When Free French leader Gen. de Gaulle visited the Middle East in April 1941 he forced a political crisis by demanding the occupation of Syria. As a result London ordered an offensive to place all of Syria and Lebanon under Free French control. Sadly, such posturing caused Allied command staffs to hold unrealistic views of what the ensuing occupation would look like. Certain authorities believed the Vichy French in Syria would offer only token resistance and their defense would collapse like an eggshell. The thinking held that Vichy forces could be won over with wine and coffee along with displays of the Australian slouch hat. Instead, the Vichy-led troops fought ferociously from the start.
Slouch Hats and Eggshells recreates the World War II campaign in French-held Syria and Lebanon, historically from early June 1941 through mid-July 1941. One player will control the Axis forces, Vichy French, French colonial troops, and Germans, while his opponent controls the Allied forces, Australian, British, and French. Players should feel free to combine play of this game with that of Rommel's War, published by L2 Design Group. Both games include the same historical moment, have identical scales, and have some of the same historical units. It is natural that players would want to explore more historical alternatives with combined play. To facilitate such game play, this game uses many of the same rules, charts, and tables found Rommel's War.