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Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/1/2019 11:45:36 PM   
bootlegger267


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This AAR is in Homage to LTC Daniel Merritt, the Bn Cdr of 2-67Ar, the "Iron Dukes"

The 3rd Bde of the 3rd Ar Div was always the division reserve...By the second day of the war, they were committed. The 11th ACR had wrecked the 1st echelon of the 8th Guards Army when they crossed the IGB 2 days ago, but they were also decimated. What remained of the 11th ACR was a reinforced Sqdn, holding the line to the south of Norderfurt, behind the Hunte River. COl Goff, the 3rd Bde Cdr had placed 4-67Ar behind them on the high ground to the west. TF 5-18 Inf was in Norderfurt, and the Soviets were not about to get into a dragged out fight in the city. That left the the approach down the K73 highway gap to the bridge that crossed the Stielbach River along the A84 Autobahn. If the Soviets could gain that crossing, the remnants of the 11ACR, 4-67Ar and the 5-18th would be flanked and surrounded.

Merritt reorganized his TF on the fly. This was going to be a tank fight, pure and simple. Alpha and Bravo Co's were pure, Charlie was tasked organized. When the order to defend the K73 road came over the net, he made a decision that caught the respective Cdr's by surprise. He ordered Charlie Co to detatch 1 plt to Alpha Co and to set up a reverse slope defense of the bridge with his two remaining tank plt's and the M2 plt from 5-18. The remaining D/5-18(-) Inf was to be the Bn reserve, occupying the northern edge of Grafschaft. The Bn Scts were screening the left flank with a section forward under heavy cover...









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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/2/2019 12:19:30 AM   
CapnDarwin


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Thanks for the AAR!

_____________________________

Work on Southern Storm continues as we squish bugs and work on features.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/2/2019 10:07:00 PM   
bootlegger267


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The occupation of the ridge line by the Iron Dukes was proceeded by the Bde Engineers who were escorted by the Bn Scts. The Sct Plt Ldr was given a rough batch of graphics by Duke 6 and was told, "Nothing fancy, just have them dig basic positions, as many as you can in 4hr. It was 0600hrs, it would take them 1hr to get to the ridge line, 1hr to sight the positions. That left them 2.5 to dig....The Sct Plt Ldr was a tanker, with a tankers eye for long range fields of fire. They started from the north and worked south. As the Engineer Co Cdr and Scout traversed the ridge line, the Scout would stop, point and move on. The Eng Cdr would order his bulldozers to dig. "15 minutes max, then move south along the ridge" ordered the Engineer.

By 1100hrs the Bn had closed upon the battle position. The fighting positions were not the 2 tiered ones but rather piles of dirt for the tanks to stay hull down. It was better than nothing, and the tankers of the Iron Dukes had many.

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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/3/2019 2:31:46 AM   
bootlegger267


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The occupation of the ridge line by the Iron Dukes was proceeded by the Bde Engineers who were escorted by the Bn Scts. The Sct Plt Ldr was given a rough batch of graphics by Duke 6 and was told, "Nothing fancy, just have them dig basic positions, as many as you can in 4hr. It was 0600hrs, it would take them 1hr to get to the ridge line, 1hr to sight the positions. That left them 2.5 to dig....The Sct Plt Ldr was a tanker, with a tankers eye for long range fields of fire. They started from the north and worked south. As the Engineer Co Cdr and Scout traversed the ridge line, the Scout would stop, point and move on. The Eng Cdr would order his bulldozers to dig. "15 minutes max, then move south along the ridge" ordered the Engineer.

By 1000hrs the Bn had closed upon the battle position. The fighting positions were not the 2 tiered ones but rather piles of dirt for the tanks to stay hull down. It was better than nothing, and the tankers of the Iron Dukes had many.

32 M1A1's were in position to meet any advance through the gap and down the K73...

SFC Ryden was resting his head on the head rest of his sight extension as his gunner scanned their sector. The crew of A34, as with the rest of the Bn had been up since stand too at 0500. The hurried warning order, the road march, the arrival upon their current position with no quartering party except the Scouts, let Ryden know that the time was near.....
"Sarge, you better take a look at this" said Ryden's gunner. Ryden looked through GPSE and after a second saw what his gunner was seeing. Multiple black dots were moving down the highway..."Switch back to the daylight channel Jimmy" order Ryden...The gunner rotated a switch and the thermal image became a clear daylight one. Even at 10x magnification, it was difficult to determine the types of vehicles coming down the K73. "jimmy. get me a range in First Return." ordered the TC. The gunner flipped the LRF to "First Return as there was no interferring terrain between his tank and the target and thumbed the LRF button on his cadillacs.. "4570, said the gunner... "Red 1, Red 4, spot report...."

Red 1 had also spotted the the vehicles..."This is 1, going higher...." Within 15 seconds, all of the Dukes knew it was time...

SFC Cap also saw the vehicles coming through the gap. "Sir, here they come." Merritt pushed the toggle on his CVC forward....Thunder 6, Duke 6, contact east, out......"

The following 15 minutes felt like 15 seconds for all involved. The ridge line erupted into a sheet of flame as the Tank Commanders went to work. By the time it was over, some 15 enemy vehicles were burning...







