Monday, 20 March 2017

Berkeley 2017 day 1 action

Couldn't resist popping one of my PSP ferries onto the canal, just to see how it looked.

The coastline - but not a good day to visit the beach.  Fast approaching out of a Baltic mist come troop transports, tank landing craft and all manner of support vessels.


At the same time, the Kiel Canal looks quiet, stirred by a gentle breeze, no sign of the storm to come.

Turn 1 and the Polish 7th Lusitanian Marine Assault Division crashes ashore on the Warpact left flank, landing in good order and quickly pushing inland, making as much use of terrain and programmed smoke a possible.  Infantry regt on the left, another in the centre woods with an improved T-55 regt behind.

On the Polish right another infantry regiment, with an engineer battalion advancing to secure the big blue UE store.  Further to the right, one of Simon's Polish infantry batts advances.

More of Simon's infantry secure the town and bridge, while a battalion of the 6th Polish Pommeranian Air Assault Division have dropped to ensure the capture of the town and key bridge.

Looking back along the Coast at the end of turn 1, the Poles are moving forward well.  Unfortunately, they encounter British heavy armour in the form of at least 4 Chieftain squadrons, plus infantry and ATGM supports with artillery support.

The action really began to hot up.  NATO used their TI capability to full effect, taking pot shots at the Poles through the smoke screen and punishing any vehicles crossing open terrain, especially Simon's forces on the Polish right.  By the end of the day, the Polish marines on the left flank had reached the middle of the table and were trying to disrupt NATO troops on the ground with HE barrages and counter battery fire while taking full advantage of terrain to hide from those lethal Brits.  This ended when the British armour decided to advance at the Poles to get better shots around the cover terrain.  In the centre, as the Chieftains advanced, the T-55s advanced and exchanged fire.  Although they couldn't manage kills, the T-55s kept the Chieftains suppressed, with the aide of HE barrages.

On the Polish marines left flank, the Chieftain squadron there advanced too close to the Polish infantry in their APCs.  The supporting PT-76s managed to obtain flank shots and suppressed some, then the APCs advanced, taking a couple of platoon losses to op fire, before dismounting and close assaulting the suppressed Chieftains.  Scratch one Chieftain troop and another pushed back from suppression.  In their turn, the surviving Chieftains tried to retire, only to lose another 2 platoons to massed RPG fire.  A real knife fight!  Enough to cause the surviving Brits to decide discretion was the better part of valour and bug out, leaving the left flank to the Poles.

On the right, Simon had trouble getting command rolls in and spent a lot of time being shot up in the open, losing a lot of troops.  The paratroopers suffered a lot attempting to close assault the Chieftains in the central wood in the photo below, but suffering because of the intervening concealed minefields and being largely eliminated.  Only one company successfully close assaulted the recce skulking in the buildings lower right and then spent the rest of the day holding up there.

At the end of the day, the Poles were pretty smug, as they had secured the right flank town and bridge, which effectively isolated NATO forces to the right of the river, albeit at the cost of the combat effectiveness of Simon's forces.  In the centre and left, the marines had caused enough damage to the British to cause them to pull back, less quite a few Chieftains, at the cost of c. 1/3rd of their force.  All this with the added knowledge that there was one Chieftain regt that wouldn't be interfering with the Kiel Canal crossing or appearing in the Northag area.

Day 2 to follow.  Thanks for looking.


  1. Great write up Andy nice to read and see the Day One action.
    Richard P

    1. Thanks Richard. Hopefully that, along with the Orbat and casualty report, will let you put together the action for the follow-up campaign. I must confess to getting quite attached to those Polish marines.

      Cheers, Andy

    2. Yes i'm attached to mine. They were the very first force I did for CWC for the very first Crisis Point when we all met for the first time thanks to Richard C.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks mate. It was a lot of fun.

      Cheers, Andy

  3. Wow, that's quite the opening round Andy! Very aggressive by the Poles, and looks to be paying off (I'm assuming they will have at least follow-on amphib forces, maybe also airlift?).


    1. Thanks Jack. Yes, an aggressive opening, especially considering there were Chieftains dug in and waiting, rather than the infantry and light armour force we were expecting. The Polish T-55s could deal with Leo 1s, but Chieftains!

      Yes, the Poles had the full 7th Marine Assault Division (a reinforced brigade in reality), plus a battalion of the 6th Air Assault Division (a parachute battalion in effect), with a reserve of a Polish T-72 tank regiment. I guess the rest of the 6th Air Assault Div could also be called in unless needed elsewhere.

      The situation reminded me a little of the quote regarding Anzio (if I remember it right), about throwing a tiger onto the beachhead and it turning into a kitten.

      Cheers, Andy