Highway to the Reich Eindhoven Historical Campaign Day Eight

The following post is Day Eight 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 Seven 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 Seven Analysis

I am currently in control of all 16 location objectives.

The total force strength is 15,936 personnel, 572 armored fighting vehicles, 270 gun units, a 4,837 anti-personnel firepower rating, a 8,720 anti-armor firepower rating, a 2,419Armor rating, and a 1,014 bombardment rating.

There are three Recce reinforcement units scheduled in the afternoon anywhere between 13:00-20:00.

I currently have four artillery batteries under my direct Fire Control: 377th (12 X 75mm/out of ammo), 321st (12 X 75mm/out of ammo), 907th (12 X 105mm/out of 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 7,087 Axis personnel, 131 armored fighting vehicles, and 293 gun units (14 destroyed by fire and nine by surrender).

Allied losses would be 2,611 personnel, 53 armored fighting vehicles, and 80 gun units. There have been three units destroyed by Fire and one by Surrender.

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

New Orders

Recce Troop 44th Royal Tank Regiment (5 X Stuart VI Light Tanks) has maintained an observation post on the crest of a hill between Eerde and the main road leading north into Veghel for the past couple of days and has allowed for the detection in a shift of the Axis forces that were congested in the area around the canal. The force now appears to be moving south towards Koevering which will allow them access to the main road and a different approach into Veghel.

The 8th Durham Light Infantry Battalion (515P/24AFV/10G/81AP/71AA/32A/19B) which has been defending a line perpendicular to the concentration of the Germans is ordered to effectively pivot their initial deployment by facing southwest with their backs up against the water obstacle and the Veghel Canal Highway Bridge Objective (14 VP). This effectively swings shut a gate to deny a new breach point to the Axis if they turn back north instead of proceeding south.

The 1st Coldstream Guards Battalion [Armor] (315P/72AFV/8G/267AP/409AA/319A) which has been defending at the Koevering Objective (7 VP) for the past few days is regrouped with their detached manually deployed units and given a simple Defend order with in-situ selected so that no one vacates their current deployment or facing. This will allow the HQ unit control over the earlier detachments should an AI determined change need to be made once significant enemy contact occurs.

Just after midnight I receive notification that the Phillips Factory Objective (7 VP) which has been secured by the 1st Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment since early on day two has been lost, and shortly after that notification comes that the critical Eindhoven Objective (17 VP) being defended by the 15/19 Hussars, the 6th Durham Light Infantry Battalion, and the 5th Coldstream Guards Battalion [Infantry] has also fallen.

The British units are stout and have been doing a masterful job in defending the objective to this point and the important thing for me to do here is to not panic and order a massive reshuffling of forces. The Eindhoven contingent has long been in place and therefore entrenched offering maximum defensive bonuses, so I plan on waiting this out for the reinforcements coming later in the day to plug the apparent holes which allowed some intrepid Germans access to the area.

By daybreak the Eindhoven and Phillips Factory objectives have changed hands several times, but given the 1,000 meter diameter of both they overlap somewhat to where it is most likely the same German units (some of which now lay destroyed in front of Eindhoven) causing the challenge to both objectives.

At noon the 44th Royal Tank Regiment has been decimated and knocked off their observation post several times. Down to only one Stuart VI Light Tank and four crew members they have done their duty by spotting for the artillery batteries which are pulverizing the Germans trying to move south to Koevering through Eerde.

I issue a Withdraw order to move them to the relative safety of the Veghel sector. While their place on the battlefield is critical, having them destroyed would not serve a useful purpose at this point.

At 14:20 B Squadron 52nd Recce Regiment (134P/52AFV/2G/52AP/59AA/80A) arrives in Eindhoven and is ordered to move into the perimeter of the Phillips Factory Objective (7 VP).

  • Formation – Line
  • Route – Quickest
  • Aggro – Max
  • Losses – Max

This should provide them excellent line of sight to one of the potential access points some of the German forces may be slipping through. Their powerful Combat Rating of 4 should help swing the objective back into Allied control.

Victory Points

"We shall seize the victory points - it's all a question of victory points - with thunderclap surprise, and hold them until they can be counted at the end of the scenario".

At this point in the scenario I scan the objective list and determine that I have accumulated 100.3 total Victory Points. As all objectives are accumulating these as Occupation and not Completion, once they are earned they cannot be lost. The maximum number of Victory Points available in any scenario under any circumstance is 100, so I have already achieved the maximum amount of points possible.

Theoretically at this point I could pull all of the units off of the objectives and park them in a dark corner of the map to rest and refit for the remainder of the scenario and not lose a single Victory Point. The technical problem with that is although I cannot score any more than 100 Victory Points, my presence on the objectives serves to deny the Germans the accumulation of those Victory Points should they seize an objective by achieving a 10:1 ratio of forces within an objective perimeter.

So while I may be redundantly accumulating additional Victory Points (as no more than 100 count at the end of the scenario), I am at least denying the Axis their points by holding on.

At 18:00 in the Veghel sector there are 359 Axis units threatening the Hulstheuvel Highway Bridge Objective (10 VP), 224 at the Veghel River Highway Bridge Objective (14 VP), 719 at the Veghel Canal Rail Bridge Objective (7 VP), and 345 in a group that has split off and are advancing towards the Koevering Objective (7 VP) as that location has been coming under intense artillery bombardment.

In the St. Oedenrode sector B Squadron 61st Recce Regiment in the east near Lieshout has been decimated so far losing 103 personnel (89%) and are down to just 14 soldiers, however their observation of the canal roads leading into Son have proven invaluable and I cannot vacate the position as they have been consistently drawing artillery fire away from the bulk of my forces.

In the Eindhoven sector B/52 Recce has detected 149 Germans at the southeastern end of the Phillips Factory Objective perimeter while on their way to the observation post. The 15/19 Hussars and the 2nd Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment have done a great job in attacking from their entrenched positions which is causing several Axis units to route if not be destroyed.

At 18:27 C Squadron 52nd Recce Regiment (134P/52AFV/2G/52AP/59AA/80A) arrives in Eindhoven and is ordered to move to the observation post near Lieshout to relieve B/61st Recce.

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

If they arrive in time I intend to pull B/61st Recce back and out of the action. They may actually prove useful elsewhere as a scout albeit they are only 11% of original strength, they still have visibility on the battlefield.

At 19:11 A Squadron 52nd Recce Regiment (134P/52AFV/2G/52AP/59AA/80A) arrives in Eindhoven and is ordered to take move to a clearing outside of the village of Nuenen.

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

Unlike the previous C/52nd Recce which is getting bogged down by going through west Eindhoven, for A/52nd Recce I place enough waypoints to take them through east Eindhoven, which I hope they can bypass any newly detected Axis forces so they can provide observation of the several intersecting roads at Nuenen.

A/52nd Recce has arrived at their observation post outside of Nuenen and detected several Axis units along the way which they were able to successfully avoid engaging. C/52nd Recce has finally broken off contact outside of Eindhoven and are on their way along the indicated path to relieve B/61st Recce, but this route came at a cost having lost some 23 personnel.

To be continued…

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