Battle of Bergstein
The US army was coming to the end of a long campaign in the Hurtgen Forest. The Roer river and the heart of the Third Reich beckoned. Bergstein was one of the last defensive positions before the US forces reached the Roer. When it fell to CCR 5th Armoured division on the 5th December the commanders of LXXIV Armee Korps were greatly concerned. Unknown to the US forces the build up for the Wach-am-Rhein offensive was gathering pace beyond the Roer. Should the US forces continue to push forward and reach the river, Hitler's master plan for a counter offensive in the west could be unravelled.
German reserves were few, but they scraped together LXXIV Armee Korps' last forces and gathered them for a counter attack on Bergstein at dawn on the 6th. It was a pitiful force but the US forces were also very weak, down to about a third strength after weeks of heavy combat.
The scenario depicts the German counter attack, launched in the chilly dawn of of the 6th of December
Order of Battle & Map.
All German forces are deployed in the zones delineated by the pink hashed lines. Note the special rule for the panzerjäger below
All US forces are deployed in the zones delineated by the pink hashed lines. All personnel stands may be dug in in foxholes (-2 cover)
The M3 Halftracks are corralled to the rear.. They must be placed within 2" of each other and within 12" of the north table edge
The map is 4ftx 4ft if playing at 1" = 50m. North is towards the top of the page
The green areas are dense woods. Impassable to vehicles and manhandled guns. Personnel are half speed.
The grey areas consist of 4"x4" BUA's. These are wooden (-2 cover). The simple town fighting rules are in effect (see below)
The red lines are roads
Green dotted lines are tree lines. These break LOS and give -1 cover.
The tan lines are crest lines. Crest lines break LOS and give hull down positions to AFV's touching them (-2 cover)
The game starts at 0700 and lasts until the 1000 turn - 8 turns
LXXIV Armee Korps released the Korps' artillery ammo reserve for the attack. It was proceeded by a large bombardment. All US Stands start the game suppressed in turn 1.
No US stand can have orders turn 1
The M36 starts the game demoralised
The FO for the 10 Btte 272 AR (the 150mm) is situated on Castle Hill (off table about 500m to the east). This has LOS over the entire board. The FO may call fire on any spotted stand on the edge of cover facing the east board edge, or any stand in the open. The FO may not call fire on targets in the middle of BUA's or forests. The FO can see over all obstacles that break LOS.
The Hetzer were only committed to the attack in a supporting role. To simulate this they are not allowed within 6" of any BUA
Town Fighting Rules
The town is considered one homogenous built up area except where BUA's do not touch
Roads passing between BUA blocks are considered part of the BUA and only aid movement, they do not count as open space.
LOS is 2" within the town, including down the roads
Anywhere in the town personnel stands, excepting those manning towed guns, are considered in cover. This includes troops on the roads. Vehicles and towed guns are not considered in cover (they have to remain on the streets).
Movement, except along the marked roads is halved for all stands
All vehicle weapons have a ROF of 0 so may only fire in opportunity fire. The exception are H class weapons which may fire in prep fire with an HE factor of 0
Only mortars may fire IDF out of the town
Vehicles and towed guns do NOT get the cover bonus (+2) when in the town as they are operating without cover in the streets
When forced back personnel are only forced back until out of LOS of enemy forces. Vehicles are forced back a standard move
The US get a VP for each BUA that they exclusively occupy. The Germans get 2 VP for each BUA they exclusively occupy. The side with the most VP's on turn 8 wins. VPs are assessed at the end of the last turn. Previous occupancy does not count.
To count as exclusively occupying a side must at least one stand in good morale within and the enemy must have no stands in good morale within. Stands must be wholly in the BUA
Good morale is not shaken and not demoralised
The attack failed, the attacking infantry got within 25m and was then shot down in a blaze of MG fire. They made little further progress. The armour did somewhat better and penetrated the town but without infantry support could do little and retreated. Despite this the US forces, weak as they were, felt under considerable pressure and their were several morale failures on the US side.
The Germans worse fears were not realised. The US forces and were exhausted, they could not exploit their success and push onwards to the Roer.
The scenario is mostly taken from Victory was Beyond their Grasp by Douglass Nash with additional details from Scorpio's website: http://users.fulladsl.be/spb4981/ScoWeb.htm