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Bois de Baugin an AAR

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This is an AAR for a PBEM between Broadsword56 and myself in the Bois de Baugin scenario. This is both my first pbem as well as my first attempt at an AAR. This has been probably the best fun I have had ever with a wargame so for those of you on the fence about trying it I strongly recommend just diving in. As to the AAR, I decided to try my hand simply because since the game has been released we haven’t had a hth game presented and this game seemed to show off a lot of both the complexity of the game and the sheer fun of it.

I started this as simply a turn by turn review to track the development of the game and to see what worked in my plans and what didn’t. As the game progressed however I started seeing the potential in sharing it as both entertainment and a demonstration of how much can go on in a single 70 minute battle. Trying to disguise to your opponent how weak you are in some areas and get them to attack you where you are strong. Reinforcing a flank that you feel is on the verge of collapse then watching as the forces attacking that flank have been redirected to where your support troops just came from. Cursing your artillery for sitting in a preparing state to the point that it is no longer useful and you have to cancel the request, then having it save your bacon at a critical moment of the battle. Well you’ll see what I mean.

Before I start I’d like to thank Broadsword for introducing me to this aspect of the game and to the designer of this battle Jon Sowden for putting together something so well. This map was a blast to play on and the scenario itself very interesting. This was a hard fought at times brutal fight that left us both wondering if our troops would have any capability by the end. Most folks have seen the beta testers AAR. Well neither of us can claim to have as much time in on CM2 or CMBN, but I think we both performed competently and at times even pretty darn good. Hope you enjoy it.

Attached is a CSV file of the German OoB, leadership and experience ratings to follow the AAR.

Bois de Baugin.zip

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July 20th 1944

352nd Infantry Division

914th Grenadier Regiment

6th Kp and attached units Hpt Kaumeier commanding.

From Commander 914th Grenadier regiment to Hpt Kaumieier commanding officer 6th Kp. The Americans are

reportedly advancing towards La Compagne. Your orders are to block the roads and prevent an American advance

allowing our units around St Lo time to withdraw to a new defensive line. Reports indicate the Americans advancing

in approximately a Battalion size task force. We are attempting to provide some additional resources from 2nd Pz as

well as some assistance from the regimental pioneers as well as battalion AT and artillery support.

From Hpt Kaumeier’s briefing with his platoon commanders.

The Company’s orders are to hold this position and prevent the Americans from pushing through the crossroads

until our units have had a chance to withdrawal from St Lo. While the Villa will help our defenses, holding the adjacent

hills is the key to holding up the American advance.

In the expectation American artillery will pound the hell out of suspected defensive positions, only a small

screening force is left forward. A couple squads, some MG units and the sniper teams are all that will be in forward

positions on the hills and certain positions between. Their job is simply to identify the main thrusts of the enemy in

order to allow us to shift the reserves. The 50mm ATG is to the right of the villa on a hedge line with flanking fire

capability onto our left. A little more exposed than I’d like, but as our weakest AT unit I wanted to give Uoffz Sheer

an early chance to hopefully disable a Sherman at least. The Jpz units and 75mm gun are in observation positions well

back. The scout teams with the PzJg team along with 3rd Pltn are held to the rear of the Villa in reserve. 2nd Pltn 6th Kp

is in reserve on hill 144, 2nd Pltn 7th Kp on hill 154. Both will move forward once it is clear if there is no initial barrage on

the hills. They will stay within the woods line to ambush Ami troops that attempt to move onto the hills. 1st Pltn and the

MG pltn from 8th Kp will hold the Villa. Hofbauer the Mtr pltn HQ and Hartenstein’s HMG are back on hill 148 to watch over

the open ground to the left of the Villa.

Overview of 6th Kp defensive positions


Villa defenses and central reserve


Hill 144 6th Kp 2nd Pltn


Hill 154 7th Kp 2nd Pltn


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Our JPz are placed one on each hill to cover the opposite hill at an oblique angle. Their intent is to shoot and scoot if possible to only do so when the number of Shermans

with LOF is limited. We have to be very conscious that a mobility hit is as bad as a kill and be very careful with these. Their threat value is important enough in itself, they

don’t necessarily have to risk themselves to influence the battle.

German's JPz initial and alternate positions


Uldall's JPz initial and alternate positions


My only frustration is not knowing when Battalion will supply us with Artillery. We have several TRPs all located at locations where I think the Amis will move to for assault

positions. On our right flank (Hill 154) we have placed several minefields and a trp to disrupt any push on that side. Our objective is to punish the Amis as they reach their

assault positions so that when they do hit the MLR our teams can take advantage of that and repel the infantry. Without them the tanks are very vulnerable to our close

combat AT weapons. Our main AT assets will hopefully allow us to break up the infantry/armor coordination of the enemy.

Our worrisome points are directly in front of both hills as they have excellent blind spots if we are forced away from the woods line. If our artillery comes too late the Amis

will be into our positions in strength.

As the men dispersed Kaumieier reflected on the subjects he had not discussed with his men that would also impact how this battle was fought. The German leadership situation

was not great. Over 40% of the officers and team leaders have negative leadership modifiers. Fortunately only about 10% are green while almost 20% are veterans. I have to keep in

mind my primary goal is simply to maintain control of the hills. If I can keep control, I can influence the battle for the villa and hopefully prevent an American advance. If I lose one

or both the hills my position will quickly become untenable.

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Turn 1 All units observe as American attack kicks off – lots of smoke rounds. Suddenly two American jeeps loaded with MG teams are headed for the edge of the tree line of the right flank. Too close to the villa for fire and observation! Sniper Meister and Enders HMG team on the hill 154 decide to break cover to pin this group.

