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AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening Round"

 
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AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening Roun... - 3/17/2017 12:50:36 AM   
bootlegger267

 

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I have studied the 1973 War between Israel and Egypt/Syria throughout my military career. I am a 20 yr (77-97), retired, Army Master Gunner who realized that the armor strategies and techniques of my time were a product of the lessons learned by the Israeli Armor Corps during the Yom Kippur War.

For myself, I always took that war as a small scale version of what the US Army was facing in Europe....

Out numbered 5 to 1 in all aspects of combined arms, how do you win?

The Army sent Gen Don Starry to Israel to see if the "Death of the Tank" was in fact true. Had modern Anti-tank technology (Sagger/RPG) render the tank obsolete?

After an intense interview process and a "Staff Rides" along the Golan and Egyptian fronts, Gen Starry came away with a few insights....

1) "On the modern battlefield, If you can be seen, you can be killed."

2) "When outnumbered 5-1, if you get the first shot in, and it's a kill, the odds have immediately switched to 2-1 in your favor."

3) "Small Unit Leader Initiative make or break a fight."

4) "Long Ranged (2000m +) Gunnery Techniques are force multipliers."

5) "Highly trained NCO's in all aspects of Gunnery and Fire Control Maintenance are needed." (Thus the birth of the US Army Master Gunner Program)

6) Working within the framework of Combined Arms, Armor still dominated the battlefield.

The two sources of information that I have embraced in regards to my information are "The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter That Transformed the Middle East by Abraham Rabinovich, and " Heights Of Courage by Avigdor Kahalani, Donn A. Starry."

The Yom Kippur War, by Rabinovich is an excellent read that covers the whole war. Besides getting down to the individual soldier, it also looked into the highest levels of command, within both the Israeli and Egyptian structures.....a must read on the topic!

Kahalani and Starry's book, "Heights of Courage" is told from the Israeli side. An amazing first hand account of the battle that the 77th "OZ" tank battalion fought in the northern sector of the Golan Heights.

Thus this AAR...........Great job by Alan for the conversion! (Thank you)

This AAR will try to follow the historical fight and the actions taken by the Israeli participants (primarily the 7th Ar Bde) throughout the play through of the scenarios. Follow the first hand accounts of the battle, I will base my moves/decisions on those actions taken as they are recorded in both books noted above. When results deviate from the historical outcome, I'll let ya know.

I always find this a fun exercise in the "What If"

Mid Sept, 1973...Maj Gen Yitzhak Hoffi, Commander Northern Front stood atop one of the volcanic cones on the Israeli side of the ceasefire line on the Golan Heights. He could see the Syrian encampments straddling the road leading to Damascus. The Syrian's normally maintained three divisions on the Golan, but now there were more tanks and artillery then he ever saw before.

What bothered him even more was he could see that the Syrian's had deployed their mobile SAM 6 batteries forward, thus denying the IAF the airspace over the Golan and also into eastern Israel.

Opposite the 177 tanks Israel had on the heights Yom Kippur morning, Syria had 1,400. Opposite Irael's 11 artillery batteries, Syria had 115. Opposite 200 Israeli infantryman manning the ten strongpoints along the 40 mile front were three Syrian infantry divisions with 40,000 men. Had it not been for Gen Hoffi's decision to bring the remainder of Col Ben-Gal's 7th Bde up onto the heights, the ratio of tanks would not have been 8-1, but rather 18-1.

The last of the 7th Bde's tanks arrived on the morning of the 6th and joined the others in there holding areas in the northern part of the heights.

6 October, 1400z... Col Ben-Gal, had called a meeting with his Bn commanders at Nafakh to announced that war would break out at 1800hrs. He had seen the Syrian dispositions days before, and had come to the conclusion that this would not be a limited attack. Just as the last of the commanders were arriving, four Syrian Migs appeared overhead and dropped their bomb loads on the camp....

Currently there were two tank battalions, totaling 77 tanks from the 188th Bde commanded by Col Ben-Shoham. The northern Bn was commanded by Ltc Yair Nafshi, the southern by Ltc Oded Erez.

"Opening Round" takes place north of Kuneitra in Ltc Nafshi's Sector....

(ps......I rewrote this opening post and removed the initial situation picture as neither were the ones I intended to upload)















< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/17/2017 2:52:37 PM >
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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/18/2017 12:26:37 AM   
bootlegger267

 

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As the initial reports come in, the reaction tank platoon heads towards the A3 strong point. The recon element in Kuneitra pull back to prepared positions west of the village.






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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/18/2017 12:47:00 AM   
bootlegger267

 

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The reaction Tank Plt arrives at A3 and engages a column of Syrian trucks....Syrian Artillery falls upon the Israeli positions...

The Cdr of the Recon Company is killed as he approaches A3











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< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/18/2017 12:49:02 AM >

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/18/2017 1:44:08 AM   
berto


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Fascinating. This should be good.

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/18/2017 1:49:10 AM   
bootlegger267

 

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The Tank Plt of the 7th Scout Co continues its engagement.......






