Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Battle Reports & After Action Reports (AAR's)

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Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:32 pm

WalterTFD wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:22 pm
And so ends Crusader. The AI is always boundlessly confident that it's 3 units can take the player's dozen.

I've given the occasional thought to what it would take to make the AI 'smarter', and you could do a lot fairly easily, but I'm probably barking up the wrong tree. The conceit of the campaign, after all, is that the players couple dozen units defeat larger enemy formations without any losses, over and over again. If the AI got gud, so to speak, it would mess with that dynamic.
The one real criticism I have of PC2 AI is that it is too aggressive at times. On the other hand its the damage that such attacks cause that can derail a campaign - 4 points of off a tank units will cost some prestige to repair. Too many like that and you can soon run dry.

Of course at this stage its a moot point - those units would have been better deployed in a mutually supporting defensive position. Still probably wouldn't stop a human opponent but would at least make them work for the victory.

But then its the little surprises like this that keep us on our toes....when the attacks started I did start wondering how much more would be coming to the party and had visions of a nice armoured swarm like at Moscow!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:36 pm

November 30th 1941 (13)
With a ferocity that stunned the German infantry, a fresh battalion of British troops attacked from the south, they shrugged off the artillery fire to push forward, seemingly ignoring casualties.
From Halfaya pass the trapped Raj infantry launched their own attack in an attempt to link up with their reinforcements.
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Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Peart stood proud and tall. When the German Matilda’s had begun advancing he knew the jig was up. With little ammo his men could not hope to achieve anything by fighting other than to die. He wouldn’t waste his men.
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With their breakout attempt stopped the Raj infantry were ill placed to resist as German assault troops came forward. Their attempted push south became a rout as 21.Panzer secured the pass.
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December 1st 1941 (14)
It surprised no one when the strangely attired British infantry attacked forward in an attempt to finish the Italian artillery. Pferdmann and his men had grown accustomed to British courage.
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Obersleutnant Meier had dismounted to meet the senior British officer and accept his surrender. “You should no feel dishonour. You and your men fought bravely but against these odds it would have been suicide to continue. Please tell me though, why an attempt to attack rather than attempt to break free of the encirclement?” Meier would spend a long time pondering the reply “Who dares wins.”
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December 2nd 1941 (15)
The last combat ready British unit was hunted down. They fought well attempting a fighting withdrawal but against such overwhelming force they were cornered and forced to surrender.
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An hour after Pferdmann had received confirmation that all fronts were clear he sat ready to review his casualty reports. He was shocked at how few losses his men had sustained following fifteen days of heavy fighting.
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Though it had to be said. His Italian allies had not gotten away so lightly.
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And there we go another resounding victory for Herr Pferdmann and the Afrika Korps!

It was actually quite tense as I was expecting an armoured wave to hit me as I got closer and closer to the final objectives and at one point was worried about if I'd have time to fight through (the fortunately non existent) last attack and claim Halfaya pass. Thankfully the only surprise in the end was a lone Valentine II tank sat waiting for me!

Well more than a few units surrendered so I have a reasonably nice stash of (inferior) British equipment but more importantly a whooping 9111 prestige. I should be able to spend about 1k on reinforcements/upgrades and new units and still be in a reasonably comfortable spot to finish on 10k. I may just avoid having to "kill" a hero!

I can't really fault my play on this one (I'm sure others can find places I made mistakes) and again losses were acceptable chip damage that is unavoidable for the most part.

On to Gazala!

WalterTFD
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by WalterTFD » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:33 am

To quote the PC 1 voiceover guy. "East...like Alexander!"

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:03 am

WalterTFD wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:33 am
To quote the PC 1 voiceover guy. "East...like Alexander!"
Well we have to shuffle a little west first......seems like we lost some ground between scenarios!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:36 am

Gazala

January 14th 1942
General der Panzertruppe Pferdmann stepped off of the plane. Waiting to greet him was his old friend, Markus was the first to speak “Good to see you back my friend, congratulations on your promotion” Pferdmann offered a half hearted smile
“What happened here Markus? I was only gone for three weeks?” Markus let out a sigh
“The British commander in the region, a man named Auchinleck, took personal command of the 8th army and launched a major offensive. As you know the Afrika Korps was in Libya and out of position to respond. Our Italian friends were not able to hold. I was denied permission to bring our men into the fight”
“I have a request here from General Garaboldi to relieve you of command and place you under arrest for failure to follow orders?” Markus snapped smartly to attention
“I did what I thought was best, Herr General. I freely submit myself to any sanctions you feel justified” Pferdmann’s mouth broke into a wide grin as he tore the letter from the Italian General in two
“Thanks to your initiative we managed to stabilise at the Gazala line. If not for you I suspect we’d be having this conversation further west than this! I do not punish my officers for success” Markus opened his mouth to speak but Pferdmann cut him off “Thankfully as of now the Afrika Korps is no longer subject to command decisions made by Italian Generals. I have been authorised to do whatever is necessary to break the British in Afrika and the Italians have been ordered to support me in any way possible”

