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The Heart of Darkness “We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness” Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness The Heart of Darkness is a semi-historical CMSF campaign depicting actions of the US 1 Bn 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 82nd Airborne and the British Army 2 Bn Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in the Sangin Valley, located in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan during March and April of 2007. It is designed with the latest version of CMSF as well as the NATO and British modules which are required. Several mods are included with the download which are needed to create the immersiveness of the campaign. They are included in the folder called Sangin Valley Mods. Just place in your dataz directory and remove when you finish playing the campaign. 1. Blimey's Afghan National Army Mod 2. British Camo Screen Mod by MikeyD 3. 82nd Airborne Mod v. 1.1 by Normal Dude 4. Irregulars Afghanistan by Blimey 5. Muddy Waters v. 1.4 by Birdstrike 6. Humvee modification by myself 7. Softskin Vehicles by Kieme Other mods that I recommend that are not included in the download. 1. All of Kieme's building and terrain modifications (A Must Have for the immersion of this campaign.) 2. Combatants, Mixed Combatants and Syrian Fighters by Mord All credit goes to the authors of these mods. The campaign was designed to be played from the blue side only. Core Units: 2 Bn Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 1 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment ( 82nd Airborne ) 2 Bn 319th FAR (Artillery Regiment) 1 Tolai 309th Corps ANA Campaign Tree: 1. Bombs in the Dirt (British vs Taliban) Draw will advance. 2. Hunting the Vipers (US/ANA vs Taliban) Draw will advance. 3. Blood on the Sand (US/British vs Taliban) Draw will advance. 4. Denial (US/British vs Taliban) Draw will advance. 5. Haven (US/ANA vs Taliban) Draw will advance. 6. Call of the Nightingale (British vs Taliban) Draw will advance. 7. Siege of District Center (British/ANA Police vs Taliban) Draw will advance. 8. Operation Furious Pursuit (US/ANA/British vs Taliban) Draw will win the campaign. Campaign Notes: " War is a sad, horrible, tragic, display of man's inability to accept the premise that the subjugation of one by another will not be long tolerated... ...Paul Mehlos - The Poor Bastards Club In designing this campaign I have tried within the limits of the game engine to recreate what combat in Afghanistan was like. The missions vary from probes, attacks and defense scenarios. All the maps were created by the author (me) and I tried to give each a 'Afghanistan' feel with the tools currently available in the editor. The units are historical though some of the places and engagements are fictional. Unit management is critical in advancing through the campaign. There are no reinforcements, though I have given a high refit and resupply rate to the ISAF forces involved. The Taliban have a unique way of "popping up" anywhere so stay on your toes. They have developed intricate tunnel and trench complexes throughout the valley which allows them freedom of movement. This along with their ability to mingle with the civilian populations make them dangerous. Background "You foreigners have the watches, but we have the time".... suspected Taliban insurgent The Sangin River Valley is commonly referred to by British Soldiers serving in Southern Afghanistan as The Heart of Darkness. In early 2007 Sangin, situated on the Helmand River, was the world’s poppy capital and a vital Taliban stronghold. Given the Taliban’s reliance on poppy to fund their fighters, control of Sangin was vital for the Taliban’s survival and consequently would be fiercely defended. Sangin is a district of the southern Helmand Province of Afghanistan and also the name for a town in the district, population in 2006 at about 14,000. Politically, Sangin held little sway in Kabul, a “minor backwater.” The Taliban did not see it that way, and neither did the Allies. The district and town sit on the Helmand river-valley plain surrounded by rolling hills and mountain ranges to the east and west, and desert to the west and south. It has been referred to as a canyon town, a valley town, a market town on the south bank of the Helmand River. The Sangin valley became known as the Green Zone, with a population approaching 800,000. It is a mix of rocky desert and stretches of farmland, rolling