Free France Campaign

Moderators: The Artistocrats, Order of Battle Moderators

ColonelY
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:46 am

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Thu May 06, 2021 11:40 am

Hi again! :wink: Well, I've checked the various naval actions of the Free French... and I think I've found :idea: a really cool opportunity with a good variation of units on the Allied side (including a Free French battleship, namely Richelieu) and a relatively "free" designing in terms of the... Japanese side! :P :D
I'll try to keep this post short, so I'll just give the idea, then some cool links that should speak by themselves - if I may write so :lol: :wink: - and then, well, wait for your opinion about all this...



Now that we have an opening to the Pacific Ocean on our campaign map thanks to the Arrow pointing towards "French Indochina"... :wink:

:arrow: Possible new scenario for the 19th April 1944, so between 12OperationVesuvius and 13OperationDiadem:

:idea: Operation Cockpit, an attack against the Japanese-held island of Sabang! :D

Links:
https://ww2today.com/19-april-1944-oper ... -at-sabang
Little extracts: "This was a truly multinational force including aircraft the carriers HMS Illustrious and the USS Saratoga, the French battleship Richelieu as well as Dutch and New Zealand ships."
http://www.combinedfleet.com/SabangOil.htm (here with cool map, naming of various historical targets, location of the Jap AF, etc.)
https://www.navyhistory.org.au/attack-o ... atra-1944/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Cockpit
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ba ... _Richelieu
And there may very well have been this Australian destroyer as well (not shown within one of the previous links, if I'm not mistaken): https://www.navy.gov.au/history/battle- ... abang-1944

(After this successfull attack, several other "similar" were thrown against various other locations, targets, etc. We won't depict all of them, of course... but why not at least one? Then, why not "simply" the first one... well, well... another relatively well-known operation, still with the French Richelieu, is Operation Transom, another attack made by Allied forces against, this time, the Japanese-held city of Surabaya... anyway, Sabang would just be perfect, I think... And this would be much, much better than a scenario on Madagascar, which we had already hesitated to add at the beginning... :wink: )

8) The use of aircraft carriers, both British and American, with a maximum of variation in terms of embarked aircraft (I think we haven't seen an aircraft carrier in this campaign since the very first scenario... and no American aircraft carrier until now!)... a French battleship in action (before the other one, Lorraine, that's about to prove very useful in Operation Dragoon)... an opening on a new theater of operations... a complete change... a parenthesis in a way between Corsica and Italy... it was really a world war, with fights everywhere... but also Frenchmen everywhere (even with the Russians, as we saw!)... :P

Well, in order to keep my word, I'll keep quiet now (about Sabang, that is) while waiting for an executive decision...
:wink:
Last edited by ColonelY on Thu May 06, 2021 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ColonelY
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:46 am

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Thu May 06, 2021 1:42 pm

Operation Dragoon: 8)

Well, I was just looking to find out which Greek ship(s) that has (or have) participated to this battle... but I haven't found it yet... :( Anyway, I've found few "more" things on the process... :wink:
*******
Order of Battle (this may help you, but you certainly already have this one): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation ... _of_battle
Watch out, though, this one isn't complete in terms of Free French troops (some divisions are just missing!)... For a detailled French OoB, you've what I've already written... see the - how is it called? - 7th "set" of posts... (you know, now this post is on the 72nd...)
*******
"The allied battle corps engaged in Operation Dragoon was made up of 70% French units." (from here too: https://www.lemonde.fr/archives/article ... 19218.html )

Nice link with some complementary info too:
"A diversion

On August 14, 1944, the Allied armada of the American Admiral Hewitt, commander of the VIIIth Fleet, with twelve hundred ships, left from the ports of Naples, Taranto, Brindisi, Malta, Mers-el-Kebir, Oran and Ajaccio, and headed for the Gulf of Genoa to deceive the enemy. The German staff, which had already been surprised by the Anglo-Saxon landing in Normandy, was expecting another amphibious operation in Europe, but its attention was mainly focused on the Ligurian and Languedoc coasts. General Warlimont, of the German high command, in possession of information provided by elements infiltrated into the resistance networks, was the only one to foresee an Allied operation between the Rhone and the Var, but his opinion had not been retained by Hitler's staff.

