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Old October 11th, 2010, 03:57 PM

RERomine RERomine is offline
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Default DAR: Italy vs. GB - North Africa 6/40

Italy vs. GB

Mission: Delay, North Africa, 6/1940 - grouped objectives.

Enemy: Regiment Strength – 3-5 Tank Co, 5-7 Infantry Co, 5-7 Artillery Bn, plus ATG and AAA. Strike aircraft unlikely. Average force experience, ~75.

Terrain: Map = 100x100. This is a typical desert map, complete with wadis, soft sand, rough and some impassible terrain. The map appears to be plateau with the low ground the the south and the top in my deployment zone. Elevation ranges from a high of 40 to a low of 0, but the majority of the map is level 30. Criss crossing the map are wadis (bordered by rough terrain with rough or impassible bottoms) and simple gullies (earthen or sand slopes and bottoms). On the enemy half of the map and southern half of my side are where they are most prevalent. The wadis are located in such a way to create channels heading to the west and a barrier from the south with a few passes. Visibility = 88.

Troops: Brigade Strength – 3 Armor Co. (M11/39 type), 6 Infantry Co., 1 Support Co (4xHMG sec., 6x47mm ATGs, 4x65mm IGs, 4x82mm Mort. sec., 1xEng. Plt, 6xAAMG sec., 2xAutoblinda 40 ACs, 1xFO and 4xSupply Trucks plus trucks for transport).

From Support Points: 1xSpotter Plane, 4xLevel Bombers. Average force experience, ~65.

Notes: This is my second campaign battle with the Italians and there was no refit permitted after the first battle. Three tanks were destroyed in the first battle. In addition to that, I have one that took damage immobilizing it and have an additional four sand pillboxes; they got stuck in the sand in the last battle and are still immobilized in this battle even though they aren't damaged. Various infantry and machine gun units also have some carry over casualties as well. I took 70 casualties in that battle, but don't know if it counts tank crews.

Time: 41 Turns

Analysis

The terrain is very nice for a delay. Starting from the north edge, about 500m outside my deployment zone is a gully. It angles toward my deployment line and more or less meanders south once it gets there. This will make a very nice ad-hoc defensive position for my infantry. South of the objectives is a line of wadis that head east-west. It has only three gaps, each no more than 150m wide, that can easily be covered by my infantry. The enemy could try to move through these wadis, but progress would be very slow. This will allow a small number of infantry and guns adequately cover this southern flank.

Approaches from the east are varied. Gullies could be used to get close, but the AI won't use them. This means they will push through one or more of the four channels created by wadis to the east. All of these can be easily covered from the top of the plateau or various positions on my side of the deployment line.

Both sides have tanks that really are bad during this time of the war. Italian tanks are slow and have thin armor. At least they are better dealing with infantry, but I can't help but think the game has made the M11/39 tanks better than they really were. The only advantage the most British tanks have is speed. Their armor on most models are just as thin as on the Italian tanks. A major down side is they typically have one machine gun and the 2-pdr doesn't fire HE ammo, so aren't good at dealing with infantry. If Matilda II tanks show up, I will have problems since my guns won't be able to penetrate short of point blank. I had enough trouble killing three Matilda Is during the first battle. Should Matilda II tanks show up, I'll hit them with indirect fire. Immobilized is good.

One thing that is always a concern against the AI is its use of scads of artillery. I expect the same here. British 25-pdrs aren't really expensive and I found out in my last battle that they can kill my tanks. It wasn't really a surprise. My tanks will have to shoot and scoot a lot because they will draw artillery fire once their position is fixed. Life will be rough for my sand pillboxes, however.

Plan

My defense plan is pretty straight forward. The gully passing in the north half of my deployment line is going to be where I will position my infantry. Four of my Infantry companies will have to push forward to take up positions, but they should be able to make it. My northern most company (Foxtrot) will have to go the furthest.

From south to north, here is how my Infantry will deploy and any support they will have:

Foxtrot: East-west line in wadi south of south objective group. Three ATGs will deploy in this area as well.
Echo: North-south line north of Foxtrot, in gully. One platoon will be held in reserve for Alpha or Bravo.
Delta: North-south line north of Echo in gully. They might have to push forward slightly to get into the gully. Tank company XRay will deploy to their rear.
Charlie: North-south line north of Delta in gully. They will have to push forward about 250m to get into position. Tank company Yankee will deploy to their rear.
Bravo: North-south line north of Charlie in gully. They will have to push forward about 350m to get into position. Tank company Zulu will deploy to the rear of Echo and Foxtrot.
Alpha: North-south line north of Bravo in gully. They will have to push forward about 500m to get into position. Tank company Zulu will deploy to the rear of Echo and Foxtrot.
Support Co: The engineers, infantry, HMG and light mortar will push forward into a wadi forward of the main line where hopefully their special weapons will allow them to deal with some of the enemy armor.

Two infantry guns and the remaining ATGs will deploy on top of the plateau to the rear of the main line, supported by machine guns. Additional machine guns and infantry guns will deploy to the south between the plateau top and the wadi covered by Foxtrot.

Two armored cars are positioned along the south edge. If the enemy tries to push infantry laden trucks through without armor support, they will move out and cut them up.

Just a quick note. I am putting my USSR campaign on ice for a bit. Fighting the same type of battles over and over again gets a little old, so a change was in order. The Italians should present a bit of a challenge, because their armor isn't all that great. Their infantry, once their experience increases, will be as good as anyones.

Below is a screen print of my final deployment. The infantry positions are reversed in the diagram.
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Last edited by RERomine; October 11th, 2010 at 07:44 PM..
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