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 Jun 22, 2020 11:49 am

June 14th 1940 (6)
The French infantry battalion dug in at Verdun could do little but watch as the last of the guns deployed to what should have been their rear was destroyed. A relief force of cavalry had reached the dubious protection of a small forest but it was not enough to save them from 4.Aufklärungs Abt.
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Major Weiss reacted quickly to the reports of a French offensive to his west. Bringing his battalion in from the enemies rear the fighting was short.
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All across the front, Pferdmann ordered 1.Panzer onwards. For now it would appear that the enemy were reduced to isolated battalions, garrisoned in various towns and cities. But even so he sent one message to his senior officers “Stay alert. The enemy may be greatly reduced in fighting capability but as we have seen, they are not short on courage. Caution is essential to reduce unnecessary casualties.”
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Generalmajor Fischer saw the Somua’s advancing before they saw him. With 37.Panzerjäger Abt. in support he lured them in close. Close enough for his Panzers' own guns to score some decisive kills. His own losses, although expected, further reinforced his belief that the Panzer III just wasn’t good enough in direct combat with allied armour.
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June 15th 1940 (7)
A group of broken men found shelter amongst the trees. All through the night they had been subjected to a heavy artillery bombardment. At first light German Pioneers had assailed their positions, demo charges and flame had eroded what will to fight these men possessed and even as they fled more German infantry harried their every move. With the German pursuit ended here at least they could find a measure of respite.
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The defenders of Chaumont had cheered when they saw the French tanks advance, keen to bring the Germans to battle. The cheers had turned to silence as the attack faltered. When the distinctive shape of German tanks emerged from the smoke and wreckage of what was once a proud armoured battalion the silence gave way to moans of despair.
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As the German tanks began to surround the city the despair gave way to determination. Officers barked orders and men hurried to covered positions. Here is where they would stand.
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Citizens of Romilly watched from cellars and other hiding places. German tanks passed through their city unopposed. Where was their army? The infantry battalion that had been here scant days ago had marched north and not been heard from since. The deathly silence was broken only by the rumbling of the German tanks and the loud clunks as artillery was positioned.
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Their officers had seen an opening. And so the men of Chaumont launched an attack designed to drive the German infantry away from the city. Without infantry the German tanks would be impotent. The officers were wrong. There was no opening. Only a maniac with an MP38 spurring his men on as they first contained and then drove back the assault.
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Sergeant Petit was glad for the heavy armour. The damned fools in command had ordered the Regiment to drive at speed to support Romilly. Well as it turns out there’s no one in that city to support. German tanks had sprung their ambush just south of the city, the lead company almost totally destroyed. Fortunately Petit and his crew with the 2nd company managed to stay at range. He’d lost count of the number of shells he’d heard ricochet off the external plates but if they could just keep the Germans at arms length, they might just be able to score a victory here.
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Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:21 pm

June 16th 1940 (8)
With Verdun and more importantly the bridges captured 5.Infanterie advanced on Commercy. Once this location is secure (and thus securing the flank) they can begin crossing in force. Artillery sent a rain of fire into the nearby tree line, stopping only once they were satisfied that the French infantry rallying within were utterly dispersed.
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Obersleutnant Schwarz saw the French infantry falling back, their ill advised attack had been met at first with a hail of artillery fire and then by disciplined fire from his own Pioneers. Sensing that the advantage now lay firmly with his men he began to advance “With me, with me men!” 37.Pioneer Abt. advanced behind their leader.

A French armoured car battalion had thought to punish infantry advancing in the open but had balked at the arrayed artillery ready in support. Now themselves caught out of position they could not stand against the Panzers that caught them in the rear. Driven to the nearby river they were easily finished by the same infantry they had sought out earlier.
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Major Weiss saw the ambush and was at once impressed by his comrades' skill and appalled as the German Panzers struggled to achieve killing shots against the heavy French armour. The French light tanks that moved up to support their heavier cousins had suffered heavy losses and without hesitation the Major led his own Panzers forward in support. We might struggle to achieve penetration he mused, but we’ll damn well try. Now surrounded on all sides the French crews began bailing out, hands raised. For them the fighting was done.

Leaving the Schutzen battalion to secure the prisoners, 2.Panzer Rgt. sped on to cut the remaining Char B1s line of retreat.
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Pferdmann had been surprised. 5.Infanterie had reported Commercy was open. He was surprised again to hear that a French Infantry battalion had arrived just before his own troops and engaged. Were the French hoping to hold here or not?
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June 17th 1940 (9)
With an entire battalion now with nowhere to retreat to that was safe, Pferdmann ordered the 5.Infanterie Division to advance. “Bring the big guns up and make preparations to remove that fort as an obstacle”
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Near Troyes, Major Weiss had dismounted to inspect a captured French tank. Next to the Char B1 his Panzer II looked like a toy model.
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With the French armour eliminated, 1.Panzer tightened a noose around Troyes.
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The remaining elements of 1.Panzer advance cautiously. Approaching their final two objectives, Pferdmann orders a halt and to adopt a defensive position.
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The French battalion that had chased 5.Infanterie away from Commercy, perhaps emboldened by their success, continued their advance. But now, instead of an isolated battalion they find a regiments worth of troops backed up by artillery.
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June 18th 1940 (10)
Pinned against the river the French infantry were forced to give ground. As they see the quad barrels of German 20mm Flak guns pointing at them they almost as one throw down their weapons.

