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Kaunitz

Highlanders! - The battle of Gerbini

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Posted (edited)

Two new internet-findings in the Canadian War Museum:

https://www.warmuseum.ca/collections/artifact/2691135/?q=service%3ACanadian+Army&page_num=1&item_num=13&media_irn=5559681

https://www.warmuseum.ca/collections/artifact/2690855/?q=service%3ACanadian+Army&page_num=2&item_num=2&media_irn=5559787

It's not easy to tell the direction/angle of these drawings. I suppose that we can assume Mount Etna in the background of both of them.

 

Does anyone know if aerial recon photos of the area exist (preferably in digital form? :D )? No success here: https://ncap.org.uk/search?bbox=12.05543278515696%2C36.45352738313425%2C17.328870285156622%2C38.63101732307491 

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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Posted (edited)

PS Interestingly, one of the two drawings shows the same scene as Eadie's drawing: two knocked-out Shermans, one of which is flipped over (on the new drawing, you have to look closely on the left hand side of the beam in the center - it's flipped to a different side than the one in Eadie's drawing though). Even the winded course of the road fits. I'm not quite sure to what house the beam belongs though - and why you can't see the bunker on the drawing.

Edited by Kaunitz

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Posted (edited)

Some WIP screenshots

 

CM_Fortress_Italy_2018_06_06_10_13_37_14

OVERVIEW - The main road into Gerbini, which A coy/1st BW was supposed to clear is in the west. The starting position of the British is the anti tank ditch in the south - one would assume that the road over the AT-ditch was not left intact (according to the contemporary map, the Shermans crossed the ditch further to the east...). In the center-east, there is an area with lots of bushes. On the contemporary map, you can see that three ditches/rivulets run through here and the area still looks strange on today's google map's satellite view, still featuring a few smaller irrigation lakes. In the actual battle, the area is mentioned as a covered approach and a company attacked along it into the orchards to the northwest, towards Masseria Landolina. I suppose it might be a dried out lake, dug (?) for irrigation purposes. I prefer to keep it dried out, as the scenario takes place at the end of July. Most of the remaining battlefield is flat fields + irrigation ditches. I don't know what kind of crop was cultivated (crop-height in July 1943?). Judging from the contemporary map, the abundance of citrus orchards was not the case back in 1943. There are only two citrus groves on the 1943 map.  

 

CM_Fortress_Italy_2018_06_06_11_11_51_88
 

(overview 2)

CM_Fortress_Italy_2018_06_06_10_12_20_04
(dried out irrigation lake)

CM_Fortress_Italy_2018_06_06_10_11_55_01
(anti tank ditch)

CM_Fortress_Italy_2018_06_06_10_12_45_01
(citrus orchard - Note that the small size of the trees is on purpose. It looks okay, but needs some testing. The turrets of the Sherman can look over it, so I might need to mix in a few larger trees here and there)

CM_Fortress_Italy_2018_06_06_10_20_55_02
(British on the main road - Note that the scenario will take place at dawn)

 

The German troops and positions need to be based entirely on conjecture. The British accounts mention earthworks and pillboxes, and also mines on the main road, so I guess I'm free to do whatever I like to set up a defence around Gerbini. We only know the position of the single bunker overlooking the main road and I'm not entirely sure if it was able to overwatch the AT-ditch (700m distance) - the lay of the land would probably allow it, but the contemporary map places the orchard between the bunker and the AT ditch and also I don't think the bunker could house anything bigger than MGs?

I found this here, which might offer some additional info: http://www.milistoria.it/Apps/WebObjects/Milistoria.woa/wa/XDirectAction/viewProduct?id=90843&lang=ita But I'm not willing to spend 30€ on what could turn out to be a few photos of the airfield itself? I'm interested in the defensive structures around the airfield.

 

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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5 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

I don't know what kind of crop was cultivated (crop-height in July 1943?).

In the American Midwest my Dad and Grandfather use to say that corn should be knee high by the Fourth of July (Our corn is generally waist high by the Fourth now).  Of course I don't know what they planted in the area you are depicting or if they were even able to plant with all the chaos of war around them.  If they were able to plant I might just pick whatever crop in the editor is about knee high on a walking pixeltroopen and call it good. 

