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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.

 

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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.

Wednesday
Jan142015

Mariazell - 8 November 1805 (C&C Napoleonics)

Historical Background: Von Merveldt’s small corps had escaped capture at Ulm, and was attached to Kutusov’s retreating Russians, when he received orders from the Austrian High Command to march to Styria to aid Archduke John’s army. Realizing too late he had marched straight towards the advancing French, he turned to retrace his steps. With Davout’s advance guard under the command of Heudelet de Bierre hot on his heels, Merveldt opted to make a stand at Mariazell. Taking advantage of the natural terrain in the area his worn out infantry waited for the French.

Bierre, wasting no time, attacked with the French lights in the center and his light cavalry to the south of the village. The French cavalry attack broke through forcing many Austrians to surrender.
The Austrian Grenzers counter attacked out of the woods, but failed to capture the French artillery. Merveldt’s Austrians, after a brief struggle, routed.

Bierre orders the French light infantry in the center to open fire on the Austrian formation in front of them and artillery near Mariazell. The Austrians rout until rallied by Merveldt. The French order some of their cavalry on the right to charge in and finish the Austrian artillery, but take severe losses for very little result. (France 0, Austria 0)

With the Austrian response ineffectual, the French left pounces forward, inflicting heavy losses and pushing back the Austrian Grenzers. In the center, Bierre's light infantry easily weather the Austrian counterfire before sending more of them running in panic. (France 1, Austria 0)

Merveldy keeps his cool and reorganize his scattered troops around the town of Mariazell. It is now apparent that it is the French who are out of position and scattered. (France 1, Austria 0)

Merveldt's concentrated troops begin a relentless attack on the french, severely wounding the French light infantry and pushing them back. (France 1, Austria 0)

The Austrian keep up the pressure and soon the French light infantry is eliminated. Bierre's position in the center is catastrophic, but on their left, the French move up and clean up what was left of the isolated Grenzers. (France 2, Austria 2)

With a final advance, the Austrian finish off some of the French cavalry and Bierre himself. With their leader dead and in no position to retaliate, the French withdraw in panic. (France 2, Austria 4)

Wednesday
Jan142015

Schleiz - 9 October 1806 (C&C Napoleonics)

Historical Background: In the first clash of the Fourth Coalition, Bernadotte, at the head of Napoleon’s center column, moved against Tauentzien’s Prussian/Saxon division near the village of Schleiz. Tauentzien, realizing that the French were advancing in strength, sent Bila’s troops forward to slow the French advance, while he waited for reinforcements or orders to retreat. Bernadotte did not wait, but swiftly issued orders of his own. Soon Werle’s advance guard moved against the Oschitz Woods, while Drouet attacked Schleiz.

Murat’s cavalry reserve was to support the advance, although the countryside was not really suited for mounted troop action. By early afternoon the French could not be stopped and Tauentzien decided to fall back to Auma in an attempt to maintain a link with his outlying commands. The retreat came too late to save one Prussian battalion. Isolated by the French advance, most of the battalion was captured.

The French right under Werle charges forward to the Oschitz Woods but are easily forced back by the Prussian left under Bila. Once they have seen of the French, they pull back at the rear of the woods. (France 0, Prussia 0)

Werle makes another concerted effort to move up the French right, while the Prussians hammer the tip of the French spear near the center. (France 0, Prussia 0)

The French right creeps back into the Oschitz Woods, while the light infantry on the Prussian left withdraws out of the battle in good order. (France 0, Prussia 1)

The French right chases out the last Prussians out of the Oschitz Woods . (France 0, Prussia 1)

The French now occupy the Oschitz Woods and their left under Drouet moves on Schleiz. Meanwhile the French right and center press on the attack, overrunning Bila's artillery and striking a severe blow to his infantry. (France 3, Prussia 2)

Despite they aggressiveness, the French are too late as Bila and his fellow officers withdraw with their troops in good order. Most of the Prussians are able to escape the battle while the French are delayed. (France 3, Prussia 5)


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