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Friday, May 25, 2012

EW Poles vs German Fallschirmjägers Pincer AAR

Guest post by the inimitable Anatoli from Anatoli's Game Room.

The second Early War battle played last weekend, this battle was fought with the same Polish army that I used against Andreas Slovaks. David, my opponent, was playing German Fallschirmsjägers - another army that is missing from the Blitzkrieg book.

David had 2 Fallschirmsjäger platoons, a HMG platoon, a Heavy Mortar platoon and a 36mm PaK AT gun platoom and a Stuka Schwerpunkt. The scenario generated this time was Pincer and David became the defender. The table used was also left untouched we only swapped sides so that I was attacking from the same direction that Andreas Slovak army had attacked me in the previous battle.

David had both FJ platoons dug in across the table and held the 36mm PaK platoon in ambush. That little PaK platoon was pretty much my only concern as the center of the table held several spots where he could pop the ambush and hit either my train or tank platoon.

I deployed my train, the railcar support platoon of Ft-17+ the two tankettes and 1 infantry platoon as well as my company commander on the right flank. HMG platoons and cavalry at the center, and 7TP tank platoon, second infantry platoon and 37mm AT guns on the left.

My primary goal was to seize the small woods at the center of the enemy deployment to prevent it being used for the ambush - and then hurry forward with everything before the delayed enemy reinforcements arrived.

Moving out I spread out as good as I could. The problem playing the Polish and being the attacker is the huge amount of stands littering the table. I still managed to spread out my cavalry  and moved up my entire 7TP platoon to enjoy the cover of the treeline of a nearby woods hoping this would deter enemy air support.

The train was also partially covered by woods, so when the Stuka bombers arrived they gambled and aimed at the bunched up 7TP platoon and managed to range in - covering the entire platoon with the bomb template. The Polish tanks must have been looked after by an guardian angel because the attack only resulted in a single bailed out tank as 2 tanks saved, 1 tank was missed, 1 was a glancing hit that failed the firepower test and 1 penetrating hit that only resulted in a bailed out tank!

This was probably the best opportunity the Germans had for the remainder of the battle to knock out all tanks - I spread out my tanks as much as possible during the next turn and started to fire at the dug in German troops at the hill while the cavalry moved forwards once again and then dismounted in cover. And took the small woods that was their goal. The cavalry had only lost a single team on their way over and prepared for the next turn. Polish forces moved up across the entire frontline, the German infantry proved expertly dug in however and they were very hard to destroy from afar. The German AT gun platoon also appeared at the rear of the German infantry on the hill, covering the small pass and preventing any idea of charging past the infantry and claiming the objective at the far back.

The train came under attack of German bombers that ranged in on nearby infantry the explosion hit the train but failed to cause any harm. During the remainder of the game all units would keep a safe distance from the train to prevent any further attempts to use the "auto range in" of enemy bombers. The time was ticking away and the Germans did not receive any reinforcements on their 3rd turn. The Poles on the right flank dared an assault - throwing the railcar platoon at the Fallschirmjägers which bailed and captured both tankettes and pushed back the Ft-17 tank. The closing Polish infantry and train did their best to shower the enemy with bullets while the machinegun platoons moved up the center to a position from which they could reach the enemy. The cavalry which had been dismounted and biding their time in the woods now used the opportunity to charge the already pinned down Fallshirmsjägers on the right flank and totally wiped out all the teams left of the railroad in a heroic assault that only caused a two Polish casualties.

German reinforcements started to arrive at the right flank but the Germans were already pretty much overwhelmed and giving away under the pressure. On the left flank both tanks and infantry charged and wiped out the German Fallschirmsjägers holding the hill while the train and infantry on the right flank wiped out the freshly arrived MG and mortar platoons and remainder of Fallschirmsjäger infantry with both direct fire and assaults.

Once again the small train proved its worth by both being able to use cover, not block LoS and still be able to inflict ridiculous amounts of damage with the many MG's covering its sides and aided by the artillery towers.

David was at a great disadvantage from the start but I think that he could have pulled off a victory if both the 7TP tank platoon and the train had been wiped out. The tanks only lost 2 vehicles despite 3 turns of enemy AT guns and infantry attacks and the train survived unharmed. In the end David was rather unlucky with this Stuka bombers and had not enough AT firepower to deter the armored units that the Poles pushed towards his positions. It would have been much more difficult if David had one more AT gun platoon on the opposite flank.

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