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Nasty little battle. I don't know who the German Officer who is calling in the artillery fire but he sure does have an uncanny ability to rain down effective fire on my infantrymen even while they are hiding in the forest and unseen? I don't know if I should give him a medal or shoot him on sight....I should be able to take the place but most of my platoons will be depleted and I lost the flame tanks.

Playing on ver 4.0

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I managed a total victory but my engineers and 2 squads were very shot up. I also lost both of the Sherman flame tanks and a couple of half tracks.

I stood at the edge of the forrest with the Shermans and did recon by fire on the buildings and places where I thought he German might be. 

I then put a section in a half track and moved it fast on the road to a building and had them run into a building. They got shot to pieces but they did their job-get the Germans to expose their positions so I could pour fire on them.

Slowly moved Sherman forward where it was hit many times to no effect by the Inf guns. Be careful as any other vehicle including TDs are vulnerable to it and infantry will be slaughtered by them. Used direct and mortar fire called by Company commander to silence the inf guns.

i used 1mortar section in direct fire mode. MG section also provided long range fire support. Once I got a foothold it was a slow grind to clear the place out. The flame tanks are great for cooking out defenders but you have to be careful of the AT weapons the German inf have. I ended up using half tracks as panzershreik and panzerfaust sponges.

Be wary of the other stuff the Germans have as it can ruin your day...

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I played this battle H2H with a friend as the US and had a tough, though not impossible time with it. My biggest problem was how short the battle is (1hr) and the terrain you have to advance out of, thick forest. 

Because of this I found that I had very little time to adequately recon the town. My Infantry was very slow to get in position due to the forest terrain, and my vehicles were very restricted to where they could move, which made it al the easier for my opponent to position his AT assets against me. 

I ended up probing and trading blow for blow with the enemy before I had finally opened a blind spot large enough to pour Infantry, then tanks into a section of the town. From there it was mutual cat and mouse fighting with our vehicles and AT assets. Once I had knocked out the enemy tanks and AT guns (and had inflicted a lot of casualties and morale issues) my enemy capitulated and the battle ended in cease fire. 

For me, there wasn't any kind of tactical trick or anything to exploit. It's essentially a brick wall that must be smashed through, with all the consequences that brings. The US reinforcements that show up do help at undoing the enemy's defense, but even with their added support it's far from a sure thing. 

Last note I'll make: my armored cars were unsung heroes of this battle. I thought they would be useless given how vulnerable they are and the very limited maneuvering space, but they ended up causing a lot of casualties and being instrumental in providing suppressive fires for my Infantry. Don't underestimate them like I did. They can certainly pull their weight and then some. 

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Smoke was my friend but also have to be aware it can work both ways and can also screen the German AT assets which may not be a good thing.

My flame Sherman got lucky and knocked out one of the Stugs.

Definately use the armored car assets the canister rounds are lethal and if you can get them in a position to safely unbutton the 50 cals are effective against infantry. 

Using 2 man scouts in half tracks that lacked a gunner and keeping them back and spraying buildings and other positions also helped. Even the XO got into the act and was used to man the 50.

Most of the half tracks and jeeps had bazookas. Make sure you grab them as well as extra ammo.

You need the extra ammo if you're going to be doing a lot of recon by fire.

Edited by db_zero
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Utter brick wall. Not criticizing the realism of the forces and such, but rather the realism of anyone actually expecting the local commander (that we're playing as) to keep on pushing after realizing what he was facing instead of just pulling back and erasing the village with heavy artillery.

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On 2017-03-30 at 9:47 PM, Anthony P. said:

Utter brick wall. Not criticizing the realism of the forces and such, but rather the realism of anyone actually expecting the local commander (that we're playing as) to keep on pushing after realizing what he was facing instead of just pulling back and erasing the village with heavy artillery.

Unfortunately that was all too much the reality in the Hurtgen. Local commanders being pressured to advance, limited artillery available or allocated to other units. The blunders from the Hurtgen are well documented but seldom discussed. Not sure if that is the intent or anything to do with this battle, but i beat it. Although I didn't think I would. I am still amazed how the Germans hung on and surrendered with only 18 men left.

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On 3/30/2017 at 8:47 PM, Anthony P. said:

Utter brick wall. Not criticizing the realism of the forces and such, but rather the realism of anyone actually expecting the local commander (that we're playing as) to keep on pushing after realizing what he was facing instead of just pulling back and erasing the village with heavy artillery.

