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After Action Reports => Digital Gaming AARs => Topic started by: ack-ack on January 17, 2020, 07:29:22 AM

Title: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on January 17, 2020, 07:29:22 AM
Graviteam and Strategy First were nice enough to put this game and all the dlc on sale for 80% off on Steam (the sale ends on 20th), so I thought I would celebrate by attempting an aar.

El Guettar
7 turns (about 24 hours I think)
Playing as USA
Normal difficulty

The Map
(https://i.imgur.com/rGKlc1Y.png)

Looks like our mission is to defend in the opening turns, then counter attack. We hold the majority of the VP points at the beginning so Iím guessing we could win by just holding what we currently have, but it would be nice to take that one German VP in the SE corner eventually. Our forces consist of a few tank destroyer battalions, two field artillery battalions, and the 18th infantry regiment. The mission briefing talks about the Germans having tanks, but not much more detail. This is a blind play-through so Iím not sure exactly what the Germans will throw at me.

Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on January 17, 2020, 07:35:18 AM
Turn 1
23 March 1943, 3:00


Handed out as many artillery spotters to my battalion and company commanders as possible. Moved the 601 recon unit south a bit, but no other movements. No battles this turn.
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on January 17, 2020, 07:39:33 AM
Turn 2, Battle 1
23 March 1943, 6:00


A single German battlegroup made contact with H company of 3rd battalion / 18th IR. H company was also supported by a company of tank destroyers from 601 TD battalion. The defensive layout was very simple - the entire rifle company was arranged in a line at the foot of the mountain. A machine gun platoon and the company of tank destroyers were placed on both flanks of the infantry.

The battle was over pretty quick. The enemy decided it would be a good idea to form up almost all of their infantry into a 3 column line formation and start marching directly over to my defenses. We waited until they got nice and close and opened up on them with everything we had. Needless to say, they quickly called for cease fire. They lost 90 casualties to our 5 or so.

In other news, the driving abilities of our men is disconcerting. 
(https://i.imgur.com/6MYNQrH.png)
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on January 17, 2020, 07:55:05 AM
Turn 2, Battle 2
23 March 1943, 6:30



A new German battle group plus the remnants of the battle group from the previous battle attack G company to the NE.
(https://i.imgur.com/DP1TJQf.png)


We set up another simple defense line:
(https://i.imgur.com/2tJ07ew.png)

One infantry company supported by a mortar platoon and a platoon of T30 SPGs.


We quickly spot an armored car coming down the mountain side from the south. I usually wouldn't think much of these things, but unfortunately we have no good AT weapons to speak of. The T30s only carry HE and smoke.

The battle progresses. Infantry starts moving down the mountain as well. Machine gunners start opening fire on our defenses. I order everyone to open fire. I make sure to tell them to conserve ammo. We start taking fire from some field guns about 1km to the east. We are able to silence them with our SPGs and mortars.
(https://i.imgur.com/mSF1oHt.png)

Everyone appears to be out of HE ammo after this. So much for conserving ammo...

The Germans start making a strong push to our lines. Itís looking really bad. We donít have anything to stand up to the company of armored cars (SdKfz 232) other than small arms fire and a few rifle grenades.
(https://i.imgur.com/8ISMptX.png)

We withdraw from the battle suffering 40 casualties to the enemies 45. We lost 2 out of our 3 T30s. 




 



Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: JasonPratt on January 17, 2020, 10:28:46 AM
SUBSCRIBED!  :D
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on January 17, 2020, 11:04:53 AM
Turn 2, Battle 3
23 March 1943, 7:00


A single German battle group makes contact with a company of M3 TDs and a reconsince group comprised of M6 TDs.

(https://i.imgur.com/9JCOqKb.png)



The M3s are set up in a line, dug in, to the north on a ridge overlooking the entire enemy spawn. M6s are placed to the west, they are not dug in but at least concealed in defilade.

(https://i.imgur.com/nBm6ku2.png)



A few minutes into the battle I spot a lone PzII moving north towards the dug in TDs. I send up a platoon of M6s to scout and suddenly the whole group of enemy tanks opens up on them. I tell the M3s on the ridge to open fire.

(https://i.imgur.com/m4GF8cP.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/ZYWeI3d.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/FUfOr7w.png)


The German armor is caught in a crossfire between the dug-in TD company on the hill to the north and the reconnaissance group to the west. They look like mostly PzIIIs and PzIV long barrels.


Everything is going swimmingly until we start running out of AP rounds. Despite destroying most of their tanks there are still a few PzIV long barrels remaining and they are getting accurate hits on us. Without any more AP rounds we donít stand much chance in taking them out so I take the offer for cease fire. The group consisted of 1 PzII, 1 PzIII, and 2 PzIV platoons. They lost 12 tanks according to the victory screen. We lost 1 vehicle.


Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: W8taminute on January 17, 2020, 11:13:20 AM
ack-ack.  You magnificent bastard!
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on January 17, 2020, 11:54:12 AM
End of Turn 2

(https://i.imgur.com/SJ7xBh9.png)


The Germans were mostly stopped from making any gains minus the one square km we lost just NE of Dj. el Mcheltat. Fortunately it looks like G company was able to successfully retreat and plug the gap in the lines, but they wonít be dug in next turn. German tank forces were bloodied pretty good in that last battle. They lost a good number of PzIV long barrels. Hopefully PzIVs will be our biggest threat, I donít know if Tigers ever made an appearance in this battle. 
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on January 18, 2020, 12:21:31 PM
Turn 3
Movement Phase

Moved a few supply truck platoons closer to front line units that saw action last turn. Iím hoping that they will be able to resupply my SPGs with AP and HE rounds.
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on January 18, 2020, 12:42:57 PM
Turn 3, Battle 1
23 March 1943, 9:00


Germans are attacking the Dj. el Mcheltat VP again. They outnumber us 3 to 2 battlegroups. One of the infantry battlegroups is weak, it got decimated during a battle last turn. The armored car battle group is still at full strength and there is one unknown battlegroup.

(https://i.imgur.com/1DWbNmT.png)


I set up H company in their old dug-in positions from a previous battle in turn 2. Annoyingly, the foxholes for the MG platoon seem to have vanished  ???. Hopefully theyíll share some foxholes with H company. I company is dug-in to the north in a valley. They are accompanied by a machine gun platoon as well.

The battle begins with German machine guns firing at us from atop from what I assume is Dj. el Mcheltat. I guess they already control the mountain but they technically donít control the VP square yet. I call in some 75mm off map artillery on the German positions. A group of SdKfz 232 also reveal themselves and they start making their way down the mountain to H company. Iím hoping that my heavy machine guns will be able to pierce their armor.

(https://i.imgur.com/XdhHVGR.png)



It doesn't look like our MGs are having much effect on the armored cars. I also spot a large group of half tracks in the distance, must be a part of the new enemy battlegroup.



(https://i.imgur.com/YQCCcNN.png)



Our boys take a pounding from all of the MG and auto cannon fire. Fortunately our artillery is doing good work against them. I think that if we can just sit tight in our foxholes we might just be able to


waitÖ      whatís that noise I hear?   some kind of... buzzing?



(https://i.imgur.com/D5VBUBK.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/nOrjg0m.png)



We withdraw from the battlefield suffering 178 casualties to the enemyís 61. The Dj. el Mcheltat VP in now in German hands.




Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: Martok on January 18, 2020, 10:41:51 PM
Nice job by the enemy using the Luftwaffe to fly to the rescue.  Do you have any warplanes of your own? 
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on January 20, 2020, 08:16:53 AM
Nice job by the enemy using the Luftwaffe to fly to the rescue.  Do you have any warplanes of your own? 

I think I do, I'm just not sure what turn it will arrive on. I think the Americans get the A20 for air support so that should be interesting. I don't think I've ever seen those in-game before.   
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on January 24, 2020, 11:05:37 AM
Turn 3, Battle 2
23 March 1943, 9:30


This next battle takes place on the southern flank. A and B company of 18 IR are attacked by one German battlegroup.

(https://i.imgur.com/Au6P7lY.png)


Pretty simple defense. Our infantry is accompanied by a few AT platoons fitted with M3 37mm guns, a platoon of T30 SPGs, and a platoon of 60mm mortars. A company wasnít able to dig in for some reason. At the very beginning of the battle we spot enemy tanks a couple hundred meters to the east of B company. I order B company to open fire. Itís a very large group of tanks, mostly PzIIIs. The battlefield becomes covered in smoke from artillery and infantry smoke grenades.

(https://i.imgur.com/RZt8S9q.png)

The M3 AT guns appear to be doing ok against the enemy armor, but we only have one platoon of 4 guns with that are in visual range. They eventually get overwhelmed and destroyed but not before taking a good number of enemy tanks with them.

Some panzers split off from the main group and head north towards A company. They start moving over a ridge line and it gives the A company M3s a good opportunity to single them out.

(https://i.imgur.com/8ZmZvQ2.png)


We hold on for a while longer. The enemy eventually offers us a cease fire. We take it and to my surprise we didnít end up losing any territory. Despite holding our ground we took a lot of casualties. 167 casualties almost all from B company. We lost a platoon of M3 AT guns and the T30 platoon. The enemy suffered 59 casualties and we destroyed 12 of their tanks.




