Nazi board game proves Scarborough as planned target of Hitler invasion, historian claims

The Nazi board game “Wir Kämpfen Gegen den Feind” (We Fight Against the Enemy) was taught to German children under the Nazi regime. Credit: PA

A Nazi board game has been scrutinised by a historian who claims it proves Adolf Hitler secretly planned to invade Scarborough.

In a new book, 'Scarborough at War', historian Stewart MacDonald argues the Hitler Youth board game “Wir Kämpfen Gegen den Feind” (We Fight Against the Enemy) was "more than child’s play", suggesting the Nazis’ real intent to occupy the Yorkshire town.

In the board game, which was rediscovered several years ago, the North Yorkshire seaside town was made the hypothetical "bullseye" for an invasion of Britain.

The game involved three players who moved miniature U-boats, battleships, bombers and fighters towards Scarborough, destroying RAF and Royal Navy forces along the way.

The move would raise around £14m.

The attack included advancing with a spinner until all three players met in Scarborough, where the game ended.

Although it was taught to German children, Mr MacDonald argues the Nazis believed occupying the town would have been crucial for the successful acquisition of Britain.

Historians were baffled when a copy of the Hitler Youth board game was first rediscovered.

Upon inspection, Mr MacDonald explains there were several signs which indicate why Scarborough was regarded as the Achilles Heel in the preparations against Operation Sea Lion - Nazi Germany's code name for the planned invasion of the United Kingdom.

Firstly, the town offered "long, wide sandy beaches with immediate access to tarmacked roads."

Secondly, a "rail connection and a harbour provided ideal conditions for establishing an enemy bridgehead on the Yorkshire Coast."

Moreover, he argued the invasion would have drawn British forces away from the main invasion area in the South East, saying: "It would establish a bridgehead that would allow for a breakout towards the ports of Hull or Middlesbrough,"

Adding: "It was also noted that such an attack on a popular holiday resort would be likely to damage British morale.”

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