Sorry for the delay but real life again took its toll
I decided to create a new file although this is only the sequel of my first session report until turn 10 (you could find it here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/456909) but after reaching the Initial Lodgement Area Operation Overlord is finished and Post-Overlord operations now will follow. And again: please excuse my bad English!
15 September to 30 September 1944
BBC Weather Forecast: After crossing several storms in the last days weather calmed down: now cloudy, overcast weather is expected during the next weeks.
I missed last turn rule 7.3.3. which clearly states that Engineers (and HQs) may not participate in a combat and thus couldn’t advance. Consequently Cherbourg and Toulon ports couldn’t be operational last turn. So I had to re-write the last turn. I’m sorry and thanks to all who helped. Please continue supporting me.
After achieving the so called Initial Lodgement Area and facing the Kitzinger Linie original Overlord plan was finished. Although the better weather made unloading supplies and materials at the Continent easier (dr 8 yielded one support marker) the Allied forces badly needed Cherbourg being operational. In addition the beginning of the operation east of the Seine introduced logistical complications. The armies would generally launch an offensive until sufficient gasoline (most Allied support markers may only played with in the 3 hex range of Pluto marker) and other supplies could be accumulated (to move Pluto several support markers had to be expended which afore to be accumulated).
SHAEF planning staff had reviewed the possible courses of action after the capture of the lodgement area and recommended that the advance eastward be made on a broad front two mutually supporting axis: the main advance to be aimed toward the northeast with the object of striking directly to the Ruhr; the subsidiary axis provided a threat to Metz and the Saar.
General Eisenhower had concurred in this plan. The importance of the north-eastern approach to the Ruhr was in first place the principal concentration of enemy forces would be met in this area. Next, and highly important to the hard-pressed civilian population of London was the opportunity to seize the Crossbow (flying bomb or V1 in German) sites in the Pas-de-Calais area (Hitler Approval is reduces by 1 for very captured V1 sites) before more and more missiles could be hurled across the Channel.
Although General Eisenhower assigned priority to the north-eastern operation, he was nevertheless unwilling to relinquish the idea of a subsidiary thrust to the east via Metz. On this point General Eisenhower and Field Marshal Montgomery were in fundamental disagreement. Montgomery’s thesis was “a single concentrated thrust” (only one Pluto marker is available in Northern France) would bring the war to a quick conclusion. So he insisted that one whole American army should be moved in on his right flank during his drive to Brussels.
The quick occupation of Cherbourg by early September forestalled German extensive demolition of the harbour equipment however the past air and naval bombardments had destroyed much. Allied engineers had to work hard to made Cherbourg harbour operational (dr 3 –2 for Pluto distance +1 for one support marker expended: flip Engineer unit to “operational” side) and it functioned now as a major supply base for Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe (sea transport points raised from 3 to 4). At Toulon American engineers together with French dockers had no problems to repair the cursorily destroyed quays and piers at the harbour (dr 6 –1 for 2 hex distance of Pluto).
British Twenty-first Army Group
The Allied left was formed by the Canadian First Army (I exchanged the 21st AGr HQ with the Can. 1st Army HQ for historical purposes) and British Second Army (HQ may be placed during “Arrival of HQ” phase at any friendly in supply division. I used the Polish Armoured). Their objective was to force the crossing of the river Seine. Crossing of major river was a difficult task (halving the attackers and the crossing forces are in danger of being OOS if counterattacking since supply path across a major river needs a bridge or a flipped HQ [on pontoon side]) and so Field Marshal Montgomery ordered deception measures for a crossing along a broad front from Reims to Paris (HQ to 2415 and 2313 for a maximum of possible pontoon-sites).
British 21st Army Group ready for combat
To seize a bridgehead 3. Panzergrenadierdivision was attacked at vicinity of La Roche Guyon (hex 2414) with great superiority (54 attack factors halved to 27 vs. 7 defence factors yielded a 3:1). The German defenders were totally surprised, badly mauled (dr 12 yielded 0/2 with ATR “E3” reduced to “E2” for terrain) and forced to flee around 75 kilometres (2-step KG drawn, DTR “D3” to hex 2713). Lieutenant-General Dempsey ordered an immediate attack with 11th and Polish Armoured and Welsh 53rd Division out of the bridgehead against the nearby 198. Infanteriedivision north of the Oisne estuary. The enemy was driven back with significant losses (dr 5 at 5:1 odds yielded 0/1 with DTR “DR”) but fearing a counter-attack the divisions didn’t advanced far.
