The Historical Scripting of Iceland and Greenland in GS

PSP/DS/PC/MAC : WWII turn based grand strategy game

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Re: Rubbish!

Post by rkr1958 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:52 pm

NotaPacifist wrote:No Iceland or Greenland for the Axis
Reference supporting GS design decision: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 1&t=143997

The above reference provides an excellent discussion and analysis of the German potential for invading Iceland. This thread is 17 pages long and was started on 21 June 2003 and was locked on 30 September 2008. Though one member keeps trying to push his opinion that Germany could have successfully invaded Iceland, my opinion after reading through the thread was that this was not historically feasible. Hence, our design decision to script the activation of Iceland as an allied base in GS. I've quote on post below that for me summarizes this and supports our design decision.

Also, if one buys that the potential for a German invasion of Iceland is not historically credible then I think it's a fairly easy extension that the potential for a German invasion of Greenland or the Azores is too.

Reference Post: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 8#p1252698
phylo_roadking wrote:Okay - here's the plot so far....

Ju52 land-based aircraft can ONLY land on the eastern coast of Iceland. There are surveyed areas suitable for airfields - but none extant. No land cleared of fencing and obstructions, levelled, or consolidated. No blind or night landing aids of any sort. To land THERE - airstrips need to be created. To do THIS means either using what earthmoving equipment is available in Iceland, mostly around Reykjavik and having to be captured and MOVED to Eastland...or by unloading from cargo ships.

These cargo ships, like all OTHER maritime elements of the plan, need to evade the RN forces patrolling off Norway, they need to avoid the several dozen ships of the North Sea Picket, they need to avoid observation by all the RAF Coastal Command maritime patrols over the North Sea. And any aircraft flying back and forth between the UK and Allied forces off Norway crossing the German flotilla's path. And all auxiliairy naval vessels moving back and forth between the UK and Norway, crossing their path. And all RN and french submarine patrols in support of the forces off Norway...

To capture Reykjavik, the Germans have NINE long-range Condors - each carrying 26 armed troops. That means they have to capture the island's capital, and take possession of ALL the materiel they require and start moving it overloand or start loading it on coasters - with 234 men. And keep the "restless natives" under control, take control of ALL the governmental infrastructure, police locals forced to work etc. - and provide police functions in and around Reykjavik.

Once several MORE days are expended levelling and otherwise preparing airstrips in Eastland after enough equipment arrives, Ju52s can begin flying in - with minimal loads due to the extra fuel tankage they require to actually get there. Here any fuel they carry as cargo has to be put into their OWN tanks to get them BACK to Norway. More fuel CAN of course be landed from any of the cargo vessels that SURVIVE to unload - remembering how many of the "milchcow" freighters actually made it to locations like Narvik....in the case of Narvik NONE. No extra ammunition, no uniforms, no stores of ANY kind for the germans there apart from what they arrived with. So LITTLE they had to dress the exhausted survivors of the KM destroyers in looted NORWEGIAN uniforms!!! And so little ammunition that after 24 hours the German commander had to order his troops NOT to shoot at attacking FAA Swordfish bombers.

Remember - if none of the ships loaded with earthmoving equipment make it - the Germans are depending on what they find IN Iceland. If they don't find or can't transport anything IN Iceland - they're dependent on the ships getting through. Ditto the bunkered fuel the Germans expect to capture at Reykjavik, having flown all the way across the island without ANYONE spotting them and telephoning the capital to report a formation of nine four-engined aircraft crossing the island...

Petrol and aviation fuel landed from cargo vessels will be in drums; drums need to be manhandled and loaded on any available vehicles - and this is SLOW. Likewise - at the makeshift airfields, refuelling aircraft is slow because it has to be handpumped into the grounded Ju-52s...

There MAY be more troops and LIGHT stores ashore in Eastland from Ju-52/3m Wasser floatplanes - but NO heavy cargo. Why not? Simple. Seaplanes have this really MAJOR problem with tying up beside dock quays and using cranes or winches to unload heavier stores and equipment. To take the simplest first - Ju-52s have SIDE doors, cranes and woinches have this horrible habit of working off horizontal decks, or cargo hold decks. They aren't very good at reaching down and IN to aircraft fuselages...

