Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - RAJ AAR (Full Version)

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StuccoFresco -> Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - RAJ AAR (7/11/2020 2:15:25 PM)

This is the Indian (defender) side of the second scenario I've created based on a fictional world. The first scenario ended in a draw:

22nd June 1940
Union of Vietnamese Socialist Republics vs Indian Raj
Hotseat/PBEM Only

Our invasion of the Irrawadi has been met with a somewhat limited success: despite ultimately capturing Mandalay and destroying the enemy units in front of us, the enemy managed to evacuate the communist government and undermine our efforts to get the country back to democracy. Instead, we now have to occupy the country by force.

Most of the VI Assault Corps' units that partecipated in the initial invasion are reorganizing, and the II Armored Corps has crossed the Iwadra to support the conquest of the rest of the country. However, reports are mounting of enemy concentration of forces north and east of La Drang. It seems a Vietnamese counteroffensive is in full swing, and that keeping La Drang will be difficult. A tactical retreat is permitted, but you must keep Mandalay and the SW of the country.

Situation is not so good: 12th Assault Division is exposed at La Drang, 5th 6th and 12th Assault Divisions are still reorganizing at Ghad, Lashio and Mandalay. II Armored Corps has just entered the area, but its fastest division (25th Motorized) is still a bit far from La Drang. 24Th Motorized is advancing east toward Dalasyla.

Given the renown speed of Vietnam's Fast and Cavalry Divisions, hard choices must be made. Recon has spotted a motorcycle battalion SE of La Drang, and in the south the town of Dalasyla has been occupied. Further scouting missions by recon units discover armored units around Dalasyla, and other motorcycle units NW of La Drang.

La Drang must not be given up so easily: I order the defense of the city to begin, and send the 25th Motorized and 1st Armored as reinforcements. The 24th Motorized is called back to Mandalay. 8Th Armored and 10th Motorized position themselves in a broad arc between Mandalay and Ghad.


Enemy forces approach Tosula, and the Recon Btn of the 10th Motorized Division spots an enemy Armored Regiment driving south in the plains NW of Mandalay. Since the Recon Btn of the 8th Armored Division hasn't encountered any enemy unit in its path (and it's now considering occupying the valuable Loikaw Mines), I think I can safely remove the division from its position around Ghad and move it to cover Mandalay.

Around La Drang, the 12th Assault Division is under attack but holds well, and its Artillery Regiment pounds enemy stacks with its 130mm guns. The 25th Motorized has launched a counterattack against enemy recon and cavalry SE of the city, driving them back in the woods. Meanwhile, the 1st Armored has encountered several Vietnamese Cavalry elements NW of the city and launches two counterattacks with its two Armored Battalions; one of them drives the enemy back, while the other doesn't and causes the loss of six tanks to enemy tank destroyers.

10th Motorized Division is sent toward La Drang to intercept an eventual Vietnamese armored push from Tosula.


StuccoFresco -> RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - RAJ AAR (7/12/2020 3:58:50 PM)

The enemy is shifting his units around, but it doesn't seem to be able to break our lines anywhere. The entire southeastern concentration of troops that surrounded and destroyed the Recon Btn of the 24th Motorized disappeared, so I send the Engineering Brn of the same division out in the open to look for them. It's a risky move, but I must know the enemy's wherebouts.

NW of Mandalay, enemy mobile units roam the plains and seem to have turned east toward the river. I'm keeping my Recon Btn of the 10th Motorized in contact.

The Recon Btn of the 5th Assault Division retreats from Tosula to avoid being surrounded. The 10th Motorized is forming a defense line between the river and the big forest, to stop the advance of the armored units spotted around Tosula.

The 12th Assault Division tries some counterattack from La Drang, but with very little success.


8th Armored Division launches an attack against the enemy forces west of the Saat river, inflicting heavy losses and fragmenting an enemy Cavalry Regiment. It seems the enemy is trying to cross the river and join the struggle on the other side; it's of paramount importance we stop them from doing it.

