PzB North Africa 1941 - Fall of Sidi Barani AAR
|There is a lot of desert to get through as the Allied Commander.|
THIS IS YOUR WARNING: DO NOT REPEAT MY PLAN BELOW.
Fun Fact: I was hoodwinked into complacency by the historical result.
Sidi Barrani, Egypt: December 10th, 1940. (Scenario Size: Corps-. Head to Head possible but recommended for Allied Human vs Axis AI. This scenario uses variable objective victory points) The first day of the Compass 'raid' had exceeded the British expectations. The Italians had been routed from Nibeiwa & Tummar camps and the roads between Buq Buq and Sidi Barrani had been cut isolating the Italian forces east of Sollum. The British had earmarked the 16th Infantry Brigade, currently attached to the 4th Indian Division to clear Sidi Barrani and held the brigade in reserve during December 9th. Preparations were made to attack the Italians early on December 10th, but the late arrival of the Matilda's and the poor results of the 16th Brigades probing attacks forced a delay till further forces could be bought. In tandem, the Italian 1st Libyan Division had retreated from Maktila and had begun to dig in just east of Sidi Barrani. The British slowly became aware of the forces arrayed against them and delayed the attack till 4th Armoured Brigade could provide squadrons to support the infantry. The British finally started to move to contact at 3pm, with a strong sandstorm all but blocking visibility for both sides.
|The British attack occurs along three lines of advance. No line is preferential over the other, they are all a pain in the ass.|
A cakewalk, if you follow two rules:
1) stay on the road
2) follow your engineer units.
Turn 4: The visibility is worsening from a sandstorm though and the darkness of night gives this scenario a blind leading the blind feeling.
The poor unit quality of the outer Italian defenses is leading to the defenders melting away or unit destruction. I've yet to meet the Blackshirts in any great quantity.
|A company, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders blunders into a minefield outside the first line of Blackshirt positions. This was my error, not poor AI pathfinding. I mis-remembered the path my engineers took.|
|I have two tank regiments under my command the 2nd and the 6th. Here the 2nd readies for action.|
Turn 5 2nd Royal Tank Regt of 4th Armoured Bde prepares to punch through hole on western approach that Cameron Highlanders and Queens Royals have opened up along the road
|Click alt and the lead unit in a road column and the whole column will move along the road towards the hex of your choosing.|
Inside 3 kilometers on the western approach by turn 8, night time fighting during a sandstorm. Good times.
|By turn 9, as my advance slows along the main roads into Sidi Barrani, I've decided to swing the 6th Tank Regiment along the coastal road and take a chance. My second big mistake.|
|At dawn the 6th Tank regiment blunders into a tank trap. I lose three Mark VIs from the lead unit and two more from enfilade fire positions. That is one big battery of guns on the western side of this wadi.|
By Turn 12, I am 1.5km away and my attack has bogged down on all three approaches. I am starting to worry.
|Turn 14: I've rerouted the 6th Regiment off the coastal road and I am sending them pell-mell towards the objectives.|
|Turn 16: The moment I realize that my final attack against the Sidi Barrani objective is going to fail.|
|I've killed 3x my losses and suffered a Major Defeat still.|
|With three turns to go, I was five hexes away. Good luck trying to crack this nut.|
All I can say is, wow...