Monday, January 31, 2011

Conquest of the Aegean AAR 2: The German Counter Attack!

The German Counter Attack! (a "what if" scenario)

This is a sequel to my first battle report, so make sure to read that before proceeding. Please note that this AAR was not finished but I wanted to post the gameplay up anyway so people can see how the title flows.


April 12th - 16th, 1941. Greece. (4 days)

Axis = Grey or Light Blue (Luftwaffe)
Australian/New Zealand = Green
Greek Units = White




"The Germans have managed to scrape together a mobile and heavily armed force; initially only the rest of the regiment who formed the original bridge defenses will be available, but during the first few hours a Panzer Division Recon Battalion and an entire Panzer Regiment will be added, along with most of the support troops of the Panzer Division including engineers and two battalions of artillery. Allied air recon has shown that this force includes at least one complete battalion of tanks, expected to arrive some time shortly before midday."

The Germans want their bridges back, and they are coming right down the throat to get them! The Allies must hold the bridges and wait for reinforcements. What the Germans don't know is that the Allies plan to shift some armor and equipment to meet this new counterattack and then the Allies want to push on to Lamia.

On day two, between 6 and 7 am, the 1st UK Armored Brigade will make its way from the south, so we need to hold out until then.

DAY ONE SITUATION

It is a quiet night, and the Australians and Greeks have heard news that the Germans have freed up a large amount of troops to come back and try to recapture the bridges that were taken 2 days ago. The units and the layout are as follows:



Since it's nighttime and visibility is poor, the Allies take this opportunity to dig in and setup for a possible probe the next day. Intelligence reports that only 803 or so Germans are left to defend Lamia. However the prospect of German units arriving in force the next day makes them hesitant to push the tired Australians into combat. The Greeks have shifted their 82nd Infantry to the right flank to defend the marshes, and the Australians have relieved the New Zealanders in Komma and taken the left flank over.

Some support units are called up and placed on the opposite side of the river. This includes 25 pounder guns and some 2 pounder guns and other anti armor that I think will be useful to hold the Germans back if they come down the road. The 8th Australian takes up defensive position in Komma to harass the road.






DAYBREAK, 5:05am DAY ONE

German movement all over to the north, about 2 kilometers. On the right the Greeks are suddenly under fire from a German infantry gun company. This was unexpected as I didn't think the Germans would be that far down the road yet or go toward the eastern marshes. Intelligence figures about 47 Germans with motorcycles and transport vehicles bearing down on the Greek 82nd. No doubt it is a probe attack. Germans are spotted in Rodihsta as well. I'm going to order the Greeks to defend and wait for the German probe to come within range of the Greek Mountain Gun Platoon that has 2 65mm cannons.



The Greeks are ordered into position and take cover in the marsh. The Germans are JUST outside the max range of the heavy guns of the Greek support unit. A few more yards and I can open up on them!



MORNING, 5:17am DAY ONE

Bad news for the 527 Greeks defending the eastern marshes. A major German attack is coming right down the road toward them. It consists of motorized infantry company, engineers and a heavy machine gun company and at last Intel had about 829 troops. There is no way the Greeks, who are tough but badly trained, can resist this force.



I order the 2/3rd Field Rgt. artillery to help out and bombard the Germans with their 25 pound Mk 2 guns. All 24 guns in the battery start blazing away. In Anthili, the mortar platoon of the 4th Australian lays fire down on the German scout unit as well. The Germans on the road will be in a nasty artillery barrage if they keep pushing forward. The cross fire will cause some casualties or break them I hope.



3 German troops are killed (down to 39 from 42) and the scout unit stops dead in its tracks. I continue to pour fire on them as they are very fatigued and I hope to maybe force them back. I open up with more artillery and mortar attacks.



MORNING, 5:42am DAY ONE

A German Parachute Company and Motorized Infantry Company have been spotted making their way toward Anthili now. Looks like another probe toward one of my other defensive areas. The Germans are very busy this morning!



For now the Greeks, with the help of the Aussie arty and mortar, succeed in forcing that German recon unit to back off and retreat.



At 6:05 am, Intelligence reports perk up once more and this time I can see a whole mess of trouble coming my way. Allied air fly overs report about 5000 German troops moving along the road just south of Lamia. Included in this are at least 19 armored fighting vehicles, and this is just an estimate, we don't even know how many are in this attack force. They are forming up and getting ready to move south I have no clue how I will stop that.



Meanwhile over by Anthili,  a German armored company is moving south toward the Australian 4th. Included in it and spotted on the road are Panzer II F's and IV D's. I am going to have shift my on call artillery to help hold back this armor, the infantry in the city doesn't have the power to punch through that armor.










MORNING , 06:30 AM DAY ONE

Looks like my combined artillery and mortar rounds forced the German armor to think twice about approaching Anthili (I think the Aussies blew up at least one Panzer II). They pull back and we lose sight of them. The Germans did bring up some anti tank guns, a few 3.7cm PAK guns north of Anthili, but other than that no more movement south. Over by the Greeks several German units look like they are getting ready to assault the Greek defenses in the eastern marshes.



MORNING , 08:30 AM DAY ONE

Well the Germans had prepared their assault, and they came in a three pronged attack, with a lot of armor down each road. Their attack was making the defenders nervous, but the valiant Allies are well dug in and have a ton of support fire which I will re-direct when it needs to be. So here they come, lets see how I hold out!



The battles rage on, and by 8:47 am the Allies are in heavy contact with many German units. Each town and defensive point has its own problems. So far on the left Komma has held out the best as they have the majority of the long range support, and they lay it on the Germans, stalling their attack. In the center Anthili is assaulted by a German light armor company consisting of about 15 Panzer II's and III's. The Germans push that company to the outskirts of the city, and the Anthili defenders have almost no anti armor. I shift all my artillery to be dropped on that unit alone to beat it back. On the far right at the Eastern Marshes things don't go so well, and the Greeks have fallen back and lost a lot of territory. They have almost had it as a cohesive unit and I am in danger of losing my right flank. Fortunately they inflicted a lot of casualties and the German assault on the right is thinned out. Now I just have to figure how to rally the Greeks and get them to hold on.





MORNING, 9:30 AM DAY ONE

Not sure how long I can last on the right. The Germans have driven the Greeks back far enough to create a massive gap between Anthili and the Eastern Marshes. At least 2km lie between them and I have not heard from the Greek 82nd in one hour. The Germans are starting to pour units through the gap and make a dash for the southern bridgeheads. Looks like I may have to abandon Anthili and the Eastern Marshes and pull back to consolidate my right flank, or I'm in a bit of a spot.

At least 400 German troops are heading through and Anthili is now under attack from 40+ tanks as another German Armored unit comes in from the West. I think it's time to MOVE OUT, if I didn't wait too long.



The great Allied retreat begins. I slowly withdraw from Anthili and the Eastern Marshes. It makes me mad, but the weight of the German forces that is bearing down on me leaves me no choice but to get my men out of there. The process is long, and it takes a bit to get rolling since I am under constant fire, but finally around 10:47 am my forces start to roll out and head south.



They return to a spot that is very familiar, Yef Aramanas. They roll back into the town, and the locals have a dejected look on their face like they know war is coming back to them. The Greeks are able to just barely get out of the marshes, yet will face some combat at the Ferry Bridge for some German advance units snuck through the gap and now the Greeks must make a choice: attack the Ferry crossing or turn south west and join the Australian 4th Infantry. The Germans in the north roll in force into Anthili and occupy the town.