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  #1  
Old May 3rd, 2018, 10:35 AM
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Default Vistula crossing

In this scenario, the Poles decide to counterattack. 34th Armored Cavalry Brigade of the 11th Armored Division has the mission of crossing the Vistula River and to engage the advancing Russian forces. Some elements of the 4th US heavy BCT will assist the Polish forces by deploying bridges to make the river crossing successful.

The US engineers deploy 3 bridges to the north near the village of Grabowko. Polish engineers deploy one bridge to the southeast of Kozielec. Suddenly, Polish recon forces report that Russian and Belarusian forces advance to the west. This means that a massive meeting engagement is about to happen. If the Russians are successful in capturing allied bridging equipment, they will be able to immediately exploit towards the Oder River.

The battlefield is 160 hexes long and 200 hexes wide. The map below shows all Polish/US units in the start of the battle:



The units are:
1-The HQ of the 34th Armored Cavalry Brigade, based in the village of Grabovo

2-A pair of Mi-24 helicopters, waiting in reserve

3-Reconnaisance company units, equipped with BRDM-2 Zbik-A armored cars. These BRDMs have extremely good sensors, with up to 50 vision.

4-A tank company (3rd company/1st Tank Battalion) equipped with Leopard-2PL tanks, the best tanks we’ve got. These tanks will form the spearhead of our offensive operation. The rest of the battalion will arrive at around turn 9-10

5-The 1st Company of the 2nd Tank Battalion. This units is equipped with older T-72M1 tanks. Good maneuvering and flanking shots will be used if this units encounter more modern Russian tanks.

6-The 2nd Company of the 2nd Tank battalion. The third company of this unit will arrive on turn 4.

7-A SP artillery battalion, equipped with 2S1 Gvozdik 122mm guns. As in the previous battle, these guns will used shoot and scoot a lot to avoid the deadly Russian counterbattery fire.

8-A ZSU-23-MP Biala SPAAG platoon. One more is planned to come as reinforcements at turn 11.

9-A Hibneryt-P SPAAG platoon. These are simple trucks with a ZU-23 AA gun on top, thus of little use against fast aircraft. They can be useful as fire support vehicles though.

10-A US combat engineer company. They just created the three bridges to the north. They are supported by an M-1A2 SEP V1 platoon.

11-A Grom SF platoon. Their main mission will be to scout behind enemy lines.

In addition to the forces above, more forces are to arrive as reinforcements:
-A BMP-1 equipped mechanized infantry battalion at turn 11.
-A Rosomak equipped motorized battalion at turn 5.
-There are also Polish F-16s and US F-35s as air support.

According to Intel, the southern flank of the Russian force is covered by a Belarusian brigade, possibly motor rifle. They have inferior equipment to Russians and are less motivated. In addition to that, they are deployed in the map faster than the Russians. The Russian force, mostly a tank regiment, will arrive to the north of the map.

With this in mind, I plan to defeat in detail the two forces. The southern force (the two T72 tank companies, the two recon platoons, supported by the artillery battalion and the two Mi-24s) will advance to contact to the SE corner of the map. Their mission is to find the Belarusian force and eliminate it. If they are successful, we will only have to fight the Russian force when it arrives. Speed and shock is of the essence here, a mission suited to tank units. To the north, the force will slowly expand, but will not be very aggressive in case they find strong enemy forces, at least not until we get reinforcements.

The scenario’s victory conditions are:
-Destroy the Russian force, gain a foothold to the east of the river and have at least two bridges operational for a decisive victory.
-As of above but without having crossed the river in force for a victory.
-If neither force has managed to cross the river in force and there is only one bridge left intact the result is a draw.
-If I am unable to cross and no bridge is intact OR if Russian forces cross the river in force with no bridges intact, result is a defeat.
-With bridges intact, the Russians to the western side in force and my force destroyed, result is a decisive defeat.

In addition to the above, I must have less than 35000 points worth of casualties, otherwise the result will be 2 points lower than above (I guess that means that for example if I manage to secure a DV with the above points but suffer more than 35K damage, result will be a draw).
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Old May 3rd, 2018, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: Vistula crossing

Turns 1-5



To the north, the US engineer company moves forward to secure Kokocko. They come under artillery fire at (1), which is ineffective. The US tank platoon splits into two sections. The first, moves towards a ridge at position (2). From there, they spot and destroy two Russian BRM-3 recon vehicles at (3). The other tank section, screened by Polish recon vehicles advances towards (4). The Leo-2 company moves towards the bridges (5) and prepares to cross the river.

