Höfen Ho-Down

Mützenich, Germany: This scenario pits the Allies 395th Infantry Regiment against the Axis 326th Volksgrenadier Division. On paper a division against a regiment (especially a green one) should be no match. However the Axis force is hampered at the outset by not having all of the 326th’s battalions available to them. Moreover the Allies are already well positioned and entrenched.

The attacking forces of Germans are attempting to secure the high ground overlooking Mützenich, and occupy the towns of Monschau and Höfen. The Allies objectives are to hold the line at the following strong points: Monschau (20 Victory Points, all occupation), Höfen North (20 VP), Mützenich (20 VP, 10 for occupation and 10 for completion of mission) and Höfen South (20 VP).

The Allied force is more than sufficient to delay the advance of the Germans through the duration of the scenario with the following composition: 2,683 men, 139 armored fighting vehicles, 284 non-armored fighting vehicles, 51 gun units and zero bridging units. This provides an Anti-Personnel firepower rating of 2,108, an Anti-Armor rating of 2,613, a Bombardment rating of 320, an Armor rating of 540, an Infantry rating of 749, a zero Engineer rating and a 100% movement rating.

I issued the following orders before starting the battle: The 62nd Armored Field Artillery Battalion (18 M7 105mm HMC) and 196th Field Artillery Battalion (12 105mm howitzers) were brought under my direct control and tasked to defend in-situ. The 99th Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized) was ordered to defend at the Höfen South objective. All other forces were ordered to defend in-situ as they were well entrenched already.

At Day One 16:40 A Company, 146th Engineering Combat Battalion arrived and I ordered them to deny the crossing at Monschau. From this point forward I did not issue any further orders to the forces on the map, choosing instead to let them fight it out from the excellent defensive positions already setup by the scenario designer.

Although there were no airstrikes afforded during the mission, I did not feel the need to directly assign artillery targets as in most missions. I let the AI use those on-call assets as they deemed necessary.

Even though I did not hold the Höfen North or Mützenich objectives at the end of the game, I did control them long enough to harvest sufficient enough Victory Points to win a Decisive Victory with a final score of 69-11. My force destroyed 541 personnel, four armored fighting vehicles and 15 gun units while suffering losses of 327 personnel, two armored fighting vehicles and 14 gun units.

After-action report

Review final situation screen

Mission Briefing

December 16th 1944, 0600 hours,

Historical Scenario. Höfen-Monschau sector, Belgium.

The plan for General Hitzfeld's LXVII (67th) Corps, or "Corps Monschau", was to break through the American lines at Höfen on either side of Monschau, push on past Mützenich and take up defensive positions near Eupen, providing flank protection for the 6th Panzer Armee.

On paper, Corps Monschau was to have 2 full strength Volksgrenadier divisions (326th and 246th) at it's disposal. However the 246th was unable to disengage from the fighting east of Aachen, and 2 battalions of the 326th were unavailable as well for the initial assault on December 16th.

The Historical reinforcement schedules for both sides reflect the historical arrival times and locations of units in the battle. Standard reinforcement schedules provide alternative entry locations for some units without favouring one side or the other. The Favour Allies provides additional artillery support for the American side and Favour Axis will bring on a company of Jagdtigers (which historically were to be provided to LXVII Corps to break through to von der Heydte's paratroopers).

Allied Briefing

Commander, your green troops have been lucky to have a few weeks here in the Ardennes to train without much interference. Nothing much has ever happened here in the Ardennes so we don't know what to make of the artillery that's been falling all along the front this morning.

There have been some reports of enemy activity away in the valleys to the east around Rohren, but Intelligence reports that the German Army is incapable of any offensive action.

Our line is rather thin all along the lines so if the Germans were to launch a large scale attack, your only option would be to fight a delaying action until communication with Division can be restored.

Axis Briefing

Herr General, our impressive artillery barrage on the enemy lines is lifting - the great offensive has begun!

Unfortunately you are missing almost half of your command due to the intense fighting still raging East of Aachen. We are hoping that some more of your units will be able to join in the great offensive soon but for now you must make do with what you have.
Your area of operations lie on the extreme right flank of the offensive so your task is to secure the high ground overlooking Mützenich, and occupy the towns of Monschau and Höfen. This should provide a firm shoulder to defend against the expected American counterattack. It is imperative that you secure your objectives with minimal losses.

The enemy is dug in on the ridge ahead of you, but intelligence reports that they are mostly green troops and very few in numbers. Good luck!

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