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 » Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:28 pm

fluffybunnyuk wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:11 pm
Loved the Crusader strike. Thats the sort of thing that ruins the sightseeing tour of the pyramids.
It's moments like those that stay with you!

A unit can get chipped away overtime to 2 strength and it barely registers.....one wallop like that and you gain a whole new respect for Crusader IIIs!

This scenario (well the last few turns) really shows the importance of xp on units.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:08 am

Egypt

June 14th 1942
Pferdmann was surprised by the material being sent to reinforce his Korps. He now had enough of the new Panzer IVGs to fully equip the second battalion of all four of his Panzer regiments. Furthermore, replacement PzIII models were all the new N variant. Equipped with the short barrelled 75mm cannon previously mounted on the earlier PzIV series and well armoured.

With enough men and equipment available to bring both his divisions upto full fighting strength he was in a strong position.

His request for more divisions had however been denied, The war in Russia was still far from certain and the bulk of available forces were being diverted to that front. In concession he had been authorised to begin raising a division using available local men. Although it would be some time before they would be combat ready, plans were set in motion for the new 90th Afrika division and her headquarters established.
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Oberst Michael Braun of 1.Panzer Grenadier regiment strode through the camp. At 6’6” he was an intimidating sight and his exploits in battle were well enough known to earn him a reputation with friend and foe alike.
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July 1st 1942 06:00
The authorization to proceed that Pferdmann had been waiting for finally came.
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He was almost giddy with excitement, the time had come to oust the British form North Afrika once and for all. With the Suez canal in German hands the British would find it increasingly difficult to supply their troops in the region and beyond. And beyond that, well one could only dream.

1.Panzer would strike directly for Cairo whilst 21.Panzer would first take Alexandria before driving onto Port Said and the Suez canal itself.
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With the RN expected to be deployed, a force of the Regia Marina had been dispatched to support the Afrika Korps.
The Destroyers Antonio da Noli, Nicoloso da Recco and Giovanni da Verrazzano. Alongside a Cruiser squadre made up of Luigi Cadorna (CL), Trento (CA) and Trieste (CA). The Italian U-boat Dandolo was also in the area and ordered to assist.
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Moments after the order was given, the Afrika Korps was arrayed for battle.
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Well this one should be fun. Almost certain to face the RN and me with no bombers to help out.....well a dry run for Sea Lion I guess!
The Naval plan is simple - Capital ships kill any Destroyers that show their face whilst my subs get to work on the capital ships...my own Destroyers are basically ablative armour for everything else. Though I need to be careful to try and keep a couple around in case of enemy subs....hmmmmmmm. Then again as long as all the surface vessels are sunk then subs really are not a concern!

On the ground it'll just be brute force to start - no room for clever manoeuvres with such a narrow front. Things should be a little more open once I'm past the Nile.

I had 5 slots available so two more PzIVGs join my ranks. They're just the best AT tanks available and I still expect to face a good number of armoured units. I upgraded all my PzIIIs to the N series as whilst they sacrifice 1 point of initiative ad 1 point of HA compared to the J they also boast a far more impressive GD and importantly a stellar 6 in CD - a number only matched by Pioneers! They should work pretty well enough supporting the IVGs against tanks and still have a strong SA.

I was tempted to increase my AA protection but by time my forces should start spreading out I expect a good chunk of the RAF will be scrap so think I should be OK. I was also tempted by so Bruken Pioneers to help cross the Nile. I decided against it because I feel with 3 artillery units supporting each division I should be able to brute force my way over crossings.

This did mean I deployed with 1 slot not used, but that might come in handy if I want to split anything and there's nothing else I wanted right now. One infantry unit starts in reserve as there's not enough deployment spots but is brought out to play on turn one.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:22 am

July 1st 1942 08:00 (1)
3.Aufklärungs Abt moved ahead of the Afrika Korps. Their reconnaissance mission gave a clear picture of what they were facing on the El Alamein line. 5.5 Inch artillery were not a real danger to the Panzers and the 3.7 inch AA guns would prove less than useful considering the current state of Axis airpower in Afrika.
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A heavy artillery barrage preceded the advance of 22.Panzer regiment.
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With two thirds of their men dead and the remaining hiding from the heavy shells the British AT guns were not ready to face the deadly onslaught of the Panzers.
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Major Weiss timed his attack precisely. 10 minutes before the artillery barrage was due to end he ordered his men forward. The crews of the AT guns were all taking shelter against the deadly storm, an officer peered out and saw the unmistakable shapes of German tanks rolling through the dust cloud “PANZERS INCOMING!”
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All around crews fumbled with shells, desperately trying to load and fire before it was too late. The roars of cannon to their front told them they were too late.
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Offshore, the guns of the Regia Marina added to the chaos on the El Alamein line as British infantry found themselves targeted by the cruiser's guns.
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Advancing through the wreckage of a British AT battalion, 5.Pioneer Abt routed the artillery deployed to support the north part of the line.
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Generalmajor Fischer led the charge against Major Krüger’s objections. 1.Abt/1.Pz Rgt smashed into the remaining British artillery, overrunning the position in less than an hour.
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Peeling away from the main thrust, Major Krüger led a company against an infantry battalion that threatened his battalion's right flank.
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Major Wolf advanced to support the rest of his regiment. Swinging past the first battalion's position he led his men to give chase on the retreating British infantry.
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Major Weiss, seeing the hole created by 1.Panzer regiment, led his battalion to exploit the advantage. Coming in behind the British position he struck the AA gunners from an unexpected direction.
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Moving up in support, 2.Abt/2.Pz Rgt exchanged fire with some Chevy-WBs. The latter decided discretion was indeed the better part of valour.
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With the El Alamein line in utter disarray the Afrika Korps closed in for the kill. Tomorrow should see the line eliminated and the Afrika Korps free to advance deeper into Egypt.
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British armoured reserves charged into 2.Panzer regiment. Grants and Crusader IIIs quickly gained the upper hand.
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The skies over 21.Panzer were filled with the hum of Spitfire engines. Those planes would provide vital information to the British commanders and Pferdmann ordered their immediate destruction.
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Well the brute force approach worked pretty nicely with the British defences proving to be made of paper mache!

