Gazala AAR

Discussion relating to Battlefront

Moderators: AlexS, Run5 Staff, SSG Staff

Gazala AAR

Postby stevel40831 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:13 am

May 24, 1942

The war in the desert has been ongoing since June 1940 with neither us nor our German counterparts able to deliver a knockout blow. The terrain makes a cohesive strategy nearly impossible as a victory is difficult to follow up. The sheer distance between each sides headquarters in North Africa – 1,300 miles – gives some indication that communication is also a major issue. The campaign in the desert tends to go in fits and starts. The Afrika Korps is a poor cousin to the forces committed to Operation Barbarossa in terms of the equipment they have been given. Ultra intercepts tell us that Rommel has a constant battle getting OKW to supply him with enough fuel and modern equipment, despite his success here. In late-January of this year, Rommel had re-captured western Cyrenaica and had advanced his two divisions to within 26 miles of Gazala and 64 miles from Tobruk. Then came the current lull in fighting during which both sides have been reorganizing our men and equipment. Little has taken place between late January and now and this has allowed for both sides to regroup.

Prime Minister Churchill has become very critical of our failure to be more aggressive. We understand that he has his reasons for feeling this way. We are not doing well against the our enemies - and he needs a victory or at least signs of an aggressive campaign - to bolster Allied morale. There is also a real fear that Malta is going to be invaded.

Malta is a serious problem for the Germans. Their air force and U-boats are dominant in the western Mediterranean but the RAF bases in Malta and the naval force stationed there are doing a great amount of damage to the German attempt to supply the Afrika Korps. Malta has taken a pounding from the air and there is a real fear that the island will soon be invaded and that the Germans will have a near free-hand with regards to supplying the Afrika Korps. The Prime Minister wants Cyrenaica retaken as planes from the RAF could use the air bases there to attack Axis shipping if Malta does fall.

Our command here does not share Mr. Churchill's viewpoint - and many senior commanders in North Africa are in agreement that an offensive is not the wisest thing to do in our current state. If any attack is to take place, we believe that it should be well planned and the force involved well equipped for the attack. Such an attack would need time to prepare. This had put us on a collision course with Mr. Churchill, who had already sent a 'comply or resign' telegram to the army commander. The Prime Minister has been promised an offensive in June and for several weeks we have been planning for the campaign to recapture Cyrenaica. We only need a couple more weeks to build up and we will be stong enough to push Rommel back to El Agheila.

As we await the offensive, it is important to summarize our current situation in the region, known as the "Gazala Line". The 8th Army, currently numbering 100,000 men, is led by Lieutenant-General Ritchie and is made up of the 13th Corps, led by Lt-General Gott, and the 30th Corps led by Lt-General Norrie. The 8th Army is served by 849 tanks, made up of Grants, Stuarts, Crusaders, Valentines and Matildas. Of the 320 planes in the region, only 190 are in service. Our forces in Gazala and Tobruk are protected by the Gazala Line - a massive defensive barrier that consists of huge minefields (one extends for 43 miles inland from the coast) and a series of inland 'boxes' which house complete brigades. The 'boxes' are designed to house a large number of men and equipment - the most important ones are, Bir Hakeim which houses the Free French, covering our southern flank, and at Knightsbridge, which houses the 150th Brigade of the 50th (Northumberland) Division and protects our central line-of-communication.

We feel that the "Gazala Line" is a formidable defensive barrier. We had assumed that, after his offensive earlier this year, Rommel would attack along the coastal road towards Tobruk. Therefore, we have kept a large number of men and equipment in this region. Although the inland positions are somewhat thin, we did not, and still do not, fear an offensive in this area. The 'boxes' in particular have less artillery ammunition than they requested. As no German attacks are expected here, the ammunition is being held back for our own offensive next month.

Ultra has provided us only limited information on Rommel's forces. We know that they number approximately 90,000 men and that he had access to 560 tanks of which 332 are German and 228 are Italian. He also had available 497 serviceable planes which is a bit of a concern.

(Much of text credited to the History Learning Site, made changes to make it appropriate to present tense.)

"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out."

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
User avatar
stevel40831
Lieutenant-Colonel
Lieutenant-Colonel
 
Posts: 735
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:21 am
Location: Berwick, ME

Postby stevel40831 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:28 pm

Here are a few screenshots to get you familiar with the opening setup of the battle.

Image
Above is the strategic situation. Note that between the "boxes" of Bir Hacheim and Rotunda Ualeb there are large gaps between the friendly forces. The "boxes" are heavily fortified zones which can hold out for long periods of time if encircled by enemy forces. In reserve at Knightsbridge is the 1st Armored Division and the 7th Armored Division around Retima in the south. Once our offensive begins next month, these divisions will spearhead the attack.

Image
Above: The defenses along the coastal road. If Rommel attacks, this is where we expect it to come.

Image
Above: The 2nd South African Division defends the coastal round south to the Alem Hamza "box".

Image
Above: The 150th Brigade defending the "box" at Rotunda Ualeb.

