The motivation behind Commonwealth Summer grew from my love of the CC3 WF Mod, and a wish for more action involving the Canadian, British, and Polish forces in Normandy in 1944.
The motivation behind Commonwealth Summer grew from my love of the CC3 WF Mod, and a wish for more action involving the Canadian, British, and Polish forces in Normandy in 1944. I have always been fascinated with the Normandy Campaign—the tactical successes and failures that occurred on both sides of the hedgerows. The Germans not only lost the opportunity to possibly drive part, if not all, of the Allied forces back into the English Channel soon after D Day, but Montgomery also made decisions and declarations during and after the stalemate around Caen which will forever generate debate.
It was the British and Canadians that bore the brunt of Germany’s elite Panzer Divisions during the Normandy Campaign. In the 60 days that followed the invasion, the region surrounding the Norman city of Caen was host to some of the most bitter and intensive small unit actions of the entire campaign.
By focusing on the Normandy Campaign, there is the potential to limit availability of units within a narrow timeframe, and consequently play historically accurate operations/campaigns and scenarios with Canadian, British, or Polish units exclusively. I encourage anyone to create new grand campaigns that focus on British and/or Polish units. The campaign included with this release, “Normandy Campaign” is designed for Canadian forces only. The campaign on the German side focuses principally on the 12. SS.
Commonwealth Summer (CS) has been designed to bring out the feel of fighting in the hedgerows. Some of the differences in tank capabilities between the Germans and Allies will be smoothed out in the close quarters of the hedges and the city streets of Caen, Falaise, etc. The fancy, powerful stuff you remember from WF will be either unavailable, extremely limited, or too expensive to buy in most cases (if you play the camp and ops). This is middle-class fighting in the hedgerows—mostly Shermans 75s vs. Mark IVs, Enfields, Stens and Brens vs. Mausers and MP40s. We have attempted to construct infantry sections (especially for Commonwealth forces) to match their historical counterparts in size and weapons. You will not see an abundance or variety of heavy weapons in Commonwealth infantry sections because this was historically the case. Where the Germans have an edge in infantry weapons or tanks, the Commonwealth forces more than make up for in artillery, air, and naval support.
Mod or sub-mod?
Commonwealth Summer (CS) began as a sub-mod of the Western Front Mod. CS is crafted principally from the data and graphics built by the original WF Mod Team instead of data directly from the original CC3 game. Nonetheless, there have been extensive changes including new graphics, new operations, and a new grand campaign called “Normandy Campaign.”
CHANGES IN DATA
A. FLAVOUR AND APPEARANCE
- The time frame of this sub-mod covers June 6th, 1944 through August 25, 1944, from D-Day until the liberation of Paris. Determining what units to include and exclude in this sub-mod were largely based on their availability during this time frame.
- Canadian and Polish units were added. Both countries fought with the 21st Army Group in Normandy. The 1st Polish Armoured Division entered combat the beginning of August. Canadian forces landed at Juno Beach during D-Day and fought until the end of hostilities in Europe.
- English spelling has been retained to the extent of the knowledge of the North American designer. For example, “armor” is spelled “armour.”
- A new RUNames file has been added to so that the Allied name file would have a more distinctive Commonwealth flavour. Polish names were left out since most of the time frame of the sub-mod involves action with British and Canadian units.
- A slightly revised RRusVox file that includes original CC2 voices.
- Several new vehicle graphics for both the Allied and German units.
- Several new unit requisition graphics.
- The White Star: White stars were left on the inset maps and in the scenario editor, and appear on many, but not all Commonwealth vehicles. The white star, and the white star in a circle was a universal recognition used by the allies to identify vehicles, especially from the air. There was no strict enforcement of the use of the star, and the British and Canadians applied them inconsistently after D Day. Many were painted out as the campaign in NW Europe progressed, especially since German gunners used the large white stars on the sides of vehicles as a targeting sight.
- Commonwealth medals have been added. The organization is not perfect as some medals were only issued to officers, but this is CC3, and nothing can be perfect.
- British Army rank badges were added.
- The Union Jack has replaced the Stars and Stripes in the scenario editor and terrain file.
- CC4 explosion graphics are a part of this sub-mod.
B. CHANGES IN WF RUTEAMS FILE
- All American units have been replaced with British, Canadian, or Polish units.
- Recon has been changed to the official abbreviation of “Recce” for Allied units.
- Command unit descriptions have been changed to reflect the designations and abbreviations used at the time, for example “Coy” for company.
- Several distinctive units have been added (Black Watch, le Regiment de la Chaudières, Guards, 7th Armoured Div, Black Watch, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, etc. Their rarity has been adjusted to the best historical knowledge and within the limits of available dates.