However - the MAIN issue is that seaplanes don't tie up at dock quays for unloading. Why not? It's called WINGS. They get in the way. The ONLY sort of quay or pier a seaplane can use is one that floats on the surface of the water OR that is BELOW the level of their cargo doors. The only boats that can unload seaplanes at rest are small boats that can approach right up to the rear of the fuselage WITHOUT being so big as to have to stand off so as not to hit wing or tailplane. Or flat lighters. NO cranes or winches on them either. And all cargo has to be manhandled. This is a historical problem that has affected ALL use of seaplanes or flyingboats to carry cargo of ANY size or type except for people. from the large suitcases and steamer trunks of flyingboat passengers in the 1930s to the RAF using Sunderlands to fly supplies into Berlin in 1948. it ALL has to be manportable and loaded and unloaded by man-power.

Even if all this works - it takes DAYS. Days move fuel and heavy equipment from Reykjavik. Days to prepare airstrips in Eastland for refueling. Therefore days before German troops begin arriving in quantity. Meanwhile in Norway, cargo ships have to be loaded by Norwegian stevedores and labourers with stores and equipment and troops...and have to never talk about what they see or overhear. Ditto the people being forced to work at Vaernes, they need to never hear a single accidental conversation. The plan requires a full military expedition to be readied and mounted inside an unpacified country with the forced labour of people who's relatives you're busy killing a few hundred miles away at most. There is of course NO chance that anyone will see or hear anything that will be of use to the Allies...

And when the Ju-52s get there - they have to be refueled by HAND - this operation doubles and triples the turnaround time for Ju-52s - as happened a year later in greece during the 2nd and thrid days of the Crete invasion. Remember, to reach iceland, a Ju-52 takes at least 5 hours flying time; then a 2-3 hour turnround...AND daylight flying only, no blind flying aids of any kind, neither in position in Norway yet, NOR with the range to reach Iceland. A Ju-52 will only make ONE outward OR return flight every day. And on the 25th or 26th they have to return to Germany for Fall Gelb....

Meanwhile - with dozens of freighters leaving for Iceland from Norwegian ports, and dozens if not hundreds of aircraft being serviced and mustered for the operation, the Germans will be sufffering from the lack of transport they historically relied on in the Norwegian campaign.

And you seriously expect the British to just sit and do nothing??? They can invade Iceland faster that the Germans can - even from a standing start. They have troops already at sea and ready for amphibious assault...especially the forces sitting off Narvik for two weeks longer than planned. Not to mention the forces that historically were NEVER disembarked at all, just left Britain, sailed to Norway, floated around a bit and came home.

Any German staff officer seriously suggesting an operation with SO many individual weaknesses, either/or redundancies and point-failures would be sent to the Russian front...if there HAD been one in 1940!!!

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Post by NotaPacifist » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:41 am

You're going to put this Allied freebee on historical lack-of-probability? In this game, there are many ahistorical probabilites executed. Like embarking corps in the US and having them land on Normandy. That's fine, it's one of the many supply-type simplifications in the game engine. It can be survived by properly garrisoning France.

I'm just asking for equality. Here are the facts. The distance between the UK and Iceland is around 1100 miles. This has been shortened to around 350 miles. There is no way to access the Denmark Strait. And virtually no way for a German surface unit to pass north of Scotland without being seen if the Allied player is smart enough to take advantage of an ahistorical situation. So, what can the Axis player do about it? Absolutely nothing. How is that fair?

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:51 am

Why should the Axis bother with Iceland? They won't win any games by sending units there.

You're discussing GS v1.07 and GS v2.00 is a bit different in many areas. E. g. strategic bombers aren't so effective against subs as before. Well, at least not until late in the game.

