Maleme Historical Campaign AAR - Axis side

Bie

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Time for another AAR. As with my previous ones, the game is still ongoing, so who knows what the eventual outcome might be. This time I opted to play the Axis in a theater which I'm totally not familiar with: the Mediterranean, more specifically Crete. Hope you enjoy this after action report.

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Analyzing the briefing:
Operation Mercury, the invasion of Crete, is upon us!

Elements of the XI Fliegerkorps are to paradrop west of Khania and capture the vitally important Maleme airfield. Once the airport is taken, transport planes will be able to land and start delivering reinforcements and supplies. This way Gebirgsjaeger Division 5 will join the offensive. Together with the Fallschirmjäger they will head east, seize the city of Khania and its port. If this is done, our troops will head further east in an effort to claim the rest of the island. Ultimately Crete will fall and the mountain troops will stay behind while acting as a garrison.

As general Kurt Student said: "Roll up Crete from the west."

Objectives:

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Primary objectives of this operation

Primary:
  • Maleme airfield: Crucial for the operation. Must be taken above all as it will be used to fly in reinforcements and supplies for this operation.
  • Khania: One of the major cities on Crete.
  • Souda (port): Important for the later parts of the Crete campaign. Will be used to ferry in goods and supplies. Also lies on the way to the eastern parts of Crete.
Secondary
  • Exit point to Rethymnon: If the primary objectives are met and when this sector is mostly clear our troops have to move east in order to start "rolling up" Crete.
  • Point 107: Of strategic importance as it is overlooking Maleme airfield.
  • Souda bay west: Of strategic importance as it is overlooking Souda port.
  • Galatas: Not really of strategic importance, yet it lies between Malene airfield and Khania. It is possible it might be used by the Allies as a point of resistance. Taking hold of it early might facilitate our push to Khania.
Lower priority
  • Sanatorium hill: A elevation in between Khania and Souda bay. Nice to have, as it closes off the Akrotiri peninsula, yet not vital to the operation.
  • All of the AA batteries: They are all quite dispersed and mostly out of the way of the main objectives. If things go well and there are some companies to spare I will take them out. If not, they are the lowest priority.
Operational objective:
  • Keep control of "Prison Valley": Drop point of the 7th Flieger Division and the place where supply drops are planned throughout the operation.
 
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Bie

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Order of Battle:

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Order of battle: two divisions and a regiment

Battleplan:

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My battleplan for this sector of Operation Mercury

In preparation of Operation Mercury the Luftwaffe has being flying air superiority and tactical bombing missions over Crete. This has resulted in the retreat of the single RAF airwing from the island. We have total air superiority, yet the British still rule the waves. So all reinforcements will have to come through transport planes. The lack of heavy artillery in our airborne elements will at least be redressed by lots of airstrikes.

As for the ground portion of the operation: the plan will revolve around two fronts:
  • Gruppe West (dubbed Comet):
Luftlande Sturm Regiment will be dropped west of Maleme airfield, near the town of Tavronitis. Once enough of the units are on the ground, I will organize them under the regimental headquarters and launch an assault towards the airfield. Speed is of the essence, so I'll not wait until the whole regiment is dropped. After this, once one of the Luftlande battalions drop, I'll direct it towards Point 107. It will make claiming the airfield so much easier.

Once both objectives are taken the Luftlande regiment will reorganize itself into a more defensive posture. It is imperative that we do not lose the airport. If possible I'll keep some pressure on the enemy units and start making a push eastwards along the coast.

Late in the afternoon on day two the first regiment of the Gebirgsjaeger Div 5 will be airlifted, the rest of the division will follow the days after. Once there are enough mountaintroops, the full offensive will begin. Two regiments of the Gebirgsjaeger Division will first head southwards and eventually start sweeping to the east. They are to clear the mountain ranges to the south. The rest of the division will take the coastal roads to the east. Luftlande Sturm Regiment will be in support.

Eventually they will link up with Flieger Div 7 and together they will continue pushing eastwards, taking Khania, Souda port and ultimately heading east.
  • Gruppe Mitte (dubbed Mars):
Flieger Div 7 will drop in Prison Valley. They will first try to consolidate their position and act as a shield to keep enemy units from reaching Maleme airfield. If our forces at the airfield are having trouble with seizing or holding the airfield, a battalion will be dispatched to try and help them. If this proves to be insufficient, more troops will be sent. On the other hand, if the Luftlande Sturm Regiment doesn't need the aid, the Flieger Division will stir up trouble, attract attention to itself and put pressure on the enemy by attacking nearby enemy forces.

