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How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse - Allied

 
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How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse - Al... - 11/12/2011 4:09:07 PM   
miya

 

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Hallo,

it could be a good idea to start an AAR, thats what I thought today. But there are some other reasons to start writing. When taking screenshots and writing notes, I'm dealing more intensivly with the game - that contributes to the overall impression and fun of the game.
Please do not expect any brilliant moves, I'm always happy when at least a minimum of my objectives are achieved.
Last but not least, I always wanted to draw some lines and arrows on a map.

Now, lets start:

Peiper's race for the Meuse

Axis reinforcements: Favour Axis
Allied reinforcements: Favour Axis
Supply: More for the Axis side, less for the Allied.

The briefing warns me that four german Kampfgruppen, with KG Peiper in the lead, are heading to this sector. Things do not look too good, a german battlegroup is southeast of Stavelot and ready to overrun my starting positions. I decide to withdraw the larger companys and only leave an engineer platoon behind.
The first major reinforcements will arrive after 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Until then there is not much I can do.

As for my english language skills, if some things are hard to understand - I'm sorry.
I learned the english language in school, which was decades ago, so it is a bit rusty.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/12/2011 4:29:02 PM   
miya

 

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D1 13:46

The defence of Stavelot has collapsed. Several platoons are routing. The good thing is, the bridges at Trois Ponts are blown up. KG Peiper has to find another way to the west. A bit earlier the 118th Fd Arty Bn arrived. I order them to ambush in Francochamps. Those 105 mm guns have AP ammunition. Maybe they can stop and destroy the first german tanks.




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< Message edited by miya -- 11/12/2011 6:49:25 PM >

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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/12/2011 6:43:23 PM   
phoenix

 

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Yes. But where did those 13 Panthers come from, to get all the way up there so quickly? I have seen german units appear even further north and wondered about it, and others have mentioned this 'feature' of this scenario. Given your presence in Stavelot and the blown bridges, could they really sneak through? Watch out for other German units up even as far as Spa. Did you actually see those Panthers make a progress up from Stavelot, or did they just appear? Just curious.

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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/12/2011 6:49:01 PM   
miya

 

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D1 16:11

Reinforcements have arrived. Immediatly I check with the quickest path tool the most likely german routes of approach. I decide to send one regiment south of Francochamps and one in the area between Stoumont and La Gleize. Everything south of the Ambleve will be task of the 82nd Airborne Division.
Earlier the 118th Fd Arty Bn has distinguished itself. The unit routed a Panther company and forced it to surrender. Now they are out of AP and Bazooka ammunition, it would be better if there comes no second enemy armour. The tank platoon next to it was routed by the Panthers right before.





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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/12/2011 6:53:05 PM   
miya

 

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phoenix: I did see a black unit counter moving up the road north. I don't think german units will make their entrance on the map north of Stavelot.

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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/12/2011 7:44:45 PM   
tukker

 

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quote:

phoenix: I did see a black unit counter moving up the road north. I don't think german units will make their entrance on the map north of Stavelot.



True. As the scenario's designer I can state that all German units arrive south of the river Ambleve.
A quick look at the scenario in the ScenMaker will confirm this bold statement

Pieter

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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/12/2011 11:04:08 PM   
phoenix

 

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Well, maybe I just felt cheated that they were so quick to get around my defences....I recall odd units appearing up north near Spa etc, when I didn't remember them getting through the choke points. I think others have wondered about this too. The suspicion was that there must be a bug, of course...

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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/13/2011 9:46:16 AM   
miya

 

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D1 17:59

motorized troops have arrived. Tanks of CCB 3rd Armoured Division, these will be comitted against enemy AFVs. But this will not happen until Day 2 because of the current weather. It is heavy fog and night is approaching. They will not see anything in these conditions.
Suddenly, I discover german tanks on the road. The 1st battalion of 217th Inf Regt has stopped and started firing. Two detached tank platoons are send to the scene to support the 1.217. It looks like the enemy did not take the main road through Francorchamps and instead bypassed the town.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/13/2011 10:17:08 AM   
miya

 

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The night is rather quiet. American troops were not able to clear the road northwest of Francorchamps. At about midnight I decide to retreat 1 km in order to get some rest. Meanwhile the 2.217, which arrived a bit later, is blocking the track which was used for bypassing. They report several enemy companies moving into that area. The task for day 2 will be to clear that road. The tanks of CCB.3 will be in charge.

