Monday, 31 July 2017
Friday, 28 July 2017
Following the NATO air recce an airstrike arrived to paste the border defences. This French F-100D Super Sabre has appeared in previous games - it is one of my more photogenic models.
The NATO planning map. It is marked with the air recce routes. North is to the right, to NATO forces were to emerge through the worryingly narrow Kakstadt Gap in the west (top of the image). The border defences were held by a couple of motor rifle companies with borders guards and other bits and pieces further to the rear. More news on the DDR forces as they become visible. A SAM site was identified east of the railway and an air defence battery (Shilka?) north of the village.
The NATO SF detachments were at the Stasi HQ(!) in the schloss and at the tractor factory - the latter detachment disguised as DDR border guards.
Toys were deployed as required - not least because of the constant threat of rain!
The F-84 had emerged from the Partizan Plane Purchase last year.
The Stasi search for SF radio signals.
DDR HQ deploys forwards.
The NATO strike planes fly off - risking SAM and Shilka on the way home.
Thursday, 27 July 2017
This dodgy character was spotted near the Sherman.
Being an indoor museum many of the exhibits were tricky to photograph well.
Nice Hetzer in 'ambush' camo.
VW Kubel with SS markings.
Tuesday, 25 July 2017
This was a Little Cold Wars game played in Bertrand's garden in Norfolk.
NATO briefing - Operation Extreme Penetration
The Warpact assault which began a few days ago has stalled in some sectors, including the area around Kakstadt. In the US forces which initially crumbled under the Warpact assault, incompetent commanders have been weeded out, including Colonel Cordery and Major King. No details of their fate have been released. In fairness, it must be said that the DDR forces have also been purged and the whereabouts of Col. I C Druryov have yet to be determined.
Newly arrived NATO forces have been tasked to counter attach the relatively weak East German forces in this sector and to drive deep into the DDR.
Local DDR forces are reputedly led by a former Stasi officer who previously spent some time in the west, disguised – rather unconvincingly – as a man of the cloth.
NATO has been reinforced by French forces meaning ample supplies of wine and squishy cheese. And some tanks. The American Colonel Jack ‘blood and guts’ Wright has been joined by Major ‘hell on wheels’ Hartley and the French Colonels De Cerf and ‘dangereux’ Droite.
An initial ground assault by a US battalion will be followed by a brigade-level heliborne landings (Operation Painful Plunge) behind the enemy front line. The airborne troops will lay a ‘carpet’ along which the main ground force will advance. What could go wrong?
Be thinking about where to land the paras, including approach and departure routes for the helis.
Land forces. Where and when are they entering and what are their initial and subsequent objectives.
Air support. You have a lot of it – when and where do you want it?
SF forces. Can be deployed anywhere.
French Armoured Brigade:
15 and 22 Armoured Regts with AMX-30 and AMX-10P
each with attached AT, engr, AA plts
2 Recce Co
US Mech btl with 2 inf and 1 tank co*
NATO Airmobile Brigade
US Airmobile Btl + 4 Heli*
UK Airborne Btl
French Para Btl + 5 Heli
Fighters – FAF Mirage, USAF F-104
Recce – FAF Jaguar
Strike – FAF F-100D, USAF A-10, 4 GAF F-104
2 SF recce parties – one British SAS and one from any other NATO nation. May be deployed anywhere. May move and have comms back to NATO. May be in East German Police uniforms.
DDR Forces amounted to a reinforced regiment:
A knocked-about motor rifle regiment - one MR btl, one tank btl and regimental assets.
1 company of Willi Sanger special forces - helicopter mobile.
Limited air assets.
Around a battalion-worth of Border Guards.
The air recce photos showed border defences...
...border guards going about their business...
...railway sidings near the inevitable...
Sunday, 16 July 2017
On the nights either side of our Verdun visit we parked up at a nice little aire at the side of the Meuse. You're never far away from that river in this part of France.
This time we were the second of eventually eight motorhomes to arrive and having drained and replenished the water tanks we had no trouble finding a nice spot and getting plugged in to the mains electricity supply. Not bad for €8 a night.
And then there was the view. In the early evenings boats chugged past at the rate of one every couple of hours.
Sara spottted a heron on the far bank...
...and with the camera at maximum zoom I bagged these photos of 'Ron' as we shall always think of him.
Monday, 3 July 2017
Near Douaumont is this new museum. I say new as it was only opened in early 2016.
French 90mm M1877
Field kitchen. I'm not now sure if this is French or German.
The 90mm again.
Various trench mortars.
Part of the impressive display of small arms.
Repro Fokker E.1 and Nieuport 17. Models in 1:1 scale!
Limber for French '75.
Carrier pigeon basket.
another field kitchen
Models of German and French observation balloons.