Thursday, June 9, 2022

Organising a Historical refight pt 10: The New Zealand division on Crete 1941

In the final part, heres a final summary of the game from the German side along with a handful of pictures.

The Kiwi's consulting the Official history before attempting to argue a point with the game umpire. I felt I had succeeded over the 2 days when every player was annoyed with me at some point.

The German summary (again from Paul).


There was marked contrast for the Germans during each phase of the battle. The Sturm Regiment landed almost as though it was on an exercise, 3FJR was scattered over 30 square kilometres. Both took heavy casualties on landing Sturm had one battalion almost wiped out, 3FJR lost 25% spread over all battalions. The Sturm Regiment had to fight hard to gain its objectives including much hand to hand fighting, 3FJR met with early success using its superior fire power and effective support from the Stukas. Both then consolidated their positions. The Kiwis rightly concentrated their counter attack on Maleme so 3FJR had an easier, but still difficult night. 3FJR's renewed attack in the morning met with success against a position that had had troops withdrawn. Sturm was forced to launch a hurried counter attack with the Mountain battalion through a number of enemy battalions. In the end the Germans made two mistakes; either of which could have turned the battle.

I was, with Rob's agreement, too conservative, I should have accepted the risk and moved VII Battalion onto the coast road. 20 Battalion that captured the airfield and held it would have either been caught in its trucks or forced to launch an attack earlier in the night and would have arrived late or not at all.

Rob was, with my agreement, too ambitious. He should not have sent the Mountain battalion up to ??. The idea of out flanking the Kiwi position was a good one but given that they wouldn't be in position to launch their attack before dusk was not viable for the first day. If the Mountain battalion had dug in as a last ditch defence on the airfield then 20 Battalion would have been repulsed and a counter attack in the morning would very likely have recaptured the lost ground.

And 2 final pictures to finish up with.

Paul (3 FJR) and Richard (10 brigade and hangers on) were the opposing commanders at Galatas. While not looking too impressed with it all, Richard had managed to fight the Germans to a draw here.


Rob (Sturm regiment and Airlanding troops) and Larry, Curly and Mo Peter, Ant and Russell pointing out the suceessful counter attack at Maleme late Sunday afternoon.

And thats it (after a marathon 10 parts). The one thing that you want after 5 months work is for The game to work and provide a different experience for the players beyond the standard 4-5 hr afternoon or evening game.In retrospect I was very lucky in that the planning and choices I made worked out OK in. The small size of the forces (2 brigades per side) meant that things kept ticking along at a good rate (with me pushing a bit when I thought the game was drifting). A simple ruleset is essential when you have a group of players with varying levels of experience and Spearhead (for all its percieved faults) is that to a tee. It also means that there is no excesive hunting through the rulebook looking for some special rule that only one player remembered. The ready avaliability of the NZ oficial histories was a huge bonus.

The real pity/best thing (take your pick) was that we only played the scenario once. Honestly I don't think it would work again as the Germans had a far better idea of how to not losea after one play through. The boards were stored at the club and after a few months the hills were taken off and they were used as normal tables for many years.

And having been involved with a few scenario games over the years, my actually preference is for pickup points games as I don't have to spend weeks/months doing the research....

(Oh, and we wone best demonstration game that year beating out several 28mm refights)

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