Because I love you so much, and you've been so patient, I present a battle report in its entirety, not split into two parts. But the next one will be in two parts. Probably the last one too ;)
It's 1530 on 8 August 1986, and Team Whiskey has taken the better part of the day to recover survivors from the northern bank of the Main River and get reorganized while other elements of V Corps man the ramparts against the Red horde. However, by mid-afternoon the Soviets have broken through in several places. Team Whiskey is once again called upon to stem the bleeding. The Soviets are on the south/west bank of the Main River, in the face of Frankfurt. It quickly becomes evident the Soviets do not intend on entering the city, choosing instead to conduct a double envelopment to by-pass and cut off the Frankfurt en route to the Rhine.
Team Whiskey, with much of its armor remaining (none committed to the fight at the Main River bridge), rushes a powerful force to the suburbs of Frankfurt to blunt the enemy's northern thrust, with Whiskey's commanding officer, Lt Col Lacy, in personal command of the mission, leading both mechanized infantry companies and a platoon of his tanks into the fray. Both infantry companies are understrength (only two platoons each), with a company commander, platoon commander, and one platoon coming over from the recently disbanded (due to casualties/losses) 1st Squadron, 11th ACR. Additionally, the 81mm mortar platoon is out of the fight as they attempt scrounge new mortar tubes and ammo, having fired off all their ammo, spiked their tubes, then swam the Main River to get back to friendly lines in the last fight.
Captain Bronshtein's Kilo Company (with TOW, MG, and sniper attachments) arrived first, setting up in the southern sector, while Captain Phillips' India Company, still mounted in their Bradleys, swings further north, with Lt Travers' 2nd Tank Platoon swinging north further still.
The Soviet plan is shock and awe, to hit as hard and as fast as possible to try to get their vehicles through that damn bottleneck at to left. The Soviets are running their usual three Mech formations (7 BMPs, 1 command team, and 6 rifle teams each), and they are key to the opening phase. The infantry from two of the mech formations (2 x command team, 12 x rifle team) stand detached, visible at top right on the railroad tracks. The infantry from the third mech formation are dismounted at the bottleneck (top left), and all Soviet vehicles are stacked behind them. The plan is for all the Soviet infantry to move forward to spot and engage US infantry and anti-tank weapons, and for the armored vehicles (top left and top center) to move through the gap like they were shot out of a cannon, then spread out to provide fire support to the infantry and envelop the US positions.
The Soviets are hoping to storm the southern (right) portion of the US defense with the bulk of their infantry, while their armor spreads out to meet US armor (the Soviets don't know where US forces will enter). The US knows two very important things: 1) the Soviets have lots of armor, but it's restricted to entry to the battlespace at the bottleneck in the northeast; and 2) the Soviets are looking for a way south, so they will be coming in from the northeast then swinging south (from the US perspective, moving left to right across their front). So the US plan is to use Capt Bronshtein's infantry and TOWs as the anvil, then swing Capt Phillips' and Lt Travers' forces as a mechanized hammer to slam into the Soviet right flank.
On the left is K/1st Plt under Captain Sighe, and on the right is K/2nd Plt under Lt Ensmith.
I'm sure you won't believe me, but I set this up with blinds and this is how the Soviet deployment shook out. It's going to be a bloodbath ;) Lets' get this party started.
And then it starts.
Because of very heavy casualties and the loss of a commander, all the Soviet infantry in the south (belonging to Mech 1 and 2) are combined into one force under the Mech 2 commander.
Boy I wish I had an A-10, or an Apache, or even some arty...
You can see the Colonel on the road at bottom center, Capt Sighe's Bradleys at bottom right, and Capt Sighes dismounts at center/center right.
End of Turn 2.
This helps to clear some room for Soviet Tank 2 (left, sitting atop the railroad tracks).
The rear team doesn't do nearly as well, but they hit the lead tank of Tank 2 (top left), immobilizing it and causing the crew to bail.
That was some pretty fancy shooting.
Turn 3 is fini.
Please note that 3 of the 4 BMPs in line there are already knocked out, and the one firing is pinned, with two 'men down' rifles and a pinned command stand nearby, so ripe for the pickin'.
The Colonel takes a look around and, not seeing any more enemy within charging range, leads his men into cover in the building at top left...
