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You Command: Take That Bridge, June 6 1944

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  • #31
    - each rectangle is a platoon or about 25 guys. (except the bazooka units which are bazooka teams)
    - the sideways "E" represents engineers. so the rectangle with the sideways "E" is a platoon of engineers.
    - the wavy, rounded "m" is the symbol for paratroopers. so each rectangle with a wavy "m" is a platoon of paratroopers.
    - the triangle symbol means "anti tank" unit of some sort.
    - "ad hoc" means something that has been temporarily put together. i.e. a unit that probably consists of some rag tag collection of lost guys who are sepreated from their real units.
    -hope this helps a bit!
    Publisher
    Armchair General Magazine
    Weider History Group

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Gus
      If I know my wargame symbols, the German infantry is NOT mechanized or the "x" would be enclosed in an oval.



      [My best guess is that the German platoons would be motorized.
      Don't confuse motorized and mechanized. Mechanized would have the symbol in an oval. Motorized would have two small dots under the rectangle to represent wheels. Mechanized would be primarily armored, while motorized is primarily trucks. The transport would only be used up to a rally point, and not into combat. If the German troops were motorized, they would stop outside of Cauqigny and deploy on foot through town and to the bridge.

      The thing to remember is that the infantry, for the major combatants, had transport. Motorized infantry had transport for every man.

      During WWII, only the major Western allies, who had motorized units, were 100% mechanical. Just about every other army, including German and Russian, used horse drawn transport.
      Retreat hell, we just got here. Every Marine, a rifleman.

      Never let the facts get in the way of the truth.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Keef
        - each rectangle is a platoon or about 25 guys. (except the bazooka units which are bazooka teams)
        - the sideways "E" represents engineers. so the rectangle with the sideways "E" is a platoon of engineers.
        - the wavy, rounded "m" is the symbol for paratroopers. so each rectangle with a wavy "m" is a platoon of paratroopers.
        - the triangle symbol means "anti tank" unit of some sort.
        - "ad hoc" means something that has been temporarily put together. i.e. a unit that probably consists of some rag tag collection of lost guys who are sepreated from their real units.
        -hope this helps a bit!
        The rectangles themselves have no bearing on unit size. They are a convenient mechanism to display unit types. Unit size is depicted by dots, tick-marks, and x's above the rectangle.

        * - Smallest tactical unit (Fire team, bazooka team, etc.)
        ** - Squad
        *** - Platoon
        | - Company
        || - Battalion
        ||| - Regiment
        X - Brigade
        XX - Division
        XXX - Corps
        XXXX - Army
        XXXXX - Army Group
        XXXXXX - Region/Front
        Retreat hell, we just got here. Every Marine, a rifleman.

        Never let the facts get in the way of the truth.

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        • #34
          Maybe this can help!

          If you r-click on the picture, and select 'Save Picture As', you can download the pic onto your HD and use it as a handy reference.
          Attached Files
          "When I am abroad I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the Government of my country. I make up for lost time when I am at home."

          Winston Churchill

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          • #35
            This is standard NATO military symbology, btw!
            "When I am abroad I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the Government of my country. I make up for lost time when I am at home."

            Winston Churchill

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            • #36
              Ok thanks everyone! That clarifys it for me! :thumb:
              Keenan K.

              "Anything worth living for is worth dying for and anything worth dying for is certainly worth living for."
              -Catch-22

              "We're the airborne, we're supposed to be surrounded."
              -Maj. Richard Winters, Bastogne

              http://www.warmovie.com/top/gif/bob_banner.jpg

              http://specialforces.low-ping.com/us...images/smg.gif

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Gus
                My engineers would be assigned to "dig in" at the railroad, using salvaged truck parts to simulate an "AT gun", to decoy the German OP they're sure to place in the church tower, to hopefully give them the impression that is the MLR, the "flank".
                The rest would lay doggo in woods north and south of farm, mines at the fork east of farm, ad hoc platoon in reserve in orchard north of road to St. Mere. German point tank will hit mine and start the show.
                I would let 1 or 2 tanks cross the bridge, knock the hindmost out on the bridge, then the others using bazookas & AT gun in the woods south of the farm. Bring the causeway under fire with mortars & BAR's, & AT firing canister & AP if necessary, consolidate defense at the river bank & farm. The German infantry will have to try to force crossing in marsh north of bridge.

                If the the situation deteriorates, a fighting withdrawal thru orchards to Fiere, emplacing heavy weapons in the buildings, and dig in there 'till Christmas or reinforcements arrive - thankfully, we're not waiting for Montgomery.
                Gus,

                Just a thought. You only have a brief time to prepare. I don't think you'll have time to make fake cannons. I think you'd be better off working on ones that fire.
                Lance W.

