Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hasty Defense at the Fulda Gap- Steel Beasts ProPE AAR - Part 3: The Cavalry Fight

What a battle! The enemy opens fast and unforgiving. The thin and undermanned line of US troopers falls back. Half pushed. Half pulled. But never completely cut.

In this part of the AAR, my cavalry gets a glimpse at the enemy and retreats with expediency.

It was part of the plan for the M3A2s to get a glimpse of the enemy and then fall back to successive battle positions. The Soviets threw a ball curve that killed many men and crushed too many hulls.

Each of these teams is composed of 2 M3A2 cavalry vehicles. North and south, the width of the sector was to be watched.

The view from the north-est battle position. A small village in the background, sounds can be heard but still no contact.
First contact, a Soviet BRDM-2 in the north flank. It was engaged immediately.
It took several rounds from the M3A2 cannon to destroy this Soviet vehicle.
The first Soviet T-72s emerge from the distance. The enemy's main effort appears to be in the center or in the south.
Too eager to report as much as they can, the troopers in the center of our sector find themselves almost surrounded by the Soviet's rapid advance. In this picture, an M3A2 vehicle retreats leaving his troopers behind (house in the background).
The troopers left behind immobilize three T-72s but in the end are killed by the overwhelming enemy firepower.
To the north of the sector, the fall back was abruptly cut off by Soviet Mi-24 attack helicopters who attacked from our left flank. In this picture, our first vehicle loss.
The attack helicopters gave no quarters to our left flank.
A very intense fight developed when the other remaining M3A2 vehicle could catch a hill as cover. In this picture, one of the Soviet attack helicopters is shot down. Note the Soviet artillery barrage (black smoke) in the background. That indirect fire is falling onto the M3A2s previous battle position.

Not even the infantry teams (white smoke) left behind as observers were spared the Soviet helicopter's ferocious guns. Note the dirt of the retreating M3A2 in the background.
The last of our two-vehicle team in the north flank of our sector falls to a Soviet attack helicopter.
Leaving our left flank completely open, the Soviet attack helicopters moved south where they met the crew of this M3A2 who proceeded to shot down one of them. Note the how the hill is protecting the right flank of the M3A2 from the last remaining Soviet attack helicopter. That helicopter managed to stay in the battle for a couple of minutes more, when it was shot down by an M1 tank ... Our main effort was arriving to the battle positions!
Forced to fight and retreat but with their eyes well open, our troopers see no less than 4 platoons of T-72Bs advancing straight into our south flank. 

The battle is about to begin ...



Gowan James Ditchburn said...

scary, quite scary. a scenario that I have seen played a few times in Miniature but this I can tell is going to be good!

it will be interesing also to see how both simulator and miniatures show this scenario! the last miniature game I saw ended in a draw as T-72's charged headlong into Leopard 1's which were also charging, in short it was carnage.

but this is the first time I have seen this is a simulator so I can't wait to see how this goes.

Doug Miller said...

Ouch! Classic NATO/WP Armored Cav speed bumps!

I don't think I've run into Hinds before in my games. I'm impressed that the defenders took them down like that.

Anonymous said...

Really, really enjoying this AAR! Beautifully written and analized. Going to have to try this scenario myself. Keep up the great writing JC, most enjoyable. Curious, do you ever get into multiplayer aspect of this simulation? Last spring, early summer we had a big multiplayer H2H campaign on Friday nights...was called "Red Tide 85." First big campaign where one side actually crewed and played the Russian vehicles. It was supremely fun and Soviet-Russian tactics actually worked well...OPFOR side won that campaign of 8-10 scenarios culminating in a breakthrough of the NATO lines. The simulation is just phenominal.

Anonymous said...

Love the AAR. Can't wait for the next parts!

JC said...

Thanks for the kind words and your patience. I will be coming back to this shortly.