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T11 - 3/26/2017 8:09:01 AM   
loki100


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T11: 11-17 September

Another turn where the Wehrmacht had a well deserved break in the vineyards of southern Italy ... . The main source of excitement was rumours that Allied units were abandoning Italy and wading out into the sea. Later reconnaisance suggested this might have been a second invasion.



Very suspicious pattern of allied air activity around Rome. Still I also got lucky with the layout of my defensive box and inflicted heavy losses.



Also managed to catch out 8 Air Force though not enough to stop them doing more damage. Seemed like Bomber Command had a rest.



Not a bad turn for VP, mainly as the U-boat plants damaged on T1-2 had mostly repaired.



EF remains under control. Seems that careful management of refit etc does have some impact on Soviet progress.



Anyway, I got bored with being so passive in the air war and decided it was time to invade England. Or bomb it at least. I've been running recon missions on a regular basis and spotted an airbase that seemed worth visiting.

The raid was done as a night mission.



Never sure this is worth it but equally the German bombers are not of that much use later in the game.

From the detailed combat results I destroyed 10 recon planes (Mustangs) and 11 Spitfire IX. Since I find I run out of allied recon planes by late 1944 maybe all this attrition might hinder the allies at that stage of the game.



< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/26/2017 8:11:17 AM >


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T12 - 3/28/2017 11:36:52 AM   
loki100


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T12: 18-24 September 1943

Not looked at the detail of the air war for a few posts. This was a better turn than some recent ones for hitting allied bombers at relatively little cost to my own fighters. First shows the German losses – start of the slide for the Bf 109G-6 to become more and more a death trap for its pilot.



Allied air losses. Bomber Command had the week off, the British Wellington losses were mostly in Italy.

US airforces took heavier losses (mostly in Italy) and I adjusted my fighter boxes (higher altitude) which seemed to give better results against the P-38s. I find these very variable, there are turns/battles when they can sweep the skies and then others when they seem very vulnerable.



Unfortunately last turn Gunulf returned to hitting the U-boats.



Eastern Front – still pretty much under control. Its clear the Soviets have just finished an offensive (their potential is negative) and are 2 hexes in advance. I've had to put about 12 divisions onto refit but hopefully things will calm down for the next few turns.



Overall situation in Italy before my air phase. Note I am using a fair bit of recon – not least to see if I can find some airbases that are worth attacking.



The results of the recon on Corsica suggests not too much of a build up there.



Its all going so very well ....

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T13 - 3/31/2017 8:11:34 AM   
loki100


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T13: 25 September – 1 October 1943

Well they do say that 'no-one expects the Spanish Inquisition' [1], well I must expect I didn't expect this. Had hoped my line would hold off the initial attacks and then I could redeploy if needed.



As we will see (spoilers ... ) this is the start of an ongoing problem. One element is that regiments (regardless of notional combat odds) can't really stand up to a multi-divisional attack. The other is that I am paying the price for allowing Italy to opt out too early.

In response I opted to try and buy myself time to redeploy. No point risking an encirclement to hold the sector around Foggia when it is clearly already lost.



The air war over Germany was marked by my fighters still obsessing with chasing Allied recon planes.



In the meantime 8 AAF seemed to go for northern Germany. At least here I caught a few under-escorted raids.



Overall bombing VP much higher than I'd like – hence my wish that my fighters actually went for the targets that matter.



Oddly the Allies actually lost more bombers that turn than I'd suspected. My guess is that flak damage becomes operational losses. In general Gunulf is clearly managing the morale of his airforce well as the operational intensity is not really dropping due to the need to rest low morale formations.



East front is a bit of a lull (Soviet potential) so I took the chance to put more units onto refit.




[1] As I sure you all know

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T14 - 4/4/2017 12:55:13 PM   
loki100


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T14: 2 – 8 October 1943

Having unfairly beaten up the eastern flank of my Italian fortress last turn, Gunulf did the same to west this time. An early and long winter would be very nice.

Also last turn I'd gambled on a raid behind his lines in the hope of finding some unprotected HQ or airfields – that too was routed.



Not much better news in Germany. Bomber Command hit Hamburg-Bremen and 8 AAF around Leipzig and Stuttgart. My fighters really did not bother to do very much apart from chase recon planes like a particularly dozy dog obsessed with an especially useless stick.

