Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Battle Reports & After Action Reports (AAR's)

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Horseman
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Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:10 pm

To help with anyone trying to find a specific Scenario here's a quick content list which I'll endeavour to update!

Poland South - Page 1
Warsaw - Page 1
Norway North - Page 1
Belgium - Page 2
Dunkirk - Page 2
Dijon - Page 3
Libya - Page 4
Battleaxe - Page 4
Crusader - Page 5
Gazala - Page 6
Egypt - Page 7
Levant - Page 8
Middle East - Page 8 (Ongoing)
Prologue.

August 20th 1939.
Generalmajor Pferdmann was still groggy having only recently woken from his sleep. His head was still awash with vivid memories of last night's dream. He had been in command of an elite corps of the German Heer. Battle after battle had seen him lead his men through most of Europe, defeating all who opposed him until eventually he found himself on the shores of the United States. A snort escaped his lips. As if the war would ever take him there!

Pferdmann washed and dressed, he had briefings with his commanding officer Generalleutnant Rudolf Schmidt. The 1st Panzer Division had moved to the Polish border only several days ago, Pferdmann knew that shortly he would be leading his 1st Panzer Brigade forward as the Divisions spearhead and today the Regimental and Battalion Commanders were to be briefed on the current situation.

August 28th 1939.
The last few days had been frantic. Equipment checked and serviced. Supplies organised and men prepared.

Nothing had prepared Pferdmann for this morning's news. Rudolf Schmidt had not woken from his sleep.

General der Kavallerie Erich Hopner had been sent word immediately after the discovery of Schmidt’s lifeless body. The reply filled Pferdmann with fear and anxiety in equal measure.
“No time to assign a replacement. Generalmajor Pferdmann to assume command of 1.Panzer Division, effective immediately. Await my further instruction”

August 30th 1939.
It was late afternoon and Pfermann had just conducted a review of his new command.

Image

37.Abt Pioneer
1.Schützen Regiment
1.Abt (Wehr infantry)
2.Abt (Wehr ingantry)
1.Panzer Brigade
1.Panzer Regiment
1.Abt (Pz38(t)A)
2.Abt (PzIB)
2.Panzer Regiment
1.Abt (PzIIC)
2.Abt (PzIB)
4.Aufklärungs Abt (SdKfz 231)
37.Panzerjäger Abt (3.7cm Pak 36)
73.Artillerie Regiment
1.Abt (10.5cm LeFH 18)
2.Abt (10.5cm LeFH 18)
3.Abt (7.5cm FK 16 nA)

Attached.
12.Flak Abt (Sdkfz 10/4)
13.Flak Abt (3.7cm Flak 37)

There was also a sizable Luftwaffe presence which had been delegated to Schmidt's control for the foreseeable future. Including a mix of fighters and bombers.


Pferdmann had every confidence in his Officers. Three in particular gave him cause to smile.

Oberst Markus Fischer holds command of 1.Panzer Regiment. He would personally accompany Abteilung 1 of the Regiment. He was known to be a strict disciplinarian and would keep his men firing for maximum effect.
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Major Hans Krüger holds command of Abteilung 1 of the 1st Panzer Regiment. He was unextraordinary. But he did have an Uncle in the highest echelons of command (which explains how he gained a Battalion command). The Uncle however would prove useful in swaying others to provide us with what we need.
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Obersleutnant Werner Meier holds command of The Divisions Panzerjäger Abteilung. In exercises it never failed to amaze Pferdmann how close he had to get to Meier’s Anti Tank guns before he’d see them - a useful skill.
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September 1st 1939. 04:00
Pferdmann was roused from his bunk with some urgency. A staff officer was here with urgent orders from General Hopner. He knew what this meant, in a matter of hours we would be at war……..
So this will be my second play through of the campaign. Through 1939&1940 I'll be doing the opposite scenarios to the ones I played through first time so I've never played them before. I'm then going to North Africa as I did Russia last time. I've not decided if I'll go historical or not once that choice comes up (I may not have a choice as I'm not the best at farming prestige)

Difficulty - Generalissimus.
Random - 100%
3 take backs per turn, move only (only to be used for misclicks)
Positive traits - Panzer General, master of Blitzkrieg, deadly grasp, killer team and AA veterans.
Negative traits - No overstrength, denied airforce and inefficient supply.

Denied airforce was chosen as I tend to overly rely on my airforce and then really struggle when the weather turns bad! So I thought what better way of learning to play without one......

Edit: Forget to mention that telling a story will be more important than getting great results on every mission (although I will still be trying to win!)One of the limitations will be that I will not move Heroes around unless it fits the story.
Last edited by Horseman on Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:57 am, edited 6 times in total.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:48 am

Poland South

September 1st 1939 05:00
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September 1st 1939 07:00
Pferdmann was deep in thought studying the map laid out before him.
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It detailed the attack plan, a simple pincer attack. 1.Pz Reg would spearhead the assault in the southern sector. Capturing Kielce and then striking at Radom from the south.

2.Pz Reg would spearhead the assault in the Northern sector and approach Radom from the west.

Pferdmann was sure his people were up to the task ahead of them but wished he had some better equipment. The PzIB was not a formidable opponent and totally unsuited for front line action. And yet these models made up 50% of his Panzer forces! He had none of the newer PzIII or PzIVs and would be relying on the Czechoslovakia made Pz38(t)s for almost any armoured engagement.

Furthermore, the Schützen Regiment had only a handful of trucks amongst them. What they did have would need to be used to bring supplies up. So much for motorised infantry. At least the Pioneers wouldn’t need to be lugging all their heavy equipment on foot.

