A quick run through of what transpired the other day when a friend of mine announced that he was eager to follow the will of the Fuehrer. It was not clear if he was heading for Antwerp or Paris, but it was evident that he was attacking westwards in the Ardennes with 3 armies.
Containment 16-20 December
The enemy attacked with 3 armies on 16 December threatening to break through and punching several holes in the line. American forces barely managed to plug each attempt while being pushed westwards. Key events were 1 (see map) where two enemy infantry regiments were surrounded and defeated and 2, where several enemy regiments, among them one belonging to 1 SS Panzer Division suffered the same fate. The latter battle could have gone both ways and would have if lost, cracked our lines. These two events blunted the enemy advance significantly.
Plan for Shaping Operations
It now seemed that the enemy could be contained and a plan was made to shape the enemy. It entailed holding on to Trois Ponts and Bastogne and letting the enemy advance westwards to the Ourthe river creating a salient that would be vulnerable to a counterattack.
The subsequent plan was then to counterattack from the two said locations with an armoured division at each spot, with two additional armoured regiments at each location ready to exploit in order to penetrate enemy lines and isolate all enemy forces west of the penetration (see map).
Shaping Operations Delayed 21-22 Dec
The plan was for shaping operations to start on 21 December, but the enemy proved too strong to be let lose, so containment continued all through 22 December, with the loss of Bastogne, which was not planned for as it was the jump off point for the upcoming counterattack in the south.
The Situation Ripens 23-25 Dec
With enough forces to avoid a disaster in case of an enemy breakthrough, the enemy was allowed to advance westwards. A key event (3) was when the situation got out of hand and the enemy surrounded and destroyed the US 2nd Armoured Div. With the enemy stretched thin westwards, the situation was ripe for the counterattack by 26 Dec.
The Counterattack 26-28 Dec
In the Trois Pont (4) area the counterattack commenced with an infantry division first crossing the river resulting in an enemy counterattack isolating it, before an armoured division made a crossing and established a bridgehead. The initial attack alerted the enemy and enemy reinforcements prevented the exploitation force from penetrating.
By 28 Dec however, things were looking better in terms of a new attack and potentially a breakthrough.
In the Bastogne area (5) the enemy had reinforced the area to such an extent that all attacks were stopped cold, and one had to attack towards the NORTH WEST (6) instead, bagging fewer enemy troops than planned.
At this point my opponent realised that there would be no trip to Paris nor to Antwerp and called of all attacks and went on the defensive. I don't know what happened to him after that. Some reports say he was seen heading for Berlin where he was told to go on leave or retire.
I have to say that Bitter Woods is a great game.
- Last edited Sun Jul 8, 2018 9:51 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Fri Jul 6, 2018 8:32 am
Excellent concise report and especially good graphics. I played a marathon solitaire version of 1998 Bitter Woods earlier this year for which I uploaded an AAR "Miracle on the Meuse" but seeing your marvellous AAR here I need to add pictures to mine.