West Wall #9
|(Defender) Germany||vs||United States (Attacker)|
|Germany||12th Infantry Division|
|United States||3rd "Spearhead" Armored Division|
|Overall Rating, 3 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 588|
|Parent Game||West Wall|
|Maps||2: 22, 24|
|Layout Dimensions||86 x 28 cm
34 x 11 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Elsenborn Ridge||maps + counters|
General Maurice Rose had seen his star rise during Operation Cobra and was now regarded as one of the army's premier armor commanders. Today he had ordered CCA to reach the high ground between Langerwehe and Frenz. Before they had gone too far they encountered some Germans in the village of Huchlen.
Hemmed in by boundaries to the north and forest to the south, Colonel Richardson was unable to bypass the village and heavy fighting developed with the Germans giving as good as they got. The Americans finally managed to secure Huchlen but were unable to exploit this advantage and continue on.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|6 Errata Items|
For historical interest and accuracy, the correct name of the town is HUCHELN (and not Huchlen)
(vince hughes on 2012 Sep 14)
The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Strongpoints are single step units and can be eliminated with X results like any other single step unit.
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
The standard mix of strongpoints may be downloaded from Avalanche Press:
This is the standard mix found in Airborne, Airborne-IE, and Edelweiss Expanded. The strongpoint mix in Cassino '44 is different from that of other PG games.
(plloyd1010 on 2012 Feb 01)
Strongpoints are affected by the terrain in their hex just like any other unit.
Even though they can't move, they can attack using Assault Combat if an enemy unit moves into their hex.
They may not dig in or benefit from entrenchments.
(rerathbun on 2014 Apr 21)
The movement allowance on the counters in Airborne is misprinted. It should be "3."
(rerathbun on 2012 Jan 30)
|Follow the (yellow brick) road|
The recurring theme in the West Wall series of scenarios is an overwhelming American force facing an underwhelming German force in a mud bowl. It is easy for the American player to become demoralized by the muck. Instead of a lightning strike against a flat footed foe you are stuck with travelling through the muck to even get to the point where your troops are even in range.
Under the circumstances the American commander is forced to make some tough decisions. Yes, it would be safer to advance through the woods but I get an extra 2-3 turns on the objective if I move down the road and accept that I will take casualties and lose some of my force to disruption and demoralization along the way. I usually have more than enough force to accomplish the task and boatloads of leaders to help in scurrying along the recovered units.
One of the biggest complaints is, however, the inability of the HMGs to keep up. With a SSR limiting their movement to 1 it often seems as though they simply can't make the trip. I find, however, that there are ususally one or two 57mm guns attached with transport. I drop the guns, mount the HMGs and move as close as I can safely before unloading, saving many turns of movement for the HMGs. I find the 57mm guns to be too light to accomplish anything anyhow.
Yep, I accept casualties and that is probably not historical behavior from the Americans, but if that is a given I find that the firepower and support (plenty of engineers to deal with emplacements and towns) makes eventual success far more likely. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the larger and more dispersed objectives of the final scenario.
In this one the Germans set up several belts of defense, starting with a batch of entrenchments on the ridge, but were ultimately unable to stop the Americans from entering the large town. I give it a "4".
|5:33 At Hucheln Town - That's The Casualty Exchange Not The Train Time|
This game from the WestWall was played over Skype in 2 sessions with Tony Langston and was my 6th play from this set 10 scenario pack.
The German 12th Wild Buffalo Panzer Grenadier troops from the 89th Infantrie Regt decided to forsake the 5 x forward town hexes facing the American advance and instead set up exclusively in and around Hucheln town (note spelling, scenario is in error) with an entrenchment on each flank of Hucheln. Their AT capability, a 50mm, 75mm and 1 x strongpoint with a 37mm capability also formed up to the edge of the town. All cover for any attacker was at least 600m from the town and this would give the defenders from Schwerin 2 x free vollies at any enemy advance. The entrenchments had been laced with the Germans HMG's and the grenadiers positioned themselves in Hucheln's streets and buildings. In essence, Hucheln would be a very prickly prospect to advance upon. It had to be, as the Germans would need to inflict heavy losses on the Americans to make up for lost VP's on the town hexes left undefended.
The Americans, starting at 0915 hours, advanced freely enough towards Hucheln, but for some German OBA called in by a forward observer. This proved more or less ineffectual, and even he was disposed of pretty quickly by the Americans thus allowing a very much unimpeded march along the road and through the muddy environs. Around 1000 hours, Hucheln came into sight of a recon group of M5 Stuarts. The glimpse proved short for some as AT fire from the town knocked out a step. In response, the Americans pushed forward their whole force. During this advance, some recklessness by the Americans had an M3 platoon carrying their sole engineer support wiped out as it moved across the towns front by yet more AT fire. American OBA was proving generally inaccurate as it failed to zero in properly on targets in Hucheln. Over the next 30 minutes, the Americans began 'dashing' their armour towards the rear of Hucheln and the M5's had to absorb yet more losses. This US move would completely detach his armour from the PBI and was probably a mitigating factor in the impending doom. Infantry too suffered against the German OBA and also some German infantry fire. The first German losses were not registered till 1130 hours and that was an unoccupied strongpoint that was spotted by the Americans. However, soon after, US OBA finally scored a hit, crushing the 50mm AT battery.