He was glad that 73.Artillerie Regiment had been reinforced with a third Abteilung. Although the entire regiment was currently using horse drawn transport at least they were mobile.

The Flak Abteilungs were not officially part of the Divisions OOB. He was glad to have them but it was expected that the Polish airforce would be destroyed in short order. Pferdmann allowed himself to smile. They may still prove useful employed in an anti-armour role.

September 1st 1939 08:00
1.Panzer Division deployed for the attack.
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Task force south rapidly encircle the defenders at Tarnowice and the artillery begin a bombardment of the town while simultaneously advancing on Czestuchowa.

Task force North engaged the Polish Cavalry Battalion arrayed against them.
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The Poles fought bravely and even knocked out several Panzers! But even their courage could not save them.
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Karl and Otto were sharing a joke when they heard the shouts “Actung! Actung!” A moments confusion was quickly dispelled and they rushed to man their AA canon. They soon saw the reason for the call. Swarms of Polish bombers all making runs against an artillery battalion.

Major Albin Kowalski had quickly assessed the situation. Already the German forces had begun surrounding the town his men had been stationed in. If they stayed here they’d soon be cut off and destroyed.

He led his men out hoping to reach the crossings at Czestuchowa engaging an artillery battalion in the hope of breaking free.
Image

Generalmajor Pferdmann was furious. He had quickly called for air support as soon as the Polish bombers appeared. The reply “Authorisation from Generalleutnant Schmidt required to release these assets for combat operations” was both unexpected and ridiculous. His ranting however changed nothing.

14:00
Pferdmann, now deprived of any fighter cover, quickly directed his Flak Ableitungs to combine their fire power and protect his troops. They did not disappoint him.
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Even under close assault the guns of 73.Artillerie did not fall silent. Deadly accurate fire shattered the morale of the Polish infantry trying to escape allowing Panzers (ably supported by 4.Aufklärungs Abt) to destroy them.

With artillery support infantry quickly forced the Anti-tank battalion defending Czestuchowa back allowing the 37th Pioneers to secure the crossings and rout the enemy.
Image

As the evening drew on Pferdmann order his troops to adopt defensive positions both in the north and south. Tomorrow 1.Panzer would look to cross the river in force.

The first days fighting had seen three Polish battalions defeated and utterly routed. Meanwhile 1.Panzer had suffered minor loses in the northern sector. In the south heavy loses to the artillery worried Pferdmann but not as much as the lack of air support. “Command had better sort that mess out quickly” he stated to no one in particular.
Some notes on force selection.
With no airforce I obviously needed to replace them.
Now air units fulfil several important functions. (For me at least)
Fighters:
1 - Defeat the enemy airforce
2 - protect ground troops from bombers
3 - Protect bombers from fighters
Both of 1&2, these rolls would obviously be filled by AA units however I can also achieve this somewhat by simply capturing airports (forced to relocate or destroyed) Number 3 would not be a problem at all...
Bombers:
1 - Soften up or take out tough targets my ground troops will struggle with (Tanks!)
2 - Soften up entrenched targets/entrenchment busting.
3- Anti-Shipping.
Number 1 can be somewhat fulfilled with Artillery although later in the war I'll just need to make sure I have enough tough units of my own to compete as artillery will not be as effective. (There is also an option to counter them somewhat with my nigh on invisible AT unit if I can tempt them to attack me). Number 2 can be achieved by artillery quite sufficiently. Number 3 will be interesting to solve if I find myself in any proper Naval engagements.

Here's the problem early on - Air units are prestige efficient but slot inefficient.
Art and AA are expensive in prestige! I did not have enough prestige to fill my ranks after disbanding the Luftwaffe. Hence a large number of horse drawn transports.

I started at only 32/36 slots used. Not only was I not using my Panzer General trait yet (gained 2 slots from this) but I hadn't even filled my basic allotment!

You can if you desire keep the air units around for a scenario or longer (as far as I know you can reinforce them until the equipment becomes obsolete) but I decided not to because "in for a penny"

I could of course have used cheaper units too - 7.5cm Art for all three, more Wehr inf instead of Pioneers downgraded tanks etc. But what I hoped was that I'd earn enough prestige to buy some reinforcements during the battle (as in new units)

The other thing I wanted to touch on was my choice of units for the heroes. I've already said that one limitation will be not moving them about unless it makes sense story wise so I need to think long term as well.

So the rapid fire might well have served well on an art unit for some extra oomph. But long term I'm hoping to get a nice steamroller tank that can do some work!
Camouflage would probably have been better early on assigned to artillery (with rapid fire.....disgusting!) but long term I'm hoping to use this combo into baiting some attacks that aren't great for the AI!
Last edited by Horseman on Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:57 pm

September 2nd 1939 08:00.
Generalmajor Pferdmann had already been awake for several hours. Despite the revelation that the declaration of war was delivered somewhat late (this did not sit well with Pferdmann, but as a soldier he knew to follow orders) he had expected at the very least to have some reports of probing attacks from the Polish forces over night. Instead all he had was reports advising that all was quiet. None of his formations even had an enemy unit located. Was the surprise really that complete?

