Panzer Campaigns Normandy 44 AAR

Following the successful local action at Secqueville elements of the I./SS.Pz.Rgt.12 came into solid and heavy contact with several units of the British 8th Armoured Brigade. Several companies of Stuarts, Shermans, Churchills and even some of the strange looking tanks that hit the beaches two days ago, began a protracted drive against the front held by the Pz IV H’s of SS Panzer Regiment 12. Roughly about half the battalion was deployed to the East of Secqueville while II./SS.Pz.Rgt.12 held position some miles to the rear. Around 17:35 several British tanks began long range fire against the Panzer IV’s. Though the fire was ineffective most commanders ‘buttoned up’. This initial salvo was accompanied by several salvoes of large calibre activity, probably ship borne, that knocked out two tanks via direct hits. Using this hail of fire as cover, the British advanced steadily to engage our tankers at short range. Despite artillery support and the aid of the long range guns that out Panthers bear, I./SS.Pz.Rgt.12 was forced to abandon its position and retire into the ruins of Secqueville. Despite knocking out 7 enemy vehicles it suffered similar losses to its own ranks. Obersturmbannfuhrer Wunsche ordered its immediate withdrawal should it become overwhelmed by the British armour. Several self propelled guns from Stug Abteilung 200 were called up to support the 12th SS’s Panthers while the second half of the I Abteilung of SS Panzer Regiment 12 also moved forward to support the Panthers on their left flank.

 

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Panzer Campaigns Normandy 44 AAR

6th and 9th Companies of SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 25 have today assaulted and ejected the British 56th Infantry Brigade from the rubble ruins of the village of Secqueville. Two companies of British infantry had been holding the village but one Company was forced to retreat under a ferocious bombardment of several of SS.PzGr.Rgt 25’s heavy weapon companies as well as the self propelled artillery of SS.Pz.Art.Rgt 12 and Art.Abt 989 (this latter unit is a Heer unit attached to I SS Panzer Corps). As the smoke began to settle, 6th and 9th Companies carried out a quick close assault that overwhelmed the defending British troops. This successful assault allowed Panzer Regiment 12 to advance on the left flank of the assault to take up blocking positions against British armoured units approaching from the North. Indeed I/SS.Pz.Rgt.12 had already engaged enemy Sherman tanks at extreme range. II/SS.Pz.Rgt.12 with its Panthers is holding position slightly to the rear on a reverse slope.

 

Situation 16:00 7th June 1944

 

Panzer Campaigns Normandy 44 AAR

Inspired by my trip to Normandy and as I am currently rereading Herbert Meyer’s History of the the 12th SS Panzer Division I have fired up this game again. It is not a continuation of the earlier AAR as I los tthat game when my old processor died. This is a new game and I have currently played 14 turns.

A much more aggressive AI especially to the East of the Orne River where the 6th British Airborne Division has pressed hard against the 21st panzer Division from the early hours of the 6th June.  Likewise the AI pushed hard from the beaches and more or less achieved a historical line of advance on all fronts. In a parallel of historical action the radar station at Douvres and several outposts are fighting hard amidst a swarm of Allied units. the 82nd and 101st US Airborne Divisions also pushed harder in this game but towards the sea and the Causeways leading from the beaches rather than pressing the 91st Luftlande Division as happened in the last game. I guess the AI has different scripts.

The 12th SS Hitlerjugend Panzer Division has just come into contact with the enemy near Cairon. Elements of the 3rd Canadian Division were spotted by units of SS Aufklarer Abteilung 12. A nearby battery of 88m guns belonging to Panzer Jaeger Abteilung 200 engaged the Canadians as they crested a large hill to the north of Cairon. The heavy weapons company of the SS recon battalion immediately deployed forwards to add their 50mm and 80mm tubes to the battery of 88’s. Further news of contact with the enemy came from three companies of SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 25 further to the South West. They had engaged advanced elements of the 55th Infantry Brigade to the North West of Bray. Fire was exchanged and orders given to I/II/SS.Pz.Rgt.12 to move its Panthers North to assault the British infantry. SS Panzer Artillery Regiment 12 also notified its readiness to support the assault.

 

 

As much as possible this AAR will take the point of view of the 12th SS Panzer Division with occasional reports from other areas of the Invasion Front

War in the Pacific Admiral’s Edition. Game vs Herb

21st May 1943

Acting on intelligence garnered from the monitoring of radio traffic to and from Singapore the Royal Navy has just carried out its  most glorious action of this war to date. For several days in the last week radio messages have been full of information of the movement of several Indian National Army units to Port Blair. A thorough search of the intelligence files revealed that the last known garrison on Port Blair was the IJA’s 4th Infantry Division. The enemy was no doubt redeploying this prime fighting formation to counter the move made by I Australian Corps in Eastern Burma. As such the Royal Navy at Colombo gathered its cruiser squadron and ordered to a holding position just to the North West of the Andaman Islands.

Confirmation that something was definitely up came from HMS Trusty that reported sighting and attacking a heavily escorted convoy heading Northwards at a position some 100 NMs due South of Port Blair. Orders were immediately dispatched and the RN Squadron was told to steam directly into Port Blair and to try to get the Japs with their pants down. The presence of enemy carriers could not be discounted but no solid intel on their location was at hand. As History was to prove sometimes luck plays the decisive role in war!

The Shropshire and the Dorsertshire led in the RN and RNN ships whose radars immediately gave alive with repeated and numerous contacts. It seemed a large loading operation had been caught unawares. The Japanese were not seen to react until the first shells began to land among the numerous transport and escort vessels gathered at the Port Blair anchorage. The wolf had most certainly been let loose among the sheep as 8 inch shells tore into ship after ship. The escorting destroyers sped ahead of their larger sisters to deliver a point blank range torpedo attack. At such distances, the battle was largely fought at 2,000 yards, and with such a plethora of targets it was impossible to miss! A large ocean going liner took two successive torpedo hits and she was soon sinking, the fires caused by the exploding warheads hissing as the water engulfed the stricken ship. Another brace of troop transports also succumbed to the destroyer launched torpedoes. As the order ‘fire at will, engage all targets’ was given the massacre was complete. 19 enemy vessels had been sunk, the fires of the burning ships illuminating the human catastrophe in the water as burning oil and sinking ships took the lives of thousands of men that would now not see home. Little thought was given to them by the sailors. If they had caught the INA soldiers then they got a traitor’s due. If they had caught the 4th Infantry Division boarding then it was less bayonets for the Aussies to face! As the sun crept over the horizon the Royal Navy was well away from the scene. An hour later a Catalina from Trincomalee reported sighting a large force of enemy carriers in the Bay of Bengal. Luck indeed had been the bedfellow of the Royal Navy that night.

Night Time Surface Combat, near Port Blair at 46,58, Range 3,000 Yards

Japanese Ships
DD Shiokaze, Shell hits 16, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
E W-13, Shell hits 17, and is sunk
E W-24, Shell hits 5, and is sunk
PB Musashi Maru, Shell hits 2, and is sunk
PB Akagane Maru, Shell hits 17, and is sunk
PB Bunzan Maru, Shell hits 9, and is sunk
PB Shinko Maru, Shell hits 20, and is sunk
PB Syozui Maru, Shell hits 34, and is sunk
xAK Daigen Maru, Shell hits 20, and is sunk
xAK Syunsei Maru, Shell hits 24, and is sunk
xAK Kinkasan Maru, Shell hits 22, and is sunk
xAK Uga Maru, Shell hits 7, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
PB Hakka Maru, Shell hits 9, and is sunk
PB Heimei Maru, Shell hits 13, and is sunk
xAP Tatsuta Maru, Shell hits 5, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
xAP Keihuku Maru, Shell hits 13, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
PB Suyozai Maru, Shell hits 17, and is sunk
PB Fuji Maru #3, Shell hits 7, and is sunk
SC CHa-9, Shell hits 2, and is sunk

Allied Ships
CA Shropshire
CA Dorsetshire
CA Exeter
CL Kenya
CL Newcastle
DD Buchanan
DD Lansdowne
DD Van Galen
DD Tjerk Hiddes

Japanese ground losses:
3408 casualties reported
Squads: 63 destroyed, 79 disabled
Non Combat: 27 destroyed, 8 disabled
Engineers: 30 destroyed, 22 disabled
Guns lost 123 (94 destroyed, 29 disabled)

Less gratifying were the news in the Solomon Islands. 16 Betty Bombers had been able to evade a CAP of 75 Hellcats and hit the Battleship South Dakota with three torpedoes. The second time the South Dak had been wounded in these waters. She was still afloat and damage control teams had had steaming solidly. Her guns would be missed during a landing planned the next day but she was now steaming away from the battle zone. Suffice to say 15 of the bombers were splashed by the Hellcats on their way home. Little consolation for the sailors on the South Dakota!

