- Nov 30, 2013
Warriors of the North said:Chapter 5.3: All Quiet on the Western Front
The Siege of Malmö continued into its third month. The German Army continued to throw masses of men at the fortifications, under fire from the Swedish Army, Air Force, and the Navy (whenever the last was able to avoid KMS Schlesien and her escorts). The latest in the long string of battles saw over 130 thousand troops fighting over one city. The Germans were thrown back once more, but the strain was beginning to show on the Swedish defenders. The Germans may have lost ten thousand troops, according to surviving records of the time, but the Swedes lost over 2 thousand.
On a population that was barely able to support half the troops the Germans could, it was proportionally a much greater loss. Especially as Allied intelligence reported the Italians starting to move troops north, and the fact the Germans could still call on Bulgarians, Hungarians, and (recently added) Romanians.
The Allies, comparatively, could only call on a shattered Belgian Army, the French, the Norwegians, and the British to support Sweden in Europe. The British Commonwealth may have joined the War, but they needed most of their small armies (even the Indian Army was small compared to the masses of men being thrown around on the Western Front) in the Pacific to watch Japan. They were holding the line in Belgium, as previously stated, in a mirror of the Great War, aside from greater success in keeping the Germans out of France herself.
It was probable, if not likely, that this was all there was keeping the Germans from drowning Malmö in blood.
The war in Africa was far more fluid than the Western Front however. Italian forces in Ethiopia were being pushed back by joint Franco-British forces from the coast. The Italians were pushing into British territory as they fled however, making a mess of the front lines in the area. However, the Allies had an advantage in controlling Suez...the Italians would only have their existing supply stockpiles to work off of, so it was only a matter of time before the armies ran out of steam and were cornered.
The front in Libya was slightly more static, but a British lead force of natives (Egypt, Palestine, Transjordan) were pushing the Italians back, while the French forces in Morocco pushed from the other flank.
There was little rest for the German army either. The Swedish Air Force, limited though it may have been, was bombarding Copenhagen whenever the opportunity presented itself. The Germans had little anti-air cover, and it was only the small size of the planes (and indeed the Air Force) that kept the raids from doing more damage. It still served a purpose however, in keeping the Germans preoccupied and unable to rest.
It was also giving the green Air Force some experience, experience that would serve them well if the Luftwaffe ever made itself known.
The Army, lead by Major General Hagelberg was gaining experience too. The constant attacks may have been running them dry, but the defenders of Malmö were gaining valuable experience. This baptism of fire for the Swedish Army was quickly turning a force that hadn't seen a war in over a century, into a force that could stand against the Nazi German juggernaut...at least from well-defended positions in Malmö.
However, these repeat battles continued to run both armies dry. The Swedes were losing more men than could be easily replaced, while the Germans were bringing more and more fresh troops from their quiet flanks. Experience or not, numbers could end up going in the Germans favor if something didn't change soon...
Yeah...nothing new really. I get the feeling unless I invade somewhere (which is difficult when all but two cruisers and a destroyer flotilla are trapped in the Baltic) its probably going to be 'Battle of Malmö...again...and again...and again...'