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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/3/2019 12:15:10 PM   
bootlegger267


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The lead Russian mechanized company was decimated. Towers of black, oily smoke filled the gap where the K3 and K73 highways met. The K3 ran north/south and provided a natural "tripwire" for the tankers on the ridge line. They had engaged the enemy at ranges from 2500-3500m.

Ltc Merritt scanned the battlefield after acknowledging each Co Cdr's Sit Rep and telling them "It ain't over yet." "Those were BTR-60's" said Sgt Whippkey, HQ's 66 gunner. Merritt looked over to his Master Gunner who nodded agreement. "That's a 2nd echelon enemy unit. The rest of them wont be far behind, and now they know we're here." said SFC Cap.






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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/3/2019 12:25:33 PM   
bootlegger267


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...and so they came. Again the woods exploded with the firing of 120mm tank cannons of the Dukes. Again, enemy vehicles exploded all along the tripwire. But the one-sided fight would soon come to an end as enemy artillery started to fall on Alpha and Bravo Co's.....






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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/3/2019 2:22:55 PM   
bootlegger267


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"Contact, enemy tanks east out!" came the report over the Bn net. Artillery pounded Bravo Co's positions as the Russian's tried to maneuver through Olderup and use the houses for some type of cover.
Bravo Co's positions were closet to the village, with 1st Plt only 1000m from the hill it was built on. SFC William Hill, in B14, looked to his right and saw his wingman's tank. The "Doghouse" was shredded which meant he had no primary or thermal sights, plus no LRF. Through the trees he saw a B12 burning..."Sarge, look at this" called his gunner over the intercom. Hill looked through his sight extension and at less than 1500m the vehicles entering the center of the village were easy to identify...he was looking at a large command group...

"Bobby, give me a range to that BTR with all the antenna's" ordered Hill. "1520" came the response. "That's your first target. What's in the tube Polk?" HEAT's loaded Sarge, and we have 4 SABOT and 3 HEAT left in the Ready Rack." replied the loader. "Bobby, you fire and adjust after the first round. Take your time, go "Last Return" on the LRF, and take out those vehicles. I'm going to hit em with the 50 cal." said Hill. The tank pulled forward and the crew went to work without knowing they were about to destroy the enemy Bn HQ's....

The tank on tank fight that ensued was brutal and quick, but it used up more main gun ammo. Ltc Merritt knew this and called his S4. "Kelly, get those trucks moving now. Let em know its going to be a "hot" resupply" ordered the Cdr. It was lousy radio procedures, but Merritt didn't care at this point. His Bn was running out of ammo, and without ammo, the tanks were just very expensive means of transportation.

Tanks up and down the line were pulling back 200m to restock their ready racks from the semi-ready rack behind the TC. The TC had to drop down and stand on the turret floor, open the blast door half way manually while the loader did the same with the ready door. The TC would hand rounds to the loader who would place them into the empty ammo tubes that were accessible with the door half open. Most of the tanks were reporting ammo status's of "Low Yellow to High Black" meaning they had about 25% of their basic loads left....

The Co 1SG's were already leading the resupply HEMMIT's forward....It was going to be a close call...






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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/3/2019 2:48:45 PM   
bootlegger267


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Cpt Lowe, the assistant S3 was tracking the battle from the TOC. His Bn status board showed how many vehicles were operational, damaged, or destroyed. So far, two tanks were KIA, and 3 damaged, all in Bravo Co. The Alpha and Bravo Co M113's were also damaged in the opening artillery strike. "Duke 3A, DUke 6...Make sure the ALO has those hogs online. We're probably going to need em soon." Lowe looked over to his FSO who had just put down the radio mic. He turned and gave him a thumbs up. The Air Liason Officer was in the TAC, an M113 that was festooned with radio antennas, and positioned just behind the tanks with a view of the battlefield.






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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/3/2019 4:21:19 PM   
bootlegger267


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The resupply came just in time. Three Tank Plt's were done. Two others were finishing up as the Russian Tank Bn appeared from the vicinity of Brockerup. Merritt got on the radio.."Green 6, Duke 6, I need smoke from grid...." The smoke would land south of the K73 between the enemy tanks and his positions. This would inhibit the enemy's ability to target his tankers. "Duke 3A, tell the ALO to bring in the Hogs and Fangs" ordered the Cdr. He was going to use all his assets as 40 plus enemy tanks were 3000m away and advancing on his boys....






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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/3/2019 5:11:22 PM   
bootlegger267


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He heard them before he saw them. The A-10 Warthogs were guided in by the ALO as he watched the enemy tanks advance..."The friendlies are north of the K73. Lots of bad guy tanks south of that and west of the north south K3" radio'd the Airman.... The two plane flight hugged the ground as they approached from the west. As they followed the A84 Autobahn east, they came to the point were that road turned south. They popped up, each pilot verifying the boundaries the ALO had given them and went in.....