With heavy bombardment forcing her garrison underground, the french fort guarding the road to Metz was assaulted by men of 5.Pioneer Abt. As the sun began to dip below the horizon 5.Infanterie reported back to Pferdmann. “Fort eliminated. Preparing to advance on Metz”
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The Siege of Troyes continues with a day-long artillery barrage.
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The remainder of 1.Panzer halts. Their orders are to wait. Once the Division is mustered 1.Panzer will advance in force.
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Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:13 pm

June 19th 1940 (11)
5.Infanterie advanced cautiously along the road to Metz. They report that a battalion each of French Engineers and heavy weapons infantry are all that stands between them and their objective.
Commercy is occupied.
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The defenders of Troyes, weary from constant artillery strikes are forced to withdraw by an assault on the city. Broken and demoralised they soon surrender when they realise there is no escape
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“5.Infanterie have already sustained heavy casualties. I need to know if their southern flank is secured” Pferdmann’s orders were quickly relayed to 4.Aufklärungs Abt.
The return report was clear. A lone battalion of Chasseurs Alpins held the town of Mirecourt.
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Buoyed by constant success, 1.Panzer quickly moved on from Troyes and brought their next target, the town of Chatillon, under siege.
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Major Weiss had come to admire the French soldier. With no real chance of success a battalion of infantry had thrown themselves against his Panzers. If the French Generals had not wasted this courage on foolish attacks like this one the outcome of this invasion could have been much different.
(Worth noting I made a mistake with my screen edit and the red arrow is pointing to the wrong unit)
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June 20th 1940 (12)
4.Aufklärungs Abt. seized Nancy and is now poised to support 5.Infanterie and strike at Metz from the south.
Striking fast, 5.Infanterie manage to take Thionville, routing the French Engineers and securing their northern flank ready for the attack on Metz.
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The French infantry that had launched the attack on the Panzer spearhead were quickly swept aside as the German troops closed on Sombernon.
To their north 1.Schützen Rgt. continued their siege of Chatillon with nearby artillery hurling explosive death into the town.
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Remembering his lesson learnt in Norway (Never underestimate Chasseurs Alpins) Pferdmann directed elements of 1.Panzer currently holding to move to engage and ensure that 5.Infanteries flank remains secure.
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Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:36 am

June 21st 1940 (13)
The garrison at Metz, heavily suppressed, could do little to prevent the hit and run attacks conducted by 4.Aufklärungs Abt. on the nearby airfield hangar facilities.
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Major Bernard of the French 3rd Chasseurs Alpins battalion scoffed at the latest orders to arrive from command. The orders were to move north and support the defences at Metz. “Reply to command that Panzers have been spotted approaching Mirecourt from the south-west. We are fortifying the town and require…” He was interrupted mid-sentence by the boom of an artillery shell exploding a nearby house. Quickly regaining his composure the Major continued “We require immediate support”
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With her defenders defeated, the town of Chatillon was quickly occupied by a German Flak battalion. The French infantry holding at Dijon prepared the best they could. With armour to the west and infantry approaching from the north they had little hope of being able to withdraw.
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Major Bernards request had been heard. The 5th Chasseurs Alpins battalion, moving swiftly through the hills, fell upon 16.Flak.Abt. Even with strong artillery support, the 88s were not suited to engaging fast moving and nimble infantry and the French won a small victory.
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June 22nd 1940 (14)
4.Aufklärungs Abt. once again sped forward, this time overrunning the Metz airstrip. Able to get closer to the city itself before they withdrew, the battalion was able to pinpoint some key targets. With this information passed to 5.Infanterie Div the artillery bombardment continued with a renewed vigour.
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All around him men cheered. Major Bernard could hardly believe it. The counter attack through the hills had driven the Germans back. They did not however retreat back from where they came, instead they moved north. Their presence would stop any real attempt to relieve Metz. His men could not fight German tanks in the open.
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Whilst part of his force executed a tactical withdrawal in an attempt to draw the French mountain troops away from their favoured terrain Pferdmann directed the bulk of 1.Panzer to advance on Dijon and begin the siege.
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June 23rd 1940 (15)
Under cover of heavy artillery strikes 5.Infanterie Div. assaulted Metz head on. Heavily suppressed, the garrison was able to offer little resistance against the elite German infantry.
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As hoped for. The French Chasseurs Alpins battalion that had struck through the hills followed up the Germans. The speed at which the Panzers swung around and turned from retreat to attack was impressive. The initial victory quickly turned to disaster as the pursuers became the pursued.
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The defenders of Dijon could do little to prevent the German encirclement. Al they could do is pray for relief.
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Worth noting - the assault on Metz was not a good strategical/tactical decision.

Ultimately by moving my Pioneers up they are now in range of the fort behind and it would have been far better to have waited to the last turn to move in and capture the city. I did what i did for 2 reasons 1) As I played this I did not know that the French wouldn't suddenly get an influx of prestige to reinforce with - or that there weren't more French units waiting amongst the Maginot line. (I have finished the scenario now so know that not to be the case) 2) As well as a playing smart occasionally things need to be done because I'm also writing a story. And some things are just a bit gamey to make sense as part of the narrative.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:19 pm

June 24th 1940 (16)
Crossing the Moselle river, the Pioneers of 5.Infanterie engage the nearby fort.
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Major Bernard had just finished reviewing the defences. With the destruction of 5th Battalion he didn’t expect to be able to hold here long.
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Major Weiss was watching the line of French soldiers slowly marching out of Dijon. In stark contrast to the courage displayed earlier in the campaign these men had surrendered with little fight.
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1.Panzer were tired. They had little rest in the past two weeks. As Pferdmann studied his map and reviewed his orders he let out a sigh “One last objective. Walter, tell the men it is almost done”
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June 24th 1940 (17)
With Metz secured the men of 5.Infanterie Division were ordered to hold. Pfermann did not want them wasting lives attacking the Maginot line. German or French.
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The towns of Mirecourt and Vesoul were occupied today. The latter without a fight.

Wary of more French troops manning the forts along the Maginot line, Pferdmann ordered 4.Aufklärungs Abt. to scout the area. Going as far as the town of Belfort they reported no contact.
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Expecting to see some well entrenched infantry holding Besancon , it was a surprise to everyone to see a battalion of Panhard armoured cars.
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June 25th 1940 (18)
Belfort was easily secured by 4.Aufklärungs Abt. but up ahead they report a French battalion holding the town of Colmar. Pferdmanns orders were clear. “Fall back”
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Panzers move up to Besancon. Calls for the French to surrender go unanswered.
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June 26th 1940 (19)
Three battalions of Panzers assailed Besancon and the French Panhards were no match for one. Scant hours after the fighting had ceased word from high command reached Pferdmann. An armistice had been signed, France had surrendered effective as of the morning of the 25th. “Damned communication delays” he ranted. He hated wasting human life. And those lost today died for no good cause.