The real British invaded Iceland on May 10th 1940 and that was way before Germany could even hope to land there. Remember that Germany struggled with taking Norway and then they could actually sail along the neutral Norwegian coast line trying to hide from the Royal Navy. Even if the invasion was a success the German navy lost or damaged quite a bit of ships.

They were simply in no position to make an invasion of Iceland soon after Norway had fallen. Greenland was even further away. The Kriegsmarine had no air cover to protect landing sites due to lack of aircraft carriers and too long distance to Norwegian airfields.

Britain, however, didn't have these problems despite UK itself being not very close to Iceland.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:58 am

One reason was that Britain occupied the important Faroe islands in April 1940 to prevent Germany from landing there:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_oc ... oe_Islands

If you look at this map you see how this occupation makes it possible for British air units to fly cover over Iceland:
http://www.athropolis.com/map2.htm

Britain had a strong navy and aircraft carriers so they managed to land in Iceland in May 1940. That's a fact.

The map north of the Arctic circle is OFF-MAP. So you can't use this area to e. g. sail German surface raiders to the North Atlantic. We have the same issue with northern Norway not being linked to northern Russia so we can't simulate the battles to capture Murmansk. I would have preferred to have the Arctic areas on the map, but we're limited to the original map size originally set for vanilla CeaW.

Iceland is neutral in GS v2.0 until April 1940 when Britain takes control of the airfield. In July 1941 the control changes to USA since USA made an agreement with Iceland to take over protection of Iceland from Britain.

Greenland is also neutral from the start of the game, but will in April 1941 take control of the 2 airfields after the agreement made between the US Government and the Danish ambassador to USA.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:06 am

Greenland and Iceland re on the fringe of the map and the map is quite distorted here. That can't be helped. The Germans certainly have a chance to sail surface raiders to the northern Atlantic if they want to. The British can't afford until later in the game to stage several air/naval units up there. They need to escort their convoys and get some income home for quite some turns before they can seriously start hunting the German naval units.

Germany can even lurk near Trondheim and Bergen and go after the Russian convoy or Allied escorts when there is a chance. They even have air support from Norway and can use subs to go for the kill. If the Germans really want to they can get naval superiority for quite some time, but that will be at the expense of build up for Russia.

The war is won and lost in Russia. So all resources you send to other fronts just means you reduce your chance to cripple your most dangerous opponent, Russia.

You need just enough forces in the Med / west to keep the Allies at bay, hoping you can crush the Russians in the mean time. If you put too much effort in the west you crumble in the east and if you put too little you invite the Allies to land early. THIS is the main test of the German player's skills. You need to spread your resources so well so you can be pushed back equally on all fronts. This is why playing the Axis is more challenging.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:13 am

I also want to say that GS v2.0 is just a GAME. It's not a simulation of the real war. That's not possible to make through a game. GS v2.0 is more historical than vanilla CeaW, but you can still do things the real commanders never did. In vanilla CeaW you could do almost anything. It's in a way fun to do whatever you can, but if you like to have some kind of simulation you feel that something important is missing. I've played Axis & Allies quite a bit, but that game doesn't feel right for me because it's so ahistorical. E. g. the Japanese often push deep into Russia or the Germans start eating areas in Africa just to increase production.

No games will be perfect. Even the great World in Flames has some flaws. You simply try to find the games you feel is right for you and play those games. Those of you who miss the opportunity to do whatever you like can try vanilla CeaW or games like Axis & Allies. GS v2.0 is intended for those players who like the game to follow several of the real limitations the real commanders had. The challenge then is to try to do better than the real commanders did.

The events in northern Europe during WW2 are scripted since they mainly occured off-map or at least at the fringe of the map.

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Post by rkr1958 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:42 am

NotaPacifist wrote:In this game, there are many ahistorical probabilites executed. Like embarking corps in the US and having them land on Normandy.
Yeah, we know that the US never embarked an invasion force in the US and landed it on a foreign hostile shore. Wait a second ... where did the Western Task Force for Torch originate from?

