Christmas Eve Surprise
Winter Soldiers #15
|(Attacker) Germany||vs||United States (Defender)|
|Germany||2nd SS "Das Reich" Division|
|United States||7th "Lucky Seventh" Armored Division|
|Overall Rating, 3 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 588|
|Parent Game||Winter Soldiers|
|Maps||2: 22, 24|
|Layout Dimensions||56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
|Enter & Exit|
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Elsenborn Ridge||maps + counters|
XVIII Airborne Corps ordered Combat Command A into the gap between the 82nd Airborne Division and the arriving 3rd Armored Division south of Manhay. This reinforcement did nothing to alleviate the 82nd Airborne Division's apprehension about their vulnerability to the onrushing SS panzers. Corps HQ relented and ordered them back to Manhay. CCA received a similar order and was preparing to pull back late on Christmas Eve when all hell broke loose.
Unterscharfürher Ernst Barkmann drove the lead Panther as it hit Combat Command A just as it began executing its withdrawal orders. Company C of the American 40th Tank Battalion virtually ceased to exist in a matter of minutes. Other formations followed, taking heavy casualties, and soon both Manhay and the high ground to the north had been lost. CCB was soon on their way to help.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|2 Errata Items|
The reduced direct fire value of the SS HMG is 5-5 in Beyond Normandy and Road to Berlin.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
The M18 has a special rule in Battle of the Bulge but it applies globally: "A two-step M18 unit can fire one anti-tank shot and move half its movement allowance (retain fractions) in a single impulse. The order in which it does these two actions is the player's choice."
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
|Nice bushwacking tank battle|
With this solo scenario, again I did a bit of fabrication by keeping the US armored force "hidden" and purposely undetected in woods on the east edge of board 22. Germans units even captured the one-hex town just a few hexes away, but were unaware of the US armor just within 400m. US OF wrecked its usual havoc upon the SS advance (an '11' followed by a '3' on one 30-col impulse). Inexorably, Das Reich made its way northwards to Manhay. As their main axis swung to the NW hill on board 24, the US armor comes out from hiding, savages some German grenadiers using the small town on board 22 to recover, then makes its move north to attempt to engage the Panthers between AT fire from Manhay and their approach from the South.
Four steps of PzV's were killed at the cost of the entirety of the US armor park.
By scenario end, the SS controlled the NW hill; contested or controlled most of Manhay and the NE hill (which meant no VCs for either side); and did hold the road south from Manhay sufficient for a minor victory.
|"Like S**t Through A Goose" - Only It Was The Germans Doing It Mr Patton|
This battle was played by my most reliable fellow PBEM'er in the World, John Legan of Chicago. John usually picks 2 or 3 scenarios from a book or whatever then asks me to pick one from the group chosen. This is how we came to play this little number which was a night battle scenario.
At 2200 hours the SS troops and their five platoons of Panthers entered the board on their left flank. There aim was simple. Bypass any intervening villages. Make for the northern most hill. Occupy part of it so as to take away VP's from the Americans and then exit as many off-board in the final game turns. Meanwhile, the secondary aim being to eliminate or cause casualties to as many Americans that faced them without losing more of their own. In this way, the Germans would probably accumulate enough VP's to win.
The first hurdle was a small village near the board edge. The Americans had placed a reasonable sized force here. Rather than engage them, the Germans as planned drove straight past, leaving a small rear-guard of slow moving HMG's to cover and therefore to put off any American attempt to disrupt the advance. This seemed to work as the Yankees stayed in the village seemingly waiting a German attack ?
Meanwhile the main force kept pushing onwards vigourously but by 2245 hours the Americans seemed to be attempting to mass their quite numerous tank numbers by digging in, hull-down on some raised ground ahead of the German advance. This would be a quite daring and brave ploy by the allied commander in the face of high-moraled SS Grenadiers and Panther tanks ! The Germans responded by feigning to infiltrate their grenadiers through areas that the US AFV force was located. This left the Americans a choice, either fire at them to cut them down or refuse fire and withdraw in case of a follow up German armoured response. They chose the former and their MG and HE fire at the German infantry proved pretty ineffectual. Immediately, the Panthers rolled up and after winning the next initiative, the five German tank platoons ripped through 6 steps of M4's and M4/76's. This disrupted and demoralised most of them though they did manage to loose off 4 salvoes themselves. These shots either missed or skimmed off the Panther's armour. In the next turn, the Panthers ripped through another 7 steps of American tanks AND where applicable, were also knocking out stray M3's as if in a turkey shoot. This was an absolute massacre and one of the type I have never seen on a PG board before.
After the carnage between 2315-2345, the Germans rolled on and to the target hill. They scaled this pretty easily and also began pouring through the gaps into the main village and further hills beyond. All the while the Americans were taking casualties. One brave American infantry platoon did get the better of an assault against a grenadier unit, but before they had time to recover themselves, more German infantry had pounced on them and finished them off mercilesly. The Americans had also released their units place in the vanguard village to double-back and assist in the defence. These were to become yet more targets.
By 0030 hours (turn 10) the battle was called. It was an unmitigated disaster for the US forces and could really have been called a lot earlier. Manhay will have a big clearing up exercise after this one. Total Losse: German 4 personnel steps, 2 leaders. American 9 personnel steps, 22 AFV steps, 9 APC's, 3 leaders. Points total at this stage read German 70pts, US 4 pts but this does not include the remaining town hexes that would have been captured and then a point for each unit that would have exited.
This was fun to play, especially using Panthers without SSR hinderance anywhere. I think the US forces in future games need to set-up their hidden troops that they are allowed in the scenario in a position so as to create cross-fires on the Panthers. This did not happen here and the cost was huge. In the end, the scenario really was as Patton would have called it an attack that went like s..t through a goose