1945 Scenario
for Avalon Hill’s The Rise and Decline of the Third Reich

By M Gemmell, 1999.

Knowledge of the rules to Third Reich is required to play the scenario.

Part 1. Back story (alternative history)

March 1945:

The great Franklin D. Roosevelt dies without seeing the conclusion of the war in Europe. Harry Truman succeeds Roosevelt and uses the next few months to consolidate his power. The extra time in power considerably hardens his anti-Communist attitudes. When Truman comes to Potsdam in July 1945, he is at once suspicious, and is firm in America’s attitudes towards the minor European states under Soviet control.

Historic Note: In reality, Roosevelt died in April 1945, and Truman was relatively inexperienced when he took office.

April 1945:

Winston Churchill calls a snap election in Britain ahead of schedule. Clement Atlee’s Labour Party, unprepared for the election, is defeated at the polls. Strengthened by his domestic mandate, Churchill becomes increasingly frustrated with the Soviet communising of Poland. Britain specifically went to war for in 1939 to protect Poland’s freedom.

Historic Note: In reality, Churchill was turfed from office in June 1945 by the Labour party. Atlee’s inexperience at Potsdam similarly hurt the Allies’ stance against communism.

May 1945:

Adolf Hitler commits suicide in Berlin on April 31. Admiral Donitz, Hitler’s successor, orders the Wehrmacht to retreat westward and be captured by the western Allies rather than by the Soviets. VE Day is May 7. Germany is divided along the Elbe River between the western Allies and the USSR.

Historic Note: All true

June 1945:

The victorious western Allies’ armies melt away throughout May to July as public pressure at home forces early demobilisation in the USA and Britain. Meanwhile tensions mount over the post-war futures of Poland and Czechoslovakia, pre-war clients of Britain and France respectively. Norway remains under nominal German occupation.

On June 15, Marshall Tito, independent Communist guerrilla leader, closes Yugoslavia’s borders to both the USA and USSR. Tito is unwilling to get involved between escalating tensions.

Historic note: In reality, the fiercely independent Tito broke with the USSR in 1948 to pursue a "third way" between the USSR and USA.

On June 30, General Eisenhower, under extreme pressure from Truman and Churchill to maintain dwindling western Allied military strength in the face of the continuing Red Army occupation of Eastern Europe, secretly begins rearming captured Wehrmacht divisions. The Wehrmacht is reorganised into an anti-Communist force. Some hard-core Nazis within the Wehrmacht remain in power.

July 1945:

The UK sends troops to Greece to reinstall the Greek monarchy and resist an aggressive Communist guerrilla pressure. In a climate of increasing European tension, the USSR reacts by reorganising the armies of Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria to serve the Red Army. Western demobilisation quietly ceases.

Historic Note: The British really did send troops to restore order in Greece in 1945. Thereafter they were involved in a prolonged war against communist guerrillas lasting until 1947.

On July 17, Potsdam ends in bitter acrimonious dissent. A belligerent Churchill, feeling his personal agreement of December 1944 with Stalin over spheres of influence has been violated, is backed by an equally suspicious Truman. Stalin, determined to create a buffer zone around the USSR’s borders against future invasion, refuses to budge on Soviet communisation of Eastern Europe. Concerned about the west’s belligerency, the USSR re-mobilises the Red Army.

August 1945:

On August 1, the Soviet Black Sea fleet is refused permission by a wary Turkey to pass through the Bosporus straits into the Mediterranean. An angry USSR claims the straits should be open to all nations in peacetime. Turkey, backed by French diplomacy, refuses entry on the grounds that the war is not over for either the Soviets or the western Allies because Japan remains to be dealt with. General De Gaulle, struggling to restore France’s Great Power status, frantically rebuilds his military to make good on promises of support to Turkey. The Italian provisional government, under Marshall Bagilio, sides with the west.

The Pacific War continues, albeit at a lower level. Japan, ringed by American power, is impotent. On August 2, Truman considers using the results of the Manhattan Project in Europe instead of against Japan.