- Morale settings were more or less subjective and involved some guesswork since there was a lot of variability in the morale of British, Canadian, and Polish troops. Even the most veteran British Divisions at Normandy had their share of morale problems in Normandy, while other supposedly green troops demonstrated superb morale.
- Commonwealth Infantry units have been altered to the typical British Infantry Section during June, 1944. Ten men now comprise most sections with one Bren gun and one commander armed with a Sten. Exceptions have been made to allow for PIATS to occur in some sections, perhaps more often than they would have occurred historically.
- Replacement units are added (minimal experience/morale) and become more plentiful as time progresses. The British encountered a significant manpower shortage as the Normandy campaign unfolded. Experienced troops became increasingly scarce or fatigued, especially for the infantry where casualties approached 80% by the end of the campaign.
- Sten Mk V changed to Sten Mk II. The improved Sten Mk V was first distributed to airborne troops on September, 1944 and saw action at Arnhem, after the Normandy Campaign. The Mk II was the predominant Sten model in Normandy. It was notoriously unreliable, inaccurate, and unpopular among infantrymen. The data reflects a slight increase in breakdown/jam rate and slightly diminished accuracy.
- Bren support teams have been added, as was the practice of massing Bren guns from a single company in order to concentrate supporting or defensive fire effectively.
- Bren ammunition increased.
- Special PIAT teams with two PIATs have been created in order to beef up the anti-tank capability of Commonwealth infantry which is woefully lacking defense against German tanks.
- A.F. Observers (Hawker Typhoons) were added to replace the P-47 and P-51. Typhoons either carry 127mm rockets or HE bombs. Two types of R.A.F. Observers: on foot, and Universal Carrier. An individual rocket was estimated to have an 8% chance of hitting the target. A salvo of 8 thus had a 64% chance of scoring at least one hit in ideal conditions.
- A Forward Observer Bombardment (naval support) has been added. Naval bombardment was the bane of German forces in the Caen sector. It was sometimes well coordinated and extremely powerful. Naval support was so destructive the Germans wanted to withdraw beyond the range of naval guns, but Hitler would not have it. The FOB unit is rare and/or unavailable after mid-July when most German forces had been forced inland out of range of most naval fire.
- A Forward Observer with smoke barrage capabilities has been added (this is a very recent addition and has not been tested very much).
- Royal Marine Centaur tanks (95mm howitzer) are included, but they become scarce to unavailable within weeks of D-Day.
- RAM APCs, and Priest APCs have been added. The Priest APC was a modified Priest with the gun removed, first used in Normandy to transport Canadian infantry into battle. This was the first real use of an APC to transport large numbers of infantry directly into battle. Canadian commanders were so impressed by the success of these armoured infantry carriers, that obsolete RAM tanks were later converted to APCs after removing the turrets (Priest SPGs on loan had to be returned to the Americans). Even though the RAM APCs were not used until after the Normandy campaign, they have been added for fun.
- A turretless M3A3 has been added. The British (specifically the 7th Div.) were known to convert some M3A3 Stuarts to high speed recce vehicles by removing the turrets (known as “Jalopies”).
- Otter Armoured Car added. The Otter Mk I GMC 4x4 Light Recce Car was used principally be Canadian recce units in NW Europe.
- British Challenger tank added. This tank saw very limited (if dubious) action at the end of the Normandy campaign. It it armed with a very effective 17pdr gun, but has only fair armour.
- Sherman types have been changed to reflect that which was available in Normandy during the summer of 1944. Sherman types, as with most of the Commonwealth armour found in this sub-mod, are constructed primarily on an article by Peter Brown (AFV News, November, 1996). Entitled "21st Army Group Tanks", the article extensively cites the "Half Yearly Reports on the Progress of the Royal Armoured Corps" completed by the RAC during WWII. These reports shed light on the composition of 21st Army Group armoured units at the beginning and end of the Normandy campaign. Sherman IIs, IIIs, and Vs, (75mm) were the main battle tanks for most of the 21st Army in Normandy, with Sherman Vs being the most numerous of the three. The Polish 1st Armoured was supplied with Sherman 76s on a replacement basis, but these were extremely rare in Normandy w/ Commonwealth forces and have not been included.
- Allied tank crews are principally armed with one Sten per tank (typically mounted in the tank) and side arms instead of a rifle for each crew member (some open-topped AFVs and others are excepted).
C. CHANGES IN WF GETEAMS FILE
PzIVH rarity was increased to reflect its availability and Shurzen was added. At the time of D-day, the majority of the 748 Mark IVs in Normandy were Ausf H. Production of Ausf J only began in June, 1944. PzIVJ command tank was replaced with PzIVH command tank.
PzVA rarity was generally increased over the PzVG to reflect the relative abundance of this particular model of Panther in Normandy.