Later that evening he began reviewing his own casualty reports.
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And with that France is out of the war!

Finishing with 5409 prestige isn't too bad. Half way there to the 10k I need if I want to go Ahistorical!

However having had a quick glance at the campaign tree I see a potential problem.

Going for Barbarossa I had another eight scenarios before the choice and that included Kiev (1 scenario where I had zero problem encircling practically the entire map and earning serious amounts) and Stalingrad where in fairness as tough as the map is there's oodles of prestige in taking all the secondary objectives. Going to Africa I have only four. Unless there is a scenario like Kiev and/or Stalingrad this could be a struggle. Remembering of course that I still need to reinforce/upgrade and purchase new units!

Well this could be interesting.

fluffybunnyuk
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by fluffybunnyuk » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:09 pm

Herr Pferdmann is probably sat outside Adolf the crazys' office wondering if he knew who was responsible for leaving their briefcase behind, and whether that person was going to the eastern front...
Russias cold, very cold, and very big.... he mused. On the other hand , he was getting a bit pasty faced sat in the office, and having had little luck on his skiing holiday, fancied working on his sun tan for a bit...

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:42 pm

fluffybunnyuk wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:09 pm
Herr Pferdmann is probably sat outside Adolf the crazys' office wondering if he knew who was responsible for leaving their briefcase behind, and whether that person was going to the eastern front...
Russias cold, very cold, and very big.... he mused. On the other hand , he was getting a bit pasty faced sat in the office, and having had little luck on his skiing holiday, fancied working on his sun tan for a bit...
Be plenty of time for tanning where he's going :D :lol:

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:50 pm

Libya

July 30th 1940
Generalleutnant Pferdmann found himself in a small cafe in northern France with his senior officers. It had been more than a month since France surrendered but despite the aerial campaign currently being waged over her, Britain had refused to talk peace. 1.Panzer had been slated to be the tip of the spear to finish this stubborn foe. The men themselves had proven themselves more than capable and of course Pferdmann had experience in directing landings against hostile forces. But first the Germans had to defeat the RAF, to not have overwhelming air superiority would be a death sentence to anyone attempting the crossing.

“Do you think they can do it? Can the Luftwaffe beat the RAF?” Pferdmann looked to his old friend Markus but before he could reply Steffen Schwarz, the commander of 1.Panzers dauntless Pioneers spoke up “The Luftwaffe? Hah! Are we even sure they exist? It’s not like we’ve seen them! I’d rather trust in our own men, men we know who can fight, than myths and legends” Pferdmann could not help joining in the laughter around the table, his own complaints regarding airsupport were well known “Now, now Steffen. We saw the planes in Norway. The fact the blundering fools forgot fuel makes me wonder though. I’m not sure I’d trust the Luftwaffe to achieve air superiority against themselves much less the British!”

The new round of laughter was only broken by a nearby officer coughing whilst discreetly gesturing to the door. Pferdmanns heart began racing when he saw the figure of Hermann Göring, face red, standing in the doorway. For what seemed like an eternity he stood there in silence before turning quickly on his heels and marching off.

“I think you may have upset him” Pferdmann turned again to his old friend
“Markus, this is not a laughing matter. He could make life very difficult”

October 1st 1940
The inability of the Luftwaffe to break the RAF coupled with bad weather had seen any plans to invade England this year forgotten.

The Luftwaffe would continue to wage their campaign but the ground forces would be needed elsewhere.

January 11th 1941
Pferdmann read his new orders. 1.Panzer Division had been assigned to the newly created Deutsches Afrikakorps. (D.A.K)

The Italians had gotten themselves into some bother against the British. An entire Italian army had been defeated and the Italians were in full retreat. High command have reasoned that some seasoned German troops could stiffen their allies resolve and halt the rampaging British.

February 1st 1941
Pferdmann was concerned. Earlier today he had handed command of 1.Panzer to his good Friend Markus Fischer. He had himself been recalled to Berlin. Had his unfortunate encounter with the head of the Luftwffe last year finally caught up with him?

February 8th 1941
Karl did not like travelling by sea and was feeling particularly nauseous. His friend whistling a jaunty tune did nothing for his mood “Good god Otto! Why are you so happy?”
“I just can’t wait to arrive, I love the beach!” Karl looked at his friend in disbelief.
“We’re not going to the beach you idiot! It’s a desert, a huge desert!” Otto just shrugged.
“Same difference”

February 11th 1941
Generalleutnant Pferdmann left the meeting still somewhat in shock. He had been fully briefed by high command and knew what was expected of him. Eighteen months ago he had been a Brigade commander hoping to one day be given command of a full division. As of today he was commander of the D.A.K.

Operationally it would only be two divisions strong. He would also nominally be subordinate to the Italians in Africa although high command had heavily hinted that he should feel free to show the initiative that had won him this position and do what is in the best interest of Germany. The long flight to his new command would give him ample time to review the assets he had at his disposal.

February 15th 1941
Pferdmann was glad to see Markus waiting for him when he arrived in Africa. He was a little surprised when his friend came to attention and snapped of a smart salute (being old friends they had little time for such formalities between them) But quickly spotted the Italian officers who were present. Time to make new friends.

Later that evening Pferdmann was reviewing his command..

1.Panzer had changed little (except for upgraded Panzers filing her ranks)
1.Panzer Division
……..1.Panzer Regiment
……..……..1.Abt (PzIIIH)
……..……..2.Abt (PzIVE)
……..2.Panzer Regiment
……..……..1.Abt (PzIIC)
……..……..2.Abt (PzIIIH)
……..1.Schützen Regiment
……..……..1.Abt (Mot.Wehr)
……..……..2.Abt (Mot.Wehr)
……..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)
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But his other “division” was somewhat unique. Built from various formations taken from other divisions 5.Light division would need to be moulded together if they were to perform well.