But that armoured counter attack - oof! The Grants held their own against my best tanks and the Crusaders owned the PzIIIs. The mistake here was twofold. First I had no support unit (ideally the AT) deployed close enough to get through and protect the front line. Secondly I then overstretched without checking where I could get to supported. Even some 15cm art would have probably been enough to turn the odds in my favour. Now I'm 25% down on 1.Panzers effective tank forces and its only turn 1! Good job their ultimate target is Cairo where I don't expect too much armoured resistance. Though those PzIIINs may have been useful in the city.

I forgot to mention my new hero in my last post. Fearsome reputation, not useless but not amazing either. He's on some infantry as they're likely to end up next to enemy units quite often in areas of close terrain. Would have put him on a Pioneer but they both already have heros!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:03 pm

July 2nd 1942 (2)
Pferdmanns flak battalions quickly responded to his orders.
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The hard pressed 2.Panzer regiment were brought a reprieve by the guns of the Regia Marina. The heavy shells forced the British crusaders to halt their advance.
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Resisting all calls for their surrender, the British infantry still dug in on the El Alamein line were forced to abandon their positions following a pair of simultaneous assaults.
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Forces of 21.Panzer rampaged through the line, breaking what will to resist the British had left.
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4.Aufklärungs Abt gained accurate coordinates of the British armour, allowing the German artillery to target them with precise fire.
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Pferdmann was pleased to see that despite getting their noses bloodied, 2.Panzer regiment still had teeth as they now turned the British attack back.
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The Panzer IVs churned through the desert. As one they released a volley towards the remnants of the British armour that had attacked yesterday. Their confidence so high, that they did not pause as they came about seeking another target.
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A British Chevy-WB battalion, forced to retreat yesterday in the face of enemy armour were trying to regroup and regain some semblance of fighting order. In the distance Major Wolf directed his troops “some easy pray for us”
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Major Krüger, acting in conjunction with the 2nd battalion, caught the Chevy-WBs as they once more attempted to withdraw.
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General der Panzertruppe Pferdmann urged his forces forward. In less than two days they had breached the British defences “Forward my men, the Afika Korps only goes forward!”
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July 3rd 1942 (3)
A mighty flurry of activity began across the ships of the Regala Marina. The submarine Dandolo had reported sighting of a British destroyer off the coast near Alexandria. All hands made preparations, ready to engage the Royal Navy.
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The advance was slow. The desert opening up with the escarpment giving way to sandy dunes necessitated the need to bring up infantry to protect the southern flank. But still the Afrika Korps marched forward.
“Yes Captain, make sure your ships stay close to the shore. From their my Flak battalions can protect you from the RAF”
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Klaxons sounded as men ran around in panic. The Destroyer Antonio da Noli had received a volley from a British Heavy Cruiser and now had plumes of black smoke billowing from several holes in her hull. A pair of RN Destoyer’s bore down on her, intent on finishing the job.
Nearby the Nicoloso da Recco received fire from a Light Cruiser, thankfully expert handling and a quick course change allowed her to avoid the worst of it thought light damage was received.
Men of 75.Artilerie regiment took what shelter they could. Sadly there were few places one could hide from the monstrous guns of a British capital ship. Major Hartmann quickly reported to command “Best guess is Battleship caliber. Tell the Italians they might need to bring in something bigger!”
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Pferdmann read the dispatch from the fleet. The Battlecruiser HMS Renown led the force that had sailed to engage them. Backed up by a Heavy Cruiser, HMS Norfolk and a Light Cruiser, HMS Newcastle. Leading the charge were the Destroyers HMS Ashanti and Bedouin.
“Well Walter looks like our friends have a fight on their hands. Can they handle a Battle Cruiser?” Walter shook his head ever so slightly
“I’m not sure Herr General. The Renown severely outguns everything in the area, we may have to move away from the coast”
Well I knew they were coming - I know some people will say ignore the ships because you don't need to sink them to win. First off, 1 shot from the BB killed 3 sp of artillery and as they have 3 stars of experience that was actually not as bad as it could have been. So yeah I don't want those beasts hounding my every move because they will cause a lot of damage (and you can't stay away form the coast the whole scenario, three objectives lie on the coast/the Suez canal) Secondly - I like sinking things!

For a game that generally does pretty well at the whole history side of things, I'm pretty surprised to see that they used an Admiral class Battleship in this scenario. Now they have one in Sealion too which is surprising for two reasons. 1) The Admiral class was technically a Battle Cruiser. 2) Only one ever got built, the HMS Hood...and she was sunk by now! Even ignoring that we're changing history, so maybe the Bismark didn't try and break out to the Atlantic and all that there still can't be two of these ships. And they do have other British battleships in the game - namely the Nelson class at least. There's plenty of others to have chosen from too. Anyway history grumble/rant over. I swear I'm turning into my Dad :shock:

WalterTFD
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by WalterTFD » Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:53 am

Ships are where the 'no airforce' stipulation hurts the most. No way to stop them from inflicting damage every turn, they have excellent range and don't provoke defensive fire.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:31 am

WalterTFD wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:53 am
Ships are where the 'no airforce' stipulation hurts the most. No way to stop them from inflicting damage every turn, they have excellent range and don't provoke defensive fire.
I agree - I wasn't really expecting to face any proper naval battles until Sealion, but considering the last 4 scenarios have been fought on the coast I guess I should have expected to run into the RN at some point. But fighting a Battleship with only Cruisers......not so fun!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:01 pm