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

In the American Midwest my Dad and Grandfather use to say that corn should be knee high by the Fourth of July (Our corn is generally waist high by the Fourth now).  Of course I don't know what they planted in the area you are depicting or if they were even able to plant with all the chaos of war around them.  If they were able to plant I might just pick whatever crop in the editor is about knee high on a walking pixeltroopen and call it good. 

Yeah, I suppose that whatever was cultivated it would stand relatively high by then. I will go for tall grass and a few barren fields (surely there would have been some crop rotation....).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I failed at anti tank ditch design. :(

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm still looking at recent and older google earth views of the area, but I can't find any clear traces of the axis defences. The only thing I could find were some strange shapes very close to the airfield itself which were removed at some point between 2010 and 2013, but I can't exactly tell what they are and also, they're not really relevant for the current scenario. 

 

1.png

2.png

3.png

4.png

 

PS: An interesting article/blog on the defensive structures built to defend a bridge at Shoreham (Britain). Interesting blog in general - there's also an article on AT ditches. :) http://www.pillbox.org.uk/blog/245387/

PS: An interesting article/blog on the defensive structures built to defend a bridge at Shoreham (in Britain). Interesting blog in general - there's also an article on AT ditches. :)

Edited by Kaunitz

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2 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

I failed at anti tank ditch design. :(

The ditch itself looks pretty cool.  I wonder if you used mud tiles for the ditch line if it would stop some of the tanks, some of the time (or at least slow them down).  The ground conditions can also be changed between damp, wet & muddy to tweak how many tanks can generally make it across.  Heavy rock tiles are no-go terrain for vehicles if you wanted to positively stop them all the time or channel their crossing point.  Good luck with your creation. It will be interesting to follow developments. 

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The map is looking really good! For the AT ditch, you could have a steeper cut using the ditch lock feature and experimenting with dirt road or footpath tiles (not sure foot paths are even in FL/GL...been away from it for a long time). Steepness of the sides of the ditch will vary a bit using different ”floor” tiles. (Apologies if I’m suggesting things you already know!)

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If you do diagonal tank ditches you will probably get pretty jagged edges. That can be taken care of with some terrain tiles (can't remember all) like mud which will smooth them out considerably.

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Thanks for all the tips guys. It seems the tanks have incredible manoeuverability. As always, scenario-design is about the looks/immersion competing with functionality. So I had to create a pretty exagerated ditch in order to stop the tanks for real. I tested three designs, from left to right (a = black, u = blue):

aaaa.png

a0, u-5, a-2,a0  --> works 

a0, u-5 (mud), a0 --> works (shows up as impassable in movement planning)

a0, u-4,a-3,a0 --> does NOT work

The ditches in action: 

I suppose that British managed to pass over the tank ditch in some places simply by blasting the sides of it, thereby creating a ramp (and then also blasting the double wire on the other side...)?  As the ditch served as a starting place for the three involved regiments, I assume that any places 

-------------------------

Unfortunately, there are no footpaths in Fortress Italy. So all the small farmtracks are represented by relatively broad dirt roads. There is nothing I can do about it.

Other than that, I'm working on the overall scenario idea. I will post the OOBs and the briefing soon and I hope you guys can give me some feedback on it.:)

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4 hours ago, Kaunitz said:

Unfortunately, there are no footpaths in Fortress Italy. So all the small farmtracks are represented by relatively broad dirt roads.   

I hope with the new CMFI Rome to Victory release BFC adds footpaths to the editor along with flat roofs for modular buildings like CMBS.  For now I'm using the red dirt tile with tall grass and/or grain crops on each side of the red dirt.  It generally has a similar look as a trail.  

