Saturday, June 19, 2010

Interesting juxtaposition -- Fall of France and Fall Barbarossa

While setting up the Cadets of Saumur Overlord Scenario for a Memoir '44 game which, unfortunately failed to materialize, I noticed in the Historical Background that the French Army surrendered on June 22, 1940, shortly after the heroic last resistance depicted in the scenario.

Most wargamers know by heart that Fall Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union , began on June 22 of 1941. Not coincidentally it was also the date that marked the beginning of the Soviet offensive that destroyed Army Group Center in 1944.

An entire year transpired between the German offensive's in the West and the East. That's not to say there wasn't some fighting, of course. There were German operations in the Balkans, the Afrika Korps started its epic career and Germany's air and naval forces fought the Battle of Britain and the Battle of the Atlantic. But none of these engrossed the full attention of the German Army and it was able to devote its attention to training its troops and improving its equipment. Germany's land forces were never better than they were on June 21, 1941.

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