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Battle of the Roadblocks

 
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Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/8/2012 10:55:04 PM   
Winstons

 

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Battle of the Roadblocks

Hi – this is my first attempt at an AAR. I’ve played pretty much all of Highway To the Reich and a few from Conquest of the Aegean. So far I’ve only attempted one mission of BoB, Stuck in the Teeth, which resulted in my forces being annihilated. I hope this mission proves somewhat more successful – although it has been over six months since my last game so I may be a little rusty! Settings are Historical and we're on Realistic orders delay. I'm going to make this AAR fairly detailed, just so other players can see how my thought process works as a game goes on. I will be playing as the US.

EDIT - for interest, the official historical records of this engagement

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-8/7-8_13.HTM

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-8/7-8_19.HTM

Outline

The enemy has broken through the centre of the US line in the Ardennes, crushing the 110th Regiment of the 28th division, and now threatening a major breakthrough. Hasty reinforcements have been rushed to the northeast of Bastogne to hold and delay the advance down the main highway. The men reached their positions at midnight, and as dawn approaches, they hear the ominus clanking of Panzers echoing up from the Clerf valley below. The Americans hunker down, nervous, tense, ready for the onslaught to begin.

Forces

My force disposition seems to be a ragtag bunch of reserve and command units, allocated into individual Task Forces – this feels somewhat unusual as an Allied commander, with these sorts of groups being more commonly encountered as German Kampfgruppen.

Task Force Rose, consisting of about 400 men and a tank company, hold the furthest point out at the Antoniushaff road junction. Another infantry company sits nearby to the south.

Task Force Harper, similar to Task Force Rose, located at the next road junction.

Task Force Booth, 320 men, with some Tank Destroyers and Stuarts, in the hamlet of Molnet.

CCR HQ located in the village of Longvilly, around 500 men, but most of these are part of the base and not front line troops. Two self-propelled artillery battalions are also attached.

A couple of engineer platoons resting in Bizory.

VII Corps HQ based in Bastogne itself.

So not much to work with!

Reinforcements will consist of a couple more Task Forces on day 1, with the bulk of the reserves coming from the 101st, arriving from Day 2 onwards as they are rushed to the area. I will decide what to do with them individually when they arrive – the situation may change rapidly in the first day making any solid plans I formulate now redundant.

Objectives

The major objective in the scenario is holding Bastogne and keeping the enemy well out of it – clearly if the town falls, I lose, by a heavy margin. Secondary objectives include most of the small villages and major road junctions to the north east of Bastogne, with further minor objectives at various points along the main highway. Important to note is the time setting on many of the objectives, giving me a clear, defined path for my forces to fall back along. I must hold on to each minor objective as long as I can, to minimize the amount of VPs the enemy can gain, but without sacrificing my defence around Bastogne. I must hold out for 3 days – the enemy has a mere 25km to travel – only an hour's drive in a tank!

My aim is to hold Bastogne and all secondary objectives. I will try and contest the other objectives as long as possible, denying VPs to the enemy, even if I can’t claim them myself.

The picture below shows my main objectives, circled, and the route I predict the enemy will initially use, as arrows.






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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/8/2012 11:11:53 PM   
Winstons

 

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The Plan

Clearly I am fighting a delaying action and have no chance of destroying the enemy force. My primary target is to destroy only his time. I note the objectives and their time boundaries, and it’s clear that I will quickly lose the initial points – so my aim is to scrap for every single VP and deny them to the enemy for as long as I can, but withdrawing before I can be overrun and destroyed.

Every interruption I can cause him will be crucial. Every order alteration he has to make introduces more delay to his plans and costs him more time, so I must put as many obstacles in front of him as possible. I reason this will be achieved best through a higher number of smaller blocking actions, rather than an attempt to mass all my forces at one point.

Every time he runs into one of my positions, he must re-adjust and form up to attack. A large, single point of defence, once breached, offers no such ability to introduce multiple delays.