Despite this, quite a lot of them managed to get themselves shot down.

As you can see, for all the impact of my fighters or flak Bomber Command might as well have flown their missions lit up like mobile discos.



VP. Really getting depressed looking at this too, still at least some ground combats and my approach of too large a garrison force offset some of the inevitable gains.



Uncle Joe watch. Good thing is the front line is back where it should be, bad thing is they are clearly building up for another offensive.



In my air phase I gambled on trying to bomb the British units moving up the Adriatic coast. More fun was a night raid on what maybe a Bomber Command base – if I can't hit them over Germany I'll bomb them in England. I think I destroyed 5 bombers and the mission was intercepted by some Allied nightfighters – one reason to always keep a few unallocated and covering the UK.

I've been running recon missions over various potential targets for the last few turns in an attempt to make Gunulf divert some fighters and keep him in doubt as to my real target (if any).



Lets have some charts – non-US losses. Seems as if Gunulf is mostly not using the British forces to actually attack.



But then his US losses are low too. I think this reflects my approach of running off and hiding whenever his army appears. I may have to rethink this.



But here is something I am winning at. I've destroyed more of his planes on the ground than I've lost .. hah .. we are saved.



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T15 - 4/9/2017 4:22:20 PM   
loki100


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T15: 9 – 17 October 1943

No sign of winter yet.

Over Germany I'd re-organised the layout of my night fighters. At least they are now intercepting ...



or at least trying to.



As usual, doing a bit better in Italy than over Germany.



Which is handy as the ground war is not going very well. Its becoming increasingly clear that you cannot defend with regiments, in effect raw numbers overwhelm any other advantages.

Despite this opted to hold the current line to try and gain time for winter to arrive.



Overall, inflicted fairly heavy losses on Bomber Command. Would suspect that while the Night Figthers didn't shoot anything down it increases the number of damaged planes and, in turn, operational losses.



Reworked my air defensive boxes in Germany. Making sure I keep out of the way of any coverage by the RAF.

Basically trying to defend the upper Rhine around Cologne-Frankfurt, the route that avoids most flak (to the NE of the Ruhr), the U-Boats (as they haven't been bombed for a few turns) and a screen over Berlin (using the not very good Bf-110s).

So far 8 Air Force has ignored the Ruhr so I'll leave that unprotected (apart from with flak).




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Post #: 35
T16 - 4/13/2017 10:49:37 AM   
loki100


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T16: 18 – 24 October 1941

Did I mention that winter would be welcome? Ok, not quite a new ice-age but if this report is true it will be very welcome.



On the other hand this is not at all welcome. At least the Luftwaffe is doing a decent job inflicting heavy losses on the Allies so that might reduce the amount of bombing going on.



The skies over Germany were very quiet. Few skirmishes with small 8 AAF raids but no signs of Bomber Command. Maybe that my better performance last turn at least wrecked the morale of a lot of the bomber formations.

Anyway, with all that rain on the way (I hope) I opted for a limited pull back in Italy.



Rain would be very welcome in Russia too. Soviet potential at 20 can only mean something really nasty is on the way.



So to fill in the gap while we wait for the rain, lets have some charts. Ready aircraft, despite the loss of the Italians I'm keeping quite a large force in being – whether it is better to use it up is a different question of course.



While I have some bad turns, in general I think forcing my fighters to operate in defined boxes does keep losses down. One problem with auto-intercept is that it does sometimes generate very one sided encounters.



Not good news. Gunulf has kept to at least 10 per turn and recently pushed it to 12-14.



East Front. Not sure how to interpret this – I suspect I really should send additional units. But my actual combat value over there is staying steady at around 3,300.



VP situation. Still trading off garrison points for running Italy on a shoe-string (and not sending anything east). Again, this is a test rather than a strategy I am convinced will work.





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Post #: 36
T17-T18 - 4/24/2017 7:43:41 AM   
loki100


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T17 - 18: 25 October – 5 November 1943

I'm going to conflate these turns as the promised bad weather meant almost no air action over Germany.

So we can concentrate on Italy – those of an easily disturbed disposition may want to look away now.

So T17 starts with a small naval invasion near to Pescara along with a renewed offensive along both coasts.



Linked to a lot of bombing – at least I won some of these skirmishes.



