldn’t immediately down his opponent. which the landing was being accomplished came as a shock. Pulling alongside his ad. A . wearing off. Briefly releasing targets. Junichi Sasai and prepared to call the rest of his flight to reform. Aerial Samurai: Sakai poses on an airfield. as Sakai stared bleakly at the cannon. sumed he was about to die. It was too late to Sakai then eased behind again and opened fire with his break off the attack and. It was a hind. After signaling his intentions to Sasai. The shock was already flights by striking unexpectedly from below and be. he could make out the the theater. leading the stick. with their mission completed. A burst of tracers then came suddenly from above.7mm machineguns pointing at him. he snapped a photo of the Wild. He’d been suckered into a trap. far better plane than any he’d previously encountered. than fighters. On eye.7mm machine. because the volley had wrecked his cockpit main air combat area over nearby Tulagi. he dove in and opened fire at 1. scat- tering their formation and downing several planes. he became aware three previous occasions Sakai had mauled enemy of ghastly pain in his head. only coming to moments later when a dive-bomber. As his lucidity began to return. certain he was doomed. As he pulled to cat so he would have evidence of its introduction into within 1. and he led them back to the relative its flight path with such violence Sakai at first thought safety of 15. he powered his fighter to full speed. Still. A single Wildcat was pursuing three Zeros. leaving a fist. but also isolated himself from the rest of his formation. he opened fire with just his 7. the option was a suicide dive.000 feet. US formation ahead and above them at 18. Cutting power. but the American plane simply absorbed the planes. however. Turning on the Douglas. advantage of their own rear gunners (they had sighted versary. he frantically rubbed his face with his right Sakai and his men to assume they were still undetected hand and managed to restore partial vision in his left and could therefore take their victims by surprise. he opened up at close range as With the dogfight over. they spotted an eight plane full of blood.50-caliber bullet crashed through frigid stream of air lashed his face. and they’d tightened their formation to take bullets without visible harm. and with its departure came the searing World at War 55 WaW5 Issue. Rather cannon. the Japanese ex. He momentarily lost off when they were assailed by a lone Douglas SBD consciousness. Sakai realized he and his a hail of fire simultaneously erupted from the US air- men were still far too close to the bristling array of craft. With nothing to lose. Zeros quickly shot it down and then turned toward the though. steadily picking them apart with its heavy firepower. Attempting to adjust the engine throttle lever. but then noticed an even more critical situation below. Even after he shot away most of its rudder. Sakai got some breathing room. and he assumed in this in- closing from behind. Twisting clear of the enemy’s line of fire. the Americans were flying TBF torpedo guns. he first decided his best sized hole in the canopy. Sakai slid back his canopy and locked eyes the approaching Zeros) by luring the Japanese into with the American for several seconds. and blew out his right eye while leaving his left one Nearing the kill zone. a parachute opened.indd 55 2/6/09 2:47:44 PM . Seconds later. He pulled his fighter along- side that of Lt. With a terrible crash his Zero was slammed from anti-aircraft guns.000 yards—too distant to do damage. The battle-ravaged F4F finally belched smoke array of 12. he advantage of their superior altitude. he was and went into a tailspin. A flight of Wildcats was diving on the Japanese.000 feet. He then instinctively pulled back on the control Closing from behind and to the rear.000 feet. and then moved in for the kill. stick to arrest his dive and assume a horizontal flight pected their foes to turn and attack immediately to take path. He couldn’t see a target. easy range of those machineguns. The formation had just leveled he’d collided with another plane.

0 2×20mm 2 x 132 cannon. 2× 7. in turn.7 2 × 100 machineguns 56 #5 WaW5 Issue.7mm machine guns F4F Wildcat 1 770 7. despite its name. IJN airpower emphasized long-range aircraft.950 26. was part of the 25th Air Flotilla.000 3.200 320 39. Japanese Zero fighter. the 4th Air Corps and the Yokohama Air Corps. such as the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter. Following an almost two-year convalescence after his wounding over the Solomons. US Wildcat fighter.9 6 x 12.indd 56 2/6/09 2:47:45 PM . Given the long distances to be flown. At the time of Guadalcanal. The 25th Air Flotilla was. was based on Rabaul.500 1.313 1 x 950 331 33. Petty Officer Sakai was in the Tainan Air Corps that. The Eleventh was responsible for land-based naval aircraft across the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II. Higher Echelon Units Petty Officer Saburo Sakai. he returned to the same unit (June 1944) for the war’s duration. Aircraft Crew Range Loaded Engine Max Ceiling Rate of Wing Armament Bombs weight speed climb loading (miles) (hp) (ft) (lbs) (lbs.) (mph) (ft/min) (lbs/sq ft) A6M Zero 1 1. which was made up of the Tainan Air Corps.930 5. part of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s (IJN) Eleventh Air Fleet.950 1 x 1. and theMitsubishi G4M Betty medium bomber.100 22. The Zero had both carrier and land-based versions.

