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  #21  
Old July 28th, 2010, 06:49 PM

Hermit Hermit is offline
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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

Upon arrival in Vietnam, we were given four Sherman Flails to assist in the assault, as well as four platoons of Mech engineers. They should help out alot with mine clearing. The Colonel decided to keep each battalion intact for this battle, and we've been moving steadily forward since the operation kicked off. As usual with the military, things started off late, and by the time we got rolling it was well past first light. Dawn is approaching and visibility is about 700 meters or so, not so different than what we expected to have. I wonder if it will help us or the enemy more to have the longer range of sight.

1st Bn is proceeding through the clearing chain as planned, with light resistance. So far our scouts have spotted two SKS anti-tank rocket launchers, two MMG's, and nine enemy squads (either before or after shooting at us). All have been destroyed by heavy return fire from our units. Enemy 60mm and 81mm mortars have been harrassing us, but no barrage has caught us dead-on so far. We've suffered a few casualties, but nothing serious. We'd heard that the VietMinh would bring artillery right up close to the front, but we were surprised how close they really mean. The defector Russian helos dropped a scout team in a small clearing near some smoke puffs about 1.5km from our first stopping point, and when they snuck to the edge of the woods, they spotted three 76mm field guns in sandbagged pits. Needless to say, they quickly called in support. Two snipers were infiltrated by helo, and after about 10 minutes, all the crews were killed without any response.

We've come across the enemy's first mine belt, and with our dozer's and engineers working without enemy interference have easily swept a clear path. We also stumbled across two enemy bunkers, one of which must have been used mostly for storage and as a bomb shelter, because the enemy had let trees and bushes grow up in front of it to such an extent that it had no field of fire after about 50 meters. They manned it up quickly when they saw our engineers filtering through the woods nearby, but a Sherman flame tank knocked it out easily from point-blank range. The 'zippo' also took on the bunker about 400 meters to the north, with similar results.

2nd Bn discoverd a small dirt road that the French said was used for logging in bygone days, so they are driving cautiously up that with heavy prep-fire from the divisional 105 batteries. They've only encountered one or two enemy units so far, although they've been hit with a steady rain of 60mm mortars. Keeping the Flails up front, screened by smoke from our barrage seems to be the best response. They are almost impervious to the small calibre enemy mortars, and the enemy's limited AT capability and the amount of suppression caused by our 105mm makes the risks minimal. They have just come across a heavily mined section of the road, so engineer and infantry teams following behind them have started fanning out to bypass the mines. Two more enemy squads were detected when they opened fire, and they will soon be the subject of retribution.
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  #22  
Old August 3rd, 2010, 06:01 PM

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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

1st Bn continued moving forward, using the clearings to leap-frog from one woodline to the next, until nearing the central objective. Then the battalion split into two sections, one turning sharply north to approach the northern objective and the other veering slightly south to take the Central objective. Both sections cautiously approached and captured the objectives with persistant creeping forward.

2nd Battalion infantry fanned out and secured the flanks of the main force. Divisional infantry, supported by the Flail and Pershing CS tanks took the objectives.

Lack of time has blunted this battle report, and it is entirely uninteresting. Besides closure, it is being written to point out that there were continuous counter-attacks by enemy infantry and SKS launchers until the VietMinh requested a cease-fire and withdrew from the battle (i.e., time ran out). After 2 & 1/2 hours of combat, we had finally succeeded. However it was not for lack of trying to recapture by the enemy. As they filtered back into their own territory, I was amazed at the number of enemy units still concealed in the large wooded areas that were advancing from their emplacements to reclaim the objectives.

Losses:
1 M19 40mm SPAA (crew survived)
3 Tanks immobilized
1 helo slightly damaged
2 trucks w/AAMG from division
2 divisional squads
several men from other units
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  #23  
Old August 5th, 2010, 03:56 PM

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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

After a few months of rest and refit, we have been called up to meet an aggressive thrust by the Russians into portions of occupied Germany. We are tasked with giving the Russkies a sound thrashing to remind them we will defend the Germans against Communist agression, and also to keep the cold war from getting any hotter.

