Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Battle Reports & After Action Reports (AAR's)

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PeteMitchell_2
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Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:26 pm

Difficulty: Manstein and Limited (Dice Chess)

After having played Poland, Norway and France at Manstein level, I now also want to complete this mini-series of Battlefield Europe pre-Barbarossa scenarios: the Mediterranean scenario (incl. the Balkans and North Africa) is the last one prior to the big 99 turn Barbarossa scenario.

Although and as already briefly mentioned at the end of the France scenario, I actually doubt a DV can be achieved at this Mediterranean scenario at Manstein level, mainly due to the Battle of Crete/Operation Mercury, i.e. there are some conditions/restrictions (e.g. all European mainland victory objectives need to be captured before paras become available, naval transports are not available, etc.) plus some additional delaying mechanics (e.g. flying time to the island of Crete) that make a DV victory (IMHO) very hard if not actually impossible at Manstein level (and yes of course, a DV is possible at General level)… anyways, just to manage expectations for this one upfront! :mrgreen: :D

Scenario briefing:
BE_Turn_01_001_Scenario Briefing 1.jpg
BE_Turn_01_001_Scenario Briefing 1.jpg (61.81 KiB) Viewed 1254 times
BE_Turn_01_002_Scenario Briefing 2.jpg
BE_Turn_01_002_Scenario Briefing 2.jpg (20.7 KiB) Viewed 1254 times

Victory conditions:
BE_Turn_01_003_Victory Conditions.jpg
BE_Turn_01_003_Victory Conditions.jpg (9.72 KiB) Viewed 1254 times

As with my other BE AARs, I would again be very happy to read any comments or suggestions.

PeteMitchell_2
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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:16 pm

Turn 1 – 6 April 1941
Weather: clear and dry

Overall situation:
Without getting into the details of the complex and to some extent also interdependent historic Balkans Campaign and the Battle of Greece (incl. the preceding Greco-Italian War) as well as the North African Campaign (with focus on the Western Desert Campaign), I just want to mention that we have to capture the Balkans and mainland Greece before we can initiate the attack on Crete.

For this Operation Mercury, we will “only” have two Fallschirmjäger units and might have to bring additional (mountain) infantry to the island once Maleme Airfield has been seized.

In reality, the Balkans Campaign and the Battle of Greece were more or less completed once Crete had been occupied by 1 June 1941 (while Yugoslavia surrendered on 18 April and all of mainland Greece was already under Axis control by 30 April). So let’s see if we can get close to these dates (or at least the final date) somehow!

The North African campaign can be looked at separately for game play dynamics for the most part, although in reality the Brits had relocated troops from North Africa to Greece.

In North Africa, the main objective is to establish the Siege of Tobruk, i.e. after the Italian invasion of Egypt, the British Operation Compass to push back the Italians and the German Operation Sonnenblume to land troops in North Africa. In reality, the siege "began" on 10 April, although we won’t be able to match this date.

In addition to the Siege of Tobruk, we might be able to reach Halfaya Pass before the end of May 1941 as well (Operation Skorpion). However, it might also be interesting to note that the sequence of events in North Africa was less linear than in some other theaters/areas of operations, e.g. Fort Capuzzo (east of Tobruk) changed hands several times from 1940 to 1943.

Anyways, in reality, the Siege of Tobruk triggered three British/Allied relief attempts during the rest of 1941.

Furthermore, I expect initial Royal Air Force air operations over mainland Europe/Germany.

Regarding the five core units, I decided to bring the tank and the two fighters from France. I then added another fighter as well as a more mobile recon unit (instead of another tank or AT) to enable an earlier breakthrough into Greece... although I doubt the recon will survive very long… Not to mention, I am still (or again) short on prestige…

The strategic maps at the start of turn 1:
(right click and open in new tab for larger picture, same applies to all others)
BE_Turn_01_004_Strategic Map.jpg
BE_Turn_01_004_Strategic Map.jpg (162.33 KiB) Viewed 1235 times
BE_Turn_01_005_Strategic Map Air.jpg
BE_Turn_01_005_Strategic Map Air.jpg (160.25 KiB) Viewed 1235 times

Incoming casualties (from France):
BE_Turn_01_006_Incoming Casualties.jpg
BE_Turn_01_006_Incoming Casualties.jpg (47.01 KiB) Viewed 1235 times
Last edited by PeteMitchell_2 on Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:01 pm

