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How to Stop them at Sidi Rezegh

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  • How to Stop them at Sidi Rezegh

    Lets keep it simple,first finish off the Brits at the airfield we don`t want anybody left behind us.Then everybody goes as far east as we can go,as fast as possible.Divide the command in half,as the enemy comes on we open fire at long range.When they begin to deploy half of us withdraw,covered by the rest. When their set up the second half withdraws and the first half covers them and so on.The enemy is kept at long range and under fire the whole time as we slowly withdraw back towards the airfield.This plan also keeps us from being flanked. Hopefully,by the time we reach the airfield the enemy will have been worndown and we can make a stand!As I see it there isn`t enough time for anything else,sometimes you have to put your head down and just go!

  • #2
    Conducting a fighting withdrawl designed to keep the enemy at arm's length isn't a bad strategy, since the panzers have the advantage over the Stuarts in a gun battle. Leapfrogging back with two groups is especially good, because it allows tanks in contact to withdraw quickly, while the other group awaits the enemy in chosen positions. The withdrawing group then has a bit of time to regroup and choose new defensive positions farther in the rear.

    Not bad....it isn't the strategy I used though.

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    • #3
      regarding the fighting withdrawl concept ...here is something for you to consider.
      Your tanks have a 500 meter range (roughly 1/3rd of a mile) advantage. If the British tanks are rushing towards you at only 20 MPH, how many minutes does it take them to close that range gap? I believe it is about 1 minute. Is a fighting withdrawl a realsitic strategy given this? Your front row of tanks fires maybe one round...then they have to reverse back 1,000 meters because your second row of tanks is 500 meters behind you and you need to get 500 meters behind them to keep the fighting withdrawl working. You retreating tanks will kick up enough dust by the way to obscure the line of sight for your second row of tanks. Finally recall that the British tanks move 1/3rd faster than your tanks...so how many backwards leapfrogs can you actually pull off before the Brits catch you. Some food for thought as you think about a fighting withdrawl strategy.
      At the ACG HQ we are getting flooded with reader solutions to this CDG and we are delighted! The deadline for solutions to be considered is this Friday so if you haven't sent one in yet the time is running out!
      Publisher
      Armchair General Magazine
      Weider History Group

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      • #4
        Keef, I think you are right that the withdrawl becomes quite tricky if the Brits advance at full speed (and knowing British tactics in 1941, they probably will!). Even at top speed though, I don't think that they can advance 500 meters through rocky desert in only a minute. It would probably require two or three. So, the panzers would be able to get off a fair number of shots. On the other hand, the accuracy of the 50mm gun at 1,000-1,500 meters against moving targets, with the effects of desert haze, isn't going to be terribly good. The Germans would probably be lucky to get 20% hits as the Brits advanced.

        There is also the danger that the Stuarts will be able to get some shots in on the panzers as they attempt to back out of contact. If the panzers move in reverse to keep their frontal armor facing the enemy, they risk moving too slowly (backwards) and being overtaken by the advancing Stuarts. If the panzers choose to turn around, they will present side and rear shots to the Stuarts at a range of 1000 meters or less. So, that would be dangerous also.

        If anyone were really curious, you could set this up as a Combat Mission - Afrika Korps scenario and see if it works or not.

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        • #5
          Okay, I did a quick Combat Mission test.

          I set up four PzIIIGs in a line.

          1700m away I placed 9 British Stuart I tanks.

          The Germans were given orders to open fire at 1500 meters. The Brits were allowed to open fire only under 1000 meters.

          The Brits were given a fast move order, to advance 800m at top speed (closing the range to 900m), and then stop and fight it out.

          Results were:

          First minute - The Stuarts advance 550m. Two of the panzers open fire, but score no hits. Current range is 1150m.

          Second minute - The Stuarts advance to their firing postions at 900m and start firing from the halt. In the exchange, three Stuarts are knocked out, and two panzers.

          Third minute - Seeing the danger, and sticking to the plan, the panzers reverse out of contact. A few shots are exchanged, but there are no further casualties.

          End result is again, three Stuarts lost and two panzers lost.

          According to Combat Mission, this seems like a very risky strategy for the German commander.

          Comment


          • #6
            Great experiment Runyan! It confirms what our experts at Armchair general would say. Nice work!!
            :thumb:
            Publisher
            Armchair General Magazine
            Weider History Group

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by runyan99
              Okay, I did a quick Combat Mission test.

              I set up four PzIIIGs in a line.

              1700m away I placed 9 British Stuart I tanks.

              The Germans were given orders to open fire at 1500 meters. The Brits were allowed to open fire only under 1000 meters.

              The Brits were given a fast move order, to advance 800m at top speed (closing the range to 900m), and then stop and fight it out.

              Results were:

              First minute - The Stuarts advance 550m. Two of the panzers open fire, but score no hits. Current range is 1150m.

              Second minute - The Stuarts advance to their firing postions at 900m and start firing from the halt. In the exchange, three Stuarts are knocked out, and two panzers.

              Third minute - Seeing the danger, and sticking to the plan, the panzers reverse out of contact. A few shots are exchanged, but there are no further casualties.

              End result is again, three Stuarts lost and two panzers lost.

              According to Combat Mission, this seems like a very risky strategy for the German commander.
              It looks like your experiment confirms my feeling that a fighting withdrawal only plays into the Stuarts main advantage over the Pz III, SPEED.
              Lance W.

              Peace through superior firepower.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think that you have also forgotten about the Trigh Capuzzo. What is to sto the British from running a froce down the road and taking up position on the cliffs north of the airfield and just pounding you?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bob
                  I think that you have also forgotten about the Trigh Capuzzo. What is to sto the British from running a froce down the road and taking up position on the cliffs north of the airfield and just pounding you?
                  Look again at the map. The airfield is on the highground, not the other way around.
                  Lance W.

                  Peace through superior firepower.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lance Williams
                    Look again at the map. The airfield is on the highground, not the other way around.
                    I'm not so sure about that.

                    Although the map makes it appear the airfield is located on a plateau, the write up would indicate otherwise.

                    Look at page 37, third column, first paragraph "Steep cliffs located........................on our own flanks".

                    And same page, 4th column, paragraph 7 "Herr Major, in our first...........from the north and the south".

                    There is high ground to the south sloping down towards the airfield and to the north of the airfield, the ground slopes down towards the Trigh Capuzzo.

                    The airfield is on a "ledge" with the high side to the south.
                    Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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                    • #11
                      I see what you mean, Lance. I must of had some dust on my fieldglasses!
                      I had taken the text "cliffs" to mean that I would be at the bottom of the cliffs.
                      After a closer look I would have to agree with you.
                      :bowdown:

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