Saturday, August 19, 2017

Tank Warfare: Tunisia 1943, Longstop Hill DLC - The Churchills Stop Here

In this battle generated with the game's editor, I lead a British infantry company to secure a ford across the Medjerda River (2 km west of the Djebel el Ahmera heights).

No artillery support for my infantry, just 5 Churchill tanks. The enemy is a PzGr company reinforced with a platoon of tanks.

Very soon after crossing the line of departure, a German company of PzGr. opened up. The Churchills were in support and we made good progress moving forward relatively unmolested.

The Churchills are kind of slow, almost to the point that I had to hold the infantry back a little.

The first section of a British platoon made it first to the ford. The river bed was a relatively deep cut in the landscape, so it offered terrific cover for men and tanks.

On tank crew member moving towards the back after his tank was immobilized. His tank was hit by some high velocity round coming from the back of the battlefield. Apparently, the Germans deployed their tanks in the back.

The first two Churchills to make it to the ford. The muddy banks of the river were very unfriendly for the heavy steel beasts.

It was a good thing that the ford had no German muzzles pointing at it. The slow movement of both infantry and tanks could have meant a disaster.

The physics engine of Graviteam is just amazing. Watching those threads losing grip on the terrain and regain it for a brief moment is a treat.

The first tank to make it out of the ford. Note the smoke billow from the engine. That driver is putting pedal to the metal.

A premature tank loss. This one was moving towards the ford and took an unfortunate turn which exposed his flank to some German tank in the distance.
British infantry crossing the river. Note how they move in a column formation.

My two tanks moved a bit forward from the infantry and started neutralizing the most forward German PzGr. platoon. My infantry was left in the back, waiting for the tanks to soften the enemy resistance.

A birds-eye view, from the enemy side. The ford is now secure (located where the red icons are) and it is time to assault the farm in the foreground. My infantry and tanks (green icons) are now moving forward.

The stubborn remnants on our right flank had to be eliminated. They were more than an annoyance to my troops moving towards the farm.

I detached an infantry platoon to mop up that enemy position. Despite some quick terrain gains, those German defensive positions were treacherous.

My advance to the farm suffered some annoying lack of infantry-tank coordination. These soldiers are making it to the gates of the farm without tank support (note the tank's guns trained on our right flank). Fortunately, the farm was totally undefended.
But as soon as my infantry secured the farm, the German tanks -which remained relatively silent until now- opened up. These German tanks were in prepared positions some 500 meters from the farm, behind an orchard.

I moved my tanks to the left of the farm, with arcs of fire oriented towards the German tanks. I ended up with not enough tactical separation between the Churchills.

I was totally wrong in thinking that the Churchills could get the German panzers. One by one my three tanks were hit and went up in hot smoke. The German panzers, as soon as I paraded my tanks near the farm, sprinted out in a flanking movement, briefly stopping to deal death on my armor.

Despite my armor losses, I was granted a total victory due to my control of the farm and the ford.

From now on, I'm going to keep my Churchill tanks out of the reach of German panzers.



Unknown said...

Well those are Tigers and they have scary guns.

Paolo said...

Nice write up, JC!
I don't comment much but am an avid reader! :D Many thumbs up!

JC said...

Thanks for your continued support! :)

Marco said...

Great mission, that move of the enemy tanks really get yours, the IA of graviteam is really good.

JC said...

Hi Marco,
Thanks for your comment. I agree, that AI from Graviteam is something to watch.