Some German tanks were removed entirely with rarity, or simply eliminated from the data. Tanks like the Sturmtiger, Jagdtiger, Hetzer, and Ostwind, for example, post-date the Normandy campaign. Others tanks were very rare in Normandy (like the Königstiger and Jagdpanther), and their rarity has only been included in a couple operations.
The experience of 12th SS Hitlerjugend was increased slightly to reduce the possibility of surrender and to increase performance slightly. These soldiers were young and green, but highly trained. They were also led by some of the most experienced and battle-tested leaders Germany had to offer. Hitlerjugend and other SS units surrendered infrequently during the Normandy campaign. Most SS soldiers came to realize that they stood a good chance of being shot if they surrendered. Unfortunately, the practice of killing prisoners was something that happened on both sides of the hedgerows.
Germans have indirect Wurf observer, as well as 105mm artillery, Hummel self-propelled heavy howitzer battery, and 88mm air burst indirect fire observers.
Wittmann tank unit added with slightly better reload time, accuracy rating, and more AP40 rounds to reflect the very experienced tank crew serving under Germany’s greatest tank ace. The tank and gun characteristics are otherwise IDENTICAL to all other Tiger I tanks.
Some changes in infantry: 716th Infantry Division (Coastal Defense). This infantry was typically of lower morale, and many of them were not native Germans. Anti-Stalinist Russians were among the many national and ethnic groups that served in the German Army and helped garrison the Atlantic Wall. There were even some Korean soldiers serving in the Werchmat in Normandy! Specific Panzergrenadier regiments added, 16th Luftwaffe Division, remnant units, etc.
Panzerfaust 30 is the only panzerfaust available. Production of Pf 60 did not begin until September, 1944, after the Normandy Campaign. Pf 100 was not available until November, 1944.
Panzerschreck teams were expanded by adding two additional soldiers, one armed with a panzerfaust. This is a partial Panzerzerstörergruppen unit. The original Panzerschreck team was retained as well.
German air observers were limited (Ju 88 HE observer was eliminated) due to the infrequent and random appearance of the Luftwaffe during the Normandy campaign.
German tanks crews are now armed with either an MP40 or Walther P38 instead of a Mauser rifle.
D. CHANGES IN GAMEPLAY
- Infantry survivability has been adjusted to the level of Dreaded 88’s 1940 Mod.
- Tank MG accuracy has been reduced somewhat to better model the effect of buttoned-up tanks, and/or minimize the tendency of cc3 tanks to unrealistically spot infantry.
- Minimum ranges on large ordinance (50mm and up) have been increased between roughly 2-5 meters in order to reflect the range from the TIP of the gun muzzle instead of the center of the tank or gun (as the CC3 engine measures it).
- Upgrade paths in general have been minimized, and have been reduced dramatically for Germans reflecting the rare chance of upgrading/replacing equipment, vehicles, within the scope of the Normandy Campaign.
- Smoke Barrage (British) unit must be ordered to fire “smoke” in order to target indirectly. It will slow down the game, notably scrolling across the battlefield.
- All mortars have been tweaked for a slight increase in blast size and kill ratings. Mortars now have a greater chance of stunning or suppressing infantry.
- 17pdr gun was penetration was increased slightly to more accurately reflect its armour penetration capabilities at close and longer range. Its medium range capability was decreased slightly by the same data tables.
- 37mm gun penetration was decreased slightly from WF data. It still remains edited above its historical penetration value for the sake of gameplay.
- AA Bren added to Otter and Universal Carriers to increase reload times with these vehicles.
- Artillery observers were added for both Commonwealth and German forces (indirect). They are fairly rare, and are roughly as accurate as mortars. They were included to add a little more realism (though not always more balanced play) to the game. The closer you bring your artillery observer to the action, the more accurate his fire. This fire is capable of disabling or destroying tanks. Commonwealth artillery includes 25pdr and 5.5 inch batteries. German artillery is 105mm batteries, rockets (Wurframen), 150mm Hummel, and 88mm air burst. NOTE: certain terrain and cover will decrease infantry survival under an artillery barrage—buildings and trees tend to magnify the effects of artillery through airbursts or flying debris.
The 16 rarity columns for Commonwealth Summer are as follows:
- June 6th, D-Day A-principally Canadian units G-units defending Normandy coast, no tanks.
