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Flashpoint Campaign: Fulda Gap Frontier of Freedom 11 ACR v. 79 GTD, August 198

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For some reason, I've recently got a urge to break out some modern wargames.  This AAR will be a recent game of Flashpoint Campaign, the Fulda Gap scenario.  This scenario is a delay action of the 11 ACR against the 79 Guards Tank Division as it pushes across the West German Border.  The starting situation is described below (sorry for the screenshot, but the game won't let me cut and paste, and these notes are important for understanding the scenario):

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

According to the intelligence estimate the 79th GTR is heading SW down Route 84 towards Fulda.  The 113th Recon battalion is approaching Swartzbach. Soviet forces are expected to seize bridges to the South the city while screening Fulda, enabling follow on forces to move to the Southwest towards Hanau.   
There are three probable axis of advance (AOA 1, 2 and 3).  The location of the Soviet 113 Recon Battalion near Swartzbach indicates it may be screening an initial advance via AOA 1 and/or AOA 2.   Given the typical regimental frontage of 3-8km, estimate that no more than one tank regiment will attack my right flank via AOA 1A, with a possible second regiment via AOA 1B.  Another two regiments could attack the center of my line via AOA 2. These AOA are displayed in Image 1 and 2, which also shows the estimated Soviet AOAs for Phase 1 (designated in red), Phase 2 (designated in orange) and Phase 3 (designated in yellow). 
I estimate any attack on my left via AOA 3 will either be a secondary attack or a diversion.  This is because any forces travelling via this route would have to either seize Fulda or screen the Soviet LOC down Highway A7 around Fulda from attack by US Forces defending the town.  Consequentially, I estimate that this ECOA is less likely than Soviet forces advancing via AOA 1 and/or 2.

Image 1: RED COA 0200 01 AUG 84

Image 2 RED COA and BLUE MLRs

To defend against the estimated Soviet attacks, I will have the US forces initially defend along the main line of resistance (MLR-1), designated in blue. (Image 2 below).  I will destroy all the Haune River bridges in the first hour of the scenario,  which will probably result in channeling Soviet forces towards the south east.  Should US forces need to fall back, defensive lines along MLR-2 (designated in orange) and MLR-3 (designated in yellow) will be used.  “Kill boxes”, to attrition Soviet forces along each EAOA are designated in yellow.  To assist in determining which ECOA is being used, “Named Area of Interest” (NAI) are identified (designated in green).  US forces will try to keep each of these areas under observation to provide early warning of Soviet attacks.  (Image 2).


US forces are thinly spread.  To cover an approximate 26 kilometer front, there is only the 11th Cavalry Regiment, along with the attached 1-68 Armor Battalion, plus attached artillery and aviation assets.  I set up “A” and “B” Troop along the Haune River.  “B” Troop is reinforced with two M-1 tank platoons: D/1-11 and A/1-68. “C” Troop covers the wide frontage along EAOA 1A.  Because of this long frontage, it is reinforced with a section of Cavalry from “A” Troop. B/ 1-68 Armor covers the frontage between B and C Troop.  There are no dedicated reserves.  My plan is to put all of the US combat power forward to attrite the Soviet forces in the relatively open terrain east of the Haune river, then form a reserve after destroying the Haune River bridges. (Image 3).

Image 3 US Set up

The dense fog in the morning is expected to burn off around 10 AM.  A 40% chance of heavy rain in the afternoon will reduce the capability of US IR sensors.  This will reduce engagement ranges and increase US ground and rotary aircraft vulnerability to Soviet counterfire.
The US won’t get any air support until 0800 (at the earliest)

Whoops.  I forgot to add the OOB to my earlier analysis :-[  Here it is:

Friendly Forces
1.   11 ACR
     a.   1x HQ
          i.   HQ Co
         ii.   1 Tank Co (2xM-1)
        iii.   AD Platoon (2) (Stinger)
        iv.   A/144th FA (8x M-109)
        v.   A/27th FA (6 xMLRS)
    b.   3 x Cavalry Co.
        i.   HQ
       ii.   12xM-3 Bradley
       iii.   1 AD Platoon (Stinger)
       iv.   8xM-1 Abrams
       v.   2xM106 mortar
    c.   1 Tank Co
       i.   HQ
           1.   (2xM-1)
      ii.   3 Tank Platoons
          1.   (4xM-1)
     iii.   1 AD Platoon
          1.    (4xM163)
2.   1-68 Armor
   a.   1xHQ
      i.   3x M-1 Abrams
   b.   3x Tank Co.
      i.   HQ
         1.   (2x M-1 Abrams)
      ii.   3xTank Platoons 
         1.   (5x M-1 Abrams)
     iii.   1x AD Section
         1.    (1x Stinger)
   c.   1 Mortar Co.
      i.   4xM106
      ii.   2xAD Section
           1.   (1x Stinger)
   d.   2-18 FA
       i.   3xCo
           1.   (8xM109)
   e.   A/5-7 ADA
       i.   3xPlatoon
           1.   (4xChapparall)

Soviet Forces
Estivate the 79th GTD will assault from North/North East (ECOA &ECOA2) in Echelon.  1-2 Regimental assaults in AM
1.   17th Guards Tank Regiment - 94 T-80, 43 BMP-2, 4 2S6, 4 SA-13, 18 2S1
2.   65th Guards Tank Regiment - 94 T-80, 43 BMP-2, 4 2S6, 4 SA-13, 18 2S1
3.   211th Guards Tank Regiment - 94 T-80, 43 BMP-2, 4 2S6, 4 SA-13, 18 2S1
4.   66th Guards MRR - 142 BMP-2, 40 T-64 , 4 2S6, 4 SA-13, 18 2S1, 9 BRDM 3
5.   172nd Artillery Regiment - 48 2S3, 18 BM-21
6.   79th Air Defense Regiment - 20 SA-15, 21 SA-7/14/16
7.   113th Recon Battalion - 6 T-72, 13 BRDM-2, 12 BMP-2, and 3 BRM
8.   79th SS-21 Battalion - 4 SS-21
9.   79th Engineer Battalion - 8 TMM, 6 GSP, 18 PMP, 12 K-61, 4 BTM, 2 MTK, 3 GMZ
10.   79th Helicopter Squadron - 6 MI-24, 6 MI-8, 6 MI-2


Turn 1 0500-0515

Initial contact is gained with a probable reinforced battalion-sized (+)  tank unit outside of Elters.   This unit attacked toward the Bieberstein gap.  Ten BRDM-2 and PT-76 reconnaissance vehicles, 16 T-80 tanks, 12 BMP AFVs and approximately 8 HQ vehicles were destroyed by a combination of artillery and direct fire. Approximately two companies of T-80 tanks and two platoons of mechanized infantry invic Elters remain.   Based on these losses, the Soviet tank battalion has suffered approximately 45% casualties. (Image 3)
A probe west from Allmus by approximately two companies of reconnaissance troops was stopped without loss after losing approximately nine (9) BRDM-2s .  Similarly, a reconnaissance by approximately a platoon-sized element moving south from Hofbieber was stopped. 
A probable Soviet Division HQ was by SIGINT located in Schwarzbach and shelled, causing some losses.

US loses-The US lost a section of M2 and their scouts in Bieberstein.

Estimate: Based on current Soviet losses, estimate that a Soviet tank battalion and possibly a second maneuver battalion is currently attempting to push through the Bieberstein gap.  Soviet reconnaissance probes west of Allmus and south of Hofbieber  have likely identified some of the US positions it those areas. 

C3/ECM: C3 is under MEDIUM EW hindrance, and we have a +7 min OODA advantage (14 vs. 21 min)



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