Historic Note: Truman in fact threatened Stalin indirectly at Potsdam, revealing to the Soviet leader the frightening destructive power of the Manhattan Project’s atomic testing, with the implication that such a weapon could be used on the atomic-less USSR. Stalin was reportedly calm to the implication, and hoped that Truman would use the new weapon soon to destroy Japan.

On August 3, British troops in Greece accidentally violate the Bulgarian border at Thesslanokia while pursuing communist guerrillas. Thesslanokia, always an extremely sensitive diplomatic issue between Greece and Bulgaria erupts into a small scale battle between Soviet-backed Bulgarian troops and a combined Greco-British force. Fearing a pre-emptive strike by the western Allies is under way, Stalin orders the immediate invasion of Germany west of the May demarcation line.

On August 4, World War III starts in Europe.

Part 2. Set-up

2 Players: USA, USSR

Start: Fall 1945 turn

The USSR moves first in Fall 1945 and Winter 1945. Starting with the Spring 1946 turn, movement is determined regularly


*   270 +

*   60 (UK)

*   50 ( France)

*   30 (Italy)

*   60 (West Germany) - use regular black German counters

*   10 (Holland)

*   15 (Belgium)

*   10 (Greece)

*   60 (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Persia)

*   10 (Norway)

*   10 (Denmark)



*   200 +

*   15 (Hungary)

*   15 (Rumania)

*   10 (Bulgaria)

*   20 (Poland) - use extra Finnish grey counter

*   15 (Finland)

*   25 (Baltic States)

*   50 (East Germany) - use extra Finnish grey counters


*   Spain

*   Sweden

*   Turkey

*   Yugoslavia (truncated, see notes below)

*   Switzerland (impassable)

Note: A Declaration of War against any country costs 35 BRPs in 1945.

Partisans: USA may build in Poland, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria or Baltic States

USSR may build in France, Italy, Greece, Great Britain, or Egypt

Order of Deployment: USA, USSR

Force Pools:


At Start:

USA forces: 3-4 inf. (6), 5-6 arm (3), 3-3 airbrn (1), 9 fleet (7), 5-4 air (4), replcs (7)

UK forces: 3-4 inf. (4), 1-3 inf. (3), 4-5 arm (2), 3-3 airbrn (1), 9 fleet (10), 5-4 air (2), replcs (6)

Italian forces: 1-3 inf. (2)

French. forces: 2-3 inf. (4)

West German forces: 1-3 inf. (4

Builds 1945 (turns 1 and 2):                  
USA:           3-4 inf. (5), 5-6 arm (1)                      
UK:            3-4 inf. (1), 4-5 arm (1), 5-4 air (1)                
Italy:         2-3 inf. (1), replcs (2)                              
France:        2-3 inf. (2), replcs (2)                              
W.  Germany:   3-3 inf. (2), replcs (4)                              
Builds 1946 (turn 3+)
USA: 3-4 inf. (4), 5-6 arm (1), 5-4 air (1)
UK: 3-4 inf. (2)
France: 3-5 arm (1), 5-4 air (1)
W. Germany: 5-6 arm (1), 5-4 air (1)


At Start:

USSR forces: 3-3 inf. (20), 2-3 inf. (10), 1-3 inf. (6), 4-5 arm (4), 3-5 arm (6), 2-3 airbrn (2), 5-4 air (5), 9 fleet (3)

Finnish forces: 2-3 inf. (2), 1-4 air (1)

East German forces: 2-3 inf. (2)

Polish forces: 2-3 inf. (1)

Hungarian forces: 2-3 inf. (1), 1-3 inf. (6), 1-4 air (1)

Rumanian forces: 2-3 inf. (2), 1-3 inf. (6), 1-4 air (1)

Bulgarian forces: 1-3 inf. (4), 1-4 air (1)

Builds (1946) Turn 3 +
USSR: 1-3 inf. (9)
E.  Germany: 2-3 inf. (1)
Poland: 2-3 inf. (1)

Deployment Limits:


USA forces: (1) rplc in Tunis, (1) 3-4 inf. in Plymouth, (1) 3-4 inf. in Rome, (1) 9 fleet in Egypt, (1) 9 fleet in Italy.

