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Sunday
Jul032016

Sainte-Mère-Eglise - June 06, 1944 (Memoir 44)

Historical Background: Establishment of a defensive base at Ste. Mère-Église was one of the key objectives of the US 82nd Airborne Division. In contrast with other regiments, the 505th Parachute Infantry, landing northwest of Ste. Mère-Église, had one of the most accurate drops. Rapidly regrouping and tipped by a French native to the presence of German troops in town, the paratroopers planned to surround Ste. Mère-Église and move in with knives, bayonets and grenades.  In the meantime, to the north, Lt. Turner Turnbull deployed his force on high ground near Neuville-au-Plain, engaging and fighting the enemy to a draw. This bought some crucial time for the battalions around Ste. Mère-Église, giving them a chance to meet the German southern thrust and annihilate several enemy units. This led to an overestimation by German command of American strength in this sector, and as a result, the Germans withdrew. 

The American paratroops storm Sainte-Mère-Église (in the center), while also blocking the German advance on Neuville-Au-Plain (on the right). (Allies 0, Axis 0)

The Americans take Saint-Mère-Église but are hard pressed by German reinforcements, while the Germans push hard on Neuville-Au-Plain. (Allies 1, Axis 1)

The Americans counterattack around Sainte-Mère-Église. (Allies 1, Axis 1)

The Germans repel the American counterattack. (Allies 1, Axis 2)

The Germans fortify themselves in Sainte-Mère-Église and its surroundings, while also taken care of any paratroopers in the vicinity. Meanwhile, in Neuville-Au-Plain the Germans occupy part of the town. In the face of this determined resistance, the American paratroopers are forced to pull back. (Allies 1, Axis 4)

Sunday
Jul032016

Fourth Kawanakajima 1561 - Phase 1 (Samurai Battles)

Historical Background: The battles of Kawanakajima is the story of two powerful clans each at the limits of their geographical power, but neither clan in the first three battles were willing to commit and therefore resulted in indecisive encounters.  In 1561, Uesugi Kenshin marched to Kawanakajima determined to bring the fight to Takeda Shingen for a final and decisive battle.  A series of signal-fires, however, alerted Shingen of Kenshin's advance and he ordered his army to mobilize.

The two evenly matched armies were again in a very familiar position, until Yamamoto Kansuke, one of Shingen's most trusted generals, proposed a plan called "Operation Woodpecker" which called for a flanking move and attack on the rear of the Uesugi  army.  Shingen approved, but Kenshin suspected something and after detaching a force  to guard his flank, ordered is vanguard to attack the Takeda army that had crossed the Chikumagawa.  As dawn broke, Takeda Nobushige, Shingen's younger brother, was shocked to find that the Uesugi army was not retiring as planned, but was charging forward toward his vanguard.

The Uesugi army begin by a charge at the center, pushing back the Takeda vanguard and killing Takeda Nobushige in a duel. (Uesugi 0, Takeda 0)

The Uesugi push their attack further, either wiping out or driving off most of the Takeda vanguard at the loss of one of their commanders. (Uesugi 1, Takeda 1)

Most of the Takeda forces fall back back to their samurai for support. (Uesugi 1, Takeda 1)

The Takeda samurai on the left flank surge forward in a counterattack and wipe out part of the Uesugi mounted samurai. (Uesugi 1, Takeda 2)

The Takeda samurai in a forward position fight on fiercely, but fail to finish off multiple troops of the Uesugi army. Meanwhile, the remaining Uesugi cavalry leads an attack against the battered remains of the Takeda vanguard to devastating effect. (Uesugi 4, Takeda 2)

The Takeda samurai try to intervene against the charge, but too little effect as more of the remains of the Takeda vanguard are exterminated. With so few forces left, the Takeda are forced to accept defeat. (Uesugi 5, Takeda 2)

Tuesday
Feb162016

Dawn's Early Light : Red Hammer

Scenario 1: Dawn's Early Light

On May 14, 1985, two soviet divisions struck into the Eisenbach Gap. They were charged with breaking through to the West, seizing the vital bridge at Eisenbach and capturing the Stahlhammer Air Force Base. NATO rushed reinforcements forward, but would it be enough?

 Day 1: In the north, elements of the West German 1st Panzer Division took up forward positions to guard the approach of Stahlhammer Air Force Base, while Eisenbach itself was defended by elements of the American 5th Armored Division. The less well equipped, but far more numerous Soviet 1st Guards and 47th Guards Divisions rolled in.

Day 2: The Soviets initially concentrate their forces against the West German defenders, but when American armor is sent up north, reinforcing elements of both Soviet divisions move in to confront them. A small Soviet force attempts to break through the gap between Eisenbach and the Stahlhammer AFB, but some American tanks are sent to stop them.


Day 3: In the north, the Soviets struggle against the valiant 1st Panzer Division, who even stage a small counterattack. The Soviet 1st Guards bear the brunt of the fighting and casualties are high. While in the south, things seem to be going better for the Soviet 47th Guards, they too have suffered many casualties in pushing back the Americans to river.


Day 4: With the help of the freshly arrived 33rd Motor Rifle Division, the Soviets manage a brakethrough in the north and rush to capture the Stahlhammer AFB against now desperate West German forces. In the South, Eisenbach is partially surrounded and victory for the Soviets seems at hand, despite stiff American resistance.


