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CaptRobau

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Wacht am Rhein

Game: The Ardennes Offensive as Germany, goal is strategic victory
Version: HoI2: DD ARMA 1.2
Difficulty: Very hard/normal
Style: Narrative


Well this is a bit different from your standard AAR. This will hopefully be the first in a series of battle scenarios AARs. Why? Because I don't want to commit to a long AAR at the moment. Plus I want to hone my tactical skills a bit further as I usually go the way of the superstack. These battle scenarios allow me to do just that.



Wacht am Rhein Trailer
 
Last edited:

volksmarschall

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I bid you luck! I'll be watching ;)
 

Xesan

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Wow finally, an smaller AAR on other games :D
i wish you well
 

CaptRobau

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Near Kassel
December 15th, 1944



Model and Von Rundstedt met in a damp room in the vicinity of Kassel. The walls were adorned with Nazi banners and documents were spread out over every square inch of the table in the middle. The two gentlemen shook hands. Von Rundstedt grinned: "You know this could get us all killed?" "Probably," Model replied. He continued: "But it must be done. Only our disobedience can save the German people from annihilation at the hands of the Russians." He walked over to the table and spread out a map of South West Germany, the Low Countries and Northern France. With his hands firmly on the paper he said: "The Führer's plan is crazy and ineffective. Only short-term victories can be gained but not the main objective." He put his finger on the dot that represented Antwerp. "We have scrounched together our last remaining Panzer reserves and now he expects us to drive them through the most mountainous area north of the Eiffel?" He pointed at the Ardennes region. "And why? Because we steamrolled through there four years ago. In late spring!"


Model took a deep breath and continued: "We cannot allow this foolish plan to continue." He reach across the table and grabbed a piece of paper and waved it in front of Von Rundstedt's face. Almost hissing with anger he said: "Unternehmen Herbstnebel, Fall Martin, we gave him alternatives." "Calm down. Now what is your exact plan?" Von Rundstedt asked calmly. Model straightened, tucked in his uniform and replied: "Yes, well...I propose we reposition our troops farther north and go straight for Eindhoven. From there we are in a position to take Antwerp and to link up with our two isolated divions, here near Dunkirk. If possible we can penetrate even further and isolate the enemy troops in Wallonia and North West France. Hopefully we will achieve the objectives the Führer set out for us, without falling into the death trap that are the Ardennes." "What about the Führer?" "I already thought of that. We move our troops in secret, this time not only from the Americans but also from our own leader. Along the supposed front we allow limited offensives to take place as to trick the Führer into believing the enemy is stronger than we anticipated. Our advances in the Netherlands we will blame on bad communications. After we take Antwerp, the Führer will be less keen for our heads." Von Rundstedt seemed rather pleased with the things that he had been told. Before walking to the door he asked: "And the other commanders?" Model replied: "They will follow." Von Rundstedt nodded and put his hand on the doorhandle. Without turning to face Model he said: "Oh, and remember. We never had this conversation!" He left the room, leaving Model behind, visually pleased with the result of this conversation that never happened.




Train enroute to Dortmund
December 16th, 1944


Travelling by train to Dortmund, in front of his HQ division that was driving to Dortmund and maximum speed, Model and his main staff occupied a once luxurious carriage. Sitting in a comfortable leather fauteuil, Model was reading redeployment reports. As to facilitate Model's secret plan, the precious tank divisions were moving as quickly as possible to Essen and Dortmund while the infantry divisions in Essen, much more suitable for the terrain of the Ardennes, marched to the Cologne area. While the infantry divisions could prove useful in the western part of the offensive, the departure of the Panzer divisions left too big a gap too leave open. The remaining divisions in the area adjacent to the Ardennes had moved several kilometers into enemy territory but would not move up much further. Hopefully the Allies would march into the Ardennes while the German army outflanked and crushed them. It was almost three o'clock in the morning and the snow outside the window was thick and heavy. He was handed another paper by one of his aides. It was the confirmation that the Heeresgruppe G HQ was moving towards Cologne. This unit would no doubt prove indispensible in case of future offensives in the Ardennes. Once the Allied forces in the Ardennes had been surrounded from the west that is.

Two hours later

The train had almost reached the Dortmund Bahnhof. His aides were already packing up the documents. Only a small pile lay on the small table in front of Model. Weather reports and a telegram from the Luftwaffe commander in the west, General Kühl. Under the cover of heavy snowfall, several of the Luftwaffe wings had rebased to Amsterdam and Münster just as Model had wanted it. The few aircraft the Luftwaffe had left were needed were the offensive would be, not along the Siegfried line.




Dortmund
December 17th, 1944




One of Model's aides ran through the halls of the underground headquarters, holding a piece of paper. He arrived at Model's office and knocked on the door. "Enter," he heard from the other side of the door and entered. After saluting his superior he handed over the piece of paper to General Model. "A transmission from the Führer himself, Sir." "Thank you, Erich. You're excused." The aide nodded and left the room. Model looked at the paper. It was a reissuance of the Wacht am Rhein directive. The main objective was to be Antwerp. Model looked out the window as the train pulled into the station and thought: "You'll have your way mein Führer, but not the way you invisioned it."
 
