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.

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