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Firestorm: Stripes

The Team Yankee Global Campaign

Fields of Death

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Warsaw Pact
Harald Knauer
VS United States

Soon after the Marine attack towards Hamburg had been repelled, Marine tanks slipped past the East Germans trying to contain their beachhead. They were now approaching Hannover and a decision was made to counterattack to halt their advance.
What was left of the battalion fanned out, ready to charge. The Marines had excellent fields of fire and did not have to wait for reserves. They’d be able to bring their full firepower to bear and it was exactly what they intended to do.

AO and movements.
The first Marine platoon had an excellent position in the center of the battlefield. It was perfectly camouflaged and able to fire in any direction.
The East Germans advanced in line formation, with two companies moving concealed by the woods and the third company swinging far to the right across the open fields.

Crunching the numbers

The East Germans had a bit of trouble in the beginning. A few vehicles, including the battalion commander’s tank, broke down and were unable to fire at the enemy line. The first fusillade was crucial for the plan. There was no artillery and only 15 T-72Ms facing 10 M60s and 3 TOWs. This volume of fire the protectors of the workers and peasants would have a hard time overcoming with their limited arsenal – if they even could. Not only did the East Germans lack the numbers required by doctrine for an attack like this to succeed, they would also have to expose themselves, while the Marines would be in a position that allowed them to easily shift and concentrate their fire.

However, the time for doubt was over. Scanning the tree line ahead, the East German line erupted in fire. One M60 was knocked out, while the crew of another one bailed out under the onslaught.

The East Germans were at a great disadvantage, but some of them managed to pick up and engage targets nonetheless. Overall their shooting was less than stellar, though.

The attack had not caused nearly enough damage to threaten the Marines’ line. And they would not only answer in kind; they would retaliate with everything at their disposal. They were Marines after all.

Having learned their lesson since last time, they easily had the upper hand and if the enemy forced a shootout unto them, well, they intended to win it. All along the treeline T-72s lost their turrets to the M60s accurate fire. The second tank platoon joined in from its ambushing position and knocked out a few tanks. The TOWs fired from the HMMVWs located at the edge of the town claimed another one.

East German casualties mounted incredibly fast. Soon half their tanks were turned into burning wrecks.
The Marine ambush did not surprise the Germans, but it hit them hard nonetheless.

Mistakes were made

The situation was difficult, but not yet hopeless for the German commander. Since helicopter support was available, two of them were ordered to soften the left flank. While the Marine 2iC’s tank was hit and the crew badly shaken, the vehicle was not destroyed and the mobile AA rushing in to help, gunning down the Mi-24 soon after it had fired.

An ill-fated order was given to halt the advance and stay within the woods. Leaving the woods would not improve the Germans’ chances to destroy the enemy, but would profit the enemy, as all tanks would be inmidst an open killzone, free to be shot at from every direction. Sound thinking, but utterly flawed: halting the advance was exactly what the Marines had hoped for. With no need to worry about an incoming charge, they’d be free to carefully choose and engage their targets, picking the enemy off one by one.

The Mi-24's daring missile attack run was quickly punished by the Army's AA Battery.
The remaining aircraft evaded the heavier AA intending to pick on the lightly armoured vehicles in the Marines' rear, but was shot down by the LAV's 7.62mm AA machinegun.

Courage and despair

Too late the East German commander realized his error and ordered the shameful rest of his force forward. In a desperate charge he hoped to yet turn the tide. It was all or nothing.

The final charge. At this point two thirds of the battalion had been wiped out.
Point blank fire into the tree line - all misses.

Nothing. The battalion was wiped out. All but a single tank made it back to friendly lines.
Meanwhile, the Marines had hardly taken any losses at all. Command was stunned at first, then outraged. Not because of the loss of life or the defeat in battle, but that the order to attack had been given in the first place, facing these odds.
Before an investigation into the matter could be ordered, the responsible commander stepped inside his tent and took his life, unable to bear the shame of having failed his superiors, his subordinates, his country and his family.