As @gundorf notes, read up on the fighting there.  Particularly this one - it is a tough read, but a good honest appraisal  

https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Bloody-Ground-Hurtgen-1944-1945/dp/1585442585

the US willful ignorance gutted many fighting units and was the very reason the 28th ID was in position in the Ardennes recovering on Dec 16th. 

In CM it can be frustrating if you are expecting the scenario is gonna allow you to show off your tactical flair ? But is is definitely far from unrealistic. Artillery was not particularly effective in the Huertgen. First you had to be able to spot anything to use it, then you had to take into account the Germans heavily dug into some of these towns which CM is not particularly good at replicating. 

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I know that artillery wasn't all that effective in large areas of the forest, but this isn't some trench network in a forest, it's a village out in the open. Taking it at the expense of 7/10 or so of the available forces isn't really my idea of fun to be honest. Even rushing a Red Army platoon through a mined wire obstacle to assault an entrenched German squad in RT costs less than just approaching the treeline in this mission.

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Rather than get frustrated based on your perceptions it really does make more sense to do a bit of research and try to understand what it is the designer was facing and maybe why they chose that battle. Not saying that they did have anything specific in mind but it is certainly feasible  For me that is a very important part of playing  I try and get everything out of what time I have to play and getting fully into the atmosphere and not just opening a battle and treating it like a random fictional game is important.  This is especially true if I think the designer has spent time and effort to research details.  I think this is more and more the case these days  unlike my paltry efforts which have usually been entirely fictional  ☺️

 

For two hours the platoon tried to advance and succeeded only in crawling up 5-6 yards closer. Lt. Murray was still in the lead, but fortunate enough to have refuge of a large shell crater. The rest of the platoon behind him was annihilated; all 17 were either killed or wounded.

http://1-22infantry.org/history/hurtgen.htm

 

Edited by sburke
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At this point in the war supplies (artillery shells, gasoline) were in short supply. A short time before this battle the allies overran their supply lines and Patton and Montgomery the 2 biggest egos in the theater had a pissing match to see who would get the lions share of the goods needed to conduct major offensive operations.

Montgomery won and launched Operation Market Garden.

By this time the allied were still recovering from the Market Garden debacle and trying to get the logistical nightmare solved.

Not only was gas and ammo in short supply but trucks too. The Hurtgen doesn't have a vast road network. Getting artillery positioned and well stocked must have been challenging.

You didn't want to wait for the supply situation to be 100% sorted out (unless you were Montgomery) as that would give the Germans more time to regroup. After chasing them out of France you had to keep the pressure up.

So here you are being asked to do a crappy task. Welcome to the army ?

Im sure there were countless times when a commander in this position wanted to just level a town with artillery or air support instead of assaulting it but was turned down and told to get moving and do as told or be relieved of command. 

So you had to just make do with what you had at hand. 

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Well, I had a LOT more than just one or two German shots hit their mark. I walked into a kill-zone. No, this is not my first rodeo. ;) If it were obvious, it wouldn't have happened. "Sorry, men."

And, I entered this battle with the foreknowledge that there was something tactically difficult and it was going to be hard. Knowledge didn't help. (What DOES help? Savegames. Save early and save often. My tactical genius is directly correlated with the number of restarts I use.)

Edited by c3k
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The M101 105mm How had a max range 11,000 metres, and a max effective range of 10,000m. The guns must therefore be positioned no further 9-10km west of the eastern edge of Grosshau in order to support operations in that village.

At most this puts the gun batteries *just* on the western edge of the forest between Grosshau and Schlangenberg. That entire area is steep and broken, and with an underdeveloped road net. Land routes forward from Schlangenberg to Grosshau are worse. Radio reception over the mountains and through the trees would be very unreliable, while long landline links would be prone to breakage (by either enemy action or friendly forces). The effect of this is that the positions available for artillery batteries and battalions to deploy are few and poor, and the comms links between the batteries and the fighting troops are terrible.

Moving the guns forward to improve communications would also reduce the places available to deploy them and further hamper ammunition resupply. Moving the guns back to improve positions and resupply would worsen already bad communications with the frontline.

The 155mm M1 How - the other piece in the divisional artillery park - had a max range just 3.5km longer, no where near far enough to overcome the restrictions imposed by terrain.

The Huertegen was a terrible place to make a war for an army dependent on firepower.

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On 4/2/2017 at 10:18 AM, db_zero said:

I tried another try at this one to see if some different tactics would yield different results. Looks like there is an Easter Egg planted. Under the right circumstances Hansel and Grettle will appear.

Mild Spoiler:

 

Being aggressive from the start and picking the right spot make this winnable. If you plod, the artillery will pound you and the Stugs will be a factor.

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