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[AAR Pz Campaigns:Alamein '42] The Fight for Derna, 1941. (Compass '40 Mod)
09-20-2020, 08:31 AM,
[AAR Pz Campaigns:Alamein '42] The Fight for Derna, 1941. (Compass '40 Mod)
[Image: M7lnw5P.png]

This AAR was originally published in the Hispanic wargames forum "Puntadelanza", I have decided to share it here where many fans of Tiller games gather.

The AAR has been translated from Spanish, unfortunately the texts embedded in the captures could not be modified.
I would also like to say that I am not fluent in English so some phrases or words may be incorrect or confusing.
My apologies in advance.

AAR of the addon that Daniel Asensio (Dantgn) created for the PzC Alamein '42, which he has named Compass' 40, since the main campaign is Compass, as it is extremely extensive, I will opt for one of the smaller scenarios , Derna's, which still lasts 64 turns ....

All credit for the documentary and investigative work, unit pack and set design for Dan. A servant acts only as a chronicler.

There are several ways to deal with AARs, the most common being the literal story of a game. I have preferred to simulate a chronic story supposedly based on the operations diary of the XIII corps, I don't know if the result will be better or worse but it is what I feel like at the moment.

This first post is only a brief presentation.

In case anyone is not aware of the matches played, link to wikipedia.


The scene begins at 00:00 hours on January 23, 1941, after the fall of Bardia (January 5) and Tobruk (January 22), the forces of the British Empire advance relentlessly through Libyan Cyrenaica in pursuit of the remains of the 10th Italian Army.

The 6th Australian Infantry Division takes advantage of the Via Balbia to move close to the coast, while the 7th Armored Division progresses through the interior towards the Mechili road junction.

What they do not know is that the Italians will try to delay their advance and buy time .....

This time I will command the imperial forces.
I provide here the OOB of the same, which has been hard investigated by Daniel ... I recommend you enlarge the image in another window.

[Image: QjEhbvL.png]

Making a very sketchy summary, I command the XIII Army Corps, so I put myself in the boots of Lieutenant General Richard O'Connor.

At my disposal the 6th Australian Infantry Division under General Iven Mackay, the 7th British Armored Tank led by General Michael O'Moore Creagh and several regiment size units plus artillery detachments from the Western Desert Force.

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Richard O'Connor
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Iven McCkay of the Australian Expeditionary Force.
[Image: L5dkQ0H.jpg]

General Creagh commanded the 7th Armored Division.

My forces number about 8,700 men, supported by 350 vehicles of various types and almost 300 pieces of both field and anti-aircraft artillery.

At ground level the 7th Armored was equipped in January 1941 with the usual cans of the time.
Plenty of Mark VIB light tanks, which are best not to over-trust as they are poorly armored.

[Image: z7ubIQE.gif]
A few Cruiser A9 and A13, which at least have a minimally decent barrel.
[Image: q5Tjf64.png]

The ground forces are supported by 14 RAF-

7 bomber squadrons (three equipped with Blenheims, three with Wellingtons and one with the lesser known Bristol Bombay).

[Image: t3q8Pxf.jpg]

-2 recognition
-5 fighter, with Hurricane I and Gladiators.

The map with the objectives to take ...
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The main objective, Derna in 1941
[Image: iHiYC75.jpg]

After the introduction, in the next post we start with the action ... [Image: Ok.gif]
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09-29-2020, 08:13 PM,
RE: [AAR Pz Campaigns:Alamein '42] The Fight for Derna, 1941. (Compass '40 Mod)
January 23, 1941

A- The Coast Highway.
At 00:00 hours on January 23, Brigadier Hugh Russell, in command of the 7th British armored brigade rested leaning on his command vehicle, around him the forces at his command were scattered, the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, composed of of 30 Mark VI light tanks and 14 A9 model cruisers. They came chasing the retreating Italian forces from Tobruk, on the map resting on the hood of the vehicle, and illuminated with flashlights by their assistants, the Mediterranean coast and a small town, Derna, were drawn.
It was to be expected that the Italians had evacuated her, but their goal was to verify it. Along the Via Balbia near the coast, several small Australian and British units, elements of the 6th Australian Division and the 13th Corps, advanced in the dark.
At about a quarter to one in the morning a couple of detonations were heard and shortly afterwards it was reported that an Australian exploration unit had fallen into a minefield on the highway to Derna.
Russell gave instructions to abandon the main road and advance along the left flank of it along a dirt track that led from the village of Matube, in order to avoid the minefield.