Orders were soon sent to 4.Aufklärungs Abt. Locate the enemy.
Image

A Battalion of Polish Cavalry held the road to Kielce. Markus Fischer wasted no time driving his Panzer Regiment forward and in several swift engagements scattered the enemy thoroughly.
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With no recon attachments in the northern task force 2.Panzer Abt (2.Reg) swept forwards across the bridge. Zdunska Wola is confirmed to be defended by a lone AT battalion.
Image

Heavy fighting erupted around the town and the Polish forces were forced to retreat in some disorder, German casualties in the North remain light.
Image

Walter Wagner did not want to be the man to deliver this news to the General “Korps HQ is having trouble negotiating the chain of command with the Luftwaffe. No air support expected for several days!” Pferdmann swore under his breath, he knew it was not Walters fault. “Tell our Flak batteries to be extra vigilant. We can ill afford more heavy loses to Polish planes”

To the rear 15.Flak Abteilung (Sdkfz 10/4) trundled along the road towards the front line. Korps had assigned them to provide additional cover for 1.Panzer Division.

The men of 2.Panzer Regiment watched as Polish armoured cars drove into position ahead of them, stopping just out of range. Perhaps terrified of the the AT guns positioned to support the German advance.

The Poles however had no intention of engaging. They were there to locate the enemy and give their bombers a target.
Image

14:00
The southern group advanced cautiously, staying in a defensive formation incase of counter attack.

4.Aufklärungs advanced further. The defenders of Kielce (an infantry Battalion) were alone and unsupported and the nearby airfield undefended.
Image

Karl and Otto were not having a good time. “Over there, no over there, no wait over there!”

13.Flak Abt had once more been called into action and with deadly accurate fire devastated the Polish bomber squadrons trying to stem the tide.

Werner Meier made a decision. If the enemy were not going to come to him then he would go to them. Along with 2.Panzer Regiment his Panzerjägers engaged the Polish armoured cars and they were destroyed as an effective fighting force.

The infantry had taken firm control of Zdunska Wola but the Polish AT battalion stubbornly refused to give any more ground.

As the Panzers moved forward they located an AA battalion defending the nearby airfield.
Image

There was no hesitation, the Panzers attacked!
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Pferdmann was pleased with his Division's progress so far. His mood was not dampened by reports from command.
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He certainly felt that two days to advance and capture Kielce was not realistic. And instead of chasing that impossible dream and leaving his troops all strung out and in bad shape he had maintained discipline and advanced in good order. His men were ready to meet any challenge a Polish counter offensive might bring.

The Polish Generals, desperate to halt the advancing Panzers set in motion a bold plan. An armoured offensive south east of Kielce. The aim was to remove the “eyes” from the enemy so that they were less able to advance with speed.

Outmatched the armoured cars were forced to give ground.
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In the north Polish officers were barking at their men “Lower your barrels, lower them! ENGAGE THOSE TANKS! FORCE THEM BACK!”

As the dust and smoke cleared, not a single AA gun remained operational. What few men that had survived the withering return fire had slunk away into the night.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:23 pm

September 3rd 1939 08:00
Oberst Fischer wasted no time in driving his Panzers straight at the enemies hammering his reconnaissance force. He was determined to extract a measure of vengeance for his fallen comrades,
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With the armoured threat dealt with the southern force surrounded Kielce and began the artillery bombardment that is the precursor to any serious infantry assault.
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The remainder of the AT battalion that had proven itself resilient was finally cleared out allowing the northern group to advance and begin the siege of Radomsko.
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14:00
The bombardment of Kielce continues into the afternoon. Oberst Fischer advanced north to get first hand knowledge of what defenders were waiting for him at Radom.
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Oberst Fischer having located an artillery battalion sent his 2nd Abteilung forward into the attack. Radom is better defended. A full Regiment of infantry as well as an artillery battalion.
There is also an infantry battalion holding Pulamy bridge.
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Radomsko is easily stormed by 1.Schützen Regiment and the northern force push forward. Panzers cross the river and the infantry close on Tomaszow Mazowiecki.
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Moving at a speed that Pferdmann had not expected a Polish infantry battalion strikes deep into the forest causing huge loses to an artillerie Abteilung.
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OK so for the second time already this campaign I've taken some hideous loses to an artillery unit due to poor placement. First time I just literally forgot that enemy infantry can in fact move out of flag hexes! Yeah stupid.

This time I forgot that forced march A) exists and B) The AI can use it.

These are unforgivable mistakes that cost a lot of prestige (artillery does not come cheap) Smart Generals protect these valuable assets. Be smart, don't be Pferdmann!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:16 pm

September 4th 1939 08:00
Ordered to support the Pioneers 12.Flak Abt cause significant damage to the Kielce defenders and the Pioneers drive them out of the city. Now floundering in the open in full retreat they are easy prey for 1.Panzer Regiment, who barely pause to finish them off.
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In an almost frenzy Oberst Fischer spurred his Panzers forward overrunning the Polish artillery that had retreated away from Radom yesterday. Somehow restraining himself from further assaults the Panzers then pulled back to better protect (what was left) of the Divisions artillery in the area.

The bold Polish infantry found themselves caught in a trap with Germans approaching from every angle. They would be forced to retreat rather than pressing the attack on the beleaguered artillery.
The northern force has pushed forward and once more 1.Panzer is operating as a close knit formation.
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Perhaps resigned to their fate the Polish infantry push deeper beyond the German lines determined to annihilate the artillery.
Meanwhile the defenders of Tomaszow Mazowiecki refuse to go down without a fight and trade blows with Panzers on the east side of the city.
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14:00
Pferdmann was impressed. Those damned Poles might be finished but they were showing courage. You had to admire any man who refused to bow down to the obvious and keep fighting against the odds. His orders to his men were clear “Any foe who surrenders is to be treated with respect, these men have earned it”

Surrounded on all sides, outnumbered and short on supply the brave Polish infantry fought on to the end. But the numbers arrayed against them were to many.

