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After Action Report: Defense of Eisenbach-Klapennbruck17-18 May, 1985

Classification: Secret

Preparing Organization: 2/1/2nd Armored Division

Report Location: Klapennbruck

Report Title: Team Yankee/Team Bravo defense of Eisenbach-Klapennbruck 17-18 May, 1985

Narrative of Action

2nd Battalion was assigned defense of Eisenbach-Klapennbuck in event of the breakout of hostilities by Brigade Cmdr. Battalion Cmdr deployed the battalion with Team Yankee (TY) emplaced to the east of Bergengipfel and Team Bravo (TB) north of Lansamen with Team Charlie (TC) in reserve on the west side of the Eisenbach-Klapennbruck bridges. Cavalry scouts had determined that elements of the 1st Tank and 33rd Motor Rifle were in positions across the E. German border, each in battalion strength. Estimated raw force ration 3:1. Blue forces included aggregate of one (1) each M1 MBT company, Infantry company mounted in M113, two (2) ITV platoons, and a TOW Jeep section along with organic ATGM assets for the infantry. Team Yankee was armor heavy 2:1, Team Bravo infantry heavy 1:2. Battalion reserve consisted of two additional infantry platoons with Dragon ATGM.

Brigade was unable to secure air or artillery assets prior to onset of hostilities. Beginning at 0723, 17 May, Team Yankee engaged by 1st Tank progressing NW from Schlafendbauer along axis toward Bergengipfel. Soviet armor was taken under long range main gun fire by TY 1st and 2nd Platoon. Due to surprise of initial advance and Soviet use of covering terrain, estimates of enemy casualties were no more than 4-6 tanks. Within the first 15 minutes of the engagement Soviet forces had utilized smoke and HE artillery to blind and suppress 1st Platoon before close assaulting the unit in the area of grid J3. 1st Platoon, along with Captain Reynolds HQ section was destroyed. Command of the Team was passed to 1st Lt. Washburn. The ITV platoon under Sgt. Kaylie was attacked by an additional two platoons of Soviet T-72 tanks and was destroyed by main gun fire not long after. Lt. Washburn ordered a fighting withdrawal by the remnants of the Team towards the Eisenbach Bridge where TC was waiting to support the unit. During the first bound, Lt. Washburn's reduced platoon was destroyed by Soviet artillery barrage. The only remaining company unit was 3rd Platoon emplaced in the NW portion of Bergengipfel. They were quickly surrounded by Soviet armored units but were able to hold out for nearly an hour, utilizing Dragon ATGM shots and short assault sorties to keep the armored units at bay. Eventually Soviet artillery was brought in to reduce 3rd Platoons positions and contact was lost with TY at 0918. Elements of the 1st Tank moved to Eisenbach before holding for the rest of the day. Reasoning for this halt is unknown at this time.

Beginning on 18 May, 33rd Motor Rifle crossed Phase Line Saffron, moving toward Klapennbruck . As soon as BMP units crossed PL Saffron they were taken under fire by long range TOW missile fire to great effect. Estimated losses in the first exchange are at least 4 BMP and 3 T-62s. Infantry deployed from the BMPs and attacked Lansamen on foot, driving out the occupying infantry. Capt. Zoe brought 1st Platoons M1s into the engagement at this point and engaged Soviet BMPs and T-62s at close range. Sgt. Tam's TOW jeep platoon moved to flank the Soviet penetration but was destroyed by main gun fire before reaching a firing position. Lt. River withdrew his infantry platoon to Klappenbruck under the cover of ITV and M1 fire and deployed his platoon along with their Dragon launchers on the outskirts of the village. This disengagement did not occur until the unit was fronted by Soviet smoke rounds and was then outflanked by Soviet dismounted infantry with BMP support. Concentrated and accurate M1 and ITV fire established a base of fire behind the woods south of Lamensen. No Soviet armored units successfully crossed this line for the duration of the engagement. By the end of the engagement roughly 2 reduced platoons of Soviet infantry with possible BMP support were still unaccounted for in the large wooded area outside of Klappenbruck. There was only sporadic small arms fire exchanged between the forces in Klappenbruck and Red forces in the woods. It is assumed that after the destruction of C3i units that the remaining infantry lacked proper direction and leadership required to mount an assault against the village.