My initial plan is to screen the main highway at the following points, with harassing artillery fire on any enemy force caught moving or reorganising out in the open along the main road.
I expect the enemy AI to drive hard and fast up the highway to begin with – but I know from previous encounters that he is very smart at sidestepping blocking positions and flanking my units. I expect him to do so upon contact with each blocking position, and I am fully aware I may have enemy units popping up on both sides of my line, and possibly even behind me to the north.

There appears to be two main routes out of the valley to the east. I have a number of loose platoons of Stuarts and motorized engineers that I intend to us as my mobile eyes and ears. I cannot form a strong blocking position at every conceivable location and I am loathe to move any entrenched units unless I have to. I will be deploying these small platoons at various junctions and crossroads north and east of my positions to keep an eye out for flanking enemy units. Potential blocking positions I've marked below – these may change as the battle ebbs and flows.







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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/8/2012 11:15:03 PM   
Winstons

 

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The battle

6am-7am, Day 1

I note all of my forces are dug in and entrenched. Combined with the heavy initial orders delay and the immediacy of an expected attack, I reason it foolish to make any sudden moves. The hammer blow is about to fall and I need the men braced and ready for it, not running about willy-nilly in the open. I order the majority of my forces to defend in-situ, opening up with intense fire only when the enemy is very close and in prime ambush positions. By the end of the first hour, the lead elements of the enemy have already engaged.






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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/8/2012 11:16:15 PM   
Winstons

 

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7am-10am, Day 1

As expected, the forward elements of the enemy have struck Task Force Rose hard. Our tank company was caught in a vicious duel with enemy armor and destroyed. The infantry retain entrenched positions in a good reverse slope location, and I am leaving them where they are for now. I have manual control over fire support and am bringing it down on the road and moving enemy units.

Enemy recon units have moved past my positions south of Task Force Rose and began to encircle. I try to pull back my small artillery platoon, but leave the infantry in place to harass. Moving them at this point would be dangerous.

Further to the west, I reassess, and go against one of my earlier decisions to leave all my units entrenched. I move up the main combat elements of Task Force Booth, making a new blocking position shown below. A good thing too, as no sooner have they taken up positions in the hamlet of Hamiville, than a squadron of enemy recon vehicles appears, and is beaten back.

I leave their HQ in position, to hold the objective. I also now order my Stuart and engineer platoons to various points around the map to begin their watch for enemy movement.






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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/8/2012 11:24:24 PM   
Rick

 

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I'm looking forward to see how this plays out.

thanks
Rick

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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/9/2012 8:07:36 AM   
Deathtreader


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rick

I'm looking forward to see how this plays out.

thanks
Rick


Me too!!!

Rob.

_____________________________

So we're at war with the Russkies eh?? I suppose we really ought to invade or something. (Lonnnng pause while studying the map)
Hmmmm... big place ain't it??
- Sir Harry Flashman (1854)

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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/9/2012 8:23:32 AM   
phoenix

 

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And me! Thanks for posting. I've only ever lost this scenario (as Allies). They were doomed historically. Hope you fair better.

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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/10/2012 8:19:48 PM   
Winstons

 

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Day 1 10am-12pm

Task Force Rose is holding their ground and fighting hard. Regular updates from Captain Rose inform me they are extremely hard pressed but blunting the enemy advance, with some enemy units thrown back in disarray. It seems Jerry hasn’t yet formed up a full assault and has been sending units in piecemeal, thinking it would be an easy walkover. The reverse slope position of Rose’s men means they are safe from the fire of the massed columns of armour on the main highway ridge – they open up with deadly volleys of their own at any German units that attempt to crest the hill. The main force of the enemy now appears to be skirting the road junction and swinging south.

I order my artillery to increase their rate of bombardment in support of Rose. Although they are only on half ammo, I reason it is better to expand it now, earlier, when it will have a magnifying effect on the slowdown of the enemy advance, than to save it for later in the day when they are assaulting my secondary positions. Judicious use of it during the morning has played a crucial role. My supply base is also close to my artillery and they have a good amount of stock to replenish the guns with.

