Pressure Cooker

The following after-action report is for a new scenario I have created for Command Operations: Battles from the Bulge which utilizes my Marine Corps 2.0 mod which must be installed for the scenario to work (please refer to the download links listed below). The scenario was designed with the current public beta build for Command Operations which is 4.5.264.

The scenario is a battalion sized engagement of semi equal forces that are tasked with seizing a ferry crossing in the Renkum area of operations. Both sides are supported by a tank battalion and an engineer contingent. As with the Operation Thunderclap scenario, this is an alternative history story line set in the year 1947 after the defeat of the Soviet Union.

I will be playing as the United States Marine Corps who start fresh on the battlefield at 03:00 hours with the 1st Battalion 21st Marine Infantry Regiment and are augmented with A Company US Navy Engineering Battalion. The primary objective in the scenario is the ferry crossing point over the Nederrijn (the Dutch part of the River Rhine).


Pressure Cooker After-action Report

D01 03:00 Because the Navy Seabee unit contains 2-1/2 ton trucks that cannot be detached from the unit, they are unable to cross the ferry. I order that unit to take up a position approximately 1 km south of objective using the C – Secure Crossing command. Aggro, ROF, Losses, Ammo, Basics and Fuel are all set at maximum. The Speed is set to Fastest and the Route is set to Quickest with Rest set to None.

1st Battalion are ordered to attack north over the ferry, with a forming-up point set just behind the engineering units position. Their settings are all maxed out as well, and their End Date is adjusted to match the scenario end time in order to avoid them cancelling their assault and bunkering down due to lack of time. The Frontage is set to 800m and the Depth is set to 500m.

D01 06:00 The Navy Seabees have reached their location and have come under fire while 1st Battalion are in the assault phase of their Attack order across the ferry crossing point. There is a sizeable force of Germans already on the Secure Crossing Objective (100 Victory Points, 50 for Occupation and 50 for Completion), and some of their naval infantry have made it onto the other side and are being engaged by the Allied forces.

D01 12:01 3rd Tank Battalion arrives on the battlefield and is ordered to defend at a location on the right flank of the attack underway by 1st Battalion. They are arrayed in a line formation with a Frontage of 400 and a Depth of 100: this is to bring all armor units to bare on the bank of the Rhine so that they can employ direct fire support for the assaulting Marine force (as the crossing point is only a ferry, none of these units can make it to the other side).

The Navy Seabee unit has its deployment adjusted forward to bring it into the Secure Crossing Objective radius so that it can count in securing the objective.

D01 12:59 The Secure Crossing Objective has been seized by the Marines and they are poised to move north over the ferry crossing point and press the assault. 3rd Tank Battalion is directly aiding this advance by destroying Axis static units that were entrenched along the bank of the river.

D01 18:02 Moderate to heavy rain has caused several of the air strikes scheduled to be aborted. With not having any regimental artillery at my disposal, this hurts the overall effort by placing greater emphasis on the effective employment of the mortar units.

1st Battalion is consolidating their position on the Secure Crossing Objective as the HQ units has made it across the ferry and the battalion is shifting into a defensive stance as they dig in awaiting any further orders.

D02 00:02 The weather conditions are not the best, with heavy rain falling at midnight and a temperature of 2 degree Celsius (35 degree Fahrenheit). The ground conditions are muddy however the Marines are firmly in control of the objective having placed 1st Battalion on the opposite side of the Rhine while they are supported by 3rd Tank Battalion and the US Navy engineering company.

D02 06:00 At sunrise and visibility conditions of 5,600 m (albeit in heavy rain), there is visible contact with only one enemy unit, that being a naval infantry company southeast of the objective. This unit apparently is a straggler that must have been caught on the wrong side of the Rhine when the German assault was called off and they retreated over the ferry crossing.

D02 09:00 Of course this all changes as the Axis forces would never just let me keep an objective. Moving the intelligence level to All from Current, the battlefield reveals approximately 529 personnel and 17 armored fighting vehicles aligned in a vertical position directly to the north of 1st Battalion.

B and C companies, although highly fatigued (pushing 80%) are firing on the hodgepodge assortment of naval infantry and engineering units assaulting their positions. The fatigue level of the battalion as a whole is 48% which is not bad considering the task at hand.

D2 12:01 The scenario ends in a Decisive Victory for the United States Marine Corps by a score of 100 Victory Points to 16. The after-action report reveals that the Marines killed 275 Germans at a loss of 184 men.

I am surprised by the fact that there is only one casualty caused on either side by armored fighting vehicles given the amount of firepower that went back and forth across the river. In the D01 12:59 screen shot above one of the messages indicates that 3 Tank Bn “…has destroyed the enemy ‘Rail Bridge Garrison…”, however this “kill” does not appear on the Axis summary.

D2 12:01 In reviewing the final situation on the battlefield it is notable that the Axis commander left their entire tank reinforcement contingent out of the direct battle for the crossing objective. The entire force of 114 personnel and 17 armored fighting vehicles is sitting at a wood line by a stream 1.5 km away from the fighting.

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