Germany vs. GB
Assault, Mersa Brega, North Africa, 12/1942 - grouped objectives.
Reinforced Battalion - 1-2 Armor Co., 2-3 Infantry Co., 4-6 Artillery Btry, plus ATG, AAA and air support. Average force experience, ~70.
Map = 100x100; rolling desert hills with terrain elevation ranging from zero to 30. Only two large elevation 30 hill are in the forward area of the enemy deployment area. One dominates the North third of the battle area and the other the center third. South third is mainly low ground with several small elevation 20 hills; limited soft sand and rough; visibility = 53; no roads; no logical axis of advance.
1 Armor Co. (PzKw IVg), 2 Infantry Co. (SS w/tracks), 11 Artillery Btry (On board, 9 tubes SPA, 24 tubes towed w/o transport, 6 Off board tubes), 2 Heavy Tank Pltn (PzKw VIe), 2 ATG btry. (75mm PAK 40 w/tracks)), 2 MG Pltn (MG42(2) w/tracks), 3 Eng. Cos. 2 Para. Cos w/2 FJ MG-42 sections, plus recon (including 1 spotter plane), AAA and ammo supply. Average force experience, ~90. It's not a historical force, but high command gave me a blank check and I used it
Time: 47 Turns
Being on the defensive, the enemy can be expected to use obstacles. Most typically, these consist of mine fields and wire. The enemy hasn't been known to use dragon's teeth or fire pits. Their main obstacle generally is a mine field running the length of their entire front. More limited lines (mines or wire) are forward of the main line with the objective of forcing any flanking force into their central engagement area. The enemy tends to place the limited lines on the FEBA (or deployment line in this case
), with the main mine belt 250-500m farther back. Sporadic mine fields can be expected beyond the main mine field belt, with frequency increasing around objectives.
Enemy infantry can be expected forward of and behind the main mine belt. Most will be behind the mines, but some will be forward to harass approaching engineers. Supporting the infantry will be crew served weapons, tanks and field guns. Additional defenses can be expected around the objectives. Field fortifications can be expected in these areas, positioned to mutually support each other and protect the flanks. These fortifications can be on the objectives or positioned to cover them. Enemy artillery can also be expected to be on (towed and SPA) and off board.
Defensive strategies of the enemy are to generally hold positions, with an occasional spoiling attack by armor in platoon strength. Well placed spoiling attacks can disrupt the timing of assault operations and plans need to be in place to deal with them.
The keys to the battlefield are the two large hills. They provide a clear of the engagement area and there is no way to approach the enemy defenses unseen. Well placed guns on the military crest will be able to engage targets within range with plunging fire making top hits possible. While there are three groups of victory hexes, two groups have centers 250m apart and can be treated as one. The single group (objective G1) is one the Northern most large hill (designated as hill 30-1), behind and Southeast of the crest. The remaining two groups (G2,G3) are approximately 1200m East Southeast of the Southern most large hill (designated as hill 30-2).
Since the large hills dominate the engagement area, they need to be bypassed or captured. Bypassing in this case isn't an option since objective G1 is on hill 30-1.
Assault forces will be divided up into four groups:
Breach Force: 2 Engineer companies (dismounted).
Para Force: 2 FJg companies, 2 FJg MG-42 sections.
Overwatch Force: 2 75mm ATG batteries, 2 Tiger platoons.
Maneuver Force: 1 PzKw IVg company, 2 SS Infantry companies (mounted), 1 Engineer company (mounted).
The basic plan is to target hill 30-1 initially. The Breach Force will breach the obstacles in two locations: due West of hill 30-1 and 500m North, roughly Northwest of hill 30-1. While the engineers are breaching the obstacles, the Para Force will drop in the enemy rear 1000m behind hill 30-1. The Breach force will objective is to capture hill 30-1 and objective G1 and the Para Force will advance Southwest to block any reinforcements from arriving from the South end of the enemy defensive positions. The Maneuver Force will circle behind hill 30-1 on the North side and push South to objectives G2 and G3. The Para Force will push forward at this point covering their left flank and the Breach Force will push forward covering their right. The Overwatch Force will push forward to provide as much overwatch as possible without crossing the main mine field belt.
To try to increase the success of the air drop, two scout units will be dropped early as pathfinders. It wouldn't do well to drop two airborne companies into the enemy's armor reserve position!!
Based on the information from this pathfinding mission, the drop zone could be hit by prep artillery fire, moved or the drop scrubbed. The drop will occur between turns 15-20 based on progress of the Breach Force.
Turn 1 - Pathfinder drop, scouts move out.
Turn 3 - Breach Force moves out.
Turn 9 - Overwatch Force - Tiges take positions.
Turn 12 - Breach Force reaches obstacles.
Turn 16 - Breach Force clears obstacles.
Turn 17 - Para Force inserted; Maneuver Force moves out.
Turn 25 - Maneuver Force links up with Para Force in rear of hill 30-1.
The Breach Force and scouts will deploy on the LD since they have to move out early. The Maneuver Force will deploy 1500m behind the LD to minimize casualties in from any enemy prep fire, if it occurs. Overwatch Force ATGs will deploy in best positions possible on or near LD, while Tigers will deploy 1500m back and move to overwatch positions later.
I've attached a map with my basic plan outlined on it. Enemy positions are speculative as the British didn't answer the memo asking about their disposition