Once the Gebirgsjaeger Div 5 and Luftlande Sturm Regiment link up with the Flieger Division all of the forces will head east.
 
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john connor

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Nice OB graphic. Looking forward to this. Interested to see what the AI does in defence of the airfield and the hill. I'm guessing that it will re-org at game start, so you won't know exactly where they are even if you've looked at this from the Allied side. Is there an orders delay on the Allies (or Axis) - I can't recall?
 

Bie

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I'm guessing that it will re-org at game start, so you won't know exactly where they are even if you've looked at this from the Allied side. Is there an orders delay on the Allies (or Axis) - I can't recall?

As far as I can tell there is barely any delay in the beginning for the Axis. The only delays I've come across is because the drops are to close to the Allied positions and my troops get fired upon immediately. Forming up in such conditions is a real drag.

As for the Allies, I'm not sure. In some cases their reaction is quite slow, mostly the Greek infantry suffer from this. In other cases the New Zealanders try to at least try to counter attack on Maleme Airfield.
 

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Day one:

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Operation Mercury - Day One

In the early morning a swarm of Ju 52 cross the sea of Crete and kick Operation Mercury into motion. Once in their designated zones, Luftlande Sturm Regiment and Flieger Division 7 are let loose and drop to their locations near Maleme airfield and Prison Valley. Some mishaps happen though and a couple of the units get dropped off course.

The Luftlande Sturm Regiment lands just west of Maleme airfield, in plain view of the enemy defenders. Other battalions and companies get dropped right on top of the enemy and immediately have to fight for their lives. The enemy forces at the airfield and on Point 107 are quick to react and waste no time in engaging the newly dropped paratroopers.

Quickly a couple of assorted Luftlande companies organize under the regimental HQ and prepare themselves to assault the airport. Meanwhile, troops continue to drop. To the west II Battalion lands intact. This is fortunate as I immediately order them to form up behind the beleaguered regiment and prepare themselves for an assault on Point 107. As they can form up in relative safety they get their assault going earlier than the regiment. The battalion crosses the river at noon and quickly seize Point 107. With Point 107 under our control, the Luftlande regiment gets traction, fights its way to the airfield and seizes it from the wavering defenders.

In the east Flieger Division 7 drops mostly unscattered in Prison Valley. Some units drop dangerously close to Galatas though and are engaged immediately. I am determined to at least save some of these units from destruction and send a battalion to Galatas to escort them to safety. After a quick assesment the rest of the division is tasked with consolidating our grasp of the valley. The hills to the south are teeming with Greek forces and thus are a danger to our forces further down in the valley. A joint strike of the 7th Engineers Battalion and the I Battalion easily scatter the Greek and secures the south flank. The rescue attempt at Galatas results in mixed success. Under cover fire of II Battalion some companies manage to crawl back to safety. But they are not in good enough shape to continue to fight and are merged into other companies. III Battalion HQ and a couple of its companies do get out in decent shape and reorganize near the town of Marmaras.

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Due to bad landings many of the Fallschirmjäger are immediately dropped into combat with allied forces.

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Clearing out the southern perimeter of Prison Valley

By 14:00h both Point 107 and Maleme airport are firmly in our grip. A stubborn squad of Matilda tanks remains rooted on the hillslope between the airport and Point 107. Together with the last fixed AA battery they are shelling my troops and keeping them suppressed. Soon though they are whittled down and are destroyed.

Nearing dusk and with both drop zones secured I turn my attention to III Battalion Luftlande. Half of the battalion, including its HQ, got stranded in a small coastal town three kilometers east of the rest of the regiment. I task Kampftruppe Braun and Kompanie Osius to head east and take Pyrgos. This way they keep the pressure on the retreating enemy companies and will bridge the gap to the III Battalion. Meanwhile the stranded companies sally forth from their position, make a dash westward across the beach and blast their way through the panicking enemy units. A sigh of relief is made when III Battalion is safely reunited.

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After a successful assault on Maleme Airport Kompanie Osius and Kampftrupp Braun continue their push east to Pyrgos

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After being encircled due to a bad drop, parts of III Coy Luftlande make a mad dash back to their regiment


Apart from the two big drops of the Luftlande regiment en the Flieger division, two separate Luftlande companies got dropped far east. Their mission is to silence AA batteries. At the end of the day 2nd Glider Coy I Bn Luftlande successfully assaults and takes out an AA battery on the Akrotiri peninsula. The 1st Coy wasn't so successful and had to retreat while trying to take on its battery.