I split the SF platoon into two parts (see 6). Each part will try to scout as many high value targets as possible. The northern part has a heavy sniper, so valuable soft skinned vehicles can also be knocked out by him.

To the south, my helicopter flight moves at (7). During its travel, it comes under SAM fire from OSAs, around positions (10) and (11). My artillery fires counter-SAM missions and relocates as can be seen on the map to avoid potential CB fire.

My recon units to the south advance as far as positions (8) and (9) in the villages of Czarze and Dzin Dolny respectively. The platoon at (9) encounters Belarusian forces: two T-72B1 tank platoons, one motor rifle platoon and one recon section and there are probably more forces to come through that direction. My Hinds use their missiles and knock out two T-72s, one BMP-2 and two BRDMs. Scouts also mobilility kill another T-72 with an RPG shot. However, their position is precarious, so they slowly withdraw, keeping eyes on the enemy force.

My T-72 companies go full gear and cross the bridge. Their goal is to engage the Belarusian force spotted to the south as fast as possible. The third T-72 company arrives at (12).

So, first shots have been fired, first blood spilled. My forces haven’t got any losses yet, but they are sure to come. For now, the plan goes smoothly though…
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Old May 3rd, 2018, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Vistula crossing

Turns 6-10



The small team of 2 Abrams and Polish scouts at (1) advances until it gets fired upon by BMP-3 Kornet tank destroyers at (2). One Abrams is knocked out. Polish F-16s appear in the sky and neutralize the threat. The other Recon/Abrams team moves up to (3) and engages a couple of light recon, eliminating them.

The Leopard company moves south to help the T-72 battalion in its battle to the south. I want to eliminate that threat as fast as possible, thus I am willing to use my best tanks to ensure victory. At (4) the lead Leopard is engaged by another BMP-3 Kornet at (5). My tanks fire upon the threat ineffectively, then retreat into cover. My F-16s destroy that target as well. The Leos move south where they are about to engage Belarusian forces moving north as seen in (6).

To the south, Belarusians manage to eliminate the Recon platoon in Gzin Dolny and move west. My air force strikes the Belarusian forces, destroying a mech company equivalent, as well as two T-72s in (7). At (8), the two tank forces meet each other in Czarze. The engagement can be better described as a knife fight, since tanks fight each other at a maximum of 400 meters, with most engagements happening at 100 meters or less. By turn 10, Belarusians lose 11 T-72B1s, while the Poles lose 2 T-72M1s. Poles also maneuver to the south at (9) to outflank their enemy. Their tanks are fired upon by BMP-2s at (10), but artillery strikes and tank fire wipe the latter out.

Poles receive more reinforcements. In addition to the F-16s mentioned above, they also receive a motorized battalion of Rosomak IFVs (wheeled, thermal imaging, 30mm cannon and Spike ATGMs. What more can I ask?) marked as (11), as well as the rest of the Leopard battalion marked as (12). The latter will advance to the north and get ready for any potential Russian appearance. The motorized battalion will support the T-72s south.
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Old May 5th, 2018, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Vistula crossing

Turns 11-15



This is the moment the Russian force makes its appearance and changes the balance of power drastically. 3 T80UD battalions and one BMP-2 battalion, several Tunguska and Tor-M1 AA vehicles and MSTA self propelled artillery flood the battlefield. They manage to find the northern part of the SF platoon and wipe it out. In addition to that, the trade shots with the US tank platoon and destroy 2 more tanks. The only US tank alive by turn 15 is in position (1) and manages to kill several vehicles with flanking shots.

Some T80s dash to the west and they arrive 700 meters east of the US bridges. The situation is critical. US engineers engage the tank platoon at (2) and the rest of the Leopard battalion crosses the bridges in a hurry. A brief tank duel leaves one T80 burning. In addition to the Leopards, BMP-1s also run for the bridges to cross to the other side and help with the defense of the area.

