|M-2 Bradley from 2-156th Infantry, 256th Infantry Brigade (LANG), 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized), in the suburbs of Katowice, May 12th, 1997 (AP)|
It's been a long time since we wrote one of these. Chico of the T2K forum and DC Working Group fame has written something that's been missing from canon for some time. A history of the 1997 NATO offensive into Poland. Operation Advent Crown is available as a free PDF from Chico's website, and it has links to accompanying maps!
In short, it's a great companion to anyone running adventures in the pre-nuclear exchange phase of the war. There's enough detail to clearly follow the action, and the sidebars are informative, and there's a good breakdown of Polish internal forces and how they work (including how the ORMO really fit into the Polish paramilitary structure.)
But, here's the thing, how does this work for miniature gaming fodder? Quite well, especially for larger games like Fistful of Tows and Command Decision. This document is chock full of ideas and scenario fodder.
Some of the ideas I can pick out are:
- Urban fighting in Opole and Czestochowa against determined defenders, especially the Polish airborne in Czestochowa (see Black Madonna for further details on Czestochowa).
- The "shadow war" between special operations units and MPs/rear area protection units in both sides rear areas (this especially lends itself well to Force on Force and Black Ops).
- The bitter fighting of the Battle of Sulechow between the Soviet 35th Airborne Brigade and the US 36th Infantry Division (this is bitter fighting between US National Guardsmen in their first engagement and Soviet desantniki who have nothing to lose).
- Linked scenarios of the fight of 17th Jager Bn, 1st Panzer Division to cut off the Hel Peninsula vs. a force of OTK, NJW, and Polish Navy. Jagers will eventually be reinforced by US 6th MEB.
- Raid by US 4th Ranger Btn and German 25th, 26th, and 27th FJ Brigades against Soviet rear.
- US XI Corps elements versus Polish scratch forces in the Carpathians.
- The breakthrough at Wroclaw (Soviet 3rd Guards Motor Rifle Division and Polish 2nd Mechanized Division versus US 11th ACR and German 27th FJ Brigade).
- The amphibious landing at Kolobrzeg (Danish Jutland Division, plus elements of British and US Marines vs. elements of 22nd Soviet Army).
- Battle of Poznan (Officer Cadets, OTK, WOW, ORMO, ZOMO, Polish Army support elements, along with remnants of 9th Mechanized Division versus VI German Corps).
- Battle of Tuchol Forest (US 2nd AD holding off counterattack by Polish 4th Army, being reinforced by Soviet 20th TD. Americans are reinforced by counterattack from US 3rd ACR).
- Lodz Breakout (WOW Brigade, TF of Polish 11th AD, Polish 9th Border Guards Brigade, scratch force of OTK, ORMO, and stragglers vs. US V Corps consisting of 8th ID (M), 1st AD, 1st Canadian Division and 11th ACR).
- Warsaw Counterattack by Soviet 11th Guards Army vs. PzGruppe Westhaven (specifically 217th Pzgdr Brigade with heavy NATO air and artillery support)
- Rearguard action by 49th Guards Motor Rifle Regiment versus German VI Corps near the Wisla.
- 116th ACRs crossing of the Wisla vs. Soviet 3rd GMRD.
- US XI Corps vs. Polish 2nd and 3rd Army on the outskirts of Warsaw.
- Soviet 4th Guards Tank Army counterattacks against German 1st Gerbigsjager Division, later 3rd Panzer Division, 240th FJ Brigade, and Danish Jutland Division east of Warsaw.
- German III Corps versus the defenders of Gydnia and Gdansk.
- US VII Corps versus Soviet 1st Shock Army near the Soviet border.