The Corinth Canal Bridge is the lifeline for 4th NZ Inf Bde, which is currently in a rearguard position at Erithrai, astride the German axis of advance from Thermopylae. This makes it an attractive target for the Germans, and although their ground forces are still far off, they have a parachute regiment in reserve. Corinth is an ideal objective for such a force.
Historically, the German parachute landings on 26 April 1941 overwhelmed the small force of defenders immediately after landing. They took the bridge intact and removed the demolitions, but a fluke shot from an unknown Allied soldier detonated the piled explosives and destroyed the bridge.
No attempt was made by the Allies to retake the bridge as it was destroyed. 4th NZ Inf Bde was eventually evacuated from beaches near Athens, in a much riskier operation than the original plan, and resulting in the loss of some of the troop-carrying ships.
In this scenario however, 4th NZ Inf Bde is ordered to retake the bridge and make their way south to Tripolis and safety. The Germans must secure the bridge as it will be required by ground forces (spearheaded by the Leibstandarte) already moving to try and cut the Allies off.
Note: The majority of the above text is a straight cut and paste from the scenario briefing and all credit goes to the team that put this excellent scenario together for the game.
The settings for the scenario are realistic orders delay, historical weather, standard reinforcements and normal supply for both sides.
The Corinth Canal Bridge Objective (93 Victory Points split between 71.4 for Occupation and 21.4 for Completion) is the primary objective in this effort. The Loutrakiou Objective (14 Victory Points split 50% between Occupation and Completion) sits on the opposite side of the canal and the two objective perimeters actually overlap a significant amount making their mutual achievement and defense somewhat less complicated.
At this point I run the game until the last reinforcement unit is received within the first hour of combat and begin issuing orders.
D01 07:45 I order 5th Coy and the attached mortar platoon (8cm GrW 34’s) to defend at the crest of Hill 85 which will observe them critical observation of the main road across the canal that the Allies will attempt to utilize.
D01 07:45 The remainder of II FJ Bn that landed on that side of the canal are ordered to defend at the Corinth Canal Bridge Objective. With the detachment of 5th Coy and the mortar platoon, this element stands at 357 personnel at this point.
D01 07:45 On the opposite side of the canal, FJ Regt 2 (1,383 personnel) are ordered to defend at the Loutrakiou Objective. This force, along with several reinforcement units coming from the north of their current position should be more than adequate to fend off those pesky Allies.
D01 12:00 The German paratroopers are in control of the two objectives straddling the canal.
D01 18:00 Six hours later the situation has not changed. The Axis forces are in control of both objectives although the Win-O-Meter says otherwise.
D02 00:00 The situation remains constant. My airborne forces are holding off the enemy’s regular line infantry and armor in fine fashion.
D02 06:00 A concerted push by the Allies creates a temporary setback as both objective along the canal are lost.
D02 12:00 Back in the saddle: the objectives have been taken back and the Win-O-Meter is in agreement.
D02 15:04 III FJ Bn arrives on the battlefield and is immediately split up as follows to cover the recently activated objectives to the south: PzJg Pl is sent to defend at the Allied Exit Objective, 9th FJ Coy is sent to defend at the Examillia Objective and the remainder of the Bn is sent to defend at the Korinthos Objective.
D02 18:00 The Axis forces are in firm control of the situation.
D03 00:00 A temporary setback as both objectives along the canal are in doubt for the moment.
D03 06:00 The Allies are exerting pressure along the canal that cannot be taken for granted.
D03 12:00 Not wanting to risk anything less than a Decisive Victory outcome, I commit two companies of my reserve force sitting at the Korinthos Objective and order them forward to the Corinth Canal Bridge Objective.
D03 12:32 When the 4th StuG Coy arrives (six StuG II B’s), they are reattached to their organic superior commander FJ Regt 2.
D03 16:25 When the I Mot Inf Bn arrives they are ordered to defend at the Loutrakiou Objective.
D03 18:00 The Axis forces are back in firm control of the situation.
A bridging unit that arrives around 19:00 and an engineering unit that arrives around 21:00 are reattached to the on map boss.
D04 00:00 A Decisive Victory outcome seems to be the order of the day.
D04 06:00 The situation is relatively unchanged as the Allies fail to make any appreciable impact on the battles seemingly foregone conclusion.
D04 08:44 The reinforcement unit 3rd Mot Inf Coy I Bn LAH arrives in the north and is ordered to take up a defensive line with a 1,000 meter frontage and a 300 meter depth parallel to a road running across a slight rise which should give them good visibility to the battle below them.
D04 12:00 The Allies back seems to be broken here as there is no concentrated effort mounted against the Germans dug in on both sides of the canal.
D04 12:31 The final reinforcement unit 1st Mot Lt Inf Gun Coy V Bn LAH arrives and is reattached to FJ Regt 2.
D04 18:00 The Allies are exhausted and have no chance against the Axis forces guarding the bridge.
The details are horrific: the Allies lost 1,705 men while the Axis lost only 156.
Review Final Situation
While there was a stream of units forming to the southeast of the bridge, it posed no threat to the German victory (too little too late).