Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Battle Reports & After Action Reports (AAR's)

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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 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:42 am

Belgium

May 2nd 1940
It had been less than a week since Generalleutnant Pferdmann had sent word of his victory in Northern Norway and he was already back in Germany.

He was quickly caught up to speed on the proposed invasion plans and 1.Panzer had a critical role to play. In his weeks away his division had received further equipment, an upgrade on much of what they had used prior.
He reviewed the new OOB with a sense of relief.

1.Panzer Division
.....1.Panzer Brigade
..........1.Panzer Regiment
...............1.Abt (PzIIF)
...............2.Abt (PzIVD)
..........2.Panzer Regiment
...............1.Abt (PzIIC)
...............2.Abt (PzIIIF)
..........1.Schützen Regiment
...............1.Abt (Wehr infantry)
...............2.Abt (Wehr ingantry)
..........73.Artillerie Regiment
...............1.Abt (15cm sFH 18)
...............2.Abt (15cm sFH 18)
...............3.Abt (15cm sFH 18)
.....37.Pioneer Abt (Half tracks)
.....4.Aufklärungs Abt (SdKfz 232 8 Rad)
.....37.Panzerjäger Abt (Panzerjäger 1 AusfB)



May 3rd 1940
Pferdmann held a briefing with his Regimental and Battalion commanders.
“So gentleman, we will be transferring to the border in five days. You have that time to ensure your men are familiar with their new equipment. Does anyone foresee any issues?”
A silence hung over the room, as Pfermann scanned the faces of his officers he saw a collective look of grim determination. The newly promoted Generalmajor Markus Fischer broke the silence “Our men will be ready, Herr General. You have my word” The room then erupted in agreement.
Pfermann allowed himself a smile. Markus was a good (exceptional) officer and had been effectively in command of 1.Panzer Brigade since his own impromptu promotion in Poland.

As his officers filed out Pferdmann beckoned for one in particular to remain.
“Major, a moment please. How are your men? I hope not to disappointed to have not received new toys like the others?”
Major Udo Weiss paused before he answered “I told them there were not enough of the new Panzers to go around. As the best of us they would be expected to perform equally. This seemed to cheer them, Herr General.”
This caused yet another smile to blossom on Pferdmann. Yes he had good officers.
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May 9th 1940
1.Panzer had deployed to the border and now waited. They knew the command to advance would come any day now. This time they were sure things would be different. In Poland and Norway they had achieved almost complete surprise. Although there had been little actual fighting, they had been in a state of war with Great Britain and France since September last year.

Pferdmann reviewed his command once more.

Alongside 1.Panzer he had additional assets allocated from Corps reserve.
17.Art Abt (21cm Mrs 18)
12.Flak Abt (Sdkfz 7/1)
15.Flak Abt (Sdkfz 7/1)
13.Flak Abt (8.8cm Flak 37)
16.Flak Abt (8.8cm Flak 37)
As well as a single battalion of artillery from 5.Infanterie Division. (10.5cm)
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The most daring aspect of the operation included 1.Fallschirmjäger Rgt. They were to be glider landed in advance of his forces to help neutralize the great fortress. Once their boots were on the ground they would fall under his temporary command and also his protection. He would need to advance swiftly or else they would fail.
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May 10th 1940 06:00
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Pferdmann bemoaned his lack of Luftwaffe support. He had argued long and hard but as his was considered a mere diversionary attack all air assets had been deployed to support the main thrust. He had one last check of his dispositions then quickly roused his officers for one last briefing.

The open ground to the north was perfect Panzer country and this is where he expected to face whatever armour the Belgiums were able to deploy. To this end 2.Panzer Rgt alongside a single battalion of Schutzen would advance towards Antwerp.

In the south the remainder of his forces would drive directly on Brussels. 1.Fallschirmjäger Rgt would land in support of the attack against Eben Emael and once linked up with 1.Panzer would support the drive west.
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Ok so this will be another half a day per turn. This scenario starts on the 10th of May and the next the on 26th of May so not enough days in between for 1 day a turn!

Upgrades this scenario:
3.7 Pak to Panzerjager 1
3x10.5cm art to 15cm art
Both halftrack flaks to sdkfz 7/1 (More ack ack!)
Both 3.7cm flak to 88s
Pz38(t) to PzIIIF
1 PzI to PzIIIF
1 PzI to PzIVD
2xGebirgsjäger to Wehr inf
Recon car to sd.kfz 232. 8 Rad.

So for the first time I am a little concerned with allied tanks. The Somua and Char b1 could both prove to be game changers. The AT upgrade just gives more bang plus has the added benefit of being able to survive a bit better if infantry find their way to it. It was also the major reason for my flak upgrades to 88s, they could if needed be brought up to deal with the armour penetration problem I may well face.

I've gone with 2 PzIIIs and 1 PzIV for two reasons. 1) There's the historical reason. 2) PzIIIs do perform better against armour! I've kept 1 unit of PzIIs partly due to cost and partly because against soft targets they don't perform badly when compared to PzIVs.

As an interesting (well to me) benefit the ratio of Panzers in a paper strength battalion would have been approximately 2:1:1 (PzIII:PzII:PzIV) organised in two light and one medium company. SO I have got the ratios right at least! ignoring the fact that Germany didn't have anywhere near the numbers of the newer tanks to achieve this in reality.

Anyone who had read any forum thread I've commented on previously to do with artillery won't be surprised I upgraded to 15cm. Being able to support against soft and hard targets just makes them (IMO) to versatile to be left at home and they'll be the core of my artillery forces for a long time.

My new hero could prove useful - I do need to start actually making prestige if I want to be able to make the choice of historical/Ahistorical when it comes up. He went on the PzII because hopefully he can force more surrenders rather than kills.

