Sunday, April 19, 2015

Command Ops 2 - Economy of Force

According to the principle of force, a minimal of the total combat power should be applied to secondary efforts. To the "All American" (82nd Airborne Division) of the 1st Battalion/504 Regiment, it was hard to see themselves as part of a secondary effort. And ever harder to see their combat mighty as minimal.

The first hours of this Command Ops 2 scenario. The green, light blue and grey icons represent US, Luftwaffe and German Army units.

Before we continue, a heads up on a great book.

Lost at Nijmegen, by R. Poulussen.
This book, controversial in its conclusions and all, is a great and very detailed account of the "All American" division at Nijmegen. It is pretty much "the" book for the Command Ops scenario I am playing (All American Over Nijmegen).

The book includes very detailed maps and aerial photographs of the crucial points in the battle.

It is great fun to take your OPORDs from an historical account of the operation as you play a game. In this blog post, I am doing just that but just focusing on the 1st Battalion/504 Regiment for simplicity.

The situation at 14:19, day one. Company B, is about to completely rout a token force of Germans from the Heumen Bridge (south crossing in this map). In real life, this took a couple of more hours. The rest of the Battalion is headed towards the Malden bridge (north crossing in this map), with company C as point and company A and mortar in support.

When Company C drops the ball and retreats from the Luftwaffe (light blue icon) force at the Malden bridge, the Battalion HQ regroups Company C and A as a single force for a renewed offensive on the crossing.

Details on the new attack at the Malden bridge.

A bit late, but without too much effort, the 2/3rds of the maneuver units of the Battalion drive the enemy from the Malden bridge. The mortar support played a great role in this success.

I wish I would remember how to create scenarios for Command Ops (I made plenty of them, an example is here) and take this snapshot of action from the big scenario and save it as an introductory scenario.

Overall, it played better for the All Americans than in real life. The Heumen bridge fell into our hands too early (it took until almost midnight in real life). The Malden bridge was not blown up like in real life and I am OK with that because such events sometimes feel like a tossing of a coin. But a thing that didn't escape my attention is the need of two companies to take this northern crossing.