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Posted (edited)

Some information on the axis troops that might have taken part in the fighting at Gerbini

For Nazi-Germany, it's much harder to come up with an OOB than for the British, as I could not find any detailed accounts that would touch on the German perspective. Most likely, the area was held by parts of the Panzerdivision Hermann Göring - more specifically the 2nd Panzergrenadierregiment Hermann Göring, parts of the Panzerregiment Hermann Göring and also parts of the recon unit of the Göring division (this is where the armored cars mentioned in the British accounts came from…). So I have a lot to choose from and great freedom to balance the scenario:

  • Panzer III (Ausf. M)  // from II. Abteilung of PReg. Hermann Göring
  • Panzer IV (Ausf. G, H) // from I. Abteilung of PReg. Hermann Göring
  • Marder II  // from 11. Komp. of PgReg. 2 Hermann Göring
  • (NOTE: a Marder is depicted on the contemporary drawing: https://www.warmuseum.ca/collections/gallery/?q=service%3ACanadian+Army&page_num=1&item_num=13&media_irn=5559681&mode=artifact&pid=72098)
  • STUK III // from III. Abteilung of PReg. Hermann Göring
  • Sturmhaubitze 42 // from III. Abteilung of PReg. Hermann Göring 
  • Grille (available as artillery in the game) // from 9. Komp. PgReg. 2 Hermann Göring
  • Armored cars // from Aufklärungsabteilung of the division
  • Halftracks (only 250 is available in the game unfortunately) // from 1-4 Komp. of PgReg. 2 Hermann Göring
  • 15cm schweres Infantriegeschütz (towed) // from 10. Komp. of PgReg. 2 Hermann Göring

 Here is the OOB for the German troops involved:

Panzerdivision Hermann Göring (Generalleutnant Paul Conrath)

  • Panzergrenadier-Regiment 2 Hermann Göring
    • I. Battalion (Kompanien 1,2,3,4): armored – Sdkfz 251 [not available in the game - the game only features Sdkfz 250/1 which can only carry 3 people!)
    • II. Battalion (Kompanien 5,6,7,8): motorized – trucks
    • 9. Kompanie (self propelled infantry gun company): a number of „Grillen“ – 15cm schweres Infantrieeschütz 33(Sf) on Pzkw 38(t) Ausf. H [ithe game offers these as offmap artillery]
    • 10. Kompanie (infantry gun company): number of 15cm sIG33 infantry guns (towed most likely by Sdkfz 250)
    • 11. Kompanie (tank hunter company): number of Marder II 
  • Panzerregiment Hermann Göring
    • I. Abteilung (Kompanien 1,2,3): Pzkw IV (mostly Ausf. G, some H))
    • II. Abteilung (Kompanien 5,6,7): Pzkw III (mostly Ausf. M)
    • III. Abteilung (Kompanien 9,10,11): mix of Stuk III and Sturmhaubitze 42
    • (companies 4 & 8 were training on mainland Italy and did not take part in the Sicily campaign)
  •  Aufklärungs-Abteilung (6 Kompanien – only 4 made it in time)
    • ? armored cars (the game suggests PSW 231)
  •  divisional artillery
    • 1. Abteilung (3 batteries): 10.5cm leFH
    • 2. Abteilung (3 batteries): 15cm sFH Haubitzen
    • 3. Abteilung (3 batteries): 15cm sFH Haubitzen
    • 4. Abteilung (3 batteries): 10cm schwere Kanone 18 (long range gun mounted on 15cm howitzer carriage)
    • Nebelwerfer battery: 12cm/21cm rocket projectors

Next, I will present some thoughts on the overall scenario-design (also some problems) and the set-up of the British troops. 

Edited by Kaunitz

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Posted (edited)

Some impressions of the battlefield in its current state.

The whole map is 2.5 x 3km, so I still got a lot of work to do.

In the video, you can see some major features: we're traveling down the Strada Statale towards Gerbini, pass Masseria Landolini (the bunker will be somewhere behind the house...). We enter the large orchard (the foliage is aligned so that there are sometimes longer LOS in one direction). Then we take a look at the dry irrigation lake and some irrigation ditches (the small dried out pont is my own invention). Finally we take a look at the small wood, which differs quite a bit from the larger orchard as it is a bit more open (more generous LOS)m chaotic and has more bumps in the ground.

