Action at Oberickelsheim - Part VII - the main clash
|Don't you suppress me! Did you see that?|
At this stage of the game, Pat had had very little in the way of artillery to call in, because a lot of it was still moving into position off-table, but it was gradually coming on-line. He had left both the divisional and attached army-level anti-tank battalions, each of 4 stands of towed 100 mm guns, off-table, figuring they would be of no use on-table in a meeting engagement as they would never get into a position to fire; instead he used them as light but long-ranged divisional guns - it was accepted practice for such field guns to be used like this because although they had a light shell, they had a very high rate of fire coupled with a long range: 21 km, longer than anything else in his inventory. And even though he needed to get lucky suppression shots to touch Aaron's entirely self-propelled artillery, he did manage to take out a stand of M110s!
|A nasty ridge line brimming with steel|
During this turn, Pat finally managed to get an order through to get one of his southerly columns off the jammed-up road net, and moving across country. Unfortunately for him, the Americans located the 68th Motor Rifle Regimental HQ as a result of lax radio discipline in the process, and called in heavy artillery on it. Exeunt one RHQ stand. No more order changes for them unless they came from the DHQ itself, and Pat wasn't willing to expose himself to the same risk of destruction quite yet...
|Bridged at last!|
The accompanying 1/20 Tank Battalion was also taking heavy casualties, with its front elements largely eliminated - its bridge-laying section suddenly found itself perilously close to the action! You can see its lead recon elements hanging on virtue of being mostly protected from the American fire by the fact they are not "real tanks" and thus not the highest target priority for the opposing M60s....