In the center, the T80 battalion catches the Leopard company that has crossed the bridges by surprise. BY turn 15, the majority of the company is knocked out with only two platoons remaining. The latter take defensive positions around the area trying to defend. (3) shows current and former positions of the company.
To the south, the T-72 battalion, supported by the Rosomak battalion slowly clear the area (4) of Belarusian forces. By turn 15, the latter have lost almost all of their vehicles and only some dismounted infantry remain. A SP Konkurs tank destroyer platoon positioned to the hill at (5) manage to delay the tank advance, knocking out several T-72s. A combination of tank and 122mm artillery fire eliminate this threat. The tanks soon come under fire from advancing T-80s and their advance halts. However, some forces composed of two T-72 tank companies and one Rosomak company attempt to make a wide flanking maneuver to the south at (6). Their objective is to get past Russian forces and hit the enemy artillery and anti-air defense parks to the Russian rear at (7).

The arrival of the Russian force has made things much more difficult. I cannot advance easily any more, not until I get the majority of my forces to the other side of the river at least. In addition to that, to the south my T-72s cannot go toe to toe with the T-80s. Therefore, my plan now is to cross as many tank and motor infantry units and defend around the bridgeheads. The only offensive operation until I neutralize the threat will be the flanking maneuver to the south that I mentioned before.

So far, I lost 3 Abrams, 8 Leopard-2s and 11 T-72s. The Belarusian force has lost all of its offensive capability, since I don’t see any more vehicles, just dismounts, and the Russians lost 14 T-80s and several other vehicles (mostly BRDMs). The Russia air defense has shot down 6 of my F-16s and one of my Hinds. With my air force gutted and casualties not in my favor, things will get interesting…
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Old May 7th, 2018, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Vistula crossing

Turns 16-20

These turns are the most combat intense so far. Huge tank battles, aircraft striking their targets, terrifying artillery barrages…everything is on the menu.



Polish armored forces move towards Kokocko at (1). Russian forces move towards the same objective and towards the centre at (2). The battle is fierce, up close and personal, with serious losses for both sides, but in the end the only platoon sized forces visible to me are two T80 platoons and one motor rifle platoon. There are definitely more forces behind, but the initial attack has been blunted by accurate fire by the Leos that were frantically firing at both T80s moving towards (1) and (2). Russians fight back with T80s and their air force that appeared in the skies. They cause significant damage to the Poles at the cost of 2 MiG-29s shot down.

Russian helicopters also make it to the battlefield. I count 2 Hinds and 2 Ka-52s. My SAMs get into work. OSAs, ZSU-23s and other AA fire at the helicopters. One Hind is shot down, the other retreats. The Ka-50s are more survivable, and they manage to advance to (3), where they cause significant casualties to my forces. One Ka-50 is hit by a Grom missile and withdraws, while I get lucky with the other and I hit it with a Spike ATGM from (4), shooting it down. More than 600 points down the drain, these are excellent news!

Russian tank forces also move towards Debowiec. They engage the last Leopard platoon in the area (5) at close range and finally eliminate it with heavy casualties. They also get engaged by the Spike ATGMs I’ve deployed at (4) and their advance slows down.

To the south, Polish forces are on the receiving end of the dreadful Russian artillery. 300mm cluster munitions fall at (6), and destroy 3 T-72s, a platoon of dismounted infantry and 2 Rosomak IFVs. The survivors are forced to retreat to Czarze, where together with reinforcements from the western side of the river, try to establish a defense of the city. Coming at them, at least a company of T-80s, a fearsome opponent. The Polish forces in the area are also bombarded by Russian aircraft and more casualties are being suffered.

To the very south, T72s find and engage an immobilized Belarusian T72B1 at (7). They destroy it with one T72 lost as well. They then turn towards the west, to reinforce the defenders of Czarze even more. The forces that attempt the flanking maneuver are being attacked by Russian aircraft at the little forest at (8) and lose two T-72s and one Rosomak IFV, but the push on. At turn 20, they find Belarusian 120mm SP mortars at (9), and are ready to destroy them the next turn.

Russians also use their PAK FA aircraft in SEAD role, probably the first ever operational. They annihilate the OSA platoon at (10) and I lose my most valuable AA system. I also have two F-35s that I also use on a SEAD role, but the Russians manage to shoot one down with a lucky TOR-M1 missile hit. The other knocks down one Tunguska and one Belarusian OSA. Not an even exchange. I also have a significant amount of F-15s and A-10s, but unless I manage to knock down the majority of SAMS with my flanking maneuver, I probably won’t use them as it is too risky.