10th Motorized counterattacks other Vietnamese troops moving from Tosula, beating back their Recon Btn. 24th Motorized repositions itself to halt the enemy troops spotted in the southeast. The number of enemy units committed to those offensives is unknown, so 5th Assault Division currently stationed in Mandalay is going to stay in reserve, ready to intervene if needed.

1st Armored attacks an enemy infantry regiment west of La Drang, fragmenting it. Bombardments and local counterattacks are reaping some successes here and the city doesn't seem in danger. Enemy is repositioning his forces, however.

37th and 6th Assault Divisions are still reorganizing in the south, as well as the 56th Artillery Division.


StuccoFresco -> RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - RAJ AAR (7/13/2020 9:08:20 PM)

Finally, the 37th Assault Division and the 56th Artillery Division activates, and I immediately send them toward Mandalay. 10Th Motorized is folding just north of the city: the reinforcements will be probably sent there.

Given that the 24th Motorized can't cover all the southeastern flank alone, I send the 5th Assault Div previously held in reserve in Mandalay to help it. I'll try a flanking attack on the enemy as soon as it tries to break through 24th Motorized's lines.

1st and 8th Armored keep attacking the enemy in their sector; the former fails, but the latter keeps pressing the enemy cavalry forces against the Saat river.


We find an enemy Recon Btn trying to cut off La Drang; one of our own Recon Btn is sent to intercept along with an Engineer Btn: supply lines to the city must stay open, the supply levels are already dropping. The 1st Armored has achieved a little breakthrough west of La Drang that may allow it to engage artillery and command units in the enemy's rear!

The 8th Armored Division keeps pushing back the enemy against the Saat River, ready to be joined by the 37th Assault division.

A counterattack in the south from the 5h Assault Division fails with substantial losses. Disappointing. The enemy seems to have pulled back from 24th Motorized's defense lines.

56th Artillery Division is ready to join the 10th Motorized's defensive line north of Mandalay.


StuccoFresco -> RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - RAJ AAR (7/16/2020 6:54:28 PM)

Supply lines to La Drang has been cut off! Frantic recon missions are launched and find several enemy units cutting the rails and roads to the city. Reserves are immediately sent into battle to push back the enemy and re-open the supply lines. The whole 1st Armored Division, that has just been beaten back by enemy counterattacks, swings south to close the gap. The quick response drives back a couple enemy units, but it's not enough to re-open the route.

56th Artillery Division positions itself behind the 10th Motorized, ready to shell enemy troops north of Mandalay.

8th Armored is joined by 37th Assault Division, and together they keep dismantling the enemy units west of the Saat river.

6th Assault Division activates and is immediately sent toward Mandalay.

Thanks to a quick response, supply routes to La Drang have been reopened. The 1st Armored is in a difficult position, but should be able to reposition itself and guard the rails and roads leading to the city in a turn or two, provided the Vietnamese units NW of La Drang don't get the drop on it. A couple attacks have inflicted casualities, but the Division is still going. The enemy is concentrating forces NW of the city, but defenses are strong and we are confident they'll hold; our artillery is pounding the massed enemy troops. Local counterattacks on the eastern side of the city has driven off light troops in the woods.

The 10th Motorized, with the help of the 56th Artillery Division, is pushing back the enemy infantry north of Mandalay. 8Th Armored and 47th Assault Divisions keep pushing enemy cavalry forces over the Saat River. The whole enemy sector seems to be severely weakened.

Situation SE of Mandalay is less secure: our troops face significant enemy forces, and the 6th Assault Division is sent to help.


StuccoFresco -> RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - RAJ AAR (7/17/2020 7:03:08 PM)

Enemy pressure NW of La Drang is starting to be dangerous: the 1st Armored is being pushed back steadily and suffering significant losses. 25Th Motorized and 12th Assault Divisions are once again out of supplies, but our reserve units are fighting to re-open the route to Mandalay. The enemy has lodged infantry and light tanks in the NE suburbs, but until we get our supplies back we can't drive them off.

South of Tosula, however, our offensive is going well: enemy troops are in disarray and suffering heavy losses. Dozens of Vietnamese light and medium tanks, as well as tens of fearsome Tank Destroyers, are burning around the river banks.

