Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Friday, 20 August 2010

PMZ Campaign: Orleans 2

Report from General Knobelsdorff,
commanding First Army
The second battle for Orleans, dated October 20th 1944

Since the capture of General Eberbach at the beginning of September I have commanded First Army. Knowing it was just a matter of time before the Americans attacked once more, I chose a good defensive position and dug in as best I could with the limited resources at hand. My left flank was covered by impassable terrain, next was high ground with a good field of fire. In the centre the ground was lightly wooded with forest to the rear. The open right flank I protected with minefields and other obstacles. Prior to the attack, I learnt that American paratroops had dropped at Troyes and seized the bridges over the Seine, so I knew I had to stop the American attacks at all costs so the bridges could be recaptured.

The opening American artillery barrage was directed at the recently vacated front positions and so caused no casualties. The opening attack was made by the newly arrived American 14th Armoured division supported by infantry in the centre. Here I had placed the veteran 189th infantry division supported by a Panther battalion of the 2nd Panzer division. These troops stood their ground despite repeated attacks and caused huge casualties on the American units.
The American airforce was largely absent, only one attack being made which missed its target.

The American 4th Armoured division attacked against the high ground defended by the untested 18th Luftwaffe division. Taken in flank by the Panthers, it ground to a halt, only one unsupported battalion of shermans making it through the Luftwaffe positions, however this did present a threat to our rear areas.

The view from behind the German positions. On the left the shermans have broken through Luftwaffe positions on the high ground. In the wooded ground in the centre, the 189th Inf are holding off the Americans while a spotter plane flies overhead.

The American 5th Infantry division advanced on the right but stopped short of the minefields. 2nd Panzer was stationed on this flank but facing no attack sent a battalion to aid the threatened rear areas. However this proved unnecessary as the Luftwaffe division, displaying unexpected resilience, counter attacked the Shermans which eventually retired.

As usual, facing huge losses, the American command ordered a withdrawal. I await the next attack. The paratroops of the American First Airbourne Army have been defeated.

Monday, 2 August 2010

PMZ Campaign: Eindhoven 1

Report from General Student,
commanding First Parachute Army
The battle for Eindhoven, dated October 23rd 1944

A month of inactivity by the British has allowed me to regroup my forces and dig in along the 'West Wall'.
The British attacked in mid October. At this position I had deployed the 16th Luftwaffe Division supported by Jg Panzer IVs in wooded ground on the left. In the centre the 422nd Infantry Division (with an attached Panther battalion) was dug-in around a village within wooded ground through which ran the main highway. On the right was the newly arrived 101st Pz Brigade in an area of polders.

The attack began with an AGRA shoot against the central wooded area. Fortunately this caused little damage, the 422nd Division quickly re-establishing its positions. This was followed by an attack of three infantry divisions against the central village and the polders. The British found the polders difficult to traverse and soon came under accurate fire from the 101st Pz Brigade, so this attack ground to a halt, the British infantry retiring to cover. The few fighter aircaft remaining to the Luftwaffe now made an appearance and shot down many allied aircraft; they didn't bother us again for the remainder of the battle.

The British infantry in the centre was having more success, one battalion from 422nd Division being destroyed. At this point the attack on the polders by the central British division was redirected towards the village and two armoured divisions committed to the attack. In response, the Panther battalion in the centre moved forward and attacked one of these divisions in the flank destroying many Sherman tanks. Its mission accomplished, it then withdrew behind the village. The second armoured division struggled through the polders against the Panthers of 101st Pz Brigade. As they advanced the Panzers retired, continually inflicting losses.

The view from behind the British positions. On the right 422nd Inf are holding the village, the Panthers having retired behind them, the British infantry are engaging them. The 101st Pz Brigade are behind the Polders on the far left. The British infantry have just been stopped.

At this point with losses mounting and the German fire unabated, the British command realised they were not going to break through our positions, so they abandoned the attack. I ancicipate they will soon be back.