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Subject: Haarlem invasion rss

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Colin Raitt
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June 1
6th airborne was shot to pieces as it came down on Haarlem. 1st and 82nd had an easier job but still took losses.


On the western beach British air support was driven off by plentiful flak but naval gunfire, commandoes and Hobart’s funnies shifted the odds to 6:1 +3. The defences were overwhelmed in the first round.

In the centre I prayed in vain for a festung. For once my bunkers were deep enough to withstand naval gunfire and my flak was working well but he was aided by rangers and DD Shermans. 16th Luftwaffe took a hit and retreated eastwards.*

The eastern beach had only 1 assaulting division but the navy and army air corps got stuck in. My militia had no partisans to fight and the festung could only have helped in Haarlem. 16th Luftwaffe was pushed out again but at least the 83rd was reduced too. Pluto marked south-east of Dordrecht.

18Luftwaffe and Leibstandarte SS Pz react immediately moving into Niederland army zone. This is the only army free to move until the allied deception plan is rumbled. Unfortuneately lowly Niederland started with just 3 weak infantry divisions. Rotterdam and Amsterdam are fortified. Leibstandarte, 6th Fjallschirmjaeger and 363rd move to Utrecht astride the only road to the south. Flooded farmland makes excellent defensive terrain.

Jodl called. Speaking for the Fuhrer he demands an immediate counterattack, no retreats, no more cities are to be surrendered, especially not major ports.


June 2
The Brits take Rotterdam** whilst the Americans weakened Amsterdam. The US 83rd, British 50th and 49th divisions all seem to be out of supply because of major rivers between them and their HQ which isn’t in pontoon mode. Wish I’d noticed at the time.

A veil is lifted from Hitler’s eyes, 1st, 7th and 15th armies join the fray.*** My only support chit fuels strategic movement but the reinforcements will take another turn to reach the front. Hitler threatens dismissal but I just can’t mount any serious attack yet.


June 3
Amsterdam is liberated and the woods near Utrecht cleared by Yanks. Utrecht itself withstands a drive by the British. An engineer makes Rotterdam operational, 50th division clears the estuary. The allies have at least a draw with 3 major Dutch cities and a major port.

5 panzers strike back on either side of Utrecht which gain some success. I left a gap in my line but only the big red 1 can cross the Ijssel. Utrecht itself is fully manned with 3 fresh infantry divisions. Hitler wrathful.


July 1
Montgomery carpet bombs Utrecht causing losses to my good infantry there but can’t capture it.. The Americans try to advance along the Ijssel Meer with little luck. A second engineer repairs the docks in Amsterdam.
I attack with massed panzers again re-crossing the Ijssel. The reduced 719th is left as a sacrificial lamb to absorb the first fury of the allies’ next strike. Reinforcements stack up behind the front for both sides. Fresh divisions are fed into Utrecht which is bound to be targeted. Hitler issuing directives.


July 2
The allies overlap tactical air and corps artillery around Utrecht and the polder to its south and they cause some damage but still can’t actually take the city. I sent the panzers forward again and fed my best infantry into Utrecht which is becoming a little like Verdun. Hitler councils me.


July 3
Allies combine air support, corps and self-propelled artillery.**** Still Utrecht holds though it loses 4 steps and 2nd fallschirmjaeger burns out completely trying to avert a retreat. In open country my army would be ripped to shreds and tossed around. Only the terrain lets me stand in the face of all that fire power.

The panzer divisions are looking a bit worn but follow orders and drive forward. Hitler approves and my replacements increase. I made a few arrangements against a landing around Calais and Antwerp and suddenly remember I can move troops by rail. I empty the strategic reserve of the 1 panzer division in it.


August 1
Jon chooses Groningen as the site for the second landing. He hoped to take a major German city. 1½ airborne divisions are destroyed as they try to land on beach-city. 4 infantry divisions land amphibiously quite safely with massed air and naval support against a weak beach defence. They need 2 HQs as they are a mix of US and UK forces.

With only an air support the battle around Utrecht remains a stalemate.

We realised we had both missed 3 turns of reinforcements. This didn't matter too much except Jon missed out on General Patton. I free up 2 panzers to face off the second landings and draw reinforcements from 19th army. I abandon France for the extra replacement. Jodl calls expressing Hitlers anger, reducing my replacements and supports but I will get it all back eventually.


We called a halt at 1:15pm as the situation was stalemated at a draw.

Landing at Haarlem gives the allies the maximum amount of D-Day markers against green and orange beaches. Haarlem itself is the only northern port not to have a red beach (except La Rochelle but only 2 divisions can land there). The front is very restricted, marsh with major rivers is much worse than bocage for the attacker. I would recommend surrounding Utrecht before trying to take it. Pontoons at Rotterdam across the Waal and North of Dordrecht across the Ijssel solve part of the supply problem. Operation fortitude, the allied deceit scheme collapses quickly so lots of German reinforcements are available. Once out of the polders the terrain gets much easier and Germany is within easy reach.

The allies can get a draw in scenario 2 by taking 3 Dutch cities and a major port. That looks fairly easy by turn 3 if they land at Haarlem. I couldn't see Germany driving them out of these because the allies are stronger and the terrain is so good for the defender. Taking Antwerp, Brussels, a major German city or moving 6 supplied divisions in Germany can be done if Utrecht is taken and gets the allies a victory.

The threat of the second invasion keeps the Germans on their toes. Unlike the first assault I can prepare for this one. Of course I dare not take too much from the Netherlands front. It could be aimed at 3 U-boat pens, 5 V1 ramps, Antwerp, Paris or Brussels. The allies maybe should have rebuilt more airborne and kept more armour in the England box from turn 5 rather than stacking them up in the Netherlands. I had spare infantry but in the wrong places. Germany can rail 4 infantry or 2 panzer reinforcements a turn to the 2nd landing zone. I left most of my HQs close to their start points. 2 HQs were more than enough in the Netherlands. 2 weak infantry in St Nazaire, Lorient, Brest, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Abbeville, Calais, Dunkuerque and Brugge ought to suffice.

I really enjoy contemplating tricky problems with lots of variables to juggle and many possible solutions to be sifted.
Poll
Initial invasion at Haarlem. Which zone to make the 2nd landing? May choose 2 adjacent zones.
Groningen
Zeeland
Calais
Dieppe
Bayeux
Cherbourg
Normandy west
St Malo
Brittany north
Brest
Lorient
Vannes
St Nazaire
Poitou north
Poitou south
La Rochelle
Biarritz
Sete
Marseille
Toulon
      6 answers
Poll created by polate


Thanks to Jon for a good game.


*Should have retreated towards supply source.
** A major port.
***Amounting to an extra 7 panzer 1, panzer grenadier and 49 infantry divisions.
**** Some battles started at 1:3 but were shifted 6 columns to 5:1
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Peter Veenstra
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Delft
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Carpet bombing Utrecht.. gulp
I've lived there for years..

Thankfully your historical counterparts decided to invade elsewhere..

Great AAR!

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Colin Raitt
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Sorry, I know its close to the bone.
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Peter Veenstra
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polate wrote:
Sorry, I know its close to the bone.


I live in Delft now.. thank god you bypassed that..

Oh.. and no invasion in Groningen.. I was born there.. soblue
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