February 4th 1942
Hauptmann Udo Becker stood to attention as Pferdmann spoke “Herr Becker, I am sad to say that Major Wagner will not be able to return to duty for some time. It is imperative that I have good officers that I can trust. Can I trust you Hauptmann?
“Yes Herr General!”
“Good good. Assume command of your battalion. I am sure you will be a credit to 5.Panzer regiment. Dismissed!”
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April 1st 1942
Pferdmann was glad for the new equipment. The war is Russia was not going (to be polite) as well as many had hoped. High command were already putting plans in place for a renewed spring offensive and had spoken with confidence that they expected this matter to be resolved by the end of the year. In the meantime scant men and equipment were available for Afrika. Still, enough of the new Panzer IV model with a long 75mm canon had been shipped over to equip two full battalions along with enough of the PzIIIJs to replace any obsolete Panzers still in use (as well as the captured British Matilda’s) His Panzerjager battalions had likewise received new equipment. The fearsome StuG IIIF, well armed and armoured, would prove an asset in supporting his Panzers.

It would also seem that high command had listened to his reports on how mobile warfare was effective in the desert. Despite a general shortage, enough half tracks had been delivered to fully mechanise the Afrika Korps infantry assets. This would greatly improve their mobility as well as provide some fearsome close range fire power.

Air support was still an issue. The Luftwaffe whilst fully committed in Russia had been stretched even thinner following the Americans entering the war as a new air offensive was being launched from the UK. As to the Italians. The Regia Aeronautica had been decimated by the RAF in the three weeks Pferdmann had been in Germany and could offer no serious support. Although a small contingent of Italians had been assignd to his command.
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May 26th 1942 0600
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As the briefing came to a close Pferdmann allowed a smile to spread on his lips “We will strike hard and we will strike fast. This time I will not be content to hold on the Egyptian border. This time I intend to drive all the way to the Suez canal!”

Rommels plan was simpe but brilliant and Pferdmann saw little reason to alter it.
1.Panzer Division (Red) would strike hard east to secure Gabr Saleh and then turn north to Gambut.
21.Panzer Division (Blue) would strike towards Tobruk. Here they would send some Panzers east to support at Gambut and some west to encircle and defeat the Gazala defensive line.
The Italian units (Green) under his command would hold the line and pin the British in place.
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Pferdmann turned to his assembled officers “High command has authorised us to take the initiative. You all know the plan, get your men ready. We go in two hours”
So in order to take the Ahistorical path I need 10k prestige by the end. I started with 9111p and there is:
1080 passive prestige (54 per turn)
200 prestige from my hero
600 prestige from objectives and
450 prestige from other flags on the map.
That's a total of 2330 available. As long as I start with more than 7700 prestige I'm golden. Obviously I will need more to reinforce/upgrade/buy new units but thats what captures were made for. Ultimately I can still sell a hero if need be and if I can't replace all losses and/or upgrade everything then I'll deal with what I have in Egypt. I'll back off a little on the captures I expect as I'm no longer desperate for prestige and as I get more and more comfortable I'll stop planning each turn with an eye on how much I can make (Its not my natural playstyle) Plus I'd like to earn a bit more experience by actually fighting (I don't believe surrendered strength points add to xp) as well as a few more unit rewards.

Upgrades:
All inf > Half tracks
2xPzIVF > IVG
1xMatilda II > PzIIIJ
2xAT units > StuG IIIF

Some of my thinking here.

Truck borne infantry are really quite slow in the desert and half tracks give them the speed to somewhat keep up with the tanks. The bonus attack is a nice, well bonus! In my first play through I balked at spending a slot on these for quite some time but ultimately with no airforce I'm pretty slot rich (not to mention the zero slot hero) so bit the bullet.

In regards to tanks - The Panzer IIIJ1 really isn't IMO worth an extra slot over the IIIJ. I'd much rather have 1 IVG and 1 IIIJ than 2 IIIJ1s. I'm still primarily fighting tanks at the moment and infantry tends to be in open ground (I have more than enough of my own infantry to deal with urban hexes and the odd hill/dune) I was tempted by the IVF2 briefly as its a bit cheaper but the extra 2 ground defence really sold me on the IVG, they're now firmly in the "infantry can't touch me" camp (unless I'm daft enough to put them in close terrain) Two units of these will add a real punch to my Panzers. I swapped out the Matilda's as they were really a solution to the "don't kill too much when getting surrenders" issue and they're so slow. With the new mobility on the infantry I feel I'd rather have my 6 speed (thanks master of Blitzkrieg) Panzers.