Turn 2 Both Jeeps shot up and teams bail. Enders appears to get a hit on a GI. Hoffman’s team on my left opens up on Ami troops moving up center, but when they go to ground he starts aiming for tank Cmdrs….not a smart move.

Turn 3 Meister’s team wiped out, Enders team loses a man as the Ami’s open up with a hail of small arms fire on the hill.

Turn 4 Hoffman’s Sniper team on the left is wiped out. Ender’s team displaces under heavy fire. Otto’s team lies in ambush as Ami troops inch closer on the central road. Scheer decides to open up with the 50mm ATG with a flank shot at a Sherman. Beautiful sequence. The first rd goes high unnoticed. The second round ricochets and causes the Cmdr. to sit up and man the .50 Cal looking for the source. Third round causes a casualty (Cmdr.?) and forces the tank to button up. The gun is spotted by Ami MG team that had come up on the jeep (justifying my decision I think to open up early rather than wait to get spotted and pounded). Round ends with Sherman buttoned up, ATG aiming for another shot and German’s PJg IV drawing a bead from the hill 154 likely unobserved. Will Scheer get another shot in? Will the MG team take him out? Can Wolff’s LMG team on the right flank hill suppress the Ami MG team? Will German get the 1st Sherman kill (his orders are to reverse in 20 seconds, maybe if I am lucky he will get a kill and the Ami’s won’t even know where it came from. Perhaps they will blame the 50mm ATG).

Turn 5 Well some turns nothing goes as planned. Otto’s asst gets hit and Otto is pinned down. A little too short on his covered arc there. Meanwhile Wolff’s LMG team moves deeper into the woods to escape the hail of bullets hitting the forest. Sheer bounces another shot of the Sherman as German bounces two more off it’s turret. Unfortunately the Sherman backs out of sight and Sheer’s team turns the ATG towards the MG team finally getting some protection from the mantlet, but not before losing a man.

Turn 6 The ATG gun survives, but Otto does not. The Ami tank frags the guys pinning him down, but then the fool sits up and gets himself killed. Ami troops approaching hill 154 through a smoke screen are passing through my minefield. Not sure how effective it is at slowing them down. 81mm called in should be arriving in one minute. 75mm harassment fire called in on MG position in center.

Turn 7 Wurdig’s team throws down some fire to suppress advancing enemy troops on hill 154. Some are driven off but return fire downs one of his men and the team bails from the position. While in flight they encounter an American in the woods. Wurdig kills him with a burst from his smg. Meanwhile Scheer’s ATG continues to survive bouncing several rounds off a Sherman and then nailing the MG gun crew that has been harassing them which is additionally hit with 75mm Artillery fire.

Sheer furiously engaging an advancing Sherman


Despite the odds the Sherman is forced to retreat


Sheer turns his attention finally to the American Infantry


Sheer gains a respite


The last known moments of Uoffz Wurdig


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Turn 8 Wurdig is in turn gunned down along with another member of the team. While the Americans may have been surprised they

seem to have gotten the better of this exchange. Bott’s LMG team on hill 144 forces another Sherman to button up. Not sure if they have

been spotted. Shortened target arc and told to hide. FW Hirsch is hit, Froschauer is all that is left of MG sect HQ.

Turn 9 Bachmaier’s 3rd platoon gets caught in artillery barrage while trying to move into Bois de Baugin to support Kirchners 2nd platoon

which is facing pressure. 2nd Squad loses 2 men. On hill 144 Herdel is hit as is a member of Reinhardt’s MG team .

Turn 10 Herdel’s spotter (Gres) administers first aid and hopefully grabs the PzShk. American infantry spotted forming up to assault hill 144.

Spotter calls for artillery to disrupt the attack on hill 144. Bott’s Lmg team to open up hopefully ambushing enemy as Shupe moves

2nd Pltn HQ and Kardoch’s second squad to assist.

Turn 11 US troops reach hill 144. Bott’s Lmg downs one GI and is still apparently not spotted. Shupe reaches crest of hill as Ami’s begin to

ascend prompting close quarter grenade fight. Shupe goes down and is replaced by Friberg. Kardoch’s squad also loses a man as they side

step to the left to try and flank Ami’s on slope. A Sherman has tried to move into the woods but has backed off. Keilhauer decides to pull

back and try to move to right to get a shot at the tank with PzShk. Sheer loses his last man as he continues his uneven battle to hold the

center. He literally runs out of ammo on the gun. While he holds the attention of the Sherman crew, Uldall and German both move into position

hitting the tank causing the crew to bail. Meanwhile on the Bois be Baugin the Ami’s continue to pour fire into empty foxholes. One can only

assume they are prep firing to prepare an assault. Hopefully our artillery will strike soon. Sheer abandons the now useless gun and hopes to

take the ammo team to form an assault force. Detmer’s HMG team loses a man to an errant tree burst from the Sherman on hill 144

firing at the FO from the Reg IG Kp. Overall that minute went fairly well. We lost 4 casualties but hurt the American assault on hill 144 and

took out one of the Sherman’s.

Turn 12 JPz make another attempt at scoot and shoot. Still hoping for arty strikes. Shupe’s platoon prepares for a bitter fight for the hill.

Bachmaier’s platoon going to Kirchner’s aid. MG team in first house displacing to orchard. Keilhauer moves out to try to flank an advancing

Sherman. Bott and asst hit but Shupe’s platoon (now led by Friberg) causes numerous casualties to Americans. German pulls to crest and

hits another Sherman. Affect indeterminate, but receives a round in return Tracks, optics and radio damaged but still functional.

Jork has taken command of the remains of Wurdig’s squad and is slowly making his way back to platoon HQ. Pzshk team leader Shupe of

Kaumeier’s 1st platoon loses asst, but is still in place.