In order to confront the Allied landing forces in the Mediterranean, the Wehrmacht, deprived for a year of Italian assistance in this sector, had spread out from Cerbère to Menton the eight small-scale divisions of the 19th Army, units that included many Polish and Armenian "volunteers", and had only one reserve force, the 11th Armored Division, which was to remain unused on the right bank of the Rhone following the destruction of the bridges between the Camargue and Montélimar. In fact, the German command expected at any moment to see the Allies arrive on the easily accessible beaches of Languedoc, and perhaps even on those of the Bay of Biscay. And now French soldiers were attacking the steep foothills of the Maures massif to silence the armored pillboxes of the Mediterranean Wall and facilitate the landing of General Patch's Franco-American VIIth Army.
"

bru888
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 5549
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: United States

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Fri May 07, 2021 5:16 pm

ColonelY wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 11:40 am
...waiting for an executive decision... :wink:
Decision: Proposal rejected.

First, consider this summary of Allied forces involved in Operation Cockpit:

The attack force sailed from the Eastern Fleet's main base at Trincomalee on 16 April, and was led personally by Sommerville from Queen Elizabeth. It comprised 27 warships from six navies; the historian H.P. Willmott has observed that Operation Cockpit was "perhaps the most cosmopolitan naval operation of the war". The Royal Navy contributed Illustrious, two battleships, one battlecruiser, four cruisers and seven destroyers. The American contingent comprised Saratoga and three destroyers. Other elements of the force included the recently-arrived French battleship Richelieu, Dutch cruiser HNLMS Tromp and a Dutch destroyer, the New Zealand cruiser HMNZS Gambia and four Australian destroyers. The Allied ships were organised into two task forces; Task Force 69 was a battleship covering force comprising the three battleships, two cruisers and nine destroyers. Task Force 70 comprised both aircraft carriers, Renown, two cruisers and six destroyers. The submarine HMS Tactician was also stationed near Sabang to rescue any airmen who were forced down during the attack. Illustrious's air group comprised two squadrons equipped with 14 Vought F4U Corsair fighters each and two squadrons operating a total of 21 Fairey Barracuda torpedo and dive bombers. Saratoga embarked a squadron with 26 Grumman F6F Hellcat fighters, a squadron with 24 Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers and a squadron operating 18 Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bombers, as well as a single Hellcat used by the Air Group Leader.

Try picking out the French aspect of this from that paragraph. It's not easy. One French ship whose job it was to bombard structures.

Second: It was an aerial and naval bombardment raid only. The Japanese were taken by surprise, so they offered little resistance. After "attacking oil storage tanks, shipping and harbour installations" and losing only one plane to AA fire, the attack force withdrew. "The Allied forces were satisfied with the results of Operation Cockpit. While it did not inflict heavy casualties on the Japanese, the Royal Navy learned useful lessons from the raid. The attack had no effect on Japan's military strategy or deployments." This is boring just writing about it, leave alone designing a scenario for it.

Third: I want to finish this campaign sometime in 2021. We began workin on it in March 2020. Deduct three months of my sabbatical and still, the project is about to enter its second year of development.

Fourth: As Erik found with his Grand Germany Campaign, to his chagrin, there comes a point where too many scenarios become unwieldy in terms of download size and computer processing. We have 23 on the boards now; 16 finished and 7 to come. That's enough unless there is something truly spectacular to cover toward the end of the war.