The AT upgrades are pretty self explanatory. The real decision was between StuGs or Marauders. I went with the former because I value the better GD over 1 extra HA. Lets me be a bit more risky if the need is there.

AA remains at four units as I've not struggled to provide sufficient air cover yet - as the campaign goes on I'm sure I'll need more at some point but that's a future problem.

My new hero went on a tank - that's another no brainer for me. No other unit can make use of that skill quite so well. If I was going for pure cheese I'd put him with my envelopment and no force retreat hero's for a unit that can slip in anywhere and knock pretty much any other unit out in one hit! I left my rapid fire hero on a PzIIIJ as that means I have three tough front line tanks that should be able to stand toe to toe with anything the dastardly British can throw at me.

After my spending I was left with 7850 prestige. Should be more than enough!
Last edited by Horseman on Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fluffybunnyuk
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by fluffybunnyuk » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:40 pm

I'm going to enjoy this one. Especially keeping all those guns under AA protection.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:57 pm

fluffybunnyuk wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:40 pm
I'm going to enjoy this one. Especially keeping all those guns under AA protection.
Pfffttttt Pferdmann spits at the RAF.....preferably with an 88 or two :lol:

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:33 pm

May 26th 1942 08:00 (1)
Major Weiss was at the forefront of the attack as 2.Panzer regiment surged forward. A short, brutal battle saw a battalion of Chevy-WBs surrender to the indomitable German assault.
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Major Krüger directed his Panzers forward. With his commanding officer still attached to his battalion he should be extra careful to protect him. A task all the more difficult when you witness Generalmajor Fischer’s command Panzer leading a company forward towards British AT guns! Soon enough the rest of the battalion pushed forward and eliminated the risk to their General.
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Major Krüger did not fear urban areas like most Panzer commanders. In fact it had been whispered that he revelled in the close quarters bloodshed. His battalion, now equipped with the new long barrelled PzIVGs were a fearsome sight as they closed to contact. The British infantry, reduced to half their number, were forced to abandon their positions in the village.

Obersleutnant Schwarz was first out of his transport as they occupied the village. Nearby the retreating British infantry were in striking range “Others can handle them, we need to clear those damned mines to allow the division to pass through in strength.
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Directed by mine clearing Pioneers the armoured forms of 4.Aufklärungs Abt passed through the area previously marked as off limits. As they cleared the edge of the minefield they quickly accelerated, giving chase to the retreating British.
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As the sounds of battle rang through the air, 1.Panzer division pressed forward whilst maintaining formation.
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21.Panzer charged forward. Their intent to break the backs of the British defences ahead of them. Two full Panzer regiments opened fire and sent the enemy reeling.
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As the Panzer attack gained momentum the remainder of the division began moving up behind them,
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In the north the Italians drew themselves up ready to hold their ground. Their role whilst far from glamorous was essential in making this plan work.
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Generalmajor Fischer saw the British infantry ahead, they had not given any ground despite the armoured onslaught that bore down on them. “Major Krüger, remove those infantry form our path please”
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A south African infantry battalion had been ordered to probe the enemies defensive line. They moved forward and had the better of the short exchange. Pferdmann himself contacted the Italians commanding officer “You need to hold that line, my Panzers will be with you soon enough but form behind the enemy!”
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The skies over 21.Panzer buzzed with the sound of aircraft. The first wing was utterly devastated by cleverly placed Flak battalions on the high ground to the rear, the second took heavy damage as they attempted to press the attack and the third waved off “Enemy flak too heavy to continue”
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A mix of Stuarts, Valentine IIIs and Crusader IIs made up the forces of the first British attempt to push back against the tidal wave of Panzers. 4.Aufklärungs Abt handled itself well against the light tanks whilst 1.Abt/1.PzRgt fended off the others.
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The RAF already dropping like flies....and they haven't come up against Karl and Otto yet!