 

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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Finally I've found a pillbox! It sits south of the railroad, immediately west of where Strada Statale crosses the railroad (the google-earth picture is taken from Strada Statale). It's also very close to what I assume would have been one of the very very few multi-storey buildings in the area. This one is pretty nasty, probably positioned to fire down the tracks in both directions. In the immediate vicinity of it, there are two very similar, suspicious looking shapes.

pillbox.png

And I've found another one further north:

pillbox2.png

pb_1.png

(circles = confirmed, rectangle = suspected pillboxes)

 

One of the suspected pillboxes:

pb_3.png
 

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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Posted (edited)

By the time the scenario starts, key areas of the battlefield had already been hit by the rolling barrage of the Highland division's artillery. The barrage lasted for over an hour.  You can get a pretty clear picture from the artillery fire plan in brigadier Rennie's report. I counted the number of shell-craters I need to put in the areas*:

 

Area A (Gerbini train station): 240x 87mm shells

Area B (crossroad - exactly where I've found the pillboxes): 120x 140mm shells, 240x 87mm shells

Area C (large orchard): 180x 140mm shells**, southwestern corner: 20 rounds per mortar tube (number of tubes unknown)

Area D (Gerbini center): 60x 140mm shells, 480x 87mm shells***

Area E (Gerbini NW): 180x 140mm shells, 1.440 (!) 87mm shells

Area F (north of Gerbini): 60x 140mm shells, 720 87mm shells

 

It must have been a moon landscape! Unfotunately, you can't place defoliated trees in the editor. But I can replace many trees of the large orchard with trunks and  logs.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* based on the assumption:

  • 127 & 128 Field Regiments = 24x 25pdr/87mm guns organised in 3 batteries à 2 troops à 4 guns
  • 70 Medium Regiment = 16x 5.5inch/140mm guns organised in 2 batteries à 2 troops à 4 guns

** info not clear "2 batteries and all of 127 Medium Reg --> probably the whole of 126 Med Reg (= 2 batteries) minus one troop which was firing on B in phase I

*** info not clear: 2 batteries of each field regiment or 2 batteries in total? I went for the latter option.

 

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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Posted (edited)

Correction of previous post

Area C :  1.200x 87mm shells (whole 127th field artillery reg. + 2 batteries of the 128th field artillery reg., both  in phase 1), 120x 140mm shells (1 battery of the 70th medium artillery reg. in phase 1)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Allied OOB

NOTE: H-Hour for the scenario (Gerbini Phase I – west) will be 21st July, 05:00 AM

NOTE: Most of the given numbers are based on ideal/paper strengths.

  

List of forces on the battlefield at H hour:  

A.            7th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders [Col. Mathieson]

B.            7th Black Watch [C. Col. Blair]

C.            1st Black Watch

D.            Squadron A (14x Sherman tanks) of 40th/46th* Royal Tank Regiment [sqd. commanded by Maj. Routledge]

E.            B troop (4x 6pdrs) & half of A troop (2x 16pdrs) of 241th Battery of the 61st Anti Tank Regiment (Royal Artillery)

F.             2 platoons (2*4x Vickers h.MGs) of MGs (affiliation unknown – probably from the support-companies of the involved infantry battalions?)

G.            Artillery support: 127th field artillery regiment (24x 25pdrs), 128th field artillery regiment (24x 25pdrs), 1 battery of 93rd (or 90th?)** medium artillery regiment (16x 5.5inch guns), 4.2 inch mortars (affiliation & number of tubes unknown)

 

 Positions of these forces on the battlefield:

@ A: At H-hour, 7AS (minus A company which had surrendered at the train station) should be exhausted, low on ammo and low strength in Gerbini. 7AS’s carrier platoon and AT guns are most likely still at the starting line (AT-ditch)***.

@ B: AT H-hour, 7BW was securing the eastern flank of 7A&S, probably very strong at the important rail-road-junction east of the airfield. Throughpout the battle, 7BW was used to guide/cover the tank squadron to the junction (at 00:00) and, later on, the carriers and AT guns of 7AS.

