Friday, April 15, 2011

La Gleize 20th AM AAR

We both went idle overnight.

   For the morning attack, I bought another 5-pack of Shermans, and got ANOTHER flamethrower tank. I also bought two infantry platoons, the heavy MG platoon and a bombardment. The shermans and the infantry would attack into Bourgemont. The MGs would truck into the area in the south around the mill.

   We started off with a bombardment in the north. It didn't do too much damage. It did break a squad or two, and get a fire going that would eventually burn down a great deal of the town.

   Interesting note: using the historical weather, the heaviest mist level is in effect for this scenario. Because Very Heavy and Extremely Heavy Mist are LOS hindrances (not LV), there is no FFMO or interdiction. It makes this date a must attack for the US.

  The first move in the Bourgemont area was to try to clear the German infantry lurking near the map edge.  Since shermans are like nickles in this thing, I felt like I could take some risk. I entered the first tank and drove straight at the squad and leader  who were hanging around a few hexes east of the woods. That tank got all blowed up by a faust. Now that they were fired out, I entered the flametank and made the overrun. I 12'd out the FT on the first roll, but the squad and leader did break and scurry off in to the woods.

   A few tuns later, they would re-emerge to kill that same tank with another 'faust.  Flame tanks are not like nickles.

  The infantry moved in and broke a German FT squad who routed away, and got another DC toting squad to disrupt and surrender. The town of Bougemont itself was defended mostly by dummies and minefields, which did cause some casualties.

       The attack soon bogged down to a stalemate as the main German line proved tough to crack.The defense was anchored by a panther hull down behind a roadblock, and infantry who could fire from the tree line, then disappear into the woods when broken.

       In the south, I hadn't planned to do much attacking. With most of the fresh assets in use in the north, I thought that the mill would just be too tough to take.

     I brought my MG's on by truck mostly to try to guard against a counterattack on the bridge. Otherwise, my plan here was to lob some mortar rounds across the stream and hope to get lucky with a Critical Hit.

    I sent out a half squad of volunteers to retrieve a bazooka that had been dropped in the stream during the previous scenario. When they did so without incident, I decided to go knock on the door of the mill, and see if anyone was home.

    Dummies, and another minefield. Took the mill without a shot. Over the course of the next few turns we found out that three more German stacks in that area were dummies.  I starting pushing more infantry across the stream.

    Mid game the Germans made a half hearted counterattack towards a foxhole location north of the mill, sending a squad and a panther forward by armored assault. Just then, the good guys caught a break when the mist lightened up, bringing the panther's side armor into view of a sherman moving up the right flank of my bridgehead. Boom.

   Soon, that situation would roughly play out in reverse. I sent a squad forward with the other flame tank (also burned out) to try to take a foxhole location a little deeper into enemy territory. The tank was killed as the squad pushed forward into melee. When the Germans fired into the melee, the 6ML Americans broke, and the fanatic SS squad was unharmed.

   All in all, it was probably about a push. we both lost 3 squads of infantry. I lost two shermans, the Germans lost a panther. The attack in the north bogged down, but the mill fell into my hands unexpectedly. Still anybodies game.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Google Earth Detective

According to Charles MacDonald, on the night of December 23rd, Peiper received permission to break out from La Gleize.  Abandoning (and destroying) their vehicles, the column of 800 men set out on foot. Peiper conscripted two locals to serve as guides. 

"They led the Germans to a small wooden bridge spanning the Ambleve underneath the remains of a demolished railroad bridge."

This photo was placed on Google earth at point roughly due south of the Werimont farm area. No hard evidence here, but it seems likely to be the bridge described.