Your right it is a high quality unit.
What made me do the tests in the first place though is I have been playing the Elsenborn Ridge scenario to see what changes have taken place because it's the one I am most familiar with, and those Platoons entrenched on the edge of the woods are a b**** to kill.
There not crack there just standard green troops, but they are entrenched.
You can bomb them for hours, virtually with no effect which is realistic for troops with overhead cover I guess, and if you attack across an open field with even a Bn, you should expect to get mown down by MG, and Arty, but what I don't think is realistic is like in the tests above, that once they have been outflanked, and completely surrounded as well being suppressed by mortar, and hundreds, probably even thousands of rounds of Arty fire, a small platoon of 50 guys, maybe without ammo, I can't tell, will still fight to the death.
As the German forces moved through Lanzerath and in front of their positions, Bouck and his men allowed lead members of the unit to pass, hoping to surprise the Germans. They were preparing to fire on three men who they believed were the Regiment's officers when a girl from the village emerged from one of the homes. Talking to the officers, she pointed in their general direction. An officer yelled a command, and the paratroopers jumped for ditches on either side of the road. The Americans thought she had given their position away and fired on the Germans, wounding several. (In October 2006, more than 50 years later, a writer found the now adult woman, still living in the village. She told him she did not know the Americans were still in the area, and was pointing out the direction the Tank Destroyer unit had departed, towards Bucholz Station.
Four members of a Forward Observation Team from Battery C, 371st Field Artillery had been in the village when the Tank Destroyer unit withdrew. Lieutenant Warren Springer and the other three men, Sergeant Peter Gacki, T/4 Willard Wibben, and T/5 Billy Queen joined Bouck's unit on the ridge where they could continue to observe the enemy movement. Bouck distributed them among the foxholes to help reload magazines and reinforce their position.
The German infantry deployed and about two platoons of the 2nd Company, 1st Battalion, then attacked the Americans head-on, bunched together in the open and charging straight up the hill, directly at the platoon's hidden and fortified positions. The Americans were surprised at the inexperienced tactics. For the Americans, it was like "shooting clay ducks in California at an amusement park.
Several attackers were killed trying to climb over the 4 feet (1.2 m)-high barbed wire fence that bisected the field, often shot at close range with a single shot to the heart or head. Lt. Springer used his jeep-mounted SCR-610 radio to call in coordinates for artillery fire. A few shells landed near the road outside Lanzerath, but they did not hinder the German attack. His jeep was then struck by machine gun fire or mortar shrapnel and his radio was destroyed.
Slape and Milosevich fired continually, as fast as they could reload. Slape thought the Germans were mad to attack in such a suicidal manner, straight across the open field. He later recalled that it was one of the "most beautiful fields of fire" he had ever seen. After only about 30 seconds, the firing stopped. Nearly all of the attacking Germans had been killed or wounded. McConnell, shot in the shoulder, was the only American casualty.
During a second attack made around 11:00 am, Milosevich fired the .50 caliber jeep-mounted machine gun until enemy fire drove him back into his foxhole. In both the first and second attack that morning no German soldier got past the fence in the middle of the field. Bodies were piled around it. German medics waved a white flag late in the morning and indicated they wanted to remove the wounded, which the American defenders allowed. The Americans again suffered only one wounded on the second attack, when Pvt. Kalil was struck in the face by a rifle grenade that failed to explode.
The Germans mounted a third attack late in the afternoon, around 3:00. Several times German soldiers attempted to penetrate the American lines. The Americans left their foxholes and in close combat fired on the attackers to push them back down the hill. At one point PFC Milsovech spotted a medic working on and talking to a soldier he felt certain was already dead. As mortar fire on his position got more accurate, Milsovech noticed a pistol on the supposed medic's belt, and decided he must be calling in fire on their position. He shot and killed him.
Bouck contacted Regimental Headquarters once more, seeking reinforcements. At 3:50, Fort sent the unit's last update to Regimental headquarters in Hünningen. He reported they were still receiving some artillery fire but were holding their position against an estimated enemy strength of about 75, who were attempting to advance from Lanzerath towards the railroad to the northwest.
As dusk approach and their ammunition ran dangerously low, Bouck feared they could be flanked at any time. He planned to pull his men back just before dusk, when they would have enough light to escape through the woods. Bouck ordered his men to remove the distributor caps from their Jeeps and to prepare to evacuate to the rear. He dispatched Corporal Sam Jenkins and PFC Preston through the woods to locate Major Kriz at Regimental HQ and seek instructions or reinforcements.
Bouck tried to contact Regimental headquarters on the SCR-300 radio for instructions. A sniper shot the radio as Bouck held it to his ear. The sniper also hit the SCR-284 radio mounted in the Jeep behind Bouck, eliminating any possibility of calling for reinforcements or instructions.
The German troops were reluctant to attack head on once again, and Sergeant Vinz Kulbach pleaded with the officers of the 9th Fallschirmjaeger Regiment to allow his men to flank the Americans in the dusk. Fifty men from Fusilier Regiment 27 of the 12th Volksgrenadier Division were dispatched to attack the American's southern flank through the woods.
Just as Bouck was about to blow his whistle to indicate withdrawal, German soldiers penetrated their lines and began overrunning their foxholes. Several attackers were killed by grenades rigged to wires and triggered by Americans in their foxholes. Each of the positions spread out over the ridge top were overrun in turn. Surprisingly, the Germans did not simply kill the defenders in their foxholes.
Bouck was pulled from his foxhole by an officer with a machine gun, and he thought he would be shot when the German put his weapon in his back and pulled the trigger; it was empty. Both Bouck and the German officer were then struck by bullets. The German fell seriously wounded, while Bouck was struck in the calf. Sergeant Kuhlbach asked Bouck who was in command, and Bouck replied that he was. Kuhlbach asked him why the Americans were still shooting, and Bouck said it was not his men doing it. Bouck surrendered and helped carry his wounded men down to the village.
During their dawn to dusk fight, the 15 remaining men of the I&R platoon plus the four men of the 371st Artillery Forward Observation Team repeatedly engaged elements of the 1st Battalion, 9th Fallschirmjaeger Regiment, 3rd Fallschirmjaeger Division of about 500 men. The Germans reported 16 killed, 63 wounded, and 13 missing in action.
Other reports say the Americans inflicted between 60 and five hundred casualties on the Germans. Only one American, forward artillery observer Billy Queen, was killed; in Bouck's platoon, 14 out of 18 men were wounded. The small American force had seriously disrupted the schedule of the entire 6th Panzer Army's drive for Antwerp along the entire northern edge of the offensive. After virtually no sleep during the preceding night and a full day of almost non-stop combat, with only a few rounds of ammunition remaining, flanked by a superior enemy force, the platoon and artillery observers were captured.
German armor advance
Peiper's troops on the road to Malmedy
Kampfgruppe Peiper, the lead element of the Sixth Panzer Army's spearhead, 1st SS Panzer Division, consisted of 4,800 men and 600 vehicles. On December 16, it started as much as 36 kilometres (22 mi) to the east in Tondorf, Germany, and was unable to advance at its scheduled rate because of road congestion.
The road from Scheid to Losheim was one solid traffic jam, in part due to two blown railroad overpasses blocking access to Losheimergraben, but also due to American resistance. Peiper's lead units did not reach Losheim until 7:30 pm, when he was ordered to swing west and join up with the 3rd Fallschirmjaeger Division, which had finally cleared the route through Lanzerath. Peiper was furious about the delay.
En route to Lanzerath, Peiper's unit lost five tanks and five other armored vehicles to American mines and anti-tank weapons. Kampfgruppe Peiper finally reached Lanzerath near midnight.
Lt. Bouck, held in Café Scholzen, turned 21 years old at midnight on December 17. At midnight, he watched as a senior German officer (who he later identified as Peiper) attempted to obtain accurate information about the U.S. Army's strength in the area. Peiper was told by Obersturmbannführer i.G. von Hoffman, a former Luftwaffe general staff officer from Berlin and commanding officer of the 9th Fallschirmjaeger Regiment, 3rd Fallschirmjaeger Division, that his men had run into stiff resistance. He reported that the woods and road ahead were packed with American troops and tanks. He had bedded his troops down for the night and planned to probe the forest for Americans at first light.
Their expectations of further resistance was all based on the stiff defense offered by Bouck's force of just 18 men.
Peiper asked the Battalion commander and a Hauptmann (captain) in the same unit about the American resistance. Both said they had not personally seen the Americans, but that the woods were heavily fortified. Peiper learned that no patrols had been conducted into the woods and no one had personally reconnoitered the area.