Sheer’s ammo team makes it to the rear, but Sheer is still pinned down. Gres has acquired the PzShk and is moving forward to help

hunt the Sherman on hill 144.

Close quarter fighting on hill 144


PzShk team displaces


Bott's last moments


Shupe reinforces the defense line


The hunter strikes, in the foreground are casualties from 3rd platoon


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Turn 13 German sees a position possibly allowing him to get a round into the track position, starts maneuvering to an ambush position.

2nd Platoon 6th Kp continues to trade fire with Americans on hill 144. My defensive position appears to have been well placed.

Americans are pinned at the base of the slope.

Turn 14 Wolff’s LMG team on hill 154 takes down a GI, but his asst is lost. Kraft’s team loses a man as GIs move into woods.

On hill 144 another squad is driven off at no loss. Sherman attempting to flank position but will possibly be exposed to AT fire.

Halftrack moves up to track next to hill. German and Uldall maneuvering. Labsch and another member of his team are hit. Kraft takes over squad.

Turn 15 Reinhardt hit by Arty shrapnel, Wolff shot by GIs, Thylin takes over Reinhardt’s MG. Germans JPz nails Ami Halftrack causing multiple

casualties. Takes a round with no damage from Sherman and exchanges misses with another Sherman. Have demonstrated to Americans how

exposed they are now on that hill and it looks like artillery strike is about to hit in 2 minutes. Timing could be good as reinforcements are on the

move. Good view to US follow on forces as well and should have 81mm arty available soon. Hill 154 position is not molested. I suspect US

committed few forces to that wing now. Tanks and support elements seem to be moving to hill 144. I have less infantry, but an excellent fighting position.

Turn 16 1st squad 2nd platoon 7th Kp now led by Kraft attempting to retreat further into the woods. While assisting the wounded Labsch

another soldier is hit. Artillery from 75mm battery finally hits danger close in front of 2nd Pltn 6th Kp. This has to stop the current assault, but Ami

reinforcements are coming. 120 mm battery should fire in the next few minutes. Jpz exchanges another round with the Sherman. Pz Shk team

attempting to move in on Sherman’s flank. Additional Shermans pouring in, looks like this is clearly the main thrust. Apparently there are at least

11-12 Sherman tanks with one knocked out already. Fell’s MG team hit by mortar attack, loses 3 men. I have no way to reinforce hill 144, but

I have a few units on the hill still to throw into the fight and the American infantry is about to get seriously hit by artillery. Not sure what I

face on hill 154, but I have most of 2 platoons still available. The next few minutes are likely to be critical. I need to hit some of those tanks.

Uldall is moving forward, but just a bit.

Turn 17 Sherman and JPz trade rounds again. This isn’t working for me, at this rate the JPz will get so damaged as to be useless. German pulls

back and moves to a position further to the rear, but with good visibility on hill 144. Gres gets a hit in on a Sherman with PzShk, but I can’t tell how

badly it is hurt. It does flee the scene. Gres then takes off back into the woods surviving the encounter (he has 4 rounds remaining). Hill 144

still held and US troops continue to suffer in the attack. Artillery strike is right on target and hitting them hard. 1st Sqd 2nd platoon 7th Kp now just

Chronister and one other soldier. 2nd platoon 14 PzJg Kp going to make a run for it. 120 mm bty due in 2 minutes. US tanks and trucks seem

tangled at lateral road, could be they will still jammed up when strike hits. Uldall brews up abandoned Sherman in field.

Turn 18 Uldall catches a Sherman advancing deep in the field. After two rounds penetrating the turret, Uldall finally hits one into the hull and brews up the tank.

Uldall strikes back






Damn it, reload!!


Finally, no time for cheering though, reload and reverse!!


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Turn 18 Artillery strike in front of hill 144 seems to have broken the Ami assault. Units seen fleeing into the barrage.

Shupe's men bury their heads in their foxholes glad it is the Amis below and not them.


Detmer’s mg team takes a casualty to area fire by advancing Shermans.

Turn 19 Sherman hit last round by Uldall brews up, some crew escape, but it doesn’t look like much. Sherman on hill 144

moves forward driving Cranen’s MG out of position, but causing no casualties. German then gets him in his sights and

starts hammering the Sherman, finally getting a penetration hit on the turret. Sherman likely to die or bail soon

as it is having difficulty maneuvering in the trees. German’s move to the rear appears to have paid off. This will be

3 Shermans down. Weisenhofer’s 2nd Sq, 2nd Platoon 7th Kp suffers another loss but Platoon leader Kirchner’s team

causes casualties driving off one US squad, then turns and drives off the one assaulting Weisenhofer. Need to move

some units up to support the pltn HQ now. 1st pltn HQ of 6th Kp loses a man as does Detmers MG team to enemy

tank platoon area fire on the villa. AT assets still holding off as to fire now would mean certain death. Shermans are

definitely close enough now though. Artillery fire appears to have driven the infantry to ground. Positions on hill 144

are unmolested this turn and tanks are advancing unsupported.

There was a short hiatus in the game here for RL stuff so I took stock of my overall position to date and prospects

We appear to be approaching a critical moment in the battle and despite errors in calling in artillery and difficulty finding

good overwatch positions I think I still hold a pretty good hand. I continue to hold the Bois de Baugin and I suspect the

Americans did not commit enough force to accomplish driving me off this hill. Hill 144 has proven to be a difficult position to

assault for the Amis. American casualties have been high, the position is still strong and artillery is now thrashing any units

attempting to reinforce the assault. My AT assets are with the exception of the 50mm ATG, still capable. German’s JPz IV

has taken some damage but at the moment looks to be ready to put the finishing touches on another Sherman. Uldall has

just killed another and the 75mm ATG is still in overwatch of the Villa with an excellent view of the rear. If

Shermans advance past the villa it will be able to hit their flank. There are multiple AT assets around the villa as well.

