After Action Report: Sept. 6th, 1939
Polish forces launch a counter-attack to German rear, my battalion was ordered to hold them for about 2 hours. This was to allow German High Command a chance to organize a substantial response and defeat the main thrust. I decided that my battalion would be that response.
I opted for a classic envelopment. My center section, comprised entirely of B company backed by a detached squadron of light cavalry, would fall back into pre-planned positions, after their 88's destroyed most of the Polish armor. The flanking infantry would move to attack polish flanks, while my remaining cavalry would move to their rear.
In the end, things did not go quite as planned. My trucks were unable to extricate the 88's, and I would not allow them to be left. My additional cavalry refused to enter the fight, until I marched back there and personally gave the order after shooting the squadron commander. And the damn Poles attacked C company with far greater force than anticipated, requiring my right wing of cavalry to counter attack to save my infantry.
In the end, however, I only lost 106 men, 1 truck, 1 mortar, and a mortar that was abandoned by it's cowardly crew.
Notable events: One 50mm Mortar crew was assaulted by no less than two platoons of Polish infantry, supported by one section of cavalry. A lone squad of riflemen charged forward, and while we lost the crew, together they scattered the entire Polish force, and drove them back into the cover of smoke and shell holes. That same unit saved a Panzer IVc from destruction by engaging another Polish unit in hand to hand combat, then remained by that Panzer for the remainder of the battle, fighting off several attempts to destroy it.
One light mortar was abandoned by it's crew when they came under heavy mortar fire themselves. They have been shot for desertion.
Notes on Polish combat effectiveness: The poles seem to lack any competent AT capability. The only weapons they brought forth were their own tanks, and anti-tank rifles. One Panzer IVc withstood over two dozen hits from such rifles, with no real damage. Interestingly, after the battle we found several AT guns that were never brought forward.
Not enough data on how well Polish armor stands up to ours. Our 88's knocked out nearly the entire force prior to any major engagement, and what was left was knocked out by our Panzers and infantry.
They seem to focus in on large-scale infantry operations, with support from horse cavalry. While fairly mobile, they lack versatility. They simply had no answer for our heavy AA weapons being turned down on their heads. At least 5 companies worth of infantry were accounted for, with unknown numbers having retreated after only a half hour of fighting.
Note to self: Get a damn transport. It takes too long to run from place to place and give orders when the radio isn't working (which it usually isn't).
Recon indicates the Poles are not giving up, and have mustered a larger force to try and push through my sector. Again I have been ordered to delay, not stop, the enemy. Again, I fully intend to stop them cold.
As my left wing had scarcely entered combat before enemy forces broke and fled, I am planning a slightly different approach. We have a few days to select the field, and prepare it.
Other notes: Anti-tank rifles are useless. The crews I had in my battalion have been moved to replace losses in the infantry. They are being replaced by Panzer II's scavanged from another command. I need more trucks. And mortar crews that don't drop rounds on my men, and stay at their posts when they get hit with enemy fire.
On the other hand, I need more men like I have in my infantry, especially C company. One squad continued to fight when decimated down to only 3 men standing! Those 3 captured an enemy squad, and destroyed one tank.
"Wait... Holden was a cat. Suddenly it makes sense."