The terrain is rolling hills with small pockets of woods. There is a paved road E-W across the southern portion of the map, and a NW-SE dirt road that intersects the paved road just past our objective areas. Both roads have bocage along most of their length (i.e., trees growing on rough terrain). The hills are about 30 meters high and there are some depressions and ravines in between, a few as much as 25 meters deep. There are many patches of broken ground dispered around the area.

Division has supplied 2 armored rifle companies, a few half-tracks & M75 boxcar APC's for taxis, ammo half-tracks, and limited air support. The battle plan is to move AT guns up to the hills overlooking the objectives and place them on broken patches, behind cover of smoke where necessary. These will be used to provide distractions for enemy fire, as well as take out some enemy armor. Main force tanks will stay in Bn groups and traverse the low ground between the hills to avoid being skylined and shot at, and take up positions to provide flanking fire as enemy units attempt to seize the objectives. Our own infantry will take the unusual risk of riding the main force tanks up to the expected encounter area and dismount under cover of terrain or smoke. Then they can provide scouting and screening services as the armor moves into better positions. Infantry support tanks will accompany the armored infantry companies from division as one proceeds through the wooded areas near the objectives to act as recon and targets, and the other will advance down the road, dismounting and using the bocage as cover as needed, to penetrate into the enemy rear.
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  #24  
Old August 16th, 2010, 06:19 PM

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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

After advancing relatively unopposed for about 15 minutes, both armored infantry companies from division ran into enemy mechanized formations and promptly put out smoke and dismounted. Most of the vehicles withdrew a good distance back to avoid the inevitable barrage of artillery. The bocage terrain makes great cover for our dismounted troops, but it is hell on vehicles, so it can also act as an impediment once the advance is stalled - it is much more difficult to flank the obstructing force.

The AT guns on the hilltop was a great plan to start with, but as soon as a larger number of enemy vehicles appeared, they became shell magnets. The Colonel called for smoke to screen a repositioning move to the flanks of the hill to keep them from becoming scrap metal. Only one artillery barrage of 122mm hit one of them before we had them all out of the way. While the guns could have remained hidden for longer and not drawn so much attention to themselves, they probably wouldn't have had much time to escape in that case. So although the kill numbers of enemy armor was disappointingly low, it served to slow the enemy advance slightly and also distract some of his artillery, so all-in-all we'll probaly try it again some time. We lost a 1/2-track in the process, but they knocked out 4 enemy tanks and 2 APC's so far. The enemy fire didn't manage to hit any of the guns themselves, but four crewman were put out of action by a near miss.

We discovered shortly after sighting the enemy's major force groups that they had fielded some new armor. I heard some of the intel guys calling them a T-54-3. Whatever they're called, they have a new 100mm gun and thick armor. A lot of our shots just bounced off their fronts. Southern battalion had to throw up a smoke-screen and dash behind the flank of a large hill to get better positions. It turned out to be a good move, as many of these behemoths accompanied by T-34's tried to come around our southern flank, over a rise on the edge of the battlefield. A steady pounding with artillery slowed and suppressed their movement, so that we were able to demolish 10 or 15 of them, a few at a time, as they rounded the hillside. Another group came down the road and through an open area straight toward the southern objective. We had little to oppose them besides artillery, and they are now in a position to threaten the infantry holding that area.

In the far north, six T-34's were spotted trying to flank in that direction. Four F-84 fighter-bombers have been asked to make some runs over them, and hopefully they'll be deterred before getting into our rear area.

Shortly after the engagement really began, the enemy called in an airstrike of its own on us. Two Yak-9's and two IL-10's came swooping down and laid into the southern group of main force tanks. One Patton and one taxi have been destroyed by rocket fire from the IL-10's. The Yak's picked on some infantry and a Patton, but both survived. One of the Yak's and one of the IL-10's were brought down, and both others were damaged. The IL-10's are tough SOB's, and doing enough damage to knock them outta the sky is very difficult. Fortunately, the Russian pilot was a glory hound and he came back for another pass. That time one of the M19 SPAA gave him a solid hit with it's twin 40's, and he never even pulled up from his intial dive. BOOM! Right into the ground. We all cheered as the fireball mushroomed into the sky.

