Short entry today, folks. The workdays are getting longer ...
US Department of the Army Pamphlet 20-234 (Operations of Encircled Forces, 1952) says that "an encircled force can ill afford loss of terrain." Let me add one more: it can ill afford a gain of terrain if such gain has no impact in the relief of the encircled force. In this war game scenario, I'm neither completely encircled nor I gained any real estate. But certainly I can't afford more defeats like this one.
|In this scenario, elements of the 79th ID (Germany, blue) are just a couple of kilometers short of completely encircling my forces (343 ID, Russian, red).|
My questionable decision of the day was to move a couple of platoons south (see red arrows above) and expand our real estate to a crucial crossroad (red circle) in order to deny the enemy of a vital advance route towards the east.
The Germans are attacking now the two groups (south and north) under my command. In the north, I'm still fighting. In the south, I was soundly defeated.
Once the two platoons reinforced with an AT gun and a Maxim HMG arrived at the crossroads, they could not dig in. The inability to prepare defenses right after a tactical march is modeled into the game, much to my chagrin. To make matters worse, the hasty defense I deployed my men into was oriented NW. The enemy (an all infantry force) attacked from the west, off course ...
|Two squads on my left (southwest) flank were routed in a matter of minutes.|
|The HMG was the center of my defense and had a great field of fire. The German infantry advancing through that field of fire suffered great losses. But my left flank could have been a better place for this support weapon.|
|With great effort and unnerving slowness, the AT gun crew shifted positions to the left flank. Here are shown firing at enemy infantry (blue dots and yellow icons in the background).|
|German infantry advancing through a plowed field. The field was not entirely flat and these troops took advantage of every fold in the terrain. Note the MG being carried to the front (left).|
|Out of ammo, the AT gun crew are the last men standing on my collapsed left flank.|
|Whoever was not killed or routed now surrenders (left). A German infantry man tries to deal with one of the diehards and gets it to the groin (right)|