Further south, the enemy recon unit appears to have got lost and slipped behind my lines. He quickly finds himself stuck between two roadblocks, unable to move. I expect him to vanish off westward somewhere – I cannot afford the manpower to chase him, and apart from spotting my units, he is not a threat.
At lunchtime, the reinforcements of Task Force Cherry pull up into Bastogne and before they can dismount, are immediately dispatched to blocking positions northeast of Longvilly. With wooded, elevated cover, overwatching a small stream below, it is an excellent defensive position. Task Force Cherry is similar in size to the other TF’s, with a full tank squadron and a tank destroyer platoon, along with motorized infantry.




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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/10/2012 8:21:05 PM   
Winstons

 

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Day 1 12pm-1pm

Force Cherry can now be seen on the map, in their new blocking positions, about a kilometre northeast of 9th CCR HQ in Longvilly. The enemy continue to swing south in force, but of more immediate concern is the sudden report by Captain Rose that he has spotted enemy motorized units north of his position! Are these flanking forces from the main column, or are they new forces to the area, travelling south from off the map?

Rose and his men continue to hold out, fending off attacks from the main column, sending two enemy units scattering and directing artillery fire onto any troop congestion they observe on the main road.





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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/10/2012 8:21:49 PM   
Winstons

 

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Day 1 1pm-2pm

With a sudden surge, the enemy overrun the position south of Task Force Rose, leaving them cut off. With the Germans pushing in this direction, I fear my right flank is exposed, and that the small group of defenders I sent to Hamiville will soon be engaged. These men of Task Force Booth, hearing the explosions and cannon rounds hitting Rose’s position only 2km to the north, know they are next in the firing line.

Of equal concern is the direction of the new unit to the north. If they head south and engage Task Force Rose, that will certainly mean the withdrawl or destruction of Rose and his men – but that is not unexpected. If however they swing west instead, cutting cross country, they have the opportunity to head for the hamlets of Trone or Molnet, each with only a platoon or so of defenders. I leave the Stuart tanks at Trone in place – hopefully they can report on any movements in their direction.

Some good news is the arrival of the HQ section of the CCB 10th Armoured Division in Bastogne. Consisting of HQ and Base elements, I direct them to take up positions at the secondary objective of Foy (offscreen to the left), ready for the objective to become active on the 2nd day.




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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/12/2012 8:04:42 AM   
Winstons

 

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2pm-4pm

The enemy finally launch a concerted attack on Task Force Rose, using elements from the south to hit them from two directions. Yet even with overwhelming numbers and heavy armour support, they still cannot break through. The infantry under Rose’s command do not budge an inch, and although their support guns are destroyed, they send many enemy units scattering. Surely a DSO for Captain Rose should already be in the post! I check their supply situation and although they have used all their bazooka ammo, they still have three AT guns up and running. I leave them in place as the afternoon ticks on.

Working closely with the artillery commander, I bring down regular harassing fire on any enemy units I see moving south. Ammunition is now very low but I have confidence my resupply situation is good.

The enemy unit seen north earlier has moved southwest as I feared, following the stream, and we lose his position. He may now be anywhere. Late in the afternoon there is a separate contact between the engineer platoon manning a small roadblock at the Crendal crossroads and a motorized enemy recon unit. Hiding in the cottages and farm buildings, they are forced to engage.

At 4pm, as the winter sun starts to dip below the horizon, I finally order Rose to make an orderly withdrawl north and west. His men have done spectacularly well, denying the objective to the enemy for the entire day but now is the time for them to fall back, while the route west is still open. With an hour or so orders delay, they should start moving out just as darkness begins to fall.






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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/12/2012 8:52:59 AM   
phoenix

 

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Great stuff. TFR doing a great job up there. I would have thought they would break before now.

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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/12/2012 9:07:44 AM   
Winstons

 

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Day 1 4-6pm

As the last of the sunlight begins to disappear, my scout platoons send in panicked reports of a large bulk of enemy forces swinging west and heading for their positions, sidestepping the roadblock at Hamiville. I don't yet know if this is the main thrust of the enemy or only a portion of his troops.