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Operation Mercury - End of the first day - 23:30h

All in all I'm happy with the way the first day turned out. Tomorrow morning some regimental units of the Luftlande are still to drop and in the afternoon we are expecting the first regiment of the Gebirgsjaeger Division 5. For the moment our forces have consolidated their positions and the airfield is firmly under our control. Unless the Allies force my hand, I'll let most of my troops rest for the night. They've earned it.
 
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john connor

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Fairly smooth, so far. No counterattacks into the airfield?

What are you playing on? Realistic orders delays? Historical supplies and reinforcements?
 

Bie

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Fairly smooth, so far. No counterattacks into the airfield?

What are you playing on? Realistic orders delays? Historical supplies and reinforcements?
Nope no real counterattacks at the airfield. I mostly kept the pressure on them and used about all of the airstrikes in the Maleme sector.

And yeah I'm playing on realistic/historical.
 

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Day two

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Operation Mercury - Day two

Most of the night passes in relative peace. I do task the two eastern glider companies to assault another AA battery. Again, 1st Glider Coy Luftlande attempts to take out its previous target just east of Mournies, but fails in the end. I opt to leave the battery intact and let the company find its way to Flieger Div 7. 2nd Glider Coy on the other hand storm the AA battery at Pythari and take the British platoon by surprise. They are ordered to head in fast and quiet, only engaging at the last possible moment. The assault is flawlessly executed and at 05:50h the company manages to capture its second AA emplacement of the operation.

At dawn, Greek forces have moved from their positions in the south and are moving past Marmaras. The little town is held by III Battalion, which quickly respond by firing upon the marching Greek. Daybreak also brings some new intel that Allied forces are leaving Khania, moving out of the city to the West.

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III Bn Flieger Div 7 wakes up being surrounded by Greek and British forces.

Near Maleme airfield, I order all of the battalions of the Luftlande Sturm Regiment to move out and keep the pressure on. 15th Coy MG LL got placed on the hilltop of Point 107 and once day breaks it opens up the 22nd Nz Battalion in Xamoudokhori. All of my battalions make steady progress. At 13:00h though a New Zealand battalion counterattacks, but gets repulsed in the end. From then onward most of the enemy units are retreating, reforming or haven't got the stomach to fight.

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At first light 15th MG Coy Luftlande opens up on a New Zealand infantry battalion. Meanwhile I and II Bn move up from the north

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A New Zealand infantry battalion is counterattacking in an attempt to stop the the tide of German Paratroopers

A more grave situation is unfolding in Prison Valley though. At noon, Greek and Commonwealth forces pour out of Galatas from the southwest. II Battalion Flieger, which is positioned on the southeast slope of the mountain near the prisons get pounded by the flood of units. Even III Battalion Flieger feels the heat and has to retreat to the south. In this move a British armoured platoon managed to blast the mortar platoon of III Battalion to pieces. All afternoon the stalwart II Battalion is engaged in a continual firefight. The divisional artillery company and the MG company with its LG40 guns are placed a bit higher and further back of the battalion and are having a field day. Clear line of sight and an abundance of targets means they keep firing indiscriminately and soon are running low on ammo. In the end though, the combination of the stubborn defense of the II Battalion, the divisional support companies and the many airstrikes put a stop to the advance of the Allies.

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Commonwealth forces flock out of Galatas and put pressure on II Battalion. Further south I and III Battalion mop up assorted Greek units

Nearing 17:30h the pressure becomes to great and II Battalion Flieger retreats. III Battalion does the same and in its retreat battalion HQ gets shot up and disbanded. Bitter fighting over the hills erupts as the Fallschirmjäger desperately fall back across the crest. So, my whole front towards Galatas has buckled and the Allies waste no time in claiming Marmaras. As darkness descends the Allies are poised to strike through Prison Valley. By doing this they will take away an aerial supply point. During the night I let my troops retreat and redress the lines past lake Aghye.

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Operation Mercury - End of day two at 20:30h

At the end of the day good progress was made in the west. With the addition of the first mountaintroops through airlift, the Luftlande Sturm Regiment has performed admirably. Initially when I drew up plans for this operation I thought they would need reinforcements from Flieger Division 7. Turns out it is quite the opposite. My mistake is that I got overconfident in seeing the gains at Maleme airfield and the initial relative ease at which I could operate in Prison Valley. A costly mistake, what price will I pay on day three?
 