He was somewhat glad to realise that elements of 5.Infanterie division that had supported him through France had been used to fill the infantry ranks (and assigned trucks) He knew the worth of those men. A regiment of Panzers taken from 3.Panzer division made up the armoured elements although their 2nd battalion was still in transit to Africa.
5.Light Division
……..5.Panzer Regiment
……..……..1.Abt (PzIIIH)
……..14.Infanterie Regiment
……..……..1.Abt (Mot.Wehr)
……..……..2.Abt (Mot.Wehr)
……..75.Artillerie Regiment
……..……..1.Abt (21cm Mrs 18)
……..……..2.Abt (15cm sFH 18)
……..……..3.Abt (15cm sFH 18)
……..5.Pioneer Abt (Half tracks)
……..3.Aufklärungs Abt (SdKfz 232 8 Rad)
……..39.Panzerjäger Abt (5cm Pak38)
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His Flak battalions would remain under Korps level and he was again glad to see the battalions previously assigned to him had transferred..

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)
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And finally three Italian battalions had been assigned directly to the D.A.K temporarily.
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February 25th 1941
Pferdmann was not well. But he did not like doctors! Even so the man who tended to him seemed quite likeable. After he’d left Pferdmann turned to Walter “What was his name again?” Walter poured the General a cup of water as he replied
“Oberarzt Bernd Fischer. He actually serves with 5.Pioneer Abt. but he’s by far the best in Africa at what he does. That’s why I called for him”
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Pferdmann smiled to himself. He had many good men worth remembering under his command.

Generalmajor Markus Fischer - Commander 1.Panzer Div. (attached 1.Abt/1PzRgt.) (Rapid firex2)
Major Hans Krüger - 1.Abt/1.PzRgt/1.Pz Div (Famous)
Major Stefan Wolf - 2.Abt/1/PzRgt/1.Pz Div (Vigilant)
Major Udo Weiss - 1 Abt/2.PzRgt/1.Pz Div (Envelopment)
Obersleutnant Werner Meier - 37.Panzerjäger Abt/1.Pz Div (Camouflage)
Hauptmann Christian Klein - 37.Panzerjäger Abt/1.Pz Div (First strike)
Obersleutnant Steffen Schwarz - 37.Pioneers Abt/1.Pz Div (Fast dismount)

Oberarzt Bernd Fischer - 5.Pioneer Abt/5.Light Division (First aid)
Major Wolfgang Krüger - 1.Abt/75.Art Rgt/5.Light Div (Zero slots)
So using the units I had that were not part of 1.Panzer and adding 1 tank, 1 recon and an AT gun I have a usable (and close to accurate) light division. Pferdmann gets a promotion!

Upgrades:
2x PzIIIF to IIIH
1x PzIVD to IVE
1x10.5cm art to 15cm
2xWehr inf given trucks

New purchases:
1x PzIIIH
1x Sdkfz 232 8Rad
1x 5cm Pak 38

This left me with 3488 prestige. Ouch (Replacements alone cost me 800....)

I'm going to have to try an play the next 4 scenarios smart to minimise casualties and get some surrenders for extra prestige!

I did (honestly I did) upgrade my 4 Wehr infantry to Grenadiers as in the dessert they'd move as quickly. By time I realised I hadn't I'd taken all the screen shots and couldn't be bothered to go back and redo it. Ah well. Real commanders don't always get exactly what they wanted!
Last edited by Horseman on Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

fluffybunnyuk
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by fluffybunnyuk » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:26 pm

I hear that the British have a new prototype of their spitfire, and want to test it out strafing your artillery....

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:40 pm

fluffybunnyuk wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:26 pm
I hear that the British have a new prototype of their spitfire, and want to test it out strafing your artillery....
Karl and Otto would appreciate some real sport........

I mean, the Brits can try but they have to get past my Flak first :D

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:48 pm

March 31st 1941 (1)
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Pferdmann as always prior to commencing an operation studied his map.

The plan for this “reconnaissance” in force was simple. 5.Light Division will move on Benghazi and then hug the coast eastwards. 1.Panzer Division will move in force, break out from the bottleneck we’re currently in then push east across the desert for Tobruk.

No Luftwaffe units were transferred to Africa and the Italians are unlikely to provide air support once they realise we’re stretching our orders. To that end our Flak battalions will need to maintain a protective umbrella.

Two Italian battalions are already in position but the infantry is far behind the lines.
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3.Aufklärungs Abt. closed on the Village of Agedabia pinpointing the location of several British battalions. Infantry hold the village itself with close support from some 25 pound guns deployed in AT role. A second battalion is slightly behind the lines ready to provide artillery support and lone recon battalion made up of Daimlar Dingo’s holds their flank.
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The 25 pounders posed the greatest threat to his Panzers so Pferdmann ordered them cleared out. Suppressed by artillery strikes they were easy prey for infantry of 5.Light Div.
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Operating in perfect coordination with her sister division 4.Aufklärungs Abt. swept in to finish the retreating guns and reported sighting a second British recon battalion forming a second line.
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With the AT gun threat removed, Generalmajor Fischer ordered his Panzers forward.
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Pferdmann marvelled at how well his officers worked together and complimented each other. Retreating armoured cars were caught by a fresh Panzer battalion and overrun.

Major Weiss, seeing the British front line disintegrate, led his Panzer IIs forward. The British artillery were caught preparing to withdraw and offered little resistance. What men remained quickly surrendered.
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The final blow came from 1.Abt/1 PzRgt/1.PzDiv. Major Krüger, aware that Generalmajor Fischer had attached his command company to his battalion, had no room for errors. His battalion smashed into the remaining mobile British battalion in the area and with support from 2.Abt routed them entirely.
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As the day wore on Pferdmann organised his forces into a defensive position and sent a reminder to his officers “Remember we face the men who chased the Italians all the way from Egypt. Stay alert”
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Pferdmann realised too late that the fast advance of his Panzers had outstripped his Flak battalions. Reports coming in from Major Weiss confirmed his fears as Blenheim bombers punished the lightly armed Panzer IIs. A wing of Hurricane fighters appeared over the heads of the D.A.K. They did not attempt to engage any ground targets, perhaps afraid of the assembled Flak.