Meanwhile back in Bastogne, Team Desobry arrive, led by Major William Desobry. Similar to my other combat teams, they consist of around 500 men, 18 or so tanks and tank destroyers, motorized infantry and some scout elements. I dispatch them quickly to new blocking positions in what I think may be in the path of the sighted enemy, at my secondary objective of Bourcy (not due to become active until on 7am Day 2).








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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/12/2012 9:11:19 AM   
Winstons

 

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Day 1 6pm-7pm

Panic! No sooner have Team Desobry arrived at Bourcy and got their mess tins out for a spot of dinner, than lead elements of enemy armour arrive on the outskirts and begin trading shots with their tank destroyers! They've appeared here far earlier than I expected. It's clear the enemy are still pushing west in force, over the hill and woods, avoiding the highway and roadblocks. To confirm this, I intermittantly lose the objective of Molnet, circled, telling me enemy forces are passing close by, but do not seem to be interested in assaulting the position.

This seriously changes my plans and means things might go very wrong, very quickly. Clearly the enemy has no wish to get held up along the main road and is pushing through the night to reach Bastogne before my reinforcements can arrive.

I decide to relocate elements of Task Force Booth away from the Road junction to protect the north flank of Longvilly in case the enemy tries to rejoin the highway here.







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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/12/2012 9:13:53 AM   
Winstons

 

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Day 1 7-9pm

The night remains unquiet. A scout platoon of engineers suddenly reports enemy contact at the crossroads of Michamps, confirming my fears that they are now striking directly south-west cross-country. This causes a radical rethink of my plans and much furrowing of my brow. Clearly I need to form a new circle closer to Bastogne, and my strong blocking positions across the highway are mostly redundant, but how many do I remove? I simply don't have enough forces to block every approach. And what if this ISN'T the main force of the enemy? If I relocate everything away from the highway and I find in the morning he is steaming a panzer division down it, I am in deep trouble. I decide to split my forces and leave some elements still securing the highway east of Longvilly.

I decide to relocate Task Force Harper away from their road junctions objective and to defend Arioncourt manor, west of Longvilly – again blocking the enemy from getting back on the highway. I leave a platoon of engineers and some scout cars at the objective with orders to hold it for a few more hours and observe, just in case the enemy is still planning on rolling up the main road.

The stronger Task Force Cherry, who have been patiently awaiting the enemy all afternoon in their positions, now find themselves on the move, pulled 6km back to the village of Bizory, an objective right in the path of Bastogne that will become active in the morning of Day 2.

Things are getting a little too close for comfort, so I order my artillery all the way back to Bastogne for safety.

Of more concern is the sighting earlier in the evening of a German patrol in Derenbach, a collection of small buildings directly south of Task Force Harper! I'd forgotten about the enemy elements I'd seen moving further south earlier in the day. Possibly they are swinging around south of the highway now. Having made my dispositions, I decide there is no use chasing ghosts, and I will let them come to me.

The night is dark – and full of Germans.







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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/17/2012 7:42:12 PM   
Winstons

 

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9pm-11pm

As darkness falls the enemy contacts fade from the map, although he is clearly trying to move through the night. Continued contact occurs on multiple fronts, especially from the very south – clearly a substantial force is attempting this route.Team Cherry fights a running battle with scattered enemy opposition as it attempts to move West on the highway. Although it is slowing them down, perhaps it is fortunate they are interrupting the enemies attempted stealthy advance.

In the north, enemy armor masses on the outskirts of Bourcy, but has a platoon of engineers cause them to rethink and they pause on the outskirts for a few hours, trading shots, unwilling to advance further into the town where Team Desobry lie in wait.Scattered enemy units are also reported breaking through and around the first blockade and pushing up the highway – the situation is becoming very messy and lines of battle are no longer clearly defined.

I have withdrawn my scout tank platoons to various crossroads closer to Bastogne and are on the alert for enemy movement. I am in a worrying situation and am concerned about how many enemy units are slipping past my defences. I withdraw my base and main combat HQ from the objective at Longvilly, alarmed at how close the enemy are.





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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/17/2012 7:59:06 PM   
Winstons

 

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11pm-5am

Sproadic enemy contact continues to occur all through the night. The chatter of LMGs and the bark of rifle fire echoes around the dark woods as a confused series of running battles is held all along my line. The enemy appears to be attempting to breach the position of Task Force Harper in strength, but is making little headway in the dark. Enemy tanks continue to mass to the north east of Team Desobry, but do not yet assault.

Task Force Cherry eventually rout the enemy units harassing them from the side of the highway and continue their push to blocking postions near Bizory - I hope they can reach them before dawn.




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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/18/2012 8:14:41 AM   
phoenix

 

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I think you've won it, no? Can't see the AI affecting a big breakthrough now. A draw is always a win, I feel, when playing allies in any defensive historical bulge scenario. The Axis did better than this in real life, I think. Well done. Hope no surprises tomorrow. Or maybe that would be interesting....

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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/18/2012 7:12:29 PM   
Winstons

 

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I'm not so confident as you! I have a very bad suspicion things are going to get rather hectic at sunrise. There are still 2 more days to go.

What is really interesting is how similar my scenario is playing out compared to the actual combat history. I imagine some of you forum goers are familiar with this site, but I only found it a week or so ago - it is the official US Army history webpage, and contains a huge amount of detail - http://www.history.army.mil/html/bookshelves/collect/usaww2.html

I've been able to find the chapter dealing with the Battle of The Bulge and the specific scenario I'm playing now - http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-8/7-8_13.HTM - what occured in real life is amazingly close to how my game is playing out so far.

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-8/7-8_19.HTM is another chapter very closely following the Battle of The Roadblocks scenario.

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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/18/2012 7:31:55 PM   
Winstons

 

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Day 2 5am-7am

The sun has now come up . . . first one, then two, then three, four, five - I lose count - enemy units are popping up like mushrooms as the combat teams report their positions in the early dawn light.

As feared a strong enemy force has pushed south and is now only a few KM from Bastogne with nothing inbetween! Luckily the first of my 101 airborne reinforcements have just arrived, and I decide to take the initative my immediately ordering them into an assault against the enemy - with them attacking from the west and Team Cherry pushing from the east, I hope to scatter this enemy force before it can settle and make a push on Bastogne.

In an exciting new addition to my coloured map arrows, enemy movement is marked on the map in red, the movement of my units are now marked in green.




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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/18/2012 7:52:52 PM   
phoenix

 

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Great site links, thanks. Hadn't seen them, in fact.

As far as winning goes I'd guess you won't have to fight them off Bastogne - could be wrong, and you certainly need to block those lead elements heading that way right now, no? - in which case 50 points are yours to start with. If you keep them well out of Foy and Noville (outside the VP circles, so you have possession) then you'll have 70 and win.

Enjoying it.

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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/19/2012 6:45:30 PM   
Winstons

 

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Day 8am

As the morning of the second day dawns, the situation has changed a lot, battle lines are blurred or pretty much non-existent, and the situation looks very confusing. I want to sum up my planning for the day ahead to those following this AAR. This is pretty detailed but I just wanted to illustrate my thinking for anyone who happens to be new to the game.

First, let’s recap my objectives -

I still have two more days and one more night to hold out. My primary objective, Bastogne, affords me 25 vps upon completion, and 25 vps for occupation. Clearly I can’t afford to let the enemy to get in a position to even contest the objective.

I also have 5 active minor objectives, each worth 10 vps for occupation. I don’t think I can hold all five with my remaining forces. I decide to abandon one, and focus on the other four. Two objectives lie close to Bastogne and will form part of the Bastogne defensive circle – the other two are villages further out to the north, which will also be defending as long reasonably possible.

