173 Operation Lüttich
On July 25, 1944, after several weeks of near-stalemate, the Americans had broken through the German defences on the western flank of the Normandy beachhead, in Operation Cobra. On August 1, they seized Avranches. Over the next three days, no less than seven divisions of the newly-activated US Third Army under Gen. George S. Patton were pushed through the narrow bottleneck at Avranches, and fanned out through north-western France.
Hitler ordered an immediate counter-attack that would cut the Avranches bottleneck and isolate all the Patton´s troops in the west. The justified refusal of such a course of actions - assigned to weakened German forces facing both land and air American numerical superiority - from both Gen. Feldmar. Günther von Kluge and Gen. SS Paul Hausser proved useless. The operation was nicknamed Lüttich (Liege) and scheduled on August 7.
At night of August 7. the Luftwaffe bombed the town of Mortain as a prelude to the attack that followed in the thick fog of the morning. The 2. SS PzD. Das Reich under SS-Brigadeführer Otto Baum was ordered to sweep through the town with the 1. LSSAH rolling just north of it. However, the 30th Infantry Division under Maj. Gen. L. S. Hobbs, holding the town and alerted to the German attack by the ULTRA system, proved to be a worthy adversary for the SS-Panzerkorps.
The attack stopped in a desperate and bloody battle in the town of Mortain and when the fog dispersed quite quickly and unexpectedly at noon, the countless "hornets" of the American 9th Air Force soon caused heavy losses in the exposed German columns. The Germans were then eventually driven back by the armored American reinforcements arriving into the area.
The German force present is the leftmost flank of the offensive, consisting of two motorised regiments (the 2. SS-Panzer-Regiment and the 3. SS- Panzergrenadier-Regiment "Deutschland") of the 2. SS PzD. Das Reich. They approach the southern periphery of the town several hours after the main power of the 2. SS stormed the middle town and encountered fierce opposition.
As the battle in the town center still rages, the two panzer regiments are tasked to take the southern outskirt of Mortain and hold it against possible American counter-attacks.
The Americans awaiting in this area are two weakened regiments of the 30th Infantry Division. While all the dispensable infantry forces have been withdrawn to the center against the base line of the German attack, the 120th Infantry Regiment and the 105th Engineer Combat Battalion are ordered to defend the southern part of the town.
4 Squad Bases
1 M3A1 Half Track
|3 Panzer IV Tank
2 Tiger I
4 Squad Bases
8 Squad Bases
3 SdKfz 251 Half Track
|Starting Strategy Cards||2||3|
|Operations Cards||- Desperate Defenders
- Intelligence Report
(shared) (remove at the end of Round 3)
|- Merciless Assualt
- Elite Tank Crew
(shared) (remove at the end of Round 3)
|Deployment Zone||anywhere on the maps 6B, 12B, 2A, 1A, 10A and 8A||Any grey hex|
The nation with most VPs at the end of round 10 wins The nation controlling majority of the town (4 buildings and more) at the end of round 10 gains 6 VP. To control the two-hex building, the player must have a squad(s) in the building while the enemy must not be present in any of the building hexes.
The player controlling a building may leave it and retains control of it until the other side enters the building. At the beginning of the game, all buildings and command markers belong to the American player (place American tokens on them).
The Germans earn VPs under the following conditions: for each one-hex building controlled, the axis player gains 1VP once. For each two-hex building controlled, he gets 2VPs once. For controlling the one-hex building with 3-command German objective, the German gets 2VPs once. For each lost building (building controlled and then lost to the American) he loses 1VP once.
The Americans earn VPs under the following conditions: for each destroyed German transport vehicle, the allied player gains 1VP. For each destroyed Panzer IV, he gets 2VPs. For each destroyed Tiger I, he gets 3VPs.
|Actions per turn||3||3|
If the Americans hold the bridge at the end of the action phase of round three, they receive the following reinforcements in the status phase of the third round: 2 M4A1 Shermans, 1 GMC CCKW 353 and 2 squads of regular infantry. This represents the left flank of the American battle command operating south of the town which historically disrupted the rear of the SS Divisions attacking Mortain. They can enter the map on any of the dark green hexes.
The American may spend 6 command points in the command phase of round five to receive the following reinforcements in the status phase of round five: 6 M4A1 Shermans, 4 M3A1 Half-Tracks, 2 GMC CCKW 353s, 8 squads of 3 machine gun crews, 2 officers, 8 elite infantry and 16 regular infantry with following specialisations: 2 antitank, 2 flame-thrower. This is one of the two tank batallions of the 30th Infantry Division, the 743rd, moved in to halt the SS advance. The American commander must use the command to persuade his officials to move the reinforcements into his sector. The reinforcements may enter the map on any of the light green hexes. If more than a half of the light green hexes is occupied by German units, the reinforcements may enter the map on the dark green hexes as well.
|Special Rules||At the end of the third round remove the "Heavy fog" operation card.|
|Terrain Features||The river is deep.|