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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/8/2019 6:29:19 PM   
TankBushido


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Turn 17 (France):
Another weakly defended hex SE of Caretan with just 1 German infantry division and 1 Reserve infantry regiment defending, so I push forward and take the hex. I attempt to eliminate the surround units, but only manage to reduce them. Germans attempt to counterattack again, but fail to dislodge the two Canadian armor divisions.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/8/2019 6:32:46 PM   
TankBushido


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Turn 18 (Med):
Up to now, Iíve been using save games to post screenshots. For here on forward Iíve been capturing some better screenshots during the turn so you can see in-turn battles and disposition of forces during the turn.

I take Taranto and surround Bari, but am limited on attacks and am mainly just maneuvering because of the condition of my units. But supplies come into the beaches this turn and Brindisi was repaired by the Amphib HQ last turn so the supply situation should improve for a bigger push next turn.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/8/2019 6:35:13 PM   
TankBushido


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Turn 18 (France):
Despite heavy rain (ground is still just light mud), Iím able to force the three German divisions on the peninsula to surrender. Iíll need to pause after this short push since my units are looking a little frayed and need to rest and get more supplies.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/8/2019 6:59:16 PM   
TankBushido


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Turn 19 (Med):
Sardinia is now fully cleared and I begin setting up invasions of Corsica.

My linked up groups start reducing the surrounded units on the heel. I take Bari and push the Germans near Brindisi into a two hex pocket that should fall next turn.

Recon shows the German defense line running from Salerno to Foggia. I advance close to the line, but will be unable to push it. Many of my units need rest and supplies. I will have to pause a few turns to regroup, rest, and allow time for my supplies to catch up.

Turn 19 (France):
France is all quiet. Iím pulling units off the line for refit and resting my units. Supplies are flowing into Cherbourg which is almost fully repaired. I pull my Amphib HQ back to port; it was at 62% damage, but it did itís job supplying the beachhead.






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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/11/2019 4:02:02 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 20:
As my units take a pause and the initial moves come to an end, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the state of the war in the west so far. Operation Sledgehammer has been a success. Units are ashore in force and have established a perimeter that is unlikely to be broken. I have a major port in Cherbourg captured and fully repaired. Territorial advances in the Mediterranean have been slightly behind historical gains, but I have managed to capture over 170,000 Axis troops. Iím happy with the progress and results in the Med so far.

The big questions I am pondering are what to do next in each theatre. Letís start with my disposition of forces. In France I have 18 divisions employed and holding the Cotentin Peninsula. I have another five divisions plus support forces in England with more forces being added as time goes on, some of which are preparing a secondary invasion in Brittany. I have five divisions in Sardinia and another three in North Africa preparing for a move on Corsica. Sixteen divisions are in the field in Italy. Iím generally happy with that split by theatre; I may transfer a few divisions out of Italy in spring and redeploy them in France, but thatís months away.

The first 20 turns are generally good campaign weather, but as weíre in mid-November with winter approaching, the next 24 turns will have rougher weather before the late spring-summer-fall 1944 campaign season.

My immediate goals in the Med are to take Corsica and to capture the air bases around Foggia. After that I see three major possible thrusts, Southern France, the Po valley, or the plains north of Rome. Iím somewhat disposed to capture Corsica and then funnel most of my forces in the Med into Southern France in spring to coincide with my breakout in Normandy. I think that will be my plan for now. But I will continue to probe in Southern Italy to see what German resistance looks like. If opportunities present themselves, then I will exploit them.

In France my immediate goals are to make sure I have a good supply situation, but then also try to push the front south a few hexes both to extent the German line and to get closer to the edge of the bocage so that a spring breakout will be easier. Itís obvious I donít have enough currently on the continent to make a breakout now; I need to build up some more forces. But I donít want to flood the continent too soon if I canít adequately supply them. So I imagine the front in France to be fairly uneventful until spring.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/11/2019 4:10:30 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 21:
In Italy, the Germans pull back to the Gustav line except for a covering force in Salerno and Naples. Iím moving up, but not pressing them or making any attacks.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/11/2019 4:40:59 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 22:
I move to start to surround Naples and Salerno, but otherwise just move up to the line in Italy.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/11/2019 7:49:44 AM   
Sardaukar


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I must say that invading France in 1943 is a novel idea...have to try that.

_____________________________

"To meaningless French Idealism, Liberty, Fraternity and Equality...we answer with German Realism, Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery" -Prince von BŁlov, 1870-


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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/11/2019 7:25:17 PM   
TankBushido


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Not sure that it would be effective against a competent human opponent, but it's certainly been effective against the more passive AI. I think the AI has more forces in Italy than I do and it's divisions in the fields of France seem rather few in number, so a mis-allocation of forces based on the threats being faced. I'll have to play the Germans to see what they actually have available, but I was expecting more heavy opposition in France. The early invasion of France also gives the Germans double Admin Points, so there is a cost there too.

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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/12/2019 5:13:14 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 23:
Itís clear and cold in France and I see weak point in the line, so my rested troops attack and create a breakthrough, take two hexes, isolate a German infantry division with security forces, and shatters a couple HQs.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/12/2019 5:16:16 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 24:
More weak defenses on the German left flank so I continue to push, taking St. Lo and the hex SW of it. I try to eliminate the surrounded defenders, but they hold. I ship over another armor division and armor brigade from England in order to beef up my reserves.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/12/2019 5:18:54 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 25:
I attempt a breakout at the hex SE of St. Lo. I take the hex and armor exploits into the hex but are then stopped by a battered German infantry division with 2 defense in three attacks. Lesson for me that the armor just canít do it in the dense terrain. I need infantry to totally clear the way. I was hoping to encircle the German armor units covering the line at Bayeux, but no dice.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/12/2019 5:30:37 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 26:
Time to rest; just in time for Christmas. There is a huge blizzard rolling in from the Northeast, so itís time to halt operations in France and take a breather.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/12/2019 5:38:04 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 27:
I pull back from the encirclement around Naples and shore up my line a bit. Iím certain under committed here and a bit thin on reserves. Note the 26th Panzer division on the Gustav line (which Iíve circled) looking menacing.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/12/2019 5:40:42 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 28:
The Germans heavily reinforce the line in France and beef up their defense.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/13/2019 4:06:34 PM   
John B.