In the south, the arrival of the 6th Assault Division may allow us to launch a counteroffensive.


Positions around La Drang are deteriorating fast! I have no reserves to spare, and the city is in real trouble now. How the turn tables! I was confident the battle was pretty much solved for us, but the Vietnamese seems to have hid a lot of reserves NW of the city and committed all of them now that our own forces are all fighting elsewhere.

At least, we are pretty sure we can overrun enemy forces at Tosula and SE of Mandalay. But saving the garrison of La Drang is paramount. Unfortunately, several attempt to break out of the city are too slow and our troops are still stuck there. Enemy concentration of troops west of the city are worrying, and the 1st Armored Division is too weak to keep them at bay for long.


Disaster! The whole 25th Motorized and 12th Assault Divisions are fragmented and forced to reorganize, and the enemy has cut off La Drang. They are at extreme risk of complete loss, and the 1st Armored is not able to break them out! We might just be forced to lose them; a devastating loss, that seemed impossible jsut a few turns ago.

While powerless to influence the struggle around La Drang, we take out our frustration against dwindling enemy troops elsewhere, with a series of attacks that, despite costly, further depletes enemy units.

StuccoFresco -> RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - RAJ AAR (7/18/2020 5:29:16 PM)

Frantic attempt are made to save the units encircled in downtown La Drang: a sortie manages to destroy an enemy recon unit and allow one Assault Regiment to escape together with an Engineer Btn, but the rest of the garrison is still unable to move out. Repositioning is going on SW of the city, trying to form a relief group that could link up with the sortie, but the Vietnamese have plenty of troops there.

Elsewhere, I'm concentrating forces for the final offensives on Tosula and SE of Mandalay. Recon elements from the 8th Armored and a tank battalion from the 1st Armored are sent to occupy Bagan; the objective is to cut supplies to Tosula's defenders. The enemy troops SW of La Drang are still attempting to break through my lines and maybe link with the advancing forces around La Drang. I feel I'm once again underestimating the threat...

With the failure of the breakout, I have to accept the loss of La Drang and its garrison. With grim resignation, I reposition the rests of my units in a new defensive line, linking with the units that are keeping at bay the Vietnamese units close to the Great Forest. I intend to retreat further toward Mandalay. Engineering and Recon units will cover the retreat as best as they can.

Offensives are set up against Tosula and SE of Mandalay. The Vietnamese fight valiantly, but their lines start to crumble. It's imperative to destroy those threats before the enemy units advancing from La Drang starts assaulting my MLR.


La Drang is lost, the garrison surrendered. 1St Armored and 25th Motorized Divisions keep moving SW; I'm gonna retreat as close as Mandalay as I can to maximize my supplies and minimize the enemy's. The rearguard is fighting well, helped by the muddy conditions that are significantly slowing enemy armored units.

The offensive against Tosula is in full swing: with the help of the Heavy Artillery Brigades from Mandalay, infantry units have been able to conquer the town. Armored units of the 8th Armored Division keep pushing back enemy units, trying maybe to encircle them, but the enemy is not giving up ground without a fight, and it's keeping reserves ready to counter any breakthrough.

The offensive SE of Mandalay is going well too, despite significant losses. The Assault Regiments aren't breaking through enemy lines as I hoped, but are inflicting heavy losses nonetheless, and with the help of the infantry and artillery regiments in support, the enemy is being pushed back at a steady pace.


StuccoFresco -> RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - RAJ AAR (7/19/2020 7:27:24 PM)

I keep retreating my MLR toward Mandalay. New attacks on Tosula and SE of Mandalay, crowned with some sweet success.

TURN 16-17
I finally notice the dramatic fall of supply levels everywhere and I send some HQ to look into the matter, and find two enemy units roaming freely in my backfield. I'll have to wheel in some reinforcements ASAP.

Meanwhile, the central front is now established in a solid line between the woods east of Tosula and the Great Forest. Here I will try to stand my ground. Hopefully the battles SE of Mandalay and around Tosula will end soon so I could move reinforcements to the MLR. The enemy suffer high casualities and gives ground, but refuses to collapse. SE of Mandalay, enemy units are retreating toward the Great Forest, avoiding contact with my Assault Regiments. Vietnamese troops north of Tosula are avoiding any encirclement and fighting bitterly.