Next turn was not much better. The current combat engine makes it very hard to defend with regiments against divisions – the notional cv has little impact on the final combat.

As you can see I have a rather worrying bulge emerging near Vasto. In part I wanted to try and constrict the Allies's scope for movement but this also reflects that pulling armoured units back across the Abruzzi is not an easy task.



This was the best I could manage. More bad weather is forecast for next turn so hopefully the Allied offensive will slow.



Meantime (t18) things in the east are not too bad – only 1 hex ahead of schedule but its clear that Uncle Joe has stocked up on vodka and is planning a big blowout (sorry ... big offensive) sometime soon.



VP situation. A combination of priority repairs and a slowing of the Allied bombing campaign has allowed my U-boat production to recover. So the net bombing loss is around 4 but that is going to worsen once the Allied return to the skies.



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T19 - 4/27/2017 7:52:44 AM   
loki100


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T19: 6 -12 November 1943

The situation in Italy becomes rather dire. A massive allied offensive up the east coast and solid gains north of Napoli.



Just to add to my enjoyment (hah), Bomber Command hit the Ruhr. 8 AAF was less active but bombed along the northern coast.



Haven't tended to show ground losses as they have mostly been limited, but the massive Allied offensive cost both sides quite a lot.



Air losses. Light for me – it was one of those turns where my fighters decided to chase all the exciting shiny sticks of recon planes and ignore the nasty dangerous bombers. Most US losses were in Italy.



Eastern Front at the moment is under control. It is the priority for replacements etc now and I seem to have reduced the Soviet potential a little.



In my air turn I tried to do some bombing of the British offensive – no real impact but am prepared to use up my bombers for set piece actions. But if this is true ... then the answer is yes please:



On the ground in Italy pulled back as much as I could. Starting to suffer for placing armoured units into the mountains.



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T20 - 4/29/2017 7:46:48 AM   
loki100


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T20: 13 – 19 November 1943

Careful readers may have noted just the slightest dipping of Axis morale in the last few turns. Must stress its all propaganda lies – we are happy, happy, hap ...



Well I guess the good news is I can no longer see most of their army. Anyway found them after some sustained recon and decided to commit the Luftwaffe to naval interdiction – I doubt much supply is moving up overland and there is no point bombing level 2 ports. If there is a TF nearby they will just auto-repair.



Air war in Germany followed its usual pattern. 8 AAF around Hamburg, BC over the Ruhr.



VP situation not that worrying at the moment but I suspect I'll lose Rome in 1943 and that will start to hurt.



Uncle Joe is feeling a bit down. Worried about his potential I believe – but has managed to get a couple of hexes ahead of schedule.



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T21 - 5/1/2017 6:45:50 AM   
loki100


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T21: 20 – 26 November 1943

Have I mentioned that the war in Italy is going badly? The Allied gains are now so spread out I can't fit it all onto one normal image ...



Here's my garrison chart – as you see notionally Italy is now cleared both for Bologna and the overall numbers as the Allies are over the line.

So to stall their advance I moved the FJ division that had been in Bologna to the front lines.



EF, I seem to have lost another hex ahead of historical gains so probably do need to send fresh units over there.



As it does seem to have been falling over recent turns.



In Italy I split my response into two. Managed to cut off the Allied spearheads along the Adriatic. How much of a problem this causes them depends on what they have out of sight. Note they are still north of the garrison line.

At Rome, I stripped off the defenders to try and stall the overland attack. If I can get this under control for one turn then I can pull back in better order – a gamble as I have no reason not to suspect a naval invasion is planned.



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T22 - 5/6/2017 6:00:00 AM   
loki100


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T22: 27 November – 3 December 1943

Another turn with the Allies rampaging up Italy as if they were Charles VIII (even if they are going in the opposite direction).

The small bit of good news is I forced a small retreat along the Adriatic. The bad news as will be clear next turn is this will cost me a lot of VP as I now do not meet the garrison requirement. I'll come back to this in the next post but it is something very open to abuse.

Oh, and yes, they have landed near Rome. Clearly I have lost the units cut off but I think I can pull most of the army back safely.



Not bothered to show the land losses for some time. Overall I think I've not lost too much in Italy (which will change a bit now) but then I've not really made the allies spend VP/casualties for their gains.