In the center, main force tanks found little resistance and bypassed to the north the conflict around the road, as the enemy also apparently did to the south. Leading halftracks cleared the way and they were able to completely pass through adjacent terrain, unlike the enemy thrust that is being stalled by our infantry. In the undulating ground to the south of the road, fields of fire are short and unpredictable. While our infantry is taking a beating, it is still in most of its initial positions. Enemy armor is piling up and constantly suppressed by our artillery. Meanwhile, our tanks found an opening in the bocage, raced down the road to get behind the enemy thrust, and have just emerged again. They are circling around to the south and coming upon the enemy from behind. Three T-34's went up in smoke just a few moments ago, and it looks like the Russian center may collapse shortly, between artillery suppression, slightly effective recoilles rifle fire from the bocage into their flank, and our main force armor in their rear. We just need the infantry to hold out for another 10 minutes....
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  #25  
Old August 17th, 2010, 01:55 PM

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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

The situation hasn't changed much in terms of territory, but we're steadily eating into the enemy's superior number of armored units.

Down south, we knocked out three more enemy tanks, including another T-54-3, but had to abandon one of our own M45 Pershing CS tanks when it was immobilized in an open area, and two enemy tanks could easily get a bead on it. Two platoons of our infantry in a small wooded area to the south of the southern objective successfully ambushed two T-34's from the enemy's UNsuccessful flanking attack that were trying to maneuver around our armor and work their way north to the objective. The main force tanks in the south split up, with one section remaining in ambush behind the flank side of the hill, and the other section climbing up the face of the hill and remaining on the reverse slope to intercept enemy armor as it crested the hill after pushing through our infantry. Four enemy tanks fell prey to this manuever, three by our tank fire and one due to infantry assault.

The enemy's center has not yet collapsed, although we are continuing to apply heavy pressure. Things went bad for a moment when a juggernaut from the days of the last war rumbled out of the woods and pointed its big, ugly snout at us. A JSU-152 had somehow remained unobserved and caught the Bn A main force tanks in the open. They had stopped to take on more Sabot and HEAT ammo from supply vehicles behind a small rise before making the final plunge into the enemy's rear. The JSU was on the top of the hill to the SW of the re-supplying tanks and could see down over the rise. Six of our tanks were able to get rounds off, but none hit, even though they made deep furrows in the ground all around the beast. No one was really panicking since it was only one against ten after all. Besides, those huge smoothbore guns are notoriously inaccurate at long range, and it was about a kilometer away. But when the fire belched out of that gaping maw, you could almost see the huge shell arcing down towards us. Against all odds, it smacked right into the turret of Charlie 1. The force of the impact, and the huge blast that followed, tore the turret right off. Only two men climbed out of the smoking hull, very dazed. A squad of men standing nearby were knocked off their feet, and two of them didn't get up. With retribution on their minds, the other tankers let loose another volley, and JSU erupted in flames from several penetrations, despite its thick frontal armor. With renewed vigor, the crews revved up their machines to end the battle with a resounding crash into the enemy's exposed rear.
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  #26  
Old August 19th, 2010, 06:22 PM

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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

Enemy activity on the southern flank has petered out completely, with two last T-34's killed while trying to run past. All seven or eight enemy armored units near the southern objective area are in retreat, and we're hoping to give them a swift kick in the a** on their way out.

In the central area, we ceased our artillery barrage and pinned their units between our advancing infantry under smoke cover, and the main force tanks coming up from their rear. All three JSU-122's were destroyed when the attempted to come to the aid of the buttoned-down T-34's and IS-1944's. The enemy forces blocking the road have also suffered heavily and are trying to disengage. Four T-34's, two IS-1944's, and two T-54-3's were destroyed either by infantry assault or while trying to pull back.

