The Allied position against the Channel coast has become increasingly untenable, and further losses will cause their evacuation to begin. This means that while the primary objective suggests the destruction of every enemy unit, in reality a lot of them will leave the battlefield on their own if the German advance threatens the last Allied ports. To encourage aggression however, secondary objectives call for the destruction of at least 12 British units and knocking Belgium out of the war by capturing one out of 3 secondary victory points behind their frontline.
This play-through uses difficulty level 4 out of 5.
My core force:
- 1x Pz III G
- 1x Pz IV C
- 2x Fallschirmjäger
- 2x Heavy Infantry
- 1x Engineers
- 3x 75mm FK18
- 1x 8.8cm Flak 37
- 1x Sdkfz 10/4 AA
- 2x Bf 109 E
- 1x Bf 110 C
- 2x Ju 87 B
- 1x Ar 196
The first decision is how to split my forces between the north-east and south-west pincers. Because the French have better aircraft and tanks than the Belgians, I deploy my Panzer III, 88mm, motorised AA gun as well as 1 Bf109, 1 Ju87 Stuka and the Bf 110 in their sector. The bulk of the infantry, with support from the short-barreled Pz VI tank and 2 artillery guns will face the Belgians.
My short term objectives are to break through the Belgian defenses to knock them out of the war (by capturing one of their secondary objectives) while the south-eastern army advances toward the strong French position around Lille. Once the Belgian have surrendered, both pincer attacks should converge on Lille and destroy any remaining French resistance there.
On the first turn I advance toward the river Lys, where the Belgian army is positioned behind. Aside from destroying a forward garrison unit, no major attacks are launched in this sector, but artillery and air strikes are launched to soften the enemy defenses.
The eastern army engages isolated French troops, dealing heavy casualties.
On Belgium, my forces cross the river Lys and face heavy counter attacks. Significant casualties are taken, including the destruction of an auxiliary infantry unit. My own attacks are equally devastating however, and by the end of turn 4 my troops have established two solid bridgeheads across the Lys.
In the east, French tanks cause significant damage but a combination of air strikes, artillery barrages, outflanking attacks and massive 88mm shells quickly reduces them to wrecks. French aircraft seriously damage my Bf 110 unit but are eventually repelled by Bf 109 fighter aircraft and motorised AA gun.
In the next turn, German troops decisively destroy both the French counter-attack and the Belgian defense behind the river Lys. The opening stage of the battle has proceeded largely according to plan: Belgium is expected to surrender soon and the advance toward Lille will now begin.
Another easy "blitzkrieg" turn where the Germans mob up all remaining Belgian and French resistance. The roads to both the Belgian rear and the French army at Lille are now wide open.
To be continued...