This month's Grumble Jones scenario delves deeply into the hypothetical. Back at March Madness I had promised Dan Best, that I would design a scenario utilizing the HOLLIS Map that comes in the ASL March Madness Hollis Pack. I think I told him about German ski troops trying to capture Marshall Zhukov at his dascha in the winter of 1942-43. I think I even had wolves in the scenario. While I didn't go with that particular story...this time...perhaps this year's Halloween Scenario will feature some of that and more...muhahahhaa....but for now, we'll focus on the actual April Scenario GJ044 - Fox Hunt.
I have always had an interest in Erwin Rommel, since as long as I can remember. When I was 8 years old I got the Desert Fox - Marx Playset for Christmas...and my relationship with Rommel began.
When I was thirteen, I read David Irving's - The Trail of the Fox. Other books would follow and I would grab anything I could find about Rommel and the Afrika Korps.
I still have my battered copy of Irving's book and find myself referring to it often for detail about this or that event in North Africa or later in Normandy.
Now, to be clear, my fascination with Rommel is based on the man himself and certainly not the cause which he served. Even Rommel himself came to see the true nature of the regime, which he had done much to empower.
As I have written several times before, I did finally manage to visit Rommel's grave site in 1985. On a snowy, November Sunday in Herrlingen, I found myself walking the snow covered cemetery in search of the Desert Fox. A grieving German grandmother pointed me in the right direction. It remains one of my favorite memories of my time as a student in Germany.
Now this month's scenario in addition to be situated on the HOLLIS map is based on some hypothetical imaginings of events in Normandy directly after Rommel's wounding by Allied fighter bombers. Apparently, there is still some historical questioning around which Allied aircraft actually strafed Rommel as he departed a meeting with Sepp Dietrich at St Pierre-sur-Dives. I recommend these websites for additional study of this event>
What we know is that Rommel and Sepp Dietrich met at his 1st SS Panzer Corps. HQ in St Pierre-sur-Dives. The specifics of their conversation is unknown. But Rommel was heard asking Dietrich if he had his support and obedience to whatever orders he might issue. Dietrich gave his affirmation. Rommel then left in his Horch staff car and drove to his meeting with destiny.
Now this month's scenario picks up a day after Rommel's wounding and wonders if the discussion between the two men on the 17th of July carried enough weight and meaning that Dietrich would seek to bring Rommel under his protection. This scenario supposes even further that perhaps Dietrich makes Rommel's location known to the Allies ...perhaps in an attempt to protect Rommel from the consequences of events which would occur at the Wolf's Lair in only two more days. Is is so hard to imagine that Dietrich...another strong supporter of the Third Reich might also have felt as Rommel did...that enough was enough...?? While we can only speculate...here's a scenario built on that very premise.
From the Allied perspective, the SAS Captain Raymond Lee, included in this scenario was in fact dropped into Normandy with orders to assassinate Rommel. He would spend fruitless days looking for his quarry and finally resorting to ambushing German supply convoys as the opportunity presented itself. In this scenario, we give Captain Lee a different mission. If in fact, the Allies had been made aware, not only of the plot to kill Hitler, but also of Rommel's link to the conspirators...might not Churchill and others have thought differently about Rommel's potential value to a post-war Germany? This scenario suggests that the answer would have been yes.
So here is this month's scenario...for fun only and a chance to re-imagine history in the way that only ASL allows.
As always these monthly "Basement Quality" Scenarios are offered for fun only and as a thank you to the readers of this blog.
Remember to open pictures in a new window in order to maximize the size.
And as always, the PDF for this scenario can be downloaded from The ASL Scenario Archive
(just search on Grumble Jones).