On the northern front, the repositioned 100mm AT guns knocked out four enemy tanks as they made a last desparate push to get past our defenses in that area. The rest have decided that they really didn't want to have to learn German after all, and disappeared back into the woods.

On the very northern edge of the battle area, our flyboys made their appearance and hit those six T-34's with cannon and rocket fire like there was no tomorrow. Two were destroyed and two are retreating. The 40mm AA guns near the artillery park (which is the only thing left back there) have been told to keep their heads low, and not shoot "until they can see the whites of their eyes," in case any of the survivors head for the area. The SPA have been put on alert and told they may have to bug out on short notice under cover of their own smoke. The bad news is that a lucky shot from a tank MG managed to hit a vital area on one of our F-84's, and it spiraled to earth in a smoking corkscrew. We didn't see any chute open before impact, so we're guessing the pilot was hit. Some CO's going to be writing a letter home tonight.
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  #27  
Old August 19th, 2010, 06:59 PM

rainchild33082 rainchild33082 is offline
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Default Re: Long Generated Campaign US v Communist

This is by far one of the best AAR's i've read...and I keep checking back regularly for updates. Thank you for the hard work
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  #28  
Old August 23rd, 2010, 12:08 PM

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Thanks for the encouragement Rain. I think most of the other members are playing each other, which makes it hard to write these, since they'd be giving away their game strategy. I'm glad you enjoy my drivel.

Final report for this battle:

Friendly light attack helos have made scouting runs deep into enemy territory, locating and then avoiding enemy AA guns. Due to the mobile nature of this encounter, the enemy have not had time to make prepared positions, and the AA is easily suppressed or destroyed by friendly artillery. Since the rest of our force is either in rapid advance mode, or locked in close quarters "push them out" attacks, the arty isn't being used anywhere else, and all of it is available for AA suppression. After being supressed, the hunters become the hunted, and the helos have racked up quite a few AA gun markers for the sides of their fuselages.

Several more enemy tanks were destroyed in their chaotic flight from our advancing main force armor. A T-34 that had been hidden in the smoke around the intense infantry battle for the bocage (surrounding the road blockade) was taken out by an M19 SPAA which absolutely peppered it from the rear as it was fleeing. The entire enemy attack force seemes to be either already destroyed on on the run.

However, the helos spotted a counter-attack of a platoon of IS-1944's, a platoon of T-54-3's, a company of T-34's and a company of mechanized infantry driving west at high speed. They seemed headed for the road, so we set up two of the 90mm AT guns (my earlier assertion of 100mm was an error, due to my days with the Israeli units) in the bocage to either side of the road just were it formed a "Y." We also placed an infanry platoon around it for support. A battery of artillery was targetted about 600 farther down the road toward the enemy. Four Patton tanks hid in woods on either side of the road in case any enemy units broke out into the open country.

Three of the newly arrived enemy tanks were destroyed by the AT guns and infantry at point-blank range. Several smoking hulks of BTR-152 APC's also appeared during the 10 minute artillery barrage, or were dispatched by the waiting Pattons. The enemy counter-attack ground to a halt, and then the enemy literally ran off the battlefield.
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  #29  
Old August 24th, 2010, 01:14 PM

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It is now February 1953, and despite intensive peace talks, the Chinese have failed to make any firm commitment to ending the hostilities in Korea. To further encourage them to make progress, and some concessions, it has been decided at higher levels that we need to take some land away from them. It will probably be given back as part of the negotiations, but who are we to dispute orders? So, we have been assigned back to the Korean theater to assault some Chinese positions that have had plenty of opportunity to dig-in, and they have been generally resistant to polite requests to vacate the premises. There is a large town on the western side of the map, but the hills overlooking the town from the east are the real objectives, and we don't expect an attack on the town to be necessary. The area is, of course, blanketed with snow, although there don't appear to be too many drifts. It is sparsely wooded, although the trees have no leaves since it is the middle of winter, with many smaller villages dotting the landscape.

