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Scenario 2: Fortress Poland – German forces encounter some dug-in defenders

Introduction
Sept 1, 1939. Germany invades Poland. German force begin to sweep into Poland, driving the defenders before. In most cases, the Polish generally frowned upon the French concept of fortresses. But not always.

Here, elements of the Berezwecz Border Battalion and 151st Fortress Company fought hard against elements of the German 7th infantry division. As the battle was being fought, reinforcements from the Zyweic National Guard Battalion arrived.

The main objectives:
1. Hold/Capture the Fortress
2. Eliminate the enemy

Note: Score will be denoted by (x-y), where x=number of German steps lost, y=number of Polish steps lost.



0530 (visibility=normal, 12 hexes)

The morning stillness is shattered by the screams of a Bf109 flying overhead. The Polish defenders frantically prepare for the oncoming German onslaught.

0545

As the Germans advance against the fortress, Polish artillery eliminates a 37mm AT gun battery being towed by some wagons. (1-0)

0600

The advance continues.
German HS129 bombs a Polish AT Gun, eliminating it. (1-1)
Polish artillery responds and another wagon with a 75mm Infantry Gun is lost (2-1)


In 3 columns the German 7th infantry advances

0615

Germans advance on the flanks, while the centre column waits for the HMG platoons to catch up.

0630

German infantry sights the first two entrenchments. Polish gunfire is ineffective.


0645

The Germans throw everything they have at the entrenchment, including HMGs, artillery strikes and a Ju87 dive bomber. Nothing shakes the defenders!

The first bunker is spotted in the southeast – it is unoccupied. (2-2)



0700

While concentrated machine gun fire tries to suppress the Polish forces in the centre, their infantry races up the sides of Fortress Poland. Polish artillery disrupts some of the HMG crews.

In the west the infantry discovers 2 minefields and an empty bunker (2-3)

In the east the German Lt. Col. Discovers a Polish Bunker.



0715

Reserves from the Polish National Guard arrive to the north as the Germans advance toward the fortress from either side. The National Guard is hit en masse by a Ju87 and German artillery. Two platoons are quickly lost. (2-7)

On the west hill, German infantry assaults the entrenchment from the minefield.

The NW strongpoint is discovered unoccupied. (2-8)

On the east hill, some infantry are lost entering the southern minefield. (3-8)

The Polish sound a withdrawal order. Units able to are allowed to flee.



0730

The Polish fire from their entrenchments into the minefield and two half platoons are lost. The German Lt deserts. (5-8)

German heavy artillery continues to pound the Polish reserves and another one and a half platoons of ON are lost. (5-11). The remaining ON flee.

Polish artillery eliminates the last Germans in the Southeast minefield. (6-11). AA Gunfire reduces another German platoon (7-11)

0745

Heavy artillery eliminates a Polish infantry platoon in the front entrenchment. (7-13) But the Polish Major quickly sends in some reinforcements in to the front entrenchemtn.

Meanwhile, the Germans swarm against both flanks.

Polish artillery eliminates half a German infantry platoon (8-13).

0800

As the Germans Infantry companies assault the flanks, another frontal advance is beaten back.

0815

Combined HMG fire eliminates some Polish infantry in the frontal entrenchments. (8-15)

0830

German artillery reduces and demoralizes the Polish HMG in the southeastern entrenchment. Two German infantry platoons rush in to assault and the HMG is eliminated and the porucznik flees. (8-17)

The first entrenchment is captured!



0845

With only two hours and thirty minutes to go, the Germans begin to assault hard.

Germans and Polish trade off casualties in the town (9-18) but the Polish Porucznik flees. Upon being strafed by a He129, the Polish officer deserts.

0900

The Polish front continues to be the object of much German attention. HMGs disrupt the defenders and half an infantry platoon is hit by artillery (9-19). The Germans attempt to advance again.

The German Lt Col captures the northeastern entrenchment. The Polish infantry is lost trying to flee. (9-21)



0915

Germans advance toward the entrenchment as the HMG defenders are occupied.

0930

There is a lull in the fighting as Germans fear their own friendly fire and their forces rally.

0945

German Lt Col assaults the Polish Major in the centre of the fortress. 1 German infantry is eliminated (11-21).

All Polish forces are currently being assaulted. German HMG advance to join in close assault…

1000

…but it was a feint! German forces flee the front entrenchment so HMGs surrounding the entrenchment can attack! After withdrawing most of their forces they bombard the entrenchment. Half a Polish platoon is lost (11-22). The German platoon still present in the assault is eliminated by friendly fire (13-22).

In the north, the Polish Bunker is finally eliminated. (13-23)

1015

A HMG Company opens fire against the frontal entrenchment, but can’t break it.

A massive assault in the centre of the town sees both sides lose a full infantry platoon (15 – 25)!



1030

Germans win the initiative and the front Polish HMG nest is finally broken by concentrated fire from HMGs and adjacent infantry! The German Col. Leads 2 HMG platoons and an infantry platoon, but they fail. gamenote: They rolled a “1” for a “M2” result on their assault! Polish HMG passed the morale check!

The Polish HMG begins to rally.

1045

Only 45 minutes to go and 5 assaults are still on.

The German Colonel again fails in his assault (rolls another “1”!!!) and the Polish HMG completely recovers!

The Polish Major is not so fortunate as his HMG platoon is eliminated by the Lt Col. (15-27)

German Captain chases the Polish infantry out of the northeast entrenchment as the Polish AA crew holds their ground. The Polish troops are cut down and blown up by direct fire and off-board artillery. *sniff* (15-29)

1100

German HMGs advance to clear out the town, as the Super Polish HMG continues to hold the frontal entrenchment!

1115

The final town quarter is held by a Polish Mortar and Infantry Platoon. An assault by 2 HMG platoons and some infantry has no effect!

The Polish AA Gun also holds their entrenchment.

German infantry in close assault eliminate half the Polish platoon in the northwest entrenchment (15-30) but can’t drive them out.

And the Col. can’t take the Polish HMG nest in the frontal entrenchment.

The Germans, desperately trying to obtain one of their victory conditions targets the half Polish platoon in the northwest entrenchment. The Polish are demoralised by the first artillery strike and failing to rally flee the entrenchment and are eliminated (15-31). gamenote: the friendly fire roll had little effect

Further artillery strikes eliminate the Polish mortar crews in the city, but the infantry stays strong (15-32) German troops again are unaffected by the friendly fire.

The battle is over.



Aftermath

The Germans obtain a minor victory by eliminating all strongholds and capturing 3 entrenchments.

They failed their major victory condition which requires them to clear the road and all adjacent hexes.

At the battle’s end. Only 3 Polish platoons remained on the map. One Inf, one HMG and one AA.

Notes

1. The frontal Polish HMG was very lucky to survive the continuous German attacks (particularly the assault). This entrenchment also contained a Polish Porucznik with a morale of 11, combat rating 1 and morale rating of 2. His strong influence was continuously displayed.

Overall, this scenario was a blast to play. I am finding the White Eagles scenarios a bit of fresh air from the Eastern Front series I am running through. Most scenarios I’ve looked at have a good variety of situations and special rules to make them more interesting than “here is another combined force attacking some poor defenders”.
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