Highway to the Reich Eindhoven Historical Campaign Day Seven

The following post is Day Seven 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 followed 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 Six 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 Six Analysis

I am currently in control of all 16 location objectives.

The total force strength is 16,340 personnel, 588 armored fighting vehicles, 287 gun units, a 4,974 anti-personnel firepower rating, a 9,029 anti-armor firepower rating, a 2,466 Armor rating, and a 1,047 bombardment rating.

There are no scheduled reinforcements for today.

I currently have four artillery batteries under my direct Fire Control: 377th (12 X 75mm/out of ammo), 321st (12 X 75mm/40% ammo), 907th (12 X 105mm/85% ammo), and the British 26.7 (8 X 5.5 inch/out of ammo).

All batteries are on call with “Rest After Bombard” deselected so as to allow the various AI commanders use of these assets.

If the scenario were to end right now, I would have killed 5,225 Axis personnel, 85 armored fighting vehicles, and 261 gun units (11 destroyed by fire and nine by surrender).

Allied losses would be 2,207 personnel, 37 armored fighting vehicles, and 63 gun units. There has been one unit destroyed by Fire and one by Surrender. In the first five days of combat operations I lost a total of 1,497 personnel, and on the 6th day I lost an additional 710 (in one day of fighting).

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

New Orders

The 907th Glider Field Artillery Battalion (370P/12G/110AP/175AA/112B) is ordered to move from their present location near Goosen Bunder approximately 5km northeast to a clearing 3km north of St. Oedenrode.

  • Formation – Road Column
  • Route – Avoidance
  • Aggro – Min
  • Losses – Min

This should bring them within range of the group of Axis forces amassed outside of Veghel and their 12 M3 105mm Howitzers into the action as they have been sitting on 50% and 85% artillery ammunition stores for the past two nights when other batteries have depleted their allotment.

The position will still allow for some coverage of the main road running from Boxtel to Best which is being observed by several units in the west that can call in artillery strikes.

The 1st Coldstream Guards Battalion [Armor] (325P/74AFV/8G/280AP/419AA/335A) is redeployed at the Koevering Objective (7 VP) by detaching several units to best cover the approaches to the highway that leads from St. Oedenrode to Veghel. The HQ unit is also issued a separate Defend order on top of its current location without using in-situ so it can reposition the remaining attached units.

As with other manual placement of subordinate units earlier in this scenario I intend to regroup them and issue an in-situ Defend order so that they can share information yet retain my desired deployment.

The 1st Grenadier Guards Battalion [Infantry] (348P/6AFV/9G/86AP/150AA/23A/19B) which are attacking towards the Veghel River Highway Bridge has taken a beating with several units routing. They are down to 348 personnel from a starting strength of 504 (69%) and have lost over half of their armored fighting vehicles (down to 5 X Sherman 75 and 1 X Sherman Firefly). I issue a Defend order with an easterly facing so that they can begin the process of digging in before sunrise.

During the night the 5th Coldstream Guards Battalion [Infantry] arrived at their staging area above Son and I decided to leave them in place without fine tuning their deployment. At daybreak the 1st Battalion 327th Glider Infantry Regiment that had left Uden for Veghel has fatigued to the point that they have stopped moving and are resting along the main road. I am wondering if this is because of the Avoidance route type that I selected and if Quickest would have been better.

Approximately 1km below them the 1st Grenadier Guards Battalion [Infantry] is likewise fatigued (most likely due to the stiff resistance they encountered during the last 12 hours) and is also in a resting state.

D Troop 102nd AT Regiment which was attached to its organic superior 6th Durham Light Infantry Battalion defending in east Eindhoven is destroyed which weakens the top of the defensive line. The 5th Coldstream Guards Battalion [Infantry] is pulled from their staging area above Son and ordered to form an additional defensive line facing east to support 6 DLI in blocking the primary objective.

At 18:00 in the northern sector D/2HC (just outside of the image) continues to report sightings of various units streaming to the east from Hertogenbosch, while the numerous intelligence reports around Veghel are beginning to decay and fade out with age from the current intel reports filter.

In the southern sector B Squadron 61st Recce Regiment is maintaining an observation post near Lieshout and is reporting a number of fresh contacts streaming to the west from Gemert.

This force represents the most significant potential threat yet to Son and places C, E, and F Battery 81st Airborne AT Battalions at the sharp end of the defensive sword. With a total of 12 6pdr AT guns and 12 bazookas they should be able to delay any advance along the canal coming from the east.

Backing them up is an entrenched 3rd Battalion 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment that have been holding at Son since the original attack by the entire 502nd Regiment back on the first day. They are a full strength parachute infantry battalion at 585 personnel and will deal some significant damage to anything that makes it through the AT screen.

The critical Veghel River Highway Bridge (14 VP) has been hotly contested during the closing hours of the day’s action as E Company 2nd Battalion 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment disintegrates and merges with the 3rd Battalion 327th Glider Infantry Regiment. The remaining 374 paratroopers of 2/501st Bn along with 240 British infantry in the 1st Grenadier Guards Battalion are effectively a battalion strength element holding the objective.

To be continued…

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