We have been shipped some of the new M42 Duster SPAA vehicles, which have the same basic weapon system as our M19's they'll be replacing, but more armor protection and quite a bit more ammo storage. I doubt we'll see many Chinese aircraft, but one never knows, and they'll be welcome improvements to our overall force effectiveness. They also swapped out two of our M45 Patton CS tanks in each battalion for the new M103 heavy tanks. They have a massive 120mm gun that can kill other tanks, instead of just infantry, and really thick frontal armor that will be useful for head-on attacks against infantry with light AT weapons, and older tanks. The problem with them is they have so little ammo, you practically have to chain an ammo supply vehicle to them. And they're also as slow as molasses, especially in snow country like this. They'll probably have to stick to the roads for the most part, but hopefully they'll prove useful.

Division has also sent up two armored infantry companies, and made several flights of F-84's available on call. They are armed with napalm bombs, which I've never seen used before, but I hear it's nasty stuff. M75 taxis are also being provided, as well as a few M3 half-tracks to tow the big AT guns. Finally, although not the least by far, division is sending up four Sherman Flail tanks to help clear the inevitable minefields, with two platoons of engineers for support. Despite our requests, no divisional artillery assets will be available. A follow up request was curtly rejected with a nod toward the sky, indicating that the clear weather ought to make the F-84's sufficient while division takes the opportunity to perform maintenance and re-supply on its big guns. Lucky us!
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  #30  
Old September 3rd, 2010, 09:21 AM

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The snow has made slow going, and as expected we've been forced to stick to the roads for the most part with the heavy tanks. The armored infantry companies have been sent out ahead as scouts to locate the enemy, accompanied by the engineers and divisional Sherman Flails to clear mines.

Matters have been complicated by the lack of medium caliber artillery. Using our own big guns leaves the terrain in ruins, and further slows progress, while the 60mm mortars on the half-tracks that are integral to the armored infantry companies aren't nearly effective enough against the entrenched enemy infantry. We'll have to update our tactics manual to be sure to bring some medium artillery on all assault missions from now on.

Scouting shows that the enemy has a large number of T-34's, and several JS tanks, many in blocking positions on the two roads. The large, rough-sloped hills also make ideal firing posts for the enemy. The only thing that appears helpful in this engagement is the limited visibility. An overcast and light snowfall has limited the range of sight to just less than a kilometer, about 900 meters I'd say.

After about an hour and a half of trudging forward, with some vicious firefights along the way, we're about 3/4 of the way to our objectives. Enemy resistance is increasing, and some of the enemy infantry has started moving forward out of their foxholes to get into better positions to block our progress. About 1/3 of the enemy troops have a new recoilles rifle that is quite dangerous. Although inaccurate past 200 meters, it is still a threat out to 300 meters, and forces our vehicles to standoff and suppress most of the time. It's made it much more difficult to dislodge the enemy infantry from their entrenchments, coupled with the lack of medium artillery support. Several M75 APC's have fallen prey to recoilless teams, which, unlike the infantry squads that also carry them, are almost impossible to spot until its too late. One of the Sherman Flames had both its MG's knocked out, and a Patton was immobilized, but so far our armor has avoided serious problems.

The M103's have been aquitting themselves very well. Although their ponderous bulk has made slow going, they have been able to ram through three enemy blocking positions with brute force. At more than 200 or 300 meters, the 85mm gun on the enemy T-34's is not able to penetrate their thick frontal armor, and their own 120mm gun is devastating to the enemy tanks as far away as they can be seen in this weather. As expected, ammo supply is a problem, but so far an effective tactic is to have them stop just short of exposing themselves, make an estimated range adjustment based upon scouting reports, then slowly roll forward to spot the enemy tank. Sometimes they take 4 or 5 hits from the enemy tanks that become visible, but one by one the 103's take them out. One of the 103's had its MG shot away, but other than that they are almost invulnerable at long range. Afterwards, the ammo vehicles come up and reload them while the engineers move forward to check/clear mines for the next surge.

While this tactic has been successful in minimizing casualties, the timetable has suffered badly, and division is now pressing the Colonel about his ability to seize the objectives as planned...
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