Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Steel Beasts ProPE - Two Bridges Too Many - AAR

This is the AAR for the debrief I presented earlier this week.

Although it was a treat to shoot from above, the crew of this tank didn't appreciate the stress of being potentially targeted from seemingly everywhere. Let's see how they got there.

Lines of departures. The day is young and plenty of opportunities for good and bad happenings.

The lead tank crests the last rise before OBJ Emmitsburg and finds a BTR-based patrol/roadblock of Russian infantry. The BTRs pulled out of danger so hastily that they forgot to pick up their troops. This a view from the Leopard tank gunner's position. That Soviet soldier is aiming an RPG. Close call.
A view of the lead tank and the confined surroundings of the highway. It took quite a while to eliminate all the ENY dismounts on the side of the road.

And then, the attention of all crews shift towards OBJ Emmitsburg.

The lead tank's gunner view of OBJ Emmitsburg. Nothing can be seen while the tank slowly approaches towards the objective.
Being over a bridge like this makes you visible from almost everywhere. At this time, and fortunately, the team has to only care about his front and right flank (remember that there is a friendly OP on the left flank).
Advancing very slowly, at the ready to pull back, contact on the right side! Down there, some 1.3 km away a couple of enemy BTRs. The team leader decided not to engage those and save the ammunition for more substantial threats.

The bridge arches up at its middle section, which allows this ENY T-80U tank to be hidden in the reverse slope. The Leopard 2A5 has a periscope that is at the top of the turret, which has thermal imaging capability too. I don't know if the periscope (which is operated by the tank commander) offers a slightly elevated point of view compared to the gunner's sight. But I like the extra magnification of the periscope's TIM.
The gunner's view of a very stressful, short ranged, 3 seconds fight. One ENY T-80U destroyed ...

The team, lead by the two tanks, now moves north to OBJ Taneytown. Two tiny green speckles are the telltale of infantry up to something bad ...
But is already too late for the lead tank, which takes an anti-tank missile.

The second Leopard tank gets immediately into the task of destroying the ENY anti-tank missile team. The coaxial machine gun fire suffices for this.

This second bridge appears to be more well defended than the previous one. The only Leopard tank remaining now moves slowly through the bridge while scanning for targets on the right flank. Note how this tank is using the left side of the road. When 3 ENY BMPs fired missiles at it, all of them impacted in the right side of the road.

Unable to hit any of the ENY targets while moving, the Leopard tank clears the far end of the bridge and makes a U-turn to re-engage with less haste.
Another view of the same scene. Note the valley below, where the ENY BMPs are located. Also, the foliage of the trees offered good concealment. The rest of the team (2 Marder IFVs) are crossing the bridge by now.
An ENY BMP just destroyed by the Leopard tank.
The Marder IFVs paused quite a bit to engage ENY infantry. I didn't even notice the ENY dismounts ...

But, heck yeah, they are down there and they are difficult to hit from above the bridge. The risk of leaving these ENY men alive is too high (they may end up setting up ambushes from the woods along the planned MSR).

So the team moves out of the bridge and with very little effort clears the valley from ENY infantry. Our own infantry saw some action too (with the support of the cannons of the Marders these panzer grenadiers are invincible). Note the bridge (OBJ Taneytown) in the distance.


badanov said...

Bridgeheads are hard to breach and defend.

Good AAR. How long did the engagement last?

JC said...

Hi badanov and thanks for reading.

The whole thing took 45 minutes.


badanov said...

Long battle, then.

One of the basics of a mechanized meeting engagement is to sent reinforcements to points of contact sufficient enough to force a decision, preferably for your side.

And a dead tank on a bridge is a defending commander's dream.

JC said...

Dear badanov,

Thanks for your comment.

Doctrine and all, somebody has to do it ... This is a MSR/rear area/flank protection mission, not the cutting edge of a mechanized formation.