[Sticky] After battle reports
US PIR, outnumbered and ill-equipped, were struggling to make progress and found themselves in dire straights. Just in time the 325th arrived to bolster the US contingent and not only saved the 82nd's necks but began to make progress establishing strongholds and consolidating positions. The German machine gun groups proved to be huge obstacles to be overcome and wily squads cut off flanks. Come the end of the day the US abandoned attempts to throw the predominantly FJ from the hill and regrouped to formulate plans for a new action.
With clear skies overnight the US were air dropped new supplies to support this action. This hadn't gone unnoticed by the German commanders.
Come daybreak the German's first action was to try and locate the supplies before the US got to them. A fierce and messy battle ensued and German losses were high and resulted in the US not only receiving mortars but a radio set enabling direct communication with a nearby British artillery unit.
On gathering the dispersed US troops together an attempt was made to call in artillery however the British were tied up with actions elsewhere and were being somewhat 'difficult'. However, desperate pleas were eventually heard and three guns were turned onto the target giving the US a chanch to punch a hole through the middle of the German defences and made hell for leather to the summit. Murderous battles were fought through the rocky outcrops and bluffs but putting mortar fire to good effect forced the Germans to abandon the summit to the US.
This then left the US with a problem. Fifty yards of open boggy plateau with mortar shells expended and German troops lined up behind stone walls opposing them. A killing field if ever there was one. Geed up by over-confidence and morale-boosting sing-songs (and the commander's thought of possible commendation) a head on assault was launched and was immediately cut to ribbons. Recklessly a second wave was launched only to find more bodies sinking into the bog.
The German line had held - for today - but with so much ground lost the following days were going to be difficult given the ever growing number of US troops in the area, the encroaching XXX Corps and the gradual silencing of German artillery.
Commander's notes to German troops
A splendid turnout kit-wise goes with saying, however beyond the dressing up I was deeply impressed by the conduct of the German forces. Uncomplaining about being stuck on the flanks with no action for ages, uncomplaining about being soaked to the skin, uncomplaining about hopeless missions. Beyond that initiative - that terrain on the second day proved impossible to hold a cohesive command but regardless, gruppe formed and caused havoc where they could and contributed to impeding progress of the US.
On the first day the machine guns proved to be intimidating using far less ammo than was anticipated, rarely if ever being resupplied. Couple that with a sprinkling of K98's and the enemy were reluctant to press forward. Holding a fixed line proved effective with flancking groups pressing forward to channel the enemy into the centre field. I wish we had had an MG on the top of those bluffs on day 2!
Excellent work chaps, you kept your energy and determination to fight right to the bitter end - my very soggy hat off to you all!
US troops notes.
Echoing C-W's words, a top class effort on kit and weapons by all of you - it certainly helped set the scene as we set off into the darkness of the woods. This battle was all about attrition and boy, did you get a lot of that! The majority grasped the idea that we were meant to be part of a wider operation and therefore stuck to their orders and did their utmost to carry them out. That damned bunker really was a killer! The end of the first day saw us having fought through most of the woods but without a conclusive result, as there were Germans in scattered pockets all around us, putting up stiff resistance.
Day 2 was, in a word, hell! The weather was truly shocking but, I'm proud to say that most of you dragged yourselves up that hill, with a sort of grim determination to see the task through. There was some excellent teamwork, particularly among the GIR, supported by small groups of seperated PIR. There was a real sense of achievement when we fought our way onto the flat ground on top of the bluffs. It's a shame the weather was so bad, as the view from up there is stunning!
Well done to each and every one of you. I'd like to mention pvtjohnny for making the effort to get to his first airsoft event, let alone his first WW2 event, using loaned kit and knowing noone. He threw himself in with 100% enthusiasm and everyone made him feel welcome too. Good job folks.
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