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Post by Blathergut » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:40 pm

All your efforts are appreciated, GS team!!

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Post by trulster » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:56 pm

Great work GS team!

Re: Iceland, since the game does allow even more unhistorical stuff like to try to invade North America, why not allow the Axis to *try* to invade Iceland as well.

It may not be wise, it will be costly, but having the game balance it "in-game" by these factors is a lot more interesting than flat out disallowing. IMO it should be as the situation w North America is now, invading it can be tried but it is foolhardy and most likely end in a disaster.

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Post by zechi » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:42 am

trulster wrote:Great work GS team!

Re: Iceland, since the game does allow even more unhistorical stuff like to try to invade North America, why not allow the Axis to *try* to invade Iceland as well.

It may not be wise, it will be costly, but having the game balance it "in-game" by these factors is a lot more interesting than flat out disallowing. IMO it should be as the situation w North America is now, invading it can be tried but it is foolhardy and most likely end in a disaster.
I agree with trulster on this one. I think the Axis should have at least the chance to capture Iceland and perhaps Greenland, even if it is unlikely that it will succeed and/or if it is a wise strategy

The discussion Ronnie points out is very interesting, but I think one major fact is overlooked concering GS. If the Axis manage to take Britain and perhaps even destroy or at least inflict heavy casualities to the RN, something which can happen in the game (in fact Sealion is one of the possible strategies for the Axis player in GS), then the Axis would be in a good position to take Iceland and perhaps even Greenland in 1941, especially before the US enter the war.

At least if the German take Britain, then they should have a chance to take Iceland/Greenland.

Somehing similar should be possible with the Azores. If the Axis take Spain and Portugal they would be in a good position to take the Azores. This is especially true if the Axis somehow manage to get naval superiority (which is difficult, but possible) or at least parity in the Atlantic.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:12 am

For this to happen you need to add a port city to Reykjavik, Azores and one port city on Greenland. But then the Allies can use the cities as well as airfields and suddenly you have nearby doubled the air capacity there. You need to have a port there so you can sail invaders out of the area again.
But with added ports you will suddenly have more places to repair ships, lurk for subs etc. These places were really too small for having port cities.

One thing that can be done is to link the airfields to controlling cities. E. g. Lisbon could control the Azores. If neutral or Allied controlled then Azores is Allied. It changes to Axis if Lisbon is Axis occupied.

Belfast could control the Keflavik airfield. The east Greenland airfield could be controlled by Belfast too while the west Greenland airfield could be controlled by Halifax. Rhodes could be controlled by Taranto.

This way all airfields are controlled by a city and you need to invade the city to get the airfield. We have a similar rule for Shetland, Orkneys, Isle of Man and the Hebrides airfields.

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Post by zechi » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:13 am

Here is an interesting article about a possible invasion of the Azores by the Axis:
War Plan Gray
As early as spring 1940, President Roosevelt was deeply concerned over the possibility of a German invasion of the Portuguese Azores. These islands lie athwart the vital shipping lanes between the United States and the Mediterranean, and Europe and South America. While the Army considered them of little value in Western Hemisphere defense considerations, their danger was measurable by their value to Germany. From air bases and naval facilities in the islands, German aircraft and submarines could sortie after the bulk of British shipping.

Our deep concern for the safety and integrity of the islands led to a series of discussions with both the British, Portugal's ally, and the Lisbon government. By October 1940, United States Army and Navy planning officers had drafted a plan for a surprise seizure of the Azores. However, the plan to land one reinforced division was built on sand: the Army did not have the necessary troops to commit, nor did the Navy have adequate ships to transport and support the landing force. And, politically, it was contrary to American policy at this time to become a de facto participant in the European war.

By May 1941 intelligence estimates from Europe again indicated the possibility of a German movement into the Iberian peninsula and German occupation of the Azores and adjacent islands. On the 22d of that month, President Roosevelt directed the Army and Navy to draft a new plan for an expedition to occupy the Azores. This plan (GRAY), approved by the Joint Board on 29 May, provided for a landing force of 28,000 combat troops, half Marine and half Army; the Navy was responsible for transporting and supporting the force. Major General H.M. Smith, USMC, would command the landing force, under Rear Admiral Ernest J. King, the expeditionary commander.

