Plug the Hole
Panzer Lehr #24
|(Attacker) Germany||vs||United States (Defender)|
|Germany||130th "Lehr" Panzer Division|
|United States||106th Cavalry Group|
|Overall Rating, 1 vote|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 588|
|Parent Game||Panzer Lehr|
|Maps||2: 22, 25|
|Layout Dimensions||56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
|Enter & Exit|
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Elsenborn Ridge||maps + counters|
Excellent intelligence allowed the American XV Corps to split the German First and Nineteenth Armies. With no reserves available to plug the hole a cry went up the chain of command for help. The Heer only offered one option, the refitting Panzer Lehr Division who they ordered to concentrate in Sarrebourg and strike south against the exposed American flank. Just to reach the assembly area required a 300 mile march for the rebuilt division.
The German First Army commander felt the mission was a fool's errand that would waste men and machines for no purpose. He was overruled, and late in the afternoon Panzer Lehr threw what elements had arrived into the fray. They overcame their first serious challenge to their advance when they quickly pushed aside American screening elements at Hirschland early in the morning.
Panzer Lehr concentrated in Sarre-Union from where they struck south. Sarrebourg is to the south west of Sarre-Union. Sarrebourg is to the west of Strasbourg in the Lorraine
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|2 Errata Items|
The morale and combat modifiers of German Sergeant #1614 should be "0", not "8".
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
All SPW 251s have an armor value of 0.
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
|Not even worth a wad of gum|
The name of this scenario got me thinking of a time 30+ years ago. When I first moved away from home as a newlywed husband I was immediately tested by a leaky basement. Surely as the man of the house I could figure out how to plug a leak, especially one which was evident from the crack in the apartment foundation. I spoke to the management and they sent out someone with all the appropriate "stuff" including some vile, nasty smelling goop which went on the outside of the house. The next time it rained it was not possible to measure with any level of accuracy any difference between the amount of water coming in from before the application of the "treatment".
My wife, being sympathetic to my plight suggested that I was probably too stupid to think of a solution. Since the leak was near my gaming area, this required serious thought. I didn't smoke so as I thought I chewed a large cud of chewing gum. To this day I remember that it was a bright, though not neon, green. It suddenly hit me, gum could fill the crack adequately and have a chance to keep the basement dry. I chewed and stuffed the gum into the crack and the next time it rained I was rewarded with a dry basement and the complete apoplexy of my wife.
We were probably the only family in Western Massachusetts who bought chewing gum as a hardware item...
In any event, if I was plugging a hole, my first thought would be chewing gum. Although the hole in this scenario's title is actually a hole in the German line, after the scenario the hole is in the American line. The cavalry unit was almost completely wiped out. The hidden Stuarts were too aggressive and got caught by the PzIVhs and turned into little piles of burning metal (they gambled on an initiative roll (50/50) and lost. The Lehr infantry and engineers then closed in on the town and squeezed the life out of it.
It was brutal and grusome and reminiscent of some of the early Soviet scenarios with the added attraction of the lower morale force (the Americans) being substantially outnumbered. It is hard to see a winning strategy for the Americans. They simply aren't strong enough to inflict enough damage on the Germans to keep them out of the towns or to delay them enough to keep them on board and miss their exit requirements.
Reading the conclusion, however, indicates that the real result did not differ substantially from this result. It is scenarios like this one which point out how very useful the "campaigns" are where losses from one scenario follow through to the next. Faced with the overwhelming strength of Lehr the cavalry would have fired a couple of shots and gotten out of Dodge. As a competitive scenario I cannot suggest this one. As a study of unbalanced force it has its merits. I give it a "2".