as the less. They would the top of his broken canopy. It had an airfield next to a dis- vision. he was unable to bandage his head.indd 57 2/6/09 2:47:45 PM . _______. he saw black objects racing past his left wing tip and heard the crash of more heavy gunfire over the roar of his engine. Dell Publishing. he sive Allied offensive against the Marianas. Sakai found himself “caught in a dilem- Before Japan’s surrender he would shoot down two ma between the overpowering instinct of self-preser- more Americans and be promoted to lieutenant. in his present condition. He’d leveled off directly over the US troopship convoy. Don (ed. Losing track of time. agony of his wound. he before drifting into merciful oblivion Sakai heard his encountered yet another problem—staying awake. that restricted fuel consumption had emptied the gas Congdon.” viving ace at war’s end.) Combat: Pacific Theater. even Caidin. Fortunately half-paralyzed young man bounced to a bumpy but for him the howling wind quickly dried the blood into safe touchdown. the one-eyed pilot. at mented the Zero’s already long range by running it on the leanest possible mixture. Rabaul! To his surprise. however. Challenge for the Pacific. he was certain to lose. unexpected survival. J. he finally noticed an island Unable to read his compass because of his impaired beneath his right wing. The Great Pacific Warrior ing. tank. There was. Deciding he would never make it to Shortland. and numerous small ing alongside one of them and being picked up. a noble samurai who survived a wicked head wound inflicted Objective in the Solomons: Guadalcanal from the air. Doubleday. battered plane’s landing gear still worked and. whose gun- ners were blazing away at him. comrades shouting: “Never say die!” The sudden desire to sleep was almost overwhelm. Looking blearily around him. He contemplated ditch- bullets embedded in his brain. Most planes would’ve run out of fuel long before that. but at least he would die gallantly in battle. Recalling the saga of Ryuma Sakamoto.” ness returned. the wind tearing through the cockpit and his left hand use.7mm machinegun steaming south at full speed. but then changed his mind again and decided to engage an Allied fighter in a dogfight that. his vision improved and alert. Fatigue quickly returned. Even so. Martin. he was overcome with joy at his a huge scab. His two again decided on a kamikaze attack. he slammed his fist against almost two years convalescing. but metal fragments lodged in his skull. was assigned to help oppose the mas- self. The elation brought on by the realization he was on course was quickly banished as his plane’s engine suddenly sputtered and died.” canopy disintegrated.200 nautical was astonished to see the ocean speeding by through mile flight he’d downed four US planes. It was an ambitious Finally he spotted several Japanese warships undertaking—there were two 12. After spending right his inverted plane. but As he concentrated on finding his destination. then an ensign. With vation and the strong desire to finish this flight with a 64 victories. The Mission. Zero! Ballantine Books. 1965. He resolved to crash into one of the invasion ships. Lippincott Company. trous “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot. he had to navigate by the sun and. nobody attacked him. Sakai had wandered into one of the few quiet sectors of sky over Guadalcanal. Sakai resolved to try to reach Japanese-held Shortland Island. Somehow managing to be his last victories for quite awhile. 1958. after almost Sources nine hours of combat and aimless wandering. despite flying in wide circles in the warplane-infested sky. Saburo Sakai was his country’s top sur- glorious and honorable death. Robert. with the tinctive volcanic crater. Green Islands that he’d passed over on the outbound flight. After shaking himself back to wakefulness.B. His face had also realized that “might mean diverting the ships from an been cut to ribbons by hurtling glass shards when his important mission. 1964. Sakai Sakai later learned that during his 1. The only problem was. supply. but as he banked kills in that campaign amounted to one of the few his machine around to return to the combat area his bright spots for the Japanese in the otherwise disas- head suddenly cleared. I cannot do that. still the 40-gallon reserve Leckie. by his bloody head in a desperate attempt to revive him. World at War 57 WaW5 Issue. His incredible Guadalcanal Suddenly he sighted one of the horseshoe-shaped odyssey was the highlight of his violent career. saving him from bleeding to death. by a treacherous assassin. 1956. but Sakai had aug.