                Peace through superior firepower.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Lance Williams
                  Gus,

                  Just a thought. You only have a brief time to prepare. I don't think you'll have time to make fake cannons. I think you'd be better off working on ones that fire.
                  Yes, I thought of that, but in the hour or so I think it's possible the exhaust pipe & a couple plates or boxes, etc, could be carried over and half-heartedly "camouflaged". It's not the crux of the deception - just would be a nice touch.
                  Gus

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                  • #39
                    While we're talking AT guns, I wish there had been more specifics on the AT gun in the scenario. I assume a crew of 3 or 4, at least one jeep to transport gun, crew, and ammo, possibly a 2d jeep with trailer toting ammo. That's what I assumed in making my dispositions. What would be regulation for an airborne arty section?
                    Gus

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                    • #40
                      My Solution

                      A couple of notes:

                      The 3 Renault tanks would lead me to believe the attacking Germans are from the 21st Panzer Division. The 21st Panzer Division was von Luck's outfit. The 21st Panzer was the famous Afrika Korps unit. von Luck was an experienced commander. Even though this was a rebuilt unit, this unit had some very experienced troops.

                      The Renault tanks were early WWII tanks captured from the French. The Bazooka would have no trouble from close range and even the 57mm AT gun used by the 82nd would be able to destroy a Renault tank.

                      Mission:

                      You have to consider the mission first and foremost. Your job is not to place your force in a position to launch an attack. Your mission is to deny the Germans the La Fiere river bridge.

                      Option 1 is an un-necessary risk. Your placing your troops in a position that does not offer a route to retreat. If you have to retreat over that causeway, you will be lucky to get anyone out if the battle turns against you.

                      Option 3 allows the Germans across the river. If you mission was to destroy the German force, you might risk this option. YOu would have the Germans on the wrong side of the river and might force them to retreat across that causeway.

                      Option 2 gives you the best chance of completing your mission without risking your force.

                      Concept of Operation:

                      I want 1st and 2nd Platoon of A Company to set up on the left side of the road in the farmhouse on the near side of the river. One bazooka team will join you. 3rd Platoon of A Company will set up on the right side of the road on the near side of the river. The other bazooka team will join you.

                      (Reasoning: I want to keep my strongest unit together and working as a team. My own A Co is use to working together. The Bazooka teams can be used to stop the tanks if they come across the bridge.)

                      Engineers will set up the minefield to the right of the bridge on the near side of the river. You will then drop back behind 1st and 2nd Platoon to set up a secondary position. You will cover 1st and 2nd Platoon if they need to retreat.

                      (Reasoning: The anti-tank mines play an important role in this defense. They channel the tanks between my bazooka teams. If the tanks try to pivot and take out B Co, the minefield will stop them. A minefield that cannot be covered with direct fire is useless. This minefield can be covered by 3rd Platoon. The Engineers can continue setting up a reserve position for my company even while we fight the battle. They can also cover A Co. if I'm forced to retreat. This allows me to flow from Option 2 to Option 3 if the battle heads South.)

                      1st Platoon of B Company will set up in farmhouse to the North of the bridge on the near side of the river. You will set up your BARs so that you can rake the causeway with fire. The AT Gun will set up with you. You can use the ad hoc platoon to extend your line into the woods. You will not fire until A Company engages.

                      (Reasoning: Once that battle has been joined, 1st Platoon of B Co. can fire on the causeway. This gauling fire will cut off any reinforcements to the Germans in the initial assault. If the initial assault fails, this fire will rout anyone left. I do not like using ad hoc formations in front-line combat. They do not have the cohesion of a regular unit. Therefore, I'm giving them a mission well within their capability. The AT gun will be able to cover the causeway and the crew can shelter in the house. If the German infantry gets across the bridge, they have the B Co soldiers to cover them.)

                      My headquarters will be between 1st and 2nd Platoon. Do not fire until I give the word. Goodluck, Gentlemen.

                      (Reasoning: I want my HQ where I can control the battle for the bridge. If at all possible, I want to hold fire until I can see the whites of their eyes. With a bit of luck, I can hammer the Germans so bad in the initial attack that they give up and go away. If the Germans start forcing their way over the bridge, I want to be in a position to control the retreat of A Co. to my secondary line. Retreating under fire is the hardest operation you can perform.)

                      By the way, I rejected putting troops down in the river bend. You don't have any cover down there. You don't have the time to build overhead cover against German mortar and artillery fire.

                      I found this to be an interesting tactical problem, but I thought the answer was too obvious. However, seeing that I choose a different option than some in this thread, maybe the answer was not that obvious. I'm not saying those other solutions would not work. I just thought that the risk/reward of the other options would not allow me to ensure mission success.

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                      • #41
                        Re: My Solution

                        [QUOTE]Originally posted by Gepard
                        [B]A couple of notes:

                        You have to consider the mission first and foremost. Your job is not to place your force in a position to launch an attack. Your mission is to deny the Germans the La Fiere river bridge.