[Image: xkexm8f.png]

Change of route

After resting for an hour, Russell's forces set out at dawn, advancing on Derna. At 11 am the Australian scouts in Bren Carrier vehicles fell into a new minefield, behind which there were entrenchments manned by Italian infantry that opened sporadic fire.

[Image: XCgNuGW.png]

[Image: wA5VHWm.jpg]
Bren Carriers Ambushed It

Was evident that the Italians had units defending Derna.
The British were undaunted, the tanks of the 1st Regiment fanned out and advanced in support of their infantry. For their part, the Italians, totally caught by surprise and without engaging in a real combat, abandoned their position, which fell without a fight into the hands of the scouting forces that quickly occupied the trenches while waiting for the tanks.
The armored vehicles were deployed in the surroundings around 1 in the afternoon and were kept waiting, behind several units advanced, among them the 6th Survey Engineers, necessary to clear the minefields. These did not arrive until nightfall, with which operations were stopped until the next day.

[Image: fO6Os51.png]

Situation at nightfall, defensive perimeter of cars and engineers ready to start work at dawn on 24

B- The Mechili road.
On the road to Mechili, the 4th Armored Brigade advanced on 23 January under the command of Brigadier Caunter.
This unit had three regiments, the 3rd and 5th Hussars and the 2nd Royal tanks. They were equipped with 80 Mark VI light tanks and 63 Cruiser tanks in their A9 and A13 variants.

[Image: FtR98aM.jpg]

The Mark VIBs were light tanks suitable for fighting infantry, but very vulnerable

Caunter had 36 fast Rolls Royce armored cars from Prince Albert's 11th Hussars, which were excellent for scouting tasks.
These forces moved at full speed towards Mechili as soon as it was daylight, with the 11th of Husares leading the way, at 11 in the morning they were only 5km from the town, it was at that moment when the Dust that announced the presence of a group of L3-33 light tanks.
The husars tried to surround them from the north to test their strength and unfortunately they found that from within that great dust cloud a large group of M13-40 tanks appeared, it was an unpleasant surprise, the Italians advanced determined and before the British managed retiring 9 of their Rolls Royces were destroyed, only two managed to escape.

[Image: CDuD34W.png]
[Image: Xir98ub.jpg]

The newly arrived M13-40s in Africa were a nasty surprise to the British.

Caunter promptly ordered the 11th Hussars to fall back and spread out the 4th Brigade in a fan, with the Cruisers concentrated on the road. The cars were distributed in a transverse line to it, camouflage nets were laid over them and orders for total silence were issued.
The Italians, emboldened after the escape of the Rolls Royces, advanced at maximum speed down the road in pursuit and at 4:00 p.m. they went to hit the Cruisers directly. The British tanks, ready and forewarned, opened fire and a bitter fight broke out in which the Italians, now caught by surprise, were the losers.
Almost two hours of fighting as night fell in the desert, the flames of the British two inches illuminated the sand and a dense smoke of dust and cordite drowned the men, when the limp Italians broke contact and left 5 M13-40 and 4 L3-33 on the battlefield without the lucky Brits suffering losses of their own.

[Image: jntHN0W.png]

Italians are ambushed

The Italians withdrew to lick their wounds and thus ended the fighting on the 23rd on the Mechili road.

[Image: kFMzOpa.jpg]
[i]Before nightfall Caunter´s Cruisers took control of the road forcing the Italians to retreat

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10-12-2020, 05:17 AM,
RE: [AAR Pz Campaigns:Alamein '42] The Fight for Derna, 1941. (Compass '40 Mod)
January 24, 1941

A- The Coastal Highway
When the first lights appeared, Brigadier Russell realized that his forces had hit an enemy fortified line behind a dry wadi, which had already been penetrated inadvertently before nightfall.
Undaunted, the British proceeded to clear the minefields with the intention of opening a consistent breach and emplacing a battery of 12 25-inch guns.
Reinforcements in the form of the 2nd Battalion of the 11th Australian Infantry approached from the rear.

