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Subject: The Full Campaign, what else! (part 5; 23nd Dec 44) rss

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Henrik Reschreiter
United Kingdom
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The story continues...

Day 8 of Wacht at Rhein

At the end of the previous day's post, I mentioned that I was about to throw in the towel given the 2Arm closure of the roads westwards. I am glad I didn't...

It is getting colder, and we witness the first frost.

The north initially sees more of the same. Little to no activity by the Germans who have no prospect of gaining anything here, and heavy Allied shelling. Several of the Infantry Div have abandoned their defensive stance and are unloading properly now. The 99ID gets two full activations, and outright obliterates two German battalions, creating a hole in the line!
A similar fate will befall the 326VG in the far north which almost ceased to exist.
The Germans will need to spend significant replacement to stabilize things, and the freshly arriving 15PG Div is being redirected this way, but will take another day to arrive.

In the northwest a mixed bag of the Germans hanging on in front of Stavelot, and Trois Points, and further south being on the offensive. F Beg Bde, followed by 3FJ are exploiting last turns mini-break in the 82AB's lines. Several US battalion at the road in the south got cut off but are still contesting the road at least.
If anything, Parker's Crossroad looks a lot safer now, and might indeed against my predictions hold on for the 26th for the VP count!

Even further west, things heated up significantly.

The blown bridge over the Ourthe river at Hotton separates the battlefield. East of it, 62VG and 84ID + CCB/3 on the other side race forward to define the frontline north of Roche. The flanks of Parker's Crossroad appear to be fairly safe here for the Germans

West of the Ourthe, things got mad:
First, Lehr failed to activate, then 2Arm got the jump and not only decimated several German units but also appeared to close all the roads westwards.

116Pz has to retreat, and is followed by 517PR, but then is able to turn, and heavily handles some 2Arm forward units.

But the golden hour of the 2SS is about to come. Two full activations later, and the 2Arm is torn to pieces. HQ and the train are sent running westwards, several units are destroyed entirely, or are significantly hit at least, and all the roads that looked so secure are firmly in German hands. 2SS even took briefly Rochefort, though the bridge blew in their face.

9SS follows on, and takes the southern route, evicting some US troops out of St Hubert. The entire area is almost devoid of Allied troops now.

The one British formation (29 Arm) races eastwards, manages to retake Rochefort, and provides some speed bumps along the L'Homme stream

Northwest of Bastogne, the evening of the previous day saw an overenthusiastic US CC get into trouble as the 560VG envelopes it. The Germans completed the destruction of the US formation and are now heading southwards. They are now overlapping the entire southern Allied flank, where suddenly the 101AB finds itself at the western end of the US strategic positions. Maybe they should have stayed a bit further back instead of creeping forward.

4Arm pushes back 26VG and 5FJ to prepare the assault on Martelange in the coming days.

In the south, 26ID and 80ID are moving north through Luxembourg, and ensure the safety of Ettelbruck. While little or no ground is gained, the south mirrors the north in that the US artillery is doing terrible things to the German VG divisions, and it seems to just be a matter of time before here also we see a breakthrough. German losses by far exceed their replacement rate.

So here in an overview the main events of the day. Static fronts in the north and south dominated by heavy German losses to US artillery, with the first crack showing in the north.

Slow progress by the Germans at or slightly west of Parker's Crossroads in the center.

And wild and wooly maneuver warfare further west between armored formations, with the Germans getting the better of it.

Not what I expected, and most certainly I am not stopping the game now!

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