der Mensch (Full Version)

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Seminole -> der Mensch (1/22/2015 8:19:38 PM)

In this After Action Report der Mensch, General der Panzertruppe Hans Hube, will demonstrate several things the Western Allies should avoid doing if they hope to sight see in Rome.

It's all too easy for the Western Allied player to fall into the trap of assuming victory is inevitable because that's how history played out.

The German forces have strength, and taken lightly they can take you by surprise.

This AAR covers the brief tutorial, from the German side. I've played against the AI on both sides and several games as the Western Allies online. This is my first online game as the Axis for this scenario.

Initially, luck is clearly on the side of the Axis. The elements of the 82nd Airborne that were to drop in support of the American landings at Gela find themselves scattered amongst the Hermann Goering Panzer Division. The Americans land a single infantry division on their beachhead. Some of the prisoners talk freely of additional American divisions enroute, including an armored division led by General Patton, but so far no sign of them.

The British land on the eastern beaches General Hube orders the Italian coastal defenders to fall back toward the hills. The hope is to delay the British from linking up with the tiny U.S. beachhead.
Gruppe Hube is formed with XIV Panzer Corps commanding 1st Fallschirmjaeger Div, 15th PZG Div, 29th PZG Div and the Hermann Goering Pz Div. The Italian 6th Army reports directly to Army Group C.


Seminole -> RE: der Mensch (1/22/2015 8:33:25 PM)

The following week still no sign of General Patton. Not sure where the remainder of 7th Army has been assigned, but 3rd US Inf Div is feeling mighty lonely...

The British push east, not even attempting the defenses at Catania. Hube sends a brigade of Italian infantry who scout all the way to the British beaches and find another infantry division unloading. They return back to their lines after a brief skirmish to let the British know they're not alone on the island.

The Americans grow restless and decide to engage the defenders of Agrigento. A lone U.S. Inf division, without even attached support squads, finds itself unprepared to storm the Italian breastworks, especially when German mechanized forces are reported. Bradley calls off the attack, but is now dangerously alone, 10 miles from the beaches and no longer under warm blanket of naval gunfire.

Hube recognizes the opportunity, and presses 2/Hermann Goering Pz Div and 2/15th PzG Div into a flanking maneuver to isolate the Americans. Tigers roam the beaches, blasting apart the depots and scattering ordinance officers and supply clerks with bursts of machine gun fire.

This isn't a picnic. You can't just hop off a boat and waltz into Palermo like you own the joint. You have to have supporting arms. Attached to your units when assaulting, and attached to your HQs (who need to be on the ground with you to provide SUs). Don't neglect your flanks. These German mech units are no joke, and they can cover some ground, especially if you have no ZOC to slow them down.

3rd US Inf Div is now encircled by Italian and German forces. It won't have the strength to break this encirclement, and the British are simply too far away to march to the rescue.

Seminole -> RE: der Mensch (1/22/2015 8:42:28 PM)

Week 4, the British are still trudging west, in a vain effort to reach the Americans.
Big stacks are awesome, because you can go backwards and forwards - but this ain't checkers. The British have split their forces into two main columns, but their brigades are piled in with the infantry divisions, and there is literally no support on the flanks, even after the Italians announced their presence.
Montgomery hopes to smash into the Italian defenders in the hills and at Gela, but the German mechanized corset is too much to overcome, and they are stalled without gaining an inch of contested ground.

Hube again orders the Italian infantry brigade to scout south from Catania and when they report no enemy presence he orders the 4th 'Livorno' Mot. Div to proceed until they discover the enemy. The Italians storm Noto and capture the depot there and at Pachino. The British infantry columns are now themselves cut off from the sole remaining beachhead.


Seminole -> RE: der Mensch (1/22/2015 8:48:27 PM)

Schmalz PzG Bde leaves Catania to add its weight to the 3rd US Inf Div pocket. The battle is a foregone conclusion:


American air power can't make up for not having any tanks on the ground.

