AAR by: Neal Ulen & Scott Rowland
Decision at Elst CG Date 2 AAR
Here’s the historical situation:
Date: Sept 24, 1944 – Morning
Attacker: British – Elements of 214th Brigade, 43rd Wessex Division
Defender: Germans – Elements of Kampfgruppe Knaust
Decision at Elst covers actions centered on the town of Elst (Holland), located on “The Island” formed by the mighty Waal and Rhine rivers. The 43rd Wessex Division was tasked with the decisive operation of breaking through Kampfgruppe Knaust to relieve the embattled “Red Devils” in Arnhem to the north..
The British morning starts with their lend-lease Shermans off board being refit, repaired, and refueled per CG rules. The first turn they move on board and take up positions well in the rear in an attempt to harass the German leader and HMG in the steeple. The Shermans are no match for the remaining Panthers, and to engage them after coming from off board requires they run a gauntlet of polders or panzerfausts. Neither is an attractive option.
(For the video AAR scroll to the bottom of the page.)
The rest of the British forces deploy in their setup area with a two pronged approach: 1) Attempt capture German entry points on the north edge of the board, and 2) spearhead up the main road and try to push to the crossroads. The Germans use their armor to support their flanks, not having enough reinforcements to cover everything adequately.
OBA begins to drop from British mortars off board in an attempt to soften up the Germans, and begin to place some smoke so they can move more freely. The Germans put up stiff resistance with their meager forces and movie their armor in close to the action … perhaps too close. The Shermans in the rear have a modicum of success trying to suppress the HMG in the steeple. They’ve broken the units there, but as a result of all the shells tossed at the church, one AFV has lost its main armament.
The British push to the crossroads has turned into a slog, and the firefight in the north is being completely controlled by the Germans and their prowling Panther. In the meantime the Shermans in the rear are being pummeled by the fate of war. Another main armament has broken, leaving only one British AFV with functioning main armament. The British make a valiant push to try and get across the north-south running road just before the crossroads, but are pushed back by furious German defensive fire. The British begin to regroup for another try.
The northern front is an utter failure for the Brits, and by now it’s been completely abandoned. The remaining forces there just sit in defense of their setup area for the next CG date. The Germans, sending victory in the north, pulls it’s Panther south to engage the Brits in the center orchards. But the Germans have erred and gotten too close, perhaps forgetting about those pesky Brits and their Piats. In the center some intrepid British squads have made an end run in an attempt to take out the Panther that’s holding up their advance.
The morning is near an end. The German pocket at the crossroads finally collapses and the British push forward after the Germans retreat and pull the Panther out of a threatening situation. The Panther in the center orchards is a destroyed wreck, having succumbed to a British squad and leader who ambushed from nearby polders. There’s a lull in the fighting as both sides take a toll and a much needed rest. The British had achieved their goal of taking the crossroads, but completely failed to secure the northern German entry areas.
This video below represents Decision at Elst campaign game date 2 (Sept 24, 1944 Morning) described above … which is part 2 of 5.
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