I played the Jebel el Guessa scenario today and got a draw. Victory conditions apart, I am getting too used to the many war gaming tactical excesses I am allowed to commit just because the battle map is a small chunk of the whole battlefield.
The scenario briefing says:
South of Tebourba, Dec 6th 1943: Both sides wanted to resume their offensives but it was the Germans who struck first. They moved part of 10PzD south of the Medjeda river in preparation for an attack along both sides of the river. First of all the Jebel el Guessa had to be cleared as it afforded perfect all round observation of the area. The US 1st Bn. 6th Arm'd Inf., was strung out thinly along the Jebel, supported by the 27th Arm'd Field Arty Bn. It was here, from the north and south east, that the Germans struck preceded by 2 waves of Stukas. Help was sent from the reorganizing CCB and by nightfall all was quiet again, but the all important high ground had been lost, as the infantry had been obliged to withdraw to protect their line of communication.
I played as the Germans, who are fielding a rag tag force under OPCON of the 10th Panzer Division. Think of a badly depleted brigade rather than of a whole division.
Our objective was to capture the American defensive positions at Jebel el Guessa.
|Click the image for a better view.|
- Main attack: seize American positions at "Guessa 1" with the 2nd Battalion, 86th Panzer Grenadier Regiment
- Secondary attack: seize American positions at "Guessa 2" with the 4th Battalion, 5th FJ Regiment
- Secondary attack: seize Medjerda crossing south of Bordj Toum and occupy an attack by fire position overlooking the ford west of the position "Guessa 2" in order to interdict enemy reinforcements across the Medjerda
The plan worked more or less well. I captured the objectives but I sustained too many casualties to get a victory. The enemy could use the ford to try to recapture el Guessa, but got caught by my air support and the indirect fires of my two humble artillery batteries.
It was like the real Tunisia '42 ... at its best ... most of the times inconclusive at both the tactical and operational level. :)
The enemy threw some shy armored punches at my left flank, but I ignored them because I knew that as soon as I seized the Toum crossing, they were isolated.
Coming up next ... the real battle.