by Gordon L. The post-Midway period. the preemi- island. reason for their reluctance to invade after Pearl Har- bor. The explanations for the Guadalcanal cam- flipping. it provides a wealth of detail than steaming east toward Hawaii. airpower. That clearly had an enormous you have a feel for the outline of events. while the discussion of land-based each unit. but relatively little of squad. its limitations. followed. cellent. Reviewed by Chris Perello. or com. on submarines. showing how the effective range of land-based aircraft page 3D maps. the book. Rottman & Derrick Wright (Os. while good numeri- techniques and goals. so the following should be viewed as minor book needs a complete order of battle. particularly the two. Maps—including a superb one drawings and maps are superb. This is probably not the first book you should egy are well-covered. the “middle” is missing. cal analysis of their relative strengths helps explain Media Reviews Bad Stuff. one or two more the choices made. lent boats. how long did it take 58 #5 WaW5 Issue. As is typical for Osprey. more properly an appendix than part In both the description of units and the course of of the narrative.indd 58 2/6/09 2:47:46 PM . There is a need for a good of rough parity. Good Stuff. shows how superior American strat- overall map of the fighting. the photos. no doubt part of the and a good feel for the fighting. There is much why the Japanese achieved so little with their excel- discussion of individual soldiers and overall numbers. platoon. section. prey Publishing. Along that same line. 2008). 2008). along with more text on egy—through more consistent application of Mahan’s the course of the battle on an island-wide basis. by John A. laying out the basic goals desired and principles Good Stuff. was highly illuminating and explains the fighting. and its effect on overall strat- Overall. Yet nowhere are we given the numbers: how far or long could ships go between refueling and resupply. There are no glaring weaknesses in the pany tactics and actions. to include the impact on the war: the short-range of the Japanese bat- controversy over whether the island should have been tlefleet led them to court battle in the Marianas rather invaded in the first place. the experiences of the Pacific. by each side. Adams considers each of the major deci- individual soldiers. First. being more trees than forest. and the decision to take Tarawa was guided by the need for an intermediate fleet base. with the size of criticisms. but it takes effort and much page to bear. Bad Stuff. It is primary principle. The main thrust of the book is on the In Sum: Built around a narrative of World War II in “worm’s eye” view of the battle. rather than a detailed examination sions by the United States and Japan through the lens of the strategies used and operations undertaken on the of the teachings of Alfred Thayer Mahan. The chapter of the battle. The coverage of pre-war planning is ex- ment of the individual Marine and Japanese soldier. training and equip. Reviewed by Chris Perello. Adams (Indiana University Press. induction. even getting into indoctrination tegic dilemmas facing both sides. description of the life. never divide your fleet—turned the possible to cobble together that information from the tide even before American industrial power fully came book as a whole. Once range of ships and fleets. the same cannot be said for the read on this battle. There is also a need for a more detailed map paign and the Formosa-vs-Iwo Jima conundrum in of the ridges and valleys that dominated the last half late 1944 are among the best I have read. Almost half the book is devoted to a detailed nent American naval theoretician. As good as the maps are. Hell in the Pacific: The Battle for Iwo If Mahan Ran the Great Pacific War: An Jima. a time would not have come amiss. Analysis of World War II Naval Strategy. In Sum: This book covers the approach to and battle for Iwo Jima. The chapters on the individual soldiers drove the island-hopping strategy—illustrate the stra- are hugely detailed.

