Conquest of the Aegean Battle for the Maltese Cross Conclusion

This is a continuation and a conclusion of an after-action report that I started for this what-if scenario back in January 2012. For whatever reason (that completely escapes me now) I never completed the write-up for this game although I had all of the relevant screen shots up through the end game. It was just waiting on my C drive for me cobble together the semblance of a completed AAR.

This scenario pits the Axis Army Group against the Allies Middle East Command in a historical what-if interpretation of OperationHercules, the planned but never-executed joint Italian-German invasion of Malta. The Axis force consists of two reinforced divisions, one parachute (7thFlieger Division, Fallschirmjäger & Luftlande-Sturmregiment, Fallschirmjäger) and one mountain (Gebirgsjäger) which drops on Qrendi Airfield initially and other areas during the reinforcement schedule.

For action from the start of the scenario through D04 12:00, please click here.


D04 15:03 Krad Battalion 55 (consisting three infantry companies) arrives on the battlefield and is ordered to probe the Ta KaliAirfield (4 Victory Points, all occupation).

The 5th and 6th motorized Panzerjäger platoons (4 3.7cm Pak 36 towed AT guns) landed at Hal Far Airfield and were reattached to their organic superior already at the objective.


D04 16:33 I Battalion (Gebirgsjäger Regiment 85) arrive and is ordered to attack the Vittoriosa/Ricasoli Objective (active D7 04:01-D8 11:00 for 17 VP’s).


D04 18:00 The situation looks tense for the Axis forces, however this is only temporary as we control only two of the five major objectives at this point. Yet to fall are Valetta/Tigne/Mahoel (25 Victory Points), Vittoriosa/Ricasoli (17) and Sliema (17). Once the Germans have control of those objectives, it is virtually game over for the Allies.


D04 21:00 I order the Luftlande Sturm Regt to probe the Ta Kali Airfield, the 1st FJ Bn FJ Regiment 2 to probe the Corradino Heights Objective (8 Victory Points all on completion) and the 1st FJ Regiment to also probe Corradino Heights.


D05 00:00 Krad Battalion 55 has reached the outskirts of the Ta Kali Airfield (the area littered with crosses indicating multiple disbanded Axis forces). What a steep price to pay to garner four Victory Points.


D05 06:00 Gebirgsjäger Regiment 100 is pressing their assault forward towards the Valetta/Tigne/Mahoel Objective.


D05 08:06 Gebirgsjäger Regiment 85 arrives by airplane at the Hal Far Airfield and is ordered to move to the Floriana Objective (13 Victory Points, all on completion) to defend there.


D05 09:00 II FJ Bn LLSt Regt is ordered to probe Fort Mahoel (non-objective location). I cannot recall at this point why I was so fascinated with probes back in early 2012.


D05 11:24 The final reinforcements arrive and are dispatched as follows: III Gebirgsjäger Bn 85th Regiment are ordered to defend at the Valetta/Tigne/Mahoel Objective and the 95th Geb Recon Bn are from everything I can tell forgotten about and left at their arrival location at the Hal Far Airfield.

Duh


D05 16:07 The primary objective of Valetta/Tigne/Mahoel has been achieved.


D05 17:38 The Maltese Command HQ unit surrenders to the Axis forces on the battlefield, leaving their subordinates to face the wrath of the unceasing onslaught.


D05 18:00 I suddenly remember the 95th Geb Recon Bn sitting at Hal Far and order them to attack at the Vittoriosa/Ricasoli Objective.


D06 00:00 The Vittoriosa/Ricasoli and Sliema objectives are still up for grabs, but with roughly two days to go this is already over for the Allies.


D06 08:36 I order Gebirgsjäger Regiment 100 to defend at the Valetta/Tigne/Mahoel Objective and II GJ Bn Regt 100 to defend just slightly southwest of the Sliema Objective.


D06 12:00 There is a smattering of Allied forces behind my thrust into the ports; however I am not budging off of my goals to deal with them.


D07 00:00 I am not sure why the 12 hour skip here (I prefer to gauge progress in the Matrix/Panther games as six hour intervals), however the Vittoriosa/Ricasoli  Objective has been achieved and I am preparing to take the Sliema Objective once I can secure the 10:1 perimeter ratio required.


D07 12:00 Another 12 hour skip forward and the Sliema Objective has fallen to the Axis forces. Game over, Allies.


D08 00:00 All objectives are secured except for the Pembroke Fort Barracks but that is only four VP so I don’t bother with it.


D08 06:00 The Allies have managed to throw a monkey wrench into by plans for beer all around by denying me the Sliema Objective.

After-action Report


Although the brave enemy fought a hard battle and actually denied me my goals at the very end, I did manage a Decisive Victory outcome and a well-deserved Knight’s Cross (if I do say so myself).

Review Final Situation


There was approximately 3,000 Allied troops to the west and south of the Sliema Objective who posed a very real threat, but not to the final outcome.

Post Mortem

Ian Bowes from the SugarFreeGamer made a post on Google + about a table he put together for his AAR collection (very nice I might add) and it got me looking into some old files where I found this game waiting to have the original post completed.

I had a semi-difficult time completing this AAR in that back when I played the actual scenario I used the non-military icons on the counters. Since then I learned and became more comfortable with NATO military markers and had actually forgot what the simpler variety were, and found myself having to go back and check what was what.

2 comments:

  1. I am blown away by the casualty totals. 17,000+ combined total for the scenario. That seems like a lot for CO. Though I've not played the bigger games.

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  2. It was a beast to play back then, considering I did it on an XP operating system with a dual core processor and 2 GB of RAM (it chugged to a seeming halt sometimes).

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