On the subject of VP:



Air losses, I took quite a few as it was one of the turns I opted to commit the Luftwaffe to ground support. Both Bomber Command and 8 AAF took fairly heavy losses over Germany.



EF. Getting a little out of control – need to send some fresh units over there asap.



Back to Italy. In the circumstances not too bad. My retreat seems to be better organised than my defence.



If this weather report is accurate that will help limit any allied pressure in Italy.



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T23 - 5/8/2017 8:38:31 PM   
loki100


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T23: 4 – 10 December 1943

Ok, this post is a bit of a grumble about the VP system. Briefly eliminating the Allied control in Northern Italy was deemed a major disaster for me – as I had pulled the main garrison out of Bologna. The result was to eliminate almost all the VP score I have slowly amassed from the partisan system.



Even more frustrating, the Allies moved back across the boundary in their own turn. In the meantime north of Rome my FJ formations managed to save my retreating army by fending off two attacks.



To cheer me up a little, the Allied bombers had a bad week. That includes 45 Lancasters shot down (so no doubt lots more damaged = low morale) and 14 B-17s.

I'd moved the night fighters around and while they had very few outright wins I suspect they damaged a lot of bombers that then crashed.



The only bad bit to the airwar was one of my fighter boxes clearly overlapped with an AS mission. I redrew the edges to make sure this didn't happen again.



Finally in Italy, slowly regaining some control of the situation. That hasty line between Bolsano and Perugia should hold for a turn and I can then pull back to the new line being dug along the Arno. If the allies are incautious in their advance I might even be able to hit back. Also the defence around Ancona is firming up.



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T24 - 5/12/2017 7:57:53 AM   
loki100


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T24: 11 – 17 December 1943

Probably wrong to say the situation in Italy is 'under control' but compared to previous turns this has a reassuring lack of unexpected disasters. So we'll call it 'approaching being under control'.



Air war over the Reich. Bomber Command went for Braunschweig and the surrounding region. While my brave AA gunners did some damage my Night Fighters seem to put a lot of effort into not getting too close – a bit like one of my cats when he really does not want to have a fight with a visiting moggy (at which stage he is very skilled at looking anywhere but where the other cat is).



Limited appearance by 8 AAF mostly around Frankfurt. Where I caught them, they lost badly.



Overall not a bad turn for me in the air. I clearly must have damaged a number of bombers over the Reich which then became operational losses. Bomber Command lost 85 Lancasters, 35 Halifaxes and 19 Wellingtons. The US lost 35 B-17s and 16 various B-24/25/26.

That should keep Bomber Command out of the way for a few turns.



VP situation. Well the recent US losses are a help, but the early loss of Rome is going to hurt.



We've not had any pretty graphs for a while. Since we are near the end of the 1943 bombing scores, this is ... ugh.



And this is not much better:



Air combat losses are relatively even. A bit misleading as damaged Axis planes tend to survive and damaged Allied planes are vulnerable to crashing. I've done a good job (I think) at keeping the Luftwaffe intact – but it maybe that I've been far too cautious and could have reduced the bombing VP by a more aggressive approach.



EF situation is not too bad.



My AD pattern in N Europe – the night fighters are concentrated in the Ruhr and at Hannover. Note I am being nosy about the UK.



Not the clearest picture but this may give some idea of the state of my industry. In reality, its only the Ruhr that has been badly bombed. Lots of marginally damaged plants but areas with next to no effective damage.



Italy after my moves. Feel I can now retreat at my own pace and want time to dig in along the Arno.





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T25 - 5/13/2017 1:22:19 PM   
loki100


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T25: 18 – 24 December 1943

Ok, time to see if last turns unusual outburst of optimism was well founded.

Well sort of. Rome is lost but no surprise. The amount of supply being airdropped clearly means that the Allies are totally out of supply and will soon be begging my troops for food [1]



I even won a totally unexpected air battle over the Adriatic. Sometimes my units do seem to appear a long way from where they should be.



That was part of 15 AAF making its first incursion into the Reich. After this disaster I decided to scrap all the Me-410s and replace with other fighter types. Not the first time they have flopped out of the sky like a very surprised blue whale.



In the north, not much seen of either BC or 8 AAF. I think in part due to the battering they had last turn but it was also snowing in the UK.

