Diving right in, for Day 2, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Both attacks progressing. Forces are finally moving in to clear Den Bosch. The engineers have orders to join the gaggle at Den Bosch, where we’ll assign them to a task force of some sort later.
Ordering Gruppe Apell to push down to the highway bridge. This will give us a clear route west for the forces we’re sending to the exit objectives.
III Battalion/Deutschland arrives, and gets orders to clear out some Dutch forces from behind our lines north of Den Bosch. They’ll join in the push at Den Bosch and spring for the west once they’re through with that.
I/Deutschland is doing well west of Den Bosch, and it’s looking like that will be the focal point of future operations toward the exit objectives. That said, the French are seriously thick on the ground heading for the Dungen bridge, so I’m going to stick with the plan to use the last battalion of SS troops from the Deutschland regiment to reinforce the near side of the bridgehead there.
Rather annoyingly, the 10th Schützen Regiment appears to have missed the main body of the French force.
I have an airstrike available, so I drop it on one of the French tank companies assaulting Dungen from the southeast. I’ll be doing the same thing through the whole day.
The makings of a French defensive line are now visible south of Den Bosch, as II Battalion/Deutschland arrives. I send them to Varkenshoek, north of the Dungen bridge fight, to organize for their attack.
Let me take a moment to talk about strategy for the rest of the scenario here. I’ve turned off the unit icons for this screenshot. Notice the placement of bridges and rivers, and how they divide the map into three sections.
The first section is that south of Den Bosch—the canal running west from Den Bosch is its northern border in that direction, and the Zuid Willemsvaart is its northern border to the east. It curves up to include Waalwijk at the far western edge of the map. The second section is the northeastern quarter, east of the Dieze (the canal/river that flows from the north into Den Bosch). The final section is the northwestern quarter, including everything between the Maas (at the very northwestern edge of the map), the Dieze, and the canal west of Den Bosch.
Crucially, there are only three ways into the northwestern quarter: by passing through Den Bosch, which we control, by going all the way to Waalwijk and crossing at the bridges there, and by the road bridge at Cromvoirt, on the left side of the screenshot. If I control the bridge at Cromvoirt, I control the northwestern quadrant, and I don’t have to fight my way all the way across the map. I can just send forces straight to the bridges east of Waalwijk and fight the relatively short distance to the northern exit. That’s the plan for the rest of this phase. III/Deutschland gets the orders to march on Cromvoirt.
At the same time, II/Deutschland gets orders to attack the concentration of French forces northwest of the Dungen bridge.
Two new artillery batteries come onto the map, which is a lovely development. Unfortunately, it looks like the French have also crossed the Middelrode bridge (the next one southeast of Dungen), as they’ve shown up behind the front. Fortunately, they showed up next to an anti-tank company, so we’re in a little better shape than you might expect.
As Gruppe Apell pushes south to secure the other Den Bosch crossing into the map’s northwestern quadrant, I issue orders to I/Deutschland to gather some reinforcements (the self-propelled artillery battery and a flak detachment waiting in Den Bosch) and head to Waalwijk. No reason to wait any longer—the breakthrough has been made. Time to get to exploitin’.
An uneventful two hours. Attacks progress, but generally, going is slow.
The last reinforcement we get in this scenario is the 484th Infantry Regiment. The regiment HQ and the first battalion arrive. The first battalion heads to the west side of Den Bosch to free up some forces to flank the French at Dungen, while the regiment HQ gathers some bridging units and heads to Den Bosch to hold onto them until they’re needed.
To my surprise, three companies of troops from II/Deutschland have pushed back six or seven companies at the Dungen bridge. Not bad.
Finally, we start making some serious progress west of Den Bosch. It took half an hour and four batteries of artillery firing in support, but Gruppe Apell and company opened up enough of a hole at the bridges southwest of Den Bosch for the two battalions of SS troops to sneak through.
Reinforcements arrive in the form of two more infantry battalions. I start them on the move now. We’ll decide what to do with them come voting time.
The final situation, which is rather confused. Forward units discover that some French have crossed at Cromvoirt already. 10th Schützen Regiment is moving to defend the Dungen bridge, Gruppe Apell is securing its position southwest of Den Bosch, I/33rd Panzer Regiment is defending the southern edge of Den Bosch, and both SS battalions west of Den Bosch are making exploiting moves.
Time to figure out what to do.
Guderian – The 484th Infantry Regiment should be used to free mechanized forces to attack toward Waalwijk. Use I/484th to secure the Cromvoirt crossing, and II/484th and III/484th to seal off the flank at Den Bosch. Gruppe Apell and I/33rd Panzer Regiment can then withdraw from the defensive line and head west.
von Rundstedt – We have mechanized forces directly behind the enemy at the Dungen bridge. Use one battalion of infantry to take I/33rd Panzer’s place in Den Bosch, one to assist in the defense of the Den Bosch breakthrough, and one to attack the enemy west from Dungen Bridge.
Paulus – The French may be attempting a crossing southeast of Dungen. Position a battalion of infantry to protect against that eventuality. Otherwise, follow Guderian’s plan.