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Iconoclast

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Interesting

Any thoughts on countermeasures for 7th FlDiv?

During the night I let my troops retreat and redress the lines past lake Aghye.

This seems to cede the SP without a fight. Do I assume correctly that 7th EngBn is currently acting as Division Reserve? Any intent to commit them?

Glück ab!
 

Bie

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Interesting
Any thoughts on countermeasures for 7th FlDiv?

This seems to cede the SP without a fight. Do I assume correctly that 7th EngBn is currently acting as Division Reserve? Any intent to commit them?

For the moment I've mostly used the engineers as reserves, sometimes plugging holes and letting them give fire support for the retreating battalions. The engineers battalion is mostly full strength though and I plan to use them more in the front line the next days.

Taking decent defensive positions in Prison Valley is difficult though. There are woods to the southern portion of the valley. But they are located just about in the lowest part of the valley. So anyone in it, is still quite exposed. The mountain to the north has a decent overview of the valley, but has clear terrain and will expose the troops to enemy fire from Galatas. And basically anyone going through the valley would be fired upon by units on higher ground. In short, defending that supply point is a real tall order.

As for countering the Allied advance. I have a couple of options:
- Either I retake my earlier positions and hope for the best. This would safeguard the supply point, but at heavy losses.
- Or I form a line at lake Aghye, lure the Allies into the Valley and shoot them from my positions. This would probably result in losing the supply point.
- Or I abandon Prison Valley entirely and focus on pocketing the fleeing troops coming from Maleme airfield. Very risky as it would mean showing my backside to a superior force.

I don't like any of the options and for the moment I'm undecided what's best. I love when a game puts me in such situations :)
 
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Iconoclast

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Looking forward seeing you making the call.

- Or I abandon Prison Valley entirely and focus on pocketing the fleeing troops coming from Maleme airfield. Very risky as it would mean showing my backside to a superior force.

Not sure if that is an option at all. I would have defined "containing allied forces east of the Prison Valley" as the essential task for 7th Fl. This COA would certainly risk this task.

Taking decent defensive positions in Prison Valley is difficult though.

Did a Battlefield Tour there last year. I fully agree.

I don't like any of the options and for the moment I'm undecided what's best. I love when a game puts me in such situations :)

Good!

Cheers,

A
 
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Bie

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Day Three:

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Operation Mercury - Day three

Flieger Division 7 spends most of the night reorganizing. I opt to make a stand at Lake Aghye. One battalion is set up south, the rest positions itself north on the hillside. That way we still have sight on the valley and we can defend our supply drop without actually going into the valley. On the western end, Luftlande Sturm Regiment spreads out to make sure no enemy troops slip past our lines during the night.

At around 03:00h though, companies of the 22nd New Zealand Infantry Battalion do manage to slip past the lines and even launch an attack on Luftlande Base at Maleme Airfield. Luckily most of the companies are seriously weakened by earlier fighting and are repulsed with the help of my mountaintroops. This would be the beginning of continual small skirmishes on the far west of the sector. Though these fights might be insignificant, it does mean that I have to commit some companies to comb out the woods and valleys in order to round up these stragglers. These companies could've been better used elsewhere.

At first light the companies of the Luftlande Sturm Regiment wake early and start to move out, taking routes through the valleys to cover as much territory as possible. No real opposition is encountered.

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Luftlande Sturm Regiment and GJ Regt 100 spread out to cover as much terrain as possible while Flieger Div 7 sticks together in defense

At 07:30h long range firefights erupt between elements of Flieger Division 7 and the Allies stationed at Marmaras. This is mostly ineffectual as it spans the width of the whole valley. Artillery and infantry guns keep firing though and slowly casualties trickle into the aid stations. I keep my units in a defensive position and await the the Allies' move. Hours later, still nothing stirs from the town. They do however start targeting my transport columns from the supply point. As this is totally in the open the transports do get seriously hampered. Luckily enough supplies to keep the division going do get through though.

Just before noon I task Kampftrupp Braun to scale a hill and scout out the town of Platanias. The town lies at a bottleneck between the Sea of Crete to the north and steep hills to the south. As soon as the company emerges from the wooded hilltop it sees that the town is crawling with enemy forces. After retreating to safety I hastily throw together a plan. III Fj Bn Luftlande will be the first to attack from the south. Using the same path as my scouts did. They will come in guns blazing and attract the attention of the defenders. Then both Kampftrupp Braun, Kompanie Osius and 16th Pioniere Company of the Luftlande will assault from the west, entering the town and covering as much terrain before starting to fire. Giving cover is the 15th MG Company of the Luftlande. It lost all its LG 40's during the previous battles, yet still has plenty of MG 34's to give covering fire.

