Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Friday, 26 August 2011

PMZ Campaign: Troyes 3

Report from General Fortsch,
commanding First Army
The third battle for Troyes, dated April 15th 1944
I had ample of time to dig in along the river line, anchoring my left on a large lake and my right on some wooded ground protected by minefields. Unfortunately my request for reinforcements had been denied so I was lacking armour, having only the 2nd Panzer Division with a reduced battalion of Panthers and some companies of StugIVs. The Jagd Panthers have been reallocated to another sector.
The Americans attacked initially on the right against the wooded ground with an armoured division. Leading the attack were some new Pershing heavy tanks. Fortunately they were stopped by the minefields in front of the concealed Panthers who made short work of them. This attack having been halted, the Americans then attacked the village in the centre with a second armoured division, the village was protected by a battalion of the 352nd Infantry division. This battalion held out for some time, delaying this attack.
The Americans then launched two attacks, an infantry division attacked on the left, driving back the 352nd Infantry from the river and a third armoured division attacked on the right, supported by intense airpower. Eventually this assault took its toll on the few remaining tanks of 2nd Panzer and it was forced to retire.

The view from behind the German positions. The 2nd Pz Divn has retired on the right, the Americans have yet to exploit this. The 352nd Inf Divn is holding out on the high ground and left of the road but they are soon to retreat. Some units of the 272nd Volksgren Divn can be seen in the centre.

With our forces retiring, it was left to the 272nd Volksgrenadier division to hold the line which they did gallantly. However the American armour had now crossed the river and the 272nd were unable to prevent them overrunning the Corps command centre.
Realising that the position was compromised, I ordered the withdrawal of the army towards Metz.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

PMZ Campaign: Gorzow

Report from General Dietrich,
commanding Sixth Panzer Army

The battle for Gorzow, dated April 8th 1945

As part of operation Spring Awakening, I had been given the task of driving the Russians back from the borders of the Fatherland. The Fuhrer had allocated all the armoured reserves to this attack and great things were expected, we were not to disappoint him. Poor weather had grounded the Red airforce so we attacked under a ferocious artillery bombardment which however proved fairly ineffective. I had been promised all available aircraft, but apparently the bad weather made them ineffective as well. The Russians were occupying a line of hills with a large area of wooded ground in front of them.
The 1st SS Pz Division attacked on the right with the few tigers available, their task being to outflank the main defences. The 3rd SS Pz Division with attached PzIVs advanced through the woods. On the centre left the 16th Panzer Division with its Panthers and half of the Jg Panthers advanced cautiously against the centre of the Russian position keeping concealed as much as possible. The 232nd Pz Grenadier Division with PzIVs and the remainder of the Jg Panthers swung round the left flank.
The 1st SS engaged T34-85s at the far side of the woods and confidently outmanoeuvred them, destroying many in the process. These Soviets now came under pressure from the 3rd SS advancing through the woods and were forced to withdraw.
Meanwhile in the centre the 16th Pz had taken up position behind a crest line and awaited instructions. On the left the 232nd PzGren were advancing rapidly and beginning to push the Soviets back through the woods on that flank.
At this point the Soviets committed their reserves, Guards with sherman tanks against 10th and 30th SS. As soon as they did this, the 16th Pz attacked in the centre, slowly driving yet more T34s off the high ground. Meanwhile the 232nd PzGren were emerging from the woods into the Soviet rear area. The guards fought a bloody battle with the SS at close range, both sides eventually losing most of their tanks and being forced to withdraw.

The view from behind the German positions. The 1st SS is advancing on the right having driven off the T34s. The guards have moved forwards to oppose them. The 3rd SS have moved through the woods on their left. 16th Pz have moved up onto the high ground and are about to drive off the T34s and Polish infantry in front of them. The 232nd on the left are advancing into the soviet flank. Wrecked Soviet units can already be seen streaming to the rear.

The 16th Pz had now cleared the high ground and were advancing directly into the centre of the Soviet position at the same time as their remaining units were being surrounded by 232nd PzGren. At this point the Soviet command knew all was lost and began a headlong retreat. We pursued them as far as Lodz, where we were forced to stop for lack of supplies. We had retaken all the ground lost since February. It is rumoured that the Soviet front commander has been shot and that I will receive another addition to my Knight's Cross.