I started in the deployment phase with 1667 prestige and after replacements (mostly elite) and upgrades I finished with 64p. I've used 55/55 slots and my Panzer General trait is now earning me 4 extra slots - that's a whole extra artillery unit!
I do still have some units in reserve
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And thats a fair chunk of Prestige sat idle so I'm not quite as poor as it looks!
Last edited by Horseman on Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:42 am

May 10th 1940 08:00 (1)
1.Panzer deployed for action.
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Any doubt the allies had that the war was coming to them were dispelled as soon as the first artillery shells landed in Roermond. Operation Fall Gelb had begun,
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In the south 1.Fallschirmjäger Rgt landed and immediately set about neutralising the imposing Belgium fortress.

Pferdmann wasted little time. His Panzers were ordered to ford the river south of Liege and quickly scattered the artillery deployed to defend the city. Slightly further north German infantry stormed Maastricht, with the element of surprise on the German side, the Belgium infantry put up little resistance.

4.Aufklärungs advanced and captured Huy with no fighting. But exposed with no support were ordered to pull back.
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Major Hans Krüger watched as a nearby Panzer had its turret ripped off by a heavy shell. He was soon on his radio “We’re exposed trying to ford this damned river, we must cross of fall back” The voice of Generalmajor Fischer gave clear instruction “NO! Go forward, go forward now, we must relieve the Fallschirmjäger, they’ll deal with the fort”

A full Belgian infantry regiment fell on 2.Abt/1.Fallschirmjäger Rgt. and the German airborne troops were forced to give ground.

Karl and Otto were giggling like schoolboys. They’d had a while to familiarise themselves with the new Flak cannon they helped crew and now they got to see Bertha (as they had named her) in action. French fighters were spotted preparing to straffe some artillery. After what seemed like an age Karl turned to his friend “Bertha says no!”
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May 10th 1940 14:00 (2)
2.Panzer Rgt crossed the river and encircled the defenders of Roerman. It was expected the full northern battlegroup would cross by tomorrow evening.
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1.Panzer Rgt headed their orders. Crossing the river in force they overran the local airfield with little effort and annihilated a battalion of belgium infantry that was caught in the open.

The remaining Fallschirmjäger combined with infantry from 1.Panzer reduced Eben Emael to a shadow of its former self. Her guns fell silent for the last time.

The last of the fighters in the area were shot down by 12.Flak Abt, their quad 20mm cannon adding to the misery inflicted by the 88s of 13.Flak Abt earlier in the day.
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Major Peeters was determined to go down fighting. Leaving a lone company holding the river crossings he led the remainder of his battalion against the German paratroopers who were in disarray. A brutal but short fight saw the elite German infantry scattered beyond repair.
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May 11th 1940 08:00 (3)
Shelled to hell and back, surrounded and outnumbered the men holding Roermond had little fight left in them. When the first Panzers began rolling into the city it did not take long before they were throwing down their rifles and holding their hand in the air “We surrender, we surrender!”
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The company holding the bridges in Liege were quickly overrun. As Major Peeters led his men back they found themselves fighting without the aid of the positions they had previously prepared. Perhaps leading his men out to attack had not been wise.

With Liege taken and Eben Emael fallen there was nothing left to stop 1.Panzer crossing into Belgium in force.
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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 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:54 am

May 11th 1940 14:00 (4)
The northern battlegroup advanced slowly towards Antwerp. With limited recon elements attached and a wide open plain they suspected contained enemy armoured units they needed to be cautious
Image

Pferdmann arrived in Hanet late in the evening. His troops had occupied it without a fight and he needed to be closer to the front to direct his troops.
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1.Panzer had advanced without any further enemy contact, Pferdmann knew that the allies would have more to throw at him so he had ordered his men to remain in support of each other in a defensive formation. A battalion of Panhard armoured cars probed the southern flank near Namur but did not engage.
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May 12th 1940 08:00 (5)
Major Udo Weiss was concerned. The morning had been spent advancing and no contact with enemy formations had been established. “They can’t have left the approach to Antwerp empty. Stay alert men!”
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Panzers quickly eliminated the Belgium AA battalion and occupied the airfield. Generalmajor Fischer directed his forces to watch for any enemy formations moving to reinforce Namur and potentially wreck havoc amongst the forces holding that flank.
4.Aufklärungs engaged their opposite number and with artillery support drove them off.
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Karl was peering through the binoculars “I’m not sure, Belgium I think” Otto snatched the binoculars from his friend to have a look himself “Looks like Fairey Battle’s to me, supported by some CR.42s I think. Definitely not ours. Crank up Bertha, she’s got work to do!”
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May 12th 1940 14:00 (6)
Major Weiss knew it, the General had been right. Belgium T-15 light tanks had been sighted at battalion strength.
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There was no hesitation, 2.Panzer regiment roared into action. Before nightfall the fighting was done. Major Weiss had not expected a full 40% of the enemy to surrender but no other enemy units were sighted. Surely there was more than a lone battalion holding this area?
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Obersleutnant Schwarz was glad to be out of the mountains. The heavy equipment his men had to lug around was not any lighter going up and down hills. The General wanted Namur taken and if there’s one thing Schwarz refused to do it was disappoint the General. As his men advanced into the city he saw distinctive shapes coming from the other direction. 4.Aufklärungs reported the area south of the city was clear.

Fire from 13.Flak Abt devastated the tightly packed formation of Fairey Battle’s. Otto was sure that they could add 3 more kill markings onto Bertha but Karl disagreed “No no NO! That was the same plane we hit twice, that doesn't count as two!”
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The Belgium pilots, perhaps desperate to stall the German advance, gunned their engines and dove on 37.Pioneer Abt. Met with a hail of 20 and 88mm fire none of the planes returned to base.