Unfortunately Uncle Joe really likes snow – as you can see I have a lot of badly beaten up armoured formations.


[2]

VP situation has settled down. The bombing VP will drop off when the 1944 multipliers cut in but overall Gunulf has done a good job on the strategic airwar. I think he's mostly gone for VP rather than other targets like tanks or trucks.



And Italy after my moves. Mostly opted for only tactical moves as see no harm in slowing the Allies. Also looking for any localised counter-attack options.



[1] This, may, be taking optimism too far
[2] Worth noting this was before I made any in-turn changes so the relatively strong reserve units can be committed and the weakened ones pulled off the line.

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RE: T25 - 5/13/2017 7:15:43 PM   
Q-Ball


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Couple observations on the Italy Campaign if I may:

1. I didn't see any Mountain Units. Germans have at least one right away (157th), and IIRC, another comes later. Those should be the first units sent to Italy.

2. In general, it really looks like you didn't send enough to Italy. As you see, Regts will never hold vs. multi-divisional attacks no matter the odds on the ground. So, using Regts to hold that line is not a good idea.

There is no way the Allies should be able to break the Cassino Line, IF the Axis invest enough units to hold it, which you can within the garrison limits pretty easily. It's a little tougher to do that AND leave a Panzer Corps around Rome, which you have to do. But it can be done.

Anyway, it's not the end of the world, the worst-case for Italian defense in '43 is a withdrawl to the Gothic Line for the Winter

< Message edited by Q-Ball -- 5/13/2017 7:16:07 PM >


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RE: T25 - 5/16/2017 7:34:02 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

Couple observations on the Italy Campaign if I may:

1. I didn't see any Mountain Units. Germans have at least one right away (157th), and IIRC, another comes later. Those should be the first units sent to Italy.

2. In general, it really looks like you didn't send enough to Italy. As you see, Regts will never hold vs. multi-divisional attacks no matter the odds on the ground. So, using Regts to hold that line is not a good idea.

There is no way the Allies should be able to break the Cassino Line, IF the Axis invest enough units to hold it, which you can within the garrison limits pretty easily. It's a little tougher to do that AND leave a Panzer Corps around Rome, which you have to do. But it can be done.

Anyway, it's not the end of the world, the worst-case for Italian defense in '43 is a withdrawl to the Gothic Line for the Winter



Mtn divs - one is in Italy but I pulled it back. The other went to play with the Red Army.

I've learnt the hard way that the game changes mean that Rgts just get overwhelmed almost regardless of the notional odds. As you know, this is cropping up in the WiTE2 testing as an issue too. Not sure where the right balance is but my feeling at the moment is that quantity beats quality far too often.

In general I've managed to botch Italy again - I have a strong and consistent track record of doing this ... using both sides

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T26 - 5/16/2017 7:56:01 AM   
loki100


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T26: 25 December – 31 December 1943

So farewell to 1943 – can't exactly claim to have enjoyed it and it ended with more disasters in Italy. Well, at least I won one battle.



VP situation. Not good.



Not tended to show the ground loss summary. But in the spirit of remembrance and all that ...



Air losses. Mine are a bit misleading as a lot are from the returning Italian formations. Bomber Command lost 56 Lancasters and 23 Halifaxes. For some reason the P-38s had a bad week, with 49 lost, along with 28 B-17s.



Bomber Command had gone for the Hamburg region and also hit some rail junctions in France. 8 AAF started to bomb my V-weapon sites.



EF not going too badly.



Decided it was a good idea to bomb England. From the info I have I destroyed 6 Spitfire IX so that should delay the Second Front until 1948 at least.



Italy. Not much I can do but to try and control my retreat at the moment.



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RE: T26 - 5/17/2017 6:35:42 PM   
Gunnulf

 

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Allied Intermission II

As Loki's 1943 section of the AAR draws to a close we agreed I will nip in an fill in a few bits from the Allied perspective. We are safely far advanced into the next phase that there are no sensitive bits of intel that our leadership can leak to the the Russians...