Seminole -> RE: der Mensch (1/22/2015 8:58:30 PM)

H. Goering Pz Div bisects the British lines and forms up the eastern side of the pocket with 15th PzG Div supporting the northern edge of the ring.
213th Ital Coastal Division leaves Catania to take up positions on the western edge of the British pocket in the coastal defenses while the 54th Napoli Inf Div slides SE along the beach into additional fortifications.
Schmalz PzG Bde takes position on the SW side of pocket.
1st CA, 5th BR, 50th, 51st Inf Div along with the 1st BR Special Service Bde and 231st Inf Bde are now cut off entirely.
29th PzG Div liberates Siracusa and holds Catania and eastern beaches.

The question on everyone's lips - where is Patton?

The possibility of a direct landing at Messina, or the airbase at Barcellona are the most likely. Next week steps will be taken to reinforce those locations, including stepping up naval interdiction (now that there are no temporary ports in the south to isolate).
If on the other hand the Americans land on the western beaches we will wait to meet them in the hills...


MrLongleg -> RE: der Mensch (1/23/2015 1:55:38 AM)

That is a f***ing disaster for the Allies, well played !

JocMeister -> RE: der Mensch (1/23/2015 5:25:07 AM)

Thats a pretty bad Allied landing. [X(]

Well done!

Seminole -> RE: der Mensch (1/23/2015 3:05:49 PM)


Thats a pretty bad Allied landing

Splitting your forces in the face of the enemy is usually a bad idea. From what I've seen the Allies need to land with a consolidated force, so they can concentrate their air power and grind down the Germans before trying to push out (in subsequent landings, not so much this one).
I agree in principle with large stacks to launch attacks, particularly against the Italians to better your odds of shattering them, but you can't end the turn in giant stacks. You have to either break down divisions or assign independent brigades to hold your flanks - especially your temp ports! The temp port and adjacent beach hexes have a 4x CV modifier, so even a small force can put up a big fight to hold that ground.
Also, this WA player did not place his British armor on the map. Get those armor SUs converted to onmap units ASAP. Not only can they provide flank security, they can exploit any gaps you find (or create) in the Axis lines. The only reason I'd leave them in the HQ is if I'm attacking on a narrow front and want the space to commit an infantry division. Even then, I'd probably keep them on reserve a hex behind the action instead of re-attaching them to HQ and hoping they're assigned that way.

Giving the German numerical superiority on top of exposed flanks won't work. The passivity of defensive Axis AI may breed a false sense of security. This AAR intends to banish that.

My guess at this point is that two American TFs were re-assigned new landing zones on turn 1 (Patton really, really didn't like Montgomery's plan anyway).
If he also stacked two divisions with the TF then on turn two he has 18 prep points for the TF and existing prepped division, but only 6 for the new division. With two divisions in the hex he'll only gain 6 prep points per turn:

18 - 24 - 30 - 36 - 42 - 48 - 54 on turn 7...

I'll be moving the PzG and Pz Div back to Messina, as I expect Patton's invasion to be met at the low tide line.

KWG -> RE: der Mensch (1/23/2015 3:21:30 PM)

"My guess at this point is that two American TFs were re-assigned new landing zones on turn 1"

what iam guessing also, seems mainland Italy more than Sicily as target. Incomplete landing on Sicily to make you commit forces, then hit the mainland.

wiping out the beachhead should carry moral boost and bust for all Axis and WA units.

At least a meet and greet with the Furher as you get your Knights Cross.

Seminole -> RE: der Mensch (1/23/2015 3:59:17 PM)


what iam guessing also, seems mainland Italy more than Sicily as target. Incomplete landing on Sicily to make you commit forces, then hit the mainland.

But it's the Husky tutorial scenario! Unless he's going to cut off Reggio Calabria and Sicily thereby, I don't know where Patton intends to go.


At least a meet and greet with the Furher as you get your Knights Cross.

Hube already oak leaves and swords for his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for his actions in Russia. Hitler awarded him diamonds on 4/30/44 for his actions in Sicily. [&o]

KWG -> RE: der Mensch (1/23/2015 4:09:53 PM)

But it's the Husky tutorial scenario!

LoL. is there enough WA forces left to be a threat? 2nd Armour...

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