Seine bridgehead at La Rouche Goyon
U.S. Twelfth Army Group
Twelfth Army Group (Headquarter at Chartres) pushed forward (generally with Strategic Movement, Allied Infantry divisions even tripled movement allowance!) toward Paris with XIX Corps (3rd and 6th Armored) and V Corps (French armoured 2 DB and U.S. 28th Infantry). XII Corps (1st and 79th Infantry) and XX Corps (2nd and 5th Infantry) drove along Seine aimed the city of Troyes. VII Corps (4th, 29th and 90th Infantry Division) secured the Loire liberating Orleans at 25 September (FFI marker to 8th space).
Situation U.S. 1st and 3rd Army
New U.S. Ninth Army (I exchanged the 12th AGr HQ with the U.S. 9th Army HQ for historical purposes), composed of 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th Armored Division (these were all at reduced strength) and 8th, 9th, 30th, 35th, 83rd Infantry Division, had been left in Brittany to contain the German Festungen and secure the lodgement are at upper Loire. At 21 September 7th Armored liberated Nantes (FFI marker to 10th space, 1 FFL brigade drawn) and Angers at 29 September (FFI marker to 4th space).
Situation new U.S. 9th Army in Britanny
U.S. Sixth Army Group
As scheduled the main forces of U.S. Seventh Army- reinforced by U.S. 26th Infantry Division – and 1st French Army advanced slowly to Marseille while four advance guard divisions reached the Rhône but weren’t able to cut the vital railroad at Nîmes.
Marseille could only be attacked by two sides (hex 2341 and 2342) so the German defenders of the 244. Infanteriedivision hoped to hold Marseille as long as Toulon or even longer. But the Allies assembled a strong assault force (26 attacking vs. 4 [tripled to 12] defence factors) and were supported by ground and naval gun fire (“Artillery” support marker assigned to stationary French 4 DMM division gave 2 shifts).
Attack on Marseille at 22 September
After a desperate fight the Germans surprisingly capitulated quickly (dr 7 yielded luckily a 0/2, 244. Inf.Div removed from game), Marseille’s population welcomed the French and American troops (FFI marker to 8th, Hitler Approval marker to zero space: Dismissal!).
Hitler was furious after receiving the news about the capitulation of Marseille and the bridgehead across the Seine. He relieved Gen.Feldm. von Kluge immediately and appointed the hero of Eastern Front, now OBef. Heeresgruppe Mitte, Gen.Feldm. Model as Ob.West and OBef. Heeresgruppe West (as this was the second dismissal Hitler marker is now at 9th instead of 10th space).
Gen.Feldm. Model on the way to his new HQ
(No! Never! He doesn't sleep, he is only resting a bit...)
With the Kitzinger-Line broken north of the Oise and nearly outflanked by the Americans new Ob.West Gen.Feldm. Model was faced with a difficult situation. Even Heeresgruppe G was in danger is to get trapped since Hitler forbade any grand withdrawal movement (no strategic movement during Dismissal turns). The reason was u.a. his grave worries about the political implements if losing Paris. Of course, Hitler ordered Model to counter-attack the Seine bridgehead but because of serious petroleum problems the SS divisions at Paris (movement allowanced halved during Dismissal turns) and the new Volks-Werfer-Brigaden (no offensive support marker drawn) couldn’t reach the assembly areas in time.
After receiving an over-optimistic situation report from Gen.Oberst Jodl (Chef WFSt) and Hitler himself at the Führerhauptquartier Gen.Feldm. Model hoped that at least the Somme – Marne –Saone River line could be hold until a big counter-offensive would turn the tide. In the meanwhile the coastal fortresses should hamper the Allied logistics. Consequently Gironde-Nord (Royan), which blocked the access to Bordeaux, was declared to a Festung.
In preparation for the planned offensive Hitler allowed to withdraw both SS-Panzerdivision “Leibstandarte” and “Das Reich” to Germany (put into Strategic Reserve Box) for recovery (1.SS-PzDiv got "restistant" RP). Even the rebuilt SS-Panzerdivision “Hitlerjugend” (playing “Reinforcement” support marker) was earmarked for that purposes (also put into Strategic Reserve Box).