UK forces: (1) rplc & (1) 9 fleet in Egypt, (1) rplc & (1) 9 fleet in Gibraltar, (1) 9 fleet, (1) 3-4 inf., (1) 5-4 air, (1) 2-5 arm. in Greece, (1) 1-3 inf. in hex Z29, (1) 1-3 inf. in The Hague, (1) 3-4 inf. in Brussels, (1) rplc in Libya, (1) rplc. in Palestine, (1) 1-3 inf. in Persia, (1) rplc in Malta, (1) rplc in Mosul,

French forces: (1) 2-3 inf. in Syria, (1) 2-3 inf. in Oran, (1) 2-3 inf. in Paris

Italian forces: (1) 1-3 inf. in Albania

West German forces: (1) 1-3 inf. & (1) rplc. in Norwa


USSR forces: Garrisons (1) 2-3 inf. in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland (1) rplc. in Finland (1) rplc. in Riga (1) 3-3 inf. & (1) 3-5 arm. in Bulgaria

Hungarian forces: In Hungary, Yugoslavia, or East Germany

Romanian forces: In Romania, Yugoslavia, East Germany, or Bulgaria

Bulgarian forces: In Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, or East Germany

East German forces: In East Germany only

Finnish forces: In Northern Zone, Finland, Poland, Baltic States, or East Germany

Polish forces: In Poland or East Germany.

Part 3. Special Scenario Rules

USSR Garrison Rules:

The USSR player must maintain a garrison at all times of at least (1) 2-3 inf. unit in each of the following countries: Hungary, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, and a garrison of at least (1) rplc. unit at all times in the following countries: Baltic States and Finland.

Failure to maintain the minimum garrison at the end of any USSR player’s turn will result in the following actions:

Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania:

The country drops out of the war. Remove all counters from play. The counters are removed permanently from the USSR player force pool. Even if the garrison rules are subsequently met, Bulgarian, Hungarian, or Romanian units remain out of play. The countries BRPs can be captured or recaptured subsequently as per regular rules on capture of capital cities.


Two partisans may be placed free of charge by the USA player in any legitimate hex in Poland. Subsequent turns without the garrison requirement being met mean additional partisans appearing, to a maximum of 5 at any one time on the map.

Finland, Baltic States:

The USSR player immediately loses the BRP values of the country directly from his current BRP total. If the USSR player does not have enough BRPS to pay this cost, the extras are ignored. The BRPS cannot be regained by subsequently meeting the garrison rule. This is a one-time loss of BRPS. Subsequent losses of garrisons are ignored.

Historical Note: The Red Army was rarely welcomed as a liberator as it swept across Europe. Substituting communist rulers for Nazi ones was not the desire of the small nations of Eastern Europe. The Soviets were forced to keep a very wary eye on their new “allies”, as the communist puppet governments of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Poland lacked a substantial public support and were nearly completely dependent on the Red Army’s might. The Finns, while exercising considerably more independence in their foreign policy, were also kept under the thumb of the Red Army with the threat of Soviet intervention if things did not go the Soviet’s way. The Baltic States, having enjoyed a taste for independence between 1919-1939, were also potentially fractious, and needed a Soviet presence to calm them.

Map Changes

Northern Zone:

A box is created bridging Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The Northern Zone box may be entered by any ground unit by exiting the northern edge of the map-board on hexes A34 - A50. Units that enter the Northern Zone box cannot conduct any further movement that turn. On a subsequent turn ground units in the Northern Zone box may exit, entering on a vacant hex along the northern edge of the board they could legally enter between the hexes of A34 - A50. Players may not enter or exit ground units east of hex A50.

Naval units may enter the Northern Zone box , but follow different rules than ground units. USA naval units may enter the box by exiting via hexes A24- A33. They only exit the Northern Zone via these same hexes, and may not exit through hexes A40 - A48. USSR naval units can enter the Northern Zone box via the same hexes A24-33, and similarly may not enter via hexes A40 - A48. USSR naval units, however, may be constructed directly in the Northern Zone box, then exited on subsequent turns.