Next, let’s review my remaining forces, and what I intend to do with them. Each force is marked on the map with a corresponding number, for easy location –

1. Task Force Cherry : around 450 motorized troops and 25 tanks. Currently stuck on the Longvilly highway east of Bastogne, with enemies ahead. I’ve ordered them to launch an attack in conjunction with paratroopers coming in from the east in a pincer movement, in order to force their way through the enemy lines. Green lines show movement of my forces.

2. Task Force Rose : Scattered and lost in the north. Captain Rose is leading a few stragglers back through the woods behind enemy lines. TF Rose has been written off.

3. Task Force Harper : Dug in at a road junction. They are pretty much surrounded by enemy forces. I order them to stay put and fight. Escape route will be to the south, if they are overrun.

4. Task Force Booth : split between two locations, blocking the highway and holding high ground near woods to the north. I order them to hold position for now.

5. HQ elements, bases and artillery : these remain in place inside Bastogne.

6. Team Desobry, 450 men, tanks and tank destroyers, an important and sizeable force.
Holding out at the village of Bourcy. I now order them to abandon their objective and begin an orderly withdrawl to Noville to the west, as I fear they are getting surrounded.

7. My main reinforcements consist of 5 battalions and 2 HQs with attached support from the 101st Airborne division, which are all due to arrive early in the morning. I’ve coloured their instructions in blue so you can follow them on the map. I have ordered one battalion to launch an attack at Mageret to support Team Cherry. 1 battalion is ordered to defend the village of Bizory, 1 battalion is ordered to dig in on the road and hill immediately east of Bastogne, 1 battalion is ordered to defend Foy, (a company from this battalion is dispatched further north to Noville to reinforce the engineer platoon there, making sure the village remains in our hands until Team Desobry can reach it), and the last battalion is my tactical reserve, who I keep in place in the centre of Bastogne, ready for emergencies. I order the HQ elements to spread out and cover some of the dirt tracks leading into Bastogne from the north east.


Enemy dispositions –

The enemy is now spreading all over the map, but hasn’t yet breached my Bastogne perimeter. His only sizeable strength near the town is attacking from the very south, but I’ve put them under heavy artillery fire and they are about to be attacked from two directions by paratroopers and Team Cherry. A large bulk seem to be north, attacking Team Desobry, and swarming around and past Team Harper.




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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/24/2012 11:40:16 PM   
Winstons

 

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Update - epic conclusion to come at the weekend! Have been somewhat distracted with XCOM recently.

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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/25/2012 12:43:00 AM   
Rick

 

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I'm looking forward to your conclusion. Enjoyable read !

Thanks
rick

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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/29/2012 8:13:04 PM   
Winstons

 

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Day 2 8am-1pm

For most of the morning a fierce battle rages around the village of Magaret, as 1st Battalion 101 and Team Cherry attack the incoming German columns, who are rapidly flooding out of the south.

Further east, Task Force Harper is smashed and overrun by heavy German armour, who envelope them on all sides. Team Desobry are under heavy fire, and begin a running battle to try and withdraw from Bourcy before they are surrounded and suffer a similar fate. By lunchtime they successfully break out towards Noville, with accurate artillery keeping the German fire to a minimum.

As the morning goes on, the combined attack by the 1st Battalion 101 and Team Cherry is being beaten back by the heavy presence of German armour. The lightly armed paras, though fierce and quick, can’t break through and are taking heavy losses. I decide the attack isn’t going to succeed and the enemy is too strong. I give the order for the paras to withdraw past the first defensive line and regroup. I also order Team Cherry to swing off the road and try to get safely behind my lines by going Northwest cross-country. Most of my final defensive wall is now in place and the men are busy digging themselves in.




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< Message edited by Winstons -- 10/29/2012 8:15:37 PM >

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Post #: 25
RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/29/2012 8:14:15 PM   
Winstons

 

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Day 2 1pm-5pm

The afternoon sees the successful disengagement of 1st battalion 101 and Team Cherry. Especially important is that Team Cherry have now reached my lines – they and Team Desobry and my only remaining armoured support. Their few Shermans and tank destroyers will be vital in strengthen the line held by the 101st, who of course lack any armour. The enemy begins a strong probe to Bastogne by dusk, at the very south of the map, with only a single battalion in his way.