Those in conjunction with my JPz present a formidable obstacle especially with the Shermans advancing unsupported.

I still have significant infantry assets in the villa as well so they will have to dig me out. The Americans need to hit

my AT assets to allow their Shermans to support an infantry advance, but that may prove difficult. Right now the Shermans

may become vulnerable to a PzShk crossfire. If that happens, odds are the Amis will be forced to withdrawal. If I can kill

just a few more Shermans they will become increasingly isolated and vulnerable.

Turn 20 The Sherman on hill 144 gets off 1 round at German that glances off the frontal armor before German puts a round

through the turret brewing the tank up. Crew bails and mostly heads back to the track. Heuwerth’s radioman goes to the aid

of the injured member of their team despite enemy fire. Shupe takes his PzShk around behind the villa and losses a round off

at the Shermans which misses. Damn why didn’t he use a shortend covered arc! Doh! He and the recon team need to hightail

it around the corner. Both PzShk teams on hill 144 move forward to see if they can put rounds into the rear of the Sherman

platoon. My 120 mm Arty barrage is trailing off and am now waiting for the 81 mm rounds to start falling. Ami infantry is

starting to filter through but is so battered it is likely to be ineffective. I need to hit those Shermans now. No activity on

Hill 154 this turn. Bogenshutz 2nd sqd 1st pltn bails out of building under fire from Shermans.

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Turn 21 Shermans continue to pound the orchard. Spindler is hit, Gelband takes over the recon team. Bogenschutz loses a man outside the house in the villa.

Scout team Stephan wiped out thanks to that idiot Shupe with the PzShk. The only justice is Shupe goes down too. Another GI platoon spotted coming

down the track. Am hoping the AT teams on hill 144 will get a shot in first with all those Shermans hanging their asses out so brazenly. If I could nail two

that would really turn the tide. I’d likely order the team in the villa to open up as well as pulling forward both JPz IV. Ride of the Valkyrie!

Shermans dominating position


Battle erupts on Bois de Baugin as at least 2 Ami squads and likely a whole platoon stumble into 3rd platoon 6th Kp’s positions. Fell’s squad accounts for first GI.

While 1st sqd 2nd platn 7th Kp is finally wiped out as Chronister and his squad mate are hit.




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Turn 21 Fell’s squad is then hit with a grenade barrage almost wiping out the squad and leaving Posener then Larmann

in charge in quick succession. Gloser’s squad meanwhile accounts for at least 3 GIs before being overrun leaving Altman

in charge. 3rd Platoon has been very hard hit and may not be able to hold this position.




Turn 22 Dietzel’s recon team loses a man. Gres gets a round into A Company Cmndr’s tank. The damage level is not clear.

Keilhauer’s team is moving into position to hopefully contribute to the ambush of American armor. If I can get enough damage

or at least disruption, Uldall may be able to sneak into position to also contribute. Uldall maneuvering now higher up the slope

of hill 144. Meanwhile German is moving into position to try and pick off the leading Sherman. Hill 154 is quiet as all units pull

back to regroup. The Ami’s unleash a hail of fire on our old positions, but they are all empty now. 3 Spotters calling in artillery

near hill 144 so hopefully the isolation of Ami armor will last long enough for me to damage it so severely the infantry will then be

advancing unsupported. That is assuming it is still functional after getting hammered.

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Turn 23

Tactical overview


Dietzel loses another man. GIs are flooding down the track. Seems like even the cooks are being thrown into the assault!

I could really use an arty strike right about now. The Ami Tk Coy commander bailed. Keilhauer causes another tank to

panic while Gres looks to have gotten a mobility hit on a third. Between the two AT teams

they seem to have knocked out 1 tank, scored a mobility hit on another and panicked a third. That plan seems to

have actually worked. The armor assault has suffered quite a bit of disruption and none of my AT teams suffered casualties.





Meanwhile Thylin’s MG team has taken a US squad under fire and I am hoping they draw the Ami’s attention enough for

Imhof’s AT team to get a hit on the far right Ami tank. With the Ami tanks firing off so much smoke they have

blinded themselves and left me a good rear shot on a solo tank. If that succeeds I may be able to be a bit more

aggressive on the remaining units. An Ami recon guy has reached the first house but I am hoping to have Rohrbach’s

Pltn HQ gun him down and then retreat into the villa. Heuwerth’s team has been told to bail and retreat into the villa

as well. If I have enough infantry in there it may force the tanks to pull forward giving me some more opportunity for

the JPz units. German is trying to find a good hull down position to ambush from while Uldall is waiting for a clean

opportunity to pull to the hill crest.

Turn 24 Imhof fires high and allied tanks are scrambling out of the trap. German unable to get into a position

yet for a kill but as the smoke clears we will see. Stackers 75 ATG finally gets a target when an entire Ami platoon

comes charging out into the open. I count at least 14 casualties as the platoon is shredded. Heuwerth makes it into

the villa but Rorhbach is hit by a Sherman just at the entrance, the entire team being wiped out. His team does manage

to nail one of the Ami pioneers running in the open. Thylin’s MG team bails w/o casualty after being taken under fire, but

his goal was accomplished. Detmers finally hit after being subjected to an enormous amount of firepower. Arty strike is

hitting, I believe this was the last of the 120 mm but more is on the way. The couple shells that did hit should at least

have caused that wave of infantry to go to ground. That should leave the infantry already out there in bad shape especially

with the armor running scared. I hold the villa in strength in a position I think the armor may find it difficult to contribute any support.

Turn 25 Noisy but quiet turn. There is so much smoke the enemy is mostly obscured. German is moving his JPz again trying to

get a clean position to engage enemy armor in front of the villa. It appears units from hill 154 are making their way towards the

villa. Could read a lot into this, lack of Infantry at the Villa, giving up on hill 154, but I don’t have enough hard intelligence.

