Saturday, December 27, 2014

West Front Campaign Series AAR: Gabr Saleh Debut of the Honey

Campaign Series AAR with West Front 

I was playing the Afrika Korp in this one. This is a short 10 turn scenario

The situation: 19 November, 1941 5km N of Gabr Saleh, 35km SW of Sollum, Libya: 

The 8th Army's attacks on the 18th during the battle of Operation Crusader had created a very murky and confused situation.On the 19th, in an effort to take control of the battle, Rommel ordered the 21st Panzer south to probe for the enemy armor. At about 4:00 PM the tanks of the 5th Panzer Regiment, with some artillery and AA guns, led by Col. Stephan ran into two regiments of the 4th Armoured Brigade north of Gabr Saleh. 5th RTR and 8th Hussars had been recently equipped with the new American M3 Stuart,nicknamed the "Honey" by British tankers. A sharp clash ensued with the Germans getting the upper hand before moving off to the east, toward Sollum.

On the first few turns I split my units into two groups each going for a separate objective area. I rolled into Gabr Slima early and encountered little resistance. I also took Gabr-Siaghi and poised my tanks on the hills overlooking the valley below waiting for the British. We started to exchange fire by turn 3. I had already locked down the first two objectives however.

I had a lot of trouble at first with bouncing shots off the Stuart armor. I began to move around to get side shots as I play this game with armor facing rules turned on. I continued to exchange shots with the British tanks.  

Meanwhile on my left flank I moved on Bir Giof. There turns out to be a lot of British armor there and some reinforcements rolling in. I use artillery and air strikes on the hex but nothing really causes any damage. I finally mop up the first two objectives and on turn 9 out of 10 I make a mad dash for the last town of Bir Giof and bring all my armor to bear. I take the town barely and prepare for the British counter attack. Tank after tank exchanges long range fire and smoking vehicles are starting to litter the area. 

The Brits are severely weakened after the gamut of fire they had to move through to approach the town and are unable to make a decent counter attack to take the town. I now hold all 3 objectives and the game ends on turn 10 with a decisive Axis victory.

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