July 4th 1942 (4)
Over El Alamein the skies were filled with smoke and explosions. German Flak batteries engaged the RAF with deadly results.
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There was a time for dash and dazzle and a time to be more conservative. For all his natural flair, Generalmajor Fischer knew now was the time for the latter. Unexpected British armoured attacks had already inflicted heavy damage to 2.Panzer regiment and 1.Panzer division moved cautiously eastwards, closing slowly on their objectives in Cairo.
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The gunners of 75.Artilerie battalion were surprised to receive coordinates for a barrage. “Sir, unless I’m mistaken that will see our shells land in the sea?”
“You are not mistaken, The Royal Navy are in the area and we have been asked to provide fire support”
The Antonio da Noli came about slowly with a groan. She had taken heavy damage and was in poor shape to fight. Even with all hands busy a cheer went up when they saw one of her tormentors split in two with a mighty explosion. The second Destroyer seemed to list badly as water from a gaping hole in her portside allowed water to pour into the ship. A solitary torpedo left the Italian ship, all she could muster at the time, speeding through the water towards the stricken HMS Ashanti.
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The Dandolo continued to stalk HMS Renown, the mighty vessel, for all her might, impotent to respond to the submarine.
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Whilst 1.Panzer led the way, 21.Panzer closed to maintain a mutual supporting line. Her first objective, Alexandria was now in striking distance.
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The army and Royal Navy had already proved their courage in the past few days. Now the RAF showed theirs. Pushing through a heavy flak barrage a wing of bombers pressed on to deliver their payload.
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Meanwhile a pair of fighter wings made a run at the Italian fleet but without heavy ordnance failed to achieve decisive hits.
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The remaining British ships continued their assault on the Afrika Korps. This time the heavy siege guns suffered. Pferdmann could not fathom why the Royal Navy would not engage the Italian fleet directly or indeed run for port if they were unable to deal with the submarines.
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July 5th 1942 (5)
The remaining bombers were brought down as they came about to return home. With the skies over 1.Panzer clear once more they advanced.
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12.Flak Abt reversed course back to El Alamein. The British fighters swarming above the Italian ships were easy targets.
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Captain Armstrong ordered his vessel to come about hard to port. The Italian Heavy Cruiser had him slightly outgunned but the Italians were not as well trained as the Royal Navy. He was confident. “Captain, I have new contact. Coming straight for us” By the time the new contact had been confirmed as two more Cruisers his confidence had waned. “Inform Renown we ne…..” his sentence was cut short as a shell detonation demolished the ship's bridge.
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HMS Renown was having trouble of her own.
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12.Flak battalion found itself under attack from some British fighters. Although unsuited to such a mission the British did manage to knock out some of the AA guns.
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The Royal Navy continued to target vulnerable gun positions and all the German could do was look to the Italians to remove the threat as they were powerless to engage heavy naval units.
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July 6th 1942 (6)
Generalmajor Fischer received the report. British armour sighted ahead. AT least two battalions including Valentine IIIs and Crusader IIIs. “Get onto Meier, I want 37.Panzerjäger Abt in position to support our Panzers. We can not underestimate the british armour again”
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Obersleutnant Meier had spread his battalion thin in order to ensure he had some response no matter which point the British attacked. His people would make all the difference in the upcoming clash of armour.
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Pferdmann saw the reconnaissance report from 3.Aufklärungs Abt. Alexandria was defended by Engineers, heavy weapon infantry and some 20mm AA. A lone MTB was currently in port “Make sure the Italians know about that boat. I know they have their hands full but it could prove a threat to their only advantage right now” Pferdmann rechecked the report, ordinarily those forces wouldn’t give him cause for concern. But if the Royal Navy intervened he had no way to prevent massive casualties. He took a deep breath before issuing his next command “Tell 21.Panzer that Alexandra needs to fall quickly. If they get bogged down those damned Cruisers are going to give the a real hard time”
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By nightfall the British AA battalion was in retreat and 21.Panzer had brought the city under siege. They had heard their General and would see his orders carried out.
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HMS Renown was hurt. Repeated torpedo strikes had left her steering damaged and she’d already begun taking on water. She had to get out of here before the Italian sub finished her off but Captain Daniel had ignored the pleas of his officers. He’d been ordered to support the garrison at Alexandria and that is what he would do. A shout from one of his officers made his shoulder slump “Torpedo trails port side!”
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Major Krüger led his first and third companies forward, The first of the British armoured waves, funneled by accurate fire by the nearby StuGs, drifted into their killing field. He was not prepared for the second wave. Out of position and ill prepared his two companies prepared for a more even fight. When his 2nd company appeared and fell on the British flanks he let out a sigh of relief. His company commanders were well trained, but the distinct command Panzer at the head of the attack left him in no doubt who had brought them forward so quickly “Thank god for Markus Fischer” he muttered under his breath. By nightfall the ground was littered with the wrecks of two full British armoured battalions and around half a dozen Panzers.
To the south 2.Panzer regiment had also been in action against a lone battalion.
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Captain Daniel snapped at his officers “The Italians won’t dare engage us here, kill the damned artillery and the Germans can’t hope to assault Alexandria. Kill the AA and the RAF can deal with these pesky subs”
The British heavy infantry in Alexandria advanced out. Maybe they didn’t realise the full extent of the forces facing them here or maybe they just didn’t care. Heavy fighting saw 14.Infanterie regiment badly bloodied but holding. The British were now in the open and there were Panzers on the prowl.
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Every turn those ships fire I just see prestige floating down the Nile! I managed to over power the Light Cruiser with all three of my own Cruisers (and actually got lucky with the return fire!) but just looking at the odds in attacking the other two is enough to make me weep. That sub has to do the work here but its taking so long (not helped by the British high XP making my subs attack super inaccurate!) And unlike in PC1 ships with at least 1 strength point fire at full strength! I'm going to loose a unit here if I'm not careful and now have to make a decision, reinforce or not? Hopefully this is the extent of the British navy but I suspect there will be more by Port Said. This means I can't just sacrifice my ships to stop the shore bombardments yet.

