Operation Sea Lion – The Hungarian 1st Army

Hello All

As you may well know WWPD are running a world wide Flames of War Campaign based on a fictional 1944 Axis invasion of Britain. As I have said in my last post on the subject I love world wide campaigns and as soon as WWPD announced the campaign I was straight onto my gaming forum coming up with ideas of what we should do with it. We decided to play out a narrative campaign about an attack on our home county of Dorset, mainly around the Bournemouth and Poole area. Once the decision was made I set about coming up with the background to my Hungarian army’s invasion, (after all you need the background story and goals before you can play out a
narrative) and worked on some visual aids.

To this end my goal is to create an almost historical text book report of my Hungarian army during Operation Sea Lion. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The Hungarian 1st Army In Britain 1944

General Jány meets with a
German Officer in the North
of France May 1944

With the war in the East over Admiral Horthy had looked forward to
consolidating his country’s spoils of war and settling down for a time of peace.
His country had lost a lot of men in the fighting in Russia
and he knew Hungary
needed time to heal the wounds of war. This plan became nothing more than a
pipe dream as reports started coming in to Admiral Horthy about German plans to
invade Britain in the summer
of 1944 and that Hitler expected all of his Axis partners to aid in the effect
to rid Germany of its last opponent
in Europe.

To start with Admiral Horthy was against such a move, after all Hungary had no real quarrel with Britain and
Horthy didn’t want to see any more Hungarians killed in “Hitler’s War”. Hitler
put Horthy under increasing pressure and as the other Axis leaders started
supporting the enterprise the regent was left with no option to agree. He called
on General Jány to form up and command the Hungarian 1st Army for
operations in Britain,
but made it clear that General Jány was to try and keep the Hungarian
involvement to a minimum. General Jány agreed to this plan but secretly harboured
plans for personally glory and saw the invasion of Britain
as his last chance to add to his battle honours; this would later turn into the
Hungarian 1st army taking on some of the most dangerous missions of
the Battle.

A group of German and Hungarian Soldiers
in France April 1944.

As the army formed up in France
and started training for the invasion General Jány was briefed on the plans. The
Hungarian’s had been designated an area from Poole
Harbour to Christchurch
on the Southern coast of Britain.
The main goals of the 1st phase was to take the beach heads, tackle
the formidable defencive at Christchurch (Christchurch had been designated an “anti-tank
island” in the defence plans of Britain) and then push on and take the airbases
at Christchurch and Hurn to aid resupply and grant the Axis forces better air
support for the following phases. Once these 1st phase plans had
been achieved the Hungarians were to meet up with the German 6th Army
at Bristol in a
massive encirclement of the British forces in the south.

A knocked out British Cromwell Tank. The tank was
knocked out in the street fighting around  Bournemouth.

The Invasion kicked off on the 12th May 1944. The first waves of
the Hungarian infantry took their initial beachheads at Bournemouth and Poole
with little resistance, but at Christchurch
they ran into a whole host of problems. A mix up with the landing crafts meant that
most of the heavy equipment designated for the Christchurch
beaches ended up on the Bournemouth and Poole
beaches. What little equipment did arrive was bloody and mauled as it reached
the beaches by the defences. General Jány quickly tried to regain the initiative
and order the Bournemouth beachhead forces to circle around and out flank the Christchurch defences,
but as they set off they ran into the 1st British Airborne Division
and got bogged down in savage street fighting. General Jány realised that a quick
breakthrough was not on the cards and so decided to wait for his armoured
forces to arrive in the 2nd Wave.

The story will continue after my first game and will include with an AAR.

Thanks for reading Ben.

Category: CampaignFlames of WarHungariansLate WarOperation Sea Lion

8 comments

  1. Almost forgot its an alternate history campainge with that background detail 🙂 I have a fledgling force of so far undeafeated hungarians, so heres hoping you do the maygar steel proud….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Article by: Mark Goddard