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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:00 pm

May 27th 1942 (2)
Pferdmann had drilled his forces relentlessly in order that they could work together in perfect harmony. Major Weiss swung behind and through the other Panzer battalions to enable him to fall on the retreating British Engineers and catch them unaware.
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Major Wolf saw the Crusader IIs, tanks that had caused some trouble to the Panzers last year. Back then his own battalion would have struggled to assist but now he got to test these new IVGs against an armoured opponent. He was not disappointed.
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1.Panzer advanced, almost mocking the crews of the Valentine IIIs now amongst them as they were ignored as no longer a threat.
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The Panzer IVGs of 21.Panzer showed their worth in eliminating the 2 pounder AT guns that they had forced back yesterday. Their armour, seemingly impervious to their fire.
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Further proof that Pferdmanns drills had been worthwhile came when 4.Aufklärungs Abt swung north to complete the encirclement of some British artillery whom duly surrendered.
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Oberst Langes Panzers smashed into the infantry battalion that held the British right flank. The ferocity of the attack sent them into panic. With nowhere to run they were soon throwing down their arms.
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4.Aufklärungs Abt fresh from trapping the artillery quickly swung around to engage the Stuarts that had come against them yesterday. Already shattered from the previous fight the Stuarts were soon abandoned.
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3.Aufklärungs Abt swept forward at the already withdrawing British infantry. They put up a fight and many men were lost before the broken remnants surrendered.
To the rear the division's Pioneers cleared some mines.
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The Flak battalions assigned to protect 21.Panzer continued to engage the heavy bombers.
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And destroyed their supporting fighter wing
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The Deutshe Afrika Korp, now clear of the bottleneck, formed up ready to advance tomorrow.
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The Italian forces near Gazala prepared to defend themselves.
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21.Panzer reports coming under attack from the air and by strange looking tanks that non the less appear to be quite dangerous.
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Obersleutnant Meier brought his battalion into action against a battalion of Stuarts that had charged the line. Their light armour proved no match for the StuGs guns and what few were left were quickly hunted down by the Panzer IIIs ahead of him.
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WalterTFD
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by WalterTFD » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:18 pm

Utter devastation! Look at that line south of Knightsbridge.

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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:32 pm

WalterTFD wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:18 pm
Utter devastation! Look at that line south of Knightsbridge.
The full core deployed for battle is a thing of beauty!

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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:59 am

May 28th 1942 (3)
Captain Wallis sat on the hull of his Valentine III tank. What a spot of bother he’d gotten his men into. German Panzers swarmed all around advancing and seeming to ignore what was left of his battalion. “What a spot of luck old boy. They obviously don’t realise we’re here. Let them move on and then we’ll hit the blaggards from the…..” He was interrupted by shouts to his left “There, there!” As the shapes of German armoured cars came into view the Captain couldn’t hide his disappointment “Oh blast!”
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With the threat of the British tanks removed Generalmajor Fischer gave the order to advance “Onwards to Bir El Gubi”
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Oberst Lange couldn’t help but comment “What are those things? Are they tanks? Are we sure they’re tanks? I mean look at them!” The short exchange of fire convinced him that they may need to be treated with a little more respect but still they succumb to the inevitable.
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Hauptmann Becker, still with a lot to prove (and confirm that Herr Pferdmann had made a good decision) was at the forefront of 22.Panzer regiments attack. AA guns mounted on the hull of an old Vickers tank proved inadequate for frontline duty.
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The two Flak battalions assigned to support 21.Panzer concentrated their fire on the Hurricanes still buzzing through the sky following their successful attack run with devastating results.
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With Knightsbridge now under siege the armoured elements of 21.Panzer pushed forward towards Tobruk.
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Appearing out of the morning haze, the Hurricane wing was quick to locate a target. The guns of 13.Flak Abt quickly began tracking the nimble fighters, felling many aircraft.
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Undaunted by the heavy flak fire the Pilots steeled the resolve to deliver their deadly payload against 4.Aufklärungs Abt.
Outgunned and outmatched, Major Wolf could not Fathom why the British light tanks would charge recklessly towards his line.
1.Schützen Regiment learnt first hand that it was a bad idea to engage those new “funny” British tanks on open ground. Despite their inability to inflict significant damage to their foes, the German infantry held. Confident in their own Panzers to come and support them.
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Pferdmann despaired. The Italians had reported that the South African infantry had advanced further and was now attempting to secure the airfield. The Recon battalion that had been assigned to hold it took heavy losses but barely held for now. “How can they be having so much trouble against a single battalion? We better pray the rest of the British get any ideas about attacking our defensive line!”
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May 29th 1942 (4)
Major Weiss swung his Panzers in a wide arc to fall upon the Grants rear. Still bogged down fighting infantry to the front they were quickly enveloped.
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The Hurricane dived sharply through the terrible flak. As it came in low the bomb slung under its fuselage released hitting a German armoured car below. The Pilot pulled sharply back on his stick, willing the screeching plane to level out and then climb. As the plane levelled out and begun its long climb back to altitude an explosion tore through the right wing.
Karl looked through his binoculars and grinned “That’s another one for Bertha Otto!”
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The pilots of the fighter wing assigned to escort their bombers looked on hopelessly. Their nimble planes could do nothing to prevent ground fire. Their radio sets crackled with the recall order but it was too late. A battalion of 20mm quad AA guns had found their range.
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As the battle over their heads raged, 1.Panzer continued to advance. A few planes would not be enough to stop them.
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5.Pioneer Abt crept ever closer to the enemy positions. At the allotted hour the artillery barrage ceased, this was the time. Charging in the British were caught still taking shelter from the shells that were landing all around them. Close combat favoured the Germans and soon the British were fleeing from the onslaught.
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Pferdmann grinned. Knightsbridge was secure and the local garrison routed. Now the British on the Gazala line would have something else to think about other than beating up on his Italian forces. “Tell 14.Infanterie to hold that position”
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5.Panzer regiment engaged some South African infantry with near immunity.
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When the remainder of the Divisions Panzers arrived the SOuth Africans made the only logical decision. Infantry could not stand in open desert against tanks.
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With Knightsbridge secure,21.Panzer continued their advance.
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Now trapped in some boccage the South Africans that had probed the German defences found themselves in trouble. Italian Engineers proved up to the task of potentially removing this threat.
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Obersleutnant Meier once more showed his value. More British tanks left as abandoned wrecks thanks to his well placed Panzerjagers.
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21.Panzer weathered the storm. Infantry and tanks came at them but the steel line held firm.
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As if the Italians didn’t have enough on their plate, now the British were sending their bombers at them. “Well at least they’re not bombing OUR men Herr General”
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:32 pm