Generalmajor Fischer watched helplessly as round after round bounced off the heavy french armour “CLOSER, yes I said closer. Get as close as you can and engage them from the sides or rear, its our only hope of getting penetration”

Two full battalions of French tanks assaulted his position. Deadly accurate artillery fire had helped to break up the attack but none of the Somua’s had been knocked out. The light tanks that lead the attack had not fared so well as accurate fire from his Panzers had decimated their numbers. The Panzer IV’s of 2.Abt had fared well, perhaps gaining an element of surprise. But engaging at close range the 75mm cannons proved devastatingly effective.

Caught from the rear Schwarz’s Pioneers took heavy loses as Belgium infantry tried in vain to reach Namur but they held. Schwarz smiled grimly “I’m not giving you the city I have just taken!” With his trusty MP38 in hand he led his platoon to steady the line.
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Horseman
Colonel - Ju 88A
Colonel - Ju 88A
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:28 pm

May 13th 1940 08:00 (7)
With the prisoners safely transported to the rear the northern force again continued their slow advance to Antwerp. As the city limits came into view Major Weiss was somewhat surprised to see or rather to not see enemy units ready to defend the city.
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The Allied counter attack had been stopped dead against the armoured might of the German line. Now it was again the turn of 1.Panzer to deliver a lesson in how to attack.

As the noon sun reached its zenith it was done. The wrecks of French tanks littered the Belgium fields, many still burning. In a morning of ferocious fighting two light tank battalions and an infantry battalion had been eliminated. The French heavy armour, even as impervious as it was to German guns had fallen back in disarray. Gembloux was captured but not garrisoned.
In Wavre a British infantry battalion was seen digging in and more French light tanks were in the southwest.
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Colonel Boucher rallied his battalion quicker than anyone thought possible. Realising that a frontal attack on the German lines was foolish he led the heavy tanks south to recapture Gembloux. He drove through the streets and fell on the flanks of the Panzers.

Hauptmann Klein saw the French tanks emerging from the town first. Careful positioning from his commanding officer Obersleutnant Meier had meant his unit along with the other companies of the battalion were well hidden from view. The radio cackled to life “Let them present their flanks then make every shot count” That was Meier.

What few French tanks made it through the AT fire were quickly overwhelmed. A full on charge had left little room or option for an ordered retreat.

Major Krüger asked again “are you sure?” the reply from his loader was quick “Yes sir, that’s the last of our AP ammo, we have HE shells left though”
The radio operator then chimed in “Sir, company commanders report we’ve shot off most of our AP rounds”

Pferdmann saw the developing situation, hurried exchanges between his Panzers and Panzerjagers sent a shiver of fear down his spine. French armoured reserves fell on the nigh defenceless Panzers, he had to trust in his commanders. He at last heard the communication he was hoping for “Enemy tanks have held. They are not pushing. Thank you for your assistant Herr Meier. 1.Panzer regrouping and awaiting supply”

Pferdmann turned to Walter “prioritise getting ammunition to my Panzers”
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May 13th 1940 14:00(8)
In the northern sector things were much less hectic. Parts of Antwerp were already occupied and the lone Belgium battalion found itself under siege.
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Unsupported the French light tank battalion was easily defeated by the now resupplied Panzers with Gembloux once more changing hands.
Uncontested in the Skies a French fighter formation was foolish enough to drift into range of Pferdmanns Flak battalions.
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And here we see inefficient supply making itself known (I had had my recon out of fuel at one point in poland)
Luckily there was no real impact - the AI took the chance to attack my out of ammo PzIIIs because it couldn't see my Panzerjagers (camouflage for the win) and they did just enough to prevent me taking any damage.
But I did learn that you only get 2 Ammo per turn on resupply. Previously I thought it was 3!

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 Jun 15, 2020 11:50 am

French Potez bombers moved in but did not press their attack - perhaps scared of the AA Flak battalions nearby.
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I managed to miss this off the end of the last turn!
May 14th 1940 08:00 (9)
The defenders of Antwerp could already sense their end was near. Heavy bombardment from nearby artillery had caused multiple casualties and reduced some of their prepared positions making them untenable.
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4.Aufklärungs moved up and confirmed that the British infantry regiment deployed defending Wavre and Louvain were backed up by some artillery and a battalion of Anti-tank guns.
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1.Panzer Rgt wasted no time Fording the river to the south, Generalmajor Fischer personally led the attack as the British artillery battalion was scattered and the defenders of Wavre cut off from retreat.

Karl and Otto couldn’t believe it. Some french tactical bombers had appeared overhead and then lingered far too long. Even as the air all around was filled with the sound of the monstrous 88s nearby crews could just hear the sound of the two friends singing “Bertha goes Ack Ack Ack, Ack Ack Ack, Ack Ack Ack. Bertha goes Ack Ack Ack, all day long”
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Pferdmann could hear the sound of Generalmajor Fischer over the radio “Char B1s I repeat Char B1s, supported by Belgium ACG-1s. Full back and regroup, get those damned Panzerjäger up” 1.Abt had borne the brunt of the armoured attack and half of its remaining Panzers had been knocked out. Artillery from Brussels had added to the panic, hitting 2.Abt, forced to scatter somewhat they were not in a position to offer viable support.
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May 14th 1940 14:00 (10)
Pinned and suppressed by deadly accurate artillery fire, the Antwerp garrison was quickly destroyed in detail. The northern group advanced towards Ghent but were now in a position to threaten the flank of the forces defending Brussels.
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Pferdmann, despite his usual calm, was practically shouting “We need those bridges in Wavre NOW!” He knew 1.Panzer Rgt had bitten off more than it could chew, if left in place to fight the French Char B1s they would be lost. “And tell those 88s to get up and prepare to engage.
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Obersleutnant Meier was surprised to see the French tanks moving in to engage his battalion. Did they not know what a Panzerjäger was? That surprise quickly turned to realisation as his forward company reported shot after shot simply did not penetrate the heavy armour. Hauptmann Klein, his company well placed, remained silent. With the lead French tanks practically on top of them Klein gave the order. As the sun dipped, fully half of the Char B1s were smoking wrecks but 37.Panzerjäger Abt had not come out of it completely unscathed.
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May 15th 1940 08:00 (11)
The northern battlegroup in their advance on Ghent, reported that a lone Belgium engineer battalion had dug in to protect the rear position.
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Caught in disarray, the last of the French heavy armour crumbled to the advancing enemy.

Obersleutnant Schwarz had been frustrated, Involved in heavy fighting his battalion had been forced to regroup behind the lines. Now back to fighting readiness he eagerly led his men into the attack, A battalion of French AT guns his unfortunate victims.

The remainder of 1.Fallschirmjäger Rgt, having repulsed an attack the evening before with heavy casualties bravely pushed forward. The British holding Louvain now had nowhere to run.
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With the line once again stable, 37.Panzerjäger Abt took up position to support the forward battalions unseen by the Allied commanders. The Belgium armoured battalion attempted to stem the tide, but with Panzerjäger support 2.Abt/1 Panzer Rgt held firm, the enemy unable to close to killer range.
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I really got to see the power of the allied tanks here - a lesson in being cocky and over extending. You can get away with it to a certain extent later in the war when you have Panthers & Tigers but not here with PzIIIs and IVs!

Remember the timers are not too punishing and you don't have to rush - be smart and be patient. Don't be like Pferdmann and leave your tanks vulnerable!

Horseman
Colonel - Ju 88A
Colonel - Ju 88A
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:49 pm

May 15th 1940 14:00 (12)
Pferdmann was pleased.

Ghent had been brought under siege.
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Closer to his command post the AT guns supporting the garrison at Louvain have been forced to surrender and the last of the Belgium armour destroyed. Charleroi has been seized by 37.Pioneer Abt and the first of his Panzers have reached the outskirts of Brussels.
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Yes Pferdmann was very pleased. He had broken the back of the allied army facing him in Belgium.

May 16th 1940 08:00 (13)
With the fall of Ghent the remaining forces of battlegroup north were able to move on the final two objectives leaving Brussels surrounded on all sides by elements of 1.Panzer division.

Major Weiss was a man with a plan. One company was to engage the AT guns, the second was to engage the artillery from the front and the third was to swing round in a large flanking maneuver and envelop the enemy.

The stubborn British holding Louvain were done and the town seized,
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May 16th 1940 14:00 (14)
Pferdmann fought the urge to relax. The enemy was beaten, he was sure of it. But the last defenders of Brussels and Maubeuge still had teeth and it would not pay to be overconfident.
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May 17th 1940 08:00 (15)
German troops marched through the streets of Brussels. Pferdmann was not surprised to be told that the majority of the Belgium leaders had evacuated long before his forces launched their final assault.
His final objective, Maubeuge, was now surrounded. Calls for surrender were ignored. Pferdmann turned to his aide “Walter, bring up the artillery. I do not wish to waste anymore German blood than is necessary. Repeat the call to surrender every hour on the hour.”
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May 18th 1940 (16-17)
It was late in the evening and Pferdmann had just sat down. Before him lay the first of the casualty reports form 1.Panzer. Lighter than expected but more by luck than anything else. Those Allied heavy tanks had taken a toll and if not for extraordinary efforts from his officers he felt that the losses could have been worse. A lot worse.

“Walter, please take a message for high command. Please note. Following combat operations against French and Belgium armour I have witnessed a deficiency in our own Panzer designs. The gun of the PzIII is inadequate and not up to the task of penetrating armour at standard combat ranges. Even the guns of our Panzerjagers were barely able to achieve penetration against the heaviest of the allied armoured units. Immediate consideration must be given to improving the anti-tank capabilities of our Panzer units.”
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Again I've finished with plenty of time to spare - which brings me back to the point I made last post. Do not rush! The extra prestige from finishing an extra turn or two is trivial compare to the repair cost of units badly damaged by being left in poor positions. (On lower difficulties it might be worth it as you get a fair bit of prestige per turn) You can see times in my playthrough where I'm super patient, how long was Kutno bombarded before I committed to attacking when I had practically no chance of taking damage? My mad dash to kill the artillery and encircle Wavre was unnecessary at that time. Had I been more patient I could have met that strong counter attack with a wall of tanks/infantry backed by AT and art. As it was, I was very lucky to have not lost my Panzer IIIs entirely - the AI rolled really bad with its attacks and more than should have whiffed. Which brings me on to another point - I almost chose to bring 2.Panzer Regiment south to Brussels directly after Antwerp fell to hit that artillery. I managed to stop myself because A) I didn't know what else was there (lucky for me, I could have runs strait into an AT unit) and B) The AI could have brought those tanks that had just spanked 1.Panzer Regiment back and punished me. The lesson to take from this? Just because my Panzers can cross a river at will doesn't mean they always should. Some times the best use of an ability is to not use it! Enough rambling, Dunkirk awaits (well the write up, the scenario has been played!)

Horseman
Colonel - Ju 88A
Colonel - Ju 88A
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:19 am

Dunkirk

May 25th 1940
Generalleutnant Pferdmann was not impressed. His division had made good progress and outstripped the expectations high command had set. 10.Panzer under Generalleutnant Ferdinand Schaal had performed equally well and had the channel port of Calais under siege. The bulk of the British forces committed to the continent were bottled up and demoralised. He should have pressed the advantage and swept the region clear.Instead high command had ordered a halt (and even to pull back slightly to protect the Brussel/Maubeuge line.