Pferdmann directed his troops forward ready for an assault on Radom come dawn.
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September 5th 1939 08:00
Tomaszow Mazowiecki fell early this morning. Its defenders utterly routed.
Oberst Fischer, his Panzers of little use inside the city probed the defences at Pulavy Bridge. His report to Herr Pferdmann was clear “The Bridge wil be ours by nightfall”
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The defenders on the bridge begin regrouping under the direction of their officers. Looking out to the marauding Panzers no man there expects to see the night out. Grimly they prepare.
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14:00 (T10)
Generalmajor Pferdmann accompanied his troops as they moved into Radom. This will do for a headquarters for now he mused. He turned to his nearest aide “Inform General Hopner all objectives have been achieved with two days to spare. Tell him no Polish resistance in current location. Ask him where he wants 1.Panzer next?”
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One thing I never mentioned at the beginning - for this scenario I was going with 1 turn = half a day. The reason for this is that the scenario starts on the 1st September and lasts 15 turns. The next scenario starts on the 10th September.....unless we have some time travel shenanigans going on 1 turn a day can't work from a story point of view!

All in all that went OK - only moderate damage across my core force. Other than my artillery of course that due to THREE blunders is going to cost me a lot. That's a price I cant afford to pay to often so I need to get back into the campaign mindset after playing through all the scenarios. (Where my units were just pieces on a board to be used as needed with little to no attachment on my behalf!)

The new XP mechanic for support units is huge - My Recon finished at just short of 1 star and didn't do that much fighting (other than getting a thumping by those tanks) There's even more incentive now to remember to move them in for the bonus. Just supporting twice a turn will earn them 500 XP in a ten turns. That's huge!

I finished on 34/36 slots used so Panzer General has done nothing for me so far. On the other hand I couldn't afford to OS if I wanted to so no OS isn't really impacting me either! (Yet)

Kerensky
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Kerensky » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:27 pm

Very detailed as ever.

I look forward to such a review of a Grand Campaign someday.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:53 pm

Kerensky wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:27 pm
Very detailed as ever.

I look forward to such a review of a Grand Campaign someday.
The key would be to start as soon as the first one was released and try and finish before the next release!

I've just spent close to 2 hours organising the pictures for the second scenario - I still need to type it up. Its a huge amount of work. Admittedly if previous experience has taught me anything it is that it does get quicker as you get more used to how you're doing it!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:16 am

Warsaw

September 6th 1939
Generalmajor Pferdmann sat reviewing the casualty reports from 1.Panzer. They were surprisingly light amongst his infantry formations following 5 days of fighting. A full 20% of his Panzers had been knocked out. This was not expected, though with so many Pz1s making up the numbers perhaps it shouldn't be so surprising. He was sure he would be admonished for losing so many artillery pieces. They shouldn’t have been in harm's way.
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1.Panzer was regrouping ready for a second drive forward, Pferdmann just wished he knew in which direction they’d be driving!

September 7th 1939
Pferdmann watched with interest as 37.Pioneers Abt completed drills. An Opel Blitz truck came screaming down the street before screeching to a halt, within seconds its passengers had disembarked and deployed, weapons at the ready.
“An impressive performance Obersleutnant. Are all your men as well drilled?” asked Pferdmann. “Yes Herr General. I feel it is imperative that my men are ready to fight quickly.” cam the reply.
Image

September 9th 1939
Pferdmann had just concluded a conversation with a Korps staff officer and was somewhat irritated. The issue of chain of command with the local Luftwaffe forces has been resolved. However the vast majority of operation planes have now been transferred to the north. The offensive there has not met the same level of success as in the south and the Polish airforce was putting up a fight. Pferdmann and 1.Panzer would be continuing to operate without close air support. To compensate, 16.Flak Abt has been assigned to further bolster the division's air defences. Pferdmann snorted to his aide “At this rate we’ll have more AA guns than tanks in our division!”

The division had received reinforcements from Korps reserve bringing their fighting strength back to 100% however most of the new troops were green having never seen combat before. Not that 1.Panzer was full of veteren combatants anyway.

In addition 17.Artilerie Abt had been assigned to Pferdmann. This made him sure his men were going to see some heavy fighting. It consisted of monstrous 21cm guns, more suited to sieges than open and fluid warfare.
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September 10th 1939 06:00
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Pferdmann had already anticipated that Warsaw was to be his next target and had already drawn up his men ready for such an eventuality. He had heard that the northern offensive was still making slow progress but capturing Warsaw now should end the war favorably.

The plan like before was simple. Red Group lead by 1.Panzer Rgt would drive directly for the Polish capital. This group would also include the heavy siege artillery that Korps had provided.

Blue Group led by 2.Panzer Rgt would drive directly for Kutno. They would then swing to the east and reinforce red group in assaulting Warsaw.
Image
Purchases were 1 more AA gun (3.7cm) and 1 21cm Artillery. The AA guns got horse transport whilst the big guns had to get proper stuff!
Reinforcements were mostly normal. The reason for this was A)cost and B)at this early stage units didn't lose that much XP and its relatively easy to earn it back for the first star!

The recon and two badly damaged artillery were the outliers. They lost a good chunck of what they had earned. But its not too bad because artillery tends to earn XP quickly anyway (almost always shooting as little point holding back most of the time plus firing in support)
As for the recon - well 50xp every time it provides an accuracy bonus is huge. I think we'll be seeing some truly impressive levels of experience on these units IF I can learn to keep them getting so badly damaged!

After all that I was left with an awe inspiring 12 pp and had used 41/45 slots. Still no benefit from Panzer General!