Here are also three historic maps in case interested… more for completeness I guess:

Invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece:
Balkans Greece 1941.jpg
Balkans Greece 1941.jpg (175.01 KiB) Viewed 1227 times

Battle of Greece:
Battle of Greece.jpg
Battle of Greece.jpg (161.17 KiB) Viewed 1170 times

North Africa:
North Africa 1941.jpg
North Africa 1941.jpg (122.82 KiB) Viewed 1227 times
Last edited by PeteMitchell_2 on Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:10 pm

Western Europe:
After the occupation of the Low Countries and the majority of France, Western Europe is quiet at the start of the scenario. The Bf 109 E at Paris airport will be upgraded to F.
BE_Turn_01_007_Frankfurt.jpg
BE_Turn_01_007_Frankfurt.jpg (264.83 KiB) Viewed 1201 times

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:12 pm

The Balkans:
(Please note: as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia used nine provinces [or banates called banovinas] from 1929 to 1941 which are actually fairly hard to relate to today, I decided to just refer to Northern Balkans and Southern Balkans [which is not fully correct, as the Balkans is of course bigger than just Yugoslavia and Albania, e.g. the Balkan Mountains stretch until the Black Sea in the east of Bulgaria while the Balkan Peninsula includes Greece as well] or I might refer to today’s more commonly known regions and/or successor states of the former [Kingdom of] Yugoslavia. Neither is fully correct but for simplicity reasons I hope you don’t mind…)
The Balkans Regions.jpg
The Balkans Regions.jpg (137.89 KiB) Viewed 1200 times

Northern Balkans:
At the start of the scenario, Axis troops stand ready to invade the Northern Balkans from Italy, Austria and Hungary planning to converge on Zagreb and then to move on south towards Sarajevo and eventually Dubrovnik (please note: both cities are not covered on the screenshot).
BE_Turn_01_008_Zagreb.jpg
BE_Turn_01_008_Zagreb.jpg (270.16 KiB) Viewed 1200 times

Southern Balkans:
In the south, the main thrust will head to Pristina (Kosovo) quickly to then cross the Vardar River in Macedonia towards Northern Greece. The Greek Metaxas defensive line as well as the Greek troops in Albania will be ignored as much as possible. The Bulgarian troops in the east might support the attack on Belgrade from the south alongside German forces coming from Romania (which might actually have to cross the Danube River before attacking Belgrade from the south as well).
BE_Turn_01_009_Belgrade.jpg
BE_Turn_01_009_Belgrade.jpg (250.02 KiB) Viewed 1200 times

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:22 pm

Greece:
Thessaloniki and Athens are the main objectives in Greece.
BE_Turn_01_010_Athens.jpg
BE_Turn_01_010_Athens.jpg (241.22 KiB) Viewed 1193 times

Crete:
The island of Crete is expected to be protected by parts of the British Royal Navy while the Italian Regia Marina is not very strong (yet). Therefore, Operation Mercury will have to be the first mainly airborne invasion in military history. Nonetheless, the British Mediterranean Fleet may need to be destroyed (somehow?) and/or lured away from the island as its naval gunfire might be too strong for the German Fallschirmjäger.
BE_Turn_01_011_Heraklion.jpg
BE_Turn_01_011_Heraklion.jpg (202.4 KiB) Viewed 1193 times

North Africa:
In North Africa, we won’t be able to follow the historic events in great detail (e.g. directing troops to Derna and the east side of Tobruk in parallel). We will rather just try to take Benghazi, Derna and Fort Capuzzo in sequence while staying away from Tobruk’s fortifications and the British artillery unit. No major reinforcements/additions are planned for the Afrika Korps at this stage.
BE_Turn_01_012_Tobruk.jpg
BE_Turn_01_012_Tobruk.jpg (202.13 KiB) Viewed 1193 times

Please note: all subsequent photos/screenshots will usually be taken at the end of the completed Axis turn.

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by goose_2 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:31 pm

This does look daunting, look forward to the progress.
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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:41 pm

goose_2 wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:31 pm
This does look daunting, look forward to the progress.
Maybe a bit too long of an introduction but I wanted to give some context first... at General level, it is actually not that bad, maybe even easier than France...