Disgusted, Peiper demanded that von Hoffman give him a battalion of paratroops to accompany his tanks. At 4:30 on December 17, more than 16 hours behind schedule, the 1st SS Panzer Division rolled out of Lanzareth and headed east for Bucholz Station. The entire timetable of their advance on the River Meuse and Antwerp had been seriously slowed, allowing the Americans precious hours to move in reinforcements.
Peiper's lead units entered Bucholz Station without resistance at 5:00 am. They found only two rifle companies from the 3rd Battalion, 394th Infantry Regiment had been left to defend it; these were quickly captured, except for a headquarters company radio operator. Hidden in a cellar, he called in reports to division headquarters until he was finally captured.
Driving east, the Germans entered Honsfield at 6:00 am where his column merged in the dark with an American column. In Honsfield, they encountered one of the 99th Division's rest centers, which was clogged with still sleeping, confused American troops. They killed many, destroyed a number of American armored units and vehicles, and took several dozen prisoners, who were later executed by elements of his force.
Based on the noise to the northeast, Peiper decided that the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend was encountering more resistance than expected. Unable to contact his division headquarters, and with his vehicles low on fuel, Peiper decided to switch his planned route to the south through Büllingen, where he believed an American fuel depot existed.
His units entered the town at 8:00 am and easily captured 50,000 US gallons (190,000 l; 42,000 imp gal) of fuel for his vehicles. He was apparently unaware he had nearly taken the town and unknowingly bypassed an opportunity to flank and trap the entire 2nd and 99th Divisions. Peiper turned south to detour around Hünningen, interested only in hurrying west as quickly as he could.
The unit gained notoriety when on this route they encountered a lightly armored American convoy and apparently murdered 84 U.S. prisoners of war in what became known as the Malmedy massacre.
The German advance never recovered from its initial delay, and Kampfgruppe Peiper only got as far as Stoumont, where the remaining vehicles ran out of fuel and came under heavy attack from American artillery and tanks. Having advanced less than half-way to the River Meuse, they were forced to abandon more than a hundred vehicles in the town, including six Tiger II tanks. The soldiers were left to find their own way back to the east on foot.
Having started the offensive with about 5,800 men, 60 tanks (some Tigers), 3 flak tanks, 75 half-tracks, 14 20mm Flak Wagons, 27 75mm assault guns, plus 105 and 150mm SP Howitzers, Hitler's prized Kampfgruppe was reduced to 800 S.S. troopers creeping through the brush at night, trying to get back to their own line.
The task of defeating the 99th Division was the objective of 12th SS Panzer Division reinforced by additional Panzergrenadier and Volksgenadier divisions. On December 17, German engineers repaired one of the road bridges over the railroad along the Losheim-Losheimergraben road and the 12th Division's armor began advancing towards the key road junction at Losheimergraben and the twin villages of Rocherath and Krinkelt. However, in more than ten days of intense battle, they were unable to dislodge the Americans from Elsenborn Ridge, where elements of the V Corps of the First U.S. Army prevented the German forces from reaching the road network to their west.
Due to the determined resistance of the 99th Division, which was composed of relatively inexperienced troops, along with the 2nd and 23rd Divisions, the northern shoulder of the Battle of the Bulge was a sticking point for the entire offensive operation. Had the Americans given way, the German advance would have overrun the vast supply depots around Leige and Spa and possibly have changed the outcome of the Battle of Bulge.
The key points from this extract are the two Coy that surrendered at the Station, and the brave actions of the guys from the I&R Platoon, and the fact that once they where flanked it was game over.
My tactic in the initial stage of this scenario is to advance to contact over the open ground with gaps between my units. What happens is one of the Coy will make contact then deploy to pin down the position of the entrenched platoon.
The other 2 Coy will advance into the forest just outside of LOS of the enemy position. They then turn, and attack using the cover of the trees to get very close to the trenches occupied by the US troops, thus completely surrounding them, and over running their trenches. That's about 300-400 men against 50 suppressed enemy in the forest.
All this time they will be under continuous Artillery, then mortar fire as my troops get to close for Artillery to be brought in safely.
What I then imagine should happen is, as there completely surrounded, and being pressed on all sides they either surrender, or die very quickly.
This cahnge in tactic, instead of the repeated frontal attacks across the field, can completely chnage the outcome of the battle for Peiper, but I don't feel the holding out by the small platoons once my tactics have been implimented is very realistic.
Maybe I'm wrong?