I think I'm being to cautious with how many AA I'm taking. Four seems too many in hindsight and they are prestige hungry. But as I don't know what sort of air presence before I start I like all bases covered. One in each group for anti-Strat bomber and one in each group for anti-tac bomber.

There is a good case to be made that my new hero would be better on a towed gun of some description. I choose my Pioneers as they will be able to stay tucked away safely if no close tile is available to deploy to before speeding forward to disembark and attack when I need them. Pioneers stood in the open are very vulnerable!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:42 pm

08:00
4.Aufklärungs moved cautiously forward reporting the disposition of several enemy battalions.
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The Polish cavalry were shocked to their very core as the first shells landed. They began to scatter and disperse to minimise their losses to the German artillery. Their officers saw the Panzers bearing on their position too late.

Pferdmann quickly organised red group into a defensive formation designed to not only protect the vulnerable artillery but to allow them to offer fire support as required. He was capable of learning from past mistakes.
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Blue group, lacking any reconnaissance elements, advanced cautiously.
Obersleutnant Meier deployed his Panzerjäger Abteilung to support the front line. Hoping to remain unseen and tempt any Polish armour into a fool hardy attack.
Image

Karl and Otto were beyond frustrated. “More elevation!” was being shouted all around them. Otto muttered to Karl “Do they think we are stupid? We know how to aim at high flying bombers” Karl glanced at his friend “I just wish we could see what we were aiming at”

The men of 17.Artillerie Abteilung were taking what cover they could as heavy bombs fell all around them. But amidst the carnage fully half of the guns still roared in defiance, desperately trying to lend supporting fire to the front line units.

Steffen Schwarz was shouting through the radio “I need fire support NOW!” Polish armoured cars had engaged his forward companies at range. Even grabbing what little cover was available, stuck out in the open ground his men were vulnerable and were reliant on the enemy drivers to be foolish enough to get in close. Even as the confirmation of a support fire mission came over the radio Steffen’s eyes widened. On the left flank of the Armoured cars he could see Polish infantry advancing. Steffen grabbed his MP38 “WE HOLD!” he shouted to no one in particular.
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September 11th 1939 (2)
Oberst Fischer, incensed at his countrymens plight drove his Panzers into the heart of Polish troops that were pressing the Pioneers hard. Two full battalions broken in short order. Fischer saw the Pioneer Obersleutnant, his platoon had moved near the front to bolster the line. “Schwarz, can your men still fight? Can you cover my Panzers flank?”
“Jawohl Herr Oberst!”

Karl and Ottos frustration had waned. Several Polish bombers could be seen dropping from the skies above. The AA guns were starting to find their mark.
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Blue group continued their cautious advance, the first of its Panzers beginning to ford the river. The Artillery bombardment of Lowicz already showed signs of weakening the defenders.
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The Polish bombers were relentless. Even in the face of the German Flak they continued to bomb 17.Artillerie Abteilung. A second group of fighters joined the first in harassing red groups forward units.

Heavy fighting erupted south of Lowicz as Polish battalions attempted to prevent the Germans crossing the river.
Image
Last edited by Horseman on Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BaronVonWalrus
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by BaronVonWalrus » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:10 pm

The reply “Authorisation from Generalleutnant Schmidt required to release these assets for combat operations” was both unexpected and ridiculous. His ranting however changed nothing.

Love it :-)

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:26 pm

BaronVonWalrus wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:10 pm
The reply “Authorisation from Generalleutnant Schmidt required to release these assets for combat operations” was both unexpected and ridiculous. His ranting however changed nothing.

Love it :-)
Military bureaucracy at its finest :lol:

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:29 pm

September 12th 1939 (3)
Red group moved forward with caution, overrunning an AT battalion and maintaining a tight formation. The German Flak units had more success utterly destroying one of the fighter wings and bringing down more of the bombers.
Image
(One of the kill crosses for the fighters is in completely the wrong place)

The Polish battalions around Lowicz were to focused on the Panzers fording the river. Caught by surprise by an infantry assault on the city the defenders were forced to fall pack allowing more better armed Panzers to slam into them. Blue group crossed the river in force, their foes in full retreat.
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The Poles were not yet ready to throw in the towel. Ferocious counter attacks threw themselves at 1.Panzer.

Emerging from the forest an entire infantry regiment drove 4.Aufklärungs back in disorder while the Panzer Is of 1.Panzer Reg took heavy losses stopping an armoured thrust.
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Polish bombers switch their focus and try to stem the tide crossing towards Kutno.
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September 13th 1939 (4)
Oberst Fischer led his entire regiment against the Polish tanks. Whilst the PzIs struggled to make a mark (Fischer really hoped his regiment would receive replacements soon for these “training” tanks) His Pz38s proved more than a match for their adversaries. Amongst dozens of burnt out wrecks he returned to organising the remainder of the formation into some sort of battle line “I don’t care what it takes, those Panzerspahwagen’s need to get back in formation”
Against all odds 4.Aufklärungs regrouped.
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Blue group extended the bridge head slightly allowing the Panzers to finish off the resolute Polish cavalry.
“Yes Major you heard me correctly. I need 15.Flak Abt in the front line. Tell your people to prepare to engage ground targets!” Pferdmann would not leave a gap to his artillery again.
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Steffen Schwarz watched the Polish infantry advancing towards his lines. His men had taken what cover they could, hiding in every ditch, hedge and slight roll in the land they could find. And then it started. Great clods of dirt were thrown high in the air as shells landed all around the advancing Poles. Steffen made a mental note to send thanks to 73.Artillerie later but for the moment “NOW!” The command echoed across the field, crackling through several radio sets. As one the Pioneers revealed their presence. Lured into close range the Polish infantry were forced to halt their advance. Steffen returned to his radio “Left flank secure”