He understood the need to allow supply to catch up and was glad for the reinforcements but felt he had lost the initiative now. He could hear the others waiting outside “Enter”

Hauptmann Wolfgang Kruger of 17.Atillerie Abt stood to attention, his commanding officer to one side. Pferdmann looked directly at the man “I am struggling to understand why you needed a crate of Stielhandgranate?” Kruger, still staring straight ahead replied “I Didn’t Herr General. They were for Obersleutnant Schwarz, I had heard him complain that his men were running short and he was struggling to acquire some from supply. He agreed to exchange some rifle ammunition for them” Pferdmann shook his head “Why did you need rifle ammunition? Your men haven’t used them since we began our offensive!” Krugers gaze still did not falter “It wasn’t for me sir. Hauptmann Reinhoff from 10.Panzer had mentioned to me that supply was not getting rifle ammunition up quick enough and heavy fighting in Calais was draining their reserves. He was able to send some 3.7cm AP rounds our way in return.” Pferdmann was now beginning to become intrigued to where this was leading “Your unit has no use for those shells.”
“No sir. Generalmajor Fischer had mentioned in passing that he was concerned we did not have enough. He told me he had a bottle of Whiskey if I was able to find him more”
“You did all this to get yourself a bottle of whiskey?” For the first time Kruger’s eyes darted towards Pferdmann “No sir. The whiskey was for the supply clerk in order to ensure that he organised the Stielhandgranate be delivered to 37.Pioneer Abt. He threw in some grease that will come in handy for maintaining our guns too. It was good whiskey” Pferdmann stood silent for a moment. “Very good. Return to your units. Dismissed”

After the two men had left the room a voice was heard from the corner “A man who is able to get the correct supplies to where they are needed could be very useful. Help relieve the burden from the quartermasters” Pferdmann turned to his friend “Indeed Markus, definitely one to watch. I don’t suppose you have any more of that whiskey?”
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Later that day Pferdmann was reviewing his command. 1.Panzer had received ample reinforcement and were back to full strength. Alongside that was allocation of enough Opel Blitz’s to fully motorise his Schutzen at last.

14.Infantierie Rgt/5.Infanterie Div had also been assigned to his area and would (at least temporarily) be under his command. A single battalion of artillery had accompanied them.
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Meanwhile far west of his own position 10.Panzer were conducting a siege of Calais. Although they were not nominally under his command they had been instructed to provide full support to 1.Panzer.
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He sighed. His men were deployed, the plan was set and all he needed was the order to commence renewed offensive operations. The waiting was driving him to distraction.
I started here with 1980 prestige - not to shabby and with units in reserve still I wouldn't need to spend a lot.

Both infantry units were finally given trucks and the two Gebirgsjäger were "upgraded" to Wehr infantry (no trucks)
10.5cm artillery given trucks rather than horses.
And I did purchase one more unit of 15cm artillery.
This left me with 1047 prestige (after mostly elite replacements) and I had used 59/59 slots.

My new hero - the much coveted zero slots! I'm sure for most the decision to put him on the 21cm guns would be easy. After all at present its easily the most slot intense unit. However following my own rules I can't just swap him to something else later so I had to decide if I wanted to have best use of him short or long term. A quick check of the late war tank slot cost made it easy again. Thanks to Panzer General, eventually I might have a 7 slot tank but that wasn't until Tiger IIs and the E75. So an artillery officer he is!
Last edited by Horseman on Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

Horseman
Colonel - Ju 88A
Colonel - Ju 88A
Posts: 1542
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:47 pm

May 26th 1940 (1)
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Early in the morning 10.Panzer had succeeded in capturing Calais. With this high command had decided now is the time to strike. His forces already in position, Pferdmann was confident in his plan.

1.Panzer would strike directly at Dunkirk. Smashing through the French at Lille. 5.Infanterie is to hold the northern flank and if the opportunity presents itself advance on Dunkirk from the east. 10 Panzer was to hold at Calais until called upon to strike at Dunkirk from the west.

Pferdmann had again asked for Luftwaffe support but once more was told that none was available. “Am I to build rafts so my Panzers can engage the enemy shipping?” he had asked. The answer was “No aircraft available” once more.
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1.Panzer surged forward towards Audenarde and Maulde, determined to force the crossing. A lone French recon battalion found itself caught on the wrong side of the river and destroyed by the advancing Panzers.

Pferdmann was surprised when reports came in from 5.Infanterie Div. “Ghent retaken. No opposition”
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Karl was sweating “Are you sure they were French?” Otto just shrugged his shoulders “They were diving on our artillery. Whatever they WERE, now they’re dead” Neither had long to dwell as more aircraft filled the skies. This time confirmed as French MS 406 fighters.

5.Infanterie reported T-15 tanks sighted.
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A formation of French tactical bombers supported by fighters approached the German artillery positions. As they prepared for an attack run the lead bombers saw the 20mm flak cannons. “Abort, abort, abort!” as the planes broke into a steep climb to gain altitude and hopefully escape the deadly fire that was sure to come the supporting fighters made their own run independently. Although out of range of the flak that had caused their charges to abort they were in range of deadly 88mm guns.
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May 27th 1940 (2)
15.Flak Abt, with no enemy air forces detected in their immediate zone moved forward to support 5.Infanterie Div in their engagement with the Light tanks ahead of them. The latter was forced to withdraw with heavy losses.
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Obersleutnant Schwarz had, as was his custom, moved close to the front. The crew of the machine gun had not seen him or his platoon creeping closer. “Klink, Schultz NOW” he yelled. Two men quickly stood in unison and hurled a pair of Stielhandgranate.

With Maulde secured Generalmajor Fischer led his Panzers across the river. “We have a battalion on Somuas directly to our fore, get the Panzerjagers up”

2.Panzer Rgt crossed further north and moved in to encircle Audenarde and Pferdmann was confident that the second crossing point would soon be taken.

Reports from his Flak battalions gave him more reason to smile. Another formation of fighters had been finished in the north and the French bombers had been all but destroyed in the south, And they hadn’t even managed a single strike on his troops.
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The men of 10.Panzer had formed into a defensive line. Here they would stand.
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15.Flak Abt. found themselves assailed from land and air. The veteran crews shrugged off the strafing runs to concentrate their fire on the approaching infantry.
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The French Somua’s, perhaps alerted by a 6th sense to the presence of 37.Panzerjäger Abt. Swung north and engaged against 2.Panzer Rgt.