Disaster! Mandalay falls and now our Corps are cut off at the worst possible moment. The enemy push along the main roads gets more threatening, and our offensives on the flank are stalling. The X Infantry Corps is ready to be deployed, although this move will further alienate the international community's favors. Despite the political backlash, we decide to deploy the reinforcements while all our units either consolidate their positions or retreat toward Mandalay. [THEATER OPTION ACTIVATED: -100 VP, 4 infantry divisions and an Heavy Artillery division will enter the battlefield]

StuccoFresco -> RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - RAJ AAR (7/20/2020 6:36:01 PM)

TURN 19-20
X Infantry Corps has been commanded to advance. The rest of our units are still retreating, but at least now we have units engaging the enemy light elements roaming in our backfield and chasing them off. One infantry regiment of the 8th Armored Division has reached Mandalay and it's preparing to retake it, assisted by the 5th Assault Division coming from SE.

The X Infantry Corps is slowly moving toward the front, where the situation is deteriorating horribly: the enemy keeps a constant pressure on our retreating unit in the center, and the wings has stopped advancing. 24Th Motorized Division, 1st Armored and 25th Motorized are scattered and fragmented, with several regiments that fails to break contact with the enemy, who is engaging them with fast armored and cavalry units.

The assault to retake Mandalay has to be postponed since the enemy has fortified its positions in the city and the 5th Assault Division isn't ready to attack yet. Words is spreading that Vietnam has escalated the conflict as well, calling reinforcements. Fortunately, they will enter the battlefield very far from Mandalay. We must retake the city as soon as possible and then position the X Infantry Corps to defend it.



Emergency protocol in action: all units are to retreat to Mandalay no matter the tactical status in their area. 8Th Armored and 10th Motorized Divisions start pulling back from Tosula: despite several attempt to finish off the Vietnamese units in the area, our units proved too weak and too short on supplies to deal the final blow to the depleted enemy units in front of them. Unable to replenish their own losses due to the loss of Mandalay, they are now retreating south.

The Southeastern front is rolling back to the city as well, but the General of the 6th Assault Army claims he can destroy the few Vietnamese units still there and avoid them coming back after replenish their losses. To his own Corps General's dismay, he orders his troops to renew their attacks on the enemy, inflicting severe casualities but risking being separated from the rest of the retreating Indian units.

In the central part of the battlefield, three regiments of the 24th and 25th Motorized Divisions were encircled by enemy units, but managed to break it open with the help of their divisional artillery. They are still at great risk of being cut off by enemy armor.

At Mandalay, an assault by 5th Assault Division finally retakes the city, pushing the Vietnamese cavalry in the southern suburbs.


StuccoFresco -> RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - RAJ AAR (7/25/2020 5:20:38 PM)

TURNS 23-24
Reinforcements are marching toward the front, but are still several days away. Our units are retreating toward Mandalay in relatively good order, but the enemy keep pushing and losses are mounting. Engineering and scout unit are being sacrificed in rearguard actions. Despite several attempts, the enemy isn't able to surround and destroy any big unit.

Mandalay has been now secured. A couple enemy light units are still around, but aren't concerning.



All our fronts are under heavy attack, and the enemy is starting to successfully encircle some of our rearguard units. Fortunately we retreated our units from the Tosula front in time: enemy units are massing on their escape route and we barely formed a defensive perimeter in time. Armored and cavalry units are clearly trying to cut off our retreat: our own armor is on the way to counterattack and keep the road open.


StuccoFresco -> RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - RAJ AAR (7/28/2020 6:58:26 PM)

We have established our final defense perimeter, and the X Infantry Corps is reaching its position, though it's still spread along the roads leading to Mandalay. The 7th Heavy Artillery Division, however, has already joined the MLR and started shelling the enemy together with the colleagues of the 56th.

A series of counterattacks are ordered to relieve some pressure on the first lines, with some success.

We reorganize our lines putting every division back togather whenever possible, preparing for a cohesive defense and stronger counterattacks.

