ParaRifle Co, 3/504th PIR vs 1. Grenadierkompanie, 362. Infantriedivision

Allies: 2 | Corky272
Axis: 5 | Ertle

ParaRifle Co, 3/504th PIR
Company HQ (w/3 Bazookas)
Parachute Rifle Platoon (2 squads, w/Bazooka)
Parachute Rifle Platoon (2 squads, w/Bazooka)
Parachute MG Platoon (4 M1919 LMG, w/Bazooka)
Parachute Mortar Platoon (4 M1 81mm mortars)
Tank Platoon (1 M4A3 Sherman, 2 M4A3 (76mm) Sherman)
Naval Gunfire Support (Light Cruiser)
Priority Air Support (P-47 Thunderbolt)
Fearless Vet, 1650 points

1. Grenadierkompanie, 362. Infantriedivision
Company HQ (w/Panzerschreck)
Grenadier Platoon (3 squads)
Grenadier Platoon (3 squads)
Grenadier MG Platoon (4 MG42 HMG)
Grenadier Mortar Platoon (4 12cm sGW43)
Grenadier Anti-tank Platoon (2 7.5cm PaK40)
Panzer Platoon (4 Panzer IV H)
Assault Gun Platoon (4 StuG G)
Rocket Launcher Battery (3 21cm NW42 Launchers)
Confident Vet, 1645 points

Italy Campaign Mission Situation: Liri River Valley (river valley, Hitler Line Fortified)

A fresh German Officer, Matt, reported to the battlefield this morning and took command of a grenadierkompanie from Andrew’s 362. Infantriedivision. Upon receiving his orders, the German Commander surveyed the battlefield: a sparsely forested river valley with a few hills on the west bank, a small river snaking the center of the battlefield, and mountain foothills on the east bank. Engaging in the “River Crossing” mission, the German officer dug into the east bank and prepared for war. This mission was an introduction to “Flames of War” for the German Commander, and while this would be his first command, he proved to be quite successful in his battlefield tactics.

The River Crossing engagement lasted for 6 turns over the course of 3 hours and 10 minutes. The Allies took heavy casualties, yet their fearless fighting spirit never wavered. The Germans suffered lighter casualties, but they did lose their foothold on the west bank. The sacrifice of the grenadier platoon would prove honorable, however, as the Germans would seize the mission and claim a 5-2 victory.

The Allied Commander built his Parachute Rifle Platoon from “Road to Rome”. The Axis Commander built his Grenadierkompanie from “Fortress Italy”.

All three Objectives were deployed on the east bank of the river. The First Objective was deployed in the northeast quarter opposite the northern fjord. The Second Objective was deployed centrally on the table on the far side of the central woods. The Third Objective was deployed in the southeast quarter opposite and to the north of the southern fjord.

Given the mission parameters, the German Commander combat attached two HMGs each to both of the grenadier platoons; one platoon was deployed and dug into the west bank of the river with the second left in reserve. The grenadier anti-tank platoon was deployed on the east bank, daisy chained to protect the central objective and each gun targeted on a fjord. The grenadier mortar platoon was deployed daisy chained across the high ground to gain a line of sight advantage on the approaching enemy as well as protecting all three objectives. All remaining platoons were left in reserve. The CO was deployed within the central woods holding back to protect the second objective; the XO deployed on the west bank, also dug into the woods, behind the first grenadier platoon. With all of the German platoons deployed, the Allied Commander removed the First Objective, frustrating the German Commander’s plan of defense.

The Allies deployed their mortar platoon in the northwest quarter of the battlefield, using a medium hill as cover. Both of the parachute rifle platoons were deployed in the southern two-thirds of the west bank as a means of overpowering their German counterparts and quickly securing the southern fjord. The Shermans were deployed centrally located on the west bank to help route out the dug-in Germans. The Parachute Machine Gun platoon was combat attached to each of the parachute rifle platoons. With no fear of anti-air fire, the NGFS AOP was free to roam the east bank. The CO was deployed with the First ParaRifle Platoon, while the XO was deployed with the Second ParaRifle Platoon.

With deployments complete, both sides were in for a long and bloody battle. As it would turn out, all 6 turns would be fought on the west bank of the river. Using a tried-and-true tactic, the Allied Commander used the first turn to bombard and smoke the dug-in German infantry. Unfortunately, it would prove ineffective: the Germans were pinned, but suffered no casualties. Likewise, naval gunfire proved just as ineffective. With an excellent German deployment, the Allied air support was unable to range in on a target.

During its second turn, the American ParaRifles advanced their position to set up an assault, while the Shermans attempted a flanking maneuver around the north side of one of the hills to weaken the Grenadiers. This would be countered by German mortar fire, destroying one Sherman and bailing another. Naval gunfire was more effective this turn eliminating one PaK40. The P47 was able to range in on its target this time, however, it was only able to pin the mortars, who would in turn immediately recover.

For the first two rounds, the German mortars pestered the Americans as the grenadier and AT platoons elected to hold their positions and remain gone to ground.

Turns 3 through 5 would decide this battle, and while the Americans would come out victorious through assaults, the Germans would keep them engaged long enough to win the mission. On turn 3, the Americans launched an assault with both of its Parachute Rifle Platoons against the dug-in Germans. For the next three turns, both sides remained locked in combat, assaulting and counterassaulting. Rather than pushing his Shermans forward to secure the fjords, the Allied Commander chose instead to hold his tanks on the west bank to offer defensive fire support for his paratroopers. While effective, it would cost him the Mission.

Although rolling each turn for reserves, the German Commander was unable to gain any support until Turn 3, electing to bring forward first his rockets, followed by his panzers, and finally his second infantry platoon. On each turn, the rockets would pester the Americans, but otherwise they had little effect; neither the panzers nor the grenadiers would reach the river soon enough to make a difference in the game. As it turns out, it really wouldn’t matter.

The Americans launched a third assault on the grenadiers on Turn 5, this time finally breaking them. Using their artillery and panzer machine guns, the Germans were successful in pinning the Americans, still stuck on the west bank, and destroying one ParaRifle platoon.

Turn 6, while uneventful, would decide the game. While the American ParaRifle platoon was able to unpin, it could only advance to the river, unable to cross. The two remaining Shermans in the fight were able to advance on the river; however, they bogged in the fjord and were unable to cross the river. Naval gunfire and the P47 enjoyed their most successful bombardments on Turn 6, destroying 2 Panzers, 2 StuGs, one mortar team, and pinning the PaK40s. Unfortunately, their fight would end here. Unable to cross the river before now, as the turn was handed to the Germans, the Germans found that they had stalled the Americans long enough to gain their victory.

Although it was his first game and he lost one platoon, the German Commander was commended for his brilliant battlefield tactics. Both commanders felt that they had faced worthy opponents and look forward to facing off again.

Allied Losses
Parachute Rifle Platoon (8 Rifle teams, 1 mortar team, 1 bazooka, 2 LMGs)
Parachute Rifle Platoon (3 Rifle teams, 1 mortar team)
Tank Platoon (1 M4A3)
Mortar Platoon (1 mortar team, 1 command team)

Axis Losses
Commanding Officer
Grenadier Platoon (6 Rifle/MG teams, 2 HMGs)
Panzer Platoon (2 Panzer IV H)
Assault Gun Platoon (2 StuG G)
Mortar Platoon (1 mortar team)
Anti-Tank Platoon (1 PaK40)