I last updated just after the Italian surrender, with 8th Army already across the Messina straights and charging up the toe, but also fortunately Italian partisans had given us control of Taranto and we were busy unloading a small 2 division Corps. So this left us with a bit of a dilemma. 5th Army was already well prepared to land at Salerno. Were they still needed? We chose this spot before it was known the Italians would surrender as being on balance the best for us to achieve our toehold. Further up near Rome was not possible to consider yet as we weren't sure if we would have to fight for Sardinia and Corsica yet, and while the heel around Taranto was a viable alternative these beachheads were not the best placed to support our drive up Italy. Once Taranto, Bari and Brindisi fell we were confident that these would support the drive up the east coast, but we wanted beaches and depots to support the west coast attack on Naples and beyond.
This rational hopefully helps explain why when faced with an advance by 8th Army that was proceeding ok without needing a landing, we decided to proceed anyway. The port of Taranto would take a while to get running, and the supply lines would be stretched from Messina until the rail caught up, and even then not ideal to supply the expected tough fighting for Naples and the Cassino line. So rather than retarget 5th Army and suffer delays bringing them into action we went ahead for logistical reasons to give us a firm base, close to the future action. Also this would quickly allow TFs to be retargeted for future operations to bypass the expected German lines in central Italy...
Thus here is the situation at turn 10 when we hit the beaches of Salerno, only to be met by Italian girls with flower garlands. Better than the reception party near Rome of burly fallshirmjagers!





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RE: T26 - 5/17/2017 6:43:50 PM   
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Allied turn 11

This quickly creates quiet a joined up front with 5th Army west, and 8th Army east and we start to meet the first signs of German resistance. All elite motorised formations but stretched out at regimental strength so we plan to hit them hard before the defenses can solidify when the German infantry divisions arrive, or worse the paratroopers.





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RE: T26 - 5/17/2017 6:49:54 PM   
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Allied Turn 12

The rail repairs are still 6 hexes back and the depots a little further but the 8th Armies logistics are ok and we start to punch holes in the German lines. I was surprised they were fighting so far forward in the clear terrain, albeit behind the river, but expected this was a screen for infantry digging into the rough terrain further north.
I/16 Panzer takes a hammering from 6 Armoured division, with 300+ allied AFVs versus just 19 German so it seems axis ToEs are a little low already. Also in the skies the Luftwaffe takes a hammering when it flies ground support.
5th Army meanwhile maneuvers into position to launch on the rather more imposing Naples defenses...




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RE: T26 - 5/17/2017 6:59:31 PM   
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Allied Turn 13

On the east coast the Germans fall back a tactical bound to the hills and 8th Army is in pursuit to bounce the position if possible before its firmly established. In the centre several enemy regiments are routed and again we follow up to try to maintain the pressure.
X British Corps from 5 US Army starts the attack on the west coast, thankfully with good success and we should start to cut off the Naples garrison soon.




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RE: T26 - 5/17/2017 7:01:56 PM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gunnulf

... only to be met by Italian girls with flower garlands. Better than the reception party near Rome of burly fallshirmjagers!



This is very unfair. My Paratroopers are well rounded individuals who can be easily hurt by such assertions. I mean they landed at Campo Imperatore just because they had heard that a particular rare flower had been moved there ...

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Post #: 52
RE: T26 - 5/17/2017 7:11:01 PM   
Gunnulf

 

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Allied Turn 14

Hot on the heels of the Germans VIII British corps manages to bounce the apex of the German lines on the east coast. I consider this point to be the most critical of the whole Cassino line to be honest. Its rough terrain, so a pain if held in strength and no naval support can help. If the allies secure the clear terrain on the coast at least can assault from 3 sides, but still 2 flanks are across a river. If held in strength by the Germans its a formidable bastion. Without it the Allies can only attack with 3 divisions to the coastal hex to the NW. This hex is key too as beyond it on the east coast there are few good defensive places for a while but its fairly secure so long as the apex hex to the SE is secure. So we are overjoyed to capture this at relatively low cost.
Lose a hex on the west coast and there are numerous pieces of rough terrain behind, but this one is critical and the Cassino line will begin to unravel.






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Post #: 53
RE: T26 - 5/17/2017 7:21:05 PM   
Gunnulf

 

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Allied turn 16

I'll skip a turn as its mostly following up and securing Naples. This week sees a secondary Allied landing, this time on the east coast. Again, like Salerno its almost redundant. We hadn't expected to break through at Termoli so quickly and while there are still defenses on this flank we don't really need to have outflanked them. However the beachhead again is timely to a) finish resistance on this flank b) provide a temporary port and depot to provide logistical support to a breakthrough.
Otherwise on the central and west flanks its more of a grind forward, but against mostly mechanised regiments in rough and mountain terrain our infantry makes steady progress while it seems from our PR planes the German infantry is on the beaches near Rome still. We are prepping 7th Army for an assault here so its not entirely without justification but if the Cassino line totally folds then it looks like we might march to Rome anyway.