D2 4:35

Marching all night the 119th Infantry Regt. nearly reached its defence positions. At Werbomont the first parts of the 82nd Airborne Division arrived. First they will have to clarify the situation to the east. It looks like the germans were able to build a small bridgehead.




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< Message edited by miya -- 11/13/2011 10:18:31 AM >

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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/13/2011 3:28:35 PM   
miya

 

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D2 9:00
all major american forces have arrived. Shortly after dawn it became clear that at least one battalion of the opponent is encircled, northwest of Francorchamps. TF Lovelady will attack from north, TF McGeorge from southwest. The battalions of the 217th will block the routes of the germans.
Once this is accomplished the 217th Inf Regt will move south and prepares for an attack on Stavelot.
The 119th Inf Regt is nearly ready for the opponent. Last of the three battalions which is still marching is the 1.119.
I have many different tasks 82nd Airborne. First clear the german bridghead, second form bridgeheads over that little river, third march to the east and prepare for an attack on Stavelot.





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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/13/2011 9:55:29 PM   
miya

 

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Suddenly chaos erupts. Several fast moving enemy units emerge from the woods and move northwest. Artillery is the only thing available to stop them.





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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/13/2011 10:11:10 PM   
miya

 

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It is afternoon and things begin to stabilize. But the day is lost. Crippling the german lead units north of Francorchamps is a failure, instead one of my battalions is crippled. I needed to withdraw McGeorge, detach several companies and divert the 1.119. Or in short, here, north of the Ambleve, is a big mess.
Maybe I was too optimistic. Anyway that day costs me many men and equipment.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/14/2011 9:43:48 PM   
miya

 

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As night descends McGeorge and 2.117 prepare to fight cutt off from their supply depot and their mates of the 30th Infantry Division.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/14/2011 9:52:48 PM   
miya

 

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D3 5:30
Fighting all night the 504th Parachute Regiment did not make any progress. The other regiment, the 505th, reached the Halleux bridges after marching all the night.
Worrying is the situation of TF McGeorge. They were not able to rest and what is worse they are under attack. Further to the northeast I'm forced into defence.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/14/2011 10:11:30 PM   
miya

 

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With sunlight it becomes clear McGeorge will have to withdraw. The good thing is 1.119 is making good progress. The routes between Spa and the frontline will soon be clear. TF Lovelady will move south to support the withdraw of McGeorge.
Further in the south I plan to probe with the 505th to the northeast. Stavelot is still the main objective for me.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/15/2011 4:56:17 AM   
AKCLIMBER

 

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Great AAR! Thanks!

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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/15/2011 10:36:40 AM   
phoenix

 

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Very much enjoying it. Thanks for posting. Very curious to see whether you get back to Stavelot. My guess is you can. The Axis must surely be running out of steam now?

By the way, I too have been surprised by how slow the paras are in moving West-East at the bottom of the map. Not sure why this is. Is stragglers on or off, I wonder?

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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/15/2011 2:36:06 PM   
miya

 

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As the question turned up why the 505th's progress is slow. The allied commander is the one to blame, me. I have given some extra orders which might caused an additional orders delay. First I stopped the regiment HQ, so that the added artillery battalion is able to give on call support. Second I detached the three battalions to continue their march.
I never touched the stragglers option.
Anyway, on afternoon of the third day new german units appear. They move towards La Gleize. i don't think the axis is running out of steam. An artillery battalion is ordered to lay down a barrage on the bridge for the next hour.
The problem which is affecting the axis moves is exhaustion. Several units are spotted with a rest task.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/15/2011 2:51:37 PM   
miya

 

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Evening of day three. Most of my troops did not make any progress. An exception is the 505th Parachute Regiment, which is now forming a bridgehead east of the Salm and the 1.119, which successfully cleared the roads leading south from Spa. After looking at least three times at the next screenshot an idea comes to my mind. Two battalions of the 119th will sneak at night through the german lines into the woods northwest of Stavelot.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/15/2011 6:37:32 PM   
miya

 

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D4 4:00
For the last couple of hours the position of TF Lovelady is attacked. With the help of artillery everything is under control.
The recon company and 1.119 reached a good spot in the woods. Unfortunatly I made a mistake, I didn't set the rest option for the second battalion to "no rest". Now they have to make the same journey during daytime.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/15/2011 6:48:04 PM   
miya

 

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With daylight more and more troops are spotted approaching TF Loveladys position. Mc George is well rested. The TF will drive south and first will help TF Lovelady, once that is done they will move to a position west of Stavelot. Concerning the town itself, the recon company will have a look.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/15/2011 7:18:41 PM   
miya

 

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About one hour later I can see troops moving to Stavelot. Infantry, halftracks and StuGs will be a tough nut to crack. I can also see german supply depots in or near the town, I do not expect to much resistance from these.
Now for the worrying part. The germans approaching the bridgehead of the 505th very aggressively. The artillery support available is the 376th Para Fd Arty, which is attached to the 505th HQ. The artillery of the 30th Inf Div is out of range. I decide to withdraw behind the Salm.




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< Message edited by miya -- 11/15/2011 9:43:49 PM >

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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/15/2011 9:55:53 PM   
miya

 

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D4 17:00
Now the third battalion of the 119th is crossing the river. The other two will rest a few more hours and then attack Stavelot during the night. This is not my plan from a few days ago but it is the only thing which I can undertake at current moment. I ordered some arty units to rest, they will support the attack during the night.
There is still heavy fighting north of Stavelot. Kampfgruppe Sandig is still in the lead but this time against the 117th.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/15/2011 10:04:41 PM   
miya

 

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Temperatures are falling, it begins to snow. Who will spend the next night with a roof over its own head, well kind of a roof, and who will freeze in the surrounding forests.
The attack on Stavelot is starting.
TF McGeorges is now in reserve. It will committed shortly before dawn.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/16/2011 5:16:08 PM   
miya

 

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D5 7:30
The day starts with a surprise in the Francorchamps sector. This may be an unpleasant one. Daylight reveals that most opponent units disappeared from there. I suspect they will support Stavelot. There are already more units than expected in the town.
The artillery bombardment over half an hour was not enough. Over the last hours constantly new threats appeared. Usually I react with ten minutes rapid fire, with this mass of units, this is hard work and not really successful.
Further south on the Salm river, I ordered withdraw. I see no chance to stop the germans at the bridges.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/16/2011 6:01:27 PM   
miya

 

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D5 17:30
The situation is developing from bad to worse. My companies start to rout and surrender. German tanks seem unimpressed by the Shermans 75 mm gun. I have no choice but to retreat. Stavelot will stay in german hands.
Where was the historical frontline ? I will have to look that up. But first I have to end the scenario, still nearly 26 hours to go.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/16/2011 8:13:02 PM   
phoenix

 

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I might be wrong, but I think the 117th re-took Stavelot on the 19th, historically - Day 2 of the scenario, I guess. There was fighting to kick them out - mainly KG Knittel - right up to Christmas Day, frustrated by TF Lovelady linking up with the defenders as early as 21st. By 25th the US had full control, I think. But in reality those armoured spearheads were all running out of support and supply. Not sure that happens in the scenario.

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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/16/2011 8:17:32 PM   
phoenix

 

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Also, you selected Favour axis for supply and reinforcements - so you're going to struggle a bit more than they did historically, no?

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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/16/2011 8:44:19 PM   
miya

 

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Thanks for the information. You are right "Favour Axis" will give the axis some advantages which will make me struggle more than historical.


D6 7:30
The 119th Infantry Reigment is digging in west of Stavelot. The 117th will block the road leading north, thus forcing the germans in a bridgehead with size about 2 x 2 km.
But allied supreme command will have to worry what is happening west of the Salm.

If the axis can do better than historical with "Favour Axis", then the scenario designer has done something right. But it's too early for praise, not until it's finished.




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RE: How hard can it be ? - Peiper's Race for the Meuse ... - 11/16/2011 8:56:58 PM   
miya

 

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Speaking of the area west of the river Salm, it seems the AI has not given up to cross the Ambleve northward. TF Lovelady is send to the scene.
Further south the 505th reached its defence positions with the opponent forces on their heels. Especially the 1.505 was only able to hold its position with the help of the regiment HQ and the 376th Para Fd Arty.




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