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GL King Ludwig - Combat Mission: Fortress Italy

GL King Ludwig Image
Combat Mission x2 Ladder

GL King Ludwig

By Jon Martina
British 2 - 2 - 5 Axis
H2H Approaved
Rating: 6.39 (7)
Games Played: 9
SM: 7
Turns: 110
Type: Stock
First Side: British
Second Side: Axis
As the Hampshire battalion prepared to assault Regalbuto Ridge they came under concentrated Nebelwerfer fire. After reorganizing, the Hampshires pressed up the slopes but were caught in the cross fire from several machine guns. It quickly became obvious that the ridge was strongly held, so the Hampshires retired for the evening to plan the next day's assault. With the dawning of the next day General Simonds examined the terrain and saw that there were several mountains and hills that formed a natural defensive complex.

The attack plan for 30 July was for the Devonshire Regiment to assault from the Northwest at night after an extensive artillery preparation. After quickly gaining the summit, they held off repeated German counterattacks at dawn on the 31st. A renewal of the attack by the 48th Highlanders of Canada was stopped at the western end of Regalbuto Ridge at a tall promontory called Tower Hill. It was then decided to take Tower Hill by marching to the south of Regalbuto Ridge and then driving north towards Tower Hill east of Regalbuto Ridge. By the time this maneuver was completed the Germans had already withdrawn to their next defensive line and the Canadians only met scattered rear guards.

General remarks

I had a lot of trouble with this scenario and for the longest time it just wasn't clicking for me. Eventually after a lot of fiddling I managed to get something that I was happy with but it took a lot of persistence.

I did not have any period map information from the 1940s so I had to do a little guesswork on how the ridge might have looked like at the time of the battle. It's not ideal, but sometimes if you want to make a scenario you have to make some compromises somewhere. As long as the area the battle happened in isn't overrun with urban development or too close to a big city then I'm comfortable with not having access to any period map information. It's the cities that give the most trouble when you lack maps.

References and source material

All quotes used in the briefings and all OB research was obtained from the following reference material

"Operation Husky: The Canadian Invasion of Sicily July 10 - August 7, 1943" by Mark Zuehlke. I like Mark Zuehlke's work and he has several books dealing with Canada's participation during WW2. They are very well written and have a nice easy to read style. There are loads of personal accounts mixed in with some small unit actions. The only downsides to his books are that they are told entirely from the Canadian point of view and the maps could be a little better.

"The Battle of Sicily, How the Allies Lost Their Chance for Total Victory", by Samuel W Mitcham Jr and Friedrich Von Stauffenberg. I think this is best book on the overall Sicilian campaign. There is a lot of detailed OB information contained in both the text and the Appendices and there are some very good battle descriptions. The focus of the book is on the actual campaign itself and the various political battles of the major figures is only briefly discussed.

"Bitter Victory: The Battle for Sicily, 1943", by Carlo D'Este. I didn't really refer to this book too much so I didn't get too deep into it. It's not a bad book on the campaign, but I don't think it's as good or as detailed as Samuel W Mitcham Jr's book.

"The 1st Fallschirmjager Division in World War II: Volume Two Years of Retreat." by Ben Christensen. I really liked this book. It's large format makes it easy to read and the book is filled with photographs and colorful maps. There is also some decent OB information as well as numerous first person accounts. The only potential negative that I would toss in there would be that there is a bit of Fallschirmjager chest thumping noticeable in the book. It can get a little thick at times. Other than that minor issue though I think it was an excellent purchase.

This scenario has been created by Jon Martina
Player Voting Stats
Member Balance Enjoyment
Second String General's ProfileSecond String General Totally Pro Axis 5
Kensal's ProfileKensal Slightly Pro British 8
Fusilier9's ProfileFusilier9 Well Balanced 7
BletchleyGeek's ProfileBletchleyGeek Slightly Pro British 7
A Canadian Cat's ProfileA Canadian Cat Moderately Pro Axis 4
Gaming Records
1st Side Player 2nd Side Player Result Score
Axis ChappyCanuck's Profile ChappyCanuck vs. Stonecutter Stonecutter's Profile British Axis Total Victory 77 7
Axis A Canadian Cat's Profile A Canadian Cat vs. Lond0ner Lond0ner's Profile British Axis Tactical Victory 63 21
Axis BletchleyGeek's Profile BletchleyGeek vs. DB_Zero DB_Zero's Profile British Draw 42 42
Axis Mad Mike's Profile Mad Mike vs. raz_atoth raz_atoth's Profile British Axis Total Victory 77 7
British Fusilier9's Profile Fusilier9 vs. richardg richardg's Profile Axis Draw 42 42
Second String General
Sergeant
Second String General Frid May 09, 2014 11:08 pm
It seemed like the Allies have a tough road ahead of them in this scenario. I am sure it can be done, but playing the Allies is definitely a lot harder, the setup position seems to open, no room to maneuver, etc.
DB_Zero
Master Sergeant
DB_Zero Sun May 25, 2014 11:45 pm
I haven't played this before or finished my h2h game yet, but it does seem the British have a daunting task advancing uphill in what looks like open terrain, however it also appears the hills have a lot of "dead spots" where defenders at the top of the hill cannot see or fire at.

It also seems that you have to rest your advancing troops as they move up the hill. I don't think if you push your troops too hard and they are fatigued they will be very effective once the reach the German positions.

You do have considerable time so I don't think you have to rush.
Kensal
Private 1st Class
Kensal Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:43 pm
A really enjoyable scenario, with tactical challenges for both players and lots of possibilities
BletchleyGeek
Corporal
BletchleyGeek Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:55 am
The victory levels don't make sense. For a defensive battle like this, the outcomes in terms of casualties and terrain gained should have been a minor or tactical victory.
ChappyCanuck
Technical Sergeant
ChappyCanuck Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:58 pm
The map for this battle is well done - it is very large with tons of dead ground and holes for both sides. The 1h50m timeframe makes this battle one of the longest. As the German, you have to beware of the initial bombardment: a possible 400+ indirect rounds of both mortars and guns. Absolutely deadly. A dispersed German setup is paramount for any success. I normally prefer battles with a nice variety of infantry and armour, but the map challenge made this one entertaining.