Highway to the Reich Eindhoven Historical Campaign Day Four

The following post is Day Four of the Historical Campaign for Eindhoven, a nine day nine hour scenario in Highway to the Reich by Panther Games. Breaking the blog post up into structured segments for each day should allow for better tactical analysis and reassessment of the battle plan based on the situation on the ground (as well as a more organized approach to writing an after-action report for a scenario as long as this).

The Eindhoven scenario is one of three historical campaigns (Arnhem, Eindhoven, and Nijmegen) that form the backbone of the Operation Market Garden representation in the Airborne Assault engine at that time (preceded by Red Devils Over Arnhem and succeeded by the HTTR expansion pack for Command Operations). The missions feature various elements of the Allies 30 Corps fighting against the Axis 1st Fallschirmjäger Army and 2nd SS Panzer Corps.

Please refer to the previous entry covering Day Three action for detailed information about how the battle progressed to this point. Note: all links used in this post are to actual articles containing additional information about the subject matter referenced and are not any form of automated link advertising.

Day Three Analysis

I am currently in control of 15 out of the 16 total location objectives. The Veghel Canal Rail Bridge Objective (7 VP) which is the task of 1st Battalion 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment and 3rd Battalion 327th Glider Infantry Regiment has been breached and Axis units are crossing the bridge. This represents the first significant crack in my plan.

The total force strength is 11,577 personnel, 101 armored fighting vehicles, 164 gun units, a 3,087 anti-personnel firepower rating, a 6,764 anti-armor firepower rating, a 648 Armor rating, and a 592 bombardment rating.

From this point forward combat power values will be abbreviated (armored fighting vehicles=AFV, etc.)

If the scenario were to end right now, I would have killed 2,000 Axis personnel, 41 armored fighting vehicles, and 130 gun units (five destroyed by fire and seven by surrender). Allied losses would be 670 personnel, 15 armored fighting vehicles, and 18 gun units.

There are three primary areas of concern at the moment: Veghel, Best, and Eindhoven.

In the Veghel sector I have 2,546 Allied troops in dug-in positions defending against an intelligence filter estimate of 3,093 Axis troops, however many of these sightings have degraded to the point where they are no longer visible when using the Current filter (conceding here it is nighttime and visibility is drastically reduced).

The group of Germans at the beginning of the rail line is within artillery range while the group at the end of the rail line is outside of my current maximum bombardment range. To resolve this issue I order the 377th Parachute Light Artillery Battalion (with its 12 M1A1 75mm Pack Howitzers) to a clearing approximately 2km northeast of their present location (see the inset image) to bring them in range to cover the entire Veghel sector.

In the Best sector I have 549 Allied troops in dug-in positions defending against an estimated 379 Axis troops, however these reports have degraded to the point where they no longer appear using the either the Current or Recent intelligence filters.

This area (even with the relocating 377th) is covered by all four artillery batteries presently on the map (three under my direct Fire Control and one British battery of seven Sexton mobile artillery that are attached to the 15/19 Hussars defending in Eindhoven).

In the Eindhoven sector I have 952 Allied troops in town (1,672 total in the current map view) in dug-in positions defending against an estimated 640 Axis troops. As with the previous sectors these sighting have aged to the point where they are no longer visible in the Current intelligence filter.

This area is presently covered by two artillery batteries, one American and one British.

Although there is a breach in the Veghel sector, I am not going to reposition any front line combat troops to counter it at this point as I want to see how my units handle the threat and how much a role the artillery plays over the coming day.

Combat Action

The 11th Field Engineer Company 30th Corps has been knocked off their position and the Veghel River Rail Bridge Objective (7 VP) that was initially blown and then rebuilt has been lost for the moment.

After some consideration of the available forces and the problems inherent with troops vacating dug-in positions and reorganizing to move out in broad daylight, I opt for a compromise that could be a potential ace in the hole. 

C Battery 81st Airborne AA Battalion (120P/23AP/42AA) is ordered to move into the Veghel sector and position themselves as a firebase located on a downward slope that has clear visibility to the crossing point. Their 12 M2 50cal HMG and six bazookas should help repel the Germans trying to exploit the crack in my line.

At noon as C/81st are making their way to Veghel (the unit on the road in the far top right corner of the map), A Battery 81st Airborne AA Battalion which has been set up as an observation post picks up a group of approximately 417 Axis units moving from Boxtel to the east above Liemde. The Threat Line of Sight (TLOS) tool is useful to identify critical units that should be bombarded if there is available artillery.

Just before 18:00 I lose the first unit of the entire battle so far when the 1st Bridge Platoon 30th Corps disbands and is merged with the 11th Field Engineer Company 30th Corps. They had broken and routed several times while attempting to assist in the defense of the Veghel River Rail Bridge Objective (7 VP).

As the fourth day of operations winds down, C Battery 27th Light Anti-aircraft Regiment has been roughed up and is knocked off of its observation post outside of Eindhoven by a platoon of Panther tanks.

Overall I am pleased with how the defensive line dug-in at Veghel is holding back the various probes and assaults that are being thrown at it by the Germans.

To be continued…

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