Burma

I Australian Corps, XV Indian Corps and the NCAC had been marching through the Eastern Burmese jungle with the ultimate aim of bringing the fight against the Japanese back into Burma. The intial targets were Warazup and Myitkyina but the first obstacle to surmount was secrecy. Units at the other end of the line manoeuvred to keep Japanese divisions pinned to the river line while the RAF and the USAAF  fought to keep Eastern Burmese skies clear of enemy aerial eyes. Lightnings and Hurricanes shot down a large number of enemy recon planes and also kept the skies free of enemy fighters. The enemy Ki-43, ascendant for so long could not match the P-38 and as such was blasted from the sky in large numbers. Heavy and light bombers plastered the enemy units stationed at both targets and it seems that surprise was total when the 6th, 7th and 9th Australian Divisions blasted out of the jungle and quickly took both objectives. Immediate enemy reaction was slow with several night raids carried out by Ki-45’s and daylight raids by Sally’s.  Yet short and long range has detected movements both North from Lashio (33rd and 55th Infantry Divisions) and the West (8th Infantry Division among other units) heading towards Myitkyina. Surprise had been achieved quite easily, the hard fight was about to begin.

 

Skyrim: A New Life

Chapter Two Part 5

The bandits making their home at Fort Hraggstad provided little challenge to Se’rith and Brelyna and their leader died begging for mercy consumed by Brelyna’s fire bolts. Mercy was not forthcoming as both Dunmer had found several bodies in the dungeons of the fort. Judging by their clothing these people were merchants and innocent travellers waylaid by the bandits, brought to Hraggstad and then robbed, murdered or left to rot. In Se’rith’s mind she and Brelyna were bringing righteous justice to these evil men and women and by restoring a legion garrison to Hraggstad the road would once again be safe for travellers.

Legatus Rikke was mightily pleased upon their return to Solitude with news of the Fort’s cleansing and she immediately dispatched orders for a detachment to relocate and rebase there. She thanked Se’rith and dismissed her telling her that Jarl Elisif had heard the Arch Mage of Winterhold was in town and requested her presence in the Blue Palace.

The Blue Palace lived up to its name, its blue slated roof tiles catching the sunlight, stood at the other end of the Solitude arch. Legion and Hold Guards lined its walls and stood at its gates. Se’rith was admitted into the palace with no ado but she was cornered by a member of the court called Falk Firebeard. The Jarl was receiving visitors from the Imperial Province here in Solitude for the marriage of the Emperor’s cousin but had tasked Firebeard with talking to Se’rith. She was taken into a side chamber were she and Brelyna were served sweet wine and tasty fruits. Falk, the Jarl’s steward, told Se’rith of a nearby cave, Wolfskull Cave, and of strange sightings, primarily after dark. Wolfskull Cave was well known to all mages in Skyrim due to the story of Potema the Wolf Queen. Several nearby farmsteads had reported strange lights and noises in the late watches of the night and livestock was disappearing. Due to its location and somewhat tainted history, and knowing of Se’rith’s presence in the city, the Jarl would consider it a personal favour if the College could look into Wolfskull Cave. Of course anything of a magical nature found could be considered a gift from the Hold of Haafinger to the College of Winterhold.

Se’rith was very familiar with the story of the Wolf Queen. If any of her followers or a new cult of hers was involved it would mean necromancers and undead. This was a good opportunity for Se’rith to further cement an alliance between Winterhold and Solitude. Accepting the Jarl’s request Se’rith headed to a tavern she saw just inside the main gate, The Winking Skeever, to rest before embarking to Wolfskull Cave.

CUT SCENE

Skyrim: A New Life

Chapter 2 Part 4

Castle Dour was an imposing stone structure that overlooked Solitude and stood on a cliff at the opposite end of the city to where the Blue Palace, the seat of the Jarl, was. Legionaries were all over the place. Standing guard, leaving on patrol or drilling in the main courtyard. It was a constant bustle of activity. Se’rith was stopped at the gate by two guards who demanded to know her presence there. Introducing herself as the new Arch Mage of Winterhold she asked the guards to be taken to General Tulius. She was ushered inside the main entryway and then led up a flight of stone steps to a sturdy wooden door. Inside the General was in deep discussion with another Legion officer, this one a Nord Female. From the snatches of conversation she heard the General was worried about the role  Whiterun and its Jarl played in the geopolitics of Skyrim. At the moment Whiterun had yet to declare itself for one side or the other but its proximity to Windhelm clearly had the Imperials worried about possible Stormcloak influence there. The female (a Legate Rikke) strongly argued against trying to influence Barlgruuf as Nords would take offers of unasked for help as an insult. But the General was adamant, Whiterun would come into the Imperial fold and that would be the end of that.