Major Krüger saw the French infantry advancing on his position. Perhaps they hadn’t seen his Panzers? Caught in the open, the infantry took horrendous losses but still they pressed on. Determined perhaps, to stop the advance on Lille.
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May 28th 1940 (3)
With 5.Infanterie driving the Belgium heavy infantry away, 15.Flak Abt. were now able to engage the fighters.
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Audenarde was taken, allowing the Panzers to withdraw in the face of superior French armour.

Generalmajor Fischer led the attack. In one bloody day he saw his forces sweep aside an infantry and an AA battalion. Whilst supporting artillery alongside the French light tanks were forced into retreat. 4.Aufklärungs Abt. finished the day completing an encirclement of Lille. With Obersleutnant Meier and his Panzerjäger’s in support Fischer was confident in his ability to handle anything the allies could throw at him.
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The men of 15.Flak Abt. were not sure why the enemy were so determined to see them off. But they held their position, utilising their 20mm cannon to deadly effect.

Debris scattered over the streets of Ghent as another artillery shell exploded.
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Pferdmann wondered what madness had overtaken the commander of the French armoured battalion. Faced with Panzers to the south and knowing he had Panzers to the north he had chosen to attempt a river crossing east. A sane man would have gone west to escape the encircling Germans!
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I actually don't know what the first unit of planes my forces shot down during the AI turn 1. All I know is that my 10 strength 88s landed 10 hits and wiped them out in one go! I think they were fighters but I can't be sure.
The French bombers not attacking on the same turn really shows the power of the quad 20mm flak. 20 shots with 50% accuracy and then hitting the CD of the plane. Yeah if your main goal is to protect stuff then even without AA veteran these boys will make any tactical bomber think twice. Since the patch that fixed them, these lighter AA guns really are worth considering compared to 88s.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:32 pm

May 29th 1940 (4)
The Belgium infantry were scattered. They had launched more attacks on the flanks of the advancing German infantry, targeting what they considered to be an easy victory. They had been wrong. Captain Duponts was now the ranking officer and he was desperately trying to bring what was left of his battalion together. He heard a shout, men pointing to the fields. As he looked he saw them, German halftracks with 20mm quad cannons were advancing towards his position.

Major Claes received the call for aid from his flank. There was nothing he could do. An entire German infantry Regiment was pinning his engineer battalion in place. He turned to his aide “Get on to the British. Tell them they better hurry up”
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Pferdmann moved through the recently occupied Lille. 1.Panzer had struck hard and destroyed what was left of the French forces. With the Belgians crumbling against 5.Infanterie Division all that was left were the British. He smiled. They were stubborn and brave but there wasn’t many of them.
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Pferdmann frowned “One Infantry Regiment attacks and 10.Panzer is calling for reinforcement?” Walter held his hands up “Don’t shoot the messenger Herr General!”
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May 30th 1940 (5)
With the last of their tanks holding the flank destroyed the Belgium Engineers are forced to withdraw from a determined push from 4.Infanterie Div
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Generalmajor Fischer continued to lead his men from the front. His Panzers crossed the river and advanced to Ypres. Half the British infantry regiment defending the city as well as a supporting artillery battalion barely slowed the advance as they were eliminated. At the fore of the advancing troops Fischer was practically asking for the local British armour to attack.
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Pferdmann asked “Say that again” Walter cleared his throat. “10.Panzer reports they are falling back to Boulogne and once again request reinforcements” The General’s glare said everything.
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Squadron leader Jones was no fool. He’d spotted a gap in the Germans AA umbrella and even better he’d spotted German tanks fording a river, leaving themselves vulnerable. “Tally ho chaps, lets give them what for and all that” His radio crackled with a reply “Good find old boy”

On the ground the British armoured regiment launched a Pincer attack attempting to force the Germans back into the river. Pferdmann smiled. He’d placed Meier for just an eventuality.
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Colonel Howard couldn’t believe it. He’d expected a fierce battle for Calais. Instead the Panzer division had retreated after only a small skirmish. “Well get the chaps ready for more. These Jerrys don’t have the stomach for a fight!”
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May 31st 1940 (6)
Ypres fell today. As the German war machine marched ever onwards it felt to many that they were unstoppable.
Sending some Panzers north, Pferdmann ensured that what was left of the Belgian army would be fighting alone.
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Still determined to stem the tide a pair of infantry battalions attack across the river. A diversion near Ypres and an attempt to relieve the Belgians to the east.
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10.Panzer deployed to hold Boulogne. Even against overwhelming numbers the British begin an assault to retake the city and the port.
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With one eye still on making 10k prestige in time to at least have a choice on historical or ahistorical I decided that a simple envelopment was in order. With a nice weakened PzII toting a envelopment hero all those trapped Belgian units should provide a little injection of prestige.

Also by retreating 10.Panzer and letting the AI take all those flags I've got another 150 prestige on the table!

BaronVonWalrus
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by BaronVonWalrus » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:43 pm

I am seeing the power of AA Veteran + 88 FlaK. It will be interesting to see how that scales up as the months roll by in your campaign, Herr General!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:55 pm

BaronVonWalrus wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:43 pm
I am seeing the power of AA Veteran + 88 FlaK. It will be interesting to see how that scales up as the months roll by in your campaign, Herr General!
Yeah AA veteran makes them absolute killers! Even raw they'll hit 50% of their shots (assuming the enemy don't have experience) And every hit kills!