May 30th 1942 (5)
Major Wolf led his Panzers forward under the protection of an artillery strike. He soon reported back “Enemy infantry defeated. British 6 pound AT guns sighted near Bir El Gubi”
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Using infantry to shield his Panzers from these formidable AT guns, Generalmajor Fischer brought 1.Panzer forward, With the village secure he was confident that the guns would be dealt with tomorrow.
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With momentum still on their side, 21.Panzer struck back at the British forces that had attacked yesterday. In the skies a wing of reconnaissance aircraft were quickly brought down, hopefully blinding the British in the area.
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Surprising everyone the Italians finally contained and eliminated the South Africans who had advanced against them.
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And with the threat removed were able to adopt a defensive formation again. The losses already taken were severe and Pferdmann hoped that no more “probing” attacks were attempted until 21.Panzer were in position to support.
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Pfermann had long since learnt that the proper way to use Panzers involved sending them in enmasse to hit hard and fast and break the enemy quickly. He was glad to see that the British still had this lesson to learn.
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Continued bombing of the Italian positions made Pferdmann nervous. Was this preparation for a major attack?
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May 31st 1942 (6)
The British Cruiser tanks that had been sent in against 1.Panzer unsupported were quickly dealt with.
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As were the 6 pounder AT guns.
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The enemy once more driven before them, 1.Panzer advanced on Gabr Saleh.
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The Panzer IVGs of 21.Panzer once more proved their worth, forcing the British Humber recon battalion to abandon the airfield they were holding.
Whilst 3.Aufklärungs Abt edge closer to Tobruk and report on the position of a battalion of 6 pound AT guns and some 3.7 inch flak guns.
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21.Panzer advances and confirms that South African infantry hold the city itself. A wing of Spitfires is sighted operating from the nearby airfield and all Flak battalions are put on alert.
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Pferdmann was wondering whether the British had abandoned any semblance of a plan and were now relying on desperate heroics as he read the report from 1.Panzer detailing the attack of Dingo armoured cars against a well placed Panzer battalion.
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A wing of dual engined Mosquitoes came low and fast. Heralds of another British assault coming in their wake. They had not counted on 13.Flak battalion or her deadly guns.
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1.Panzer regiment stood strong with support from Panzerjagers. Another British attack was stopped before it could gain momentum of its own.
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The RAF located a chink in the Germans AA cover and did not heistate to exploit it. Artillery crews dived for cover as heavy bombs exploded all around. By time the last bomb had gone off a full 20% of the battalion's guns were inoperable.
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At the end of this turn I had 9500 prestige. With 900 in passive (including hero) and 750 in flags still to claim, I think its fair to say I've achieved my prestige target to take the winning path!

WalterTFD
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by WalterTFD » Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:17 pm

Did you take the winning path in your first playthrough of the campaign, or will you be breaking new ground?

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:15 pm

WalterTFD wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:17 pm
Did you take the winning path in your first playthrough of the campaign, or will you be breaking new ground?
I took the winning path first time but through Russia. It's all new ground to me from the start up until sealion.