AA missiles flew off the rails of the enemy AD vehicles but not in time...The Hogs 30mm Chain Gun firing depleted uranium rounds the size of coke bottles, tore through the ranks of Russian tanks. Banking hard and dropping flares to fool the missiles that were coming up to meet them, the A-10's turned north and them went low as fast as possible....14 enemy tanks were destroyed....

...and not soon enough. The Dukes were holding their own, but they started to bleed... 11 tanks were either destroyed or damaged, most in Bravo Co. Another enemy Infantry element appeared to the right of the tanks, and was beaten to the ground, but the enemy tanks continued their advance. Most of Merritt's tanks were again down to 50% of their ammo. The two Cobra's were adding their firepower to the Duke's defense, but it was getting close to a breaking point. "Merritt called his FSO..."Shift your fires....target the damn tanks!"






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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/3/2019 6:39:52 PM   
bootlegger267


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They blunted the attack...barely. Merritt had only 16 runners left, the second run by the Hogs ended with both being downed, and his Mortars only fired one smoke mission. Most of his tanks were trying to resupply their ammo loads again. If the Russian's pushed hard, he would not be able to stop them. That didn't mean he wasn't going to make it easy.

First, he ordered a FASCAM mission to land in front of the tanks apparent route. Second, he told the Sct OP to move south and engage the Russian tanks in the flank.






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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/4/2019 12:56:55 PM   
bootlegger267


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"Dukes, this is 6, give me a sitrep over." He dropped his head as he wrote in grease pencil on his map. Bravo Co had taken the brunt of the casualties. Both the CO and XO were dead and most of the tanks were destroyed. Alpha Co's CO was also killed but most of the vehicles were damaged and if they retained the battlefield, most could be recovered. He told the TOC to jump to a position west of the Stielbach behind Charlie Co. He reinforced Charlie Co's position by ordering D/5-18 Inf to the north and integrate with the defense of the bridge.

The Russian's had a Co + of tanks on the high ground west of Brockerup, but they didn't seem to keen to move any farther. His FSO had already told him that the artillery had one more mission available before having to resupply. He wanted that mission on that tank Co but the FSO told him that they had located the enemy Regt HQ's and were about hit it....






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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/4/2019 1:38:06 PM   
bootlegger267


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The mid afternoon rains came and came hard. Ltc Merritt hoped the reduced visibility would afford his people a chance to reorganize. It gave the Russian Cdr a chance....

An enemy tank and mech force climbed advanced into the positions of Bravo and Alpha. A knife fight ensued between the remnants of those CO's and the enemy....The rains lessened, and the Russian Cdr ordered his forces to hold in place.

The American's had stopped the advance and controlled the bridge, and still had two Co's intact, but the damage sustained by the Bn was heavy..With the enemy occupying the initial battle positions, recovery of the damaged vehicles was lost. Two Duke tank company's had mauled an enemy Regt and sacrificed themselves so that Sparten's and Bandits had time to disengage from Norderfurt and set up a defense of the bridges at Warmsen and Beckeln. Another 10km's would be ceded to the Russian's, but a a very heavy price.

The game ended as a mariginal loss for the Americans (49%) Thought I had that one..






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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/4/2019 9:44:55 PM   
CapnDarwin


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Great read and a tough fight.

_____________________________

Work on Southern Storm continues as we squish bugs and work on features.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations LLC

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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/5/2019 7:29:54 AM   
altipueri

 

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Thanks for this - it inspired me to have a go myself. I played the Russians on easy settings and after my lead units got chewed up almost immediately I did a big sweep south west then north.

I got lucky getting the helicopters and warthogs without too many losses - although one wart hog got about ten units in one go.

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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/13/2019 2:36:52 PM   
WABAC

 

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Took me three time to figure it out. But it's a nice quick scenario.

Losing the A-10's is always a point hardship. Mine never fly until his radar-guided units are eliminated.

I never let the AI control my artillery. So I also learned that wasting shots on his HQ seemed to have little effect on decision loop.

Here is the way it ended up:






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RE: Narrative AAR: For a few Good Tanks... - 11/13/2019 3:03:11 PM   
WABAC

 

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The initial setup is below.

That company up front (A) will withdraw and resupply as soon as his initial echelon is dealt with.

Company C moves to the high urban ground south of Grafschaft. In previous iterations the AI had swept further west to try and encircle the NE victory location at 1905. That did not happen this time around. So they did not get many shots in. And they were in sound shape at the end.

Here is where preserving the A-10's paid off. I knew I could rely on the AI to advance them to where I could kill them with tank shots. He is that predictable. I focused their attention on his tanks, because my tanks are always obsessed with his infantry. Focusing my artillery on his infantry units gave my tanks fewer of them to shoot at.

By the time I was offered a marginal victory I knew from the victory points that he had nothing left covering the victory points at hex 2111. My helos confirmed that intel. So I waltzed in to score a decisive victory. That almost never happens.

BTW, I was lucky to get a lot of smoke shots. I always forget about smoke after a layoff from the game.

Next time:

I still haven't found a good use for the scouts. Maybe a raid on his rear area.

I might also try popping Company C out of the wooded ridge line south of Brockerup to do some more damage to his follow on forces. My other companies got shot up pretty bad defending hex 1905.






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