@ C : Two companies were commanded to clear the road into Gerbini for the AT guns and carriers of 7AS. The first company, advancing along the road and maybe a bit west of it got pinned down soon after leaving the AT-ditch (ca. H hour), so a second company was called up to attack from the east (see Rennie’s map). This second attack was successful and 1BW cleared the road into Gerbini. In the scenario, the player will take command over these two companies. The battalion’s support assets (AT guns, carriers) are not mentioned, so I strongly suppose they stayed back at the battalion’s main position at the AT-ditch. 

@ D : At H-hour, the squadron had taken position in the large orchard to cover the exhausted 7AS in Gerbini. By that time, I reckon the squadron had not suffered many casualties (it would suffer greatly later on from the german counter-attack which is not part of the scenario).

@ E:        By H-hour, it’s possible that the guns were positioned thus****: One 16pdr at the AT-ditch, one 16pdr somewhere north of the AT-ditch (got overrun by german counter attack later on), 4x 6pdrs at the road-rail-junction (7BW sector).

@ F:There is no information on the actual position, but as the platoons were tasked with neutralizing “the Southern outskirts of GERBINI743745” (= Masseria Landolina), the two platoons are of great importance for the scenario. I suppose that their target area is marked on Rennie’s map (“MORTAR 4 M.G. TASK.).

@ G:       It’s not quite clear to me where the artillery was positioned during the battle. The report of the 128th field reg. mentions Monte Capezzana (ca. 14 km – out of the range of the 25pdrs! - westsouthwest) of Gerbini) and Monte Turcisi (ca. 9 km westnorthwest of Gerbini) but it’s not clear if they were already there during the battle or only after it. In any case the artillery must have been somewhere up on the hills west of Gerbini. FOs of the involved arty regiments were spead out across all the infantry battalions and the tank squadron. Many FOs were killed in battle.

The 128th’s report mentions that Sgt. Bob Edmonds was with the 1BW at the tank ditch: “Most of our O(bservation)P(ost)s were dens of Hell where shelling, mortars and machine gun fire often made positions very precarious and difficult. Sgt. Bob Edmonds spoke of his experience in the anti-tank ditch before Gerbini with the Black Watch and everyone really tired out. The Jerries were in holes in the ground about 300 yards in front of our O.Ps. We attacked, the infantry advance began, our barrage screamed overhead but the opposition was tough. The barrage lifted and the Black Watch moved up the ditch on the other side of the wire, and before long we had gained the day.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

* The reports on the 51st Division’s homepage provide  conflicting information. They seem to be full of typos (almost as if scanned by OCR?) so 0 might have been mistaken for 6 and vice versa.

** Same problem as above. Conflicting information in the reports (90th/93rd)

*** Refer to brigadier Rennie’s conclusion and also to the task of 1st Black Watch, which was to clear the road into Gerbini in order to bring up 7A&S AT guns, carriers and supply – so we can assume that those assets were still at the AT ditch by H hour.

**** Refer to http://51hd.co.uk/accounts/61_anti_tank_sicily

 

 

WIP draft for the mission briefing

 July 21st, 1943 -  05:00, plain of Catania, Sicily

Larger context

During the night, the 154th Highland brigade - spearheaded by the 7th Argyll & Sutherland Highland Regiment, a squadron of Shermans and the support of three artillery regiments -  has launched a strong attack against Gerbini village (a few houses around crossroad, a train station, an airfield). Meeting very stubborn resistance by what turned out to be a well-prepared German defensive line, the attack barely managed to penetrate into Gerbini village. With the first light of the new day, the totally exhausted 7th A&S are still holding out in the village, covered by the Shermans that have taken up position in the orchard south of the village. You are in command of two companies of the 1st Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment). Until now, your men have been ordered to stay at the brigade’s main position (an anti-tank ditch south of Gerbini). But now, your companies are called into action.

You are in control of 2 (sic!) companies of the 1st Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment).

Briefing

Captain!

The situation is still not entirely clear and information is unreliable. Our Jocks from the 7thAS are still holding out in the village, but they have taken a horrible beating this night and they’re still troubled by pockets of resistance. Jerry is still directing lots of fire at the village from the north. I reckon a full-scale counter-attack is due pretty soon. If we don’t want to hand that bloody village back over to the Krauts, it’s imperative that we reinforce it and move up the 7thAS’ carriers and AT guns asap!  

