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      Final Blitzkrieg v1.01 released!   05/21/2016

      Once again proving that we don't sleep much, we have just released v1.01 for CM: Final Blitzkrieg.  There's lots of great improvements and fixes now just one download away.  Click HERE to see the release notes and download links.  Thanks to everybody for reporting issues and special thanks to the testers who make sure we don't overlook them.
    • Battlefront.com

      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:

      -showui

      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
    • Battlefront.com

      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them
John Kettler

Battle of the Bulge Memories

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This site is devoted to collecting the recollections from the veterans--on all sides-- involved in the Battle of the Bulge. Has stories, photos, links and more. Bring a spare set of eyeballs, two extra butts, meals and snacks. There are 607 US stories alone!

http://www.battleofthebulgememories.be/home21.html

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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On 29.7.2017 at 2:20 PM, Bulletpoint said:

Thanks for the link. It's very interesting, but I cannot sem to find the stories from the German perspective?

You are not really surprised, are you?

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18 hours ago, StieliAlpha said:

You are not really surprised, are you?

Well, it was said in the first post that there were stories from all sides, so yes, a bit surprised I couldn't find them. 

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1 hour ago, Bulletpoint said:

Well, it was said in the first post that there were stories from all sides, so yes, a bit surprised I couldn't find them. 

Ah, I see what you mean.

But it is indeed not new, that Germany is somewhat "underrepresented" on such US sites. Probably a language issue. And especially in respect to the Battle of the Bulge, there are probably not too many "fond recollections" from the German side.

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I just did a very quick search to find a site with German Battle of the Bulge "war stories" and had no success at all. Interesting is, that I found in a short time several notes, saying how forgotten the battle is in Germany.

Now that I think of it: Not surprising. What is remembered in the US and elsewhere as a heroic victory of a desperately fought battle, is in Germany of course "only" one more catastrophic defeat, which blends into the traumatic "end if war" time.

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"A single 18-man Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon from the 99th Infantry Division along with four Forward Air Controllers held up the battalion of about 500 German paratroopers until sunset, about 16:00, causing 92 casualties among the Germans."

(wikipedia)

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On 06/08/2017 at 10:38 AM, Bulletpoint said:

"A single 18-man Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon from the 99th Infantry Division along with four Forward Air Controllers held up the battalion of about 500 German paratroopers until sunset, about 16:00, causing 92 casualties among the Germans."

(wikipedia)

That would be the battle of Lanzerath Ridge. We have a scenario for that :)

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9 hours ago, IanL said:

That would be the battle of Lanzerath Ridge. We have a scenario for that :)

How did you emulate the complete German incompetence in this battle? Conscript "paratroopers" with -2 leadership? I only stumbled on the Lanzerath wikipedia article, and it leaves me pretty baffled...

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Yeah for sure baffled is the word. What I did was basically restrict the battle space so that the German side can really only directly assault the US position. There is enough room to move to semi flank their position but to go do that you have to manoeuvre in exposed locations and the time line is tight. So the incompetence is simulated by restricting choices. In the game the Germans can do far far better than they did in the real battle.  The scenario only simulates the first assault so it does not matter so much that the US side ends up in a lot worse shape than in real life.

Originally I created a map of the whole valley and the village but it was far to easy for the Germans to do what they should have done - probe forward on a wider front looking for the US positions and then take advantage of where they were not to totally out flank their strong position. So, I released the full map as just a map while the scenario is of only a sub set of that:

http://www.thefewgoodmen.com/tsd3/cm-final-blitzkrieg/cm-final-blitzkrieg-maps/lanzerath-ridge-map/

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4 hours ago, IanL said:

Yeah for sure baffled is the word. What I did was basically restrict the battle space so that the German side can really only directly assault the US position.

How do you prevent the Germans from simply firing back and suppressing the 18 defenders?

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I don't. They can suppress the defenders. The scenario goes much better for the Germans than the real fight did. It is still however fairly challenging for the German side in the game.

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On 8/6/2017 at 9:38 AM, Bulletpoint said:

"A single 18-man Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon from the 99th Infantry Division along with four Forward Air Controllers held up the battalion of about 500 German paratroopers until sunset, about 16:00, causing 92 casualties among the Germans."

(wikipedia)

For those interested in this there is a good read about this unit and the famous action:

The Longest Winter by Alex Kershaw

Although they technically held up an entire Battalion all day, it's not as if the entire battalion attacked at once. However, they still did an incredible job, decisively stopping two strong frontal attacks before running out of ammo on a 3rd flanking attack. The defenders were well dug in and only lost 1 man KIA. A pretty amazing feat.

And for a SQUAD LEADER trivia bonus, this I&R battle is tied to an old classic scenario: 

For those of you that had the original Squad Leader game from Avalon Hill, one of the original scenarios that came with the base game was a 99th Division Company L of the 394th in chow lines at Bucholtz Station. When shadowy figures emerge in casual walk along the rail line, it takes a few minutes for Company L men to realize that these figures are German troops. Company L is able to beat back the ensuing firefight and hold the line for the day. However, without the heroic stand of the Bouck's 18 man I&R platoon, Company L would have quickly been hit by this same FJ battalion and most likely overrun putting the entire 394th Regiment in serious jeopardy on the 1st day of the Ardenness Offensive.