During the last week of May 1941 it looked very much as though the next military step to deal with the Atlantic crisis might be the dispatch of United States ground and air forces to protect either the Azores or northeastern Brazil. After President Roosevelt asked Secretary Hull on 16 May to sound out Portugal's attitude with respect to defense of the Azores, the Department of State first consulted with the British (since Portugal was Britain's ally) to determine their reaction to the President's proposal. At Ambassador Halifax's request, the Department of State agreed to let Great Britain make the approach to Prime Minister Antonio de Oliveira Salazar of Portugal to discover what his government proposed to do in the event of a German attack and whether he would be receptive to the idea of a temporary protective occupation of the Azores by United States forces. On 22 May, before answers to these questions were received through the British, ;President Roosevelt directed the Army and Navy to prepare a joint plan that would permit an American expeditionary force sufficiently strong to insure successful occupation and defense of the Azores under any circumstances to be dispatched within one month's time.

The Army and Navy had been considering for many months past the possibility of being called upon to occupy the Azores. They had drafted the first informal joint plan for such an operation in October 1940. In early 1941 the Army War Plans Division, in reviewing the earlier plan and assessing the current situation, had concluded that an American occupation of the Azores was not essential to hemisphere defense and should not be undertaken unless the United States openly entered the war in concert with Great Britain.

Although the Azores lie athwart the shipping lanes between the United States and the Mediterranean and between Europe and South America, the Army considered them too far north in the Atlantic to be of any value as a defensive outpost against a German approach toward South America via Africa. The islands had a much greater potential strategic value for Great Britain than for the United States since, if Gibraltar fell, they would provide the British with an alternative naval base from which to cover the shipping lanes in the eastern Atlantic. At the beginning of 1941 the Azores were virtually defenseless, and the Army planners believed that the chief threat to American forces that might be stationed in the islands would be from German airpower based in France. Air defense of the Azores would be difficult since the islands then had no airfields capable of handling modern combat planes.

Under the ABC-1 War Plan, the Azores and the other Atlantic islands (Madeira, the Canaries, and the Cape Verdes) would, in case of open war, fall within the British area of primary responsibility, although American naval forces might be requested to assist the British in the occupation of the Azores and the Cape Verdes. Until the President issued his directive of 22 May, neither the Army nor the Navy anticipated that Army troops would be called upon to help secure the Azores.46 The President and the Navy knew that the British had plans for occupying both the Azores and the Cape Verdes as soon as possible after a German move into Spain. 47 While the Army's 1st Division in mid-May was earmarked for an Azores expedition, as well as for many other possible operations,48 there had seemed little likelihood of employing it for this purpose.

President Roosevelt's order of 22 May led to hasty Army and Navy planning during the next five days to line up the proposed expeditionary force and arrange for it to receive as much preliminary training as possible. One of the principal difficulties was to find enough suitable shipping to transport it. As finally worked out, the plan called for an expeditionary force of 28,000 troops, half Army and half Marine, with strong naval and naval air support. The Army and Marine 1st Divisions were to supply the infantry contingents. To move the force would require a total of forty-one transports and other noncombatant vessels. The expedition was to be commanded by Admiral King, Commander in Chief, Atlantic fleet, and the landing force by Brig. Gen. Holland M. Smith, commander of the 1st Marine Division. At first, the services planned to send twelve combat landing teams (nine Marine, three Army) to the north shore of Puerto Rico for joint amphibious training. On 26 May this idea had to be abandoned because of the lack of sufficient shipping to carry the troops to and from Puerto Rico. Instead, limited amphibious training exercises were to be held at Atlantic coast points closer to the Azores-for the Army's 1st Division combat teams, in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. The shipping shortage was thereby solved, but the ammunition supply was certain to be short of estimated requirements. Nevertheless, by 27 May the general terms of an Azores expeditionary force plan that could be executed in time to meet the President's deadline of 22 June had been agreed upon. The planners thereupon drafted a formal joint plan (code name, GRAY, which the joint Board approved on 29 May, though an effort also to get the President's approval of it on the same day failed.