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Post #: 54
RE: T26 - 5/17/2017 7:25:02 PM   
Gunnulf

 

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Allied turn 17

Heavy rain arrives in Italy, which should give some respite to the defenders except it seems the breakthrough has been achieved just in time, with enough logistics both by rail and by sea to give good follow up before heavy mud ruins plans.
There is still some resistance on the other flanks but more and more German units are routing and without fresh infantry its finished.




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Post #: 55
RE: T26 - 5/17/2017 7:29:27 PM   
Gunnulf

 

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Allied Turn 18

The Cassino defenders are close to collapse, the lucky ones have routed and those that fight on in the centre are looking likely to go in the bag. Morale is high in Allied HQ, and while not yet quite reckless we have to be careful not to get carried away. The Germans are brittle but the mud is certainly hampering our advance now.




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Post #: 56
RE: T26 - 5/17/2017 7:34:52 PM   
Gunnulf

 

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Allied turn 19

60 miles to Rome but our units are lacking strong offensive CV in the mud and rain. But with zero organised resistance on the eastern coast road 8th Army is running a bit rampant and start dreaming of bouncing Rimini too. A bunch on German KGs in the centre look in danger of encireclement but our two armies are unable to meet due to a well placed swamp through which it looks like our quarry might escape.






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Post #: 57
RE: T26 - 5/17/2017 7:52:47 PM   
Gunnulf

 

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Allied Turn 21

A busy week as it turns out 8th Army had been a bit over-exuberant. Too late we spotted a lone German division on the flank and we couldnt quite move forces to prevent them reaching the coast and temporarily cutting off several divisions to the north. Luckily we still had reserves close by and the line was quickly restored, but it put paid to the foolish dreams of Rimini just yet.

Back to the south west just as it looks like the Germans might be able to establish a last line of resistance in the last rough terrain then we give the signal to 7th Army, hitherto preparing in Tunis and Tripoli, to assault the beaches west of Rome. Intel shows formidable FJ units on the beaches and the weather not perfect but we decide it would be a shame to miss out on Rome at the 11th hour so take to risk. Very possibly Rome would fall without but this should certainly give the offensive a shot in the arm, so long as the FJ don't throw us back in the sea. Each landing has 2 well prepped US divisions, with French divisions following up so we are quietly confident of success, just not sure at what cost. But so far the Brits have been doing most of the heavy lifting so its time for the Yanks to earn their pay.




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Post #: 58
RE: T26 - 5/17/2017 7:59:35 PM   
Gunnulf

 

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Allied Turn 22

Patton gets ashore ok and the remaining German defenders of the Cassino line take this as their cue to exit stage north. Meanwhile to the northeast 8th Army has certainly now fought its way into a cul de sac. While the logistics are not too bad and the rail repair units are keeping up fairly well the weather and firmer German defenses means we need to pause and consolidate, no chance of a left hook to cut off the retreating Germans in the west, other than those few units already trapped.





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RE: T26 - 5/17/2017 8:12:50 PM   
Gunnulf

 

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Allied turn 25

Fast forward to the final week of the year and a break in the weather allows 8th Army to pierce the line in the east and cut off the defenders in Ancona. Still a long way to fight through the hills and mountains but some small steps before we need to divert units to NW Europe for Overlord.
Otherwise in the centre and west the German line is more sticky than at any point since the start, but not quite formidable.
Overall good progress in 1943, certainly exceeding our expectations. Partly thanks to a bit of luck that Italy threw in the towel early as soon as Sicily was secure but I'm not sure we were really in the right position to gain too much advantage from that in the end. We kept the planned landings as they had been, but it did save time and effort being diverted to needing to secure the other 2 islands. When it came to land near Rome though these two islands didn't prove too critical really and have been largely redundant to our operations.
So, with this brief intermission I'll let Loki takes control again and eloquently describe the buildup to Overlord...




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