Thursday, July 12, 2012

Case Waldgeist: Thoughts from the Commanders 3

9, Juni 1944
To: Field Marshall Rundstedt, OKW
FR: Oberstleutnant von Throckmorton, FHH
RE: After Action Report, Case Waldgeist

Dear Field Marshall,

It is with great joy that I send word to you this evening that your legions stand victorious on the field of battle.  Today, the FHH, 21st Pzr Div, and 504 Schwere Pzr Abtlng have pushed the Allied forces out of north west London. The cost to our enemy was great and in my estimation some 30 Allied tanks were destroyed and 800 soldiers were lost. Tomorrow we push deeper into the city in an attempt to drive a wedge between the two forces we faced today.

At 06:35 this morning I ordered the troops under my command to step off from their start line per your orders. As our scouts suggested, this sector of the line was at a meeting point between two separate allied divisions. And from here I knew we could gain strategic advantage by using this tactical "seam" as a weak point through which to press the attack home. The morning was fast going until we hit stiff resistance from elements of the Czechoslovakian Guards, of whom I've written in the past, and the American 4th Armored Division.

However, the disposition of my forces was well suited to the task at hand. The 4th Armored blocked the way to a critical junction, that, were we to take it would allow us to thrust deeply into London proper and dispose of the two armies in detail. Using the rubble of the city as cover and their own infantry as a road block we were, to be honest, surprised at how many tanks the Americans had. And yet, we were able to counter with great support from Oberstleutnant Carius, and the Konigstigers of the 503.

I am told that Carius himself shot the tank out from under General Creighton Abrams. While we did not find General Abrams body among the dead another commendation for Carius, I'm sure, will be forthcoming.

It is at this point I should stop and make note that the tactical command of the 21st Panzers seems to be... deficient. Long gone are the glory days of Africa. Their commander chose to throw his Panthers into an assault against infantry on both our left and right with out the support of our own troops while facing well supported, dug in and experienced soldiers. The losses were near absolute with only the commander's tank still operational at the end of the day. Our resources are to few and our experienced men to precious to be thrown away in pernicious assaults that are not tactically advisable.

The Czech's facing us on the right were another story all together. Their determination, tactical acumen and general esprit de corps is not to be underestimated. Unlike the American's, who were decimated, the Czech's used a screen of their own infantry to fight a tactical withdrawal.

I am proud of the work my troops did this day. They have done a great honor to the Heer but like so many acts of bravery in this war they will go unrecorded except in missives like these. Tomorrow, we begin our movement towards the Themes. I plan to move in the direction of Holborn in order to seize Waterloo and Blackfriar bridges and the rail crossings near by.

While the opportunity exists to swing some elements of my army to the right in order to capture Buckingham Palace, I believe that the tactical necessity to secure the river crossings is paramount to any propaganda victory we may see from seizure of the palace. I am concerned that some in Berlin may not agree.

I am, as always, at your command.

Oberstleutnant Dietrich von Throckmorton

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