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.Abt (Wehr infantry)
...............2.Abt (Wehr ingantry)
...............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.
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)
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.
May 10th 1940 06:00
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.
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
And thats a fair chunk of Prestige sat idle so I'm not quite as poor as it looks!