In considering the Azores and Brazil projects, Army planners had to bear in mind the qualified commitment already made in ABC-1 to send Army forces to the British Isles and Iceland sometime after 1 September 1941. Current and prospective shortages of air and antiaircraft artillery forces, and of ammunition, made it appear unlikely that the Army could carry out effectively more than one of these projects before early 1942. As between the Azores and Brazil proposals, only the latter would be of direct advantage in hemisphere defense. The Azores operation would detract much more than the Brazilian from American ability to carry out the ABC-1 commitment.

However, while these preparations were being made, other factors developed and altered the original mission of the mixed force. Portugal was opposed to an American occupation of the Azores, and United States planners became preoccupied with the threat of German efforts to occupy South America, particularly Brazil. The succeeding weeks witnessed a change in both the urgency for the Azores operation and in the mission of the Marine complement of the Azores force.

During the early part of June, intelligence sources in Europe produced creditable evidence that Germany did not plan to invade Spain and Portugal but intended rather to attack in the opposite direction. Russia would be Hitler's next objective. The forecast of the German plans put an end to American fears for the safety of the Azores, and permitted the United States to divert the Marines to Iceland.
Source: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... n-gray.htm

It is very interesting that the cancelled operation concerning the Azores did affect US operations concerning Iceland.
From my point of view there should be a game mechanic which allows the Axis to somehow capture Iceland/Greenland and the Azores. In both cases it should be very hard, if the Axis did not capture Britain or Spain/Portugal first. Howevre, I do not know how it can be done technically, but if there is a solution I think it should be implemented.

Another very interesting source which I did not read fully concerning the Allies and their operations in the Atlantic against the Axis can be found here: http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/ ... m#contents

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:00 pm

The problem with Azores, Iceland and Greenland is that you need to have a hex to invade to capture the hex. If you're sending invaders to the area you also want to get your troops back out again and for that to happen you need the hex attached to a port. This is the main reason no land units invade e. g. the Greek islands (except Crete which has a port).

It's certainly possible to replace the airfields at Azores, Iceland and Greenland with port cities. Then air units can occupy these port cities. The problem is that with 4 more ports the Allies (usually) will have 4 more naval bases they can use to repair ship losses etc. So they won't have to sail to Canada or Britain for upgrades / repairs etc. That is not historical at all because these islands never had a port capacity to deal with warships like that. Iceland was important for the convoys because naval ships could get refueled etc. Smaller vessels could be harbored there, but the ports weren't made for battleships and aircraft carriers.

We need the airfields to give the Allies a chance to transfer bombers from USA / Canada to Britain or North Africa. So the main strategic importance of these island was their airfields. That is what we have recreated by having airfields there. Before we had airfields we had simple islands and then Axis players often sacrificed garrisons and sent them to the islands to land there to prevent the Allies from every using them. It wasn't possible to invade an occupied island so you had to use shore bombardment to kill the garrison before landing. That was a cheesy exploit and many Axis players did that. It's too simple to sneak a transport to any of these islands.

So if you want the Germans to have a chance to gain control of any of these airfields you need to link them to controlling cities like Lisbon, Belfast and Halifax. Then control of the airfield will change if the control of the controlling city changes. This is easy to implement without altering the battle of the Atlantic.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:15 pm

Here is info about the Azores:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Azores

It's interesting to notice that Spain, Portugal and some latin American countries alloved German subs to refuel and rearm at their ports. E. g. Azores was used for that purpose. In GS v2.0 we have simulated that by allowing subs to repair 1 step per turn at sea. So they don't need to get to an Axis controlled port to repair losses.