I still have a sizable amount of 81mm Mtr rounds. If the GIs think getting to the Villa is the hard part, they are in for a rude awakening.

Turn 26 Smoke again obscures almost all visibility of the enemy. I am taking this opportunity to shift my units. If the enemy is

going to spend the Artillery capability for smoke, I might as well save my own for HE. Ulrichs’ squad pulls back to the rear of the

villa just in time to avoid being trapped by 2 GI squads coming over from hill 154. Ulrich’s MG guy nails an enemy marksman in

the field and provides cover while Molek’s HMG shifts position. I am hoping these two units can shut down the enemy attempt

to reinforce the villa assault. An Ami pioneer Pltn HQ has occupied a building on the edge of the villa but is taking fire from

the villa itself. That unit can’t be in good shape, it took too much of a battering in the open. German is still moving into

his new position, if I can time this right he should hopefully have a good hull down spot just as the smoke clears. The AT units

on hill 144 that caused such an uproar among the enemy armor are recovering and preparing for another attempt once the

smoke clears. The American failure to neutralize or occupy hill 144 is proving costly. Not sure what they might have

done different as that Art barrage was almost heaven sent. I am curious to see after the battle just how much damage it caused.

Turn 27 Ami unit gets into position on 2nd floor of house across the street from the Villa and is able to take Bogenshutze unit

under fire. Bogenshutze and another soldier are hit. Kunick takes command. Dietzel and Gelband (all that is left of my recon units)

moving up to the back wall of the villa, then left along wall trying to come around to an ambush position. Another damned Sherman

comes up the center road, but it appears to be targeting the now destroyed 50 AT gun. Meanwhile Sheer is up on

hill 154 to defend against GIs who are probably now down by the villa, what chaos. Ulrich’s squad is pulling back out of

LOS of the Sherman having already driven off one GI squad. The HMG which is still safe from the Sherman is pinning the other squad.

Have to start considering what if anything to do on hill 154. I think the forces there will probably hold it, but I could also use them

in the fight at the villa. If the Amis have given up on that hill and are moving everything they can to the Villa I could easily spare

one of the platoons, but considering the value of the Villa to me is limited and the hill is not (my single biggest vp location) I would

be hard pressed to consider it. I still hold all 3 hill locations and Ami casualties have to be pretty heavy. From a game point of view

I think I am doing well, from a realistic German command point of view I would be considering reinforcing the villa or abandoning it.

Tactically to the Germans it just isn’t that important. However by holding it I am forcing the Amis to deploy and fight from a

vulnerable position that I think is costing them more than it is me. If only German can finally find a good firing position and not get killed.

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Turn 28 German finally gets a clear shot. First round sails past a Sherman madly backing up and destroys a jeep behind it.

He then trades rounds with the immobile Sherman. His radio and optics are down, but this is a knife fight now. He is fighting

solo and close enough that special optics aren’t the key, it is getting the first kill shot in. Last second of the round he scores his

second penetrating hit. Uldall meanwhile takes a chance and goes hunting for the Sherman out near the paddock. Kunick’s

team bails out of the rear of the building in the villa and loses another man when crossing the open courtyard. Molek’s HMG keeps Amis

pinned in the paddock breaking up the two pronged assault attempt. Hofbauer calls for artillery on the houses outside the Villa walls.

Altman’s AT team, probably my best makes a dash from the orchard over the hill to the rear. Plan is to loop around and hopefully

contribute to the AT defense being put up by German’s JPz and the teams on hill 144. Both German and Uldall are potentially at risk

now confronting an entire Sherman platoon. Hopefully German is not in LOS to any other Shermans and can simply occupy this location

covering the grounds between the Villa and hill 144. If Uldall can kill the Sherman by the Paddock Allied Armor is going to be in a bind

with few options. Meanwhile the AT teams on hill 144 are hunting again.

Turn 29 Uldall, Uldall, Uldall!!! 2 Shermans in this round! I see a Knight's cross coming, Barkmann move over, we have this one on film!





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Turn 29 Kunik loses another man in his panicked retreat out of the Villa but considering the volume of fire from the Sherman

that lead the assault I am surprised anyone survived. Kaumeier’s asst bails out of the building and Fell as the last remaining

member of his HMG team is also attempting to exit the Villa. Fell’s team managed to hit one of the GIs in the assault team before

bugging out. Heuwerth and his asst are still placed at the rear of the Villa house to cover the retreat. Dietzel is killed at the side

wall of the Villa in a shootout with GIs placed at the corner house.






Overall it was a difficult turn. On the one hand I am losing my grip on the Villa faster than I thought, on the other attrition

of the enemy armor is getting critical. Out of what I suspect were 12 Shermans, 5 are dead, one is immobilized and the

crew of another bailed and may not return. With 6 PzShk still available, a 75mm ATG and Uldall’s JPz I have a lot of

AT capability. Though German’s main gun is now out of action he can also still contribute to the fight. Am considering having him

move around hill 154 to hit any GIs still holding out while having the Infantry units sweep the woods. An American Company

Command team has been spotted in a jeep still down by the fence in front of hill 154.

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Turn 30 Devastating attack on the Villa. American artillery strike timed to come as my units bail.

Casualties are mercifully light so far, however the suppressive factor is dangerous with the timing

of the assault. Heuworth and Kaumeier both trying to escape to the orchard. Kaumeier’s radioman

doesn’t make it out of the Villa house. Fell is a sniveling wretch hiding in the corner of the Villa while

Molek’s team has a man down and is bailing out of their position of overwatch on the Hay Paddock.