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:47 pm

Northern Balkans:
At the end of Axis turn 1, Ljubljana has basically been cleared and Zagreb is already in reach. German tanks are planned to cross the Drava River from the north via the road coming from Graz in Austria.
BE_Turn_01_013_Ljubljana.jpg
BE_Turn_01_013_Ljubljana.jpg (289.03 KiB) Viewed 1182 times

Southern Balkans:
German troops coming from Romania are crossing the Danube River east of Belgrade since a direct attack on Belgrade airport had been considered too dangerous/risky.
BE_Turn_01_014_Belgrade.jpg
BE_Turn_01_014_Belgrade.jpg (249.34 KiB) Viewed 1182 times

German and Italian forces are about to encircle Pristina, the protecting artillery has already been eliminated.
BE_Turn_01_015_Pristina.jpg
BE_Turn_01_015_Pristina.jpg (288.14 KiB) Viewed 1182 times

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:48 pm

Towards the west, Italian land forces started to retreat from Albania (towards Pristina) while the small Italian Regia Marina is preparing the attack on the coastal town of Dubrovnik.
BE_Turn_01_016_Dubrovnik.jpg
BE_Turn_01_016_Dubrovnik.jpg (279.28 KiB) Viewed 1179 times

Greece:
German Luftwaffe fighter planes are attacking a Greek fighter plane close to Thessaloniki and also spotted British/Commonwealth forces at the Aliakmon Line fortifications north of the Pinios River.
BE_Turn_01_017_Thessaloniki.jpg
BE_Turn_01_017_Thessaloniki.jpg (289.39 KiB) Viewed 1179 times

North Africa:
In North Africa, Axis forces encircled British infantry forces south of Benghazi while the German recon tank discovered two British tanks to the northeast of their current position. It is expected that they will attack right away now…
BE_Turn_01_018_Benghazi.jpg
BE_Turn_01_018_Benghazi.jpg (261.42 KiB) Viewed 1179 times
Last edited by PeteMitchell_2 on Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by goose_2 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:51 pm

I just love how it keeps expanding in scope, every mission gets bigger and bigger greater in scope and feel.
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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:21 pm

Turn 2 – 9 April 1941
Weather: clear and dry

Western Europe:
The first Royal Airforce Bomber Command unit arrived at the shores of Western Europe close to Antwerp… let the dogfighting begin…
BE_Turn_02_019_Antwerp.jpg
BE_Turn_02_019_Antwerp.jpg (285 KiB) Viewed 1131 times

Northern Balkans:
Heavy fighting for Zagreb…
BE_Turn_02_020_Zagreb.jpg
BE_Turn_02_020_Zagreb.jpg (289.45 KiB) Viewed 1131 times

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:24 pm

Southern Balkans:
German forces almost crossed the Danube River!
BE_Turn_02_021_Belgrade.jpg
BE_Turn_02_021_Belgrade.jpg (258.91 KiB) Viewed 1129 times

The British Cruiser tank conducted a preemptive attack across the Vardar River towards Pristina. This came as a surprise! At the same time, Allied planes attacked the Regia Marina vessels close to Dubrovnik.
BE_Turn_02_022_Pristina.jpg
BE_Turn_02_022_Pristina.jpg (285.12 KiB) Viewed 1129 times

North Africa:
As expected, the British tanks also went on the offensive in North Africa. Luckily, Axis planes were already close by to help the ground forces.
BE_Turn_02_023_El Agheila.jpg
BE_Turn_02_023_El Agheila.jpg (267.38 KiB) Viewed 1129 times

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:03 pm

Turn 3 – 12 April 1941
Weather: clear and dry

Northern Balkans:
Zagreb has been seized and the way to Sarajevo seems fairly open now?
BE_Turn_03_024_Zagreb.jpg
BE_Turn_03_024_Zagreb.jpg (286.78 KiB) Viewed 1128 times

Southern Balkans:
A Yugoslavian offensive could be repelled next to Belgrade. However, without Luftwaffe and/or serious artillery support, Belgrade can’t be seized yet!
BE_Turn_03_025_Belgrade.jpg
BE_Turn_03_025_Belgrade.jpg (277.16 KiB) Viewed 1128 times