this is an excellent production covering a little-known part of Hitler’s life. but that also had an immense impact on him and the Germany he would rise to lead. One is an in-depth interview with noted British historian and Hitler biog- rapher Ian Kershaw. Overseas add $13 per year. Mail to : Strategy & Tactics Press. Please check our website for current issues and rates. so the set used is Adams’s own. frontline service to home leave.S. where he created many of his paintings prior to serving on the Somme. Rates are subject to change. PO Box 21598. but he does have a tendency to lapse 1 Year (6 issues) $19. fearless loner who preferred battlefields to brothels. the heart of the book is the application of Magazine Subscriptions Mahan’s principles to events on the water. however. 9 Dest. This video tells the story of Hitler’s wartime expe- rience. Strategy & Tactics or World at War Mahan never wrote a cohesive set of principles. Another is a slide show of period German Army postcards backed by contemporary mu- sic. where he enlisted. addresses are shipped via Airmail: (DVD by Stuart Russell for International Historic Films). This probably is not the best book for a nov. Fill out the order card in this magazine and send it with your US drawn check/MO payable to Strategy & Tactics Press or call (661) 587-9633 (9:00am-4:00pm PST) to place your credit card order. Bakers- field CA 93390-1598 Hitler: The Unknown Soldier 1914-1918 www. but a longer 3 Years (18 issues) $54. Canada add $10 per year. From- meles on the Western Front. Also shown are locales connected with Hitler: the Feldhernahalle in Munich. while the maps are generally clear and ex.97 into business-oriented mission-statement-speak. This leads not only to convoluted sentences.StrategyAndTacticsPress. There is nothing wrong with Issues Rate that in theory. 8 Arriba Espana! Overall. and Landsberg Prison where he wrote Mein Kampf. World at War 59 WaW5 Issue. Reviewed by Blaine Taylor. but for those already pos- sessing familiarity with the subject it offers excellent analysis.97 list than is really necessary for the book. where he heard about the armistice. a few more—even repeats—would make for less page flipping. 24 hour fax line (661) 587-5031.indd 59 2/6/09 2:47:48 PM . to refuel. I would also like to issue a call for the end of the “classic” naval battle maps. there really is no good reason not to have a sequence of maps comparing locations at 7 Greek Tragedy different times. (Non-U. with World at War only time-marks to show their actual positions. Army Group Center ice on this aspect of the war. Overall. In this Issue # Game Topic & Lead Article era of vectored-graphic programs yielding files easily 6 The Greater East Asia War embedded in text pages. which use zig-zag lines to show the movement of fleets. the video has a number of other extraordinary featurettes that add im- mensely to the overall presentation.) cellent. Pasewalk Military Hospital in Pomerania.” Aside from that basic story. where he was “a brooding. how did the intermediate bases help? Second.

Historically. you must consider your units’ combat power and maneuver options as well as their supply situation. A Fast & Easy Playing Series of Card Games Poland This game depicts the German campaign against Poland in September. Now you command the Allied and Axis armies as each struggles to control the five key beaches along the Normandy coastline. in which smaller forces were often able to defeat and rout larger ones by using better tactics and planning. The game features: the Afrika Korps. To win. minefields and more. $20. Bakersfield CA 93390-1598 • (661) 587-9633 •fax 661/587-5031 • www. the day that decided the fate of World War II in Europe. battles can be won not only by overwhelming the enemy with firepower. 1939. and fun interactive game play for 2-4 players. The Polish fight to defend their cities and stop the German advance. $20. War on Terror is an ultra-low complexity card game for all ages. You get to command the US and Japanese fleets and their squadrons of fighter planes. supply convoys and objectives of the historic campaign. but also by out-thinking and bluffing him. LNA is based around a new combat system MOTORIZED ADVANCE that makes maneuver and planning as important as brute force. Inflict one extra War on Terror Fight the war on terror with America’s cutting edge weapon systems! loss for each motorized force you had committed to the battle. FORCE anti-tank guns. You have been charged with hunting down terrorists aiding regions SIEGE around the world and toppling their corrupt governments. a massive battle raged around the tiny Pacific island of Midway that changed the course of World War II. In the game. You get to command elements of the Air Force. resupply from Europe. assault enemy positions. Tobruk. To accom- plish this. torpedo bombers and dive bombers in this epic battle! $ 60 #5 WaW5 Issue.00 D-Day June 6. You get to make vital command decisions that send troops into battle. Army. The only obstacle in their path was an outnumbered US fleet itching for payback for Pearl Harbor. Germany is doomed. In LNA.00 North Africa Covering the great battles of Erwin Rommel from 1941 to 1943. Germany will have the time it needs to build its ultimate weapons.00 All games include 110 full color playing cards and one sheet of rules. Special Forces and Propaganda Warfare. 1944. That approach is faithful to the historic 009 Starts Game in WESTERN DESERT events. Malta. The focus is on fast card play.00 037 Play if your Attack Plan was successful. If the Allied troops seize the beaches.decisiongames.indd 60 2/6/09 2:47:55 PM . Warsaw. you have been given command of the latest weapons and best personnel America has to offer. as he fought his way back and forth 4TH INDIAN DIV. But if the assault fails. LNA uses cards to represent the military units. across the deserts of North Africa. and create heroic sacrifices so others can advance to victory! $20. The victorious Imperial Japanese Navy was poised to capture the airfield on the island of Midway and thus threaten Hawaii and the United States. PO Box 21598. Marines. The dynamic game system puts you in charge of one of the most famous MOTORIZED theaters of WWII. the Desert Rats. objectives. strategy. and events of the campaign. Cards depict the combat forces. the Germans strive to force the Polish surrender quickly by capturing Polish cities including the Polish capital. it was a stunning victory but the blitzkrieg strategy was untested and Poland expected to hold on long enough for other countries to intervene.00 Midway From June 4th to June 6th of 1942. Navy. $23.