I am going to have to cede the Villa now if I can even get my units out, no one is really combat

effective and I can see the Ami’s building up for an infantry assault. All units capable of being given

direction will head out the rear of the orchard and either move up to Hill 154 or circle around to

Hill 148. My task now is to remove the threat of enemy armor so I can possibly try to retake the Villa.

Though it has finally fallen, I would have to say my overall assessment is the position was well worth

the cost. Many of my units are escaping largely intact if they can get out past the artillery and the

cost has been high to the Americans. Not so much in Infantry as the fight at hill 144, but the cost in

armor tallies up so far at 3 Shermans down and one immobilized. 33% casualites for a force that had lost

another 25% previously. At least that is what Kaumeier is thinking he should put in his report as he runs

from the Villa in terror. On the upside the 75mm ATG nails the Company commander’s jeep over by hill 154

causing multiple casualties.

Lt Dyke, is it safe to stay here?


Sure what could go wrong?



Not sure what he was doing there or if the Americans are considering renewing the assault on hill 154, but

this would certainly put a crimp in that plan. Hopefully my 81mm mtr barrage will hit right as the Ami’s leave

cover for the Villa assault. This could really impact what offensive capability they have left. One of the

Shermans almost backs into the minefield. I didn’t check to see if my engineers mixed in any vehicle mines.

It may also be time to consider using German for a bit of deception. The Americans don’t know he is effectively

now a mobile armored MG bunker. The threat may be enough to impede their advance. The infantry is now

facing another attempt to advance in the open, I have plenty of artillery and the Armor force is significantly weaker.

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Turn 31 Amazingly everyone gets out of the Villa except Fell who gets shot down by a GI from one of the Villa buildings.


My casualty count for the final Villa assault is 7 men. 8 men get out alive. It is time to pull back to defend the hills

and prevent the Americans from getting past us. The survivors of the fight in and around the Villa head for hill 148.

Kaumeier and the 2 men left of the Kp HQ sect., Heuworth and his asst from 1st Pltn HQ sect, Kunick and 2 men

from 2nd squad, Ulrich and all 6 men of 3rd Squad, Imhof and his loader and Gelband of the recon force. As soon

as Molek’s MG team has recovered they will follow. Rosenfeld’s team has already headed out while Altman’s

AT team is almost to Hill 148. Uldall is now coming up the D99 road trying to get a shot at the Sherman leading

the assault into the villa. It might be risky as I have not accounted for the positions of all the Shermans, but

I need to try before the Americans have a chance to regroup. The first 81 mm round just landed in the first

house by the Villa. If the GIs don’t move quick, they are gonna take a few more casualties. Another battery

has been targeted for the Villa itself and just called. I think I know what is going on with the Sherman towards

the minefield. It seems to have a covered arc to German’s old location.

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Turn 32 Larmann of 1st Squad, 3rd Pltn 6th Kp goes to give buddy aid to some of the men fallen on hill 154 and is hit.

The American tank company commander is able to recover and retrieve his tank. Damn will these things not stay dead?

My Artillery is falling and contributing to mass confusion in the Villa assault force.




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Turn 32 The American attack that started out so well seems to have faltered. However though the cost is rising, the

Villa is theirs. Two Americans go down apparently when the supporting Sherman lands a 75mm round on the house they

are attempting to enter.




Turn 33 The artillery strike continues, I count around 7-8 casualties I can confirm. My forces from the Villa and Orchard

make a clean break and are headed to reinforce the other defenses. Weisenhofer’s squad (2nd Sq, 2nd Pltn 7th Kp) on

hill 154 spots an Ami unit and pins with grenade. The American is from an Ammo bearer unit. The Tank Coy commanders

tank is spotted moving down the track. All indications are American Armor has been sorely hurt and is functioning to a

minimal degree. It appears 3 units are supporting the Villa assault and the others aren’t doing much of anything. We are

approaching the halfway point and I am beginning to believe the Americans are barely capable of continuing the assault.

I have a fair amount of artillery left and my #1 spotter is ideally placed. I have plenty of AT assets and tougher positions

that require more infantry and are less vulnerable to armor. My weakest location (hill 148) is about to receive all the

survivors of the Villa which includes 3 AT assets. The American assault force on Hill 154 has been weakened by shifting

units to the Villa assault which were then caught in the open including a Company commander. The forces in the Villa

have just taken a beating and are likely to be ineffective for a turn or two. I don’t believe the Americans were able to

observe my withdrawal and will likely expect to have to fight for the Orchard. Unless they can silence my AT gun I doubt

they will dare to move up tanks and they probably don’t know the state of German’s JPz. All of this occurs right after the

American commander had started to feel maybe the tide was turning. Psychologically it must be a bit tough to see your

assault force start such a promising move and then get smashed right as they are about to achieve success.

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Turn 34 Over on hill 144 Probst is shot by the radioman in an American Pltn HQ sect. Gerdes takes command

of the squad. On Hill 154 the Ami Ammo bearer team is driven off while the member of another team is hit by

a soldier in Bachmaier’s HQ who is then hit by another American. The big news though is the Sherman near

the Hay paddock blunders into the LOF of my 75mm ATG gun.




This one is a sure kill as the Sherman brews up then starts suffering internal explosions. At least two of the

crew bail, but not sure both are able to get far enough away before she starts to cook off. This could be

big as German may now have an open corridor to hit the Ami infantry. US infantry seems to be swinging

around the Villa toward the hay paddock, if they are attempting to head for hill 154 they are in for a shock.

German will cut them to shred if they don’t get armor support and right now that isn’t looking too good for them.

There could be as low as 2 undamaged fully operational Shermans.