WalterTFD
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by WalterTFD » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:40 am

Oof, just looking at those high exp 88's and artillery with 3 and 4 strength left makes me gnash my teeth. Absent level bombers capital ships are just terrible bullies. On the other hand the tank fights seem to be going really well. CPU can't handle supported german armor, particularly not with heroes in the mix.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:40 am

WalterTFD wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:40 am
Oof, just looking at those high exp 88's and artillery with 3 and 4 strength left makes me gnash my teeth. Absent level bombers capital ships are just terrible bullies. On the other hand the tank fights seem to be going really well. CPU can't handle supported german armor, particularly not with heroes in the mix.

Yeah the damage those ships are causing really hurts, the lesson ready for sealion is to make sure I have plenty of prestige in the bank ready to make repairs as any units hit on mainland UK won't have anywhere to hide! In some ways its good that they're targeting my ground units though - at least mt fleet is still there to take them and the suspected future contact out! If the British capital ships went straight for my fleet they'd have been wiped out in short order.

It was a full strength tank supported by AT that got hit for 8 in the last scenario so its not quite an invincible defence. And don't forget 1.Panzers AT has the camouflage hero. The AI doesn't even know its there when attacking - though I'm not sure if it gets revealed after the first attack?

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:57 am

July 7th 1942 (7)
With the British assault repulsed Major Wolf brought his battalion forward to finish off what was left of the enemy still left fighting.
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4.Aufklärungs Abt reached the road that led to Cairo and reported further British armour blocking the way forward. “Matilda IIs” mused Generalmajor Fischer. A year ago those beasts instilled a sense of dread and foreboding when they appeared on the battlefield. Now though he knew how to handle them, .
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The crews of the Matilda II battalion watched as a wall of Panzers straddled the road and advanced towards them. Too slow to run they braced themselves for the coming fight. They would stop the Germans here or die trying,
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5.Pioneer Abt led the assault supported by 14.Infanterie regiment which saw the British strongpoint before Alexandria fall.
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Caught in the open the British infantry were first routed by the Panzers and then caught in the city and destroyed.
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The British Flak battalion had attempted to regroup to the east of the city but once again the Panzers came. Falling back within the city itself was not enough to stop the pursuit.
The siege of Alexandria had truly begun.
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The latest torpedo strike had left the Renown taking on more water than the pumps could handle, she was sinking fast and if the crew couldn’t patch the hole she was done for. The whole ship shuddered as shells from the Trieste slammed into her hull. With a groan Y turret swivelled to meet this new threat.
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Trento rocked as her main batteries fired on Renown. Several shells impacted on the deck, explosions sending sailors over the side into the unforgiving seas. Unable to effect repairs under heavy fire Captain Daniel reluctantly gave the order “Abandon ship, all hands abandon ship!” Whilst others scurried away to the lifeboats, the Captain stood grimly at his post.
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Captain Bellars quickly appraised the situation. Renown and Newcastle were gone. Three Italian Cruisers were nearby as well as a submarine which he had no way to engage “Tell the Alexandria garrison, they’re on their own. We need to withdraw in the face of superior forces.” He swore under his breath. If it wasn’t for that damned sub he could have at least held off the Italian surface vessels for a few days.
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Three full armoured battalions smashed into the lead elements of 1.Panzer. Matilda IIs, Stuarts and a previously unknown design that Pferdmann would later confirm as American made Shermans. 37.Panzerjäger Abt, well placed as always by their resolute commander Obersleutnant Meier, tipped the balance in to the Germans favour.
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The coastal fortifications near Alexandria turned her guns inland, scoring some direct hits on nearby Panzers.
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15.Flak Abt saw the MTB glide over the water close to shore. They were not expecting her to begin firing inland. The quad 20mm cannons were not designed to engage shipping but still they scored several direct hits, causing minor damage to the reckless vessel.
HMS Norfolk continued to fire in support of Alexandria even as she prepared to make a dash eastwards to safety.
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July 8th 1942 (8)
As had now become a well practiced strategy, 1.Panzer had absorbed the British assault and now launched into their own deadly counter attack. First the Shermans.
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Then the Stuarts.
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And lastly the Matilda’s were all knocked out of the fight.
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Their front once more clear, 1.Panzer drove to within striking distance of Cairo.
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Oberarzt Fischer was overwhelmed. Deprived of their usual heavy artillery support, 5.Pioneer Abt had still assaulted the Alexandria garrison. The fighting was close range and brutal. After two hours of intense house to house fighting the British gave up their positions, perhaps hoping to evacuate over sea.
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The British hopes to find ships to carry them to safety were quickly dashed. With the Italian fleet so close no unarmed vessel was willing to run the blockade. With German infantry advancing through the city, their time was running out.
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With Alexandria secure and the fort under siege elements of 21.Panzer begin the push east towards the Nile.
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Fire from three Italian Cruisers was more than enough to finish the British MTB that had come from Alexandria. Dandolo now turned her attention to the British Heavy Cruiser now trapped against the Egyptian coast.
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Captain Bellars would never admit it to his officers and crew but he was scared. The well entrenched Alexandria garrison had been overrun so the nearest safe haven was Port Said some distance away. And he would be harried by the Italian fleet all the way. “I want us at flank speed!” he called out, moments later a torpedo had struck his hull causing minor damage. Once up to speed the submarine could not keep up, he’d just have three Italian Cruisers to fend off “Sir, we have lost contact with the enemy ships” Bellars knew his ammunition stocks were not unlimited but he would not let his guns fall silent “Germans are now occupying Alexandria. Let them know we’re still here”
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:16 pm

