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Hello Dandelion re Carentan


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Glad to see you back on board...

Some time ago you mentioned on this

forum that you were working on a version

of the Carentan operation for CMAK....

I have just completed a faithful copy of

Los's original CMBO op; a project I inherited

from Bruce ('Pud') who did most of the

work, but had to give it up for university.

I couldn't stop myself from reading a bit

about the battle, and now I have a lot

of questions regarding order of battle and

so forth....perhaps with a view towards

a slightly different H2H version...for

example, some US Paras crossed the Douve

and canals by boat...

If you (or anyone on these forums) can point

me towards further info about this battle,

or want to share any thoughts, please do so...

Meanwhile, I'm just giving 'Carentan Classic'

a final playtest before posting it to

TPG...

Regards,

Matt

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  • 4 weeks later...

Oh Hi Matt, sorry about the late reply there, vacation and the birth of a daughter got in the way smile.gif

As for directions to sources I'm probably the most boring bloke on the forum to ask, as I am using almost exclusively archive data copied from BA/MA rolls, and whatever war diaries I can come across (and by no I've got a hold of quite a few, but they are of infinitely variable quality I fear - the indomitable 12th SS wardiary, now available in English too I believe(?), acully covers Carentan in surprising detail). Not really easily accessible sources unless you happen to be German, living in Germany (or have access to the US archives, which contain copies of a lot of the stuff in the BA-MA, and unlike the BA-MA they'll serve it to you with a smile, and much of it for free!). I also use Tessin a lot, with dr Niehorster errata (published by himself on the internet), but this is largely a compilation of facts available at the BA-MA, relieving you of much of the tedious work finding it all by yourself. Got some other general works here as well, about the German Paras and so forth, that would be useful here.

As for more easily accessible literature I am guessing you've worked your way through them by now. There is the widely read "Band of Brothers" book by this American researcher whose name is ghastly well known and yet keep forgetting it (but most people the Forum know him - who is he guys?). I know Kingfish - another ardent Forum member, designer and student of the Normandy campaign (including the most obscure clashes you can ever imagine, and I mean it) - makes frequent use of this homepage written by... er, what's his name King? I forget, but the page is really extensive (!) and detailed, and unless actually proven wrong I settle for any fact I find there. There are the two prime sites of German Order of Battle, Lexikon der Wehrmacht and die deutsche Wehrmacht - and also Feldgrau actually, but these will not be delivering any battle records, merely tables of organisation and rarely below battallion level. There are I believe a number of published articles, perhaps more extensive works too, on the US military History web (the official, Gvt one).

But you'll be chasing what all designers are chasing. Authentic AARs or battle records of platoon or company sized clashes, complete with detailed maps and OOBs. Unfortunately, it would seem such records are incredibly difficult to come by.

Are you American? King is an American and I get the feeling as I write this that he would be able to help you more with this than I. Am I right King?

As for questions (about German OOB and TOE), just hit me with your best shot. I can take it smile.gif I will at least, amidst these diapers, this barrage of squirting poo and fearsome Stalinorganish yelling, make a tremendous effort at not disappointing anyone.

I never finished my own Carentan operation. Well I haven't yet anyway smile.gif It seems to always turn out the same with my such attempts. I work feverishly for about half a year, or a year even. Map just grows and grows and turns out tremendous in the end, and OOB includes a regiment on both sides, and the whole thing becomes absolutely beautiful and glorious and completely unplayable. I seem to be seriously challenged by the fact that one has to focus on a critical event, at the most battalion sized (but preferrably company), to actually create a scenario that anyone beyond your family will agree to play. I used a lot of aerial photos. Found them extremely helpful in design. For all the heavy and distinguished sources I could list here, you know what source provided the most useful photos? Pics I ripped from the Brothers in Arms PC game. They use gorgeous detailed aerial photos and can be found in the data files. I can only recommend them. The game - unlike my attempts - does manage to focus on some key events in the extended battle.

So how far is it? The Carentan or What-If Carentan op I mean.

Cheers

Dandelion

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Hey Dandelion-

Double congrats!

A vacation is as good as a holiday smile.gif

"There is the widely read "Band of Brothers" book by this American researcher whose name is ghastly well known and yet keep forgetting it (but most people the Forum know him - who is he guys?). "

It's that bloody Stephen Ambrose...

I'm beginning to realize that I'll actually

need to spend some $$$ on books to get any

closer to the facts...the net has it's limitations....just read an account of

Carentan online which has the 501st PIR

supported by Grant tanks...but you get that :(

Like yours, my Carentan project just started to grow and grow...at one point I was considering

including the fight for Carentan itself...

But at the end of the day, it must be do-able

and playable...both of which Los's original

achieved...