                        Option 2 gives you the best chance of completing your mission without risking your force.

                        Engineers will set up the minefield to the right of the bridge on the near side of the river. You will then drop back behind 1st and 2nd Platoon to set up a secondary position. You will cover 1st and 2nd Platoon if they need to retreat.

                        (Reasoning: The anti-tank mines play an important role in this defense. They channel the tanks between my bazooka teams. If the tanks try to pivot and take out B Co, the minefield will stop them. A minefield that cannot be covered with direct fire is useless. This minefield can be covered by 3rd Platoon. The Engineers can continue setting up a reserve position for my company even while we fight the battle. They can also cover A Co. if I'm forced to retreat. This allows me to flow from Option 2 to Option 3 if the battle heads South.)

                        By the way, I rejected putting troops down in the river bend. You don't have any cover down there. You don't have the time to build overhead cover against German mortar and artillery fire.


                        I agree with much of what you propose, but just a few points. You state the mission is to deny the enemy the bridge, yet you plan to set the minefield on the near (east) side of the river to "channel" the tanks to your A/T weapons. They will never be better "channeled" than when they are on the causeway.

                        Also, did you plan to use any mortars?

                        Lastly, you purposely are avoiding the loop in the river southwest of the bridge. A river bank will offer at least minimal cover and the troops on the causeway will have even less cover than on the east side of the river. I would argue that this is the KEY attacking location.
                        Lance W.

                        Peace through superior firepower.

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                        • #42
                          Everyone seeking a solution to this problem has to make certain assumptions. Decisions are then based on those assumptions. None of us have first hand experience viewing the terrain, and 60 years after the fact, the trees and cover are not likely to closely reflect what was there then.

                          Gepard's assumption that there is no cover on the "loop" has a certain logic: being created by the flow of the river, and its assumed lower elevation, it is easy to assume it is a sandy or grassy embankment.

                          However, my assumption, and as I can tell by several solutions, is there is cover. Except for rivers, roads, buildings and hedgerows, there is no indication of any kind of forests or stands of trees on the map. Reasoning would dictate that variations in local terrain, not depicted by contour lines and available map references, coupled with the likelihood of trees and other underbrush, that some sort of covered position would be available. Therefore my solution included 1st platoon backing up the bazooka team, giving them cover fire, and a prepared postition to fall back to.

                          Though I did not express it in my submitted solution, I had my Ad Hoc unit at the fork in the road, west of the farm, to provide backdoor coverage. I had the B Company platoon as a reserve unit to fill in the gap. All of this for the same reason as Gepard.

                          Further, my solution included putting the mines on the east side of the bridge, on the causeway, backed by the burned out truck to create a road block. Slowing the advancing Germans long enough to bring them under crossfire from both sides of the bridge, both with bazookas, the captured MGs (another assumption that they were in working order), and "ranged" mortar frire from the two 60mm mortars, placed out of LOS from the causeway and Cauquigny. As well as the AT looking down the throat of the bridge and causeway.

                          Included in my solution, was placing any sniper, if available, or the best marksman of the company, just north of the farm, in sight of the church across the river in Cauquigny. This unit was also the north flank of the bridge, so they could also use the captured MG (if available) to train on the church's bell tower. If the farm, as pointed out earlier, is an obvious location for the para's CP, so is the church tower for a German OP. (I did not use the farmhouse at all in my solution, except as a reference point.)
                          Retreat hell, we just got here. Every Marine, a rifleman.

                          Never let the facts get in the way of the truth.

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                          • #43
                            The Renault tanks would not be from 21 Panzer. That division was near Caen, east of the British beaches.

                            The closest division to counterattack the Douve bridges would be the 91st Infantry Division. They probably had the captured tanks attached.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Iron Mike USMC
                              None of us have first hand experience viewing the terrain, and 60 years after the fact, the trees and cover are not likely to closely reflect what was there then.
                              I did use historic base maps when I created the maps, so they should give an accurate representation of the area as it was June 6, 1944.

                              Hope that helps
                              Take care and good luck
                              Jason Petho
                              http://www.pethocarto.com

                              Mapping Military History - Custom maps to suit your individual needs.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Jason Petho
                                I did use historic base maps when I created the maps, so they should give an accurate representation of the area as it was June 6, 1944.

                                Hope that helps
                                Take care and good luck
                                Jason Petho
                                I have no doubt about the accuracy of the maps. I was just commenting that the maps did not depict the type of "landscaping" that could be used as cover. As a result certain assumptions needed to be made for us to prepare our solutions.

                                I look forward to visiting your site when I get home. Unfortunately, it is blocked by my company's firewall.
                                Retreat hell, we just got here. Every Marine, a rifleman.

                                Never let the facts get in the way of the truth.

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