Counter attacks by British tanks had been expected. With the German front line well supported by artillery the Vickers Mk VIs proved inadequate to the task and two assaults were turned back with heavy British casualties.
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April 1st 1941 (2)
Major Weiss had managed to weather the storm. His battalion down to half strength had checked the British attack. From the south 1.Panzer Rgt swept forward and finished the floundering Vickers. Showing once more the perfect harmony that Pferdmann had come to expect, Weiss swung his own Panzers around to engage the Vickers that had attacked 4.Aufklärungs Abt. Seeing themselves cut off from retreat, more British joined the list of prisoners.
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The British infantry holding Agedabia were subjected to a heavy artillery barrage before Pioneers of 5.Abt overran their positions.

Karl was sweating “Still enjoying the sand?” Otto’s reply was drowned out by the sound of Bertha as she engaged British planes.

The D.A.K once more surged forward. 5.Light Div. beginning to move on Benghazi and 1.Panzer Div. breaking out towards the open desert.
Image

Generalmajor Fischer was at the fore. His command company providing protection whilst he got a good look up front. Out of the haze a full regiment of British Cruiser tanks appeared, racing forward to halt the German advance. Major Krüger, seeing the danger, acted quickly. With support fire from 37.Panzerjäger Abt. funneling the British away from the Divisions commander, Krüger closed the distance with devastating effect.

Near Antelut village, 3.Aufklärungs ambushed a convoy of British AT guns mounted on trucks that were moving south to reinforce a front line that no longer existed.
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April 2nd 1941 (3)
What was left of the British battalions were quickly swept aside.

5.Light Division move to within striking distance of Benghazi and confirm reports that an Australian infantry Regiment holds the area backed up by 25 pound guns.

1.Panzer approaches the outskirts of Msus. Holding back whilst they wait for infantry to secure the hills on their south flank.
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More British tanks attempt to stem the flow. This time Cruiser MkIVs. Obersleutnant Meier once more got the chance to show why Herr Pferdmann rates him so highly.
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First thing to note - there were not enough deployment spaces for my whole force! I disbanded the Italian infantry to make more room. Whilst I could have simply waited and deployed some infantry on turn one after moving out, I decided not to.

Going as far back as Panzer General I hated auxiliary units. XP stealing thieves that they were. In some scenarios they're needed and they need to fight. In this one? I don't think I'll be using them for anything. If I'm wrong and I needed them in the end then I'll be amazed!

One mistake early on - I had miscalculated how far forward my AA could go. This left all four Panzers of 1.Panzer without cover. Luckily the AI only sent one bomber in so I wasn't badly punished but its something I HAVE to be more careful about. Bonus is that its my "capture" unit that took a beating so hopefully they won't kill so much and earn a bit more in surrenders.

Talking about surrenders - I didn't make much from the artillery or Vickers but it was still several turns worth of passive prestige so it all helps!

fluffybunnyuk
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by fluffybunnyuk » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:01 pm

One thing people overlook is splitting the 88s. By offsetting the split units 3 hexes apart from each other You can cover more area, and even risk leapfrogging/moving the one behind 5 hexes up. In effect allowing you to move 3 hexes/turn and keep your 88/units covered.

ie
X00X00,000000
becomes
000X(up)00,X(truck)00000
becomes next turn
000000,X(up)00X(truck)00

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:11 pm

fluffybunnyuk wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:01 pm
One thing people overlook is splitting the 88s. By offsetting the split units 3 hexes apart from each other You can cover more area, and even risk leapfrogging/moving the one behind 5 hexes up. In effect allowing you to move 3 hexes/turn and keep your 88/units covered.

ie
X00X00,000000
becomes
000X(up)00,X(truck)00000
becomes next turn
000000,X(up)00X(truck)00
Ha I never keep 1 slot free for splitting!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:19 am

April 3rd 1941 (4)
The scattered British Cruiser tanks were quickly finished and with infantry now securing the Dunes on the southern flank, 1.Panzer advanced. Generalmajor Fischer kept his men in good order, able to offer mutual protection incase of another British counter attack.
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5.Light Division began their assault on Benghazi spearheaded by their Panzers. Australian infantry holding the airfield were driven back, unable to cope with armour in open terrain. What was left of the Hurricane wing that had retreated here was shot from the sky as they attempted to evacuate just too late.
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Major Weiss resisted the urge to charge. An Australian infantry battalion had taken up position in the hills overlooking his battalion. A short but mostly ineffective exchange of fire ensured but the infantry would need to cross open ground to get within killing range. The Germans would have to go into the hills to flush them out “Report to command, we need infantry on the left flank. There’s rats in the hills”
Image

April 4th 1941 (5)
Obersleutnant Schwarz leapt from his halftrack hitting the ground at a run. The weight of his trusty Mp38 filled him with confidence and within seconds he was in cover laying down suppressing fire for his advancing men. He paused to reload and heard the familiar whooooosh of his mens flammenwerfers. “That’s it, flush them out!”

As 1.Panzer edged towards Mechili a Raj infantry battalion is seen holding a position ahead of the objective.
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The Australian infantry retreating along the coast road had paused and begun to regroup. Their moment of peace did not last long as 5.Panzer Rgt. Not required in taking Benghazi, pressed their attack.