hills, groves of trees, and multiple crisscrossing canals. To the northeast is the Kajaki Dam. The Helmand River rises in the mighty Hindu Kush mountains, about 50 miles west of Kabul. It is about 715 miles in length and passes through desert, marshes, and a lake region at the Afghan-Iranian border. It provides no outlet to the sea. Its water is considered essential for farming and is crucial to the locals. The irrigation system so important to the growing of crops, mostly poppy, is fed by the river and dam and presented Allied forces multiple obstacles they had to learn to overcome. Experts say Sangin’s geographic location gives it strategic importance. It is at the confluence of two rivers in the northern section of the province, the Musa Qala coming from the north, and the Helmand. Just north of Sangin, the land rises to a plateau. Toby Woodbridge, in his book, Sangin, A Glance through Afghan Eyes, wrote "the narrow plateau (offers) commanding views over the town centre, fields, and river below, foot-hills and mountains beyond". Woodbridge was an officer in the British Army and served in Sangin. He is now a journalist. Woodbridge wrote this informative piece in his book: “From a military standpoint the town (of Sangin) was no natural fortress for those stationed within.” He said foliage and high growing crops reduced the field of view. The rolling hills could mask sight of enemies hiding behind them. There was sufficient high ground in every direction enabling an enemy a good view of the town below. The walls are “interlinked in a warren-like honeycomb without external support, a permeable perimeter enabling easy access into the town’s center from myriad different directions.” Woodbridge said that it was impossible to place enough troopers out there to cover every potential gap, and the enemy had a way of finding the gaps and punching through. He explained that the terrain was such that soldiers were virtually forced to take known paths, vulnerable to easy ambush. The troops had to take round about routes to avoid Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), the most lethal threat they faced. He noted this reality: “From the defenders’ point of view it was a landscape that rewarded constant presence and continual oversight at all times, for the moment you turned to look another way so your enemy would ensure danger greeted the next discerning glance. There was of course no possibility to place a boot on every piece of grass, dirt or track ...” The Sangin District has long been a center for the opium trade, and has long been ruled by tribal politics. The economy depends on this opium. Dependence on opium trade, which is theoretically illegal, usually involves a requirement for a certain degree of instability. As a result, various tribes would work to assure such instability existed in order to conduct their trade. That in turn is related to tribal politics. Local government was weak which made instability easy to create and made it easier to conduct opium trading and smuggling. The opium trade is significant. It is a multi-billion dollar business that accounts for roughly half of Afghanistan’s economic output. Speaking broadly, Afghanistan accounts for nearly all the world’s opium production and Helmand Province accounts for most of Afghanistan’s opium production. In addition to all this, the region provided a near perfect sanctuary to process the raw opium. One estimate states that there are or have been some 30-35 processing labs from which the processed opium could easily be moved to Kandahar and on to Qetta, a major haven for Taliban leaders. The terrain features allowed insurgents of any variety to come through the mountains between Kandahar and Helmand provinces with unlimited access to nearly all Helmand. These features also enhanced the capacity to conduct a lucrative opium trade and enabled intensive arms smuggling to, through and from the region. The British referred to Britain’s operations in Helmand as “Operation Herrick,” and numbered each deployment with a Roman numeral, as would be the case for all British deployments. The strategy was simple yet controversial among the other coalition forces, mainly the Americans. Setup "Platoon House" bases and provide security for the local populations. The Taliban had something completely different in mind than what the British thought they were going to do. The Taliban took the offense in a very aggressive way. So right off the bat, the British and others had wrongly assessed the nature