The most important piece of news during this time are observations from my northern line that the enemy columns there are seen completely avoiding contact and swinging north and north east – this doesn’t make sense – they are moving further and further away from Bastogne. I expected them to swing south and to hit Team Desobry at Noville, but they haven’t!

This puzzles me – but upon reading the history of the engagement in the links I provided earlier, I realise that this must be part of the enemy force that has orders to bypass Bastogne and push on, out of the map! Crucially this means the enemy MUST be getting vps for exiting his units off the map somewhere to the northwest. I had no idea he might be trying to do this – I decide I must send some scouting units further north to harass him and slow this process down.

Somewhat amazingly, Captain Rose has led a few dozen stragglers back through the enemy lines, frequently taking fire, but by the evening they are safe and sound in Foy and enjoying a well earned rest and a warm cup of Bovril. Most of the armour from Task Force Booth has also managed to sideslip the enemy advance and get back behind my defensive wall.




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< Message edited by Winstons -- 10/29/2012 8:28:44 PM >

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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/29/2012 8:14:55 PM   
Winstons

 

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Day 2 5pm-8pm

My forces begin to hunker down for the final evening. Sandbags are in place and weapons have been sighted, ready for the inevitable German onslaught. Blocking positions are marked in green. Enemy infantry probes the southern defences but do not commit to an all-out attack in the dark – it is clear they are heavily fatigued from pushing on cross-country during yesterday.

Using engineer platoons and Stuart tanks, I’ve now formed a new observation screen on all major routes leading to my defensive line.

I’ve also sent a recce jeep squadron from 101st HQ up to the northern end of the map, where the red question mark is. Hiding in the nearby village and holding fire, they send reports back of heavy enemy movement. I keep the road under intermittent shelling to disrupt the German movement. I also decide to send a squadron of Shermans from Team Desobry to act as backup and a more solid deterrent.




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< Message edited by Winstons -- 10/29/2012 8:30:10 PM >

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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/31/2012 8:43:35 PM   
Winstons

 

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Day 2 – 8pm – Midnight

The evening and night of day 2/3 is relatively quiet. Small German patrols continue to harass the 1st battalion of the 506th defending Bizory, but not in strength, probably probing their positions for the morning assault. The rest of the line is quiet and the cold woods of the Ardennes seem empty, and my units get a well earned rest in preparation for the final day.




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< Message edited by Winstons -- 10/31/2012 8:48:35 PM >

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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/31/2012 8:44:23 PM   
Winstons

 

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Day 3 1am-7am

The heavy clanking of enemy armour starts up in earnest early in the morning of day 3. Weapons are checked and anti-tank guns loaded by the men, shivering in the early dawn. As the first rays of light come up, the men of the 2bd battalion 501st, dug in on the most southerly point of the line, see a terrifyingly long stretch of German armour all along the main highway, heading right for their position. Battle is joined and they open fire.

In the north, my blocking position reports increased enemy movement attempting to get off the map. I designate some heavy artillery fire to disrupt this activity.






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< Message edited by Winstons -- 10/31/2012 8:49:21 PM >

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RE: Battle of the Roadblocks - 10/31/2012 8:44:58 PM   
Winstons

 

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Day 3 7am-1pm

At this point in the battle all l can really do is sit back and watch the enemy attack unfold, reacting where I can. In reserve I have 1 parachute battalion and the Shermans from Task Force Booth and Team Cherry, who I was able to rescue. The enemy strikes hard to the south but my line holds firm. With the paratroopers unable to shift the heavy panzers sat in front of their positions, pounding them with high explosive shells, I launch a counter attack with my armoured reserve to drive them back. Withered by heavy fire, a large portion of the enemy attack sideslips to the north, trying to get around my blockade through the woods. The battle is intense.

In the north, my light blocking position of jeeps and tanks is in trouble, as it appears a full German division is trying to move through their little village!




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