[Image: Ndr7Arr.png]

For their part, the Italian forces tried to take advantage of these first lights to recover lost positions and prevent the work of the engineers, for which they abandoned their trenches and advanced. Seeing the enemy coming against them, the British reinforced positions with a company of tanks and another of machine guns that inflicted the enemy a severe punishment, the Italian infantry was stuck in a small grove on the banks of the wadi.
Soon they received reinforcements and the shooting intensified with casualties on both sides, the most northern armored company meanwhile began to suffer an artillery bombardment that disabled a pair of Mark VI wagons.

[Image: oLWgzfJ.jpg]
[i]The Italian infantry resisted until Russell employed the Mark VI tanks.[/i]

[Image: lGiZSli.png]
[i]At 10:00 a.m. they fought furiously at the breach of the Italian line, but the transalpine soldiers were losing .[/i]

The fighting was fierce and lasted all morning, an important factor was that the 25-inch battery was placed at 12H and began to beat the enemy infantry units, by two in the afternoon the resistance of the Italians began to weaken, and when four o'clock came they were retreating in complete disorder.

[Image: ZrsMhy4.jpg]
When the 25-inch guns were deployed, the enemy suffered severe punishment.

[Image: W7DhcAL.png]
[i]Situation at nightfall[/i]

[i][u]B- The Mechili trail[/u][/i]

[Image: oiJ87RD.png]

After holding positions all night, at 0600H the first lights of dawn brought to the fourth brigade the noise of multiple engines running.
The Italians had recovered from the previous day's blow and were advancing their tanks on a four kilometer front; the air reconnaissance notified enemy infantry marching a few kilometers behind their armored. The first encounter took place north of the road against the 4th of Husares and again the Italians managed to destroy five Rolls Royce vehicles against two of their own casualties
Caunter opted for prudence and began a tactical retreat without turning his back on the enemy, the Cruisers managed to ambush and destroy another seven enemy armored vehicles while slowly retreating, this time the M13-40 enjoyed better marksmanship and the British lost three of their tanks.

[Image: DjghKMj.jpg]
[i]The Rolls Royce of the 4th Husar retreats at full speed.[/i]

By 10 a.m. the Cruisers, who were bearing the full weight of the combat, were already short of armor-piercing shells and fatigue and disorganization were beginning to set in in the 2nd Regiment, which caused the orderly retreat to turn into an increasingly rapid disband... 
In view of this, Caunter decided to support the Cruisers with the Mark VI, these entered combat from 12 noon and lost three cars in less than an hour, against an Italian car out of combat. But they provided a necessary respite to the 2nd Regiment.
Around this time a squadron of RAF Hurricanes also intervened, but their attack was practically ineffective.
Evidently the fighting in the Derna zone was not responding to that usual tone during Operation Compass of thousands of Italians surrendering en masse.

[Image: SJozrge.jpg]
[i][i]The Cruisers of the 2nd Royal Regiment bore the brunt of the combat on the Mechili road on the 24th, inflicting severe losses on the Italian armored group despite being short of AP ammunition[/i][/i]

[Image: 4WQmjpN.png]
[i]Situation at 4:00 p.m., after bloody fighting, the 4th Brigade lost half of the ground it had gained the previous day.[/i]

The Italians stopped their advance at nightfall and the British were finally able to rest after a hard day of tension. On the improvised bivouacs, exhausted, sweaty men, with eyes reddened by sand and cordite, came out of their tanks, covered themselves with a blanket on the rough ground and fell asleep like stones, while those who could not sleep wondered with apprehension how the day would be to come or if they would remain alive at the next sunset.

[Image: VEXUOdR.jpg]
[i][i]Eating dinner after a long day of fighting[/i][/i]
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10-19-2020, 03:06 AM,
RE: [AAR Pz Campaigns:Alamein '42] The Fight for Derna, 1941. (Compass '40 Mod)
Nice AAR, most interesting for me!
Is this mod downloadable?
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