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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/18/2017 2:02:13 AM   
**budd**


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Your AAR's are always very well done, looking forward to following along. Just picked up books on each of the wars. Just finished Battle for the Golan, outstanding read. Also picked up one on each of the wars with Rabinovich, 1948 by Morris and 6 days of War by Oren. I'll be checking out Heights of Courage also, thanks for the hint.

_____________________________

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde

*I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/18/2017 8:56:29 AM   
Crossroads


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bootlegger267

After an intense interview process and a "Staff Rides" along the Golan and Egyptian fronts, Gen Starry came away with a few insights....

1) "On the modern battlefield, If you can be seen, you can be killed."

2) "When outnumbered 5-1, if you get the first shot in, and it's a kill, the odds have immediately switched to 2-1 in your favor."

3) "Small Unit Leader Initiative make or break a fight."

4) "Long Ranged (2000m +) Gunnery Techniques are force multipliers."

5) "Highly trained NCO's in all aspects of Gunnery and Fire Control Maintenance are needed." (Thus the birth of the US Army Master Gunner Program)

6) Working within the framework of Combined Arms, Armor still dominated the battlefield.






_____________________________

Campaign Series Legion
---
CS: East Front III | CS: Vietnam IN-THE-WORKS
CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0 DUE OUT SOON
JTCS: West Front 2.0 * East Front II 2.0 * Rising Sun 2.0

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/18/2017 1:06:38 PM   
bootlegger267

 

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After being informed by Crossroads (thank you Sir!) that the AI does not know how to handle the AT Ditch, (note that it is Turn 5 and the Syrian's have not moved) I'll be backing this up to turn 1, and playing hot seat....(historically)

Bootlegger267

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/18/2017 1:40:02 PM   
berto


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Doing this H2H hotseat is a good idea, especially since you are trying to recreate history.

(Note: We are endeavoring to fix A/I issues, including the AT ditch issue, for ME 2.0. Not there yet.)

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/18/2017 11:13:15 PM   
bootlegger267

 

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Reboot....Turn 1 1400hrs Just as the Israeli's could see the Syrian buildup along the Damascus road, the Syrian's knew the locations of the Israeli defensive positions along the "Purple Line". Each would be plotted and fired upon by Syrian artillery. The situation....






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< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/18/2017 11:29:21 PM >

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/18/2017 11:54:35 PM   
bootlegger267

 

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The Syrian advance to the Anti Tank Ditch and A3....The OP comes under heavy fire.








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< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/19/2017 12:11:39 AM >

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/19/2017 12:25:08 AM   
bootlegger267

 

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Turn 1 Israeli....The Tk Plt belonging to the 7th Recce reacts to the calls of A3. The remainder of the unit is ordered to the IP's west of Kuneitra. (The Israeli's react after the artillery falls)








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< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/19/2017 1:31:17 AM >

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/19/2017 1:41:45 PM   
bootlegger267

 

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Turn 2... The Syrian Engineers reach the AT Ditch and the first AVLB is deployed to the southeast of A3 allowing the lead elements to cross the AT Ditch. Heavy Syrian indirect fires continue to fall on the Israeli positions as the assault continues. There is no finese here, 4 crossing point are identified and a broad front attack to stretch the Israeli defenses is developing....








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< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/19/2017 1:42:07 PM >

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/19/2017 2:11:19 PM   
Crossroads


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bootlegger267

Turn 2... The Syrian Engineers reach the AT Ditch and the first AVLB is deployed to the southeast of A3 allowing the lead elements to cross the AT Ditch. Heavy Syrian indirect fires continue to fall on the Israeli positions as the assault continues. There is no finese here, 4 crossing point are identified and a broad front attack to stretch the Israeli defenses is developing....


Ooh, the tension is building up! The scenario lasts only 15 turns but boy those Syrians are at you before you know!

How do the IDF forces react? Top drama, this!


_____________________________

Campaign Series Legion
---
CS: East Front III | CS: Vietnam IN-THE-WORKS
CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0 DUE OUT SOON
JTCS: West Front 2.0 * East Front II 2.0 * Rising Sun 2.0

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/19/2017 2:59:44 PM   
bootlegger267

 

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Israeli Turn 2.....Ltc Rattes' had positioned his 71st Ar Bn with two company's occupying the ground along the forward slopes of Booster Ridge, with the third company at the Hermonit. Seeing the extent of the Syrian assault, he ordered his A and C Company's forward while B Co provided over watching fires. At ranges of 2500-3000m, B Co opens fire and destroys 3 T-54/55's...






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< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/19/2017 3:00:10 PM >

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/20/2017 12:21:43 AM   
bootlegger267

 

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Syrian Turn 3...The Syrian's exploit the breach on the right flank advancing 1km. Col Rostom, the 85th Motorized Rifle Bde Commander, orders his forces to secure and consolidate in the vicinity of Ahmadiyeh, then continue west...Two thirds of his armor Bn had made it across the ditch, but the distinct report of 105mm cannon fire let him know that the Israeli's tanks were ranging his units...He did discover that the road leading to Kuneitra was a death trap, but he could parallel it and stay out of sight of the Israeli"s....