At that Se’rith was introduced by the guard. General Tulius was incredibly surprised to see how young the new Arch Mage was but his candour improved when he heard what Se’rith came to offer. The aid of the College of Winterhold in keeping the Empire together and winning over those Nords taken under sway by Ulfric. In return Se’rith wanted Legion mapower to help rebuild Winterhold. By working together mages and Legion could win the hearts and minds of the Nords and take them away from Ulfric’s rebellion. Tulius, being a fighting man, was not easily swayed as he trusted in the martial might of the Legion to bring down and quell any major Stormcloak offensive. However judging by the strategic map of Skyrim on a table behind him roughly half of the province was already lost to the Empire. As such Tulius was not in a position to turn Winterhold’s aid down.

It was the Legate that came to Se’rith’s aid. She interceded on her behalf and reasoned that wining hearts and minds would be of great help. Furthermore, with an increasing number of dragon sightings since Helgen, if the Legion was seen as protecting the populace from these flying beasts then the General could trumpet all he want about the Legion being protectors of Skyrim while Ulfric could be cast as the murderer and usurper that brought dragons back to Skyrim. This gave the General pause for thought and he fixed his gaze intently on Se’rith. The offer the mage was making was indeed a solid one, but a niggling doubt gnawed at the back of his mind. If he accepted the College’s offer was the Legion admitting a weakness of not being able to deal with the insurrection? Nords hated magic, a lot hated the Legion, what benefit would he gain? It wasn’t until Se’rith told him of the dragon at Whiterun and her role in its destruction that Tulius changed his demeanour. If this dark elf was in good standing with Barlgruuf she could be used to sway Whiterun away from the Stormcloaks. What he needed though was a sign of good faith. Calling Se’rith over to the map he laid his finger on a spot somewhat to the West of Solitude. He explained that if the College wanted to ally itself to the Imperial cause it must prove its worth. He tasked Se’rith with reclaiming a ruined fort called Fort Hraggstad that had been claimed by a band of bandits that had bee raiding the coastal road. The Legion had intentions of sending a detachment of troops to re garrison the fort once it had been cleared. If Se’rith could prove her worth by clearing the Fort, the alliance she craved would be granted.

Fort Hraggstad

Skyrim: A New Life

Chapter Two Part Three

The road to Solitude was uneventful as they passed the impressive stone carved bridge at Dragonbridge. True to its name the small settlement was built on the side of a gorge that was spanned by a stone bridge. In its centre was a dragons head that seemed to warn travellers as they entered Dragonbridge. Talking to several locals they found out the Solitude was barely an hours walk away.

Approaching the city gates, situated as they were in the tall, thick walls of Solitude, a most Imperial looking city in Skyrim, Se’rith was told by an exultant guard that she was just in time for the execution. Asking him why he sounded so elated at someone’s death he told her that the person being executed was a former guard called Roggvir. He had played a crucial role in the murder of King Torygg by first allowing Ulfric Stormcloak into the city and then assisting in his escape. Traitors to the Empire deserved death, he virtually spat out that last comment. He waved them through and just inside the main gate a crowd was gathering as a man in threadbare garments was  being pushed and manhandled by a pair of burly guards. Several members of the crowd were booing and hissing at him. Several children were throwing rotten produce at him as they ascended a small dias where the executioners bloack awaited. A small rectangle of brown, blood stained wood.

A guard captain pushed the prisoner to his knees before the block as the executioner, a large hooded man wielding the largest axe Se’rith had ever seen, its bearded blade also darkly stained with blood. The captain read out the man’s crimes and called him an embarassment to all Nords. A betrayer of the legacy of Tiber Spetim who had founded the Empire. To his credit the prisoner shouted out his firmly held belief that the Empire was the betrayer and that the Stormcloaks fought for and in the interests of Skyrim. He shouted out Ulfric’s innocence claiming that Torygg had been slain in the honoured Nord tradition of single combat. Such blasphemous words brought more cat calls from the crowd and demands for blood. The captain nodded towards the executioner and with a practised move he raised his axe into the Solitude air and held for a split second before he leant all his strength to bring the blade down upon the condemned mans neck. The blade did its work at the first time of asking and it sliced through till it embedded itself in the wooden block with a thud. Red blood spurted from the man’s neck and it showered the front row of spectators with a fine red mist. Roggvir,s head rolled away until the captain picked it up by the hair and claimed loudly that all traitors to the Empire would meet the same end! With that he set the head on a spike that would soon be adorning the main gate as further warning.