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Post by zechi » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:47 pm

Stauffenberg wrote:It's certainly possible to replace the airfields at Azores, Iceland and Greenland with port cities. Then air units can occupy these port cities. The problem is that with 4 more ports the Allies (usually) will have 4 more naval bases they can use to repair ship losses etc. So they won't have to sail to Canada or Britain for upgrades / repairs etc. That is not historical at all because these islands never had a port capacity to deal with warships like that. Iceland was important for the convoys because naval ships could get refueled etc. Smaller vessels could be harbored there, but the ports weren't made for battleships and aircraft carriers.
Would it be possible to give these ports permanen 0 repair capacity (just as a port in a city which gets cpatured in GS 2.0)? Then no war ship could be repaired at these ports, but they could enter the port (which was possible as far as I know) and ground units could be transported through them.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:34 pm

That is certainly possible, but this creates a special rule that can confuse players. It also opens up for the Axis player to sneak a garrison to occupy these ports to deny the Allies the capability. That means the Allies need to have air or land units there to be able to prevent that.

If we link the airfields to controlling cities then you can gain control by capturing the controlling city.

E. g. the Axis must invade Portugal to get the Azores. They need to get Belfast to get Iceland and eastern Greenland and Halifax to get western Greenland. Then it's at least a possibility for the Axis to grab these airfields. E. g. going after Iceland without the Royal Navy driven away from UK would have been suicidal. So linking Keflavik to Belfast makes some sense.

One also has to think what would have happened if the Axis in fact had landed in Greenland, Iceland and Azores. They would have had forces there far away from their major support facilities. That means they would easily have succumbed to Allied landings. If the Allies had decided to take these islands back then they could have done so without any problems. Air support could come from aircraft carriers and long range bombers. They had better amph capability than the Germans etc.

The real Allies actually reinforced Iceland BEFORE the Germans actually had a chance to get there. So on Iceland you would have had about 20.000 troops or so waiting for an Axis invasion attempt. That would not have been easy. If the British would have had to evacuate Britain then it's not unlikely they would have occupied the Atlantic islands to have some forward bases.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:44 pm

So, no matter how you look at the situation you come to the conclusion that the Axis presence on these islands would have been temporary at best. One thing is to capture the islands while the British were very weak. Another thing is to keep the islands once the Allies want to get back to Europe. The problem is that trying to capture such islands in GS is harder than it would have been in the real war. A port city would have supply level 3 and that means the Germans can repair 3 steps per turn. So your naval invader, shore bombardment and carrier attacks need to inflict more than 3 steps per turn to eventually capture the island. So you might get stuck there for several turns being threatened by Axis subs. In the real war an Allied invasion would have taken those islands as easily as they captured the Vichy French cities during Operation Torch.

So I actually don't see what gain we get from opening these islands up for Axis conquest. If we do that then we have to do something about how to recapture those islands. The way GS v2.0 implements these airfields they're controlled by the Allies at the historical dates. This means the main purpose (airbases for transfers to Britain) will be implemented as in the real war. I don't think the game suffers if the Axis can't do a lot about these islands.

If you check every part of GS you will probably find other areas where something is not possible in the game that was theoretically possible in the real war. Sometimes you need to close some doors because if you open them you open up for other possibilities that wasn't possible in the real war. Players are very creative when it comes to exploiting the possibilities within the game engine.

zechi
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Post by zechi » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:02 pm

Stauffenberg wrote:So, no matter how you look at the situation you come to the conclusion that the Axis presence on these islands would have been temporary at best. One thing is to capture the islands while the British were very weak. Another thing is to keep the islands once the Allies want to get back to Europe. The problem is that trying to capture such islands in GS is harder than it would have been in the real war. A port city would have supply level 3 and that means the Germans can repair 3 steps per turn. So your naval invader, shore bombardment and carrier attacks need to inflict more than 3 steps per turn to eventually capture the island. So you might get stuck there for several turns being threatened by Axis subs. In the real war an Allied invasion would have taken those islands as easily as they captured the Vichy French cities during Operation Torch.