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4 hours ago, Pak40 said:

Although they technically held up an entire Battalion all day, it's not as if the entire battalion attacked at once. However, they still did an incredible job, decisively stopping two strong frontal attacks before running out of ammo on a 3rd flanking attack. The defenders were well dug in and only lost 1 man KIA. A pretty amazing feat.

Actually what baffles me the most is not so much the competence of the American defenders as the sheer incompetence of the Germans.

Imagine being a German general looking down on your maps and then the news comes in that your division can't advance because 500 paratroopers got stopped by 18 reconnaissance troops, suffering a 98:1 casualty rate.

Even for a penal battallion, that would be bad.

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An amazing feat for sure. And amazing mistake made by the German commander too.

It should be noted that the recon platoon had scrounged M1 Garands for everyone (on paper they only had carbines) and secured a .30ca (or was it two I forget) and a .50cal which they were also not supposed to have. Plus a lot of ammo. So they were considerably better armed than their on paper organization. That was due to their leader who correctly interpreted that they were going to be stuck doing an infantry platoon's job.

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6 hours ago, IanL said:

It should be noted that the recon platoon had scrounged M1 Garands for everyone (on paper they only had carbines) and secured a .30ca (or was it two I forget) and a .50cal which they were also not supposed to have. Plus a lot of ammo. So they were considerably better armed than their on paper organization. That was due to their leader who correctly interpreted that they were going to be stuck doing an infantry platoon's job.

Honestly, it should have been a Company's job to hold Lanzerath. Bouck's I&R platoon was the only "front line" unit guarding the road to what was supposed to be a rear area where Company L and K were bivouacked as the sole reserve of the entire 99th Division. The 99th was spread that thin.

Actually I think there was an AT unit in Lanzerath belonging to another outfit but they high tailed it out of there before the German paratroopers entered the town. The artillery observers left the town too but at least went up to be with Bouck's platoon on the tree line.

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13 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

Actually what baffles me the most is not so much the competence of the American defenders as the sheer incompetence of the Germans.

Well the first frontal assault was somewhat excusable. The paratroopers were about to be ambushed when a girl ran out to warn a German officer who then alerted his men. I think the firing started immediately after that - The Germans were already caught out in the open for the most part. Maybe the girl told him that there were only a few men in the woods and he figured that a quick frontal assault was the best way to quickly solve the dilemma.

The second frontal assault was the real incompetence.

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21 hours ago, Pak40 said:

Honestly, it should have been a Company's job to hold Lanzerath. Bouck's I&R platoon was the only "front line" unit guarding the road to what was supposed to be a rear area where Company L and K were bivouacked as the sole reserve of the entire 99th Division. The 99th was spread that thin.

Very true the job was way to big for that unit.

21 hours ago, Pak40 said:

Actually I think there was an AT unit in Lanzerath belonging to another outfit but they high tailed it out of there before the German paratroopers entered the town. The artillery observers left the town too but at least went up to be with Bouck's platoon on the tree line.

Correct. The AT unit drove off and left the Artillery Observers behind. They joined the I&R platoon and were hoping to assist them by calling in support if and when the Germans showed up but they were denied when they tried to call and later the field telephone line was severed so they could not even ask by the time the second assault came.

 

20 hours ago, Pak40 said:

Well the first frontal assault was somewhat excusable. The paratroopers were about to be ambushed when a girl ran out to warn a German officer who then alerted his men. I think the firing started immediately after that - The Germans were already caught out in the open for the most part. Maybe the girl told him that there were only a few men in the woods and he figured that a quick frontal assault was the best way to quickly solve the dilemma.

The second frontal assault was the real incompetence.

Agreed.

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On 5-8-2017 at 11:09 AM, StieliAlpha said:

Ah, I see what you mean.

But it is indeed not new, that Germany is somewhat "underrepresented" on such US sites. Probably a language issue. And especially in respect to the Battle of the Bulge, there are probably not too many "fond recollections" from the German side.

If you want a taste of the German side of the fighting in the Ardennes I recommend 'The Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg' , the Southern Flank December 1944-January 1945. Vol. 1 The Germans by Roland Gaul. Some very good accounts in that excellent book from German perspective (Volksgrenadier-divisions).  These German soldiers are quite modest or realistic about their actions, contrary to some of their opponents.

Edited by Aragorn2002

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On 14.8.2017 at 7:21 PM, Aragorn2002 said:

If you want a taste of the German side of the fighting in the Ardennes I recommend 'The Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg' , the Southern Flank December 1944-January 1945. Vol. 1 The Germans by Roland Gaul. Some very good accounts in that excellent book from German perspective (Volksgrenadier-divisions).  These German soldiers are quite modest or realistic about their actions, contrary to some of their opponents.

Sounds interesting. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll have a look at the book.

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