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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:57 am

June 1st 1942 (7)
Major Wolf and his battalion had weathered the British attack. Crusader IIIs backed up by the odd looking Portee AT guns. With the attack stalled Major Wolf ordered his Panzer IVs forward, taken by surprise the Portee’s were quickly knocked out of action.
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Still engaged to their front the Grant crews did not see the Panzers of 2.Abt/2.PzReg swing in behind them.
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And the Valentines were powerless to stop the rampaging Major Weiss and his battalion.
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As Flak fire cleared their skies, 1.Panzer once more advanced, an unassailable wall of German might almost goading the British to come at them.
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Unable to bring their fire to bare on the bombers harassing the artillery, Flak battalions 12 and 16 removed the fighter escorts as a threat.
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5.Panzer regiment seized El Adem and alongside several support battalions was ordered to hold. One 1.Panzer was able to turn north, this force was to move east and assist.
Oberarzt Fischer hurried with his preparations. Tomorrow 5.Pioneer Abt were to assault a fortified British strongpoint and he knew his skills would be needed in full.
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Under Pferdmanns direction the Italians had, he would admit ,fulfilled their role in his plan. And now his plan came to fruition. The defenders on the Gazala line, cut off from supply and reinforcement would be given an option. Surrender or die.
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12.Flak Abt tried fruitlessly to dissuade the British bombers that had come around for another run on the artillery they had hit previously. 20mm cannon were just did not have the range to hit high flying targets.
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Hurtling west with speed, the Vickers battalion had not realised that the battle had turned violently against the British. Expecting to reinforce an attack happening further west they drove straight onto the trap prepared by Major Weiss.
Slightly south a battalion of Portees harried the Panzers flanks.
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June 2nd 1942 (8)
2 pounder AT guns really were no match for the armour of a Panzer IVG and Major Wolf set out to prove this. Even with only half their original strength the battalion easily dispatched the British guns.
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4.Aufklärungs Abt moved ahead of the division. Locating what looked like to be an entire British armoured division laying in wait just beyond Gabr Saleh. Two battalions each of Grants and Crusader IIIs sat waiting for the order to attack.
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With almost 25% of the divisions Panzers already out of action lesser men may have balked at pushing forward into more armoured contact. Generalmajor Fischer was not a lesser man. 1.Panzer advanced as one, ready to face this new threat. Well placed support battalions to the rear and Panzers to the fore.
Obersleutnant Schwarz directed his men. “I want a strong point here, here and here. Double time people, there’s British armour breathing down our necks!
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Oberarzt Fischer was surprised. Grateful but surprised. The enemy fortifications were not as extensive as he had been led to believe and he was treating only minor cuts and flesh wounds following the assault.
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The British bombers flying missions near Knightsbridge had overstayed their welcome. German 88s found their range and alongside their smaller caliber AA guns ended the threat from the skies.
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21.Panzer now split. 5.Panzer regiment would hold position, ready to strike east when called on. 22.Panzer regiment drove west with the infantry to end the threat form the British at Gazala.
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Again and again the guns of 37.Panzerjäger Abt roared. Again and again their deadly payload found their mark. The wrecks of Crusader and Stuart tanks littered the desert as Obersleutnant Meier proved once again to be the best at what he does.
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Horseman
Colonel - Ju 88A
Colonel - Ju 88A
Posts: 1542
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 2:27 pm

Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:32 pm

June 3rd 1942 (9)
The last of the Stuarts were quickly dispatched.
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The British did not stop their charge. Tank after tank was knocked out whilst their own return fire went wide or ricocheted of off German armour. The battle soon became a swirling melee as the British looked to take advantage of the Germans weaker side or rear armour. When the lead tanks turret was blown clean off the remaining crews realised their predicament.. Angry looking self propelled guns were deployed ready to engage , they could not turn away from this threat nor could they remain with Panzers all around. They did the only logical thing left to do.
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1.Panzers line had held.
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First to arrive in the rear of the Gazala defence line. 2.Panzer regiment engaged the heavy Matilda tanks that came out to meet them. Pferdmann smiled, had it really only been a year since he’d first met those behemoths in battle? He laughed silently to himself, recalling the fear he used to feel each time they were encountered.
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With only a lone artillery battalion in support, 5.Pioneer Abt moved into Tobruk.
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5.Panzer regiment continued to hold. Reports of a heavy armoured presence in the south east put them on edge. 1.Panzer would be unable to come to their assistance if they themselves came under an equally large armoured assault and 22.Panzer regiment wer ebay now far to the east.
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14.Infanterie regiment advanced cautiously. Ready to support the Panzers against the rapidly falling apart British at Gazala.
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Once more the British identified a weak point in the Germans lines. Once more armoured battalions sped across the desert to attack 1.Panzer. Once more the British discovered that Generalmajor Fischer left no weak links in his line.
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June 3rd 1942 (10)
Engaged to his front by Valentine tanks, Major Weiss dispatched his third company south to envelope the attacking Crusaders,
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Without pause the Panzer IVs of 1.Panzer regiment advanced, now free to their front they fell on the Valentines and returned the favour.
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Generalmajor Fischer truly hoped that the seemingly endless supply of British tanks was coming to an end. He still had one more objective to take and he’d promised Pferdmann there would be no failure. He;d hate to disappoint his oldest friend.
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5.Pioneer Abt succeeded in destroying the AA guns leaving only a lone Infantry battalion in Tobruk itself.
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“Tell 5.Pioneer that there’s AT guns blocking 5.Panzer from coming to their aid. If they need support, they’ll need to clear those out first”
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A battalion of 3.7” AA guns were the first unit on the Gazala line to accept the generous surrender terms.
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Others continued to fight. Pferdmann did not expect the British to roll over and surrender easily but surely they could see that fighting would only delay the inevitable. The Gazala line was lost.
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In what may well be the last attack the British are able to attempt a battalion of Grants advanced on the Panzer IVGs of 1.Panzer regiment. As thick as their armour is, they could not press forward against deadly support fire.
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Horseman
Colonel - Ju 88A
Colonel - Ju 88A
Posts: 1542
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 2:27 pm

Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:33 pm

June 4th 1942 (11)
With the Grants engaged to the fore, Major Weiss led his battalion forward once more to envelop the enemy.
With typical British stubbornness they refused to go down without a fight.
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With the enemy armoured formations broken and scattered, Generalmajor Fischer ordered the advance. 1.Panzer swung around and charged north towards the final objective. As they surged forward they avoided direct combat with the remaining Grants in the area. Hoping that these formidable (if not aesthetically pleasing) tanks would surrender.
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5.Pioneer Abt launched a determined assault on the 6 pounder AT battalion. These guns, easily able to defeat even the heaviest armour were not designed to repel determined infantry.
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Corporal Smith was fleeing with the rest of his unit. German storm troopers had overwhelmed them and they had no option but to run. He heard the sound of engines coming from behind and risked a glance back. German armoured cars were speeding down the road towards them “Well, wish we’d brought some of those guns with us now”
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Hauptmann Becker was glad to be on the move at last. Several days of waiting for the word to go forward had drained his patience. He did trust the Generals decisions but so far they had smashed everything the British had thrown at them, there seemed little need to wait to attack en masse.
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Men of 21.Panzer division continued to rampage through the Gazal line. An artillery battalion surrendered but still the majority of the forces here remained unwilling to give up just yet.
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Captain Rickman bounced in his seat as the Portee drove down the coastal road to reinforce Tobruk. He spied a dust cloud off to his left and signalled his driver to pull over. Peering through his binoculars he inhaled sharply “Bloody hell man, those are Krauts! Reverse, reverse! Tell the battalion we need to fall back and get onto HQ. Tell them The Germans are heading for Gambut”
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June 5th 1942 (12)
As the lead Panzers approached Gambut they reported contact. “Looks like a battalion each of M3 Stuarts and Grants” Generalmajor Fischer heard the news, a single regiment.
“Get onto Herr Pferdmann. Tell him this should be done by sundown tomorrow.”
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Already enveloped the Grants that remained near Gabr Saleh quickly surrendered to Major Weiss and his Panzers.
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5.Panzer regiment and her supporting battalions isolated the Portees that had been spotted racing towards Tobruk with 3.Aufklärungs Abt exchanging fire with them during an inconclusive skirmish.
Meanwhile 1.Panzer moved in strength towards Gambut. When he learnt of the additional forces located ready to defend the strategically important village Generalmajor Fischer sent word to Pferdmann “Looks to be a full armoured division at Gambut. Previous estimate optimistic. Expect control of area by day after tomorrow”
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Far to the west more British guns surrendered to the Germans as the Gazala line defences became a shadow of their former selves.
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The British officers huddles around a map when the Captain spoke “Here” he pointed to the map “The divisions command is here” The other officers assembled all looked to the Brigadier in attendance as he spoke “Then that is where we strike”
British Humber armoured cars sped at the enemy. Their mission was to locate and take out the German General. The hope was that with the loss of their commanding officer that the offensive may stall.
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Major Krüger saw the last of the British armoured cars explode. “Please ask Generalmajor Fischer to pull his command platoon back, he’s too close to the front!” As soon as those words left the Majors lips he spotted the next wave. British Cruiser tanks, Crusader mark IIIs were racing directly towards the Generals position “Too late, 1st and 2nd companies move in to blocking positions. 3rd company with me” With that he climbed back into his own command Panzer, pulling the hatch down behind him “Move now, forward”
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Hauptmann Becker saw the British tanks approaching. They were moving in an unfamiliar pattern and not just charging ahead into contact as had been their custom. Too late he realised that they were following the terrain, hugging dips and other natural features to help mask their approach and make them difficult to hit. Even so, fire from the nearby StuGs managed to knock a few out and his own battalion's guns added to the carnage. The British for their part seemed intent not to fire. When the range was close their barrels lit up with the flash of a discharged gun. Shot after shot found its mark, it seemed to Becker that these crews could just not miss.
For the first time since landing, members of the Afrika Korps were forced to retreat. The British had saved their most experienced division until the end.
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Ouch! So that was a full strength PzIIIJ backed up by a full strength StuG IIIF almost one shot!!!
A quick check of the combat log showed me just what happened - for starters its has 3 stars (and after a quick check so does practically everything else near Gambut!) and at this difficulty level that equalled a near 100% chance to hit :shock:

And then theres the old 100% randomness coming in to give me a short sharp kick in the delicate regions...
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A 55% chance to kill with 8 shots (thank god for the AT support!)

Maybe I should be treating these British units with a bit more respect eh?

Horseman
Colonel - Ju 88A
Colonel - Ju 88A
Posts: 1542
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 2:27 pm

Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:19 pm

June 6th 1942 (13)
Captain Rickman had been pleased when the Germans had not pressed the attack, he had been even more pleased when he saw the tank battle turn decisively in the British favour but this morning he had been forced to relocate further west when the Armoured cars he’d been skirmishing with became more aggressive. As he drove down the road he spotted the half tracks cresting the ridge “They’re going to engage us with….” his words were cut short as fire form quad mounted 20mm canons tore through his truck.
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2.Abt/5.PzRgt linked up with 1.Panzer ready to fight the British armour. 1.Abt fell back with the support battalions that had accompanied them. Their orders “Hold the southern flank of Tobruk”
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Two of the remaining four battalions still manning the Gazala line surrendered.
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A lone armoured battalion was all that remained of the British army in the area and still they would not retreat. In one final effort to turn the tide they launched themselves at 1.Panzer.

Four full Tank battalions swept forward to be met by the steel of 1.Panzer. In an hour of furious fighting the remnants of the British armour were forced to pull back whilst the bloodied but victorious Germans were left to lick their wounds and catch their breaths.

“This is Obersleutnant Meier, I need more ammunition brought up immediately. We don’t have a single shell to fire!”
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June 7th 1942 (14)
With the attack beaten back, 1.Panzer swept forward to isolate the last defenders of Gambut from supply. Their artillery being sure to target any serious pockets of resistance.
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With the Gazala line long since broken, 75.Artillerie regiment had been concentrated to break the siege of Tobruk.
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The last British guns on the Gazala line fell silent as their crews surrendered to the inevitable. A lone South African infantry battalion now sat, surrounded on all sides but still defiant.
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Pferdmann had expected the British to attempt a breakout to the east. They could, if successful make it to Egypt. Instead they pulled into a tight defensive cordon.
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June 7th 1942 (15)
Today the last British resistance near Gazala, Tobruk and Gambut surrendered or died. As the afternoon came and went the desert was overtaken with an eerie silence. The sounds of battle now a distant memory.

Pferdmann sank into his chair, exhausted from the past two weeks. On his desk was a small note. He did not recognise the handwriting and when he questioned his aide, Walter advised that no one had been seen entering or leaving his tent.
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He sat holding the note for some time, his deep thought only broken when Walter entered “The first casualty reports are in Herr General”
His Panzer forces, which until now had seemed invincible, had taken quite a beating.
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As he came to the last page he noticed another document on his desk. A quartermasters report. A list of serviceable equipment that had been taken by 1.Panzer since Poland, he read it with interest.
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I've seen posts stating that this was really hard - I'm not so sure. 20 turns is really generous and I was patient and didn't rush at all and still finished early. Its not a cake walk and those two big armoured formations delayed me (though again we see the power of the camouflage hero in action, tempting unwise attacks to make things easier)
but as long as you don't go blindly rushing forward unsupported with units you should be fine.

Two big lessons were learnt here though (well relearned, I knew this stuff before really) 1) German armour still isn't superior to what they're fighting! 2) The PzIVG, whilst impressive is not a Panther or a Tiger. It's better than the PzIIIs but allied armour can still hurt it! Its easy to get upgrades and go woo hoo I've got the best now but you have to remember that the enemy also get better kit!

Finished on 12868 prestige, so off to Egypt we go! See you at the Suez canal :D

fluffybunnyuk
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue May 26, 2020 1:55 am

Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by fluffybunnyuk » Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:11 pm

Loved the Crusader strike. Thats the sort of thing that ruins the sightseeing tour of the pyramids.

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