Sunday, July 14, 2013

An Apparent Tactical Dilemma - Combat Mission Fortress Italy - Gustav Line

This little devil of an scenario is as small as tough. It's a tiny scenario of the stock Gustav Line module called something like "Kiwi Soldiers" or so.

Spoilers ahead!

Take a look at the tactical situation of this scenario. I am playing as the New Zealanders (green icons).

Kudos to the scenario designer who put me into this. A platoon of NZ infantry supported by a light mortar must secure two objectives (railway station to the left and the far to the right).
There are German troops at both the farm and the railway station and securing the objectives requires close assault. Here is the apparent dilemma: assaulting the farm (green arrow, A) will put my troops under fire from the railway station (red dotted arrow). Assaulting the railway station (green arrow, B) will put my troops under fire from the farm.

So, borrowing from Robert Leonhard's The Art of Maneuver, I've made one of the enemy's strengths (the high ground position on the farm at the top of the hill) irrelevant by using smoke. 
The smoke screen allowed my PIAT team to deploy and fire at the railway station, unmolested by the Germans at the high ground (farm).
An infantry team moving into the assault position at the railway station. The thick smoke screen is fading out, but it still enough to negate the fire from the Germans at the high ground (background).

The railway station was cleared with a few casualties. But the fire of the PIAT has been devastated to the Germans ... Who was not injured/killed was suppressed to great effect. The railway station offers a great firing position towards the higher terrain uphill.

My infantry firing at the Germans in the farm. The railway position has somehow hinged the German defenses up in the hill. In this screen, a German sniper team (background, faint grey icon) gets caught in the flank by the New Zealanders in the foreground. The new position at the railway also allowed the accurate plotting of mortar fire onto a pesky German machine gun position inside the building.

Moving up the hill to clean up the enemy remnants. Mission accomplished!
Always remember that is very rare to see a real dilemma in the battlefield. Don't get caught out of options just because you are out of ideas!



NW said...

Classic use of smoke and the PIAT to supplement the mortar as the commander's "back pocket artillery."

Chris said...

JC what program are you using to overlay the arrows?

JC said...

Thanks for your comments, gents.

Chris, overlays are made with Photoshop.


Iris said...

This is fantastic!