Back in 1987-89 I commanded C Company, 1-48 Infantry. My GDP was Hunfeld Germany. I would be attached to 3-8 Cavalry and be organized for combat as Team Cougar with 2 mechanized Infantry Platoon (M2A1 BFV), a tank platoon (M1A1 Abrams), a FIST Section, and Stinger Section and an Engineer Platoon (M113A2).
Now Hunfeld sits down in the Haune River valley north-northeast of Fulda with high ground to the from a few kilometers away and two high speed avenues of approach into Hunfeld which were valleys, the more open one was the one coming out of the Northeast.
My Company Team was sort of the anvil that the rest of the TF 3-8 would then be positioned to hammer the Soviets as they came down the highspeed avenues of approach in the kill zones where air, helicopters, tank, ATGM fire were to blast away at the commies. To our would be a troop of 3-7 Cav, the division cavalry squadron plus obstacles to canalize the Sovs into the kill zones.
But I never liked my position. Hunfeld is on low ground and on the east bank of the Haune river, thus the river was too my back. The town was too big for Company Team to hold, especially just two platoons of BFV mech Infantry which were infantry poor. In fact, the previous GDP when 2d Bde, 3 AD had two meh Inf Battalions and two armored battalions, Hunfeld was held by a whole Bn, 2-48 Infantry. (2-48 Inf went away as a bill payer for the increased companies in the J series TOE battalions.)
If we survived the massed artillery barrage and the Soviets made it through the kill zone, I always believed I would be overwhelmed in the town. But I also felt they would bypass it to the north and I would be cut off struggling to get back over the Haune and into the rough terrain behind Hunfeld. It seemed like the mission was certainly a DIP and hopefully the Soviets would play right and get hammered in the KZs. But then there is those second and third echelon divisions coming...
Yesterday Armored brigade came out with an update to change the spotting ability of enemy defending units when they fire. It was an increase in ability to spot becasue before the update you pretty much had to be on top of them. to spot when they fired. So, to see how the update worked, I used the same time period and setting as I had been playing, in a sort of linked campaign set in 1975, to see what the changes would do. I chose to play out the northern portion of the Hunfeld defense with two M113A1 Mech Infatry Platoons, a M60A1 Tank platoon and a TOW carrier section, plus a Cobra section and air support. It was a hasty defense. Attacking was two T-72 companies and a BMP-1 company with air support. I was the Soviets. Granted it was a hasty defense, but the US forces were overrun with ease.
So today, I set up the same scenario but set it in 1987 with M1A1 instead of M60s. M2A2s instead of M113s. M901s instead of TOW carriers, T-80BVs vice T-72s, BMP-2s vice BMP-1s. Force size the same, hasty defense both sides with air. (A-10s and Su-25s). I figured the longer ranges of the missiles from the BFVs and M901s plus the better sights on the Abrams would make the defense more deadly. It didn't, the US forces were overrun with even less Soviet casualties.
Now, I think on the second play, the computer didn't do a good set up and mass fires into the kill zone and it seemed the Abrams were set up for counterattack, although I don't know their starting positions. They were not engaged until near the end of the scenario when they moved to retake an objective and drove right for a T-80 company that I moved up to protect my flank expecting the attack. The Abrams were destroyed.
Now, what I've learned in playing the Soviets in Armored Brigade is play them like Soviets. Mass their firepower by using echelon line formations and have all the companies move in a way the support each other. It works.
Then I noticed something about that northern approach. Although open, the LOSs are not as good as you think. By moving the Soviets fast through the open ground, they are not long in kill zones. The Hunfeld position is not looking too good like I felt when I was actually there on the ground so many years ago.
I'm going to try this again with me be the US. I'll try hasty defenses and prepared defense and I will also try a full up battalion Task Force defense and see how that will play out.
But just maybe, the Soviets might have had a chance in the late 1980s. The NATO defense might have been a hard crust to crack, but it was a thin one.
< Message edited by blackcloud6 -- 10/8/2019 4:22:43 PM >