So, things have slightly improved. I managed to knock out several enemy tanks, but at a heavy cost. Total number of tanks lost is 18 Leopards, all 4 Abrams and 24 T-72 M1s for my forces and I estimate I destroyed 25 T-72B1s for the Belarusians and around 53 Russian T-80UDs. Things are still in the balance and I need to counterattack and retake some lsot ground, otherwise there is the danger of having more than 35K points lost by the end of the game.
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Old May 9th, 2018, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: Vistula crossing

Turns 21-31



Combat intensity starts to lessen, thus I played more turns than usual. To the north, after heavy fighting and aided by copious use of rocket artillery, my mech infantry and tanks slowly clear Kokocko from enemy presence. Only a few demoralized, isolated and immobilized T-80s stand in my way, in positions marked as (1).

Russians have pushed in the center into two major axis. Axis (2) has managed to withstand Polish tank fire, but has fallen victim to US air strikes. 2 F-15Es and 6 A-10s have bombed and strafed the Russian units until they were effectively destroyed and the Russian APCs have been pulverized by accurate Leopard HEAT rounds. In Axis (3), a T-80 platoon pushed north until it was destroyed by accurate tank fire from position (4). The Polish tanks started to cross the river forward after this engagement.

To the south at Czarze, Russian armor makes two attacks. The one at (5) moves through urban terrain where it battles Polish infantry and T-72s lying in ambush. All Russian tanks are knocked down by the Polish defenders at a heavy price. The attack at (6) is also blunted by a high volume of Spike ATGM fire from positions at (7) and artillery. Poles make a counterattack with the remaining T-72 tank company and a mech platoon and finish of any remaining tanks. The road is clear to reclaim any objectives in the south.

To the east, the flanking element advance, destroying any remaining Belarusian mortar carrier they see. They move to (8), where they engage the Russian MSTA SP artillery pieces. The latter prove to be a difficult opponent for the Rosomak IFV, and thus the T-72s move forward to finish the job. A combination of tank and artillery fire, destroys a large number of MSTAs and forces the survivors to withdraw. The flanking element links up with the SF survivors and proceeds to occupy Bloto at (9).

At turn 31, things seem to be hugely in my favor. There are some T-80s here and there, but Russian morale seems to plummet, thus I can advance with greater ease than before. I have high hopes that this game will end with a decisive victory for me. We’ll see…
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Old May 9th, 2018, 07:17 AM
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Default Re: Vistula crossing

Turns 32-36 (end)

The last turns are just mopping operations and capturing the last remaining objective flags. The game ends as follows:



For the allies, Poles lost 534 men, while Americans lost 81 men. For the ex-USSR side, Belarusian lost 787 men, Russians lost 764 men.

Equipment losses for both sides are massive, as the above score suggests:

Polish/American
58 tanks (in particular 4 M1A2 SEP V1 Abrams, 23 Leopard-2PL, 31 T-72M1s)
12 BMP-1s
19 Rosomak IFVs
1 MT-LBu FO vehicle
9 BRDM recon vehicles
5 Spike ATGM dismounted teams
1 SP Artillery
4 SPAAGs
3 OSA-AK SAM vehicles
1 Mi-24 attack helicopter
7 fixed wing aircraft (6 Polish F-16, one American F-35)
1 UAV

Russian/Belarusian
123 tanks (34 T-72B1s, 89 T-80UDs)
11 BRDM-2
1 BRM-1 Rys
97 BMP-2
1 FO APC
8 MT-LB APCs
4 BMP-3 Kornet tank destroyers
8 BRDM-2 Konkurs tank destroyers
6 SP Artillery
9 SP Mortars
6 Tunguska SPAAGs
6 Tor-M1 SAM vehicles
4 OSA SAM vehicles
2 attack helicopters (one Hind, one Ka-50)
3 fixed wing aircraft (MiG-29 SM)

Final dispositions are:



From the above map is it clear that I have achieved a decisive victory. Russia/Belarusian presence in the map is restricted to 3 SP artillery platoons and some stragglers in the middle of the map, therefore they are effectively destroyed. I have crossed the equivalent of approximately 30 platoons to the eastern side of the river and I didn’t lose a single bridge. These are more than enough for what the scenario designer set as DV conditions.