Combat may be conducted in the Northern Zone, but only between units of the same type. Naval units may only engage in combat with other naval units. Air and ground nits may only engage in combat with other air and ground units. Neither player can deny entry into the Northern Zone to the other, but players may not exit ground units in hostile territory (defined as hexes owned by the other player’s countries) if the other player has any land units in the Northern Zone box. Naval units may exit in hexes A24 - A33 at any time, regardless of whether or not those hexes are occupied.

Players may exit ground units in neutral countries’ hexes (e.g. - Sweden), but doing so is considered an act of war and the player must pay the appropriate BRP costs. Use standard rules applying to neutral countries.

Iron Curtain

Germany in 1945 has been divided by the victorious Allied armies. The starting line for 1945 marks where Soviet and Allied units can set up. The line runs from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic Sea, bisecting Germany and Yugoslavia. No USA player units may be placed east of the line in Germany or Yugoslavia. No USSR player units may be placed west of the line. Other unit deployments are as normal, based upon the countries controlled by either player.

The hexes that mark the western border of East Germany (USSR controlled) are as follows:
Running north to south: K31, L30, M30, N29 (Leipzig), O29, O30, P30, Q29, R28, S28 (Graz), T28, and U27 (Zagreb).

USSR units may set up in any of these squares. The USA player may set up in any of the hexes to west of this line, including T27.

Historical Note: The "Iron Curtain" was a phrase invented by Winston Churchill, referring to the complete Soviet dominance of their so-called liberated countries. News was spotty from the regions behind the Iron Curtain. This line was a combination of the lines at which the victorious Allied armies stopped in May 1945, usually when the Western Allies and the Soviets came in contact with each other, and a pre-determined demarcation of Europe, agreed to by the Allied leaders as far back as the Tehran Conference. This line fractured Germany into distinct military and political spheres, and would serve as the potential jumping off point for any future European wars between 1945-1989.


Yugoslavia has been truncated in this 1945 scenario. The new northern Yugoslavian border ends in hexes V26 -V28, then back to normal along U29,U30, V30,W30, X30. The new southern border is Y27, Y28, and Y29. Hexes T27, T 28, U27, U28, Z28 and Z29 become “free” hexes, under the control of no country. The USSR player may set up in T28, U27 and U28, but not in T27, Z28 and Z29. The USA player may set up in T27, and must set up the British 1-3 inf. unit in Z29.

Historical Note: Although Tito had essentially liberated his country from the Nazis without direct Red Army or Allied intervention, there were large areas of the countryside not under his direct control.

This is the justification in truncating Yugoslavia for the purposes of playability in 1945.

Optional Rule

Atomic Bombs


To develop the first atomic bomb, either player may spend 300 BRPs. This amount must be spent at one time. Subsequent atomic bombs after the first cost only 150 BRPS regardless of player. One player could conceivably develop the first atomic bomb (spending 300 BRPs), while the second player could develop the second bomb (his first) on his half of the turn, spending only 150 BRPs. The extra 150 BRPs required to develop the first bomb represents the material and manpower required to crate such a destructive weapon, while it is relatively easy to copy existing technology.

Historical note: The USSR already had spies working in 1945 to steal the Allies’ newest atomic weapon. Soviet spies were uncovered in Canada in 1946, having passing on crucial information to the USSR about the atomic project. The USSR detonated its first atomic bomb in 1950.

Atomic bombs can be used in two ways: 1. Strategically 2. Tactically

Strategic Atomic Bomb Use

Strategic atomic bombing represents wide scale destruction of industrial facilities in the home countries of either the USA or USSR, complete with devastating nuclear fallout, lowering productivity and crippling the enemy. In the case of the Soviet atomic bombs, it shall be assumed that the USSR is dropping an atomic bomb on the USA’s British allies (via Norway) or on the oilfields of the Persian Gulf (via Persia).