July 9th 1942 (9)
4.Aufklärungs Abt advanced cautiously on Cairo. When the report reached Generalmajor Fischer he was impressed. The British had heavily fortified the city and looked ready to put up a fight. Five full infantry battalions (1xheavy 1xSAS and 2xCommando) were dug in and supported by some 6Ibr and 25Ibr guns. And that was just the west bank.
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1.Panzer secured the local airfield and moved in to begin the siege. Tomorrow they expected to have the entire west bank encircled.
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3.Aufklärungs Abt confirmed the road ahead was clear. Tanta sat empty of military personnel, had the British really failed to protect these vital crossings?
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21.Panzer did not delay. The first bridge was seized and Tanta secured. On the furthest bank, daring the Germans to cross the river sat a battalion of Grant heavy tanks.
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The British in Cairo cheered as RAF Hurricanes, Mosquitoes and Spitfires flew overhead, they’d seen these planes in action before and knew the Germans were about to have a friendly welcome. The cheers turned to stony silence as the first reports started coming in.
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Over half the bombers had been shot down on the initial attack run for limited effect.
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July 10th 1942 (10)
The RAF had appeared in force over 1.Panzer and the crews of 13.Flak Abt had worked tirelessly to protect their fellows. Otto shunted another shell into the breech whilst Karl furiously cranked the handle to aim Bertha at the nimble hurricanes ahead.
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With over half their guns out of commission 16.Flak Abt still managed to finish the remaining bombers arrayed against the Germans.
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15.Flak Abt had barely sped into position before the distinctive sound of their quad 20mm cannons filled the air. The Spitfires flying in perfect formation ready to protect their bombers were easy targets.
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The only real threat to the Panzers near Cairo were the guns. Suppressed by artillery the 6Ibrs fell prey to Major Krüger and his Panzers.
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Whilst the 25Ibrs could not resist the combined might of two Panzer battalions.
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As Major Wolf brought his battalion round in a wide arc to come at the British guns he received word that more British forces were marshalled to the south. A battalion of armoured cars alongside some Wasp flamethrower AFVs.
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Pferdmann received the scattered reports of armoured units south of Cairo and quickly sent 4.Aufklärungs Abt to investigate. They confirmed the presence of a major concentration of armour including Crusader III tanks.
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3.Aufklärungs Abt swept the northern flank to ensure it was clear. To their surprise they spotted a British aircraft carrier moored just off the coast. This information quickly found its way to Pferdmann who in turn quickly passed it onto the Italian fleet.
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75.Artillerie had spent the past few days regrouping and repairing broken guns. Now back to some semblance of order she was ordered to the front. The guns would be needed to break the stalemate at the river crossing. 6Ibr Portee AT guns had been located supporting the Grants, making any attempt to push through with Panzers suicide,
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A newly formed battalion of Brukenpioneer’s had mobilised near Alexandria. “Just in time, get them moving to support 21.Panzer please”

Whilst just off the coast the Dandolo continued to harass the HMS Norfolk as the Italian surface fleets began moving east towards the sighted carrier.
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When the SAS attacked, 5.Panzer Grenadier regiment were ready. Heavy machine guns raked and suppressed the brave British whilst Oberst Braun directed mortar fire to pin the enemy in place. With their attack stopped and no way to fall back safely the SAS troopers steeled their resolve and prepared to meet the incoming attack.
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Captain Bellars read the dispatch. German bridging troops and been spotted marshalling in Alexandria. “If they cross the Nile its over. The army had strength to hold the bridges, not the whole damned river. We’re not leaving gentleman.”
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With all three of 21.Panzers artillery damaged I bit the bullet and purchased some reinforcements for two of them. A bit of prestige hurt but there's still a long way to go!

At the beginning I felt I'd get by without any bridging troops. After all I can probably blast my way over the bridges if I want to......A Grant backed up by 6Ibr portees.....yeah that might be tough. The 6Ibr puts paid to the thoughts of any armoured assault and infantry will do little more than tickle the Grant. My battered artillery might be able to help but I don't feel like I'll manage a push here without some hefty losses. Even if I fully suppress the Portee that still leaves my tank fighting on a bridge against a full strength Grant and chipping away wont help as the British seem to have plenty of prestige. I suspect there's going to be more trouble waiting for me near Port Said and Suez so if I can avoid costly attacks I will!

WalterTFD
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by WalterTFD » Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:44 am

You've got loads of prestige, right? Should be ok to ifx up the artillery, esp. in a situation where they might be fired on by navy at any moment.

Tank backed by 6lb across a bridge is another of those 'curse my lack of planes' moments. Making an alternate bridge with a bridging squad seems like an excellent adaptation to the demands of the battlefield.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:15 am

WalterTFD wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 5:44 am
You've got loads of prestige, right? Should be ok to ifx up the artillery, esp. in a situation where they might be fired on by navy at any moment.

Tank backed by 6lb across a bridge is another of those 'curse my lack of planes' moments. Making an alternate bridge with a bridging squad seems like an excellent adaptation to the demands of the battlefield.
Depends on your definition of loads.....but yeah I'm not prestige starved as such but it did cost me 10k to goto Egypt and considering how expensive Art & AA is to replace, to many in scenario reinforcements will break the bank!

I should have had the bridgers from the start but live and learn, that was a little bit of over confidence, thinking I'd just be able to blast through anything easily.

EDIT: I have approximately 1100 prestige as of the start of turn 11. Thats after my purchase of the brukenpioneers and elite replacements for 2x artillery (each got 5sp and still not full strength) Repairing all my Art and AA back to full strength will cost over half of that if I do it in scenario....

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:30 am

July 11th 1942 (11)
The armoured cars that had secured the airfield on the outskirts of Cairo soon found themselves facing off against Panzers. A match up they were not favorable to win.
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Obersleutnant Schwarz was glad to see the back of the desert. He led his men into Cairo and the sort of close quarter fighting that they excelled at. It did not take them long to rout the British infantry deployed on the west side.
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South of Cairo, Panzers went on the offensive. The flamethrowers on the Wasps proved as impotent against armour in the open as the small arms of the SAS.
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Major Wolf charged his battalion forwards. With the British in retreat hid Panzers reaped a terrible toll.
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1.Panzer now encircled the west bank of Cairo. The British armoured Brigade to the south whilst potent would be powerless to intervene so long as the Panzer line held firm.
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Artillery rained fire on the British Grants that blocked the bridge to little gain. Even suppressed ,any attempt to force a crossing here would cost many German lives. Pferdmann told them to hold. Brukenpioneers were on route to create an alternative means to cross.
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The Captain of the Dandolo peered through the periscope. The British Cruiser he had been hounding for the past few days was now sinking fast. “Ahead flank speed, we need to support the others now.”
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In Cairo artillery rained down from the east bank. Generalmajor Fischer gritted his teeth, there was little he could do to counter it at this time. His men would have to weather the fire.