By turn 12 or midday, US losses were at 16 step-equivalents to 2 German. The Jerries held all of Hucheln whilst the Amis had 5 other scattered town hexes. Behind in the count, COL Richardson's American force would need to advance and take parts of Hucheln. Immediately, HMG fire and OBA sliced down 3 steps of GI's, then, as American Shermans pushed to the town, a surprise counter-attack was launched against them by waiting grenadiers. Three platoons of them jumped on the hapless tanks, knocking out 2 steps with grenades and the like, and another with panzerfausts. In return, grenadier losses were negligible. On the other side of town, an M4 platoon was disruped as it advanced against HMG's in the trenches there. As the tanks sacrificed themselves, the American infantry lurched forward.
Initially, there was some success as two platoons of Fireflys wiped a platoon of grenadiers out with direct fire at point blank range in the entrenchments, but this proved a facade. The infantry attacks were mowed down by the steadfast Wild Buffaloes and a concerted attack on one of the entrenchments piled up 5 US step-losses over two turns. Added to this, the remaining German 75mm and 37mm strongpoint relentlessly holed up M3 halftracks for fun. The 75mm had probably the most success of any AT crew I've seen. It must have taken out 4 tank steps, 1 Priest step, 4 M3's including the Engineer carrying one and it refused to succumb to US OBA ! All in all, it was an unmitigated massacre for the Ami attackers and by 1245 hours the Yanks had absorbed a total of 43 step-equivalents (33 actual steps) against just 5 of the Buffaloes. Richardson called off the attack and conceded to a very heavy defeat.
To be fair, I was probably able to take advantage of Tony's hesitancy in attacks and his division of forces. I guess his inexperience also allowed my troops in the trenches to cause his men no end of problems in the attack. That said, he made me suffer last time when I showed any form of clemency so this was well-deserved payback GRRRRrrrrr !! :-) Certainly fun and I'm sure Tony will take things from the game as we now line up for SotM in the desert.
|The Calamity of Colonel Richardson|
(Note: Historical liberties will be taken with this narration in the interest of entertainment.)
Richardson sat quietly in the back of the command truck holding the cigarette nervously in his left hand. The door burst open and General George S. Patton stomped into the room, Codman, his aide following behind. Things had not gone well at Hucheln Town and now Richardson was going to hear it.
"Goddammit, Richardson!” Patton snarled. "I give you a simple objective held by rag-tag group of sons of bitches and I find you here, and my tanks and men strewn across the battlefield!" He continued, "I expected to be on the move to Berlin, but now, Monty's probably serving tea in the Reichstag while I am here pissing in the Roer!! Codman! Get me that goddamn report!"
"Yes, sir.", Codman replied as he backed out of the trailer and shut the door...
The US forces to take Hucheln Town arranged themselves in the town south of the hills and woods all loaded in their M3 halftracks. The M5s started out on recon to the North and were able to spot a lone German officer in the hills to the northeast. After taking some artillery fire, the M5s were able to flush out and dispatch the German and proceeded north. The rest of the column followed the road to Hucheln behind the screening force of M5s. The screening force crested the hill just before noon with the rest of the force filling in. Hucheln stood quiet before us in the valley.
I sent the M5s forward to recon, at which time, what looked (and felt) like several 88s, but were actually 75mm and 50mm guns fired from the edge of town, destroying most of the lead tanks and forcing an entire platoon to head for the hills. I called for our own artillery to bombard the gun placements and I ordered a company of M3s with infantry and engineers to move out to the east and get to the light woods and another company to go west on the hill to the small hamlet above Hucheln, both in the attempt to outflank the entrenched defenders and prepare for the rush to take the town. Things went bad from the start. The artillery support was ineffective for the most part and was unable to shake the guns. The Germans confidently targeted the company moving east and was able to obliterate our platoon of Engineers. Every time I sent a platoon of tanks forward to screen, those guns opened up and took out several tanks before forcing them back.
The day wore on and we were sitting on the hill and in the woods going nowhere until I ordered the tanks to race around and attempt entry into Hucheln from the backside. 3 M4 platoons, an M4/76 platoon drove around the west side, 2 platoons of M4s, 2 platoons of M4/76s and an M10 platoon went east. We lost one platoon on the west side to AT fire but the rest made it out of sight from those AT Guns. We continued to drop artillery fire on the town but it looked like we could not hit any of the emplacements or cause any significant damage. Finally, I made the call to send forward the infantry and HMGs to begin our assault on Hucheln. Our tanks initially had some minor successes in disrupting the German 81mm mortar platoons and even causing severe damage to entrenched infantry just outside the west side of town. However, as our troops moved down the hill and over the muddy terrain, relentless fire from the defenders and constant artillery bombardment stalled our assault, including killing several of our junior officers. We were able to make it to the outskirts of town and take a hex or two, but ultimately, our western prong of attack was rendered useless and I call for a general withdrawal.
The loud sound you just heard was the sound of my @$$ being handed to me by Vince. This one went very badly, mostly on indecision on what to do with my combined arms and then committing forces over the entire line instead of focusing on a single point of attack - allowing the defenders to just sit back and fire instead of forcing them to move. In addition, missed opportunities for OP fire really burned me at several points (still getting used to each unit having 2 op fires instead of just 1). Also, when sending the units into assault, I moved my INF too far ahead of my HMGs and then could not continue to move them as my leaders were strung out forcing them to provide covering fire and effectively end their usefulness in the battle. Hopefully, the lessons learned here will translate to the desert. I certainly don't want to be sitting in the back of the command truck again... :)
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE COMMAND TRAILER
"...and that is what you will do, Richardson!” Patton finished as Codman opened the door. "Ike's on the line, Sir." Codman said as he held the door for Patton. Patton started for the door and just before exiting, turned to Richardson and said, "One more thing, Richardson... I said '...Make the OTHER poor, dumb, sonofabitch die for HIS country!'".