The other half of the Polish regiment had found the German armoured cars. Buoyed form their previous success they attacked once more. Caught still regrouping 4.Aufklärungs was forced to give ground once more although this time actual casualties were light.
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Pferdmann received word that the Poles had launched probing attacks near Lowicz with one tank battalion and one infantry battalion. Orders were quickly relayed “Obersleutnant Meier needs to get his guns forward!”
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This turn was when I realised I had made another couple of mistakes,

1) I had purchased a 21cm gun. Which meant I now have 3 artillery that can support against soft targets and 1 that can support against hard. I'd have been far better off either buying a new 15cm and upgrading an existing 10.5 to the same or just upgrading all 3 of my artillery units to 15cm. The heavy damage to the Pioneers earlier would have been mitigated somewhat if there was support fire against the infantry and those recons would not have been as hard hit either,

Smart people use 15cm artillery, be smart and don't be Pferdmann!

2) Splitting my forces for this scenario was almost certainly not a good idea! I effectively have 4 front line units in red group (5 including the pioneers but they really need close terrain to not get slapped around a bit) and only 3 in blue group. The briefing even suggests going going in force to Kutno and then turning on Warsaw,

Smart people read the briefing and heed its advice. Be smart, don't be Pferdmann!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:25 pm

September 14th 1939 (5)
The air was thick with the sounds of battle. An entire Polish infantry regiment routed as the first Panzers roll within sight of Warsaw.
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Werner Meier carefully sited his guns. Well hidden the enemy should not know they were there until it was too late. Meanwhile supported by 2.Panzer Rgt the Schutzen drove of the Polish infantry that had launched an attack yesterday.
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Assailed by air and land the Panzers of 2.Abt 1.Panzer Rgt were forced to give ground. Heavy losses will undoubtedly remove this formation from the fight.
Further down the road yet more Polish infantry emerge from the forest. This time, with artillery support, 4.Aufklärungs held firm.
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Werner Meier would need lemons to remove his grin. His perfectly placed guns had taken a heavy toll on the over aggressive Polish. The devastation of this battalion would allow 1.Panzer to take the initiative in this area once more.
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September 15th 1939 (6)

4.Aufklärungs gained a measure of revenge for their earlier manhandling. The Polish infantry that had come through the forest were first bombarded and then driven back by the Schutzen. 4.Aufklärungs pursued and annihilated the retreating troops.

The last of the Polish fighters were destroyed by deady AA fire. To Pferdmann’s knowledge only a battered wing of bombers remained in the area.
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Werner Meier pushed his men hard. His Panzerjagers had helped stop their attack yesterday. 2.Panzer Rgt had then forced them into retreat in the early hours of today and now he wanted to get his guns sighted to finish the job.

Generalmajor Pferdmann had ordered blue group to advance on Kutno in force.
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Steffen Schwarz had his men hidden amongst the tree line. “Let them get closer, closer still” he whispered to himself. Polish tanks now almost on top of them, rumbled forward, The lead elements passed positions with Steffens men hidden.

With the Polish armour almost entirely within the forest the Pioneers struck. Demolition charges tore tracks off and hand grenades through open hatches stopped tanks dead. The fighting was fierce. Casualties mounted. With reluctance Steffen gave the order “Fall back, fall back!”
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Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:51 am

September 16th 1939 (7)
Early morning mist added to the tense atmosphere as men of 1.Schützen Rgt slowly advanced through the streets of Warsaw. Expecting to face fierce resistance to take even one step inside the Polish capital their surprise was genuine. It seems the Poles were happy to cede the outskirts even though a full Regiment of infantry stood ready to defend the interior.

Oberst Fischer looked towards the city of Warsaw sprawled out ahead of him. His 1.Panzer Abt had destroyed the Polish tanks that had driven his Pioneers off the field but the city was no place for his Panzers. A single battalion of Schützen had already claimed a small piece of this place and would soon be advancing further but he had doubts one would be enough “Contact Herr Pferdmann. Tell him we need more infantry to press the attack”
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Further west 1.Schützen Abt/1.Schützen Rgt advanced to Kutno. Here they found a battalion of Polish Engineers, heavily entrenched and supported by artillery. This would not be an easy fight.
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The Polish artillery battalion was quickly engaged at close range and Panzers moved in to drive them off. The local airfield was also secured though it appeared to house no air units.
The bombardment of Kutno has begun.
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September 17th 1939 (8)
Oberst Fischer watched the advance of the Schützen, ready to lead his Panzers forward if they got into trouble. He was pleased to see that with sufficient artillery support they were able to force a Polish infantry battalion into retreat. A battalion of Polish heavy weapons infantry would prove more of an obstacle.

Steffen Schwarz was glad to see reinforcements (even if they might not be quite up to the same standard as his own men) He was even more glad to see many of his own men arriving at his fall back position. Still his men had taken a beating and he needed more time.
“Inform the Oberst I expect to be in position to support him in 48 hours”
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Pferdmann recognising he was entering the final stages of the campaign directed many of his supporting battalions to move on Kampinos and cut off the remaining Polish battalion in the area. He did not want them interfering in either of the crucial assaults against key objectives.
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The bombardment of Kutno continues throughout the day. The defenders hunker down in an attempt to weather the storm. Pferdmann knows that an assault here will be costly and orders his man to hold the line until the time is right.
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For the second time this scenario I've reinforced a unit. I wasn't convinced one unit of wehr infantry was going to be enough to finish of Warsaw so bit the bullet on those oh so expensive Pioneers. This is not the way to save prestige!