So I actually don't see what gain we get from opening these islands up for Axis conquest. If we do that then we have to do something about how to recapture those islands. The way GS v2.0 implements these airfields they're controlled by the Allies at the historical dates. This means the main purpose (airbases for transfers to Britain) will be implemented as in the real war. I don't think the game suffers if the Axis can't do a lot about these islands.

If you check every part of GS you will probably find other areas where something is not possible in the game that was theoretically possible in the real war. Sometimes you need to close some doors because if you open them you open up for other possibilities that wasn't possible in the real war. Players are very creative when it comes to exploiting the possibilities within the game engine.
I agree with you that it would be very difficult for the Axis to supply Iceland and or the Azores if the Axis did not capture Britain or the Iberian peninsula first (both viable option in GS). Perhaps the supply level should only be 1 for the Axis, if they did not capture Britain or Spain/Portugal first. This would simulate the bad supply situation an Axis invasion force would face.

Nevertheless, I do not agree that if the Germans did invade Iceland or the Azores, that the islands could be captured as easily as the Vichy-French cities in North Africa in Operation Torch by the Allies. The Vichy-France units were not as good equipped as the Germans. Furthermore, the Vichy French Army in North Africa did not oppose the Allied landings everywhere. For example in Algieria the Allies could land without nearly any fighting at all as French Resistance successfully initiated a coup in the right moment.

In case of the German invasion force defending Iceland or the Azores they would strongly resist any Allied landings and fight more or less to the last man. Perhaps not as fanatical as the Japanese, but it would be more comparable to the Allied invasions of some of the Pacific islands (were undersupplied Japanese troops fought ofen to the last man) then as Operation Torch.

I also do not think that it would be realistic that if Belfast is captured that Iceland would surrender or become an Axis air base. Most likely the Germans would still have to land there and take the country by force. Perhaps Iceland would even seek US protection. In case of the Azores it could be possible that the Azores would surrender if Lisbon is captured, but most likely the Axis would still need to go there first.

Peter Stauffenberg
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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:04 pm

The point is that the Axis would not land on these islands with no opposition. E. g. Iceland was invaded by Britain in April 1940 before Germany had any chance getting there. So those poorly supplied Germans would actually have to defeat the British garrison there in order to get ashore and gain control. In the mean time the Royal Navy could interfere. Germany got away with the invasion of Norway because the Royal Navy not realizing the threat before it was too late. Despite that the Germans we almost kicked back to the sea in the Narvik area. It was only because the Allied units were withdrawn to protect France in May 1940 that the Norwegians surrendered there.

A prerequisite for Germany to get Greenland is that they have a foothold in Britain. Do you really think the British and Americans would just sit there if that was the case. Then they would make sure to get bases in Iceland and Greenland before the Germans could ever get there.

If the Germans had pushed towards Iberia the same would occur. The Germans need Portugal to get a shot at the Azores and that means the Azores would automatically become Allied. USA or UK would garrison the strategic island.

So I don't think the Germans could by surprise get any of these islands. They had to invade them with poor amph capability, no aircraft carriers (well,1 could be built), poor supply and no fighter / tac bomber range to the invasion area.

Peter Stauffenberg
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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:09 pm

The Germans didn't even invade Cyprus from Crete to threaten Egypt and that would have been easier to accomplish. The invasion of Crete showed the Germans how hard it is to capture such islands.

So I don't think the Germans would be able to get any of these islands by surprise. The real war showed that the Allies preempted the Germans every time regarding the status of Iceland, Greenland, Azores.

So if we should simulate this then we need to have a city adjacent to the airfield and add an Allied garrison there. Then I would like to see the Axis player trying to send troops to capture an occupied island. You can forget about capturing it unless you have bomber support. That is actually the real situation. The Germans were no way prepared for long range invasions. Weserübüng was pure luck and Norwegian incompetence and bad intelligence about the intentions of the German naval task force made this long range invasion successful. The Norwegians were taken by surprise. I'm sure British or US troops in Iceland and Greenland would not be as surprised.

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