That’s your task! Take your men and clear the way along the main road into Gerbini village. I guess 7AS are eagerly awaiting your arrival!  The large orchard and the southern outskirts of the village have been shelled during the night, but stay alert! The Jerries might have infiltrated our lines covered by darkness. The heavy MGs at the tank ditch are at your disposal, and [arty/mortar support] are also available in case you need them. [also: one Phearson north of the AT ditch...]

 God save the king and best of luck to you and your men, captain!

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Make sure to check the landmarks („Alt + L“) at the start of the scenario. Apart from the names of some terrain features, it will also provide you with valuable initial recon information.
  • The Shermans in the orchard around Gerbini can be controlled but not moved by the player in this scenario, as their orders are to hold their position.

 

 

Ideas for objectives

I see two interesting options for the scenario: 

  • Add the 7th AS carrier platoon and their AT guns and give the Allies an exit objective at Gerbini village - the Germans will get the objective to destroy the carriers and AT guns respectively. 
  • Leave the 7th AS support assets out for now - just give the player control over the two Black Watch companies to clear the road. The carriers and AT guns are supposed to move up only once the road in totally clear (id est: once the scenario is won).

Historically speaking 1st BW managed to reach Gerbini, but got delayed by German positions on the way. So the majority of 7th AS support assets took a detour into Gerbini.

The whole thing can maybe be turned into a campaign: the next scenario would be the defense of Gerbini against the German counter attack , the next one the retreat from Gerbini back to the AT ditch. But there are some problems with that (what if the player miraculously defeats the german counter attack? Shall the player control all the assets in Gerbini? This would be a pretty big scenario...). In addition, the assault of the 7th AS could be the first scenario (pretty large one, again....) and if you perform well, the defense of Gerbini might succeed! On the plus side, all these scenarios can be played on the map I'm creating (perhaps plus a couple 100s meters on each side). So: 1. assault, 2. move up support assets to hold the ground you've gained, 3. defend against counter attack, 4. retreat/exploit even further (?).

Edited by Kaunitz

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Posted (edited)

Some short notes on dust in Combat Mission 

This is mainly for my own reference. I have not conducted serious tests, just some quick hotseat-experiments.

What raises dust?

  • Vehicle movement over "dusty terrain". The faster the vehicle goes, the more dust is thrown up.
  • Firing large calibre guns (AT guns, tank guns, etc) from "dusty terrain". MGs are okay.
  • Shell impacts on "dusty terrain"

Whether a terrain is dusty or not depends on the ground condition (no dust if wet, eg.) and on the type of terrain. E.g. the ploughed field tiles don't raise any dust, most crop tiles do. Also consider different road types.

Who can see dust?

  • Dust generated by shell impacts can be seen by the opponent.
  • Dust generated by firing or moving can only be seen by the opponent if he has spotted the source of the dust (confirmed contact required). Note that the enemy can only see the dust that is created from the moment on at which he has spotted the source (i.e. "older" dust generated by the source is not shown to the opponent retrospectively). On the other hand: once you've spotted dust, it stays even if you lose sight of it's source.

Effects of dust?

  • Dust reduces/blocks LOS. For example, if you have 5 tanks on a sanddune fire, they will literally disappear in a cloud of dust. This is a two-edged sword and something to consider if you want to area-fire. Fire --> dust-cloud --> No LOS --> no area fire until the dust dissipates. This also raises an important question: Do dustclouds that my enemy can't see (because he has not spotted the source) still handicap his LOS? In order words: Is it possible that he can't see me because he's looking at a dust-cloud of which he is totally unaware?  Can you be fooled by an invisible dust cloud?
  • I don't know whether dust raises the chance of getting spotted (as an unconfirmed contact at least, even if you're shrouded in your own dust-cloud?). This would be a highly interesting question.

Behaviour of dust?

  • Dust travels with the wind (scenario condition) and dissipates at some point.