Image
Above: Northeast of Rotunda Ualeb at Knightsbridge. The 1st Armored Division sits in reserve here, ready to respond to any German threat.

Image
The "box" at Bir Hacheim, manned by the Free French.
Last edited by stevel40831 on Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out."

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
User avatar
stevel40831
Lieutenant-Colonel
Lieutenant-Colonel
 
Posts: 735
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:21 am
Location: Berwick, ME

Postby Noakesy » Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:29 pm

Looks excellent, who will you be playing against Steve?
Image ImageImage
User avatar
Noakesy
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 1968
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:23 pm
Location: UK

Postby stevel40831 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:29 pm

Noakesy wrote:Looks excellent, who will you be playing against Steve?


Field Marshall Rommels replacement is rumored to be in the area -- FM JSS!
Last edited by stevel40831 on Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out."

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
User avatar
stevel40831
Lieutenant-Colonel
Lieutenant-Colonel
 
Posts: 735
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:21 am
Location: Berwick, ME

Postby Arckon » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:54 pm

All right an AAR. Here we go.
User avatar
Arckon
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 10:21 am

Postby Joe » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:09 pm

Those big round strongpoints. How many steps do they have?
Joe
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 1650
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2003 8:32 pm

Postby JSS » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:43 pm

Joe wrote:Those big round strongpoints. How many steps do they have?


There're only 2 steps... but they repair quickly (2 turns) :x

It's the cursed square brown strongpoints that are the real bother... 4 steps :shock: ... at least they only repair in 3 turns... have a chance to wear them down :twisted:
User avatar
JSS
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2489
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 9:13 pm
Location: Washington D.C.

Postby stevel40831 » Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:59 pm

While waiting for hostilities to commence, I have ordered my aide to prepare a few items that may be of interest to you.
Image
Note that there are quite a few hexes that, at a glance, appear to be good defensive terrain. But, upon closer inspection, you will see that some of this "defensive terrain" is simply a change in elevation and is actually clear terrain! You must analyze the terrain very closely to find good defensive positions... don't worry, my aide has done most of the hard work for you!

Good use of deception practices and screening of your main force with recon units will help your units survive in the open desert. If you are caught out of position and don't watch your flanks, enemy air strikes, artillery and direct fire will wreak havoc on your forces. You are very vulnerable while on the move!

Image
The "open" terrain CRT. Note the new "Retreat Table". A separate die is rolled on this table to determine whether the defenders retreat or not. A "6" combat result is almost always good, but, it no longer means an automatic retreat!

Image
The "rough" terrain CRT.

Image
The "village" CRT.

Image
The "town" CRT.

Image
Open terrain movement rates.

Image
Rough terrain movement rates.

Image
Village terrain movement rates.

Image
Town terrain movement rates.

Image
How to search for units of different capabilites.

Image
Who's getting (and not getting!) the unit integrity bonus?

Note that the Free French unit that has wandered NE into the desert is on a "training exercise" before hostilites... wandering into the desert and away from the fortified "boxes" under hostile conditions could be suicidal!

"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out."

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
User avatar
stevel40831
Lieutenant-Colonel
Lieutenant-Colonel
 
Posts: 735
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:21 am
Location: Berwick, ME

Postby balsampear » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:01 pm

wonderful :D
balsampear
Sergeant
Sergeant
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:12 pm

Postby Robjess » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:25 pm

Steve you are doing a great job show casing this.. well done and keep it up.
User avatar
Robjess
Chief of Staff
Chief of Staff
 
Posts: 5126
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 5:33 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby sorcerer » Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:04 pm

:?
Image Image Image Image Image Image
User avatar
sorcerer
Lieutenant-Colonel
Lieutenant-Colonel
 
Posts: 795
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 9:55 pm

Postby Noakesy » Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:38 pm

Have I read this right, it's possible for some of the units to retain their integrity bonus, and it's no longer the case that one unit outside the area will penalise all units?
Image ImageImage
User avatar
Noakesy
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 1968
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:23 pm
Location: UK

Postby stevel40831 » Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:05 pm

Noakesy wrote:Have I read this right, it's possible for some of the units to retain their integrity bonus, and it's no longer the case that one unit outside the area will penalise all units?


Yes, that's correct.

We're on our 2nd turn right now and will be posting things at a quicker pace shortly. We want to get a turn or two ahead of the posts in order to have the element of "surprise" available.

I have a good example of what not to do regarding unit integrity on my first turn battle report that will be coming soon. Probably the first "bonehead" move of our match!

Steve

"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out."

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
User avatar
stevel40831
Lieutenant-Colonel
Lieutenant-Colonel
 
Posts: 735
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:21 am
Location: Berwick, ME

Postby Arinvald » Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:25 pm

Ah, let the games begin!
Arinvald
Sergeant
Sergeant
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 5:34 am

Postby Noakesy » Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:19 am

Being petty, I must admit I preferred the look of the old bunker symbol, is this just a draft (the plain squares) or will they look nicer in the finished article?
Image ImageImage
User avatar
Noakesy
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 1968
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:23 pm
Location: UK

Next

Return to Battlefront Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron