Preparation Operation Overcast FOW 1945

Along with the Battle of Saalfeld 1806 napoleonic scenario, WR and Daniel have arranged for a larger post war May 1945 scenario called “Operation Overcast” 1945. This scenario is a different mold for WR’s normal Flames of War (20mm) scenarios; not historical but a hypothetical scenario with possible combative action between former allies the United States and their opposite number the Soviet Red Army, with scenario goals not necessary combative but the seeking of former German military technology itself, and most importantly, their inventive human technicians. Toss in the streams of German refugees, escaped concentration camp population, fanatical “Nazi SS” diehards to cause trouble, models representative of the advanced German technology on the tabletop, and the horrors of post war German still under the deaden atmosphere of the war’s end.

WR intends to use this updating blog post to show some of the steps WR completes to bring a convention level Flames of War (20mm) scenario to life. Each week WR hopes to update this blog article with news of forward progress towards the Operation Overcast scenario, the unit miniatures needed or painted from bare plastic or lead, reference material collected, scenario written up, model and terrain construction, and the long list of small but incremental steps towards a “hoped for” successful scenario game. At the same time, another concurrent running progressive blog article will cover the Saalfeld 1806 scenario planned for October 1st, at the same convention.

Forward then…. the time start line for Operation Overcast scenario is the final German surrender document ending all the active combative operations. Signed at Reims France on May 7, 1945, the Second World War ended on May 8th (or 9th in USSR). Before this date the major power; USA, Britain, and the Soviet Union all had active special operations in progress, with their forward armies, and behind the German lines. These special operations; small fast moving columns of light vehicles, well armed soldiers, and veteran hand picked officers regarded for their military and scientific knowledge, comb the open and enclosed German countryside for hidden technological hardware and the scientific brains behind the wonder weapon design.

The May 7, 1945 surrender document signed at Reims France. There was other regional surrenders before and after this date but this document ended the active fighting universally.

General situation May 1945 when peace came. Only the white zones controlled by German army. The red zones occupied by allied forces during the last two weeks of active war.

Post 8/4/17: Some high brow background material. The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) established the first secret recruitment program, called Operation Overcast, and hence the name for this scenario, initially “to assist in shortening the Japanese war and to aid our postwar military research.” The term “Overcast” was the name first given by the German scientists’ family members for the housing camp where they were held in Bavaria. In September 1945, the JCS established the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) to directly oversee Operation Overcast and later Operation Paperclip. In November 1945, Operation Overcast was renamed Operation Paperclip by Ordnance Corps (United States Army) officers, who would attach a paperclip to the folders of those rocket experts whom they wished to employ in America. President Truman formally approved Operation Paperclip in a secret directive, circulated on September 3, 1946.

The later Operation Paperclip was the secret United States Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) program in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians (many of whom were formerly registered members of the Nazi Party and some of whom had leadership roles in the Nazi Party) were recruited and brought to the United States for government employment from post-Nazi Germany (after World War II). The primary purpose for Operation Paperclip was for the U.S. to gain a military advantage in the burgeoning Cold War, and later Space Race, between the U.S. and Soviet Union. By comparison, the Soviet Union were even more aggressive in recruiting Germans; during their Operation Osoaviakhim, Soviet military units forcibly (at gunpoint) recruited 2,000+ German specialists to the Soviet Union during one night and sent them east. WR will add more dated scenario background material on future updating posts below.

Final military operations at war end. Soviets have taken Berlin. American armies surging into southern Germany, then Austria. Canadian and British take the North Sea coast line.

Early predetermined occupation zones circa 1944 into early 1945. The final zonal borders shifted with discussions between the allies. Note Austria also had several occupational zones.

The purple zone became Russian controlled after the western allies retired back to their established occupational zones.

This Flames of War (20mm) scenario has a large “build and paint” list of projects, especially compared to the other napoleonic Saalfeld 1806 scenario which has the majority of the terrain on hand (in collections) and miniatures painted. The list and expanded details of completion will be regularly posted to this updating blog article as WR and Daniel finish them:

I )  Building and tabletop terrain structures start the construction (modeling list):

Collection of concentration camp buildings including: Prisoner barracks, guard towers, guard barracks, and electrical fencing.

Airport: Runways, airplane storage revents, control tower, flak positions. Airport support vehicles maybe.

Tank research and design: Workshops and labs, Electrical grid stations and power transmission towers, gun ranges, vehicle testing areas. (E-Series / Maus for example).

Advance weapon research: Radar testing tower, “Ray gun”, I/R devises, advance handheld A/A missiles (Luftfaust), Fritz-x guided bombs, Stg-44 assault rifles etc..

