Jun 4, 2015

Naval War AAR: Norway 1940

Last saturday, I've been able to play another playtest game for my Naval War rules. My opponent has been very kind to write a very nice battle-report of the encounter; Enjoy!

* My apologies for the fuzzy pictures, but the lighting was pretty poor for taking pictures.

5 April 1940
Saltfjord, Norway

During the preparation for the assault on Narvik, the Kriegsmarine high command receive reports that the British carrier HMS Glorious has been sighted making emergency repairs at Bodø. Hoping to catch the ship defenseless and strike a decisive blow, Raeder dispatches Konteradmiral Oskar Kummetz’s I Kreuzergruppe to the area. His forces comprise three squadrons:

Admiral Hipper (Hipper-class heavy cruiser)
Blücher (Hipper-class heavy cruiser)
Lützow (Deutschland-class heavy cruiser)

Z21 Wilhelm Heidkamp (Zerstörer 1936)
Z10 Hans Lody (Zerstörer 1934)
Z11 Bernd von Arnim (Zerstörer 1934)
Z12 Erich Giese (Zerstörer 1934)

Albatros (Typ 23 Torpedoboot)
Möwe (Typ 23 Torpedoboot)

Upon arrival at the Saltfjorden, however, it becomes apparent that the situation is much less favourable than anticipated. Glorious is nowhere to be seen, and instead a Royal Navy cruiser division emerges from the fog:

HMS Devonshire (London-class heavy cruiser)
HMS Berwick (Kent-class heavy cruiser)
HMS Sheffield (Southampton-class light cruiser)
HMS Galatea (Arethusa-class light cruiser)

HMS Janus (J-class destroyer)
HMS Javelin (J-class destroyer)
HMS Codrington (A-class destroyer)

Although the German cruisers, and especially the pocket battleship Lützow, theoretically outgun their British counterparts, this advantage is soon rendered moot: a large squall is drifting West out of the fjord, between the Bliksvær and Nordarnøya islands, and hides the fleets from each other before they can exchange fire. Only HMS Sheffield can be seen by the heavy cruisers and, with poor visibility and rough seas, the opening salvoes all miss their mark...