Scenario: Battle of the Bulge
Battle of the Bulge
This was a 'Mini-Campaign Scenario that ran January 27-31, 2011.
In late 1944, in the wake of the allied forces' successful D-Day invasion of Normandy, France, it seemed as if the Second World War was all but over. But on December 16, with the onset of winter, the German army launched a counteroffensive that was intended to cut through the Allied forces in a manner that would turn the tide of the war in the Axis army's favor. The battle that ensued is known historically as The Battle of the Bulge.
There are two battles to be fought in this pocket, one in the northern sector of the bulge and one in the south, and both are equally important to both sides. In terms of "complete victory" there are two outcomes possible in support of that, both being listed as objective #2 in the lists below.
For the first two days of the event there will be no bombers in the air brigades, and no bomb carrying aircraft, since in the real battle air power played no part initially due to the weather conditions that we can't re-create on the live server at this time. We will have fighters available so that players who like to play fighter pilot against other fighter pilots may do so. On Day 3 some fighter bombers and Stukas will become available.
- Reunite 605e Regiment de Pioneers with the rest of 4e Groupe de Reconnaissance in Bastogne (this to simulate the arrival of the 4th Armored division to break the Bastogne siege)
- To cut off the bulge and straighten out the line from the region around Aachen to the region around Trier
- Capture Spa (this to simulate the capturing of the American fuel dumps located there)
- To capture Brussels or Antwerp, the capture of both will be a resounding achievement although it isn't expected to be all that doable and is not a condition of victory (it wasn't even remotely possible as a consequence of the real battle although it was intended)
Starting lines are set to reflect about Day 3 of the real battle, Bastogne under siege and surrounded!
The automatic surrender pocket timer will be changed from 12 hours to 24. If any cut off and surrounded forces (Allied or German) fail to be relieved inside this time-frame, they will suffer the normal process of progressive routing from their positions.
If at the start of day 2, the Germans have failed to capture Spa, they will lose 25% of their armored forces (all armored vehicles) due to lack of fuel reserves.
If at the start of day 2, the Allies have failed to reunite the brigade 605e RdeP with their 4e GdeR division in Bastogne, the French brigades (simulating the Americans) will lose 20% of their infantry forces (all infantry) due to lack of being relieved
The above conditions have to be implemented on a global basis, ie: not applied to individual brigades. Consider them as incentives to focus game-play on specific objectives loosely related to the actual event rather than literally related.
If at the start of day 3, the Germans have failed to capture Spa, they will lose another 25% of their armored forces (all armored vehicles) due to lack of fuel reserves
If at the start of day 3, the Allies have failed to reunite the brigade 605e RdeP with their 4e GdeR division in Bastogne, the French brigades will lose 20% of their infantry forces (all infantry) due to lack of being relieved
The ongoing progress of the event will continue as set out above, meaning a reduction in gear for every day you do not meet those early objectives, this consequently means that by the end of Day 4 the Germans will have no tanks left and the Allies only 20% of their original infantry. The way to avoid this disaster happening to your side is of course to achieve and hold your objectives set under Day 2 conditions (ie: at the end of the first day of play)
Victory will be declared in favor of the Axis forces should they capture Brussels or Antwerp (or both if they're greedy!), or to the Allies if they successfully close the bulge off. If the overall victory hasn't happened after 4 full days of play we'll have to make a judgment call based on the actual state of the map or player demand, or a combination of both. If the overall majority of the players want to fight it out to a victory resolution beyond 4 full days of play, we'll roll with that.
We're thrilled to present this mini campaign to you all, in the hopes that players, old and new, will have a unique and exciting experience with this new format.
First 24 Hours
The stage was set, the Allied 4e GdR Division were surrounded in Bastogne and had 12 hours left to be relieved by the 605e Regiment, or they would be out of ammunition and food and would fall prey to their German opponents of the 27th Division. The 605e were in Neufchateau with the task of pushing through Cobreville to Bastogne while 5eme Division were set the job of capturing Martelange to provide a second route to Bastogne alongside the 605e.
Straightaway, as soon as the sun rose over the battlefield, the Germans attacked the 605e in Neufchateau to prevent the relief objective from getting underway. The Germans also sent the 33rd Division to attack Arlon with the objective of flanking behind the 5eme Division capturing Martelange. This was where the heaviest fighting broke out initially, with the exception of:
Remember that name, it's not just home to a famous racing track. With the prospect of not having enough fuel to reach Antwerp or Brussels without the loss of most of their armoured forces and tanks, capturing Spa with it's huge American fuel dumps was critical to success of the Ardennes breakout and the whole cross the Meuse offensive. The Germans knew this and so did the Allies.
Thus it came to pass that the fight for Spa would be bitterly contested, from the outset.
The Germans moved two divisions into the attack, 4th Panzer taking the brunt of the action against the Allied 2eme Division hunkered down in their defensive positions. Meanwhile, the 17th Division along with 1st Panzer captured Sprimont, encircling Spa on the west flank and looking to threaten the important city of Liege, which is only lightly defended by the 4th British Infantry brigade.
At the end of 24 hours the Germans are in a strong but strategically high wire position. If they can hold on, and consolidate before losing more armour to lack of fuel, they may actually succeed in their breakout to the Meuse and beyond.
The fight for Bastogne was predictably bloody.
The Germans did capture the town and also held on to the vitally important Cobreville route to relief that the Allies needed. Losses of men and their infantry weapons were huge on the Allied side, running at an average 20% of their pre-battle numbers. The fall of Bastogne was a bitter blow but Spa is still holding and being defended to the last man. Germany is already feeling the bite of their critical fuel situation, having no reserves to bring up they have had to abandon almost 1/4 of their original armoured strength in the attack.
As a consequence of the first 24 hours of battle, the Germans have severly hurt the Allied manpower resources which are now starting to feel the pinch in lack of infantry ... but the Germans are equally hurt in the loss of some of their armour through failure to capture the fuel dumps at Spa.
With the strong presence of two German divisions surrounding Hampteau the local population has capitulated to the German proclamation that they will be moving in any time they feel like it, so be prepared. Thus Hampteau is now German owned.
New intelligence just received points to more large fuel dumps in Liege, a strategically important objective on the way to Antwerp and Brussels even without the fuel. With the knowledge that they can capture this fuel in addition to the dumps at Spa being fought for, and deny the Allies fuel that the could afford to lose at Spa, Liege now becomes rather important to the battle. With the Allied supply lines running all the way from Antwerp, the Liege reserves are all the Allies have for the next 4 days. If the Germans capture Liege, the Allies will have to abandon some of their armour.
The fight for Spa rages on. Will the fight for Liege soon be starting ?