Saturday, November 12, 2011

Objective: Hoffmeister

A week had passed. Not only had the situation stabilized, but the battalion had begun pushing forward again. Fox Company was coming out of reserve and being sent back up front. By the lantern in the command tent, Captain Thorpe briefed his platoon leaders.

"You probably know that earlier today Charlie company took the Schellendorf Bridge over the Kopp Creek and have established a bridgehead on the east side of the stream." The captain pointed at the map. "At the same time, further south, Dog company secured this ford on the Kopp, just below Oberndorf. Our battalion S2 tells me regiment believes the Germans have been fallen back to the town of Hoffmeister here in the north. Intelligence's best guess is that they've got a weakened company there, down to about 50-60% strength."

Thorpe paused to look at Benedetto and Pickard. "Tonight, second and third platoons are going to go in under cover of darkness and relieve Charlie company, taking over their bridgehead on the east bank of the Kopp. Meanwhile, I'll accompany lieutenant Dowler with 1st platoon and some armor support up from the ford, and we'll assemble near Oberndorf. At 0745 we'll launch a two pronged assault on Hoffmeister, hitting it from the west and south."

The captain looked around at his subordinates. "Now get your men together and get what sleep you can. We shove off in three hours."

[Game note: as you may be able to see, I've taken Paul's and Al's suggestion and increased the US to German troop ratio. I'll be leaving the random event rules intact. Hopefully this will give the GI's a better chance this time!] 


Two Up, One Back

"The dominant (though not the only) tactical formation for the infantry in both attack and defense remained 'two up, one back.' This was a product of the triangular organization that the infantry used from platoon to division level. Triangular units had three main 'maneuver' elements (weapons units did not count as 'maneuver' elements). Rifle platoons had three squads; rifle companies three rifle platoons; battalions, three rifle companies; and so forth. This encouraged commanders to place two of their maneuver units forward while keeping back the third so that it could relieve or reinforce a frontline unit."

--John Sayen, U.S. Army Infantry Divisions 1944-45 (28)