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Thanks for the AAR, this is very interesting. I'm eagerly awaiting embedded screenshots. :)

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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/13/2019 7:01:40 PM   
TankBushido


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Thank you for reading and commenting. Waiting period is over so all screenshots are now embedded for easier reading/viewing. I'm a couple turns ahead of my posting, so I'll drop a little tease on the upcoming SNAFU in Corsica. Things are not going well with my island invasion.

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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/13/2019 10:13:21 PM   
John B.


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I see the screen shots now. Very nice! Eagerly await news from Corsica. :)

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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/14/2019 2:29:40 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 29:
The sitzkrieg in the Med is finally broken by an invasion of Corsica. Two divisions invade on the Eastern shore with four divisions and HQs units ready for the follow on wave.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/14/2019 2:45:28 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 30:
This turn and the next highlighted for me that Iím still a newbie at this game. Iíve been reading the rules as Iíve been playing and slowly been picking stuff up and improving my game as I go. One example is that over the last ten turns Iíve been struggling with supply depots. I was trying to build forward depots, but when I went to the hex detail the option wasnít there even though the hex was not in enemy ZOC and it was a town/city hex on a rail. I finally figured out that the rail line wasnít repaired. I thought the automated construction units were doing repairs, but they were just doing my priority repairs. So I finally figured out that I need to ship up the rail construction units from North Africa and I was slowly able to repair the rails enough to build some forward depots in Italy. It only took me 10 turns to figure it out, but Iíve been handicapping my forward units by not having an optimized supply network.

In Corsica, my units expand the beachhead. I meet resistance almost immediately off the beaches. Iím not sure why I donít have higher intel on those adjacent German units.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/14/2019 5:56:34 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 31:
This turn I experience another gotcha; this time with the air AI. Like my last invasion, no supplies come onto the beach this turn. Iíve been telling my air marshall to provide support over those beaches and heís assured me that the beach will be covered, but for two turns no air support has shown up over Corsica. After the first turn, I thought maybe I just forget to send the order, but after the second turn in a row I had to investigate. Turns out the AI air marshall was dutifully providing air support over the wrong invasion site; he was sending coverage over a planned invasion on the Adriatic. So, I cancel prep on that invasion and hope I can salvage the situation in Corsica. I had additional troops in Sardinia to bring it but with high German interdiction in the waters surrounding the beaches, I keep them in port. Iíve already had lots of transports sunk due to poor coverage over the sea lanes. Hopefully, with new orders the AI can restore coverage over the right beach next turn.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/15/2019 5:47:20 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 32:
Fed up with air marshall, Eisenhower himself travels to Corsica, hops into a fighter plane, and leads a fighter air squadron to cover the beaches. That seemed to scare the German Luftwaffe away and supply starts flowing onto the beaches again. More troops land to consolidate the position.

In Italy, Salerno is taken and the Germans attack across the line, but the line easily holds.

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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/15/2019 5:48:00 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 33:
In Corsica, I push north and south of the beachhead and capture the port of Bastia in the north and shatter the defenders in the south and push next to Porto Vecchio.

In Italy, Naples falls. Germans continue to attack across the line to little effect.

Defenders in France look formidable with three divisions stacked in almost every hex along the line.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/15/2019 5:49:09 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 34:
Progress continues on Corsica without much resistance. Two more ports are taken and only Ajaccio remains to be cleared. The disaster of several turns ago is becoming a distant memory.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/15/2019 2:59:08 PM   
John B.


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looks like alls well that ends well on Corsica!

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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/15/2019 10:03:35 PM   
TankBushido


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Yeah, it's turning out okay in the end. I had to manually create an air directive; the AI just wouldn't do it, even after I removed the planned invasion in the Adriatic. It was just focusing all air forces in Italy. It did land fighters on the beaches so maybe it was using them for interception, but there was certainly no air superiority directive created.

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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/16/2019 2:15:07 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 35:
Rain comes to France and with it heavy mud. But the fact that the snow is over given me hope that spring will come soon and with better weather I can begin my attempts for a breakout.

Operations in Corsica coming to a close as I close in on the last units. Probably only one or two turns left.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/16/2019 2:42:01 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 36:
Cold air and light snow in France. Still waiting for the weather to clear.

Ajaccio is captured on Corsica with just one German unit still isolated on the island. Iíve started to prepare invasions for the South of France near Cannes.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/16/2019 3:02:47 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 37:
Light rain and heavy mud in France. With the Corsican operation wrapped up, itís just a wait for good weather at this point. Troops in France ready to attack the front and I have my secondary invasion in Brittany at full prep with follow-on forces ready to go.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer í43 - 6/16/2019 3:39:44 AM   
TankBushido


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Turns 38-39:
Bad weather, I can feel the clock ticking down and the lack of progress is frustrating. No operations or attacks. Iím resting the air force. My bombers havenít had good weather to fly so Iím taking high V-Weapon VP losses every turn.

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