Once the assault starts in earnest I realize that the New Zealanders have a full brigade in defense and that their forces are all entrenched. The Fallschirmjäger fight ferociously, get beaten back a few times, but keep returning to the fight in a coordinated fashion. After a couple of hours and with the help of Luftwaffe strafing runs the first enemy companies start to retreat. By that time the engineers of the Gebirgspioniere Bn 95th have arrived in Maleme Airfield. I order them to push through the defenders of Platanias and assault the next town, Ay Marina. Once the engineers join the fight, the pressure is to high for the defenders and most of them decide to retreat east. Fighting remains fierce though and progress is slow. This soon changes when the newly landed mountaintroops of I Gj Bn Gj Regt 100 join the fight. Their target is further east, even past Ay Marina. I am determined to retain the initiative and keep pushing. After much fighting we clear the bottleneck of enemy troops and finally at the end of the day we have Ay Marina in our grasp. The Gebirgsjaeger even even managed to trap the 28th New Zealand Infantry Battalion into a pocket just past Ay Marina.

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Fallschirmjäger assault the heavily defended town of Platanias

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With the help of the Gebirgsjaeger the Allied lines at Platanias buckle

The Allied attack that I somehow hoped for in Prison Valley didn't materialize. After my western forces link up with the Flieger division I am more confident that the division will be able to withstand a punch from the Allies. So I decide it is time to strike out again. I task the I Fj Bn of the Third Regiment to head south east to stir up some trouble and possibly position themselves for a flanking maneuver on Galatas. While on the move, the battalion gets shelled again by the enemy guns in Marmaras. This impedes their progress severely and they do suffer some casualties. But eventually with night settling in they can reform, find a place to set up camp and plan for the next day.

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Operation Mercury at the end of day three, around 22:54h
 
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john connor

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Great stuff. Enjoying it. Well told. Thanks.

I'm relieved there is a fair bit of AI arty hitting you.

It's a really nice map. Much less schematic, much more detailed than some of the Greek maps. I wonder who drew it?
 

Bie

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Great stuff. Enjoying it. Well told. Thanks.

I'm relieved there is a fair bit of AI arty hitting you.

It's a really nice map. Much less schematic, much more detailed than some of the Greek maps. I wonder who drew it?

I'm glad you like it. It does take quite some time to keep track of while playing, write down in a decent manner afterwards and finally compose visually compelling yet clear overviews of.

As for the artillery. Yes they have been using them extensively. I don't how much or what they have but they have quite some range to them. They outgun me in just about any situation. I think they might also have quite some infantry guns. Anything that moves on the slopes around Prison Valley is taken under fire.

The map is a real treat, it is indeed very detailed. Can't say if that is atypical for any of the Greek maps as this is the first one that I actually play.
 

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Day Four:

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Operation Mercury - Day four

The pocket that formed at Ay Marina is shoddy at best and needs better spacing. So under cover of darkness I tighten my grip on it. Gebirgspioniere Bn 95 keep to the west and the I Gebirgsjaeger Bn Regt 100 spreads out to the south and east. On the hills to the south I also pull up some support weapons and I tuck away I Glider Bn Luftlande in one of the valleys there, just to counter anyone wanting to stab my mountaintroops in the back. In doing so the troops uncover 5th New Zealand Infantry Brigade Base. The men at the base start taking pot shots at my MG Luftlande company. In retaliation the MG company starts firing its heavy machine guns and I order my mortars to keep bombarding the base. Due to this superior firepower the base takes heavy losses, breaks and goes off into a full rout.

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Tightening the grip on a pocket of New Zealand infantry companies

At 05:10h a squad of three Vickers MkVI tanks moves up the road from the east. They roll right up to my line and try to breach it in order to relieve their comrades. Them coming this close means that my mountaintroops are able to open fire upon them with their AT-guns. In no time two tanks are destroyed and the tanksquad beats a hasty retreat.

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A platoon of British tanks tries to break through the lines and free its comrades

At sunset it comes to my attention that a lot of the Allied troops in the town of Galatas are heading northbound, towards to Khania. I also see some movement near Marmaras and decide to let an engineer company scout ahead to get a better vantage point on the two towns. Turns out that there are still plenty of troops near Galatas and the lone Fallschirmpioniere get blasted from all sides.

