Paulus wins with one vote (thanks, Rob!). Happily, I already had the 484th on the way at the end of last time, so it’s a simple matter to get them into the right disposition now.
I and II Battalions will take on the defense of Den Bosch, along with the regimental HQ. III Battalion will head south and secure the flank from crossings south of Dungen.
Fighting at Dungen is looking pretty iffy at this point. 10 Schützen Regiment has taken a bruising—one of its companies is looking about ready to fall apart, at less than half of its starting strength.
On the west side of Den Bosch, III/SS Deutschland is on the way to seal off that bridge. The 484th Infanterie Regiment is only just now getting under way; infantry units are slower to respond to command than motorized ones.
As the day wears on, III/SS Deutschland looks like it’ll reach its objective by sunset, and the 484th Infanterie are beginning to set up in the south of Den Bosch. Before long, we’ll be able to free the I/33 Panzers and Gruppe Apell.
III/484th Infanterie engages a French tank company in an orchard east of Dungen. How World War II movie.
We have a pretty solid hold on Den Bosch now. III/SS Deutschland is on its way, and 1/33 Panzer Battalion, relieved by the infantry, now has orders to attack west to Vlijmen, where it will be able to exert influence on the road to Waalwijk.
The Dungen bridge position is beginning to look more and more tenuous. I may have to reinforce it, or pull back to the east bank of the river.
Things are happening maddeningly slowly. Night falls, which will let the French maraud, no doubt. It will also take the pressure off of Dungen a little bit, and give me some time to think about how to deal with all these blasted tanks when I don’t have nearly enough of my own.
For all my griping about having maybe sixty tanks to the oh, several hundred the French do, I’m making progress toward Vlijmen, and Dungen is still hanging on.
Nighttime. Thirteen kilometers to go, against who knows what opposition. We’ll see what happens.
I adjust the 484th Infanterie Regiment’s orders so that they cover the south of Den Bosch a little better. Gruppe Appel’s disposition for tomorrow is going to be an interesting question.
With much sighing, I watch as a French tank company trundles over my position at the Dungen bridge. On the plus side, I/33 Panzer Regiment has made a hole at Vlijmen, and is proceeding through it, along with I/SS Deutschland.
Twelve hours to go.
Dungen bridge is looking safer now, but may have to withstand another six to eight hours of attack once the sun comes back up. We’re into the backfield in the west, but we need to keep moving there. Predawn twilight starts at about 4:00 a.m. I want to be past Vlijmen and on the way to Waalwijk by then. Den Bosch looks secure right now.
Please note that this is the last decision point in this edition of Breaking Fortress Holland. Four hours (the remainder after this period) isn’t enough to justify stopping and changing plans.
Guderian – The arrival of the infantry has freed Gruppe Apell to follow the mechanized forces west! We must exploit their breakthrough with all available force.
von Rundstedt – The position at Dungen is becoming more tenuous by the moment. Gruppe Apell must attack it immediately.
Paulus – I agree with von Rundstedt, but Grupe Apell has been fighting for thirty hours. They must first rest for a few hours before organizing for the flanking attack.