The first "Wacht am Rhein" reserves
BdE, Reichsführer-SS Himmler, transferred five new formed divisions (12., 18. and 183. Volksgrenadier-, 180. and 190. Infanteriedivision) to the Feldheer and 416. Infanteriedivision was stripped from the Eastern Front. All these divisions were assembled at Western Germany (reinforcements).
Despite Hitler’s intention Gen.Feldm. Model ordered the divisions should break contact with the enemy. While 85. Infanterie- and 2. Fallschirmjägerdvision in the 15. Armee (HQ near Lille) sector still hold Rouen, 84. and 324. Infanteriedivision moved eastward to the Channel coast. At 7. Armee (HW at Sedan) sector only three weak divisions hold Paris, the rest was spread to the rear partly protecting the Oise river.
Situation Seine sector End of September 1944
The six divisions of the army group slowly marched northwards with the rear-guard at Valence. After an “anabasis” from Tours (rail movement via Bordeaux and Nîmes with all available 5 RR points) AOK 1 with the remnants of two SS-Panzer divisions reached the vicinity of the Plateau of Langres (hex 2823) and was subordinated to the Heeresgruppe Gas as the extreme left flank.
Situation Southern France End of September 1944
(To be continued...)
- Last edited Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:49 pm (Total Number of Edits: 6)
- Posted Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:18 pm
Re: The Great Crusade Phase II (turn 11: Kitzinger-Linie broken)
- Last edited Mon Dec 7, 2009 6:57 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Dec 7, 2009 6:55 pm
Re: The Great Crusade Part II
Frank, thank you for your nice words. And no excusion: I simply was lazy about writing...
01 October to 14 October 1944
BBC Weather Forecast: Cloudy, overcast weather will continue during the next fortnight.
Controlling the major port of Cherbourg made it much more easier to unload the tons of supply needed for the Allied forces in France (dr 5 yielded 2 support markers instead of 1 for controlling only beachheads). But still the Mediterranean ports are badly needed (controlling two major ports will give more support markers – and note: Toulon and Marseille count only as a half major port). U.S. 10th, and 11th Armored debarked at Northern France while 12th Armored Division landed at Marseille and directly reinforced the ground forces.
U.S. Sixth Army Group
At beginning of October French 4e Division Marocane de Montagne crossed the Rhône river and liberated Nîmes (FFL marker to 7th space), Montpellier and the small port of Séte (now the second controlled minor port – for controlling three minor ports there is a +1 drm for rolling support markers). Six Franco-American divisions (thereof three armoured) advanced along the Rhône river northward until reaching the German rear-guard (271. Infanteriedivision) at Valence.
Doomed 271st Division...
Despite great superiority (6:1 odds) the German division managed to escape with some losses (dr 5 yielded 0/1 with DTR of “DR2”). I French Corps under command of General Béthouart (5 DB, 1 FDL, U.S. 9th Armored) advanced (ATR of “E2” and Armoured Exploitation declaration) and clashed against the elite 9. Panzerdivision which defended the Isére crossings. After a short but brutal fight the Allies won luckily (dr 11 at 2:1 yielded a 1/2 with DTR of “DR2”) and the remnants (a two-step KG was drawn) of the divisions retreated to the north.
U.S. 6th Army Group after the running battles against German AOK 19
In a short time French dock workers and American engineers made the harbour of Marseille operational (dr 5 – 1 for Pluto distance >0).
British Twenty-first Army Group
According to COSSAC plans Field Marshal Montgomery gave directives to Canadian First Army for striking toward the Channel coast and thus isolating Reims (city terrain bonus was cancelled by OOS) which was defended by 58. Infanteriedivision and 2. Fallschirmjägerdivision.
After a bitter fight (dr 9 at 4:1 yielded a 1/2) the German defenders retreated from that city (DTR “DR2” - alas, grrr, I overlooked that city terrain reduced it to S [DR1 had be chosen]. Sorry!) the surviving Fallschirmjäger under Gen.d.FschTr. Ramcke reached Dieppe while the 58. Infanteriedivision was destroyed (no Elite bonus used!) during the combat.