of the threat. The British forces deployed and had barely set up shop when they found themselves embroiled in almost immediate open warfare with the Taliban. The British had no idea that the Taliban’s intent was to destroy them. Over time, the British would send in about 1,500 more troops but it took nearly three months to get them there. During the period 2006-2007, the Taliban showed itself to be a formidable and skilled group of fighters, well schooled on small unit tactics. It operated extremely well in the field. The Helmand environment described earlier gave it plenty of opportunities for ambushes, and fighting quite often occurred with only 200 meters or less between opponents. Close-in fighting seemed to be the name of the game. Bayonets were employed more than once. Air power was used against them within close proximity to friendly forces. The entire landscape in Afghanistan changed. As a result, the British commanders set up what came to be called “Platoon Houses,” small fortified “bases” in the towns of Sangin, Musa Qala, Nawzad and Garmsir. Often these platoon houses were government complexes where the troops could bed down, organize, obtain shelter, and prove a place from which they could launch their patrols. The plan was to hold these towns by using these platoon houses. The Sangin Platoon House was located in the abandoned District Center along the Helmand River. Some soldiers called it “The Alamo.” The fighting here has been so fierce and deadly that British forces called it “Sangingrad” after the WWII Battle for Stalingrad. The enemy commenced its siege of Sangin, then occupied by the British, in June 2006 and this initial siege lasted until late April 2007. At the time the British had several companies located there. Helicopter and fixed wing air came in to support the troops. General Sir David Richards, the NATO commander in Afghanistan at the time, said the fighting here was the worst the British had experienced since the Korean War. Then in April 2007, J/42 Commando participated in Operation Silver, a multi-national offensive to clear the Taliban from in and around Sangin. It was meant to be a surprise, “shock” attack. During Operation Silver, 42 Commando Marines led an armored column and pushed into the town from the north. The US 1/508 Parachute, 82nd Airborne Division, augmented by the ANA, conducted a heliborne assault towards the District Center, coming at the center from the southeast. The 82nd refered to it as Operation Furious Pursuit. This was part of a Helmand wide offensive known as Operation Achilles designed to clear all of the province of enemy. Operation Achilles was the largest NATO operation to date in the war, involving some 5,500 NATO and ANA troops. It was led by the British and, at the request of President Karzai, focused on the Kajaki dam and the towns in the area. The 2nd Battalion Fuseliers infantry had replaced the 42 Commando in the town center. In their first 20 days they were attacked 79 times. (Special Note: This campaign is only partially tested (due to RL stuff) so consider it in test mode. I will make changes based on player feedback.) https://www.dropbox.com/s/sfc5316dglrf452/The Heart of Darkness.zip?dl=0 Place the mod folder contents into your dataz and the .cam file into your campaign directory. Hope it proves enjoyable. Michael
For King and Country How can I live among this gentle Obsolescent breed of heroes, and not weep? Unicorns, almost, For they are falling into two legends In which their stupidity and chivalry Are celebrated. Each, fool and hero, will be an immortal -Keith Douglas, 1942 For King and Country is a CMBN Commonwealth campaign that follows the actions of the 1 Regiment Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry from their landings at Gold Beach on the Normandy coast on June 6th, 1944 and the hard fought battles through France until June 26, 1944. I have tried to keep it as historical as possible based on what research I could dig up though a few of the engagements should be considered semi-historical. After the British moved inland there were many small battles that were waged across the French countryside so to keep some variety I have "created" a few of these engagements. However, to keep to the flavor of historical, most of the included scenarios are actual battles and I have tried to model them as accurately as I could portray. Most of the battles are offensive operations as the German forces during this time were on the defensive. You can expect to see some