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Kampfgruppe Peiper Campaign


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On 2/22/2019 at 3:38 AM, Apache said:

SPOILERS

I do wish there was more time with the scenarios I've played so far.  Given the style of CM these days where scouting, observing and a generally much more stealthy approach the 45 minute time allowances do push you to be faster bordering on reckless given the way I'd normally approach the given objectives, especially in BUA and with multiple bazookas.  I like the choices, not so keen on the re-supply of ammo to the Stummels not happening at mission 3 start.

That is more in tune with the reality of the actual battle. If you can load the scenarios separately you can then adjust the scenario time for a different experience  I think the campaign scenarios are available as individual downloads  

 

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Yeah, Pieper's forces were very short of everything as the campaign progressed in real life.  And working w shortest days of the year.  and horrific traffic jams, and mud, and blown bridges.  They weren't going to get very far unless the american engineers chose to help instead of hinder them -- doubtful that was gonna happen :)

 

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On 7/29/2019 at 2:12 AM, danfrodo said:

Yeah, Pieper's forces were very short of everything as the campaign progressed in real life.  And working w shortest days of the year.  and horrific traffic jams, and mud, and blown bridges.  They weren't going to get very far unless the american engineers chose to help instead of hinder them -- doubtful that was gonna happen

This is one of the most bizarre things about the whole campaign. Unless they had paratroopers to secure the bridges, the attack would obviously never make it very far.

The briefing text says Peiper shouted "Those damned engineers" when a bridge was blown just before it could be captured. But surely he knew it was going to happen, maybe not immediately because of the surprise attack, but they would have to pass many bridges, and surprise doesn't last forever.

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9 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

This is one of the most bizarre things about the whole campaign. Unless they had paratroopers to secure the bridges, the attack would obviously never make it very far.

The briefing text says Peiper shouted "Those damned engineers" when a bridge was blown just before it could be captured. But surely he knew it was going to happen, maybe not immediately because of the surprise attack, but they would have to pass many bridges, and surprise doesn't last forever.

Well they did get pretty darn far and with just a little more luck would possibly have made it out of the Ambleve valley .  Problem was they’d have still been cut off.  No amount of luck was gonna make that plan suck any less. A plan that relied on mobility against an opponent who had far more mobility and an ability to move forces easily to head off the advance was just plain stupid. Saying that could get you shot though not just sacked and replaced like Shinseki. 😁

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Have restarted this super campaign.  But, has anyone managed a win the mission where the US has recaptured a town and critical bridge, and a Recon formation plus a couple of King Tigers and 1 Panther has been tasked to counterattack to recapture it?  The Germans have to endure devastating US artillery and very accurate ATG's which together are murder.  Best I have accomplished after maybe 20 retries is a draw - and then the campaign abruptly ends with a German Total Defeat.

Am wondering if one can get a win and more missions, or is this the final mission no matter if you win or lose?  This mission is so miserable that am hoping this is the end of the campaign no matter what the result and I can exit this campaign and move on.

Edited by Erwin
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10 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Has anyone managed a win the 4th battle - it's the one where the US has recaptured a town and critical bridge, and a Recon formation plus a couple of King Tigers and 1 Panther has been tasked to counterattack to recapture it?  The Germans have to endure devastating US artillery and very accurate ATG's which together are murder.  Best I have accomplished after maybe 20 retries is a draw - and then the campaign abruptly ends with a German Total Defeat.

Am wondering if one can get a win and more missions, or is this the final mission no matter if you win or lose?  This 4th mission is so miserable that am hoping this is the end of the campaign no matter what the result and I can exit this campaign and move on.

I just played and won that mission yesterday. Only managed a tactical victory, but it was enough to make me progress to the next (and I believe final) battle.

Agreed that it's a quite frustrating mission. I should add that it's not the first time I try it either. I think I played it at least four times now, maybe five.

I managed to knock out five of six Priests, and fully capture the South Stavelot objective. I then contested two more, and the last objective stayed in enemy control. I think the key to the mission is that you don't have to fully capture all the objectives. Just capture the southern one and then get a small foothold in the others.

Also, every time I played, I sent the engineers up on the hill, supported by the Pumas. I think this might be a waste, though. They don't accomplish much up there, and get targeted by artillery. Also, their satchel charges would be much better spent in the town.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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I would appreciate some hints. 

 

 

*************SPOILERS **************

 

 

It seems useless sending units through the wood paths.  First it's easy to get bogged and immobilized, but more importantly, the woods do not give much cover and the US seem to easily see and shoot through the trees.  It's easy to lose vehicles and inf b4 they get a chance to see the US.   And one hour doesn't give enuff time to move units very carefully that way.

Using smoke I managed to cross the RR and take the first objective without many casualties, but just as I was massing to move into the town, the US hit with a massive barrage that KO'd many HT's and killed many inf.  Then ATG's opened up and damaged or killed the Tigers and other vehicles.  After many retries I managed to get the KT's into the 2nd objective - but by then have almost no inf to continue the attack - CF'd for a Draw.  But that ends the campaign with a Total Defeat.

The 81mm arty seemed useless for killing vehicles as the "point target" was not very accurate.  Not sure what to do with the 81mm - maybe smoke??

 

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8 hours ago, Erwin said:

Have restarted this super campaign.  But, has anyone managed a win the mission where the US has recaptured a town and critical bridge, and a Recon formation plus a couple of King Tigers and 1 Panther has been tasked to counterattack to recapture it?  The Germans have to endure devastating US artillery and very accurate ATG's which together are murder.  Best I have accomplished after maybe 20 retries is a draw - and then the campaign abruptly ends with a German Total Defeat.

Am wondering if one can get a win and more missions, or is this the final mission no matter if you win or lose?  This mission is so miserable that am hoping this is the end of the campaign no matter what the result and I can exit this campaign and move on.

Yes.. the only reason why I won this mission the second time.. is because I knew about the Priests and the ATG's.  I feel I got lucky in smashing the Priests without taking too much damage.  Lost a bit of infantry still but still managed somehow to take the bride,.  Why you would only send a recon element to secure a vital bridge that leads to your success with extremely limited support.... well I guess that is just war.... but I have to agree the 81mm mortars are useless.

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2 hours ago, GhostRider3/3 said:

Why you would only send a recon element to secure a vital bridge that leads to your success with extremely limited support.... well I guess that is just war...

I'm wondering why the Germans failed to reinforce the place properly after Peiper passed through. As far as I understand, KG Peiper was only the tip of the spear, with lots of more regular forces supposed to follow to secure gains and set up defences, supply lines, etc.

But those are historical questions, not critiscism towards the campaign, which is generally very good.

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3 hours ago, GhostRider3/3 said:

I feel I got lucky in smashing the Priests without taking too much damage.

What was your tactics to kill the Priests and ATG's?   It seemed to me that one had to let the KT's sit in view for a bit until the Priests starting firing and then hope they kill the Priests before they seriously damaged the Tigers - which seem needed for moving into the town and killing the US inf.

The ATG's however, are very hard to spot and are deadly.

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30 minutes ago, Erwin said:

What was your tactics to kill the Priests and ATG's?   It seemed to me that one had to let the KT's sit in view for a bit until the Priests starting firing and then hope they kill the Priests before they seriously damaged the Tigers - which seem needed for moving into the town and killing the US inf.

The ATG's however, are very hard to spot and are deadly.

My method was to use the upper road to try and spot the Priests with 1KT buttoned while the other KT and Panther used the lower road nearest I believe there was  a rail line (Its been awhile)  There was an obvious ATG emplacement on the edge of the map where the train tunnel is and the forested area near the bottom of the hill down from where the Priests are located.  I mortared those two areas.. with mixed results.  After spotting the Priests I had enough fire power to dispatch them rather quickly as the SPG are not as fast.. not sure if it is crew related.

 

The other headache is the infantry covering the wood line parallel to the lower road.. they are in buildings a church etc... there are HMG littering the town and it is difficult to get accurately pin point them.. your looking at least x2 companies and they have plenty of support.  It is a weird mix match.. That in the scenario all the support vehicles are non armored with exception of the Puma's.. so you really have 3 tanks and 4 Puma's  the rest can take fire from any direction and be suppressed,   We all know how your commanders or gunners fair when unbuttoned.. LOL

 

I did find this online.. at work so cant quote from a few of my books in what really took place historically as far as KG Peiper's actual units that he sent to retake and secure Stavelot.

   "He left only a small contingent in Stavelot, thinking that troops from the 3rd FJ Division were following in his wake. Within hours after Peiper's departure, the 1st Battalion of the 30 Infantry Division's 117th Regiment reached the gasoline depot in the woods above Stavelot. During the day and into the night, the 1st Battalion pushed its way into Stavelot. The Germans, realizing that Peiper's supply route was now in jeopardy, launched a series of attacks to retake the town. An attack by ten Mark IV tanks was turned away with the help of American fighter planes, while another attack carried out by three King Tiger tanks from the south end of the town was dealt with by the TD's supporting the 1st Battalion. In the wake of these failures, Peiper was increasingly concerned about the situation at Stavelot. It had to be retaken, or else Peiper would be cut off north of the Ambleve River. The Germans strongest attempt yet to retake it would take place on the after of December 19. The Ambleve River could not be forded by vehicles, but infantry could (and did) ford the river"

Edited by GhostRider3/3
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24 minutes ago, Erwin said:

the Tigers - which seem needed for moving into the town and killing the US inf.

They are useful, but not necessary. Both of mine got shot to pieces, one by a 57mm AT Gun which penetrated the King Tiger through the front turret at 700m.

I used the Panther and especially the Stummels to support my infantry to knock out US positions in the town.

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1 minute ago, Bulletpoint said:

They are useful, but not necessary. Both of mine got shot to pieces, one by a 57mm AT Gun which penetrated the King Tiger through the front turret at 700m.

I used the Panther and especially the Stummels to support my infantry to knock out US positions in the town.

Thats great.. I also moved the Puma's, Stummel's and a few HT's from I guess it would be the south side of town... took HMG from the forested Hill I think, and all over town.. and got shelled.  It was murder lol.....  We finally broke thru with brute force.. but I lost at least 5 vehicles also do the ATG in town...  The attack was followed by the rest of the men and the KT tanks, the Panther was bogged and the crew bailed from artillery barrage...  Played this campaign 4 times.. 

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14 minutes ago, GhostRider3/3 said:

Peiper was increasingly concerned about the situation at Stavelot. It had to be retaken, or else Peiper would be cut off north of the Ambleve River.

I thought there would be higher level commanders taking care of securing Peiper's supply lines, leaving him free to keep going towards his objective, and divisions of Volksgrenadiere etc. pouring in after the initial breakthrough. It's pretty interesting that a single US battalion was able to cut Peiper off, in such a high profile, long planned operation.

Edited by Bulletpoint
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2 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

I thought there would be higher level commanders taking care of securing Peiper's supply lines, leaving him to keep going towards his objective, and divisions of Volksgrtenadiere etc. pouring in after the initial breakthrough. It's pretty interesting that a single US battalion was able to cut Peiper off, in such a high profile, long planned operation.

Yes I agree.  I dont think the same would have happened, had the terrain been more open and with less bloody bridges to cross.  Easy for the Defenders... cut the bridge, you cut off supplies etc.  I believe the 3rd FJ was responsible but my guess is they were held up elsewhere, so when Peiper was leaving Stavelot for Trois Points the plan was already FUBAR.

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As I recall, the plan was to support Peiper's KG, but the plan was thrown off schedule from day one by U.S. forces, rough terrain, poor roads, traffic congestion, bad maps, etc. Peiper was also to blame since he rushed headlong without worrying about his rear. As I recall, he was also cut off by accident, U.S. forces had been ordered to set up defensive positions which happened to be in Peiper's rear not knowing that Peiper was already to the west of them.