TURN 27-28
10th and 11th Infantry Divisions have now joined the MLR. The former will be sent on the southern flank, while the latter will be sent to the center. Our artilleriy shell every enemy concentration of forces.

Part of the 10th Motorized Division has been forced into reorganizing after the last Vietnamese attacks, and is at risk of encirclements. The last units are being pulled out from the northern flank to more defensible positions.

Enemy units amassing against our MLR provide plenty of targets for our artillery. A strong counterattack by the 1st Armored Division hacks an enemy Infantry Division into piecies, and the attempted counterattack by enemy armored units is pushed back with high losses.

11th Infantry and 1st Armored Divisions are ordered to push back Vietnamese units in the center, and with the generous help of our artillery they manage to do it, mauling several Infantry regiments in the battle.

Less successfull, but successfull nonetheless, are the 5th and 6th Assault Divisions' remnants in the south: the assault guns of the attacking regiments manage to inflict heavy losses to the enemy and push it back. 10Th Infantry division is moving SE in an attempt to envelop the enemy's left flank.

37th Assault Division is trying to push back some Vietnamese fast unit that has crossed the Saat river and were attempting to flank our positions. The northern defensive line is still folding, retreating to more defensible position closer to Mandalay, but not without fighting.

StuccoFresco -> RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - RAJ AAR (8/1/2020 6:53:15 AM)

Despite inflicting more casualities than losses taken, our lines are growing thin in the center. We choose to keep attacking, keeping the enemy on the defensive until 55th and 56th Infantry Divisions can arrive to bolster our lines. The two big units are now approaching the SW suburbs of Mandalay and will take position in the next day at most.

One of our attacks, spearheaded by elements of 24th and 25th Motorized Divisions and supported by the 1st Armored, ovverrun several Vietnamese infantry regiments, inflicting devastating losses.

TURN 32-33
After driving back several enemy Divisions, heavy shelling, and the arrival of the 55th and 56th Infantry Divisions on our MLR, the enemy lost momentum and eventually reached for a ceasefire. The Federal Army Command decided to accept it.

Several days pass by, until the battle is declared over with a draw.

[the battle was turning into a slow attrition meatgrinder so I decided to roleplay a ceasefire, check and print the casualities, and "freeze" the game by skipping every turn till the end. The scenario was intended to end at Turn 40, but for some reason went on until Turn 50.]


StuccoFresco -> RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - RAJ AAR (8/7/2020 10:44:20 AM)

Ok, discussion.

The initial strategy was relatively well executed: I hung on La Drang and easily beat back the attacks on the city, forcing the enemy to redeploy his forces in another point of the front, gaining several turns of respite. Unfortunately, I held on for too long, and once the redeployement was over and the Vietnamese started pushing NW of La Drang, my lines were broken and the city surrounded, along with several strong units inside.

The attack of the 8th Armored Division against the Vietnamese units that initially tried to move south and then to cross the river at Tosula was well executed: the armored charges in the open terrain tore through the enemy units with ease and crippled a whole enemy Division.

The slow retreat toward Mandalay was extremely well executed, and no big unit was encircled on the way. I wasn't as good when it came to guard my backfield: several light Vietnamese units sled through my lines and closed supplies to half of the front, also taking Mandalay. This could have resulted in a disaster and a crushing defeat, but fortunately I was able to keep retreating and chase off those units.

The attack on Tosula was close to result in the annihilation of the enemy units, but fell short. I kept attacking for a couple turns too long, and I was forced to hastily retreat south. Anyway, I was able to do so without suffering too much, joining the MLR closer to Mandalay.

The counteroffensive SE of Mandalay was similarily successfull: enemy units in the area have been severely harmed and despite the arrival of the main enemy force I was able to keep attacking in the area. The only problem was that several Vietnamese units were able to move through my incomplete lines and cut the supplies routes from La Drang and Mandalay. I should have kept something to guard this vital lifeline.

I decided to remove the Heavy Artillery Division that comes as reinforcements: it was a too powerful addition. Other from that, all units performed more or less as expected. The battle was exciting but not totally unpredictable.

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