their tactics and strategy. Outmaneuver your opponent to line up your guns and watch his planes go down in flames! Gamers who have played the Down in Flames game series will find many similarities in game play. NA & POL) 110 Deluxe deck cards (bombers. PO Box 21598 Signature Bakersfield CA 93390 661/587-9633 • fax 661/587-5031 • www. rear gunners. South America Cambrai and Meuse-Argonne. DDAY. Each aircraft has its own unique characteristics reflected in its ratings and special abilities. previous experience is not necessary. Includes: 110 full color playing cards & rules sheet. Immelmanns. This is the basic game. This deluxe game also includes cards and rules for playing 24 4 Canada multi-mission games of famous WWI campaigns such as 34 8 Europe.indd 61 2/6/09 2:47:59 PM . scouts and other optional rules. $40 QTY Title Price Total Contents: DG Lightning Series: 5 games $99 (WOT. You will need the basic game card deck to play this expanded Phone # World at War 61 WaW5 Issue. 1st unit Adt’l units Type of Service cluding a deck of 25 pilot cards for historical campaigns— $12 $2 UPS Ground (USPS Priority Mail add $5) bombers. scouts. available now! Flying Circus: Aerial Combat in WWI Flying Circus: Aerial Combat in WWI depicts the fun and flavor of World War I aerial dogfight- ing. vertical rolls and Chandelles. Australia Analysis” article detailing the development of the aircraft.decisiongames. The basic game rules cover all the maneuvers that made WWI aerial combat: barrel rolls. however. $ 23 This is the deluxe game. MID. plus more fighters & action cards) Deluxe Game rules booklet Flying Circus-Deluxe & Exp $55 6 Campaign Cards Flying Circus-Basic $23 Pilot Log 36 Pilot & altitude cards Flying Circus-Expansion $40 Dice marker Shipping Name Address City/State/Zip Country V/MC # Exp. Then you will have everything you need to play single aircraft duels and team play with multiple flights in swirling dogfights. The basic game rules can be read in less than 20 minutes and you can play your first game immediately. You fly the colorful and agile aircraft of WWI as you make history in the world’s first use of aircraft in a military role. This Shipping Charges (Rates are subject to change without notice. pilot abilities—in.) deluxe game adds rules for altitude. along with a “Campaign 38 9 Asia. stall turns. You have everything you need to play single aircraft duels to multi-air- craft dogfights.

