"We assault England!": The board game designed by Nazi propaganda that perhaps consoled Adolf Hitler

(To David Bartoccini)

Conquering the 'perfidious Albion' has long remained the führer's desire, as for the emperor Napoleon before him; neither of them succeeded: Hitler, for his part, was able to console himself with a board game designed 'precisely' to test the qualities of strategists of the young model Nazis. The game was called 'Wir Fahren Gegen Engeland' and probably in the melancholy evenings the führer played a few hands, perhaps in the light of the fireplace in the Berghof, in the company of Field Marshal Göring, who failed miserably against the RAF in the early stages of the operation. Sea Lion (the Invasion of England), and his friend Rudolf Hess, who then came to England seriously: but for mysterious and obscure motives.

'Wir Fahren Gegen England', something that should sound like 'Assault England', was a board game designed by the Nazi propaganda machine to delight the little children of the Reich in conquering Britain with U-boats and bombers of the Luftwaffe: Sinking the Royal Navy naval blockade and wiping out the Royal Air Force. Six players could compete in the conquest of the European archenemy represented on a map which also depicted the coasts of Norway, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and France, passing through two routes that, between the Channel and the North Sea, led to the conquest of the archipelago British. Between a roll of the dice and a card drawn from the deck: which represented a stop, a turn, a destroyed ship or a downed plane, the young leader who conquered first obviously won Albion.

The nice box, which showed the image of one of the notorious U-boats engaged in chasing every moving Atlantic ally, was also provided with two swastika bands, to be worn to become better embodied in tomorrow's führer, of different pawns, shaped like a submarine and bomber.

A complete playset, an undoubtedly rare collector's item, was recently sold at an auction in Chiswick, England, reaching £ 350. John Meyer, the auctioneer, commented that the game would not have achieved the same success in Europe, especially in Germany, but in England collectors love it, because let's face it: in a way it's funny.

The Real Invasion of England

The 'Leone Marino' operation (Unternehmen Seelöwe) was designed at the end of the 'Campaign of France' in the summer of 1940, and was based on the success that Luftwaffe would have had on the 'Eagle Day': the total destruction of the British air force and its airfields. Once the RAF was eliminated, a parachutist launch and landing of a large contingent would begin with Calais and the surrounding areas of the French coast now occupied: a D-Day in reverse.

Despite the 1.485 airstrikes launched by Germany, the Royal Air Force, underestimated in numbers and benefited by the 'Radar'-a weapon of providential technology that managed to address the few RAF squadrons on the objectives, leading them to intercept with a certain advantage the formations enemies - managed to resist the power of a numerically superior air force (4 to 1), changing, on the wings of the famous Spitfire e Hurricane, the fate of the entire conflict.

When, in September of the 1940, Luftwaffe found its losses, asserting that no amphibious operation could have taken place without the aerial supremacy on the Channel, he passed his hand.

The rest is history.