Monday, July 8, 2013

Mortar Section Supporting a US Cavalry Troop - Steel Beasts ProPE - Briefing

Thanks to the magic of desktop simulation, it is possible to experience or just try out stuff your read in your military books. This weekend, after going half way through Warrior's Rage by Douglas McGregor, I wanted to go to the desert and command a US Cavalry troop. 

The particular topic that interested me is the use of a mortar section (two tubes mounted in M113 vehicles) in support of the troop. In page 26 of the printed version of Warrior's Rage, there is a mention of the use of this mortars to mark the enemy's position for the other platoons and to suppress the enemy while the troop maneuvers into a firing position.
This mission is in the desert, against the Iraqi Army. The original map is El Alamein (by manteuffel at the downloads section of slightly modified with some shrubs. Kilometers of open terrain, ideal for an armor battle.

A Troop (blue icons) has to secure the crossroads at objective "Alamein". The crossroads are defended by mechanized infantry supported by tanks. The strength of the enemy forces is unknown, but no less than a company was reported at the crossroads.
The crossroads have a few abandoned buildings and some palm trees that will certainly help with the struggle to land-navigate through the featureless desert.

Own forces: two platoons of four M1 Abrams tanks each. 
Own forces: two platoons of six M3 Bradley CFV each. The platoon size is six instead of the traditional four, please see page 32 of Warrior's Rage.
Own forces: a section of two M113s equipped with mortars. Unfortunately Steel Beasts doesn't feature a vehicle like that so I simulated this sections as two M113s FO vehicles. The scenario was set in a way that only these two vehicles can call indirect fire (i.e. if this vehicles get destroyed there is no more indirect fire support). As a sort of house rule, I will keep my fire mission targets no farther than 6,000 meters from the location of the mortar section.
At our line of departure, the troopers rush to their vehicles. Note the road (actually more like a track) in the middle of the screenshot. This road goes some 14 km northwest directly onto objective Alamein.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello JC,

Upcoming version 3.0 will contain M113 with functioning mortars.
So maybe you could await a bit to play out this scenario ?

Rgds, Koen