Night of day 4: In the north, what remains of the ragged Soviet forces nearly exterminated all elements of the 1st Panzer Division and capture the Stahlhammer AFB, but are unable to complete a breakthrough deeper into Germany. In the south, American defenses proved too strong and wave after wave of Soviet troops are lost in an all out bid for Eisenbach. 
 

ConclusionNATO just barely manages to contain the Soviet onslaught, but it is enough for them to achieve victory.

 

Click for bigger pictures:

Saturday
Jan162016

Abruttius 251 AD (C&C Ancients)

Historical Background: After repeated incursions into Moesia and Dacia by the Goths under Cniva, the Roman Emperor Gaius Messius Quintus Decius (often called “Trajan Decius”) moved to confront the barbarian invaders. Accompanied by his son Herennius Etruscus and his general Trebonianus Gallus, Decius led a major military expedition into the lower Danube, where he forced Cniva with his main army to abandon the siege of Nicopolis. Decius and the Romans pursued Cniva through difficult terrain and after a series of forced marches caught Cniva near Abritus. The Battle of Abrittus is also known as the Battle of Forum Terebronii.  Cniva had divided his forces prior to the battle, and even though the Romans easily defeated the enemy front line, when they pursued the retreating enemy into the swamps, Cniva’s concealed forces attacked. Cniva’s tactical maneuver proved to be very successful and the Romans were surprised and slaughtered. Decius’ son Herennius was killed early in the battle, but the emperor proclaimed that “the death of one soldier is not a great loss to the republic” and continued fighting. Decius himself was slain soon thereafter, gaining the distinction of being the first Roman emperor killed in battle against a foreign enemy.  After the battle, Trebonianus Gallus was acclaimed the new emperor. With his army shattered, Gallus was forced to allow Cniva to leave with his spoils and promised to pay tribute in order to keep the Goths from invading the empire again.

The Romans reorganize their lines while the Gothic right pushes forward. During the skirmish, a lucky roman arrow kills the barbarian leader on that flank. (Goths 0, Romans 1)

Cniva and his Goths then push the Romans hard in their fragile center, while Herennius leads the roman left in a desperate holding action against a horde of advancing gothic warriors. (Goths 1, Romans 1)

The Roman center collapses and on the left, Heronnius finds himself in a precarious position. Nevertheless, the Goths take serious casualties in the onslaught and lack the strenght to outright win the battle. (Goths 3, Romans 3)

Sensing an opportunity, Cniva personally leads his center in an attempt to pick off isolated roman units. Heronnius and a handful of men heroically defend a hill on the Roman left, while gothic warrios try to chase off what remains of the Roman center. Emperor Dacius swoops in from the right with the fresh roman cavalry, outflanking and cutting through Cniva's advance. (Goths 3, Romans 5)

While Cniva is able to escape and rejoin his warriors on his right flanks, Emperor Dacius cuts down his surrounded warriors in the center, giving the Romans a decisive victory. (Goths 3, Romans 6)


Saturday
Oct242015

Syracuse (415/413 av. J.-C.)

Historical background: The Sicilian Expedition was an Athenian military expedition to Sicily, which took place during the period from 415 BC to 413 BC (during the Peloponnesian War). The expedition was hampered from the outset by uncertainty in its purpose and command structure—political maneuvering in Athens swelled a lightweight force of twenty ships into a massive armada, and the expedition's primary proponent, Alcibiades, was recalled from command to stand trial before the fleet even reached Sicily—but still achieved early successes. Syracuse, the most powerful state on Sicily, responded exceptionally slowly to the Athenian threat and, as a result, was almost completely invested before the arrival of a Spartan general, Gylippus, galvanized its inhabitants into action. From that point forward, however, as the Athenians ceded the initiative to their newly energized opponents, the tide of the conflict shifted. A massive reinforcing armada from Athens briefly gave the Athenians the upper hand once more, but a disastrous failed assault on a strategic high point and several crippling naval defeats damaged the besiegers' fighting capacity and morale, and the Athenians were eventually forced to attempt a desperate overland escape from the city they had hoped to conquer. That last measure, too, failed, and nearly the entire expedition surrendered or was destroyed in the Sicilian interior.

The impact of the defeat was immense. Two hundred ships and thousands of soldiers, an appreciable portion of the city's total manpower, were lost in a single stroke. Athens's enemies on the mainland and in Persia were encouraged to take action, and rebellions broke out in the Aegean. The defeat proved to be the turning point in the Peloponnesian War, though Athens struggled on for another decade. Thucydides observed that contemporary Greeks were shocked not that Athens eventually fell after the defeat, but rather that it fought on for as long as it did, so devastating were the losses suffered.

 

After Alcibiades is recalled early in the siege, Nicias establishes the Athenian camp and is able to quickly build a wall to cordon off Syracuse. Meanwhile, with the help of reinforcing ships from Corinth and Gylippus, the Syracusans are able to control the mouth of the great harbor, installing a chain to isolate the Athenian expedition. Both sides are now set to starve if they cannot break the stalemate.


The Syracusans make a desperate attack on the Athenian camp and manage to take it against difficult odds. What remains of the Athenian expedition is driven off as their camp is burnt down.

The Syracusans tear down the Athenian wall before retiring to their city, victorious.