The H2H version I'm working on will incorporate

a few minor tweaks based on some of my reading,

and a few random reins to add confusion smile.gif ,

but the 20-battle extravaganza is out smile.gif

Faithful copy of the original being playtested

now...

cheers,

Matt

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Is that the same "los" who built "Decent on Maleme" the crete op, if so ask him whats with the roads man, i went out for milk and came back with butter, up and down and up and down.

By the way Matt, if you go down to "Circular Sqaure" (thats what its called) there`s a F**K off big library, just for you Sydneyites to enjoy

get in ur T26 and go down there

Rat a tat tat!

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Lol, indeed sir... smile.gif

It is the very same Los who built

both classic Ops;

Just as the German paratrooper

and Knight's Cross with Oakleaves

winner Friedrich August Freiherr von

der Heydte fought at both Crete

and at Carentan so Los battled the

Editor's limitations smile.gif

"Circular Square", eh? I know

not of this place...

and I am no longer driving a T-26.

I upgraded to the new Nissan Citrus-it's a lemon.

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Thanks everybody, the little ones name is Sibel but I usually call her Decibel as she's quite a loud little demon I must say smile.gif She's quieting down tho, get's better every week. She's just 7 weeks so far.

The original Carentan CMBO operation had many virtues as playable (not all would agree) but made quite extensive compromises with historical accuracy.

I found that every step back in that compromise led to a corresponding degree of lack of playability. This not just referring to correct sizes of formations, armament, terrain and distances - even the landscape as such in a topographical sense (as far as you can come using the CM terrain of course - you can never actually recreate the claustrophobic nature of the terrain in question, nor is it in any ay possible to recreate Norman villages or towns). The Elephantiasis is quite inherent, if starting with the same ambition as the original Operation it will rapidly grow quite beyond control in all asepcts. You know Carentan herself, as I found out, looks humble enough in life, as it does on a postcard or a wartime map, but projected unto a CM map it turns out to be quite a large town. Of course, there was very little fighting to speak of within the urban area itself IRL, but what is a Carentan Operation without a visible Carentan...

The workable alternatives would be to either choose hotspots for scenarios, or narrow down the Operation idea. Perhaps focus the Operation on following the progress of a particular participating battallion or company.

It gets easier with time. At first your scenario situation is a handful of Paras of both nationalities acting rather confused and having a number of small clashes, many of which revolve around a German machinegun blocking a road. This makes for challening designs as you'll only have a bunch of lightly armed infantry on both sides, in a sluggish and difficult terrain (and machineguns are not quite as deadly and dominant as they were IRL, are they now). Given the normal absence of support and the mutually high quality infantry, I found it extremely challenging to create anything that would not wind up in a rather boring static shootout, all ending a few minĂștes into battle when all infantry have emptied their magazines - or be equally boring onesided affairs. You can of course introduce tanks in their actual order of appearance in the battle but as the German paras had scarcely any antitank weaponry at all this hardly makes the design situaton any easier.

As the relatively heavily armed SS arrive, and the fight moves to the semi-open landscape of Hill 30 with surroundings, your odds creating a fluent interesting Operation improve. But the battle for Hill 30 is of course merely the final chapter of this interesting operation. It is normally the fate of v.d. Heydte and his illoustrous crew rather than the somewhat anonymous 17th that catches peoples attention, and all of that'd be lost.

Were I to have another go at it, I would have probably narrowed it down to an operation following the (mis)fortunes of one of the German para battallions. That'd take the battle about the same stretch as the original Operation, but using a much narrower corridor of actual terrain and, unfortunately perhaps, a much thinner list of participating units and weapon systems.

And this time I'd draw the bloody map by hand first...

Operation Crusader, right. I'll have a dig.

Cheers

D

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"The original Carentan CMBO operation had many virtues as playable (not all would agree) but made quite extensive compromises with historical accuracy.

I found that every step back in that compromise led to a corresponding degree of lack of playability. This not just referring to correct sizes of formations, armament, terrain and distances - even the landscape as such in a topographical sense (as far as you can come using the CM terrain of course - you can never actually recreate the claustrophobic nature of the terrain in question, nor is it in any ay possible to recreate Norman villages or towns). The Elephantiasis is quite inherent, if starting with the same ambition as the original Operation it will rapidly grow quite beyond control in all asepcts. You know Carentan herself, as I found out, looks humble enough in life, as it does on a postcard or a wartime map, but projected unto a CM map it turns out to be quite a large town. Of course, there was very little fighting to speak of within the urban area itself IRL, but what is a Carentan Operation without a visible Carentan...

The workable alternatives would be to either choose hotspots for scenarios, or narrow down the Operation idea. Perhaps focus the Operation on following the progress of a particular participating battallion or company"

Beautifully put, Dandelion...

Cole's battalion attack down the causeway

to Ingouf Farm might make such an Op...

As far as the original goes, it was designed

for best play as German vs AI (and the order

of battle derived from Martin Poppel)....

Some interesting tweaks arise from converting

it to a more human vs human stoush...

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