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Old 01-21-2010, 08:25 PM
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Default The Ruins of Warsaw

Webstral 11-20-2003, 08:02 PM I've been reading over the orbat for The Ruins of Warsaw and thinking about how the Baron Czarny might go about conquering Sielce. I know how I'd do it, but what relationship does that have to how the Black Baron would go about his task?

The orbat for the Baron's forces pretty much tells us that coordination and cooperation aren't going to be everything we'd hope for. Some of the best troops in the Baron's army are virtually separate bands who are as much allied with the Baron as they are under his command. To what degree does the Baron understand this fact?

Assuming that the player characters prevent the Black Baron from receiving the 25 chemical rounds for his D-30 122mm howitzer, how does the Black Baron plan his assault? We know he has what it takes to amass an army of marauders. How good of a regimental commander is he really? If we say he isn't very good, what does this mean on the battlefield specifically?

The simplest plan for taking Sielce would seem to be to have the main body of the army move along two or three avenues of approach to the perimeter of Sielce. Depending on how well the recon/counter-recon effort went during the previous couple of weeks, his people may have a pretty good idea of where the defenders have their strong points. If the Baron is smart and conservative, he'll have some of his troops secure the ruins adjacent to the avenues of approach in the hours leading up to the main effort. If the Baron is more of a risk-taker, he may try running his army along the main avenues of approach without securing the route ahead of time, thus limiting the response time of the defenders. The former is the way I'd go, since I'm an arch-conservative in these matters (Patton would never have me on his staff). Who can say how the Baron might view matters? If he secures the march route up to the Sielce defensive perimeter prior to moving the main body (bodies), he'll almost certainly have to initiate that effort the day before the main effort--or face the uncertain prospect of fighting at night in the ruins without much night vision equipment or artificial illumination. Either way, he gives the defenders several hours' notice. As a result, he can expect the defenses to be fully manned or something close to it. If he opts for surprise, he risks letting a patrol from the Milicya of Sielce come across the advancing columns and taking them under fire. Surprise would be lost, and he'd be further back in the ruins than he might have been had he secured the march route ahead of time. Or he might march right up to the line of departure and attack with surprise on his side. How much of a gambler is the Baron, given that at this point it's do or die? I find myself unable to answer this question without saying "If it were me..."

While we're on the subject, how well rehearsed is the attack? Does the Baron assemble the leaders of his army and go over the plan in detail? Do these guys go back to their troops and walk through the plan with models, maps, and whatnot? What does the fire plan for the artillery look like? How does one use AFVs in these circumstances? I would imagine that tanks and IFVs in the ruins would be used much the same way as the US Army and Marines used tanks in the jungles of the South Pacific in WW2--as mobile pill boxes accompanying the infantry. Is that what the Baron's troops actually do?

What do you guys think?



Rainbow Six 11-22-2003, 12:07 PM The first thing I think is that it's quite spooky to be thinking about this when I'm sitting in the City that you are talking about.

Before I say anything else, I am going to add the caveat that I haven't read the module for over ten years, so may be stating facts that are already stated in it. I'm also no military expert, but since arriving here, have started reading a book about the Rising of 1944, which took the Germans more than two months to subdue.

The second thing I think (and my answer to yoru question) is that there would most likely by several routes of approach open to an attacking force besides the main avenues (including the sewers), so unless the Sielce forces have significant numbers of troops to hand, the chances of stopping small scale incursions would seem to be slim.

The main roads here are all fairly wide (three lanes each direction), so even with a degree of rubble, armoured vehicles would still be able to advance along them, I think.

That said, based on the recounts of the Warsaw Rising, it would seem that combat quickly became a matter of hand to hand, with AFV's of limited use. It was apparaently quite common for a piece of land to change hands several times in the course of one day, but eventually the Germans' superior strength gave them the upper hand - assisted by logistics, which the Poles lacked.

I can't recall how the numbers stack up with regard to the Baron's forces and the Militia, but can state that any combat here would most likely be urban warfare at its bloodiest Logistics would possibly be of the utmost importance - whoever could keep their troops fed, watered, and supplied with ammunition may well eventually emerge victorous after a long, bloody war of attrition - at least that's the way that I see it.

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