July 12th 1942 (12)
4.Aufklärungs Abt edged around the flanks of the British armoured formation. The Vickers AA guns were ill suited to direct combat and the short skirmish between these two support battalions favoured the Germans.
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Obersleutnant Schwarz led his men deeper into the city. A British heavy weapons battalion found themselves fighting house to house with elite German assault troops. Heavy machine guns and mortars were of limited use in such a battle and the British were pushed out of the city with heavy losses.
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Two hours ago he had occupied a strong defensive position with his squad. Now Corporal Busby was running, his squad gone. The German assault had been brutal and there had to be a better way to stop them. When the Panzers appeared in their path the British found themselves with nowhere to go.
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1.Panzer continued their slow push through Cairo.
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The stalemate at the bridge continued with the artillery failing to dislodge the British defenders. “An entire Panzer division held up by one tank battalion and some AT guns!”
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An SAS battalion snuck forward, once more securing the airfield near Cairo. Pferdmann was now left to ponder. Did the British still have planes to utilise the field?
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July 13th 1942 (13)
He didn’t know whether the airfield was important anymore but Major Krüger wasn’t going to ignore an elite British infantry battalion that had abandoned the sanctuary of the city.
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Trapped behind enemy lines the SAS were quickly hunted down.
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To the south, Oberst Braun cemented his reputation. Leading his men forward against tanks! Supplies low and ammunition scarce the Crusader III crews could do little as German infantry swarmed all around them.
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4.Aufklärungs Abt continued their skirmish with the British Vickers, forcing the latter to give ground and become easy targets for the Panzers lying in wait.
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Brigadier Horn appraised the situation. His Brigade now had their backs to the Nile and Germans everywhere else. “Well this is a dilly of a pickle old boy. How about you take your lads and punch us a hole out of here Major” Major Bryce looked at his commanding officer, snapped of a smart salute and replied “Will do sir, be out for tea and biscuits in just a jiffy”
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75.Artillerie regiment switched targets in an attempt to knock out the Portees that were supporting the stand off at the bridge. Meanwhile elements of 21.Panzer prepared to make a river crossing to the north.
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Major Bryce had not seen the StuGs deployed to the west. Their unexpected intervention had dashed his hopes of breaking through the Panzer lines “Better tell the Brigadier tea and biscuits have been cancelled”
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Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:11 pm

July 14th 1942 (14)
Brigadier Horn stood gallantly to attention as the Panzer approached. There was nothing for it now, the attempt to break out had failed and his people had no where to run.
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Obersleutnant Schwarz received the information gladly. 4.Aufklärungs Abt had provided pinpoint coordinates for the artillery and now passed information regarding a weak spot in the British defences to the Pioneers. “We hit them hard here and they’ll crumble.” he grinned.
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With the west bank of the Nile now firmly in German hands, Generalmajor Fischer began making plans to cross the river.
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3.Aufklärungs Abt swept across the pontoon bridges. Her initial foray beyond the Nile confirmed that it was just the two battalions holding the bridge.
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The artillery once more laid blistering fire on to the Portee battalion and the Panzers following in the wake of the Recon battalion fell on their flanks.
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More Panzers engaged the Grants and forced them to abandon their defensive position.
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Allowing the remaining Panzers to storm the bridge.
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Less than one hour since the first pontoon bridge was errected, 21.Panzer had crossed the Nile.
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HMS Formidable had been on station for days. Despite requests to fall back she had been ordered to hold. When the first shells hit her hull her Captain knew this was it. There would be no escape.
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A battalion of new Chruchil heavy tanks led the British counter attack. Their orders were simple. Keep the Germans away from Port Said.
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July 15th 1942 (15)
Ordered to retake west Cairo the SAS advanced. As soon as they were halfway across the bridge they came under heavy fire. Caught in a bottleneck by elite German infantry they soon fell back in disorder.
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1.Panzer were preparing. A large concentration of British troops held the other side of the Nile and it would be their job to take it from them. Generalmajor Fischer feared the worst and communicated his fears to Pferdmann, the reply was somewhat surprising “Just keep the British pinned old friend, I have some useful tools heading your way. I will assume you’ll know what to do with them when they arrive”
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3.Aufklärungs Abt ranged far ahead of the division. British resistance was remarkably light in the area although more Sherman tanks were located on the route south.
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The British AA guns that had accompanied the Churchills quickly found themselves outgunned by a battalion of Panzers.
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Whilst 21.Panzer marshalled themselves fully on the eastern side of the Nile.
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Two Sherman battalions crashed into the German lines. One exchanged inconclusive fire with some armoured cars whilst the other punched north to relieve the Churchills.
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July 16th 1942 (16)
Obersleutnant Schwarz had been told to secure the southern bridge and probe the British defences. Generalmajor Fischer almost choked when he was informed that the British AA guns holding the airfield had been routed. “Schwarz never does things by half does he?” He asked no one in particular.
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On the bridge itself Schwarz went about organising his men to ensure they held it against any attacks.
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With the British armour somewhat rampant, 21.Panzer held and prepared their defensive line, ready to hold against further assault.
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The Italian navy, confident (perhaps over confidant) following the sinking of a British Carrier advanced on Port Said and began to engage the MTB currently in port.
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Deacon AT guns moved into position. All around the husks of AA guns and broken bodies littered the ground. “We hold here”
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The main strike force blunted, the British commander sent in his Stuart light tanks in a futile effort to extract what was left of his armoured might from the jaws of the advancing Panzers.
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fluffybunnyuk
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by fluffybunnyuk » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:05 pm