Oh dear. What a nightmare. I hate myself mostly for setting up the terrain so stupidly, but then also for having three different ideas and following through on none of them. The problem was, as the game began I realized I was f*cked. The Marines would have their entire force available, perfect cover, an ambush, and I had to move first. Top that with the Marines’ crushing advantage in firepower and Hit On rolls and I knew this was going to get really bad, really soon. Thing is I don’t have any more in terms of models than what I use in this list, simply because availability and cost have limited expanding the force so far. Five more T-72s are underway to give a 19-tank MSU list a spin, but until then, this is it. Well, enough with excuses. What did I do wrong, apart from setting up the terrain with one giant unbroken open killzone across the entire table?

1. Looking at the table I probably shouldn’t have chosen “attack” but “maneuver” as a battle plan, to reduce the chances of my opponent having their entire force available.

2. I should have followed through in my initial plan to move down the center. While it’s correct that moving out of cover would not have improved my chances to hit and greatly increased my vulnerability, I should have accepted these losses to keep up the pressure on the Marines. As it was, I allowed him to keep his superior position in a straight shoot-out.

3. I could have switched the axis of attack to focus the weakest point of his line (his left and my right flank). There was good cover there in form of the built up area, there’d only be light vehicles in direct opposition, I would’ve gotten some distance between his HQ tanks and my force and using cover I could’ve picked off his small units one by one. However, I got a basic movement rule critically wrong: I believed my tanks had to stay 2”/5cm back from enemy vehicles, which obviously is not the case. However, because of this, I assumed I would not be able to get close enough to the buildings, behind which the two LAV-25s waited.

All in all it was an incredibly frustrating experience for me. It wasn’t the dice, it wasn’t the Marines (although I think the M60 is insanely cost-effective). It was all me. The stupidly set up terrain by me and my inability to decide on a plan of action and follow through, followed by my frustration over my own decisions. I truly and utterly hate myself for this and am very sorry to my great opponent, who had to suffer through my self-hatred and rambling. Luckily, though, he is a way better sport than I am and took it easy. :)

Well, lots to learn!

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Recommend Commander For Commendation

8 People Recommended Harald Knauer for commendation

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United States


  • Nabeshin says:

    It’s good to see lessons learned at the end of the report, I felt that way myself today when I lost a battle, it’s important to reflect. Either way, great visuals again, your report is great.

  • DeltaRed58 says:

    Nice photos. Well written AAR.

  • Victor says:

    Very nice report! Commendation, do love the close up pictures and cut ins, don’t give up comrade.

  • Harald Knauer says:

    Thanks for your kind words, everyone and thank you Battlefront for the feature!
    Reinforcements arrived today…

  • recce103c says:

    Excellent AAR, Terrain and Pictures, love the song 🙂

    recommended & learned for the Video lesson

    thx for an hard fought, battle

  • Jagdpanzer says:

    Hey hard fought, at least you recognized your mistakes, so hopefully you will not repeat them

  • Oxford says:

    As his opponent I salute to Harald Knauer! Despite the battle beeing lost, he did not surrender but kept on fighting. It was a tough day for the Volksarmee, but I think there will be other days coming for the East germans 😉

  • M. Nisbet says:

    A very nice report. The Marines are definitely a tough cookie to crack (I’ve played them with my other force)

  • Storm Caller says:

    First great job! We learn with time about terrain


  • Spartan81 says:

    Great set up, and being a Marine myself, we are a pesky bunch. Good fight, great AAR. Greater Germany will prevail in the end. Fur Deutschland!!

  • bayankhan says:

    great AAR. better luck next time

  • CrazyIvan17 says:

    Looks like it was a good game, despite the loss. A well written AAR!

  • Red Alert says:


    Well written and good set up,

    hint – always have text before and after a youtube video.

    Pitty on the loss, but your honesty is appreciated.