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Churchill's Balkan Gambit (strategy & tactics 298)



 
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Balkan Gambit is a military simulation exploring the alternative-historical premise that the Allied powers have chosen to invade southern Europe via Greece, Albania, and Yugoslavia in the latter half of World War II. Nothing like this actually happened, though the Allies went to great lengths to convince the Axis powers that such plans were intended in order to mislead them
as to their true intentions. Nonetheless, some Allied strategists and leaders, including Winston Churchill, believed that an invasion of Europe via the Balkans was a legitimate and war-winning activity. Hence, the game is partially a reflection of the concepts and anxieties of both sides.

Each hex on the map equals about 20 miles (about 30 km) when measured from side to opposite side. Each game turn represents 2-5 days, depending on the scenario chosen and the weather currently in effect. Every ground unit represents a division, division-equivalent, or brigade of about 5,000 to 20,000 men and/or 50 to 350 armored fighting vehicles.[...]

This game has 3 scenarios:
– Operation BOARDMAN: In summer 1943, the British 8th Army is sent to liberate Greece and Crete. This was a deception to cover Operations HUSKY and AVALANCHE, the historical invasions of Sicily and Salerno.[...]
– Operation ZEPPELIN: In summer 1944, the notional British 12th Army attacks Greece and Albania while the US 7th Army attacks in Dalmatia, in concert with Soviet amphibious operations against the coast of Rumania and Bulgaria. This plan was part of Operation BODYGUARD, the overall deception plan to disguise Operations OVERLORD and ANVIL (the invasions of northern and southern France).[...]
– Operation GELIGNITE: Actual plans were drawn up to send the British 8th Army across the Adriatic in late 1944 or early 1945 to cut off the final retreat of German Army Group F and forestall any further Soviet advances towards northern Italy. The plan was shelved due to shortages of troops and landing craft.[...]