In the city itself the artillery battalion retreated against the onslaught of German armoured cars, now trapped in the dockyards they were easy prey for Pioneers.
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5.Light Division, still with a name to make for themselves, pushed forward. The Australian Regiment tasked with defending Benghazi now found themselves cut off from any relief.
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April 5th 1941 (6)
4.Aufklärungs Abt. moved ahead of the Division. They reported the defences at Mechili were light. A Raj Infantry regiment supported by light AT guns (2 pounders) and a lone battalion of 25 pound artillery.
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Generalmajor Fischer ordered the advance. Being sure to maintain good formation, he was hoping to draw out any more British armour before the difficult task of isolating and defeating well dug-in infantry begun.
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With the Australian infantry regiment defeated, Benghazi was secured.
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And with that 5.Light division were able to start advancing along the coast. The lone road was soon congested with German fighting vehicles.
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British Cruiser tanks fell upon seemingly unsupported Panzers, desperate to halt the advance. 37.Panzerjäger Abt, unseen and well sighted by their commanding officer Obersleutnant Meier, reaped a terrible toll on the unsuspecting tank formations. Pfermann grinned as the reports came in. As his friend had hoped the British had been lured into another unwise move.

Obersleutnant Schwarz was studying the British gun positions that he expected he’d soon be asked to assault. The sound of gunfire from his left alarmed him. Australian infantry that he’d been told were over the other side of the mountains had made good time and fallen on his mens flanks. A terrible close range firefight broke out. An hour later what was left of the enemy had fallen back into defensive positions in the mountains. Schwarz smiled, close range is where his men excelled.
Image
And once again I forget two things. 1) Mountains only cost 2 MP for infantry (Its high mountains that take 100% MP) and 2) Light infantry can force march!

Luckily it was my Pioneers left in the "vulnerable" position to be attacked. If I'd put artillery there expecting it to be safe I'd be waving good bye to a ton of prestige. Its the little things like this that can nosedive a campaign at this level. Do that 2 or 3 times per scenario and/or leave artillery units exposed to air attack for one turn and you can be paying over 1000 prestige in repair costs.

On the plus side - hopefully everyone can see the worth on putting the camouflage hero on my AT guns by now :D

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:58 pm

April 7th 1941 (8)
1.Panzer spent the day consolidating their position, throwing huge amounts of ordinance at the British whilst maintaining effective siege lines.

5.Light Div. continued to make slow progress, the lone road along the coast just couldn’t cope with the amount of traffic. 5.Panzer Rgt. made contact with Dingo recon cars protecting an airstrip and exchanged fire for a short time.
Image

The British forces were told to dig in and hold. Fresh supplies and reinforcements were brought up. The men on the front line prepared and hoped.
Image

April 8th 1941 (9)
Despite orders to hold, the men holding Tengeder could see no victory. Surrounded and beaten, they lay down their arms.
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A day of rest was all the men of the Africa Korps needed. Intense fighting around Mechili saw the British guns overrun and half of the Raj Infantry routed. Only a lone heavy weapons battalion remained to contest the village.
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5.Panzer Rgt finally breached the bottleneck, outflanking the British recon battalion and forcing them into a precarious position.
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April 9th 1941 (10)
With nowhere left to run the British recon battalion was finished. With a small force left to continue the siege of Mechili, the D.A.K advanced in force towards Tobruk.
More Australians were sighted ahead.
Image

April 10th 1941 (11)
Surrounded on all sides, their morale shattered by constant bombardment it took little more than a poke from Major Weiss and his Panzers to convince the last of the Raj infantry to surrender.
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Whilst the fortifications around Tobruk seemed impenetrable for now, the villages sat outside the defensive ring were vulnerable.
Image

Outnumbered and outmatched, no one would have blamed the Australian infantry for retreating inside the defences. Instead they surprised everyone and launched an attack.
Image

April 11th 1941 (12)
Pferdmann offered the trapped Australians a chance to surrender. They had impressed him with their courage and had fought harder and longer than the British and Indian troops. The reply saddened him, but at the same time cemented his opinion of these men “Nah mate. No time for that, we gotta throw another shrimp on the barbie”
Image

April 12th 1941 (13)
Gazala and Birchacherm were both occupied. The defences of Tobruk were too strong for now and so Pferdmann ordered a halt to the attack. And prepared his men for a lengthy siege.

As was his custom, Pferdmann began to take stock of his losses. He was amazed at how light his casualties had been. 5.Light Division had barely been scratched!
Image
OK that was somewhat easy. I'd actually rank this scenario as my least favourite I've played yet. My camouflage hero certainly had a massive contribution to making this easy. Almost every British armoured counter attack picked on a unit that his Panzerjagers were protecting. Thats kind of his point as the AI can't see he's there so attack a "weak link" but it didn't help that they came in waves of 2 units at a time (and in one instance 1 unit) If the 9 tank units came in one go...well that would have been a fight!

My losses were (in strength points) 3 Pioneer (sadly not from the unit with first aid), 3 Wehr infantry (one gutsy counter attack in the end which I could have avoided), 5 Panzer IIs (A good example of why I try and maintain AA cover at all times), 3 Panzer IIIs and 2 Panzer IVs. So all those armoured counter attacks managed to kill a total of 6 strength points (1 of the PzIIs were lost to the Vickers) and thats a pretty poor contribution from the British armour.

This one just seemed far to "by the numbers" Here's hoping the rest of the African scenarios get back to the standard I came to expect after playing through Russia. Oh and the AI spent prestige fixing up their fighter.....seems like a bit of a waste against an opponent without a single plane!

On a more positive note I finished with 5535 prestige and won't need much for replacements. The extra 4 slots will have me thinking for a little bit but I expect a second battalion for 5.light Divisions Panzer regiment and maybe a pair of half tracks for some infantry as the trucks were a bit slow on the desert.