Knowing that troops are leaving Galatas I plan to immediately cut of one of the roads leading out of the town. I Fj Bn Regt 3 is in a perfect position to do so. It has only had a short rest, but this mission needs doing. The battalion is to seize Platanos, a town that lies in between Galatas and Khania. In doing so I limit the amount of safe roads out of Galatas to just one.

At 08:20h the tank squad of earlier returns and but this time it keeps its distance. By this time two of my at guns are brought forward, yet he wisely remains at long range. I decide to storm the tanks and send in I Glider Bn Luftlande. 3rd company gets in close and finally takes out the last tank at 09:22h.

A couple of hours pass and finally something starts to stir in Prison Valley. A couple of British and Greek companies are moving out of Marmaras and going to the northwest. They are assaulting the lone engineer company that I had sent out to scout them. It is retreating, but under heavy fire. This is the move I have been waiting for and I set in motion a plan that will hopefully let me take Prison Valley and Galatas in one fell swoop. Time is of the essence and I start preparing my forces.

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Allies swarm out of Malamas to the south, I Fj Bn Flieger Div 7 attack a town to the east and a pocket of New Zealanders gets crushed north

In preparation I start bombarding the assaulting Allied troops. This blunts their assault and finally they stall after also being fired upon by my support companies strategically positioned in the crevices of the hillsides. II GJ Bn Regt 100 is in an excellent position to counter the incoming assault and at 12:30h they start their assault of their own (2). Both forces meet halfway down the slope, but mine are in better shape and start pushing away the Allies.

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Axis counterattack from the west, Marmaras and Galatas are targetted

Meanwhile the pocket east of Ay Marina is destroyed and all of my participating units are freed up. The I GJ Bn Regt 100 is tasked to go straight to Galatas from the northeast (3). It is followed by III Fj Bn Luftlande, who takes just about the same route (4). Both battalions go in guns blazing and encounter fierce resistance from the New Zealanders. Probably because three brigade bases are stationed in the town. While all of this is going on, I've already ordered Fj Regt 3 a couple hours ago to organise themselves past Lake Aghye and keep themselves ready for an assault through Prison Valley. First though II Fj Bn Luftlande makes a stab at the back (5) from the south towards Marmaras at about 17:20h. Fifteen minutes later Fj Regt 3 springs into action (6) and charge ahead. The troops at Marmaras and Galanas are to preoccupied to do anything against the impending assault of 3rd Regiment. Without much resistance they bridge the gap and start fighting in the outskirts of Marmaras.

I Glider Bn Luftlande is next up for an assault. At 17:30h They position themselves on a ridge to the west of Galatas and charge into the chaos down in the valley. Up to this point most of the defending Allied units have been remarkably staunch. Appart from some, most stay their ground and fight. Lastly In send the Geb Pnr Bn 95 on a route to the north of Galatas and let them assault the town from the northwest (8). By now Prison Valley, Marmaras, Galatas and Platanos are ungulfed in one big brawl. Paratroops fighting side by side mountaintroops, mortar platoons working overtime, support companies firing indiscriminately, … Pure anarchy. Yet my troops are surrounding the Allies slowly and are effectively braking their will. As an afterthought, at 19:50h the newly arrived Krad Bn 55 joins the fight and swoops in with their bikes from the south (9).

At about 20:20h an Allied battalion comes in from the east and sees 95th Pioniere's HQ all alone and undefended. In short order it assaults the unit and I'm forced to let the whole battalion retreat and take up a better position. In my overconfidence I have used just about all of my available units in this one huge fight for Galatas. Hopefully the HQ will make it out in one piece.

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Operation Mercury, end of day four at about 20:30h

At the end of the day things still hang in the balance and none of the towns have fallen yet. The effort of the I Fj Bn Regt 3 has been tremendous. All day long both forces are embroiled in a tug of war for control of Platanos. In the end it hasn't been able to take the town yet, but they have been able to keep two Greek battalions and a whole slew of reinforcements busy at the eastern flank (1). Forces in Marmaras are holding firm, mostly because of the backup of one Vickers tank squad. My troops even have back off a bit and have formed a line at the Prison itself. The Galatas front is in the best shape. Quite a bit of enemy companies have been pushed out of the town and my troops are poised to take control of the town. Things have been quite a busy today, let's see what the Allies have planned for tomorrow.
 
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