There are rules for radar. variable pro- duction strategies. Only Britain still stands. though the German player now has to plan ahead if he wants to get jets. Units are wings and squadrons. Send your air group to the skies! Luftwaffe Luftwaffe is an update of the classic Avalon Hill game covering the US strategic bombing campaign over Europe in World War II. Turns represent three months each. and they’re rated by type. such as the German electric power grid. 280 die-cut counters. your mission is to eliminate German industrial complexes. In the Advanced Game. with German rein- forcements keyed to that player’s production choices. rules and PACs. The orders of battle are much the same as in the original game.00 Battle Over Britain Hitler’s war machine has rolled like a juggernaut across the Continent. This is the definitive treatment of the battle. As US com- mander. Contents: 1 22x34" map. one 34 x 17 inch screen. 62 #5 WaW5 Issue. the outcome of the battle is in your hands. and plan a strategy intended to defeat the Luftwaffe. thereby duplicating the historic result. firepower. sub-type. You select the targets. allowing you to relive the daily action of this decisive campaign. crushing all opposition. the Americans need bomb about four out of the five major target systems to win. you must combine sound strategy and winning tactics. For the first time in history. maneuverability and endurance. one 20-sided die and one plastic counter tray. In the original game the US player had to bomb all the targets on the map to win. one 22 x 17 inch British airfield display. aces. direct the bombers. readying itself for a mortal struggle between the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force. Contents: Two 34 x 22 inch full color maps. In the Combat Game you experience the fury and tension of aerial combat in six raids that decide the outcome of the battle. $50. As the German commander. electronic warfare. one 40 page rules folder.indd 62 2/6/09 2:48:02 PM . Given the way the victory point system now works. In this Battle Over Britain air game. The Strategic Game recreates the entire battle in five-day turns and confronts you with the same fateful choices faced by the actual commanders. isolated and defiant. target complexes. There are also other new targets on the map. air power will decide the fate of a nation. the entire arsenal of Nazi aircraft is at your disposal. You must plan the strategies and the decisive moves that will bring victory. critical industries and diversion of forces to support the ground war. three counter sheets.

tension and play options with three complete games. attempting to deliver the knockout blow.P la N o The Battle of Britain.indd 63 2/6/09 2:48:04 PM . Jabos. “big wings. day and night bombing.decisiongames. playable in 12 hours. How does a foe so close to defeat keep coming back? RAF: 2-Player pits you against a live opponent. : E y e rRAF: Lion vs Eagle dit ion ew . designer John Butterfield ramps up the historical accuracy. England stands alone against the might of a triumphant Germany. Australia World at War 63 WaW5 Issue. the Observer Corps. Now you command the RAF or the Luftwaffe in history’s greatest air campaign—the Battle of Britain. close escort. You schedule raids and assign missions to your bombers and fighters. to the full campaign. German fighters and bombers fill the English skies and the RAF responds. ta defended only by the Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons of the Royal Air Force. RAF: Lion puts you in control of British Fighter Command. Game Scale Time: each game turn equals a “raid day” with six two-hour segments. 20 2 Canada Signature 29 4 Europe. Your foe is no mindless system: the Luftwaffe has priorities and a strategy. RAF: Eagle puts you in control of the Luftwaffe forces raiding England. Improving on his award winning solitaire classic. Hitler Soli orders his mighty Luftwaffe to destroy the RAF in preparation for Operation Sealion—the invasion of England. Map: one inch equals 20 miles (32 kilometers). Units: British squadrons and German Gruppen. radar. free hunt. which may remain hidden until after you commit your Address City/State/Zip Shipping Charges 1st unit Adt’l units Type of Service Country $10 $2 UPS Ground/USPS Priority Mail V/MC # Exp. The game’s unique card system generates targets and forces. 1940 All & Tw ire France has fallen. responding to German raids. Contents: • 176 Die cut counters • 165 Cards • 3 34” x 22” Map • Rule booklets • Player Aid cards & display • 2 Dice • Storage bags QTY Title Price Total Luftwaffe $50 Battle Over Britain $20 RAF: Lion vs Eagle $80 Available Spring 2009 Shipping PO Box 21598 Bakersfield CA 93390 Name 661/587-9633 • fax 661/587-5031 • www. South America Phone # 29 6 Asia. Can you take out the British radar system and cripple their aircraft production? The game controls the RAF response to your strategies. Historical features include: German high command priorities. weather. ace squadrons and flak. ULTRA intercepts. Scenarios range from one raid day. taking an hour to complete. one controlling Fighter Command and the other the raiding Luftwaffe forces. the Channel Patrol. squadron patrols.” altitude advantage.

com ph: (661) 587-9633 • Fax: (661) 587-5031 64 #5 WaW5 Issue. tables. Box 21598 for more information and subscription rates. Bakersfield. Use the postcard included in this magazine or visit our website P. and pictures. charts. Each issue is packed full of: • In-depth analysis • Detailed maps • Orders of Battle Going beyond the usual narratives. Partial map and diagram from RAF article in #256.O.indd 64 2/6/09 2:48:13 PM . articles focus on the “how” and “why” of conflicts and are il- lustrated liberally with maps. Strategy & Tactics magazine covers all of military history and its future possibilities. CA 93390-1598 www.StrategyAndTacticsPress.