Day 2 saw a weary bunch of wargamers assemble at the unheard of hour of 9am on a Sunday. After copious amounts of tea and coffee were consumed, battle commenced. The first action was to activate the medical and repair stands on table to salvage losses from the previous day's fighting. For me, most of the French armoured losses were made good (5 AMX-30 stands).
During the morning, the French successfully called in a 3 Mirage F1 airstrike which effectively dealt with Ian's T-72s. We decided on weapons loads randomly with 2 planes loaded with iron bombs (6 ttacks each) and 1 plane loaded with ICM (6 attacks no saves). What the iron bombs didn't KO, the ICM finished off. While this was going on, the French mechanised infantry close assaulted Mike's dug in infantry in the smoke and woods (between the two bridges in the shot below), successfully neutralising them for the loss of the equivalent of a company of apcs and infantry.
Meanwhile, smoke continued to mask Ian's dug in infantry.
Mike's soviet armour continued to stand off against the M1s on the French right, but were beginning to be whittled down by artillery drifting over their positions.
In a gallant action, French Pumas carried out an air assault, ferrying underslung ERC-90s into a clearing behind Mike's lines. With nothing in the fire arc, they were able to deal with Mike's BRDM-3s, which were holding up French armour expanding the bridgehead and then take out AT-4 armed BMP-1s which were attempting to form a stop line around the minefields (top right). Having done this, they would have been free in the next move, had there been one, to drive down the autobahn into downtown Regensberg, with support from further ERC-90s and Foreign Legion infantry which would have air assaulted next turn. Probably not enough to secure Regensburg, but enough to draw troops back from the front line perhaps?
Finally, French armour forges ahead out of the bridgehead to attempt to swing left and start to roll up Ian's troops from the flank. Alas, it didn't happen quickly enough, thanks to two successive order blunders. This left the armour to be pounded by a vast array of Soviet artillery and Hinds. Although very little was lost, almost everything was suppressed, effectively stalling the advance.
Another view of all those lovely AMX-30s, itching to break free and deal with those pesky soviets.
Schwandorf - way beyond the reach of the French until the 2nd echelon could arrive (the French only committed 40% of their combat units with 1 each of a tank, mechanised and motorised battalion that could be committed the second echelon. The battalion of ERC-90s and Foreign Legion infantry were going to be committed to causing trouble in Regensberg, leaving two battalions of AMX-10RCs to help the 2nd echelon in the dash north for Schwandorf and to probe east towards Czechoslovakia. A man can dream if he wants.
French armour, right of view, after the soviet artillery had had their fun.
French first echelon troops awaiting the arrival of the second echelon at close of play (Turn 9 for us).
Close of play and the fighting for the outskirts of Regensberg.
3rd US infantry's right flank where they were trading fire across the Donau with Ben's East Germans.
Kelheim on the right in Soviet airborne hands - whether they were a coup de main unit hidden in the town or had assaulted across the bridge I didn't find out before we finished.
The far west, with Canadians attempting to ford the Donau.
All in all a great couple of days wargaming. Some interesting differences in the interpretation of the rules at times, but generally resolved either through consensus or through a dice roll. Considering NATO had to cross a major river system and were faced with similar sized forces, albeit of generally inferior quality to their NATO counterparts (with the notable exception of my 1960's designed AMX-30s), they did surprisingly well. French and US forces had established bridgeheads over the Naab and Donau and were preparing to move on the Burglengenfeld and Regensberg objectives. Schwandorf would have been a tough nut to crack for the French. With the US cavalry also over the Donau and mauling the East Germans, they would have been looking to roll up the Soviet airborne from the flank, while the West Germans were keeping those occupying Kelheim busy. It would have been interesting to see what the next 9 or 10 turns produced, although we would probably still be playing on Wednesday.
All in all a great weekend. I just need a week at work to rest and recuperate before the Derby show on Saturday.
Thanks for looking.