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Campaign WIP - Operation Windsor, Carpiquet


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After two years (on and off) and one false start this little project is coming along nicely and has well and truly passed the halfway mark. What was initially going to be one scenario is now a campaign involving two master maps and a long OOB. The maps and OOB are now done and I'm up to mission building and OOB tweaking where needed. Hopefully at the end of this there will be a Canadian based campaign for the community that pushes CMBN, using many of the assets available from this well developed game family. :) The 3.0 Upgrade and the release of the Vehicle Pack really breathed new life into this project, allowing for a more historical approach.

 

A Brief History Lesson

July 4th - 5th, 1944

Operation Windsor was the first Canadian set piece battle of the north west Europe campaign involving a a reinforced (4 Inf battalions) brigade and an obscene amount of supporting assets. Carpiquet and it's adjacent airfield was viewed by the Germans as a key defensive strong point on the western flank of Caen and a prime tank killing ground due to the open fields and airfield. The relative high ground also gave the Germans a brilliant observation point across the Odon valley and Hill 112 on the other side which was now a key feature following the conclusion of Operation Epsom further to the west. Carpiquet was held by the 12 SS Panzer Division with the strength of one weakened battalion and an array of heavy weapons and armour. The Canadians attacked over a mile of open ground behind a World War 1 style creeping barrage. After numerous delays they managed to take the village to the north of the airfield. Two separate attacks to the south in an attempt to take a series of hangers was beaten back twice with heavy loss in infantry and armour. A second phase of the operation to capture the airfield control buildings to the east was never undertaken following the failure of the southern attack and delays with the northern approach. Despite what was described as an inferno by German survivors the 12 SS held on all day before retreating to the eastern buildings. Three separate counter attacks by the newly arrived 1 SS Panzer Division from the north were beaten back in the middle of the night and into the following morning before the Germans called off trying to retake lost ground. Despite holding most of the objectives, the Operation was still considered a strategic failure and increased the pressure building up on 3 CID's CO General Keller.

 

Historians at the time always viewed Windsor as simply a prelude to the larger Operation Charnwood, however more recently revisionists have explored the theory that the Operation was less about Caen and more about capturing the high ground overlooking Hill 112 for the future Operation Jupiter. Another theory was to take advantage of the confusion across the German lines following the completion of Epsom to take this key piece of terrain that could have been reinforced in strength when the 1 SS Panzer Division arrived in full into the theatre - something 21st Army Group HQ was already aware was about to happen through ULTRA intercepts.

 

Requirements

The campaign will require all modules and upgrades including the Vehicle Pack.

 

Campaign Features

- 6 - 7 battle campaign depending on outcomes. Covers both the Canadian assault on July 4th and the attempts to hold the objectives into July 5th.

- Complete OOB's for both sides with virtually all units on both sides being tracked as 'Core Units'.

- 'Historical' and 'Better Than History' pathways. (So even if you lose a few battles you are still following in history's footsteps :) )

- A few larger battles (Battalion+) including one 3x hour 'show piece' monster for the northern approach attack. (Hope you like artillery).

- Hobart's Funnies, bunkers, mines, aircraft and naval assets.

- Research bordering on the unhinged... (old history degree from my Uni days came in handy :P ). To the point where the names of most Company Commanders and higher and the names of the different supporting artillery regiments can be named.

- Master Maps will be included (including varying degrees of destruction) so players can slice and dice for QB's and H2H's.

- Possibly one stand alone scenario for the main northern attack.

- Some mod tags will be used.

 

Campaign Structure

Note: apologies for the swearing - The scenario name is a line used by one of the Royal Winnipeg's officers in the first attempt to take a set of hangers. His superiors expected the battalion to cross over an open mile of terrain without direct support. At the end of the grueling approach were two well entrenched German SS Panzer Grenadier companies with artillery on call. Should sum up the feelings the player has attempting this one.

WindsorFlowchart_zpsa8031110.jpg

 

Some pics of the map (clean undamaged version - which you generally won't see in game) :)

 

Pic 1 - Northern Master Map looking south towards Carpiquet. Canadians assault from the right hand side beyond the railway line. Village at the front of the picture of Franqueville which was the furthest extent of the doomed Canadian attack south on June 7th. Also the base of operations for the German counterattacks on July 5th.

CMNormandy2014-11-1614-56-50-69_zpsa26b2

 

Pic 2 - Carpiquet from the direction of the Canadian attack. (Distant shots without all the fortifications don't do it justice).

CMNormandy2014-11-1614-57-22-86_zpsc9e33

 

Pic 3 - Southern Master Map looking up at the hanger objective. The doomed Royal Winnipeg attack.

CMNormandy2015-01-2022-29-49-33_zps7cb1b

 

Pic 4 - Destroyed beauty. Four different mod tags will be used for the rubble tiles.

CMNormandy2015-02-1022-54-27-75_zps0b294

 

More soon.

More info can be found here though some is now out of date.

http://www.thefewgoodmen.com/thefgmforum/threads/operation-windsor-2-0.17914/

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Cool, where you the one that mentioned a Capriquet mission way back when CMBN was just a few months in the making? I remember thinking since then what happened to that.

Looks great. And, yes sir, I do like artillery ;)

 

Possibly. However, I know Paper Tiger was also working on a Canadian Campaign following the North Shore Regiment from D-Day through to Carpiquet. Given the scope of his campaign idea it only covered part of the operation.

 

:)

 

I have some old recce and google earth pics right here on this PC of Capriquet that I'd gathered with thoughts of perhaps doing a map for it one day.

 

Look forward to checkig out.  Was a tough battle.

 

 

-F

Funnily enough it was looking at June 1944 air recon photos that made slam down the keyboard and caused the hiccup in development. Carpiquet of 1944 compared to today is night and day and what I was mapping before simply wasn't close to the 1944 town. When I realised this I started again from scratch. Google Earth is a great tool but historical map makes have got to be damn careful, especially in built up areas. I should of realised sooner, but when a town is flattened in the operation you're modelling... well I should of realised this sooner. :P

 

Jeez, Ith, you never do things half-assed, do you?  Looks great!

Hehehe. Got a few more crazy ideas up my sleeves. Just wish I didn't have to go to work and pay bills. :P Windsor has always been an interest of mine so always been on my 'to do' list when I saw the the CMx2 engine.

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Update: Most of the missions have been 'laid out' with force selection etc. Need to do the AI plans and about half the briefings. Hoping to have something for play testers sometime in June. :)

 

As for play testing, with all units being Core and losses carrying over virtually in full it's going to be hard to test the missions in the second half of the campaign (German counterattack), so ideally probably looking for people to run through the whole campaign itself.

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Just wanted to drop by and say that this looks amazing! I especially appreciate the attention to detail with things like Company CO names and the like. Having just combed through a division history of the American 29th Infantry Division in Normandy, I understand how time consuming it can be to find out small details like that. The maps and the mission chart look amazing as well. Keep up the good work!

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