Pristina has been cleared but unfortunately still no breakthrough along the Vardar River. Greek mountain troops are also attacking the retreating Italian infantry forces in and around Tirana! At the same time, the shelling of Dubrovnik continues…
BE_Turn_03_026_Pristina.jpg
BE_Turn_03_026_Pristina.jpg (285.13 KiB) Viewed 1128 times

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:04 pm

North Africa:
The British tanks south of Benghazi could be destroyed. However, now the Royal Air Force is creating trouble and Benghazi airfield could not be captured yet… so most likely, the Axis planes need to return all the way to Tripoli very soon (~650 km / 400 miles straight-line distance).
BE_Turn_03_027_Benghazi.jpg
BE_Turn_03_027_Benghazi.jpg (260.48 KiB) Viewed 1127 times

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:42 pm

Turn 4 – 15 April 1941
Weather: clear and dry

Western Europe:
British air raid on Duisburg! (Please note: this will cost 100 prestige points, unfortunately.)
BE_Turn_04_028_Duisburg.jpg
BE_Turn_04_028_Duisburg.jpg (292.7 KiB) Viewed 1121 times

Southern Balkans and Greece:
At the same time, Luftwaffe bombing on Sarajevo as well as air strikes on the river boat next to Belgrade! The Yugoslavian army repositioned its forces around Belgrade as well… maybe even to our advantage actually?
BE_Turn_04_029_Belgrade.jpg
BE_Turn_04_029_Belgrade.jpg (287.45 KiB) Viewed 1121 times

Pristina has been seized and Axis forces reached the Greek Aliakmon Line!
BE_Turn_04_030_Pristina.jpg
BE_Turn_04_030_Pristina.jpg (290.82 KiB) Viewed 1121 times

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:48 pm

North Africa:
Also Benghazi airfield could still be seized on time!
BE_Turn_04_031_Benghazi Airfield.jpg
BE_Turn_04_031_Benghazi Airfield.jpg (265.25 KiB) Viewed 1118 times

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:16 pm

Turn 5 – 18 April 1941
Weather: clear and dry

Southern Balkans:
Split has been captured by an exhausted Italian cavalry and Sarajevo has been reached as well. Dubrovnik is still facing the Italian naval blockade while Italian ground forces are approaching the town from the south.
BE_Turn_05_032_Dubrovnik.jpg
BE_Turn_05_032_Dubrovnik.jpg (276.18 KiB) Viewed 1116 times

Belgrade still requires more focus!
BE_Turn_05_033_Belgrade.jpg
BE_Turn_05_033_Belgrade.jpg (276.84 KiB) Viewed 1116 times
Last edited by PeteMitchell_2 on Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:18 pm

Greece:
The Australian infantry unit is retreating across the Vardar River towards Thessaloniki while the infantry unit from New Zealand moved north attacking the line of German infantry!
BE_Turn_05_034_Thessaloniki.jpg
BE_Turn_05_034_Thessaloniki.jpg (281.78 KiB) Viewed 1115 times

North Africa:
Two British light cruisers arrived at Benghazi. Most likely they plan to help defend the town with continuous naval gunfire on soft Axis targets… at the same time, Rommel is already moving on towards Derna…
BE_Turn_05_035_Benghazi.jpg
BE_Turn_05_035_Benghazi.jpg (260.03 KiB) Viewed 1115 times

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Re: Battlefield Europe v1.9 – Mediterranean (Manstein)

Post by PeteMitchell_2 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:52 pm

Turn 6 – 21 April 1941
Weather: clear and dry

Western Europe:
More AA units have been gathered to protect the important Ruhr industrial area. Luckily, the Royal Air Force is still lacking effective long-range escort fighters for its bombers…
BE_Turn_06_036_Duisburg.jpg
BE_Turn_06_036_Duisburg.jpg (298.22 KiB) Viewed 1111 times

Southern Balkans:
Sarajevo has been captured by Hungarian infantry troops while Dubrovnik is still under Yugoslavian control…
BE_Turn_06_037_Sarajevo.jpg
BE_Turn_06_037_Sarajevo.jpg (280.36 KiB) Viewed 1111 times

Belgrade seems in reach now… especially, since most Yugoslavian forces were evacuated to the area on the left banks of the Danube River?
BE_Turn_06_038_Belgrade.jpg
BE_Turn_06_038_Belgrade.jpg (279.71 KiB) Viewed 1111 times

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