The funny thing is, I upgraded to 88s only for the AT qualities, They haven't shot in AT mode yet!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:01 pm

June 1st 1940 (7)
Major Weiss had his orders. The Belgian army (what was left of it) was surrounded, outnumbered and out of supplies. He was to give them every chance to lay down their arms and surrender. First to heed the call were the artillery. Seeing Panzers approaching their position they swifty abandoned their guns.
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Obersleutnant Schwarz and his men were in a good position. The British infantry were not. They had attempted to cross the river and been caught by an artillery barrage and then disciplined fire from the German Pioneers. With their attack stalled they could not resist the German Panzers.

Further along the river the last of the Belgian troops not caught in the pocket were assailed by Panzers and Infantry. Unable to cross the river under such pressure their will to fight evaporated .
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4.Aufklärungs Abt. arrived in the area near Calais. Their orders were to reinforce and support 10.Panzer Div. Much to their dismay they found their comrades in retreat. Falling back from a mere regiment of British infantry.
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Generalmajor Fischer saw the British tanks fording the river, they were slow and unwieldy. He watched as his Panzers opened fire and noted shot after shot failed to make an impression. Still he was not concerned, his experience with the french heavy armour had prepared him for this. First a heavy barrage landed. A full two thirds of the division's artillery was deployed to support him. He was still unfazed at the minimal impact caused, the barrage had merely broken up the enemy formations somewhat but did not appear to score any kills. Then Meier’s Panzerjagers opened fire. The lead British tanks soon had black smoke billowing from them. The sporadic return fire was erratic and pinged off armour in the few instances in hit.
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Colonel Howard knew what he was asking of his men, he knew what his commanding officer was asking of him. “Tell the lads to dig in, we hold here as long as we can. Let’s keep those Panzers away from Dunkirk.
[Imgur](https://i.imgur.com/mc6Hf1y.jpg)

June 2nd 1940 (8)
Having not fired a shot. The Belgium AA battalion surrendered enmasse.
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Bogged down crossing a river and assailed now from multiple sides the British Matilda IIs never stood a chance. 1.Panzer swarmed across the river, destroying the artillery battalion that was the last obstacle before Dunkirk.
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Walter Wagner was smiling “Shall I reword that in a slightly more diplomatic way Herr General?” Pferdmann returned his aides smile
“If you must. But I want 10.Panzer to understand that my lone reconnaissance battalion is doing what they were unable to.”
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Pferdmann knew the end was near. A lone RN MTB had engaged his forces from the sea and the last British infantry in Dunkirk launched a desperate counter attack.
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June 5th 1940 (9-11)
The Dunkirk defenders were swept aside early on the 3rd of June.
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What was left of the allied armies on the coast surrendered two days later.

Many British troops had escaped and this infuriated Pferdmann, If only he hadn’t been told to hold. If only he had some damned air support. The Luftwaffe could have sunk the evacuation ships. The British could have been finished!

Still as was his tradition. He sat to read through casualty reports. It was always important to count the cost.
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Now that was probably the easiest scenario I've played yet. The allies really had nothing to stop me and in a few instances were too aggressive. Matilda's attacking across a river against PzIIIs with two artillery units supporting it should not be a thing when fighting a desperate defence. (The Panzerjagers are camouflaged so cant count them in AI decision making)

I never really had any hope of sinking the ships but then I'm also not going to Paris so it doesn't make a difference either way. Perhaps if at least one of the ports had a flag you could tempt them one at a time to retake it/guard it and then you'd have a shot. But with no aircraft its just not happening.

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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by fluffybunnyuk » Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:35 pm

Dijons going to be interesting then. Cant wait for the assault down that narrow stretch on the right to take the town. The forts going to be problematic.
On the left side a well positioned camouflaged AT next to the road hex just south of the airfield, and town is going to murder the 2 tanks in ambush as they charge up the road.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:08 pm

Dijon

June 7th 1940
With scant time to rest Pferdmann had travelled south with his Division, ready to participate in the final offensive to break the allies. With the British chased off the continent alongside the surrender of the Belgians and Dutch he was confident that the final victory was close at hand.

1.Panzer Division had received replacements for their combat losses and the elements of 5.Infanterie Division that had supported Pferdmann at Dunkirk would remain attached and further reinforced by 5.Pioneer Abt.
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June 8th 1940
“Yes I said strap the spare track to the sides of our Panzers” A few confused looks were exchanged until one man, a senior NCO, spoke up to clarify “I don’t quite understand sir, what are we hoping to achieve?”
Major Stefan Wolf of 2.Abt/1.Panzer Rgt./1.Panzer Div. smiled “It won’t help much against proper AT fire. But it will greatly increase our survival against close range infantry weapons if we end up in a close quarters engagement”
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Pferdmann had taken the news that the Luftwaffe was fully engaged in the north and would be unavailable to provide support in his stride. It’s not like he was accustomed to having it. However, a heavy air campaign against the British did raise several questions.

It was late when he finally retired to his bed. Happy with his troops' dispositions and confident in the plan. 1.Panzer would strike hard and fast directly towards Dijon whilst 5.Infanterie would cross in their wake and strike east to Metz. If resistance was light they would then turn south and protect his Panzers flank.

An opposed river crossing was never easy. Pferdmann had requested a detachment of Brukenpioneer but none were available. He would have to rely on the skills and abilities of his Panzers. His full Panzer Brigade would cross just west of Reims and deprive the city of support. From there his infantry should be able to secure the crossing and his division would pour across.
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I started with 3625 prestige and after reinforcements (mostly elite) I ended with 2999p.