Last edited:

Kurt_Steiner

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Interesting! I like you idea of playing a series of battle scenarios AARs. Easier to follow and to write, indeed!
 

Enewald

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Yeah, let us all join the chor singing Wacht am Rhein!
May the Walküries bring death upon the enemies of the Reich!
 

CaptRobau

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Dortmund
December 21th, 1944



It was bustling with activity in the Dortmund headquarters as Model's Heeresgruppe B HQ was preparing to head out. The major offensive had been launched at 08:00 this morning. At around 09:00 most of the 36 divisions were on the attack. The two major objectives were Eindhoven and Aachen. The offensive was going well. Especially the Allied forces in Eindhoven were on the verge of defeat. No wonder as the Germans hit them with everything they had from multiple sides. The only reason why they had not yet been defeaten was because even more than the Germans they had the opportunity to rest for a while after their last offensive.


Model walked through the courtyard of the headquarters that had once been a stately mansion but now had large underground bunkers beneath it. While Model could've lead the offensive from this place until they captured Antwerp, Model felt it necessary to be close to the troops. Plus the regiments attached to his division would help in cleaning up the stragglers. They wouldn't leave for about five minutes and so he decided to go for a little stroll through the snowcovered courtyard. The 53-year old field marshal was happy he hadn't been shot for disobeying the Führer. On the other hand, victory was still a long way away. The weather was slowly starting to clear up and he was getting reports of more and more Allied planes assisting the Americans in Eindhoven and Aachen. And he had to keep the Luftwaffe grounded as they were to valuable to send into the sky unless it was for the most dire consequences. He smiled when he thought about how it used to be, back in 1940 and 1941. With the resources he had back then he would already be in Antwerpen and beyond. He muttered a swear word and strode back to the staff car waiting in front of the mansion.


Near Eindhoven
December 24th, 1944


Field Marshal Model's staff car was hurtling along the road to Eindhoven. The town had been captured as well as most of the surrounding country side. A few division were already nearing the former Dutch border with Belgium. Reports from Aachen indicated that they were on the verge of breaking through as well, which wasn't too much behind schedule. The offensive was going well, very well. After a lengthy aerial battle earlier that day, which the Luftwaffe lost, most of the Allied fighters had gone home for the day which gave the Germans a chance to send two wings of Henschel Hs-129s to help speed up the progress in Aachen. This did work but on the way back to the airbase in Amsterdam the dive bombers were attacked by several American aircraft. The dive bombers had to retreat and could not be used for some time as repairs had to be made.



Eindhoven
December 26th, 1944


Christmas had passed quickly. While the victories in Eindhoven and Aachen had given most of the troops some time to celebrate it while all the troops caught up with the main army, everyone realized that they had to be ready for the next big push: Antwerp. This wouldn't be easy but morale was high and Model was confident he could capture that city in time.


Eindhoven
December 29th, 1944


After a few days of rest the battle continued. Thousands of men and tanks headed for Antwerp, the prime objective of the offensive. The Luftwaffe had put all her last resources up for this attack and for the first time there were almost as many German planes in the sky as their were American. The Panzer divisions drove straight through the Flemish countryside stopping at nothing to take the much coveted city of Antwerp. Infantry divisions behind them cleared up the remaining enemy forces. Meanwhile in Dunkerque, the two encircled German divisions were pounded by Allied bombers just as the British and French had been by German bombers some four years before. The divisions in the Netherlands would soon have to link up with these divisions before they were bombed out of existence.



Near the German frontline
December 30th, 1944


As the battle for Antwerp continued on land, the battle in the sky was going worse by the hour. Six wings had already been lost and the four that remained were in bad shape. Luckily the Luftwaffe had played their part in the Battle of Antwerp and their pilots would be sung upon as heroes. But the Luftwaffe's role in the offensive was over.


Antwerp
January 2nd, 1945


The Battle for Antwerp had been won. Model stood on the city's main square looking at the destruction that had been wrought on the city. It was nothing more than rubble. But it was theirs, at last. To the east a new attack had already started on Liège and to the west preparations were made to finally link up with the troops in Dunkerque. There was much celebration going on around him and he felt victorious as well. And then the realization crept up that they weren't there yet. Antwerp was just the first step. A lot had be taken before he could rightfully be victorious. And then there was the matter of the Führer's wrath if he realized what he had done.


 
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CaptRobau

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Thanks for all the nice comments, btw. Looked up how many units each side has:

Germans have 84 units
Allies have 72 units

Since Germany has about ten or so Panzer divisions and very little oil these ten divisions are only useful for a while. So both sides are about even. At the moment though I have the initiative.

While looking for the amount of units (in the end comparing both sides in-game was easier) I stumbled upon the event file. Looked through and discovered I had just missed the event that gave me supplies when I captured Antwerp. I needed to capture it before December 30th but I didn't get there until the 2nd of January. Luckily I now know the locations of the provinces that give 'Captured Allied supply depot' events (aka 100 oil and 100 supplies). There are random supply events also but I'm not counting on those. Instead of going straight for Paris (a directive/objective I'll probably get when I capture Flanders and connect Dunkerque) I'll split up my forces. One arm will slowly move to Paris while the other will try to enclose the Allies in the Ardennes and the rest of Belgium. Either way, not too much can go wrong.