- June 6th, D+8hrs A-British mixed units G-units defending coast, 21st Panzer
- June 7th (D+1) A-Canadian units G-12. SS
- June 8th (D+2) A-British 6th Airborne only G-mixed units, principally elements 21st Panzer
- June 9th (D+3) A-Canadian units G-12. SS
- June 10th (D+4) A-British units (+- 50th Div) G-mixed units of Panzer Lehr
- June 11th (D+5) A-Canadian units G-12. SS
- June 12th (D+6) A-British units (tanks x-rare) G-mixed units, elements of Pz Lehr (tanks x-rare)
- June 13-23 A- 7th Armoured Div units G-SS Tiger tanks, Heer units
- June 24-July 3 A-British units (during Op Epsom) G-mixed units of Heer and SS
- July 4-17 A-Canadian units G-12. SS
- July 18-24 A-British units (during Op Goodwood) G-mixed units
- July 25-August 6 A-Canadian units G-mixed units (Tigers of schwere Pz. Abt. 102 and grenadiers, etc.)
- August 7-10 A-Canadian forces (during Op Totalize) G-mostly 12. SS with supporting Tigers, other mixed units
- August 11-16 A-mixed Canadian forces (during Op Tractable) G-mixed units trying to escape Falaise Pocket
- August 17-25 A-1st Polish Armoured Div ONLY G-many mixed units, mostly SS counterattacking out of Falaise Pocket
Green denotes rarity column used in campaign play
These dates follow significant operations or phases of the Normandy campaign from D-Day until the liberation of Paris on August 25th. Individual unit’s rarity has been adjusted to these time frames, but their occurrence is not necessary limited to within their respective dates. British 6th Airborne units only appear in the June 8th rarity column, however, they were present before and after. Rarity was only used to restrict units in operation and campaign gameplay. With rarity “off” all units will show up and players can design their own scenarios.
For those who wish to design scenarios/ops for almost infantry only the dates of D+6 have been edited so that there are only 2-3 tanks available and they are left as extremely rare. A few halftracks for each side have been included at minimum rarity also. This column roughly represents the British 50th Division’s offensive in the Seulles Valley against Panzer Lehr.
The 16 historical operations run the spectrum from mostly infantry to mostly tanks. They all have researched operational briefings, and attempt to capture the spirit, and in some cases, historical reality of the actual battle.
F. CONSIDERATIONS FOR FUTURE UPDATES
- further limiting AP40 (Pzgr.40) rounds in German tanks and AT guns since this type of AP ammunition seemed to be exceedingly rare by June, 1944.
Anyone is welcome to edit the CS files for their own enjoyment/mod releases and, if desired, send the changes along for consideration as an official update or add-on. Editing rarity for new operations and/or campaigns is encouraged. There are a lot of possibilities!
This will probably not be the final version of Commonwealth Summer. If you have questions or comments contact Cathartes at email@example.com
WF Mod Team. The Commonwealth Summer Mod is based on a substantial amount of data and graphics that the WF Mod Team created.
Commonwealth Summer Mod Team (in alphabetical order):
Cathartes—data editing, game interface, gadget and vehicle graphics (unless otherwise noted below), historical operations,Villers-Bocage map (available for download separately), playtesting.
GS_Marcks—Tetrarch, RAM APC, Sexton, and Priest APC graphics/gadgets, Commonwealth voice file, music sfx, and Lingevres map (available separately), playtesting, CS plugin.
Sabot edited rarity for, and designed grand campaign: Normandy Campaign, as well as the ‘Maczuga’ operation, playtesting.
Pz_Weisse—RUNames file, music sfx, playtesting, and provided important historical information on names and composition of British Infantry units, ranks, armour units, and others.
Zonbie---in addition to all his work with the WF Mod that laid the groundwork for this one, provided valuable input, guidance, and helped specifically with vehicle shadows and edited the cc3.exe for the Monty touch, playtesting, and made a comfy home for Commonwealth Summer on the West Front web site.
Atilla—Caen map (available separately)
FUTURE—suggestions and information provided for Otter armoured car and Challenger tank.
Schrecken—submitted vehicle/teams/weapons data on Centaur, Tetrarch, Sexton, and RAM APC armoured vehicles.
Tim from the Dugout—title suggestion and info on medals/ranks.
Decision in Normandy, Carlo D’este, Harper Perennial, NY, NY, 1994.
Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Peter Chamberlain and Hilary Doyle, Arms and Armour, London, 1999.
Gold Beach, Christopher Dunphie and Garry Johnson, Combined Publishing, Conshohocken, PA, 1999.
Invasion! They’re Coming!, Paul Carell, Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, PA, 1995.
Normandy 1944 The Canadian Summer, Bill McAndrew, Donald E. Graves, Michael Whitby, Art Global, Montreal, Quebec, 1994.
Panzer Commander, Hans Von Luck, Dell Publishing, NY, NY, 1989.
Six Armies in Normandy, John Keegan, Penguin Books, NY, NY, 1994.
Canadian Veterans Services
Close Combat Net Forum
Various issues of AFV News