 
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: besilarius on February 02, 2020, 09:39:09 AM
Very nice, Ack-Ack.  Probably about the bes possible with the anti-tank weapons of that time.
Reading this reminded me of an episode on the Mareth Line in Tunisia.  A Churchill tank made some kind of heroic attack on a german position and succeeded, somehow juking around 88 shots without being damaged.
Think the tank commander was a lieutenant named Gin Holland.  Is that scenario included?  No luck finding him on the web, so may have this all wrong.
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: airboy on February 24, 2020, 05:16:56 PM
Very well done.
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on July 08, 2020, 11:01:42 AM
AhhÖ Itís been a while. But Iím finally back to *possibly* finish what I started.

Iím going to be trying something new. Iíll be uploading videos of the tactical battles to Youtube, starting with turn 4. Iíll try to edit them down to no more than 15 minutes or so (those battles can be long and drawn out at times).   



Turn 3, Battle 3
23 March 1943, 9:30


Another battle takes place on the southern flank. This time A company and E company are attacked by the German tank company from the previous battle plus two new battlegroups.

(forgot to take a picture of the setup, or any other pictures during the battle...)

The result is: A Company loses its ground and retreats to the northwest. E company holds its ground.

(https://i.imgur.com/MBSL9Y8.png)



Turn 4

Reinforced some depleted battle groups. Otherwise, no major movements. Iím still waiting for my M10 TDs to arrive before I make any counter attacks. Just one more turn.



Turn 4, Battle 1
23 March 1943, 12:00


Germans launch another attack on the northern flank.

(https://i.imgur.com/0q8h8Wn.png)

Tactical setup:

(https://i.imgur.com/eU4syRq.png)

The battle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCsFK4HAQc4&t

Spoilers:
: show
German armored cars are stopped by my M3 TDs. Gotta love those vehicle physics  :).




Turn 4, Battle 2
23 March 1943, 12:00


Germanís attack the southern flank. Looks like a repeat of Turn 3 battle 3.

(https://i.imgur.com/lhieUqx.png)

Setup:

(https://i.imgur.com/VElY96C.png)

The battle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzWhQx1uBuo

Spoilers:
: show
That battle was brutal. German tanks were rolled through our lines but the enemy eventually asked for a ceasefire and we managed to hold all of our ground. We suffered 183 casualties to the enemies 54. We did manage to kill 10 of their tanks.

Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ArizonaTank on July 08, 2020, 12:03:14 PM
Good Stuff!
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: JasonPratt on July 08, 2020, 01:20:26 PM
Oooh, videos!
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on July 20, 2020, 08:27:56 AM
Turn 4, Battle 3
23 March 1943, 13:00


A german armored group attacks I Company.

(https://i.imgur.com/eoJvt04.png)

I Company has no entrenchments to take cover in, but they do have a platoon of AT guns attached to them.

The setup:

(https://i.imgur.com/8Sti606.png)

The battle (no audio for some reasonÖ whoops):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRF_LA2jh0g

Spoilers:
: show
I hang in for a bit just to see how much damage I can do to the enemy half tracks but I eventually withdraw. The moral of our men is very low. I think I saw a whole platoon throw up their arms and walk off. 

Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on July 22, 2020, 06:38:26 AM
Turn 5

The first company of M10 tank destroyers finally arrived. Iím going to send them down to the southern flank since there appear to be much more tanks down there compared to up north.

Turn 5, Battle 1
23 March 1943, 15:00


H Company and a platoon of M3 Tank Destroyers are attacked in the north by that same armored car/half track group from previous battles.

(https://i.imgur.com/cUTVLeb.png)

The Battle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oppw24PN7HA

Spoilers:
: show
The Luftwaffe strikes again, but the US Army Air Force shows up too. Finally get to see some A20s in action. Annoyingly, we managed to loose the southern square to the Germans. 






Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on July 22, 2020, 06:53:00 AM
Turn 5, Battle 2
23 March 1943, 15:00


German armor intercepts our company of M10 TDs heading south.

(https://i.imgur.com/PGghcUf.png)

Battle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoYcT4UNx5Y

Spoilers:
: show
The M10s are caught in a bit of a cross fire, but we manage to hold our ground and none of our TDs were destroyed.
Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: ack-ack on July 22, 2020, 09:27:29 AM
Turn 6


The last two M10 companies arrive this turn. Sending one of them to the northern area and another one to the south to join A company. We need to push on the northern flank to capture the VP, while holding onto our VP in the south.

We are currently losing the campaign in victory points. Hopefully we can squeeze out a win if we manage to do the above mentioned.

Turn 6, Battle 1
23 March 1943, 18:00


The southern front is attacked again by German armor and a new unknown battlegroup. Probably more tanks.

(https://i.imgur.com/UFpl94i.png)

The Battle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SbH3mDpWvs

Spoilers:
: show
Our 37mm AT guns have been able to hold their ground for multiple battles, but this was the last straw. The Germans were able to break through our lines once my AT guns were neutralized and I withdrew from the battle. I lost the VP square as a result. Not good.

Title: Re: Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943: El Guettar
Post by: Onclick on September 17, 2020, 12:26:09 PM
SUBSCRIBED!