Stop the war, Fischers run out of tea. No more advance into Cairo until the tea supply turns up.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:09 pm

fluffybunnyuk wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:05 pm
Stop the war, Fischers run out of tea. No more advance into Cairo until the tea supply turns up.
Nah - we'll take all the tea we need off the Brits......I'm sure every time a unit surrenders we get at least several kilos!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:39 pm

July 17th 1942 (17)
Obersleutnant Schwarz was in position on the east side of the bridge. British infantry had been located holding areas of the city to his east. “2nd Company needs to swing to the right and flank the British positions, 3rd Company to hold a defensive position here as a fall back point. 1st Company with me!” With that he hefted his trusty MP38 and sprinted forward. An hour later the smell of burnt flesh hung in the air, Schwarz was checking the bodies of several fallen enemy soldiers when he exclaimed with a snort “He who dares, dies”
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They’d seen the Stuarts coming up behind them in support. They’d also seen the Stuarts attack stopped dead with minimum fuss. Outnumbered and all but surrounded, the last of the Sherman crews surrendered to the advancing Panzers.
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The Italian fleet lobbed shell after shell into Port Said. The British MTB taking shelter there, although a small target was struck several times which was all it took for her to go down with all hands.
With Port Said under blockade, 21.Panzer cut off any overland supply routes to the remaining British armour.
IN the canal itself a British Light Cruiser, the HMS Manchester was sighted. Originally sailing to the Mediteranean to bolster the Royal Navy there she was now positioning to support the ground forces.
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The Giovanni da Verrazzano was at the forefront of the fleet. Her role was to provide information of any British naval units in the Suez canal. A single volley of fire tore into her and diabled her forward turrets.
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July 18th 1942 (18)
Private Perkins carefully picked his way through the streets of Cairo. The bodies of fallen SAS troopers littered the area, it looked to Perkins like they’d been massacred. “I can’t see any fallen Germans Sergeant. I don’t like it here” The crackle of gunfire soon drowned out the young Privates' voice and as he dove for cover he heard the tell tale whoosh of German flamethrowers.
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Generalmajor Fischer was almost shouting down the radio “Where are those damned Brukenpioneers?” Before the reply could come he heard a commotion from down the street and went to investigate. “What on Earth is going on here?” One of the men stopped pushing the Opel Blitz long enough to reply to the confused General “No fuel Sir. And we need the equipment in the trucks to build a bridge, don’t suppose you can spare any men to help us get in position?” With a sigh Fischer organised some help for the stranded Pioneers.
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The Dandolo entered the Suez canal. Not able to effectively maneuver the HMS Manchester was a sitting duck.
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“Return fire!” Three enemy Cruisers engaged her at range but HMS Manchester had a proud history. Struck by torpedoes, unable to maneuver and now, heavily outgunned she refused to disgrace the service.
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The Chruchil tanks, despite their thick armour, were unable to resist the push of 21.Panzer.
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16.Flak Abt. Despite the losses received to Naval gunfire engaged the stranded Sherman battalion. With little ability to respond the British could only watch tank after tank being knocked out by the 88mm guns. “Thats it lads, give it up.”
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Major Klein hadn’t had much experience leading offensive operations; his battalion was mostly deployed to support Panzers not operate alone. But the Stuarts armour was too thin to resist the power of the StuG IIIs guns and clever position had allowed the Germans to get the drop on the enemy.
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With the armoured threat once again neutered, 21.Panzer advanced cautiously towards Suez.
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Captain Weaver checked hsi orders, So it seemed some German Pioneers were making life difficult for the infantry near the bridge. He had heard the German Pioneers liked flamethrowers “Lets see how they like these apples” he grinned as his battalion rumbled into position.
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July 19th 1942 (19)
Generalmajor Fischer ached. It’d been a while since he’d performed any manual labour but he really needed those bridges over the Nile. He wasn’t sure how long Schwarz and his men could hold the bridge. “Report from Obersleutnant Schwarz sir” Fischer turned and nodded for the officer to continue “It reads. The British have an interesting idea, mounting Flammwerfwers onto armoured transports. We may want to look into that. There’s some burnt out wrecks in Cairo if you want to see for yourself.”
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Pferdmann received the report from 3.Aufklärungs Abt. The good news was that Suez was very lightly held. The bad news was that the HMS Valiant had been sighted providing support. “Better tell the Italians that there’s a Battleship at the other end of the Canal. And I need her sunk!”
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With Port Said secured, 21.Panzer were ordered to hold position. Pferdmann did not want to provide the Royal Navy gunners with more targets!
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3.Aufklärungs Abt. was pulling back when the ground erupted around them. Heavy guns easily punched through their light armour where ever a shell connected. A quick message sent to command sent shivers down Pferdmanns spine “Heavy fire. Too heavy for a lone Battleship. There’s something else in the area with big guns”
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Well for I think the second time in this campaign a unit has run out of fuel (1st time was the very 1st scenario)

