Both excellent suggestions, I intend to do both until dawn breaks fully.
The battle is an assault, I'm the aggressing US force.
My OOB is as follows, and reflects a typical US Army TF from the great pursuit across France:
Tank Battalion (Less 1 Company) - The HQ and Operations Officer of this battalion are present, and the task force is built around this unit. Both companies are at 'war-time' strength (re: With significant losses in some units), but are well led and experienced. "B" Company is worse off, and only numbers 8 M4A3s. All Shermans in the battalion are 75s. An under strength M18 Platoon is attached; and sums up about the only shiny toys I have A single company of Armored Infantry, less its anti-tank platoon, rounds out the third maneuver element of the Task Force. It is at full strength and while its leadership is all over the place, its equally motivated and experienced as the Tank units. A FOOB is attached to the platoon.
A single Engineer platoon, reinforced by two HMG teams, is attached to the Task Force.
Fire support....isn't as much as I would like, but is significant; 4 M7 105s in two sections (ostensibly, 1 section per tank company) provide off-map fire support, and a platoon of 81mms also lend their support.
The actual numbers of my task force as follows: 25 Medium Tanks and Tank Destroyers, with 194 Infantry split between the Engineers and Armored infantry. My task force therefore has a lot of striking power.
My task force is split into two Company teams, one led by the Battalion leader, and the other by his Ops Officer, which should allow for adequate flow of C2. The first company team, with a tank platoon and armored infantry platoon off map is pictured here. Note the XO (Jeep) of the Armored infantry attached to HQ, he will act as a liaison between the Tank battalion and the Infantry :
This lengthy column is the the second Company team, led by the Ops Officer of the battalion. It has only a platoon of infantry in support and is smaller, its deployed on the road and will space out as it moves to the start line. Notice however how the lead tank platoon is already spaced out quite a bit from the rest of the column; this distance will multiply and allow it to act as a screening force so the column has no costly surprises:
Where are the Engineers? I have on my side of the river a town that overlooks the main bridge, and the Infantry, supported by an under-strength tank platoon is deployed and poised to probe the bridge, HMGs are already deployed to cover:
The plan is uncomplicated, as I strongly suspect it will be subject to change. It is based on two relatively safe presumptions about how my enemy will deploy, the plan for the first company team once a bridgehead is won is based on seizing the most dominant high ground. My FOOB in the village has clear line of sight on this obstacle and can walk HE and Smoke onto the heights in anticipation of my tanks crossing:
My second company team has been tasked with securing two fords on the right-flank of my main force. Originally I intended this to be a probe, but I've decided to make this a significant thrust. Assuming the fords are neither mined or held skillfully, this Company team will proceed through low ground around the previously pictured high ground and flank the town I've assigned as my point of main effort:
The assault begins at 0655 hours, which means I have a limited amount of time to make use of the low-visibility to get my bridgehead established. I want my armor units in that gorgeous terrain in time for first light.