That is all part of the fog of war, currently reading up on the Russian winter offensive of jan. 45. As the armies raced for the Oder, large gaps of hundreds of kilometers opened up between the Russian Army Groups which greatly worried Stalin and STAVKA. Fortunately, the Germans were not in a position to exploit the situation.

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8 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I thought there would be higher level commanders taking care of securing Peiper's supply lines, leaving him free to keep going towards his objective, and divisions of Volksgrenadiere etc. pouring in after the initial breakthrough. It's pretty interesting that a single US battalion was able to cut Peiper off, in such a high profile, long planned operation.

Well sort of long planned except Hitler kept f**king with the plan and forces kept having to adjust with other emergencies etc That plan was unrealistic from the get go and as others have noted fell apart before it even started.  The roads were hopelessly clogged, traffic control was a mess. Peiper had to intervene to even get the 3rd FJ moving etc

it also helps to really look at the road net. Take a look at some of the pics here for Rollbahn D and remember this is winter. 

https://standwheretheyfought.jimdo.com/ardennes-2008-in-the-footsteps-of-battlegroup-peiper-then-and-now/

as to 1 battalion blocking Peiper’s supply. It isn’t quite that simple.  The US defense of the twin villages, the blocking positions at Elsenborn and St Vith etc restricted movement of the entire 6rh army.  The St Vith defense itself is the subject of a US army study on armor in the defense.  Pretty much the entire northern advance got blocked for days.  That Peiper got through at all was just a gap in timing for US troop movements. Nobody was getting through behind him in anything close to the mission timeline.  It really wasn’t a breakthrough in an operational sense. It was a tactically significant force, not an operationally significant one. At the operation level Wacht am Rhein was dead by Dec 18th. 

Edited by sburke
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9 hours ago, Erwin said:

What was your tactics to kill the Priests and ATG's?   It seemed to me that one had to let the KT's sit in view for a bit until the Priests starting firing and then hope they kill the Priests before they seriously damaged the Tigers - which seem needed for moving into the town and killing the US inf.

The ATG's however, are very hard to spot and are deadly.

I pushed my tanks onto the center hill, that blocked Stavelot from LOS. I gave them and the Pumas a nice hull down position, with which they could take out the relatively inaccurate Priests:

v5UWUPd.jpg

I encountered the AT guns, one at a time, and they did little damage to the front end of the Royal Tigers.

x56ZrDo.jpg

The bulk of my cars flanked through the forests on the north and cleaned the artillery batteries up:

Iw2dzSU.jpg

My general plan was to place all the guns on the hills, and watch over my infantry advance along the south road. Stavelot was very well defended, the overlapping fields of fire made my advance slow. Then, I walked into an artillery reference point:

tPSzWFv.png

This ate up valuable time, that I had planned to use clearing out tight Belgian streets. Instead I had to rush in, guns blazing. The deeper I got, the stronger American resistance I faced.

uLeaP7b.png

Result: Tactical Victory. The tanks would have been more useful as a vanguard to my infantry assault, rather than as glorified SPGs on the hills.

I am currently struggling with the next (and final) mission. Going to be posting new screenshots soon -- may do it as a mini AAR.

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That's interesting.  My only concern is that going thru the high route it seemed as if the US ATG's and Priests spotted vehicles and inf surprisingly easily and were shooting em up in the woods trails.  I was now considering sending everything along the lower road route rather than splitting the forces.  But, I like the hulldown in the middle of the map idea with all 3 tanks and Pumas - if they can spot only one or two Priests or ATG's at a time they should be overwhelmed.  The big problem is the reverse - that suddenly several Priests and ATG's start firing at the same time and overwhelm the attacker.  Anyway at this point am hoping just to get thru this mission so I can complete the campaign.  Have loved all the previous missions and done well.  But, this one is a PITA and am fed up replaying it.

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