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Posted on Sep 27, 2007 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

GenCon Battle Report: Bitter Cold Bastogne

By Paul Glasser

More panzers poured across the only intact bridge, entering the town of Bastogne itself. An unfortunate friendly fire incident occurred as USAAF ground-attack fighters strafed the town and inadvertently killed several paratroopers. Good news came when the Luftwaffe Stukas were shot down by AA fire and more artillery fire annihilated the German towed artillery.

In a last desperate attempt to avoid annihilation, my Sherman tanks swarmed out from the ridge gap and fired on the rear armor of the King Tigers killing one. The surviving infantry on the ridge used bazookas to destroy one Pz IV. However, a second platoon quickly followed on the heels of the King Tigers, destroying the remaining Shermans and pushing into the exposed flank of the main attack group.

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The last best hope for saving Bastogne soon found themselves in need of relief as Sherman tanks on the left flank poured out from the ridge line and found themselves facing a company of Pz IV tanks on the other side of a frozen river. The airborne artillery unit was forced to engage the panzers in Bastogne over open sights, but had little success.

In the fifth and final turn, the Allied relief effort totally collapsed. Caught between two German tank companies, the relief column was butchered. "It was really over two turns ago," said Joe. Paratroopers retained control of Bastogne itself, but the German tanks had crossed the river in force and seized the ammo dump, a vital objective. However, the tenacious defenders inflicted heavy loses.

Although the initial plan to quickly seize both bridges collapsed, the German panzer commanders were able to adapt to the situation. "Auftragstaktik" was a similar concept from World War II that allowed local commanders to achieve their mission goals with maximum flexibility. Pete also noted that the Allied tanks failed to concentrate sufficient firepower against the superior enemy. "It takes a volley of six, eight or ten tanks to be successful," he said. "It’s all about mobility and lots of action."
Although the Allies suffered a tough loss, there was lots of friendly trash talk and banter back and forth. Pete also awarded prizes to players voted the most tenacious or determined.

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2 Comments

  1. Good AAR, thx

  2. no

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