Prelude in the Swamp
27 October, 1944
16 turns/visibility one hex
"It was a cold ... dark night ..." View from the German side.
The map. Blocked and mine hexes will slow down the advance. Footbridges will help to get the German infantry across.
German force mix. Infantry with support units. Limited engineers.
A slow advance using a tight mass supported by artillery and mortars. Engineers clear the mines and hopefully the blocks. Rush the Ht's across.
Germans drive forward to the Kanaal van Deurne. Speed will be required to clear blocks and mine hexes. Engineers to the blocks while the infantry and mg platoons drive toward the foot bridges. "Eyeballs" moved into position to look across the impassable canal.
In the North, along the dirt road dismount engineers next to block hexes. Infantry and Mgs dismount and prepare to cross footbridges. Position the HT mortars and HT/Sp to provide "eyes" and support. In the South the lone Engineer drives adjacent to the block hex. Ht's drive infantry forward to prepare to offload near the foot bridges.
In the North Engineers move into block/mine hexes. PanzerGrenadiers and Mg platoon cross the bridges. Mortar fire plotted to fire ahead of them. The South had the same, along with positioning of support HTs.
On both lines of attack the first layer of block hexes have mines cleared. In the North the advance by infantry causes surprising Allied opt fire. In the South the engineer goes to work slowly clearing the mine field within the first block.
In the North infantry and Mg have to move to retake ground lost from the first Allied blows. Engineers continue to clear the mines from the block hexes. In the South the engineers move to clear the next mined block hex, leaving the block in place behind them. The Ht's move into the blocked hex and await the engineer to clear the next mined hex. Infantry crosses the canal in search of the enemy. Only some Allied scout jeeps have been seen thus far. German opt fire was able to take care of that threat. On both fronts artillery was plotted ahead of the advancing German infantry.
In the North the Allied attacks have once again driven the Germans back. I had thoughts of retreat and regroup but, opted for moving an engineer platoon forward and letting the other two remove mines. In the South the German infantry moves forward. They are in a phalanx formation with artillery plotted before them. The German engineer did not remove all the mines but I tried to advance a couple Ht platoons to provide fall back support for my advancing infantry. Both Ht platoons were disrupted.
The Northern infantry was not battered too badly and recovered to advance forward. Allied SP/Howitzers were used to attack and were left exposed to deadly German fire. Allied disrupts were overrun. Any enemy that was encountered was fired upon and disrupted. Hts begin to cross the canal. Engineers continue to clear mines and blocks. In the South the "phalanx" continues down the metalled road with artillery plotted to cover it's advance. Allied resistance becomes more fierce. A quarter of the German infantry is disrupted. One mine layer of the blocked hex is finally cleared. One more turn to allow Ht's to cross. Block hexes are filled to capacity with Hts that will need to move forward next turn. The pace is slow but, as fast as I can move at the moment.
Part of the Northern force moves toward the victory hex in an effort to disrupt any enemy in the rear and cut off the final retreat routes of the forward enemy units. The rest of the Northern force was used to overrun the final enemy resistance in the Allied forward defensive line. In the South the "phalanx" recovers and pushes forward. My intent is to grab the enemy and disrupt his units, find hidden units and overrun the mortars and AT gun. I tried to squeak a couple HT's through the block and mined hex, only to have them disrupt. I decided to not force anymore through until the mines are cleared.
Ht's finally get to move forward on both fronts. Those 75mm SP's will be an asset later. In the North the victory hex is taken. Allied mortars are being pushed back and resistance is slowly being mopped up. Some allied units are positioned to advance toward the victory hex. I moved Mgs into place and rushed the engineers toward the fight. Ht's move about to bump into disrupted Allied units. Most of the Northern fighting is clean up and prepare for a move South. In the Southern sector it is punch and counter punch. German pressure is beginning to take it's toll upon the Alled infantry. German infantry and Ht's push forward into the first victory hex. Rumblings of Allied tank reinforcements are heard. German 75mm Sp's move into ambush positions.
Turn 11 to the end)
In the North the Germans disrupt and overrun the remaining allied infantry resistance. Allied 60 mm mortars are chased and overrun. German infantry digs in at the Northern victory hex. Infantry, engineer, and mg platoon are left to provide defense of the hex. Ht's and remaining infantry move South along the road, some split deeper to take the far rear victory hex and uncover the Allied armor. 75mm Sp's are positioned to ambush, saving ap's for opt fire. The Southern force pushes forward to take the remaining victory hex and overrun the last of the enemy infantry resistance. The Stuarts were revealed and separated, then cut off and surrounded. A couple turns later they were disrupted and overrun. The last of the Allied forces were rendered combat ineffective.
My opponent put up stiff resistance throughout but, fell to the mass, and crushing firepower, of the German forces.
Step forward. Move back.
Peering into the black night.
24 minutes and contact was made ... finally.
I was getting tired of bombarding ... myself.
Damn those 'friendly' mortars!