Turn 35 No losses this round. 3rd Pltn HQ successful at disengaging while another Ami squad has been spotted on

hill 154 and for the moment has gone to ground. Time to see if my AT teams on hill 144 can get a shot on the

immobile Sherman. I have reinforcements coming and should be able to get another team up on hill 144 soon and

possibly some regular infantry as well. Hope the Americans don’t have a reserve behind hill 154 to throw into the fight

there, but I think that battle has degenerated to sniping and I have a sizable force yet. The radioman who shot Probst

seems to have gotten away. German is going to take a risk and flaunt the presence of his Jpz on hill 154 (hopefully

someone other than a Sherman has LOS.) I am hoping this keeps the Americans focused on going through the other

side of the Villa, but with them knowing there is a JPz and an ATG on that side that may not be likely. I am not sure the

Americans realize my ATG is what took out the Sherman. I believe they think it was an Infantry AT weapon considering

the amount of fire now being laid down on the Orchard.

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Turn 36 One American is attempting to surrender on hill 154. Their units must be pretty fragile. On 3rd Pltns

flank the Americans unleash a lot of fire on empty positions. It is clear they aren’t sure where my positions

are and are in no condition to advance. 3 Shermans and a few truckloads of troops spotted moving over

towards hill 154. It seems the Americans have shifted their main axis of attack. The units that had just arrived

on hill 148 are told to turn around and head back. To assist the truck is moved down to transport them over to

hill 154. It seems hill 154 will be the focus of what I hope is the final phase and defeat for the Americans. German

is ordered to pull back. I have to figure out how to use him as a distraction. It is also possible the Americans know

his gun is damaged. It may also be time to shift Hofbauer to get eyes on hill 154 for artillery.

Turn 37 It looks like the Americans are throwing in every last man. AT gun teams, Sherman crews, HQ

support teams, even the Battlion CO. Unfortunately before the attack can even coalesce another Sherman is hit by the ATG.

One of the trio to head up hill 154. The other two will have to back up or risk destruction as well.





The force moving off of hill 148 is almost to the truck and Scheiner is calling for Artillery near the hay paddock to catch this motley

assortment of troops. Gelman has moved forward again as it looks like the ATG alone will keep the American armor

from intervening and Gelman can maul these troops on his own. If this was the American’s last gasp I think it has

already foundered. There just isn’t enough strength left and I still retain far too much in the way of resources.


Turn 38 Stacker nails another Sherman trying to move up hill 154. It appears German may be given free

run over the area between hill 154 and the Villa. That last Sherman hasn’t much maneuver room and has

already suffered crew casualties. As such it’s observation capability is limited and it has no supporting infantry.

German is free to wreak havoc on the soft skinned vehicles carrying troops up tp the villa.

Turn 39 Stacker is able to get the final Sherman in sight on the Hill 154 kill zone. He puts 3 rounds into

and though it is still not dead, it isn’t reacting much. The tank is doomed and one can only hope the

crew escape. Another Sherman is spotted in the Villa moving in and out of LOF. Uldall is almost in position and

I expect this Sherman is doomed as well. Altman’s AT team is headed to hill 144 now.

At this point the Americans conceded their assault had failed and are withdrawing. Kaumeier has fulfilled his orders

yet 6th Kp has suffered for it. Though reportedly the Americans suffered over 50% casualties and most of an

Armored company it doesn’t relieve Kaumeier’s distress at suffering approximately a 40% casualty rate. The 4 rifle

platoons average about 12 men each. His men are exhausted and the unit needs to be drawn into reserve to recover.

Considering the state of things however that isn’t likely. 352nd ID is a shell unrecognizable from what he remembered

prior to June 6th.

Reflecting on the battle he realizes how close a run it was. If the original assault by the Americans had instead

been directed at Hill 154, they would likely be on the road to Conde-sur-Vire. As it was 7th Kp 2nd pltn

crumbled almost immediately and the requested artillery barrage had to be cancelled as it was so late as to be

ineffective. 3rd Platoon was able to stabilize the situation but was nearly destroyed in the process. If not for the

artillery in front of hill 144 the Americans might still have gotten through. 40% casualties and he considers his unit

lucky. It’s time we considered surrendering this damn war he mutters. “What was that Hauptmann?” asks

Bachmaier as they load their wounded into the truck. “Nothing” replies Kaumeier, “ I was just honoring the

bravery of our men who once again showed the Americans that Germany is still strong.” Bachmaier notes that Hpt Kaumeier does not look him in the eyes.

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You say this is the first AAR you've ever attempted...looks to me like you done many because this is superb!

Thanks, I'm blushing LOL I have to credit much of this to my opponent. Going up against someone who has a similar attitude toward the game and the same level of excitement about how darn good it is really helped. Makes all the difference in the world in insuring it is an enjoyable experience.

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broadsword will likely be contributing some commentary from the American side. There are I am sure a ton of moments that deserve presentation here, but at the time I was putting this together I didn't have full access to see. It was hard enough having to chose from the German side. For example in the firefight in the Hay paddock there are a couple really cool moves by the GI squads. At one point they pull off this really classic withdrawal under fire. There are also some really neat moments where Shermans are advancing and a supporting group of tanks is firing smoke to cover their advance. Tactically I saw so many things I hadn't even thought to do prior.

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While I couldn't hope to equal the detail and entertainment value of sburke's AAR of our just-finished scenario, I thought I'd post something to answer readers who might look at the US result and wonder, "WTF was that player thinking??"

Here's the tactical map showing my initial plan:


The mission for the US player is to open the exit roads to the S and SW for the breakout from St-Lo. Standing in the way like a roadblock is The Villa, a walled building and hamlet complex. The other key terrain are the hills to either flank of the map (154 and 144) and a hill at the very top edge behind German lines. Holding the hills allows observation and direct fire onto the town and roads.