 

 

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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Posted (edited)

Update on the sources used to create the scenario (in addition to those listed in the first post):

Lorenzo Bovi, Sicilia WW2, Foto inedite. Speciale Aeroporti: Catania, Gerbini (2016) just arrived and I'm very pleasantly surprised! The highlight is a map (the 1943 one linked in post 1) on which allied air recon marked the dispositions of the airfiled and its defenses. I'm not entirely sure yet if I interpret everything correctly, but it all all bunkers/pillboxes are marked on the map, perhaps even AT gun positions, wire obstacles (not sure yet). Very helpfull!

Books

basic titles (most of the following titles are about the Sicily campaign in general, the battle of Gerbini usually is but a paragraph)

  • Samuel W. Mitcham Jr./ Friedrich von Stauffenberg: The Battle of Sicily. How the Allies Lost Their Chance for Total Victory (Stackpole Military History Series (1991). 
  • Carlo D’Este: Bitter Victory. The Battle for Sicily, July–August 1943 (1988).
  • Albert N. Garland / Howard McGaw Smyth: United States Army in World War II. Mediterranean Theater of Operations: Sicily and the Surrender of Italy (1965). [short description of the German forces...]
  • Hugh Pond, Sicily (1962).
  • Eric Linklater:The Campaign in Italy (Second World War 1939 - 1945 Series) (1977).

more specific titles

  • Claude Gillono, Fortress. German Armour In The Defence Of Sicily (Firefly Collection No.3)  (2013).
  • Lorenzo Bovi, Sicilia WW2, Seconda Guerra Mondiale - Foto inedite. Speciale Aeroporti: Catania, Gerbini (2016). 
  • [pending: Claude Gillono - Hermann Göring Panzer Division in Sicily (2008)] 

Maps

Accounts

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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Posted (edited)

Uniform mods/reskins for the Hermann Göring Division

There are currently three summer uniform mods available (not counting the winter version by SDP): 

  • by Jorge MC http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=4575 - the mod features desaturated "flecktarn" tops and very bright, more vividly colored helmets. 
  • by Mjkerner ("normal" version) http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=1229  - the mod features very warm - almost "leathery" - colors for the tops. But - in stark contrast to that - there are also a few dark grey trousers and helmets put into the mix (not really visible on the picture below). Some of the helmets are really cool! All uniforms have stains of dirt on them. (NOTE: This mod is outdated and will not work unless you rename all files  - the picture below shows vanilla boots and gear, I only got the uniform and helmets to work)
  • by Mjkerner ("tropical" version) http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=1229 - this mod's uniforms differ only slightly from the vanilla ones (NOTE: This mod only features uniforms, no change to helmets)

Here is a comparison between the mods and vanilla:

111.png

I will use my own selection which uses bits from all three mods: 

CM_Fortress_Italy_2018_06_14_16_35_56_87

Perhaps I can compile a Gerbini-experience bundle with all the relevant mods that are out there  - giving all due credit to the creators, of course. I will compile a small pdf with a comparison of the the modded assets and the vanilla game. 

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Other than that, I'm still working on the map. The recon information by the Royal Airforce is very interesting and helps me to understand the battle a bit better. E.g. the aerial recon takes note of "huts under the trees" in the orchard area. So these seem to be the "barracks" that are mentioned in the battle reports. They are close to two runways that have been "ploughed up" (decomissioned...) already by 1943. I now also understand why the area west of Gerbini has been shelled quite heavily: this is the area where the air recon marked several FLAK positions. I wonder whether they could also be used on ground targets and how many were still occupied and working by the time of the Gerbini ground attack (the airfield and its surroundings had been bomb-raided several times by then...).