Things looked great at the beginning, since I managed to cross the river quickly and give the Belarusian brigade a bloody nose. However, despite my best efforts, I could not destroy them fast enough before the Russian force arrived. When that happened, I could not stay at the offensive any more, and I tried to put my tanks in the best possible positions to get good shots at the advancing Russian armor (one thing that I didn’t realize until turn 18 or so is that the Leopards in this scenario have inferior ammunition than usual, their Sabot rounds doing 70 something of penetration meaning they were incapable of defeating the tough armor of the T-80UD from the front, only from flanking shots). Despite changing my stance to defensive, I did retain some offensive capability with the southern flanking maneuver that neutralized much of the enemy’s fire support capability.

Once in the defensive, my tanks did a great job at eliminating Russian armor, since I had good fields of fire overlooking their advances in the centre, the northern town of Kokocko and Czarzy to the south. Inside the cities, infantry and armor worked together to destroy the enemy tanks while the rocket artillery and regular artillery were critical in keeping the Russian infantry at bay and lowering the overall morale. In the open, my Leopards to the north, managed to kill a significant amount of enemy armor thanks to the fact that they could hit their more vulnerable right side. Victory was not achieved without significant losses however, and in fact the 3rd company of the Leopard battalion (the one that crossed the river first and advanced towards the center) was completely annihilated without a single Leopard surviving. In Czarzy Spike ATGMs were also successful against Russian T80s, mainly because they found a relatively small number of them and overcame their defenses through shooting a lot of missiles. Finally the air force was relatively successful. The Polish F-16s had no trouble penetrating the defense of the Belarusian Brigade, but when Russians appeared, they left the battlefield with heavy losses. Americans were more successful then, and F-35s conducted SEAD strikes successfully, with F-15Es and A-10s mainly in the role of CAS. Russian air force was more successful in general, but had little impact on the outcome of the battle. Artillery support was good for both sides.

This was an astounding allied victory that paves the way for a determined counterattack by the 11th armored division of the Polish army. Next scenario in the series is the Hammer and Anvil scenario.
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Old May 9th, 2018, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Vistula crossing

I am increasingly wishing to make scenarios for those AARs alone. They are so good!
Well fought!

I just wodner what happened with the last patch. I could swear that original scenario included modern munitions for Leopard 2PL since Poland has it - should be 120mm "Mesko" with 82cm RHA after the new patch. Probably an error during the update?
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Old May 10th, 2018, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Vistula crossing

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaS TrooP View Post
I am increasingly wishing to make scenarios for those AARs alone. They are so good!
Well fought!

I just wodner what happened with the last patch. I could swear that original scenario included modern munitions for Leopard 2PL since Poland has it - should be 120mm "Mesko" with 82cm RHA after the new patch. Probably an error during the update?

Thank you very much! Although the credit should go to you as well, since it is because I like your scenarios that I decided to make such detailed AARs. And more scenarios of that caliber are most welcome!

Regarding the Leos gun, I realized that when I saw that I couldn't penetrate the front hull or turret of a T-80UD, even at point blank range (when I should be able to at least penetrate the hull). The Leos in this scenario are equipped with the L44 firing West German 1987 ammo. They have a Sabot round with a penetration of 70 and a HEAT with a penetration of 60. That is true only for the Leos of the scenario however. If you go to the unit's info, you say that they should be equipped with the Mesko gun indeed with the 82 AP. I actually thought that you intentionally changed the gun so as to give worse ammunition that usual, possibly to make the scenario even more challenging. Maybe you gave Leo-2A4s to the Poles at first and then changed the unit? If that happen then maybe for some strange reason they kept their gun but nothing else.
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Old May 10th, 2018, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Vistula crossing

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaS TrooP View Post

I just wodner what happened with the last patch. I could swear that original scenario included modern munitions for Leopard 2PL since Poland has it - should be 120mm "Mesko" with 82cm RHA after the new patch. Probably an error during the update?



users of weapon ID 91 120mm Mesko:
026 - Leopard 2A5 - uClass 013 : slot 1 - Available 05/115 to 12/125
031 - Leopard 2PL - uClass 013 : slot 1 - Available 01/119 to 12/125
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