However, please keep your thinking cap on, as I will consider all your ideas.
- Bru

ColonelY
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:46 am

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Fri May 07, 2021 5:31 pm

Okay, it works! 8)

ColonelY
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:46 am

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Fri May 07, 2021 5:33 pm

bru888 wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 5:16 pm
[...] However, please keep your thinking cap on, as I will consider all your ideas.
:D That does ring nice and smooth to me, and I like this image, the "thinking cap" kept on, I mean. :wink:

bru888
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 5549
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: United States

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Fri May 07, 2021 8:38 pm

ColonelY wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 5:33 pm
bru888 wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 5:16 pm
[...] However, please keep your thinking cap on, as I will consider all your ideas.
:D That does ring nice and smooth to me, and I like this image, the "thinking cap" kept on, I mean. :wink:
Some people wear this cap:

dunce cap.jpg
dunce cap.jpg (49.97 KiB) Viewed 464 times

You, sir, wear this cap:

thinking cap.jpg
thinking cap.jpg (47.4 KiB) Viewed 464 times

I would estimate that 75 to 80 percent of what you have proposed for this campaign has been adopted. By cynical, cranky old me. :)
- Bru

bru888
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 5549
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: United States

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Fri May 07, 2021 9:42 pm

Preview of the objectives for Operation Dragoon (bear in mind, this is just the French portion of it — perhaps I should rename this scenario, but I have not thought of anything better):

Screenshot 1.jpg
Screenshot 1.jpg (250.89 KiB) Viewed 456 times

In each scenario, there is always one objective that is the major time-consumer. The prediction for this one is highlighted. Although, I just thought of a way to do this without too much work ...
- Bru

ColonelY
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:46 am

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Sat May 08, 2021 6:35 am

'Looks really promising! :D
*******
bru888 wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 9:42 pm
Preview of the objectives for Operation Dragoon (bear in mind, this is just the French portion of it — perhaps I should rename this scenario PROBABLY INDEED!, but I have not thought of anything better) [...]
Well, as the main goals are to free/capture both cities of Toulon and Marseille, then instead of "17OperationDragoon", this scenario could for example :idea: wear the name "17ToulonMarseille", which would then be obviously somehow more clear from that point of view. :wink:

You've done the same with the name 16Argentan rather than 16FalaisePocket or something, and we'll see later as well other direct references to French cities in scenario names, like Paris and Strasbourg, so it shouldn't be too much problematic nor shocking for the player. Instead, it should look rather coherent on overall, I think. 8)
*******
About the Free French squadrons involved, we had of course the "Corse", but as well the "Nice" and "Provence" (according to the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation ... air_forces and, well, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._326_Squadron_RAF and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._328_Squadron_RAF )... So, these two could make an apparition as well within this scenario. :wink:

By the way, by looking at this aerial OoB, one can see that one could involve many different air units, which is pretty nice... :D Then I said myself: awesome, some (US) P-39 Airacobra... :arrow: I haven't seen them quite often in OoB so, quess what?, I just checked the Unit Navigator ( http://mfendek.byethost16.com/?i=2 ) about it out and, despite what Wiki says about this unit, I quote, "The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the principal American fighter aircraft in service when the United States entered World War II. The P-39 was used by the Soviet Air Force, and enabled individual Soviet pilots to collect the highest number of kills attributed to any U.S. fighter type flown by any air force in any conflict. Other major users of the type included the Free French, the Royal Air Force, the United States Army Air Forces, and the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force.", actually... this unit is available for the Soviets ONLY :shock: (provided, in game, that some aircraft specialization has been unlocked :roll: )... :? So there won't be any P-39 Airacobra on this scenario anyway...