I'm also being a little gamey here - Previous vision left me 99% sure there was no other units in the area ans I know the Polish cavalry will not abandon the primary objective hex. This allowed me to move units that really shouldn't be getting that close in and put them in an encirclement (My AA and AT).

I'm also pretty confident that the AI has drained its prestige reserves. This will allow me to bide my time somewhat and chip away at tough units with Artillery until I can sweep them aside with minor losses. This is notable at Kutno!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:51 pm

September 18th 1939 (9)
The men of 1.Panzer paused. A definite lull in the fighting across the front. Formations waited for supplies to be brought up and regrouped ready to start anew tomorrow. The only exceptions were the guns of the Artillerie. Tirelessly they rained death and destruction on the defenders of Warsaw and Kutno.
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No one knows why Captain Nowak led his men into the attack. No one knows why he rallied what was left of the battalion to assault the German lines. And no one knows why he chose to target the German AA guns. Everyone knows it was a fool’s errand.
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September 19th 1939 (10)
Steffen Schwarz was happy. He was on the move again and this time towards the enemy. As the evening wore on he led his men through the outskirts of Warsaw. The assault was scheduled to begin at first light tomorrow and he wasn’t going to be late.

Oberst Fischer didn’t know whether he should be honouring his foes bravery or celebrating their stupidity. A mere company's worth of men had charged out from the defences around Warsaw in an attempt to drive off the supporting AA guns. They had caused minimal damage and had barely slowed his Panzers as they transferred to the open ground just southwest of Warsaw.
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Near Kampinos Panzers have forced the Polish Cavalry away from the bridge. AT & AA fire accounts for some of the loses.
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The bombardment at Kutno continues for another day. But still the Polish Engineers remain defiant. Pferdmann can not help but feel some admiration for those men. They must know it is now hopeless? That no aid is coming? And still they refuse calls for them to surrender.
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Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:35 pm

September 20th 1939 (11)
Steffen Schwarz led his well rested men through the streets of Warsaw. Supported fully by the Schützen battalion that had been holding the position before his arrival. The Polish heavy infantry were driven back in disorder. Soon a chaotic retreat became a full rout.
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Short of food, ammo and hope. The Polish cavalry has no choice but to surrender to the enemy that had them pinned in.
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Pferdmann sent one last message into Kutno. He was practically begging them to surrender. Several days of bombardment had left the city in ruin, the defenders now ill prepared to resist. When no reply was forthcoming he told his men to prepare to assault at first light tomorrow.
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The polish artillery. Desperate to hold the enemy bombarded the Schützen in Warsaw.

September 21st 1939 (12)
The Polish AA battalion holding in Warsaw came under heavy bombardment and were driven from the city by a determined Pioneer assault. Their morale broken the last few crews surrendered to the approaching Schützen.
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It took the defenders of Kutno some ten minutes to realise that the bombardment had finally ceased. But they felt no joy, they knew what was coming. Pferdmann was pleased that his men had taken relatively light casualties in the assault of Kutno but he had hoped an assault would not have been necessary.

September 22nd 1939 (13)
The Polish artillery is silent. The last few defenders of Warsaw now cut off from any hope of relief or victory.
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September 23rd-26th 1939 (T14-17)
It is all but over. Sporadic battles around Warsaw are all that remains of Polish resistance. The last few defenders are whittled down before they surrender.
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September 27th 1939
Casualty reports had already begun to filter their way to Pferdmann, his men were bloodied but victorious.
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Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:12 pm

Forgot to add some thoughts after last mission.

I could have finished on turn 14. The prestige bonus on generalisimus for finishing a few tuns early is next to nothing. I'm pretty sure I earned more just by forcing a couple of units to surrender. I also gained some XP on a few units so it was definitely the right choice.

I definitely went a little OTT with my AD. But in my defence I didn't know what air units I would be facing. So a unit good against Strats and a unit good against tacs (and fighters) for each group seemed like a good idea. In hindsight, if I was doing the same again I'd probably stick with just a pair of 3.7cm guns. But then that is with knowing exactly what I'd be up against.

I probably also wasted a ton of prestige reinforcing my Pioneers (and a ton of xp, they got 1 hit with elite replacements and 1 with regular) On the other hand it took a long time to get the engineers in Kutno damaged enough and then suppressed enough to allow me to take it without loss. On one hand it was "only" heavy weapons inf in Warsaw, on the other hand I still had some AA guns to wipe and then another infantry unit in the last objective hex. One unit of Wehr, even with art support may not have done that quick enough.

On to Norway north now - thankfully my prestige situation seems to be improving!

Edit:I meant Norway not poland
Last edited by Horseman on Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BaronVonWalrus
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by BaronVonWalrus » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:16 pm

Horseman wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:53 pm
Kerensky wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:27 pm
Very detailed as ever.

I look forward to such a review of a Grand Campaign someday.
The key would be to start as soon as the first one was released and try and finish before the next release!

I've just spent close to 2 hours organising the pictures for the second scenario - I still need to type it up. Its a huge amount of work. Admittedly if previous experience has taught me anything it is that it does get quicker as you get more used to how you're doing it!
I assuredly concur with your assessment, Herr General! The only problem is that time saved by increased efficiency is offset by time spent taking more pictures to explain!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:16 pm

Norway North

December 1st 1939
Generalleutnant Pferdmann was enjoying a quiet coffee at a cafe in the heart of Berlin. His Division had remained in Poland for only a week after the capitulation before being transferred home. Whilst on campaign he had heard rumour that Great Britain and France had both declared war on Germany in response to their own invasion of Poland. Soon after arriving home Pferdmann learned these rumours were fact.

