After Action Report 07

Patrick Verliefde - Ops 101 US AB Div

Andy, our logs officer has already reported about the supply problems
of the "Screaming eagles", so I'll write about the tactical
operations.

The drop went marvelous. The regiments landed almost intact and on
their targets. The bridges at St-Oedenrode and Veghel were captured
and secured (Hurray). We cannot dislodge the defenders of the bridge
at Zon though. We quick set op a defensive perimeter, rushed at the
bridges at Best that we captured intact (Big Hurray: we held a clear
road to Arnhem), reinforced the battle at Zon. The first turns were
delightful hectic especially as we didn't found our artillery units
("When will they arrive?" "Tomorrow, I suppose" "No, they are already
here" "So where are they and how much units have we available?" "uh")
and with our supply problems (quickly sorted out by Andy).

After fierce fighting we captured the bridge at Zon, defended by the
Herman Goering Training Group, but before they retreated they managed
to destroy it. Immediately we requested 30th Corps to send bridging
material and to my surprise (I had read about the historical logistic
problems) the next day they already arrived. We cleared, with some
difficulty, our zone. Meanwhile Simon, our Intel officer, was running
around giving reports to Airborne HQ, 30th Corps and searching the
answer to the question of Matt, our commander: "Where will the
Germans counter-attack?".

The Germans were so kind to resolve that problem for us by showing up
at Veghel and Best (north side of the river). Besides a lot of German
infantry, we saw at Best also a lot of tanks! As Dirk (our TC) rather
well imitated, the tank commanders saluted us with a terrible English
accent: we had linked with the Guards armored (D+3).

At Best, a battalion dug in on the north side of the river, waiting
for the assault (that never came!). Another battalion was ordered to
reinforce the defenders in Best via the south side of the river. The
43rd division at Best secured the south side of the bridge. Our
battalion returned to their starting point and reported that the 43rd
was pulling back, that the Germans held the south side of the bridge
at Best and were moving towards Zon. Luckily the bridge at Zon was in
the meanwhile rebuild, so the 30th Corps could continue their
advance. That German division couldn't reach the bridge at Zon and
was eventually (D+8?) destroyed (they refused to surrender).

At Veghel Bram (Ops 1) had organized a strong defense but
nevertheless our troops were pushed back and the corridor was
blocked! (probably we could have hold on to it if the demanded air
support had arrived at Veghel and not at Schijndel, 5 kms further
west!) But after regrouping and with massive air support we managed
to retake Veghel and the road bridge; the rail bridge was destroyed.

After that the 30th corps was rushing through (we hoped: we held the
bridges, the "only" thing they had to do was get to Nijmegen and
Arnhem to relieve our fellow para's). We heard that Sir Browning
(commander of the 1st Airborne Corps) wanted a really safe landing
zone in our region. So we set up a perimeter around some nice green
pastures but sir Browning never came… A few coordinated attacks
finished the German division at the north side of the river at Best.
The discovery of at least 4 Germans fresh infantry battalions in the
east showed us that the battle wasn't over yet but with a little help
from our British friends we could keep the corridor open.

And then the game was over.

I had a great day and I hope to see a lot of you again at the next
megagame on the Continent!

Patrick