 

Edited by Kaunitz

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I looked at thse and I think they are identical:

  • by Mjkerner ("normal" version) http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=1229  - the mod features very warm - almost "leathery" - colors for the tops. But - in stark contrast to that - there are also a few dark grey trousers and helmets put into the mix (not really visible on the picture below). Some of the helmets are really cool! All uniforms have stains of dirt on them. (NOTE: This mod is outdated and will not work unless you rename all files  - the picture below shows vanilla boots and gear, I only got the uniform and helmets to work)
  • by Mjkerner ("tropical" version) http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=1229 - this mod's uniforms differ only slightly from the vanilla ones (NOTE: This mod only features uniforms, no change to helmets)

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Erwin said:

I looked at thse and I think they are identical:

  • by Mjkerner ("normal" version) http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=1229  - the mod features very warm - almost "leathery" - colors for the tops. But - in stark contrast to that - there are also a few dark grey trousers and helmets put into the mix (not really visible on the picture below). Some of the helmets are really cool! All uniforms have stains of dirt on them. (NOTE: This mod is outdated and will not work unless you rename all files  - the picture below shows vanilla boots and gear, I only got the uniform and helmets to work)
  • by Mjkerner ("tropical" version) http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?p=1229 - this mod's uniforms differ only slightly from the vanilla ones (NOTE: This mod only features uniforms, no change to helmets)

For me these two look very different (see the screenshots above). Did you rename all the files of the "normal" version? If you didn't, I don't think they will show up in your game and you might be looking at the vanilla skins instead (those look very similar to Mjkerner's tropical version ^^ - but note the cross-belt). 

 

EDIT I've messed up the link sorry. Here is the correct link to the tropical version:  http://cmmodsiii.greenasjade.net/?wpfb_filepage=cmfi-uniform-luftwaffe-hg-zip

Sorry, my bad!!

Edited by Kaunitz

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OMG, people actually used that mod?  I thought it was pretty “meh” and because I just couldn’t get the Photoshop processes down well enough, and then Gothic Line came out, and its HG pixeltruppen were much, much better.  So I didn’t do much modding after that. (I did learn a lot in later years on non-CM project, but haven’t had any desire to go back to it in CM.  I’d rather play!) I believe these were the first mods I where I learned there were such things as Layers, lol!  

 

Have at it, K. Looking forward to the finished Gerbini!

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On 6/15/2018 at 12:05 AM, mjkerner said:

OMG, people actually used that mod?  I thought it was pretty “meh” and because I just couldn’t get the Photoshop processes down well enough, and then Gothic Line came out, and its HG pixeltruppen were much, much better.  So I didn’t do much modding after that. (I did learn a lot in later years on non-CM project, but haven’t had any desire to go back to it in CM.  I’d rather play!) I believe these were the first mods I where I learned there were such things as Layers, lol!  

 

Have at it, K. Looking forward to the finished Gerbini!

Which one? The tropical one or the "normal" one? I think that especially the "normal" one looks really cool! :) I will see if I can also get the equipment textures to work. 

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Here is an extract of the map with the Royal Airforce aerial recon markers on it (area D of the artillery fire plan): 

RAF_recon.jpg

Here is what I think I understand - maybe someone here is more knowledgeable when it comes to reading the British marker I'm having troubles with (dot + arrow, see below)? Note that a circle around a symbol means that it is an anti air asset. 

On the northeast and northwest corners of the position, there are two batteries (4 guns each) of anti air guns. Note that one of the positions had already been marked on the base map (double circle)! In between the two batteries there is a trench/ditch under construction (u/c) and an anti air searchlight (?). South of the trench, there is a marker I can't interpret (dot + arrow). On the southern corners of the position, there are 3 + 2 anti air MGs. The 3 anti-air MGs are marked as "unoccupied" (unocc.?). On the southern border of the position, there also runs an under construction ditch (I'm pretty sure that this one is visible on today's google maps' satellite view) and again, to the south of this ditch, there another one of the marker I fail to interpret. 

Further to the south, at the curve of the Strada Statale, there is a rectangle + dot and arrow pointing west. This is the same marker as for the confirmed MG-pillboxes in other places (I couldn't confirm this specific pillbox with google maps though). Given that the pillboxes were for MGs, the dot+arrow might actually be an ordinary MG position? 

I'm pretty sure that the brigade must have had this information before the attack. I can see no other explanation for the artillery fire plan which clearly targets the positions marked by the RAF. Also, the reports mentions the "barracks" area, which becomes only clear if you take a look the RAF info, which identifies barracks (large huts) under cover of the trees in the orchard area.

Edited by Kaunitz

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