counterattacks however as this was the common strategy for the Germans. I also have included the actual commanders of the various troop HQ's of the regiment. However the chain of command must be considered to be semi-historical as there were a number of leadership changes of the SRY as they fought across France during the real campaign due to casualties or simply reshuffling of the command structure. The leadership tree in this campaign is setup to reflect what the actual command structure was at the end of June. This campaign can be considered a preqel to my previous CMBN campaign Operation Clipper: The Geilenkirchen Salient which includes the SRY also. About the Campaign: This campaign requires the following: CMBN Game Engine 4 CW Module Market Garden Module Vehicle Pack It is designed for single player only from the blue side. All the information here is also in the designers notes of the campaign. Most of the battles and maps are medium to large so it could impact some older PC's. The Campaign Tree: 1. Gold Beach (Allied Attack) 2. The Ridge (Allied Attack) 3. A Meeting at Hervieu (Meeting Engagement) 4. A Hard Day in Hottot (Allied Attack) 5. Tea Time in Cristot (Allied Attack) 6. Fontenay (Allied Assault) 7. The Assault of Rauray (Allied Assault) 8. The 12th SS Counterattacks (Axis Attack) Victory Conditions: A Draw will advance you through the campaign. However careful management of the core units (SRY) is vital. You will get some replacements later in the campaign. Also the primary leadership is essential to preserve as the Germans get high points for killing top HQ assets. Maps: All the maps were created by the author (me) and I have tried to get them as accurately as possible based on google maps, drawings and old photographs I could find. Most are medium to large maps. Unit Tree: 1 Rg SRY (Core Units) HQ - Maj S.D. Christopherson 2 x Sherman V Tanks HQ Squadron - Maj R.Sutton-Nelthrope Recce Troop - Capt. P. McCrath (2 x Stuart V Tanks) 3 x Sections (3 x Stuart V and VI Tanks each) A Squadron HQ: Maj. J. Semken (3 x Sherman V Tanks) 4 x Troop (3 x Sherman V and 1 x Sherman VC Firefly Tanks each) B Squadron HQ: Maj. M. Gold (3 x Sherman V Tanks) 4 x Troop (3 x Sherman V and 1 x Sherman VC Firefly Tanks each) C Squadron HQ: Maj S. Mitchell (3 x Sherman V Tanks) 4 x Troop (3 x Sherman V and 1 x Sherman VC Firefly Tanks each) Feature Units: British: 1. 1 Bn Hampshire Regiment 2. 82nd Assault Squadron Royal Engineers 3. 6th Assault Regiment 4. 2nd Bn Essex Regiment 5. 1st Recce Regiment 6. 11th Royal Scots Fusiliers 7. 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers 8. 2nd Bn Hampshire Regiment 9. 1/6 Duke of Wellington Regiment German: 1. 726th Infantry Regiment 2. 916th Infantry Regiment 3. 352nd Fusilier Battalion 4. 352nd PzJag Abt 5. 1 Bn PzGrLehr Regiment 901 6. PzLehr Regiment 130 7. 12th SS PzAufk Abt 8. 1 Bn 25th SS PzGr Regiment 9. SS PzRg 12 Mods: As is common for most of my campaigns I use featured mods by some of our very talented modders of the CM series. Below is a list and all credit goes to them. 1. Aris Vehicle Textures (I have modified a few with the (hopefully) correct unit symbols or to represent damaged or destroyed vehicles 2. Mords Unit ID (The featured British units (except non core armor units) have the correct ID patches that will show up in the UI) 3. Various terrain modifications 4. EZJax CMBN Uniform Heer (Lehr) 5. EZJax CMBN Uniform SS All mods needed are included with the download and are tagged to this campaign so they should not interfere with any other scenarios or campaigns. The campaign has been tested but if any issues arise please let me know. Also any suggestions are welcome and I will make any adjustments necessary. I hope the campaign will prove enjoyable. Michael Special Note: The first mission Gold Beach can prove to be a beast. To quote Captain Miller " Get your men off the beach" will be an understatement. "Keep em moving". Below is the link https://www.dropbox.com/s/sce3ibep7mysjto/For King and Country.zip?dl=0
I am doing the vanilla British campaign -- a change of pace from Normandy. During the briefings, I took a good look at the topographic maps. The ones that show you an overview of where the battle is happening in Syria. I noticed that they were not in English. Instead, in Cyrillic? I'm guessing? Maybe Russian? Blimey! What's a proper British officer, like myself, doing with Ivan's maps? Are cartography swap meets common? Were they paying us back for the topographic maps of Afghanistan?