The player must have at least one SAC factor capable of delivering the atomic bomb. The player must also have control of the following countries (representing airfields and other infrastructure capable of delivering the aircraft and its weapon to targets deep within enemy territory):

USA: must control 2/3 of Norway, Persia, or Turkey (neutrals do not count)

USSR : must control Norway or Persia

Note: It is theoretically possible for the USSR player to control Persia, while the USA player controls Norway and Turkey, and thus both players could drop atomic bombs on each other in the same turn.

Each atomic bomb dropped strategically, once the above conditions have been met at the beginning of a player turn, must roll to see if the drop was successful. If the player dropping the bomb rolls a 1, roll a second time. If a 1 is rolled a second time, the bomb fails to detonate and all the BRPs are lost. On any other roll, the bomb successfully detonates.. The BRP total (both running total and YSS total) of the bombed player is permanently reduced by 50 BRPs. If this would push the running total of BRPs into negative numbers, the remainder is ignored, but the full 50 BRPs is taken off the next YSS.

Tactical atomic bomb use

Tactical atomic bombing represents smaller scale destruction, targeting specifically military objectives. While the munitions yields might not be different, it is assumed that the damage is less and more clearly discernible on the battlefield, focusing on a specific target hex.


The player must have a full 5-4 air unit within 4 hexes of a single target hex at the beginning of a turn in which the bomb is produced. The 5-4 air unit may not participate in any other missions during the turn. The tactical atomic bombing takes place after all other movement takes place. The atomic bombing mission may not be intercepted by defending air units.

The bombing player rolls a die to see if the bombing mission succeeds. If a 1 is rolled, the player must roll again. On a 2-5, the bomb has missed the hex, landing in an adjacent hex (determine randomly with a new die roll, 1 in the hex directly above the target hex, and continuing 2-6 in a clockwise direction) and detonating there. If a second 1 is rolled, the bomb fails to detonate, with all the BRPs being lost.

A tactical atomic bomb strike renders the detonation hex permanently impassable for the duration of the game. All units, ground, naval, and air, are destroyed, returning to the player’s force pool. All cities in the detonation hex are eliminated permanently, and are no longer useable as air or naval bases. Objective cities are completely wiped off the map and can not be captured for Victory Conditions’ purposes. No lines of supply or zones of control may be traced through a atomic bombed hex.

If the detonation hex happens to be a special hex ( the Kiel canal, Cairo, Istanbul, etc.) that hex’s special features are also eliminated permanently. This may have the disastrous effects on supply or transportation.

Repercussions of atomic bombing

Atomic bombing is a morally repugnant method of resolving wars. The world’s fear of radiation and loathing of atomic bomb users will be reflected by permanently increasing the Victory Conditions of the offending player by 1 Objective City for every atomic bomb the player successfully uses

Part 4. Victory Conditions

1945 finishes in three ways:

1. If at the end of any turn, after both players have moved, the USSR player has 30 or more Objective Cities, the game ends immediately in a USSR overwhelming victory.

2. If at the end of any turn, after both players have moved, the USA player controls the cities of Moscow, Berlin,and London, the game ends immediately in a USA overwhelming victory.

3. At the end of the Winter 1947 turn, both players total up their Objective Cities, checking against the Victory Conditions listed below. The scoring game ends at this point, although players may wish to continue play.

                       USA                    USSR
Stalemate:             22                     26
Marginal:              23                     27
Tactical:              24                     28
Strategic:             25                     29

Note: Because the USSR has the initial advantage, the USSR player should be considered the aggressor, requiring higher Objective numbers to win, rather than the USA player, who simply has to hold on to force a stalemate and can win by picking up only a relatively few Objective cities.

Other notes

This scenario was designed using the Fourth Edition rules (1981) of Avalon Hill’s Third Reich, but is not intended as a copyright infringement on that work. The author does not seek to derive any monetary benefit from this scenario and it may be freely distributed, although acknowledgement of the scenario’s design is requested.

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This page was last updated August 6, 1999.