Stockhausen 1987 - PART III The Battle

Desperado 21, Apache 21 possible armor on OBJ PACKERS. Can you get eyes on the woodline on the South side?

This is Desperado 21, Roger.  I am seeing disturbed earth, and... Wait one.  Incoming!

Duke 23, Apache 22 Immediate Suppression, TRP C1. Tanks and troops in the trees.  

This is Desperado 23, I am taking fire from the trees  on the north side of the Objective!  I am slant two, one zapped! 

So much for creative writing.  The game began with the reconnaissance phase.  The Soviets were arrayed in a reverse slope defense, with their recon elements on the forward hillside facing the most likely avenue of advance.  Their defensive stance gave them an advantage over the US Divisional Cavalry elements scouting ahead of the American brigade.  They managed to call down fire from their own Divisional Artillery Group and suppress the scouts leading the main effort.  A lucky shot from one of the Soviet Combat Reconnaissance Patrols (CRP) put a hard hit on one of the Recon helicopter sections sending them back past the starting line.  Not an auspicious opening for the American cavalry. 

Turn two saw the American fire support assets swing into action.  Two batteries of 8in howitzers were waiting to unleash some counter-battery fire and did not disappoint.  One battery of Soviet guns was disrupted, and another silenced completely.  The Americans managed to call in two flights of A-10s to provide some much needed Close Air Support (CAS).  One was driven off by the Soviet SAM threat, but the other was able to drive home the attack to disrupt another CRP. 

That same platoon came out badly from a gunfight with the American scouts to its front, and rapidly left the table. 

On the Northern Sector, TF 1-37 AR arrived on the table early to draw the Soviet attention away from the main effort.  Their scout platoon was able to identify a minefield and damage the Soviet Recon elements, but couldn't prevent them from spotting the US Armored Force.  

In turn three A/1-1 CAV continued their advance to the South and were joined by the Scout platoon from 2-37AR.  Soviet artillery fire slackened somewhat, but delivered the majority of its attention to 1-37AR on the North side.   The lead elements of that battalion took some minor hits, and proved unable to dislodge the Soviet scouts to their front. 

Turn Four saw the arrival of the US main effort (TF 2-37AR) along the road near Blankenau.  The Scouts were able to get some smoke missions fired to obscure the movement from some of the observers. 

On the North end, 1-37AR was able to clear some of the Soviet Scouts from the ridgeline and resume their push on Schadges.  

Turn Five saw the increased pressure on the lead cavalry starting to take a toll.  The American cohesion was barely keeping up with the Russian fire, and so the lead elements shifted to cover the Brigade Right.  The American main effort now filled the valley around  Blankenau, and the hard pressed Soviet recon started its movement back towards the main lines.  

To the North, TF 1-37 successfully spotted the Tank and Infantry battalions covering the road.  They were well positioned and dug in, so it would not be an easy fight. 

Turn six revealed the full extent of the Soviet defenses.  

The American commander committed every available tube to suppressing the defenders to allow his tanks to close on the objective.    Detonations erupted all along the road in the Soviet center. 

The first Hinds appeared to support the defenders as the American Cobras also returned to the battlefield.  Missiles erupted from both sides of the battle, and the skies were rapidly cleared .  

On the north side, accurate long range fires pushed  the central defenders backed and the tanks of 1-37AR advanced into the valley. 

By Turn 8 the Americans had crested the first ridge and were now entering the Soviet Fire Sacks.  

TF 1-37 concentrated their efforts on the tank company covering the road, while two more flights of A-10s came in to strike the 44th GTR's Tank battalion at the seam with  249th MRR. 
T-64s hit hard in the middle, while the A-10s line up their run. 

In a flash, half the depleted battalion disappears.  

Turn nine saw a substantial degradation of the defenders.  Few units were removed, but the forward defenders were starting to culminate.  The American commander was able to cycle fresh companies forward as the lead elements started to degrade.  

TF 1-37 followed up the CAS gun runs with an assault on the surviving defenders.   Losses were beginning to stack up for the US supporting force, but they were now fully committed. 

Turn 10 saw TF 2 37 streaming into the valley while pouting fire into Stockhausen proper.  

Concerned at the potential loss of his key position and the potential for encirclement, the 249th MRR's commander committed his reserve  (CAR)to defend his left flank.  This was the decisive moment from the American battle plan. 

With the emergence of the Soviet Combined Arms Reserve (CAR), the American commander called in the clans to destroy it.  Once again, two flights of A-10s responded.  The first was blotted from the sky, but a terrifyingly accurate pair of SAMs 

The surviving flight responded with an eerily identical set of  rolls, decimating the Russian reserve company before it was able to get into the fight.  
At this point the Americans were decisively engaged on the North end, and were preparing to overwhelm the Soviet defenders to the South.  The Soviet MRR commander put out a call for help and was informed that the Division reserve had just been released to assist him.  Two tank regiments from the 7th Guards Tank Regiment were moving South from Grossenluder, but would they make a difference?

One the North side, TF 1-37AR continued to trade fire with three separate Soviet battalions.  Both sides were losing troops fast as neither had the Cohesion dice to keep up with the damage being dished out.  

The American artillery fire switched to Smoke in preparation of the first breaching attempt as the lead American elements reached the main defensive belt. 

Both elements were now at the defensive belts and the Sappers of the 1/6th EN sprang into action.  Losses were heavy, but the breaching lanes were opened. 

Back on the North side, the Americans succeeded in breaching the Soviet obstacles which quickly caused a route of the surviving defenders.   US tanks were breaking through.  

Casualties were heavy to the South.  Elements from the 1-6IN now moved forward to fill the gaps and help carry the objective.  The AT Company occupied the woods commanding the view of the Grossenluder road.  

Just in time, as the first tanks from 7th GTR made their appearance. 

The surviving regimental artillery began pumping smoke onto the positions behind Stockhausen as the remains of three battalions fell back towards the trees. 

TF 1-37 was now firmly in control of the Northern flank and secured the road from a potential counterattack from the North. 

At this point I opted to wrap up the scenario.  The Americans had broken the 249th MRR, but lacked the strength to continue the offensive.  They were in a fairly good position to protect their gains, but would need assistance from their sister brigade to complete their drive on Fulda.  

The battle had progressed similarly to the outcome described on Mike's website, so I was fairly happy with the scenario design itself.   The 249th was essentially reduced to two depleted battalions and leaving the field covered in the remains of T-64s and BMPs.  The US had committed an over strength Brigade  with massive support from the Division and Corps assets to achieve their breakthrough.  I would expect the brigade commander to reorient his forces to prevent the 4th and 44th Tank Regiments from moving south, while the 1st Armored Division's 2nd brigade would be expected to break through the last of the 7th TR's reserve and then wreak havoc in the 11th Tank Divisions rear.  I'll  be interested to see what comes from D+17 in the CENTAG AOR as Mike's story nears it's climax.  Though the discussion switching to the use of more 'decisive' weapons tp correct the Soviet reverses of fortune, i may need to improve the CBRN rules for a follow up scenario.

The game provided a lot of fuel for thought on my 'D10' approach the battle as well as how to properly model artillery.  I will need to better organize my notes to provide a more comprehensive update in the future.  


Post a Comment