He lucked out significantly as the crossing resulted in a mere 2 "suppression" results, most likely a result of setting off an anti personnel mine, instead of an anti vehicle mine. Anyways, the Soviet armor poured across the canal and the infantry platoon on the left stormed the bridge with very heavy casualties. This was a Soviet victory.
|Armor pours across the canal crossing covered by the Hind gunship. "Hmm. We're still alive" muttered the lead tank's commander.|
|The village with destroyed buildings and burning Soviet tanks.|
|122mm towed artillery plasters the village as Soviet infantry lower left attempt to move in. They become neutralized by the .50 caliber on the M113s on the far bank.|
|The 122mm barrage barely misses the M113s.|
|"We got out of there just in time!" Marvels the Dutch squad from the department store.|
|Soviet infantry storm the bridge and shelter behind a knocked out Soviet tank. Then the mortars start dropping...|
|Gritty house to house fighting in World War 3!|
The Soviet infantry platoon commander drops his binoculars and grabs his AK74. He moves forward to be closer to his men. As much as he'd like to stay in this cozy church steeple, there is work to be done...
|Soviet infantry swarming the bridge|
|THREE HUNDRED THIS IS THREE OH FIVE, WE HAVE MADE IT ACROSS AND ARE ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE CANAL. SEND EVERYONE AFTER US - THE MINES ARENT AS DENSE AS WE THOUGHT!|
Voroshilov hammers back onto the radio "NO! NO YOU WILL TURN NORTH TOWARDS THE TOWN AND ENGAGE HOSTILES WHERE THEY APPEAR! AND MANY THANKS IN ADVANCE - OUT" Feeling happy with himself, Voroshilov decides to check in on #301 and see what the hell is going on in the town.
|NATO APCs are exacting a brutal toll on the advancing infantry. If only the Soviets had tank support here.|
|The Soviets throw their men across the bridge and bring up the APCs for extra fire support. The infantry are taking heavy casualties now but the morale is holding.|
More mortar fire finds the attacking Soviet troops but none score any direct hits.
|note the infantry on left bank of the canal and more moving up. The Hind spots Dutch infantry in a park off-picture to the left. The Dutch decide to bug out.|
|Voroshilov watches the battle unfold. He's got to reinforce those infantry on the far side.|
|plenty of heavy metal moving west now.|
There were a few lessons learned and, believe it or not, rest on tactical principles. Here are some things I learned (the hard way).
Obstacle Plan: The defender's obstacle plan, in this case the minefield at the canal crossing, was not covered by fire. This battle may have had a much different outcome had those Dutch tanks or infantry been covering the canal crossing in conjunction with their minefield. The Dutch tanks started out, as a protective measure, too far behind the canal. This was to avoid being hammered by Soviet artillery or direct fires right away.
Infantry Maneuver: The Dutch, who used their APCs very well against the advancing Soviet infantry, still had a squad in a reserve position. Initially it was thought to put them in however the Dutch commander felt the town was going to fall and they would need to have their collective rears covered in case. They probably should have been moved up as soon as the Soviet infantry reached the bridge. The Soviet force on the Dutch side of the canal was a weak one and probably could have been pushed back with more aggressive use of infantry.
Use Your Mortars! The Dutch had an 81mm mortar section in the reserve position in the park the whole battle and the first time those tubes reached out was turn 9??? In Sabre Squadron, artillery controlled by your force has a good chance of actually making it so it's advisable to use it whenever and wherever possible.
Air Defense Troops: Sad to say my ADA troops, in this case a MANPADS section with the Dutch HQs didn't hit the Hind once after 3 shots! The only successful result was fire from a Centurion tank which suppressed the pilots. Probably should have had a dedicated AAA vehicle there which would have helped tremendously considering 100% of the Dutch Armor casualties were from the ATGM fired from the Hind.