One other thought. I somehow forgot to upgrade my infantry to grenadiers but that might not have been so bad. Light infantry using forced march can move 3 hexes not the 2 I expected over desert. I'm not sure if that was intended but I suspect its to do with how the ability is coded (the same reason they can cross rivers with it I guess)

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:06 pm

Battle axe

June 1st 1941
Generalleutnant Pferdmann was not enjoying the desert heat. It had been some time since his “reconnaissance” in force had routed the British western desert force. The Africa Korps had pursued the fleeing British back to Egypt whilst General Gariboldi directed Italian forces to lay siege to Tobruk. “The remainder of 5.Panzer Regiment has arrived in Africa, Herr General. They should be with 5.Light Division within the week” Pferdmann turned to acknowledge his aide.
“Thank you Walter. Any news on the Regia Aeronautica?”
“I’m afraid not. General Gariboldi insists that all available air power is required to assist the siege of Tobruk. He doesn’t believe the British have the strength left to mount an offensive here”

June 2nd 1941
Pferdmann read his orders and frowned. Weeks of waiting around had left him impatient. If the British did not have the strength to contest this position then he should be attacking. But Gariboldi had ordered him to halt. Once Tobruk had been taken then would be the time to attack. As Pferdmann was technically subordinate to the Italian chain of command he had written to Berlin requesting reinforcements and permission to finish the British in Egypt.

High commands response had, he would admit, taken him by surprise. Not only were no additional forces available but they had reiterated his directive to obey the Italian orders to hold.

Major Hartmann of 3.Abt/5.Art Rgt/5.Light Division left the mess hall slightly flustered. A group of Officers from 1.Panzer Division had been boasting about their exploits.
“Ah the great Herr Pferdmann. Of course he was once a member of 1.Panzer, it stands to reason we’re his favourites. He knows we can fight and he knows what we’re capable of!”

Hartmann spoke to his assembled company commanders “I want the men drilled twice daily. I want our operations to be smooth and I want to show those bragerts in 1.Panzer what 5.Light Division is made of!”
Image

June 4th 1941
Pferdmann was reviewing his command. The D.A.K had not changed much in the months that they had been in Africa.

1.Panzer division had received moderate equipment upgrades. Enough 21cm guns to outfit an entire battalion as well as enough heavy equipment to arm a battalion of Schutzen. The Panzer IVEs had been refitted with thicker armour and were now designated IVFs.
Image

5.Light division had been allocated enough heavy weapons to arm one of their infantry battalions. As well as their 2nd Panzer battalion equipped with Panzer IVFs.
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The D.A.K flak battalions’ remained unchanged. They also continued to be the only elements of the Luftwaffe present outside of Europe.
Image

A small force of Italian troops continued to be assigned to his command.
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The Italians were deployed to defend the main approach from Egypt. Halfaya pass as well as the nearby villages of Sollum and Musaid. His officers had argued that these critical areas would be best held by Germans. Pferdmann reasoned that if the British did attack then he’d rather the Italians bore the early hit whilst the D.A.K mobilised in response.

1.Panzer division held Hafid ridge against the open desert. With her more mobile elements further back ready to support against any break out attempt at Tobruk.

5.Light division held Fort Capuzzo and guarded the eastern coastline.
Image
Sorry for the week long delay - had a busy week and only had limited play time.

New purchases for this one:
1xPzIVF

Upgrades:
2xWehr inf >Grenadiers
1xPzIVE > IVF
1x15cm art > 21cm

Along with elite replacements across the board (a little over 300 prestige) I was left with 4694P. With I believe 2 more scenarios after this before the big choice I really need to end this with, I reckon around 7000P.

With only around 500-600P available in passive (including my famous hero) I'll need to look at other ways to earn it.

First port of call - I'm going to abandon the forward objectives (Hafid ridgex2 the fort and the barracks) as well as Musaid and the airfield. That's another 500P.
Halfaya pass and Sollum will net me another 150P (I'm not technically abandoning those.....I doubt I could get their quick enough to hold them if I wanted!)

There are five more flags to capture beyond the defensive line for another sweet 250P.

Thats a grand total of around 1400P on the map....so I'll need around 1000P in captures, my envelopment hero can help with this but I'm really going to have to step up my capture game here!
Last edited by Horseman on Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:58 pm

June 15th 1941 (1)
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Moments after Pferdmann had received the briefing Walter came into the command tent “Herr General! The British have been sighted moving on our position!”

An hour later the first reports were coming in. A Regiment of British infantry had been sighted moving in on Halfaya pass. When communication was lost with the Italian AT battalion in the area, Pferdmann assumed the worst. Italian infantry in Musaid has been confirmed as routed and the Italian armour in Sollum reported repelling heavy assaults.
Image

5.Light division repelled a probing attack from British Portee AT guns and a battalion of infantry.
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Pferdmann was desperately trying to get a handle on the situation, trying to confirm the location of the British forces, his train of thought was interrupted as an officer shouted out “We have British planes confirmed” Pferdmann sighed as he wished that just once he could enjoy the benefits of air support.
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Men of 1.Schützen Regiment, deployed along Hafid ridge had already mustered, ready to fight. The British infantry advancing across open desert had not realised that the element of surprise had been lost. They stood frozen when the first mortar rounds exploded in their midst and ran in panic when heavy machine gun fire raked through them.
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Bertha was shaking with the recoil as she hurled heavy Flak at the British Spitfires overhead. Otto was sweating profusely as he toiled, muttering under his breath “Bloody English, they ruined the beach.” Karl jumped with shock when his friend suddenly raised his voice “MY TOWEL WAS HERE FIRST!”

Pferdmann was almost shouting down the radio “Yes Markus, I said pull the infantry back. There’s heavy tanks heading their way and you need to get your Panzers to the front!”
Image

5.Panzer Regiment fell back, abandoning Fort Capuzzo allowing their supporting units to get forward and in position.
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As the sun began to set over the desert, Pferdmann issued one last order “Tell the Italians to hold. The Afrika Korps is coming”

June 16th 1941 (2)
Pferdmann was roused from his bunk in the early hours. The Italian armoured battalion holding Sollum had been overrun in the night. To their credit they had not run.
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The British Portees, refusing to lose contact with the enemy, secured Fort Capuzzo.
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Further west British armour secured parts of Hafid ridge.
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Generalmajor Fischer smiled. The British commander was showing his inexperience. Only a fool would send tanks into hills against infantry.
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With his Division assembled he ordered them to retake the ridge but to leave clear routes in for the British armour. The Matilda’s ahead of his position worried him. His men were well trained but the guns on his Panzers would struggle to gain penetration against the heavy armour. “Tell Meier to get his Jagers into position, we have big game to our fore”
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As quickly as they had fallen back 5.Panzer regiment turned and attacked. The British were caught unaware and routed. The last of the Portees picked off by pursuing armoured cars.
Image

With the fort retaken 5.Light division formed up and prepared to support their beleaguered Italian allies.
Image

WalterTFD
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by WalterTFD » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:09 am

Man the AI just cannot keep its tanks out of rough terrain! I'm in that mission in 44 East where you are trying to capture 5 bridges. Enemy like lemmings, just putting unit after unit in the water to die.