I had 5 new core slots to fill - just enough to bring in my last unit in reserve (Pioneers in half tracks)

I had two vigilant heroes last campaign and they are awesome! A time will come when the tanks he leads will be immune to infantry attacks (not quite yet, my GD is still low enough that infantry can hurt me)

He could/should have doubled up with my rapid fire hero to really make a tank to be feared. But following my own self imposed guide lines I decided to put him elsewhere. The PzIV unit won out because it has a higher SA than the PzIII and is therefore the one I'd probably want assaulting infantry/Art in close terrain.
Last edited by Horseman on Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:10 pm

June 9th 1940 (1)
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Generalmajor Fischer, as always, led from the front. Under the cover of an artillery barrage he led 1.Abt. of 1.Panzer Rgt. across the river. In less than an hour he had destroyed the French Tank battalion holding the left flank of Reims and overrun the supporting artillery.
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With recon support 1.Schutzen Rgt. began crossing north of the city, driving back the French AT guns laying in wait for what they had assumed would be an armoured thrust across the bridge. All across the German lines Artillery fired in support and in preparation for further crossings.
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Obersleutnant Meier had positioned his Panzerjagers, ready to support the Schutzen who had begun to cross the river. The expectations of an armoured counter attack to block the crossing were correct and he was pleased to see several French Panhard armoured cars destroyed, causing the attack to stall.

The remainder of the French tank regiment deployed to defend Reims launched themselves at the lead Panzers. Totally unprepared to face the blistering fire from the well trained crews.
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June 10th 1940 (2)
With his Panzers holding a firmly established beachhead across the river, Pferdmann ordered his Division forward. In less than half a day his men held Reims and the surrounding area. In total the French lost one infantry, one tank, one AT, one AA and one artillery battalion.

French Tactical bombers were sighted scouting German positions and were rapidly destroyed by the Flak battalions.
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A battalion of 5.Infanterie Div. had advanced in support of 1.Panzer, crossing the river at speed they had aided in overrunning the French artillery on this flank. Unsupported however they were vulnerable. In an attempt to stabilise the front Major Bisset had led his battalion out of Chalons and linked up with a battalion of heavy infantry.

Assailed from two sides as well as the air by a wing of French M.S.406 fighters 5.Infanterie were forced to concede hard earned ground.
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:49 pm

June 11th 1940 (3)
As members of 5.Infanterie Div. fell back in disorder following a ferocious French counter attack they were heartened to see Panzers sweep in on their right flank and Pioneers on their left. The equally ferocious assault routed the French and allowed the retreating Germans a chance to halt and regroup.

The fighters harrying them were shot form the skies.
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With the AT guns holding the road cleared, Soissons was brought under siege.
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With the French army nowhere to be seen, Pferdmann ordered 1.Panzer forward.
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Karl and Otto were hungry. Damned French fighters had appeared in the skies just before supper. “Damned Frenchies” shouted Karl “Let’s get this over and done with quickly before our food goes cold!” Otto just grunted in agreement as he hefted another shell for loading.

Further north a wing of French DB-7 bombers found a gap in the German air defences and made a run at an isolated artillery battalion.
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June 12th 1940 (4)
Reports from 4.Aufklärungs Abt. showed the road ahead was clear and that Verdun had no support coming from the south.
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Not wanting to leave French on his Flanks nor a sizable force of his own to screen, Pferdmann ordered a costly assault on Soissons. The French infantry put up a spirited defence but ultimately were forced to concede the town and when fresh Panzers moved in quickly surrendered.
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1.Panzer slowed their advance to allow rear elements to catch up whilst 5.Infanterie prepared to cross the river near Verdun.
The German Flak battalions punished the French airforce.
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A French infantry battalion attacks what it believes to be an isolated Schutzen battalion, perhaps they failed to spot the Panzers nearby.
On the other side of the river forward elements report the sighting of French Cavalry.
“A reconnaissance force for a French armoured formation perhaps?” mused Walter Wagner. “You could be right” came the reply from Pferdmann “The French have to have something more than we’ve seen. We need to find their reserves”
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June 13th 1940 (5)
Captain Laurent risked a look. He barely ducked his head back down when the shell exploded what felt like mere feet away “Here they come!” he roared over the sound of the bombardment. His battalion, deployed to guard the road to Verdun, had been under fire for 6 hours straight now.
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Pferdmann had directed 4.Aufklärungs Abt. to fall upon the French artillery in support of 5.Infanteries river crossing. Caught between the hammer and the anvil the guns were silenced.
“Fall back, fall back!” Captain Laurent helped a crew manhandle their gun through some mud still shouting for his men to retreat.
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Major Weiss watched as the French infantry piled up their rifles. As soon as they’d seen his battalion bearing down on them they had begun to withdraw. Too late they saw his 3rd Company had already moved to block their escape.
Generalmajor Fischer led the entire 1st Panzer Regiment forward. The French cavalry could not stand against such a determined assault.
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Pferdmann studied the map. He saw at once the mistake. “Walter. Dispatch to 17.Art Abt. They must move to support 5.Infanterie immediately. They’ll need those siege guns to help tackle the heavy fortifications waiting for them at Metz.

In the skies above the last of the French fighters were brought down.
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Another French infantry battalion was sighted. But rather than forming a defensive line as expected (and if Pferdmann had been the French commander then that is exactly what he would be doing right now) they threw themselves forward. Was this courage or the last acts of desperate men?
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fluffybunnyuk
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by fluffybunnyuk » Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:45 pm

Dont forget the 88s can work in AT mode once the aircraft have gone to the hangar in the sky. Nice and safe behind heavy armour doing hard support. At least when they arnt popping out of that mode by themselves...
Loving the assault on Verdun, cant wait for Metz.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:04 am

fluffybunnyuk wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:45 pm
Dont forget the 88s can work in AT mode once the aircraft have gone to the hangar in the sky. Nice and safe behind heavy armour doing hard support. At least when they arnt popping out of that mode by themselves...
Loving the assault on Verdun, cant wait for Metz.
Yeah - I think I'm too paranoid about enemy bombers turning up!

Verdun wasn't too bad - I'm genuinely worried about all the forts around Metz. They'll be troublesome.

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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by best75 » Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:59 pm

Nice work. It looks like the advance through France is going well.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:01 pm

best75 wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:59 pm
Nice work. It looks like the advance through France is going well.
Thanks. It's all about patience at the moment and remembering I have lots of time!

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