I will assume that most if not all my readers are very familiar with the outstanding movie, The Eagle Has Landed. It is in the top 5 of my favorite movies of all time. And I can watch it again and again, and often take it with me during business travels. It's a great movie to pass the time in airports and is of course PG rated. The story itself is fascinating. The idea that German special forces would attempt the kidnapping or murder of Winston Churchill is fairly fanciful, but not beyond consideration by the Third Reich. Operation Panzerfaust would be a similar type of action, whereby Otto Skorzeny and Grenadiers of the SS Maria Theresa Division would secure the leadership of the Hungarian government. Certainly less dramatic, but clearly shows that the Germans were capable of getting their hands on foreign leaders. That said, I doubt seriously that grabbing Churchill in England was ever a possibility...but Casablanca, Tehran...might have been possible scenarios where the Germans could have nabbed Churchill and even Roosevelt had they known in advance of these meetings.
And of course, The Eagle has Landed occurs during the Tehran Conference as we discover at the end of the movie (spoiler alert) after Col. Steiner has successfully killed the man he believed was Winston Churchill. It at that moment that we discover that the deceased man was in actuality a double for the British Prime Minister.
One of the reasons, the Eagle has Landed is such a good movie is the number of separate stories that are all interconnected. The movie begins with Oberst Radl (a highly decorated/wounded veteran with Gebirgsjaeger affiliation) is given the task of evaluating an operation to kidnap Winston Churchill. A dedicated soldier, Radl takes the direction from Abwehr head Admiral Canaris to heart and comes up with a workable plan. And here we are given an insight into the internal struggles that were at the heart of leadership in the Third Reich. Canaris was an opponent of Nazism and worked at cross purposes to Hitler's and Himmler's plans. He would eventually be brutally executed at Flossenbuerg Concentration Camp. In the movie, upon discovering that Radl has taken the absurd and made it operational, he attempts to shut him down. It is then that Radl is approached by the SS and finds himself in front of Heinrich Himmler. Himmler had long suspected Canaris' loyalty to the Third Reich.
Another interesting side story is that of IRA member Liam Devlin. Devlin's interest in the operation is simply a desire to harm the "bloody" British Empire.
Devlin will land ahead of the German force and set things in order.
In the process, he provides the single moment of romance as he enjoys the attention of Jenny Agutter's character. And of course Jenny Agutter is another great reason to enjoy this movie.
Devlin's character is the story's single survivor and we know he ended up the way he chose.
So, let's talk ASL and the Eagle Has Landed. Many years ago now, I uploaded another The Eagle Has Landed scenario. It's still available on the ASL Scenario Archive...but is admittedly a bit of a mess. It attempts to do waaaay to much, especially in the context of an ASL game. I recommend avoiding it.
This time around, I wanted to be a bit less ambitious and instead developed two scenarios that allow players to recreate the combat moments depicted in the movie. There are two primary combat sequences. The first is the head long rush to Studley Constable by US Colonel Pitts (Larry Hagman's character). Pitts is clearly a 6+1 Leader and and sends his men right into a devastating ambush by German Colonel Steiner and his "Polish Paratroopers". The scene fits nicely into a small scenario.
The church figures prominently on the map of Studley Constable.
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.
All Grumble Jones scenarios are available from the ASL Archive website.
(Just search on Grumble Jones)