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Mini Campaign – Turn 9 (08.00hrs to 12.00hrs 20th May 1941)

The British player has tasked three light cruisers to form a search screen off the south western edge of Norway – in the hope one of the ships would spot any German vessels transiting from the Kattegat to a base in Norway.

British Admiralty plot (using Berthier)

It appears to have born fruit when HMS ARETHUSA, the eastern most cruiser picked up and tracked two German heavy vessels – suspected to be the Bismarck and a Hipper class heavy cruiser.

Enhanced range finder photograph taken from HMS Arethusa – at dawn on 20th May 1941

It also appears that the British player failed to consider Nazi air power……………………

At 8am on the 20th May 1941 the alarm bells sounded on both HMS Arethusa and HMS Kenya – each vessel was attacked by 12 JU87 dive bombers based in Norway.

HMS Kenya – somewhere in the Norwegian Sea circa 1941

JU87 aircraft (the four models represent 12 aircraft)

Battleships Zenith computer moderated rules were used for both battles. HMS KENYA found herself under attack by 12 JU87 aircraft and put up a barrage of AA – to no avail, not a single aircraft was shot down. The attack went ahead and 12 500lb bombs were dropped on her:

HMS Kenya surrounded by tell tale bomb splashes – one hits home

HMS Arethusa suffered a similar attack, but managed to down a Stuka with her AA she too was surrounded by shell splashes.

As a result of the single 500lb bomb HMS Kenya suffered light damage and flooding, along with the expected structural damage.

HMS Arethusa escaped undamaged………………………..

The Luftwaffe still has the opportunity to mount an afternoon attack if desired, the British player has some serious thinking to do.
In the meantime – British Naval Intelligence have intercepted a message apparently sent to the Admiral Scheer, it reads “ Return to Kristiansund to prepare for Operation Ikarus “

The British players ponders what he knows:

  • Two major German warships have been sighted heading north towards Kristiansund (one believed to be the Bismarck).
  • A signal has been intercepted instructing the Admiral Scheer to return to the same base.
  • He has a damaged light cruiser in the Norwegian sea
  • there is still time for another air attack before the cover of darkness………………………………..

To be continued.


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