US Casualties at this time include

Ten (10) M1 Main Battle Tanks with 40 crew, assumed KIA/WIA/POW.

Four (4) M113 Armored Personal Carriers with 44 crew and infantry KIA/WIA/POW

Six (6) M901 ITV, 19 KIA/WIA/POW. One (1) ITV assigned to Team Bravo was recovered after the action around PL Saffron and will be returned to service.

Thirteen (13) other infantry and crew from Team Bravo are WIA with two (2) KIA.

Estimated Soviet Losses include


Two (two) companies of Motorized Infantry including attached transport, 12-15 T-72 and T-62 tanks.

Notable Actions

Cpl. Simon of 3rd Platoon Team Bravo is recommended for a Bronze star for actions during defense of Lamensen. Citation and action details under separate cover.


Current situation is that Team Bravo holds Klappennbruck and Lamensen in their sector with only sporadic harassment fire from the woods outside of Klappennbruck. Elements of Soviet 1st Tank hold Eisenbach and east end of Eisenbach bridge but lack sufficient infantry to force crossing in the face of Team Charlie positions around west end of bridge.

In face of current balance of forces, Battalion requests additional armor support to replace losses to Team Yankee. At current battalion must consider fighting withdrawal in face of determined armor assault. At least two (2) platoons of armor and another section of ITV would make defense of Eisenbach bridges certain.

Artillery and air support was completely absent during the defense of Eisenbach-Klappenbruck, thus allowing the Soviet forces to progress with clear fields of fire and unmolested by interdiction fire. Barring replacement of Team Yankee losses, battalion requests tasking of a FIST team and priority fire calls to brigade artillery to assist in keeping Soviet forces on the east side of the river.
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Jeff S
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Great report Mike. When I get the new deluxe edition, I will have to take those scenarios for a spin again.
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HMS Iron Duke
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The two scenarios were about as different as could be. The 1st Tank got the best chit draws I have ever seen. They pulled first on every single turn. First turn was especially bad since they got their surprise activation and then the regular activation right after that. Team Yankee reaction fire was not very good. I made the mistake of not pulling back out of reach with 1st Platoon on the first Team Yankee activation, thinking that the the better armor and assault dice would stave off a Soviet attack. They just go rolled under (I don't remember it going so badly for Capt. Bannon in Team Yankee).

The Klappenbruck scenario was the exact opposite. Bravo deployed well (I used the forward defense suggested in the Gamer's Guide) and we shot early and often with the Dragons and ITV. The single M1 Platoon stacked with the HQ section was very deadly to the oncomping BMPs who were just not up to the task. If the M1s stayed stationary they were rolling 6d3 at close range. I had at least two shots that were 5 hits and one that was 6 hits. Many heroes of the Soviet Union were created around Lamensen. I think the ITV and Dragons took care of all of the T-62s. Deploying the infantry to try and flush the Klappenbruck woods and the village of Lamensen just took too long and gave the ATGM gunners more time to shoot. The artillery wasn't as good as what 1st Tank had outside of Bergengipfel either.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Very nicely done! Its crazy the differences between the two cities/scenarios though.
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HMS Iron Duke
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BMPs blow up so nicely a 1d5 isn't a very good home against AT weapons. Gorby help the Motorized Infantry lieutenant that is in front of an M1 when it decides to open up. I had two of them go while they still had the infantry on board. It was ugly.

The real challenge for the first scenario is finding a range where you can simultaneously protect your objectives as well as keep the Russians at arms length. Capt. Reynolds et al. got rolled at short range.
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Scott Smith
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Now that is one helluva AAR!
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HMS Iron Duke
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In case anyone is interested, the Batallion cmdr is Lt. Col. Whedon. Thought you might like to know.
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