ColonelY
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:46 am

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Sat May 08, 2021 9:19 pm

:arrow: Some really nice pictures can be found at several various locations on this webpage, if one scrolls it from up to entirely down: :D

https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2018/ ... rn-france/

bru888
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 5549
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: United States

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Sun May 09, 2021 2:11 am

Another preview of Operation Dragoon:

Screenshot 1.jpg
Screenshot 1.jpg (442.46 KiB) Viewed 391 times
Screenshot 2.jpg
Screenshot 2.jpg (409.95 KiB) Viewed 391 times
Screenshot 3.jpg
Screenshot 3.jpg (356.29 KiB) Viewed 391 times
Screenshot 4.jpg
Screenshot 4.jpg (432.27 KiB) Viewed 391 times
Screenshot 5.jpg
Screenshot 5.jpg (438.03 KiB) Viewed 391 times
Screenshot 1a.jpg
Screenshot 1a.jpg (132.53 KiB) Viewed 391 times
Screenshot 2a.jpg
Screenshot 2a.jpg (90.48 KiB) Viewed 391 times
Screenshot 3a.jpg
Screenshot 3a.jpg (130.57 KiB) Viewed 391 times
Screenshot 4a.jpg
Screenshot 4a.jpg (124.45 KiB) Viewed 391 times
Screenshot 5a.jpg
Screenshot 5a.jpg (129.77 KiB) Viewed 391 times
- Bru

GabeKnight
Lieutenant-General - Nashorn
Lieutenant-General - Nashorn
Posts: 3479
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:24 pm

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by GabeKnight » Sun May 09, 2021 5:51 am

I would suggest to add the version number of the current campaign to the download-link in the OP, too. So no-one gets confused...

bru888
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 5549
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: United States

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Sun May 09, 2021 2:04 pm

Done, thanks.
- Bru

ColonelY
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:46 am

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Sun May 09, 2021 6:39 pm

bru888 wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 9:42 pm
[...] In each scenario, there is always one objective that is the major time-consumer. The prediction for this one is highlighted. Although, I just thought of a way to do this without too much work ...
Nice, nice... but it tickles the curiosity, you know. :wink:
*******
-> About the easternmost island... why are there two flags side by side? :?: I wonder what is the purpose of the flag in the middle of the island, the one without a name... :?

-> We may expect to encounter several minefields within the Mediterranean Wall (but of course not on the different islands)... :wink:

-> :idea: One of these coastal guns on the various "Îles d'Hyères" could actually be simply a decoy... :wink:

ColonelY
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:46 am

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Sun May 09, 2021 6:45 pm

The story of Jean de Lattre de Tassigny is very interesting. 8) For example, "As an officer during World War I, he fought in combat in various battles, including Verdun and was wounded five times, surviving the war with 8 citations, the Legion of Honour and the Military Cross." And this was only the beginning of his military career... ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_de_L ... e_Tassigny )

bru888
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 5549
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: United States

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Sun May 09, 2021 8:04 pm

ColonelY wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 6:39 pm
-> About the easternmost island... why are there two flags side by side? :?: I wonder what is the purpose of the flag in the middle of the island, the one without a name... :?
Because I forgot to remove it when I moved the island name. Nice pre-release catch!
- Bru

bru888
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 5549
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: United States

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Sun May 09, 2021 8:07 pm

ColonelY wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 6:39 pm
-> :idea: One of these coastal guns on the various "Îles d'Hyères" could actually be simply a decoy... :wink:
Interesting as an historical note but a bit of an anticlimax to include in the game. Two commando teams approach the "gun" and "poof," it disappears because it was a decoy (try finding a picture of a decoy WW2 coastal gun). The commandos are left standing around on a bare island. It does not sound like fun.
- Bru

bru888
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 5549
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: United States

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Sun May 09, 2021 8:08 pm

ColonelY wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 6:45 pm
The story of Jean de Lattre de Tassigny is very interesting. 8) For example, "As an officer during World War I, he fought in combat in various battles, including Verdun and was wounded five times, surviving the war with 8 citations, the Legion of Honour and the Military Cross." And this was only the beginning of his military career... ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_de_L ... e_Tassigny )
Yes, we haven't done a bio sketch in a while; I will include one here.
- Bru

bru888
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 5549
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: United States

