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Battle of Corinth Canal
Balkans Campaign Pt. 1
by Paul Rohrbaugh

Background

With the German invasion of the Balkans, Allied forces were sent reeling from Macedonia and Thessaly. The British fleet stood by at various ports in the south of Greece to evacuate, yet again, the Allied ground forces in the face of determined German ground and air units. A critical choke point was the Corinth Canal that divided the Peloponnesus and could serve as an excellent position by which the Allied could safely hold-off the German Army as the evacuation proceeded. Hoping to forestall such a stand, and trap significant numbers of British and Allied troops, Hitler authorized a daring commando and paratroop assault to snatch the only bridge over the canal.

Balkans Campaign Pt. 1: The Battle of Corinth Canal.
Note: this scenario makes use of the River Playtest maps and hexes which are available for download.

Aftermath

The German assault succeeded in surprising the Allied garrison and seizing the bridge over the Corinth Canal. In what is probably one of the more foolish moments of WWII history, the German commandoes piled all of the Allied demolition charges that they removed smack in the middle of the bridge. Of course, a stray round or some other battlefield hazard set-off the entire pile, blowing the center right out of the bridge. This was definitely not one of the Fallschirmjager’s better moments during the war.

Several Allied units that were trapped on the north side were forced to abandon valuable equipment in their crossing and retreat, but the Germans were unable to pursue until repairs were made, by which time the Allies were long gone.

Designer’s Note:

I know, I know, the Luftwaffe Infantry units are not Fallschirmjagers. However, the fight at the Corinth Canal was not of this elite unit’s better moments. For players desiring a more “historical” depiction use the Play Balance rule Fallschirmjager units, made available with the Reserve Booster sets.

Additional Reading:

Merglen, Albert. “A Brief Survey Of The German Airborne Operations On the Corinth Canal, April 1941.” In Revue Historique de’l Armee, volume 16, number 2 (1960), pp. 77-82.

Miranda, Joseph. “The Balkans Campaign of 1941.” In Strategy and Tactics, number 182 (September/October 1996), pp. 4-19.

Morzik, Fritz. German Air Force Airlift Operations. New York: Arno Press, 1968.

Whiting, Charles. Hunters From the Sky: The German Parachute Corps, 1940-1945. New York: Stein and Day, 1974.










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