I think he(?) meant units showing up in his rear, in general, behind objectives he captured and in areas he (thought he) had cleared and pushed beyond. Putting low quality rear guard troops or small (but effective) units like AA Coys, AT guns, or even large artillery units and even detached battered Coys can be used for that. Excactly, that's actually what I tried to explain to him. But it also happened the other way around, that say Coys lost their heavy weapons, most of their ammunition, so that facing tanks and mechanized units would have been suicide. The official US Army History covering the Battle for the Bulge and US veteran accounts report about long lines of stragglers pouring back to main roads and road hubs, sometimes 5 here, 4 soldiers there, rather trickling, but also in long lines. While some groups actually put up road blocks and did their best to buy time, other units had lost their will to fight or their equipment, and sometimes even both. The situation around Dunkirk in 1940 was similar, as well as the German troops pouring back from France, until officers in Holland started to stop and reorganize them, following either an OKH or an OKW wire, that ordered to restore order. A number of officers also formed units and Kampfgruppen on their own initiative, without even knowing the order. And then some of these rather small groups turned actually into more widely known units, as their groups grew to formations well above the usually Bn-sized Kampfgruppen. In Russia, they sometimes managed to establish larger blocking positions 30-50 km behind the breakthrough point, but they also had to retreat several hundred km, often on the run continously, but also forced to fight and leave rearguards, in order to make it to the next temp position. My grandfather's neighbor was a messenger (motorbike) and he actually drove (ran) from Russia, via Rumania to Hungary, in an attempt to avoid Russian captivity, just to get trapped in Budapest (Russian siege), where Hitler ordered pretty much the last bigger offensive (relief attempt IIRC) in the war. He ended up in captivity btw and was forced to work in a Russian coal mine, and was released either in 1952 or 1954, can't remember the exact year. When we were kids, we always wondered why that guy was such a hardass and angry guy. I asked the neighbor around 10 years ago if he'd know anything about my grandfather's (my grandfather died in 1978) deployments in WW2, and he didn't know many details, but he told me about some of his experiences, especially about his flight and the long years in the Russian mine, and then I kinda understood why he was so harsh and angry. Brilliant idea. Units should try to reach the SEP or some first stage objective near the SEP, emulating that they'd assume that it should be occupied by friendly troops. Say after an X amount of time without water, food and below a certain ammo threshold, they should start to withdraw to the SEP/early objective or to a new objective class: "Straggler resort" (insert proper class name).