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Sun May 09, 2021 8:16 pm

bru888 wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 8:08 pm
ColonelY wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 6:45 pm
The story of Jean de Lattre de Tassigny is very interesting. 8) For example, "As an officer during World War I, he fought in combat in various battles, including Verdun and was wounded five times, surviving the war with 8 citations, the Legion of Honour and the Military Cross." And this was only the beginning of his military career... ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_de_L ... e_Tassigny )
Yes, we haven't done a bio sketch in a while; I will include one here.
Wow, it's a good thing that I looked. I completely forgot that I already did a sketch of de Lattre in a campaign message just before Operation Dragoon! It's all becoming a blur to me now ... :?

Screenshot 1.jpg
Screenshot 1.jpg (121.95 KiB) Viewed 328 times
Screenshot 2.jpg
Screenshot 2.jpg (140.37 KiB) Viewed 328 times
Screenshot 3.jpg
Screenshot 3.jpg (141.46 KiB) Viewed 328 times
Screenshot 4.jpg
Screenshot 4.jpg (125.31 KiB) Viewed 328 times
- Bru

bru888
Order of Battle Moderator
Order of Battle Moderator
Posts: 5549
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: United States

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Sun May 09, 2021 9:23 pm

As you know, only the II Corps of de Lattre's First Army will appear in this portion of Operation Dragoon. But what units were in this corps?

This link was useless: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2nd_Army_Corps_(France)

This link was somewhat helpful in a negative way: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Army_Corps_(France)

The reason is, I went with this OOB of the First Army: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Army_(France)

And I subtracted out what the I Corps article said: "For the remainder of the war in Europe, many French divisions would be subordinated to 1st Army Corps, but the divisions that spent the most time with the corps were the 2nd Moroccan Infantry Division (2e DIM), the 9th Colonial Infantry Division (9e DIC), the 4th Moroccan Mountain Division (4e DMM), and the 1st Armoured Division (1re DB)."

That leaves these divisions and brigades (cannot get rid of those Goums) for the II Corps:
1st Free French Division (1st DFL)
3rd Algerian Infantry Division (3rd DIA)
5th Armoured Division (5th DB)
Moroccan Goums (Four groups of Tabors, equivalent to one brigade)

Plus artillery, anti-aircraft, etc.
- Bru

ColonelY
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Elite Panther D
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:46 am

Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Mon May 10, 2021 2:35 am

bru888 wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 9:23 pm
As you know, only the II Corps of de Lattre's First Army will appear in this portion of Operation Dragoon. But what units were in this corps?

[...]

And I subtracted out what the I Corps article said: "For the remainder of the war in Europe, many French divisions would be subordinated to 1st Army Corps, but the divisions that spent the most time with the corps were the 2nd Moroccan Infantry Division (2e DIM), the 9th Colonial Infantry Division (9e DIC), the 4th Moroccan Mountain Division (4e DMM), and the 1st Armoured Division (1re DB)."

That leaves these divisions and brigades (cannot get rid of those Goums) for the II Corps:
1st Free French Division (1st DFL)
3rd Algerian Infantry Division (3rd DIA)
5th Armoured Division (5th DB)
Moroccan Goums (Four groups of Tabors, equivalent to one brigade)

Plus artillery, anti-aircraft, etc.
Only the II corps? :| Not 100% sure about this. :? Double-checking with the historical book ( "L'apport capital..." ), the Free French attacking Toulon were from 3e DIA, 1re DFL, the Bataillon de Choc, the Commandos d'Afrique (which thus may be kept during the entire scenario this time, and not only used for the tiny islands :wink: ), plus tanks and artillery (no heavy art, but air + naval support...)... so far, so good... but there was as well men from the 9e DIC!

Indeed, the final phasis of the liberation of Toulon, the destruction of its inner defenses, it was mainly done by the 9e DIC! 8)

Post Reply

Return to “Order of Battle : World War II - Scenario Design”