Breakout and Pursuit
Carpathian Brigade #3
|Britain||7th Royal Tank Regiment|
|Italy||17ª Divisone Fanteria "Pavia"|
|Overall Rating, 2 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 588|
|Parent Game||Carpathian Brigade|
|Visibility||Day & Night|
|Layout Dimensions||88 x 58 cm
35 x 23 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Desert Rats||maps + counters|
With the British breakout bogged down and New Zealand troops pushing resolutely closer to the Tobruk perimeter, staff officers discussed whether an attack by the Poles might succeed in linking up with the relieving forces. A second corridor, 70th Division suggested, would allow fresh troops into the fortress and would present the Axis besiegers with multiple challenges. Perhaps tank support would help the Poles smash their way through the Italian lines?
While 70th Division strongly supported the plan, XIII Corps rejected the idea. "I do not consider it has the reasonable chance of success we should offer it," General Alfred Godwin-Austen of the relieving force replied, "...until we are ourselves firmly established." The Tobruk staff repeated their recommendation for several days, but corps command repeated their opposition. The Poles remained in their positions.
White Eagles INF and Cassino RIF are functionally interchangeable. Polish leaders are drawn from Cassino.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|At 10:00, the Italians Stopped Fighting|
Played solo in 6 hours.
You can see the Italian setup in link text, post #12.
I set up the Italians in a box located at the south edge of the map. I placed the six minefield counters on both flanks and the wire markers primarily to the north to delay the Poles.
As the Poles drew several leaders with a combat modifier, I devise a very simple plan. Surround the enemy position, stay at 400-600 meters and use direct fire to disrupt / demoralize the Italians. Assault where the Italians flinch.
The Poles took 90 minutes to get into position and then started firing on the town. The Italians failed to cooperate and returned well aimed fire. After 3 hours of combat, the Poles had lost 12 steps to 2 for the Italians and felt they could no afford to delay the assault if they were to have a chance at winning.
The Poles moved in from all sides, with the engineers leading the effort from the flanks. The Poles did not make much progress and casualties were 28 for the Poles and 8 for the Italians after 5 hours, with the Italians still controlling every entrenchment. With only 1 hour to go, I thought the Italians would win a major victory as they were leading 44 victory points to 8.
The Poles just reinforced their assaults and could do no wrong. Not only were they causing some step reductions, the Italians failed their morale checks and recovery rolls en masse. In two turns, the Poles had eliminated 11 steps, taken control of 2 entrenchments, and the remaining Italian force was mostly disrupted. The Italians were now leading 43 to 23 in victory points.
The Poles spent the last thirty minutes assaulting the road and preventing the Italians from reinforcing these assaults. The road fell into Polish control on the last turn.
Italians score 46 victory points: 34 steps eliminated, 6 entrenchments under control (2 points each). Poles score 44 points: 30 steps eliminated, 2 entrenchments under control (2 points each), and control the road (10 points).
I rated this one a "4". It was interesting to see how the Italians perform from a well-fortified position and how they can crumble quickly as soon as a number of units are demoralized. The surrender of a few critical units played a major role in this scenario.
One last note. One problem with my Italian setup is it made it very difficult for units move through the middle of the box.
|Well THAT wasn't how to set up the Italians...|
I find it hard to write up an AAR when I have brutally misplayed a side in a solo play. I left the Italians much too spread out in an attempt to contest control of the road. In the end, the road was contested but the rest of the Italian defenders had been scattered to the winds for an easy Polish victory. The Italians do not have the firepower necessary to present anything less than speed bumps to the Poles unless they are concentrated. With Sappers, Matildas, morale superiority and good leadership the Poles can make stunningly effective assaults, even on entrenchments. Consider that an HMG, Matilda, Sapper and a leader with a combat bonus will assault on the 30 column against entrenchments as long as they are not disrupted on the way in.
I will need to play this one again to see if a better setup can make it a competitive play. In the end, however, my play seems to have given some credence to the Tobruk garrison's insistence that they should have been given the opportunity to try a breakout against the Axis forces during Crusader. I give it a "3" for this play as it was still fun to see the Poles on the attack.