Werner Meier was discussing tactics with one of his company commanders, Hauptmann Christian Klein. He was impressed with the young man’s grasp of his own teachings. One to watch he mused, making a mental note to bring him to his superiors attention.
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February 1st 1940
Generalleutnant Pferdmann and his division had spent the past month engaged in training exercises alongside 3.Gebirgsjäger division. Whilst he found it useful he was beginning to wonder why his men were not being deployed to the western front. Although there was little in the way of fighting as yet, it was surely only a matter of time.

March 25th 1940
Pferdmann now knew why his division had not been sent west. He’d briefly argued that a Panzer division was not best suited for an amphibious invasion into hilly and mountainous terrain. His superiors had almost immediately agreed but before Pferdmann’s smile became too obvious they had elaborated.
“Herr Pferdmann. We do not expect you to take your Panzers. They must remain in Germany for refit so that they are ready for an upcoming operation. However your infantry have much experience in close combat operations following your seizure of Warsaw. That experience will be invaluable in the hills of Norway. Not to mention your own performance. Just be sure to properly site your artillerie!”

April 1st 1940
Pferdmann and his men were loading onto ships. There wasn’t space for much heavy equipment and as command had stated 1.Panzer brigade was mostly staying behind. A single battalion was going to be transported. 1.Abt/1.Panzer Rgt. His Schutzen Regiment had been issued lighter equipment to allow them to better adapt to the expected terrain, this combined with the cross training earlier this year should give them a good edge.

Most surprising of all. 138.Gebirgsjäger Rgt/3.Gebirgsjäger Div would be operating under his command alongside the divisions Pioneer battalion and a single battalion of their artillery.
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Transporting and escorting them would be the Admiral Hipper (CA) alongside four Destroyers (Z5 Paul Jokobi, Z6 Theodor Riedel, Z8 Bruno Heinemann and Z16 Friedrich Eckoldt) The was also a single U-boat assigned to the group.
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The remainder of 1.Panzer Division was remaining in Germany undergoing repair and refit.
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April 9th 1940 05:00
Pferdmann did not like boats. He had been feeling unwell since the Admiral Hipper had left port. If it wasn’t for the fact that he would be landing in to combat he’d really have been looking forward to the end of the voyage!
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As the landing craft carrying 138.Gebirgsjäger Rgt and their support battalion made its way towards the Norwegian coast, Pferdmann once more studied the map and reviewed his plan.
The initial landing was to secure Trondheim. From there the port facilities would be used to bring in 1.Panzer division. Once the immediate area was clear 1.Panzer would split. A single Schutzen battalion supported by an artillery battalion would advance along the SE road, eventually coming at Lillehammer from the east. The remainder of 1.Panzer would strike north to Namsos.
The elements of 3.Gebirgsjäger Div. would strike south westerly towards Andalsnes and then turn on Lillehammer approaching for the North. They would also be supported by 17.Artillerie Abt.
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Started here with 1474 prestige - not too shabby. But also started here with a force not entirely suited to fighting in almost exclusively close terrain (there is a thin strip of clear running along the coast near Trondheim!)

I kept the Pz38's because they have a hero. Well more precisely they have a famous hero who is worth some prestige every turn (tool tip says 20 but I'm only getting 10) I also figure they can at least kill the forts once they're encircled and suppressed and they cost less core slots than infantry (only 2).
This map is definitely one where Mountain troops will shine so that's why 1.Shutzen Reg got themselves some cross training (they'll "upgrade" back after this one) Both Pioneers also have half tracks to bring them up to be around about on par with mountain troops in hills but will help massively storming urban hexes. I wanted to upgrade to 15cm art following last scenarios debacle of never seeming to have the right support piece in the right place but looking at the map I'm fairly confident that I'm not going to face any hard targets. And even if I do they'll be pretty easy to kill in close terrain! My 7.5cm guns did however upgrade to 10.5s.

I've kept the AA down to 2 this time. Based on the fact there's only 1 airbase on the map and its at Trondheim. And that'll be mine in the first few turns. I suspect that there will be a British carrier so that's why I still have AA and also why I choose the types better at killing Tacs and fighters!

I've chosen the new arrivals from 3.Gebirgsjäger to lead the assault for several reasons. 1)There is 4 of them and 4 deployment slots. 2) They're liable to take a bit of a kicking early on and I wont need to worry about elite replacements for troops with practically no XP 3)My guys haven't quite hit 1 star yet (except artillery) so its not like they're going to fight any better as of yet anyway!

My Camouflage and new first strike heroes are not here. As per my rules they're AT gunners and I didn't bring any AT guns so it wouldn't make sense to bring them along. This means I'm only getting 1/3 of the benefit of the Killer Team trait! On the plus side I've used 46/46 slots so at least Panzer General is being useful :lol:

Oh I also have 298 prestige left at the start. I'll need something at the end though as I never repaired anything left in reserve and I'm sure there will be some upgrades I want.
Last edited by Horseman on Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:19 am, edited 3 times in total.

fluffybunnyuk
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by fluffybunnyuk » Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:47 pm

Herr Pferdmann is in for a bad day when the casualty lists come back. Norway give me back my Gebirgsjäger!
Its going to be a long swim back to Berlin...plenty of time to ponder high commands idea of a skiing holiday.

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