Attacking The Villa straight up the tree-lined main road would be the quickest and most direct route, but I chose against it -- too obvious, likely to be mined and/or have TRPs registered on it. Plus, even a single AT gun or TD in the hamlet could fire at the head of the column and along the whole length of the road, while the US would be unable to fire back effectively.

I also ruled out taking a broader path through the plowed fields adjacent to the main road -- too exposed, and also likely to be mined (as in fact they were).

I wanted to isolate The Villa, and attack it from an unexpected direction -- a direction that would also give my Shermans a clear field of fire into the hamlet and give them running room, free of hiding Panzerfausts. I also wanted a covered path for my advance, so my leg infantry would be exposed for as short a time as possible as they approached The Villa.

A sweeping route around the left side of the map seemed to offer everything I needed. The armor and infantry could advance together in relative safety, then burst out around Hill 144 and slice diagonally into and around The Villa (#3 on the photo). The armor, once it helped the infantry get a foothold in the hamlet, would continue on and blast its way down the S exit road.

I committed a full rifle company and the entire armored company to this spearhead. Platoons were assigned to each of the hills to locate any enemy forces, screen and neutralize them, and flush out any AT guns or other threats so they couldn't harm my advance. The other important job of these platoons was to feint attacks and confuse the enemy about the direction of my main effort.

To "sell" the fake, I started with prep bombardments along likely German positions and made a lot of noise with the platoon attacking Hill 154. A pair of attached tanks were to help out with shoot-and-scoot smoke and suppressive fire. But immediately they came under fire from a concealed AT gun in a corner of the woods near The Hay Paddock.

This single gun (as you can read in sburke's AAR) turned out to be lethal, nearly indestructible (I had it under 60mm mortar, HMG, and tank HE and MG fire at various times for most of the game), and a huge force multiplier, because its threat closed off half the battlefield and channeled my moves into more confined and covered areas. Both tanks were destroyed by the gun before they could pull back into cover -- the first US setback.

The Hill 154 feint went fine -- some skirmishes, pushed the Germans back a bit, stayed in close enough contact to tie down his infantry and prevent him from reinforcing The Villa, or from pulling back to call down an artillery barrage on the hill.

The lead elements of my spearhead reached Hill 144 and the screening platoon hunted up the wooded slope. Immediately they hit trouble -- an ambush and devastating MG fire from troops entrenched on a reverse slope. Heavy casualties shook the platoon, units were pinned, and even after I pulled them back to a safer distance the platoon was never the same again. I sent a tank up into the edge of the woods on the hill to give them some emergency help, but it was destroyed fairly quickly. This was aother setback, but at least the platoon accomplished its screening mission -- the Germans on that hill would not be able to surprise or attack the exposed right flank of my spearhead as it passed the hill.

German artillery had been strangely quiet thus far. But then it struck, and at the worst possible moment: Just as my infantry and tanks were bunched up and passing through the chokepoint at the corner of Hill 144 (#2 in photo). Chaos erupted as squads hit the dirt, panicked men fled through the smoke and dust, a round scored a direct hit on a halftrack fully loaded with engineers, and shrapnel tore through the thin-canvas tops of the trucks towing 57mm AT guns.

These troops were already starting to show fatigue from their long, looping march to the start-line. Now they were shaken and decimated, just as they were due to launch the main attack. No time to catch a breath or take a final smoke break before the jump-off. With artillery raining down, their only hope was to sprint toward The Villa and out from under the barrage, even if it exhausted them. Everything now depended on keeping up the momentum of the armor-infantry attack, so that any new artillery missions the Germans called in would be obsolete and fall on empty ground by the time the shells arrived.

The Shermans entered the open field near The Villa and blasted every house and treeline in sight as the US infantry struggled to regroup and catch up. Smoke rounds from the tanks also enveloped the open field in a protective cloak. This suppressive fire soon drove off a number of German infantry and MG teams at the edge of the hamlet, and allowed the US infantry to enter the buildings unmolested.

But then the US suffered another wound, this time self-inflicted: I moved one of the platoons approaching the hamlet off to the right flank, without checking whether that area of the field might be exposed to fire from behind Hill 144 (I knew there were enemy forces there, but they had been silent until now and I'd started to forget about them -- thinking maybe that my prep bombardment there had killed or neutralized the enemy in that area).

A German gun immediately opened up on the platoon with HE, and within seconds nearly all the squads were wiped out. Also, a Jagdpanzer in that area began popping up from behind a reverse slope and scoring killing hits on some of the Shermans.

The infantry fight for the hamlet and Villa was now under way, and I had troops pressing in on The Villa three directions. But the armored force would be unable to continue its sweep around to the south -- that path now looked suicidal. I pulled all the armor back into a relatively safer supporting position in the lee of Hill 144.

Once the infantry captured The Villa (you can read about that in detail in sburke's AAR), they were nearly destroyed when the Germans unleashed a retaliatory artillery barrage onto those buildings.

To have any hope of success, I had to improvise a Plan B. Leaving one tank in the hamlet to help defend there, I raced the rest of my armor (3 tanks) and any reliable infantry I still had (now mounted in trucks and jeeps) back around the top end of the map, and aimed them at the wheatfield gap on the ridge between Hill 154 and the woods. I launched a big 105mm bombardment all across the reverse slope of that ridge, and planned to make a dash for the gap the moment the barrage lifted. At the same time, my squads on Hill 156 pressed harder into the Germans up there, trying to push them back so that no panzerfaust teams could shoot at my tanks' left flanks from that treeline.

Then the final disaster struck: A German 75mm AT gun from across the map knocked out two of my remaining 4 Shermans in quick succession. At that point I realized I didn't have the forces left to attack effectively, and resigned. The mortar crews, postal clerks, mess specialists and other troops who had been designated to make that last attack no doubt breathed a heavy sigh of relief!

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