Advanced rocketry: V1, V2, V3, and other advanced designs and underground (in mountain Mttelwerk) V2 or V4 factory.

SS research center: This sector cannot be mentioned till convention day.

General buildings and storage tanks. Oil and gas tanks, sector fencing, and paved roadway. Some pictured below.

Slowly the collection of completed building grows for the Operation Overcast scenario. Pictured: Two fuel tanks, SS camp structures, workshops, more general buildings, radar tower, oil tank, destroyed factory building, and start of power grid station.

II )  Miniatures and Vehicles:

Complete required Russian vehicles, including IS-2 tank collection and Russian recon procurement (special services) Gaz teams. Complete any necessary repairs or touch up paint on Russian late war miniature collection.

German SS “fanatics” teams, concentration camp guards, German refugee columns, factory workers and other scenario team specialists.

The prize German technical and scientists teams which both the Soviets and American seek, information and planning design blueprint for sought after technology markers.

American recon and Special procurement (Special services) jeep teams. Complete any necessary repairs or touch up paint on American late war miniature collection.

Modelling completed for several special static display models:

III )  Scenario write-up, tabletop map (16×6′ table), and creative rules to handle a possible three-way tabletop situations involving American, Russians, and Nazi SS fanatics… plus static or random movement of the “interference” teams…..technician or scientist teams, German refugees, local population, and escaped allied or civilian prisoners.

8/9/17: Update. Last night WR completed his power distribution station with its perimeter fencing and groundwork. Rarely seen on a tabletop game, having an electrical grid or high voltage transmission towers on a scenario tabletop will be a change of scenery for WR. Next project the three electrical transmission towers to bring the “juice” to the substation and the German workshops, project village, and other secret installations of course.

The electrical substation for Operation Overcast 1945 FOW scenario. Soon paired with the high voltage transmission towers.

8/11/17: Started some tabletop terrain and equipment kit construction. Finished a simple V-1 bomb kit from the old 1/72 Frog and Spitfire mk14 box. At the same time WR built the simple Spitfire mk14 airplane for some future game. Next some more missiles or rockets for the “Mittelwerk” rocket factory sector zone: a EMW A9 rocket, a different version or EMW A4b rocket, another V2 rocket (Condor kit) to add to the two already built, plus some launching support vehicles, like a Opel Blitz T. Stofftankwagen for example.

8/19/17: Been working on the “Mittelwerk” sector of Operation Overcast 1945 scenario. Mittelwerk was the late war V2 rocket factory built underground for the expanded production of V2 rockets. For the scenario the “Mittelwerk” is background scenic terrain for the scenario gamers to seek advanced German rocket intelligence and technology, by entering the tunnel, and searching nearby for the technology, equipment, and weapons. To represent the actual “underground factory” mountain on the tabletop WR located a model railroad HO scale straight tunnel section from a national internet hobby store (Omnimodels Hobbies) and easy to locate on Ebay from other sellers for about $20.00. At the same time, since Omnimodels runs a free shipping policy for orders over $69, WR ordered two interesting HO scale rocky ridge terrain pieces to go with the RR tunnel, plus some painting and Woodland scenic supplies to bulk up the order. As pictured below, the tunnel is large, 26 inches in length and about 10 inches in height. Alongside the molded tunnel are the two “rocky ridge” terrain pieces, the small and large size. All come finished, flocked and painted as shown.

Rocky Ridges Large 9″x25″ C1320 (about $16.00)

Rocky Ridges Small 6″x14.5″ C1321 (about $13.00)

HO-Scale Straight Tunnel, 16.5″w x 26″ C1310 (about $20.00)

WR’s “Mittelwerk” mountain tunnel and two rocky slope/ridge terrain pieces from Woodland scenic. All are HO in scale.

The “Mittelwerk” entrance to the underground V2 factory. The other side will connect to the Dora concentration camp sector covered in another update.

Well if you have a missile factory, you need the scale modelled rockets too. WR has a wide selection of testing V1, basic V2, plus futuristic V4 and V9 rockets for the research factory and nearby workshops. Picture below are the kits: V-1 launch site, several V1’s, three V2 rockets, one with visible interior fittings, the V4 and V9 experimental rockets and support launch stands and transport trailers. Not pictured are the fuel storage tanks, LOX trailers, and the 20mm miniature technicians teams, all waiting to be captured by the roving American or Soviet scientific survey / groups.

Rocket models for the Mittelwerk scenario sector. V1 with test launcher site, several V2, one with full interior, a futuristic V4 and V9 rocket (manned), all in 20mm scale.





2017 Mini-Wars Flyer

Cheers from the warren and the modeller’s workbench.



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