Which I thought until I saw some of the other events. There is one good random event namely that the invasion of Italy has been stopped. The other four mean either supplies/oil or divisions going to another front. Things I cannot use at the moment.

It's all up to Lady Luck.
 

Beladriel

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As far as I remember, you have very limited time. How do you intend to take Paris?
 

CaptRobau

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I have until early March for a strategic victory. A marginal victory I already have with the provinces I hold now. The Allies in the provinces I intend to attack are now mostly the divisions that retreated from Eindhoven, Aachen and Antwerp. The next few provinces I think will go a lot faster.

To get the strategic victory I just need to get VPs. Any VPs. But France is 25 so If I have that I win. But the plan in my previous post above sounds like something they might do in those days. This is far more roleplay than it is powerplay.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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This AAR is giving me the urgent need to lpay this scenario at once! It's the second time I've read an AAR based in Wacht am Rhein, but I never thought about playing, even if the previous (and Spanish) one was excellent!
 

Myth

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This is always a fun scenario. Several provinces in Belgium hold Allied supply dumps, which contain more fuel for your armored divisions. Taking those would be a good thing.
 

Woody Man

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I'm in, Good luck!
 

Juan_de_Marco

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this is very nice! nice and small instead of those humongous AARS that are around. I like the alternate history-style you've attached to gameplay.
 

Tommy4ever

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Nice AAR. I tried the Ardennes scenario once and although going through the forest might not seem appealing I think getting those captured supplies events is vital as you need the oil. It is annoyingly short though with barely enough time to reach Paris
 

volksmarschall

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I remember the first time I play HoI, I played the Ardennes Offensive Scenario as the Germans.

The only major problem is supplies and overstretching your forces, but this is definatley bringing back fond memories! Great job so far!
 

CaptRobau

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Antwerp
January 4th, 1945


Model was sitting in the lobby of the former hotel that was now his headquarters. He received a note from one of his aides. Liège had been taken. He shared it with the Generals and Colonels surrounding him. They cheered and stood up to shake his hand. It was another glorious day.


Antwerp
January 5th, 1945


It was almost six o'clock in the morning. Field Marshall Model was lying on the large bed in the center of the hotel bedroom. While being one of the few buildings in Antwerp that was still fully intact, the room was a sad sight. He couldn't sleep anymore. While he needed the rest, Model just couldn't stop thinking up strategies, upcoming problems and solutions to those problems. Suddenly he heard a hard knock on the door. "Enter," he said in a tired voice. Erich, Model's aide entered the room. He saluted and said: "Sorry to wake you Sir but I have important news." Model got up and sat on the edge of the bed gestured that Erich should get closer. "What is it?" he said irritated. "It's the invasion of Italy Sir! It has been stopped!" Erich said while handing the field marshal a report. Model was immediatly wide awake. He read through the report in a blur only remembering a few sentences such as: ""...forces have stopped the enemy offensive in Italy...attack in Italian theatre not probable," and "...redeployment of several troops to the Western Front." Model's heart missed a beat when se read the list of troops that were to be redeployed to his front. One highly experienced Panzer division and two Fallschirmjäger divisions. He looked up at Erich in disbelief, as if it were only a dream. Erich smiled and said: "And that's not all Sir. Our quartermaster has just informed us that we've just received the first shipments of fuel and other supplies from Berlin. The Führer must be really glad with your progress Sir." After a moment of silence Model got up and started dressing. "Gather the main staff. We have a lot to do!" "Yes Sir!" Erich replied. He left the room, leaving a 53-year old field marshal who couldn't be happier.



Several hours later


Model had gathered his staff in one of the dining rooms of the hotel. They had been reviewing the continued stream of new reports. Together with his subordinates Model was planning the next attack. "A two pronged attack designed to ensnare the troops in the center of Belgium is our best option," one of the generals remarked. He drew an arrow on one of the maps. "The terrain is ideally suited for an armored spearhead, supported by infantry." "Yes," said another general. "Now that we can refuel all our armored divisions again we must take the initiative." Everyone paused for a moment and looked at field marshal Model who was sitting at the head of the table. "Agreed," he said. "Now that the element of surprise has worn off we must use force." He stood up: "Most of the Allied divisions we face are worn out by our previous battles." "While I will admit that we've taken a toll too, we still have the upper hand. If this plan succeeds I believe we have the key to victory. Combined with the fresh troops redeploying from Italy we will have a chance to encircle and destroy the Allies in the Ardennes and march for Paris. He sat back down and said: "We will follow this plan." Diligently they got back to planning the impending attack.



The road to Ghent
January 6th, 1945



Model sat in the back of his staff car. In the distance he could see plumes of smoke. The attack on Ghent was well under way. To the east German soldiers had succesfully recaptured Liège after a sudden counterattack by the Americans in Bastogne.
 
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