In your force list it shows how many heroes are on each unit, can you maybe put a bit at the start of the next post saying what they do? I'm trying to work out how people are using the new heroes. I see the tanks have swept most of them up!

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:43 am

WalterTFD wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:09 am
Man the AI just cannot keep its tanks out of rough terrain! I'm in that mission in 44 East where you are trying to capture 5 bridges. Enemy like lemmings, just putting unit after unit in the water to die.

In your force list it shows how many heroes are on each unit, can you maybe put a bit at the start of the next post saying what they do? I'm trying to work out how people are using the new heroes. I see the tanks have swept most of them up!
The Hero information is scattered through the AAR but for ease of looking it up here it is.....
1.Panzer Division:
Generalmajor Markus Fischer - PzIIIH - Rapid firex2
Major Hans Krüger - PzIIIH (same unit as above) - Famous (+10 prestige per turn passive)
Major Stefan Wolf - PzIVF - Vigilant
Major Udo Weiss - PzIIC - Envelopment
Obersleutnant Werner Meier - Panzerjäger - Camouflage
Hauptmann Christian Klein - Panzerjäger (same unit as above) - First strike (I keep meaning to move this guy as trying not to have 2 hero's on 1 unit)
Obersleutnant Steffen Schwarz - Pioneers - Fast dismount

5.Light Division
Oberarzt Bernd Fischer - Pioneers - First aid
Hauptmann Wolfgang Krüger - 21cm Art - Zero slots
Major Jürgen Hartmann - 15cm Art - Double support

So only 4 on tanks (and one of those could literally go on anything for exactly the same effect!), 2 on Infantry, 2 on AT and 2 on Artillery

Horseman
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Re: Herr Pferdmann rides again!

Post by Horseman » Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:37 am

June 17th 1941 (3)
The Italians deployed to defend Sollum barracks. They were not frightened as behind them, rushing to their aid was the Afrika Korps. The men who had utterly routed the British only a few months before would soon arrive to halt this offensive. As the first sign of the British attack came they felt their courage waver, as the morning rolled towards midday it broke. Wave after wave of British infantry crashed against their positions, forcing them to withdraw. But even in retreat the attacks did not end.
Image
Image

It was clear to Pferdmann now that the British had committed their armoured divisions to an assault across the desert as yet more heavy tanks moved into view. If he could break these formations here there would be nothing left to stop him pushing east to Egypt and to Suez.
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A British Vickers battalion had taken the bait and advanced into the hills of Hafid ridge but the heavy Matilda IIs simply ground forward, staying just outside engagement range. Its possible the Beaufighter’s flying overhead had reported the presence of Meiers Panzerjagers.
The remaining Cruiser tank battalion swung far out to flank and raced past.
Image

With the British planes knocked from the sky, Generalmajor Fischer led his Panzers forward. Suppressed by heavy artillery fire and quickly encircled, the Matilda’s were removed as a threat. Major Wolf led his Panzers into the hills; his target, the Vickers battalion, were driven back into the waiting guns of Major Weiss and his Panzers.
Image

Fischer organised a small detachment to fall back and prepare to face the Cruiser tanks that had raced north.
Image

Encircled and engaged from every angle the second Matilda battalion surrendered to 5.Light division.
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Pferdmann was smiling. The initial British attack had been broken. With his forces formed and ready, he knew it was time to take the fight back to the enemy.
Image

June 18th 1941 (4)
The skies above 1.Panzer division were filled with thunder. Deadly fire from the German Flak battalions punished the RAF planes that had dared to attack.
Image

A determined assault from British infantry forced the Italian AA battalion to withdraw leaving the airfield open.
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Major Williams felt the whole tank shudder as something ricocheted off its hull. The radio crackled to life with panicked shouts of contact. Rushing to flank the enemies defences his battalion had blundered into the waiting guns of German Panzers.
Image

Pferdmann read the report. More heavy British armour had advanced against 5.Light division. 39.Panzerjäger Abt was well positioned to prevent the Matilda’s pressing hard but they would need to be dealt with.
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Generalmajor Fischer was pleased. The attempted flanking move by British Cruiser tanks had not just been stopped but comprehensively defeated.
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5.Panzer regiment swung into action. With an artillery barrage pinning the British tanks in place they combined with 3.Aufklärungs Abt. to rout the infantry that had moved up in support.
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Whilst on their left flank 14.Infanterie Regiment forced a battalion of Raj infantry to retreat in an attempt to relieve the pressure on the remaining Italians.
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Colonel Webber appraised the situation. Anti-tank guns to the fore and Panzers on either flanks. The infantry that was supposed to be providing close support for his thrust had evaporated against a strong German attack. “Wilikins old boy. Get on to HQ and let them know we’re in a spot of bother if you would. That’s a good chap”
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1.Abt/1.PzReg/1.PzDiv surged forward. With Generalmajor Fischer and his command platoon attached they felt invincible and against British Dingo armoured cars they were…
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As the last of the British gunpostions were destroyed Fischer became aware that the battalion had charged ahead unsupported “Major Krüger, I applaud your men's skill but we risk becoming an easy target. Fall back and rejoin the Division”
Image

With 5.Light division protecting their left flank, 1.Panzer formed up ready to face whatever the desert threw at them next.
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