Then, dammit, I missed a photograph; sorry, sometimes I get all worked up, I guess... In any case, if you recall, Lt Ensmith had been working his India Company, 2nd Platoon Bradleys around the corner in the south, to get into position to fire north up the road into the Soviet armor in the bottleneck. Well, Lt Ensmith's three Bradleys got into position (next to the building occupied by Captain Bronshtein in the south, where all the infantry fighting occurred), and each fired a TOW north at the Soviet armor.
Pretty good shooting.
With the situation having moved well past the sh!t-sandwich phase, the Soviet commander plays the only card he has left to try to salvage the situation...
And thus the fight ended, with the Soviets running for the hills, culminating with a little lead officer figure pulling out a little lead Makarov... Wow, what an ass-whooping! And Ben is going to love me ;) To show just how lop-sided this was, nothing ca beat the tally of the casualties.
2 Bradley IFVs knocked out
2 Rifle teams knocked out
3 Command teams
13 Rifle teams
Before you ask, yes, those numbers are correct. The US had two Bradleys knocked out and lost probably about 40 men total (just because units are not knocked out doesn't mean casualties weren't suffered). The Soviets lost 7 tanks, 16 IFVs, and probably about 200 men WIA/KIA/MIA. So, wow, what I fight for Team Whiskey, we certainly needed the win, for morale purposes alone. It don't mean a hill of beans in the overall scheme of things; sure Team Whiskey blunted the enemy's advance at this particular spot, but the Soviet juggernaut rolls on, and NATO V Corps continues to conduct its fighting withdrawal, praying the REFORGER units will make it across the Atlantic and into the fight.
Regarding the fight, I keep trying to tackle what could have worked better from the Soviet perspective in terms of their plan of attack. With the bottleneck being what it is, I really don't see another way. With things as they are, they needed better luck: they needed their arty to hit harder, they needed their firing dice to hit harder (I recall a volley of three AT5s scoring only a fall back when targeting a single M1 Abrams), they needed US firing dice to not hit so hard (there were so many times US tank rounds and TOWs scored multiple kills, i.e., the target was KOed and the vehicle in front of it was immobilized and the crew bailed, so a bunch of 'two-for ones'), and they needed a little luck with the activation cards (you're probably not aware, but in the first turn the US and Soviets were holding and holding and holding their tanks back, waiting for the enemy to commit first, and it ended up the Soviets ran out of cards before the Americans, so the Soviets had to push their tanks forward, and right behind that the US tanks came on and ripped into the Soviets. Had the US been forced on before the Soviets, it wouldn't have been as bad for the US as they could have hidden amongst the buildings, but the Soviets would have been able to push through the bottleneck faster.).
So, with regards to playing the scenario, as crazy as it sounds because of the Soviet numbers advantage, I'd probably be inclined to step up firepower for the Soviets a bit. I could see giving them another 2S1 SPG, and I'd probably even give them an Mi24 Hind. It's just so damn hard squeezing all those vehicles through the damn bottleneck. Conversely, I could see reducing the size of each force proportionally working out well (I believe that is what Ben did in his game), or opening up the size of the bottleneck.
Anyway, I had a lot of fun; that's the best win I've had. Hell, maybe the only win I've had! But let's get to our heroes:
-LtCol Lacy, Commanding Officer of Team Whiskey, for conspicuous gallantry, is awarded the Medal of Honor for exposing himself to torrents of enemy fire to rally pinned numerous tanks, Bradleys, and infantry teams, then storming his command vehicle into the center of a firefight, where the command vehicle was shot out from under him. Lacy then lead his men into close combat, destroying a BMP, two rifle teams, and a command team, before taking up position in a nearby building where he and his men destroyed two more BMPs with a single LAW rocket.
-Sgt Bajers, Kilo Company, 2nd Platoon commander, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for closing with the enemy and destroying a Soviet command team and four rifle teams in close combat. Sgt Bajers also received the Purple Heart for being lightly wounded.
-Captain Bronshtein, Commander, Kilo Company, was awarded the Silver Star for leading his men into close combat which destroyed one enemy command team and two rifle teams. Capt Bronshtein also received the Purple Heart for being lightly wounded.
On to fight number 9, stay tuned!