Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hasty Defense at the Fulda Gap- Steel Beasts ProPE AAR - Part 4: Main Battle Tanks Enter the Fray

This is a continuation of my overdue AAR on this fantastic scenario. The Cavalry troopers did their job, but paid a high price in casualties. A flight of enemy attack helicopters forced the M3A2s to move too much around their fall back positions ... Never a good thing.

The battle was still young and the confidence on the M1A1s Abrams was high. The tankers of First and Second platoons sat tight in their battle positions were with their sights on EA Pirc.

After the remainder Cavlary M3A2s at last lost contact with the enemy, the pause in the shooting was very short. But the interlude was not wasted and it was decided to reinforce the left (north) flank of our sector with one M3A2 vehicle from the center.

During its march towards the left (north)  flank, the crew of this M3A2 pays a high price for its poor route planning. The final trajectory and point of impact of a perfect flank shot by a BMP-2 with a Spandrel ATGM is shown as a green rod. 
At this point of the battle, it was more or less clear that the enemy's main effort was to come through our right (south) flank. So any attempt to reinforce the left flank was abandoned.

The first shot of a long firefight. An M1A1 opens up at a range of  2,000+ meters and scores the first kill of the First and Second platoons.
This is the final trajectory and point of impact of the round fired by the unit depicted in the previous screenshot. 
The enemy tanks, still short of EA Pirc suffer losses, but they still press on (background) favored by their numerical superiority.

The engagement ranges shrink, and with that, some enemy rounds star to find their way to the turrets and hulls of our tanks.

Now in EA Pirc proper, entire enemy tank platoons get destroyed as soon as they crest a hill. Note the other enemy tanks in the background, moving forward.
While we were busy with all the carnage of steel in our right flank, this BMP-2 managed to infiltrate right at the center of our sector. 
The single BMP-2 had some company with him (red icon). They crossed our phase line un-molested and laboriously moved west with us unable to throw anything at them.
The pressure at our right flank never wanes. The T-72s keep coming.
The tactical situation 30 minutes into the scenario. Right click and open in a different tab for a better view. In the south, the M1A1 tank platoons have destroyed no less than 9 enemy tanks (brown diamonds are enemy tanks destroyed). In the center, the pressure is quite small but nonetheless at least two BMP-2s had made it to our rear. In the north, the enemy keeps contact with reconnaissance vehicles.
Our first tank loss came at the hands of an enemy tank firing an AT-11 ATGM. This M1A1 from the Second Platoon has received a direct hull hit (green rod) as it was attempting to stay in a hull-down position.
Right click and open in a different tab for a better view.  The company commander (blue round icon labeled "Co A") tank was in the center of our sector to provide early warning about any type of movement along the central road that crosses our sector from the east to the west. This tank got decisively engaged as soon as it made contact with the enemy (in this case an enemy tank platoon outflanking the First and Second Platoons positions.

The Company Commander's tank at work. That black smoke billow is from the impact of an enemy ATGM.

Now pressed from the front and left (note missile impact), the Company Commander's perspectives of survival did not improve despite his desperate effort to get out of the way.
The demise of the Company Commander's tank. Again, an enemy ATGM and a poor hull-down position are to blame.
With the center road now some enemy tanks move forward. This is the view from the Second Platoon's position (tank hull in the foreground is an M1A1).  The First and Second Platoon are at risk of being outflanked.

To be continued ...


Unknown said...

Is this vs AI or online with a team?
I'm thinking of taking the plunge and getting ProPE, but I don't have time to do multiplayer. Is it any good single-player?

Gowan James Ditchburn said...

oh dear they appear to be breaking through, something must be done to secure the centre

Marco said...

It most be hard play as Red IRL, so many weight on the numerical pressure with the heavy losses to get a breakthrough. That's why I always play blue, less carnage more pro.

Great AAR, keep them alive and grounded.

JC said...

Hello and thanks for your comments.

I played this as the blue player (jumping from tank to tank sometimes) against the AI.