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"Hofen" at Der Kessel

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Here's a tough one for the Germans -- get it from Der Kessel ( http://www.derkessel.de/ ) -- have fun with it!

Title: Hofen

Date: 5:50am, December 16th, 1944

Location: Hofen, Germany

Weather: Cold

The German plan to capture Antwerp and pry the Allies apart was codenamed Wacht am Rhein. The 6th Panzer Army formed the northern half of the mobile forces assigned to the counteroffensive. The northern divisions of the 6th Panzer Army were two volksgrenadier divisions making up LXVII Corps assigned to take Hofen and Monschau. That would allow the 1st SS Panzer Corp to break through to the south with fewer worries about a counterattack coming from those towns. The 326th Volksgrenadier Division, commanded by Oberst Kaschner, was a green division with some veteran commanders. The whole division could not be committed to the counteroffensive because of the U.S. attack on Wahlerscheid and VII Corp's attack to the Roer River from 7-15 December. Nevertheless, the U.S. troops were spread out in the Hofen and Monschau sectors, and the Heer had plenty of artillery.

Allied Military Intelligence was aware that Germany was massing a reserve of panzer and volksgrenadier divisions, but the various G-2's disagreed about what Hitler was going to do with them. In the meantime, the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division was attacking towards Wahlersheid as part of a larger effort to capture the dams holding back the Roer River in the Hurtgen Forest. The U.S. 99th Infantry Division, commanded by Brooklyn-born Maj. Gen. Lauer, was a new division committed to the Ardennes in November. The 99th's role was to defend a section of the line, and hold the 2nd Division's supply lines open. The 99th was a draftee division which performed very well in maneuvers, and spent its time in the Ardennes patrolling and digging in along a wide frontage.

The early morning of December 16th started off with a 250 - 300 shell artillery barrage on the U.S. positions in Hofen. The men of the 99th Division got ready for their first battle as the men of the 326th VG Division started forward on their first battle under the murky cast of spotlights providing artificial moonlight.


Best played as German vs US AI -- PBEM or TCIP give the Germans +1 experience bonus.

Sources for this scenario were "A Time For Trumpets" by McDonald, "Hitler's Last Gamble" by DuPuy, "Butler's Battlin' Blue Bastards" by Ronningen, U.S. Army 1:100,000 map found off http://homepage.mac.com/edk/, and a 1:25,000 map and overlay in "Butler's". To avoid spoilers, there are more designer's notes in each's side's briefing.


The U.S. defenders held their fire until the Germans were too close too miss - in three cases dead volksgrenadiers fell into U.S. foxholes. The attackers held a building in Hofen for about an hour, until G.I.'s were pulled out of their foxholes to retake the building. When it was over at about 0830, American soldiers counted 204 dead Germans, and captured 17. U.S. losses were 4 dead, 12 wounded, and 4 missing. The disparity is due to poor German

tactics and cool U.S. performance under fire. Another attack on the 18th was broken up with similar results. As a result of this defensive stand, the stand at Monschau, and the stand at Krinkelt-Rocherath, the 6th Panzer Army never developed any momentum and could not properly support Peiper's kampfgruppe far out in front.

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