From: The temperate climate zone
Immersion tip #1
I really hate the autumn and especially November. Here in northern Europe it’s just dark, dull and damp. Its dark outside when you go to work and it’s just as dark when you leave the office for the day. I have seen the sun for three or four hours this month so far so it’s rather depressing.
Anyway, I thought that Crete would offer a perfect interruption to the otherwise hopeless existence. I tried to get the maximum out of COTA on my own, and decided to put some “real” effort in to playing a scenario. I choose “Stemming the Tide V3” and it lasts 36 hours.
In this first step I rushed together what is known as an IPB, Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield. IPB used in the military and defines a methodology employed to reduce uncertainties concerning the enemy, environment, and terrain for all types of operations. It is a continuous process that is commonly used throughout planned and executed operations. I used the basic core elements just to get my planning process rolling.
Crete 20 May 1942 2300hrs
Oberst Ramke took a sip of his water bottle and then looked at the tattered map in front of him. The sun had set a couple of hours ago bringing darkness and a well needed respite for the soldiers on both sides. A small kerosene lamp illuminated the small stone hut that now served as his forward HQ. The Cretan goats had moved out to make room for his small regimental staff.
The situation at hand was dire but not without hope. The landing in the Maleme sector had been a disaster and he had no idea about what happened elsewhere on the island, but he hoped that they had fared better.
Somehow the enemy had recently had withdrawn from their positions leaving the airfield open for the taking. It was however just a matter of time before the allied commander realized what had happened and decided to do a counterattack to correct his costly mistake.
Ramke´s sole objective and the only hope of German victory relied on keeping that airfield open for the much needed reinforcements and supplies. Losing the airfield was not an option.
He turned to his fellow officers and recapped the current situation…
-“Hört zu! Der Fiend… is currently preparing a counter attack as I speak. I agree with your assessment that it will be of brigade strength, something other would be pointless. The main objective will likely be to recapture the airfield in order to deny us our bridgehead and force buildup on island.
The enemy as I understand from your reports most likely consists of 5th NZ Infantry brigade. The brigade is assessed to be reduced after this morning’s heavy fighting and consists solely of infantry, supported with heavy machineguns and mortars.“
The Oberst took another sip from his water bottle, cleared his throat and then continued.
-“You have indentified only two likely avenues of approach for their counterattack. One is along the main coastal road leading through Pyrgos onward to the airfield. The second is from the village Xamoudokhori , or however that place is pronounced, north over Hill 107 and onward to the airfield. I feel that this is correct. All other areas are considered slow-go, even for infantry. The limitations mainly are due to creek beds, vegetation and rough terrain in general.
The most probable adversary course of action is that the NZ Bde commits tree battalions for the attack. One battalion is kept in reserve securing the exit and coastal road to Chania. During the night their 21.Bn and 22.Bn will move into forming up positions in the valley in and around the village of Xamoudokhori.
23.Bn will take up defensive positions and start securing the crossing along the coastal road in Pyrgos. At daybreak their attack will commence with 23.Bn advancing forward towards the airfield with the objective to draw our forces in that direction. They will then keep us engaged in along the coastal road in the easily defended woods and built up areas. 23.Bn will advance if given the opportunity but otherwise just aim to ties up our forces.
21. and 22. Bn will then start their advance up onto Hill 107 and onward to the airfield. We asses that they will have one phase line up on the hill crest where they will leave of their combat support which will from there support the advance further towards the airfield and the bridge.
The key terrain remains the same as after our initial assessments. It’s of course the airfield, hill 107 as well as all the water crossings along the coastal road. Addition to this I agree that that village Xamo-something also now is considered key terrain, due to that we asses it to be a staging area.“
Ramcke´s regimental staff examined the markings on the map and eagerly awaited the orders that would follow…
To be continued
Now I have a general idea of what I can expect and what my plan will have to counter. I only developed one potential ACOA (Adversary Courses of Action) which is a gamble, but also a trade off in time.
For a good beginners guide on the IPB method I do recommend looking into:
There are also alot of actual military manuals and handbooks on IPB lying around all over the internet. Just remember to adapt the process and method to the scale and complexity of the game you are playing.
Red filled areas depict slow-go areas for infantry
Red arrows depicts the avenues of approach for the NZ bn´s
Green boxes are engagement areas (where the fighting will take place)
Purple circles are key terrain that the enemy need to control to reach his objective.
Red lines are asseded phase lines for the enemy, objectives along his axis of advance.
< Message edited by Pergite! -- 11/24/2009 4:55:50 PM >