British Second Army should move eastwards to eliminate the withdrawing German forces and flanking Paris northwards. War-worn German 198. Infanteriedivision (Gen.Maj. Schiel) which suffered significant losses in the combat against the Seine bridgehead last month defended stubbornly against the superiority of four divisions (dr 3 yielded 1/1 with ATR of “E” ignored because of terrain and DTR of “R” – no German division within 2 hexes and not adjacent to an enemy unit). In the difficult terrain (woods doubled defence strength) the German veteran soldier inflicted surprisingly many losses among the Canadians of the 2nd Infantry Division (because of elite bonus first step loss has to come from that division). Canadian First Army achieved to block the vital railroad Paris – Charleroi but because of the sacrifice of the 198. Inf.Div. it missed the golden opportunity to block the railroad Paris – Reims, too.
British Second Army and First U.S. Army end of October 1944
Canadian Second Army end of October 1944
U.S. Twelfth Army Group
U.S. First Army (12th AGr HQ was exchanged with 1 Army HQ for historical purposes) with XIX Corps (3rd and 6th Armored) and V Corps (French armoured 2 DB and U.S. 28th Infantry) attacked western parts Paris against the weak 325. Sicherungsdivision with great superiority (6:1 odds).
Nevertheless the G.I.s suffered sustainable losses in the streets of Paris (dr 10 yielded 1/3 with ART of “E3” reduced to E for city terrain) but there couldn’t be any doubts about the victory: the tanks of the French 2e Division de Blindée and General Leclerc were frenetically welcomed by the Parisiennes.
In the meanwhile U.S. Third Army (HQ placed to Orléans during HQ Arrival Phase) pushed forward south- and eastwards and caught 352. Infanteriedivision which was retreating along the Seine (hex 2717) and captured them after a short fight (dr 7 at 6:1 yielded 0/2 with ART of “E2”). 2nd and 5th Infantry Division advanced until reaching the outskirts of Paris (exploitation movement). Major-General Keen, commander of U.S. First Army, ordered an surprise attack (exploitation combat) against the weak German garrison of the southern parts of Paris.
Despite the river obstacles of the Seine and the Marne (attacker halved) and the good defender position (city doubled defender strength) the attacker overcame the 136. Division z.b.V. but suffered many casualties (dr 5 at 3:1 yielded 1/1). At 14 October two-third of Paris was under Allied control. Radio message from the Führehauptquartier to Gen.Ltn. von Choltitz, Kdr. Gen. u. WBef. Groß-Paris: "Brennt Paris?"
Third U.S. Army end of October 1944
General Simpson, commander of U.S. Ninth Army, issue was to conquer the minor port of St. Malo (the third one –for the benefits see above) and assembled several divisions in vicinity of Rennes.
New Ob.West, Gen.Feldm. Model, now realized that the official opinion of the military situation which was him presented by the OKW and the Führer was completely wrong. Only an immediate and full retreat to the western frontier of the Reich could save the day (movement restrictions of the dismissal turn are gone). Only after intensive and hot discussions with the Chef WFSt, Gen. Oberst Jodl, the Führer approved Model's retreat directives. The new Hauptkampflinie (HKL) should now be Antwerpen – Albert-Kanal – Maas – Mosel and then anchored on the Vogesen. The troops were commanded (from north to south) by WBef. Ndl (Gen.d. Fl. Christiansen, HQ at Hertogenbosch), 1. Fallschirmarmee (Gen.Oberst Student, HQ near Bonn) 7. Armee (Gen.d.PzTr. Brandenberger, HQ at Luxemburg) and 1. Armee (Gen.d.PzTr. v. Knobelsdorff, HQ at Straßburg).
There were two salients: the first was built by AOK 15 (Gen.d.Inf. v. Zangen) with 2. Fallschirmjäger-, 84., 326. and 331. Infanteriedivision and hold the Somme River line together with a Panzer-Kampfgruppe, thus protecting the vital V1 launch sites (each Allied controlled base reduce Hitler’s Approval by one space).
The other was the remnants of the Heeresgruppe G under control of AOK 19: several divisions built a loosely defence perimeter from Lyon via Dijon to Langres.
Gen.d.Inf. Wiese, commander of 19. Armee, desperately tried to link-up to the front at Belfort gap.
Situation Northern France October 31, 1944
Situation Southern France October 31, 1944
This is an absolutely stunning AAR, one of the best I've read that covers this long a game.