June 17 (turn 12) and the fighting continues in overcast conditions.
The SS Pz Corps makes an attack on the British 3rd Division that is holding a part of Caen. They inflict heavy losses, but at the cost of the last of the Tiger tanks.
The US make four attacks against the Cherbourg perimeter (all at 3 to 1). The Commonwealth make two attacks to the east of Caen (both at 5 to 1). The German line east of Caen is now very fragile. The US attacks are equally successful. Cherbourg should fall within a few days.
Storms! This means the Germans can replace their Tiger tank battalion (at reduced strength). The tank components of 2nd Panzer arrive in the nick of time to mount a counterattack against the 7th Armoured breakthrough east of Caen, throwing them back.
The US launch four attacks to tighten the noose on Cherbourg. The Commonwealth make one attack east of Caen. The US took losses, but cleared west Cherbourg. The Commonwealth had more success.
The weather clears just as the Germans make a massive armoured strike against the Commonwealth forces east of Caen. Allied fighter bombers fail to interdict, but both sides suffer losses as the Allies put up a determined defence. Some of the defenders near Cherbourg are isolated and start to surrender.
Whoops! I haven't been keeping an eye on automatic victory conditions. Seems the Germans won an automatic victory on turn 11 when the US reached seven (three step) units eliminated or reduced to cadre. However I could have avoided this by withdrawing the 82nd US Airborne, which I could have done and will do now.
After this sobering news of the casualty situation, the Allies settle for just four attacks, trying to take Cherbourg. The German defenders put up a determined defence, and while losses are high to both sides, Cherbourg remains in enemy hands.
The weather remains clear. The Germans continue their attacks east of Caen, fearful of the Allied fighter bombers roaming the skies. The attacks fail in the face of determined allied defence.
Ammunition is brought in lieu of troops and the US make four attacks (all at 3 to 1) and the Commonwealth three attacks, trying to regain the initiative. While suffering some losses, the Commonwealth attacks were able to push the Germans back. The US attacks also met with success.
The weather reverts to being overcast, giving the Germans a chance. No attacks are made, just some desperate re-positioning to reform lines.
Only two attacks. Cherbourg falls. The other attack was a bloody failure.
The weather remains overcast, allowing the Germans to make two 5 to 1 attacks east of Caen to try and recover the Orne river line. The attacks were only partially successful and resulted in the loss of the remaining Tiger Tanks.
The US make two attacks (at 3 to 1) trying to stop the Germans from further entrenching their lines. The Commonwealth make one attack (6 to 1) trying to strengthen the bridgehead to the east of Caen. All attacks use massive artillery bombardments. All attacks take losses, but at least one of the US attacks is a success as is the Commonwealth attack.
Storms! The Tiger Tanks are repaired. The Germans make one attack trying to diminish the bridgehead east of Caen. It is at 3 to 1. It fails in the face of a determined defence by British paratroopers, 7th Armoured and artillery support.
The Allies make no attacks.
The weather improves a tiny bit. The Germans make one counterattack with their Tigers to try and pinch off the River Orne bridgehead. It is at 5 to 1. It succeeds, but the desired retreat stops quickly when it reaches a town.
The US make two attacks. One at 3 to 1, the other at 2 to1 and both heavily supported by artillery. Casualties were inflicted, but that was all.
Storms. The Germans conserve their Tiger Tanks, but rustle up an attack lead by Panthers to further the pressure on the Orne bridgehead. The attack is at 4 to 1 and the Panthers are destroyed, but not before taking out a unit of British paratroopers.
The US fire off the last of their artillery ammunition and make two 2 to 1 attacks. The Commonwealth make one 3 to 1 spoiling attack against the forces trying to reduce the Orne bridgehead. The Orne attack is a bloody exchange. The Germans withstand the US attacks, but with heavy losses.
The weather is still overcast, but there will be some air cover and supplies being landed. Whoops, I found I had failed to bring on the 9th SS Pz Div as reinforcements. They move on and are put in reserve. Two attacks are made, both to pinch off the Orne bridgehead. The 6 to 1 attack lead by the Tigers is thwarted by a determined defence by 7th Armoured, although with heavy losses. However the 4 to 1 attack succeeds and part of the bridgehead is penetrated. 7th Armoured is in a difficult situation and the freshly arrived 9th SS is ready to strike.
The US redouble their efforts, making three attacks (two at 3 to 1 and one at 2 to 1). The Commonwealth make two attacks, one at 7 to 1 and another at 4 to 1 (to the west of Caen). The Commonwealth meets with success, although the bridgehead has contracted. The US attacks inflicted casualties, making the German line quiet brittle.
Finely some clear weather. The Germans make two 4 to 1 attacks in a last hope to cut off the Orne Bridgehead. Allied fighter bombers stopped the Tiger Tanks, but the other German attack succeeded in pushing Commonwealth troops back, but without serious consequences.
The US make four 3 to 1 attacks trying the break the German lines. The Commonwealth make three 3 to 1 attacks trying to capture Caen. The Commonwealth attacks are partially successful, and one quarter of Caen is captured. The US attacks all fail with heavy losses.
It is an Allied Victory as they control 13 VPs worth of towns/cities beyond the historical line, while the Germans just hold one. They need 10 VPs or more for Victory. Capturing that quarter of caen contributed 2 VPs. The Orne Bridgehead contributed 4 VPs. The Cadre losses are high and a few more German attacks or unsuccessful Allied attacks could trip them over (7 for the US and 5 for the Commonwealth - they finished on 5 and 3 respectively, although the US could recover by withdrawing the 101st Airborne).
Mike and I finished this excellent game yesterday. After a challenging start, the Soviets achieved an automatic victory Turn 12.
The Soviets reach the Dnepr.
A crossing is made!
The exploitation attacks seal off the Crimea,
but are unable to expand the bridgehead.
Axis counterattack restores the Dnepr line,
but there are too many VP locations isolated behind the Soviet front line.
The Historical VP point is 15.
The Soviets are on 18 needing only three to achieve victory.
Detail of the two winning attacks.
At 4:1 a successful outcome is guaranteed.
Only at Zap could a series of ones have saved the day for the Axis.
as it is worth 2 VPs (1s would have produced exchanges with no retreat).
It was fascinating playing the 1st Edition. The Soviet victory was just about identical to that in the last 2nd Edition game I played with Richard, although the ground covered was very different. Relevant post can be found here.