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:43 pm

July 20th 1942 (20)
The Dandalo, ever mindful of enemy Destroyers, surged forward through the Suez canal. Up ahead with her guns pointing inland she located the HMS Sussex. A Heavy Cruiser.
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21.Panzer quickly responded to the latest British armoured thrust with typical efficiency. The Stuart battalion, outnumbered and out matched, was quickly eliminated.
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And the Division edging ever closer to the town of Suez, their final objective.
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Oberst Braun was the first of the Panzer Grenadiers to cross the Nile. Some odd looking armoured cars had taken position on the local airfield “Tank Destroyers” he murmured to himself before raising his voice to issue orders “One Company on me, our Panzers would appreciate us taking care of this little problem.”
To the south, Panzers swarmed across the newly raised pontoon bridges.
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The retreating Deacon’s were easy targets for the Panzers now encircling Cairo form the south.
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With Panzers blocking any reinforcements from reaching Cairo from the desert, 1.Panzer solidified their foothold on the eastern bank of the Nile.
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Major Weiss was glad for the support from the Panzerjaegers. British Crusader tanks had attacked in force and his own battalion had less than a third of their fighting strength remaining, but they held firm.
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HMS Sussex rocked as her primary batteries tracked their new target. The crew of the Trento remained calm despite the heavy shells striking all around and returned fire.
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July 21st 1942 (21)
Major Weiss watched as the British tanks began to full back. His own command was severely hurting but it mattered not, the momentum was with him “We have them beaten! Forward now and complete our victory!”
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A Portee battalion that had arrived to reinforce Cairo had been forced to fall back when they found the city swarming with Germans. Unsupported and alone they were easy prey for the Panzers lurking nearby,
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Obersleutnant Schwarz was glad to be off the bridge and pushing forward through the city. The British artillery was fearsome when engaging at range. Not so much when the fighting became close and personal.
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1.Panzer continued to advance through the streets of Cairo. The British were rapidly running out of space.
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Captain Bryce of the HMS Sussex was flung to the deck by a nearby explosion “Damage report!” He shouted as he clambered back to his feet. The deck was littered with the bodies of fallen officers and crew but the old girl was still afloat. “We’ve lost….” The reply was cut short by another shell crashing into the bridge.
Nearby, HMS Valiant began moving in support of her stricken escort. “Sir, it’s confirmed. Three Italian Cruisers and a Submarine have engaged Sussex. Sir, she’s in trouble”
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On land, 21.Panzer quickly overwhelmed the British Grants that had come forward.
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Pferdmann would have given his right arm for some good bombers right now. “Yes thats right, you NEED to sink that blasted Battleship. Her guns will decimate my forces if allowed to fire unchecked” The Italians were nervous about engaging such a formidable warship. She outgunned the entire Italian fleet currently in the area, but they had a Submarine and that would have to be enough.
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Obersleutnant Schwarz gripped his trusty MP38 tight,“Here they come” Well trained and experienced, his men did not need to be told to stay out of sight until the British infantry were closer. With the British nearly on top of them, 37.Pioneers Abt struck. The air was thick with the sounds of battle and the stench of burnt flesh. The lead company was cut down almost to a man within mere minutes, the others quickly pulling back.
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The Luigi Cadorna braced as return fire from the HMS Sussex tore across her bow. “We can’t stay here, contact Trento and Trieste. They need to come up and draw this fire” The next volley came without warning. Heavy shells impacting the forward gun batteries left molten slag in their wake. Unable to maneuver in the confines of the Canal, Luigi Cadorna was a sitting duck for the gunners aboard HMS Valiant.
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July 22nd 1942 (22)
Obersleutnant Schwarz did not hesitate to lead his men in pursuit of the retreating British. They had been foolish enough to advance on his position and now in disarray were quickly routed.
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With the Pioneers advancing to his east, Oberst Braun quickly brought his men forward in support. Advancing through shell shocked streets the fighting was deadly as the British refused to give ground. Moving his command platoon directly into the fight was enough to inspire his men. Fearing for their Oberst they pushed forward with renewed determination, clearing yet more of the streets of Cairo.
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The last bastion of British resistance in the city dug in to await their fate with a grim determination.
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Trento and Triest surged forward, a furious exchange of fire saw both the Cruisers take extensive damage. Determined to rescue any survivors from the Luigi Cadorna they did not baulk, their efforts rewarded when an ammunition explosion aboard the HMS Sussex split the proud vessel in two.
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The Dandolo meanwhile pressed forward. A solitary torpedo finding its mark, its impact leaving a gaping hole in the British battleship and earning some measure of revenge for the Luigi Cadorna.
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Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:22 pm

July 23rd 1942 (23)
British commandos were amongst the finest of the British infantry. Fortified in Cairo they posed a grave threat. 37.Pioneers Abt however were combat veterans. Well versed in dislodging stubborn infantry from defensive positions and their leader, Obersleutnant Schwarz, would suffer no failure.
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The last British forces in Cairo, a solitary battalion of AT guns, found itself defending against determined infantry.
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HMS Valiant begun her turn. An Italian submarine was torpedoing her with impunity. And she needed to fall back now. “Brace for impact” the shout barely steeling the crew against yet another strike.
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With Cairo all but secure, 1.Panzer moved forward to support 21.Panzer in the drive across the desert.
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British SAS, now behind enemy lines, struck north from Cairo. A weakened battalion of German infantry held the line here and they sought to break free of the trap.
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July 24th 1942 (24)
The last of the British resistance near Cairo was eliminated with little fanfare or fuss.
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Her turn complete, HMS Valiant prepared to run for safety. An explosion to her her aft rocked the mighty Battleship “Captain, we’ve lost engines!”
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Trento and Trieste came into range and scored crucial hits that saw the British Battleship finished.
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A lone British AA battalion refused calls to surrender as they prepared to face down the entire Afrika Korps.
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July 25th 1942 (25)
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Pferdmann stood on the edge of the Suez canal. He almost couldn’t believe it, Egypt had fallen. As he gazed out across the desert he wondered, could he push further? Could he push the British out of the east? His thoughts were distrurbed but his aide Walter “First casualty reports are in Herr General” Pferdmann took the report from Walters hands, he knew this victory had cost his men dearly.
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That was brutal - so many losses and so many caused by the Royal Navy! My basic plan to fight them worked but one sub took a long time to kill all those BBs and CAs. Worth noting my own Heavy Cruisers had horrendous odds to attack anything bigger than the CL as you can probably see form the losses in just finishing off the ships in the Canal. For the first time I really really missed having some bombers!

22 artillery sp and 14 AA sp were lost to ships (as well as several tanks, recon and infantry) which is a horrendous repair bill. Lets hope I don't have to fight the RN again until Sealion - and I'm going to need to save a fair whack of prestige I think to carry me through that one.

On the plus side - I finished with 4058 prestige even after two in scenario reinforcements for some artillery so I should be able to make good on the damage!

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