This is a continuation of a series of entries I made quite a while ago. After a long digression, I settled for a (sorta) plan.
During the first day I want to secure the Steinebruck bridge and extend the bridgehead towards Lommerweiler.
The brigade I have available for the first day has one infantry battalion, one armored infantry battalion and one tank battalion. The troops on foot are useless for any assault on the Steinebruck bridge. The enemy occupying the heights of Lommerweiler would have a hay day if I move my foot infantry through the low terrain surrounding the bridge. I decided to use the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion and 35th Tank Battalion for an assault on the bridge. The 1st Battalion-318th Infantry Regiment is of better use if they cross the river where wheeled/tracked vehicles can't and try to attack from some sort of concealment. See tactical plan below.
Opening moves. Click the image to expand it.
Did you know that you can combine both the 51st and the 35th Bns in a single coordinated attack by clicking on one Bn HQ, pressing the Ctrl key, clicking the other Bn HQ and then issuing an attack order? The most senior HQ unit will then be in operational control (OPCON) of both battalions and will guide them through the attack. Only caveat is the increased command load for the HQ unit in control (watch for those in the Cmd tab, listed as "capacity" [how much the HQ unit can handle without too much trouble] and "load" [how much the HQ unit is handling at the moment]). If "load" exceeds "capacity", the two-battalion task force may suffer some extra orders delay. I'm kinda milking the system here, because during the first hour of the scenario there are no orders delays.
After hours of hard fighting, at 1100 of day 1, my forces finally cross the river. I have detached a cavalry troop for reconnaissance missions. By now I need a larger bridgehead.
It was about time! We have crossed the river.
As soon as some space is gained across the river, the two-battalion task force (51 Arm Inf Bn and 35 Tank Bn) is ordered to pivot west and continue their attack towards Lommerweiler. By this time the foot infantry is in position to attack Lommerweiler in the opposite direction. With the combined firepower of an entire brigade, the enemy breaks down easily. Lommerweiler falls in our hands by mid afternoon.
The gods that wield swords and hold shields have been good with us so far, but the gods that ride horses have been more generous. That cavalry troop that I detached was ordered to conduct a reconnaissance mission towards St. Vith using the east flank of the enemy. The troopers reached St. Vith unopposed and found no signs of the enemy so far. By now the time is 1524 (day 1) and this is a pivotal moment in today's fight. This opportunity needs to be exploited with no delay. See map below for the new set of orders.
Onto St. Vith!
After some 40 minutes of nervous waiting (are orders delay fun or what?) the 35 Tank Bn moves towards St. Vith. The tanks reach St. Vith around 1730 PM with not enemy to shoot at. I feel like I sucker-punched the Germans and I wish I could preserve the battlefield as it is until the next day, when my reinforcements arrive. As the night falls, the enemy continues to attack towards the Steinebruck bridge and to put pressure in my foot infantry near Breitfeld. My troops hold their positions through a long night.
We are ready to be reinforced!
To be continued, stay tunned.