Saturday, 4 January 2014

Action at Oberickelsheim - Part II - player briefings

0630, 17 October 1979

Briefing note to the commander of the 15th Motor Rifle Division, Czechoslovakian 4th Army, near Iphofen.

Colonel: the Soviet 8th Guards Army has now advanced deep into West Germany, forcing the American 3rd Infantry Division back from its assigned positions, and toward the south, to the hills beyond Creglingen.  The 4th Army has been tasked with protecting the southern flank of the 8th Army, but NATO airstrikes on our supply lines have hampered our efforts to maintain a continuous front, and have also slowed down the delivery of supplies to the 8th, whose advance has now stalled.  We cannot surrender the initiative we have built up over the last 36 hours, and are now advancing toward the Ochsenfurt-Creglingen line south of the river Main looping around Würzburg.  Your lead elements are currently in the vicinity of Oberickelsheim, having moved during the small hours of the night through the hills between Schlüsselfeld and Iphofen.  

However, intel reports that elements of the American 3rd Infantry Division are now moving back north in an effort to oppose you.  You must stop them from breaking through your line of advance; and if possible, you are to continue your own advance west.  We need the area clear of enemy forces if we are to use the airbases we have just captured at Kitzingen.  The area around Oberickelsheim is relatively open, and not the best terrain for our infantry to fight in.  We are diverting elements of the 4th Tank Division to assist you in your efforts, although they will take time to arrive in your area.  How long will very much depend on the weather and how it impacts air operations.  Meteorology says rain is possible during the day - but not certain.

Good luck.   4th Army HQ

0630, October 17, 1979

Briefing note to the commander of 1 Brigade, 3 Infantry Division, at Simmershofen.

Colonel: the Soviet 8th Guards Army and its supporting assets have now advanced deep into West Germany, forcing the 3rd Infantry Division back from its assigned positions. However, although the withdrawal of the 3rd to the south was not in the direction we had planned, it has nonetheless been accomplished without a notable loss of cohesion, whereas the 8th Guards Army has taken quite a pounding in its advance, and its supply lines must be suffering greatly under our continued air interdiction efforts.

Of the 3rd Division's four combat brigades, yours is not only in relatively good shape, but is also best positioned to execute a possible stalling attack on the flank of the 8th Guards Army.  The Czechoslovakian 4th Army appears to be tasked with guarding the southern flank of the 8th Guards Army, but it does not seem to have kept up with the rapid advance of the 8th.  Intel received 3 hours ago (0315) suggests its lead elements were at that time only just starting to leave Schlüsselfeld, 40 km ENE of your current position, heading east.

It would appear that all that currently lies between you and the river Main looping around Würzburg to your north is whatever units the 4th Army may have moved into the area over the last 3 hours.  If you can push through the region of Oberickelsheim to re-establish contact with the river, and prevent any further easterly advance by opposing forces, we will not only be in a position to use the river loop to secure our right flank for future operations, but the division's artillery should be able to move into a position to keep the Soviets from using our own captured airbases near Kitzingen.  You know the area well.  It's the most open country in the region, and one of the few places we could easily mount an operation like this.  You must seize the opportunity presented us!  But keep your force intact.  Reaching the river will avail us nothing if you do not have the forces in hand to exploit the position.  Hopefully the weather will hold so air force assets can assist you in your efforts.  But don't rely on it - meteorology predicts intermittent rain is a real possibility.

Good luck.   7 Corps HQ


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