His mission was to establish and secure crossing points across the AT Ditch so that follow on forces had the mobility to advance west. Although he had no intentions of advancing on Kuneitra, if the opportunity arose.......








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< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/20/2017 11:42:01 PM >

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/21/2017 12:23:33 AM   
bootlegger267

 

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Israeli Turn 3...The tanks of Ltc Ratess' 71st Bn could see the complete battlefield. Syrian tanks, trucks, and APC's were swarming along the AT Ditch. Friendly artillery was finally landing upon the enemy personnel attempting to penetrate the mine field in front of OP A3, but most calls were being denied. The tanks that had moved forward were engaging enemy vehicles along the entire front. His forces were still under heavy artillery fire but so far, no losses have been reported.

The Reaction Plt of the 7th Recce arrive at OP#3......











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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/21/2017 1:00:32 AM   
bootlegger267

 

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Historical notes...The Syrian objective was to secure multiple crossing points across the AT Ditch so that follow on forces could continue the attack. In order secure the crossing points, they needed to clear Booster Ridge of Israeli units.

The Israeli units deployed on the trace at the outbreak of hostilities were from two battalions of the 188th Bde, not the 77th. One Battalion was positioned north of Kuneitra, the other, south. Ltc Nafshi's Bn had responsibility for OP3 and north of Kuneitra. The Bn's of the 7th Bde (especially the 77th Bn) did not arrive until at least hour after the attack commenced. They were in assembly areas north of Nafkha.

All my decisions, for both sides, are based upon the historical accounts. It's 24 minutes into the war.....

The Syrian attack was intense. Regardless of the destruction around them, the Syrian's kept coming.





< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/21/2017 1:45:13 AM >

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/21/2017 2:13:53 AM   
bootlegger267

 

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Syrian Turn 4... Four breaches of the AT Ditch have been established and the Syrian's pour across. The first Israeli casualties are reported.






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< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/21/2017 2:14:17 AM >

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/21/2017 2:43:00 AM   
bootlegger267

 

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Israeli Turn 4... The full weight of the Israeli armor is felt upon the Syrian right flank...But the threat to the Israeli positions on Booster Ridge is real as Syrian armor works the low ground towards Kuneitra...

Historically...The initial Syrian attempts to breach the AT Ditch were failures. The Israeli tank crews targeted the bridging vehicles, vehicles on deployed bridges, engineer units, etc...which caused the Syrian's to bunch up. The tank crews then went to work......






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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/22/2017 5:03:22 PM   
bootlegger267

 

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Historical notes..."The Israeli tank crews gunnery skills (especially those of Ltc Nafshi's Bn who had recently won the top award for said skills) was a huge factor during the opening phase of the battle. Besides their uncanny ability to engage enemy targets at ranges over 2500m's, they also fired three rounds for every one by the Syrian's."

The heavy losses the Syrian's are taking follows historically with what occurred along the AT Ditch. Even with the losses, the huge disparity in numbers was allowing the Syrian commanders to finally find routes that utilized the dead ground leading towards the Israeli positions.








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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/22/2017 11:25:55 PM   
bootlegger267

 

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Game Note...I'm curious, why are 'all" the units showing on the map no matter if they are in a LOS or not? What am I missing?







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< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/22/2017 11:30:53 PM >

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/22/2017 11:56:27 PM   
bootlegger267

 

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Syrian Turn 5....The Syrian attack continues to develop. Although Israeli forces have turned the roads and crossing points into a deathtraps, the Syrian's overwhelming numbers, and a lack of Israeli artillery, are now being noticed..








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< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/23/2017 12:45:02 AM >

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/23/2017 12:53:52 AM   
**budd**


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All i can think of is you didnt check FOW when you started the game.

_____________________________

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde

*I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.

(in reply to bootlegger267)
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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/23/2017 1:49:39 AM   
bootlegger267

 

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Israeli Turn 5... The first crisis as an isolated OP3 calls in their FPF mission.

Historically...The Syrian's had found seams in the Israeli defenses, and attempted to exploit them with a determination the Israeli's had never seen. It was about to get worse....






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< Message edited by bootlegger267 -- 3/23/2017 1:50:00 AM >

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/23/2017 1:51:22 PM   
bootlegger267

 

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Opponent choices and Rules Options when you start a scenario...."Manual" "Computer" and "Computer with Fog of War". Optional Rules include Extreme Fog of War.

I did a quick test by starting a new scenario (same one) and even with Extreme Fog of War selected, all units are still visable no matter which sides turn it is... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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RE: AAR: Divided Ground, Valley of Tears "Opening ... - 3/23/2017 2:46:05 PM   
berto


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I have done a quick H2H test with the "First Attack on the Bloc" scenario. Unit concealment, visibility, LOS all seem to be WAD. In other words, from one phase to the next, one side cannot see the other side's forces. Follow-up in the Tech Support forum.

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