Author Topic: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.  (Read 1160 times)

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Offline Destraex

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Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
Plan Jaune is the free expansion for post scriptum that is set during the German invasion of france. I would say a tonne of people will be trying this that are more wargamey types. Why? Because who else cares about the early ww2 campaigns and who wants to play the French apart from wargamey types like us?
I doubt normal people in "some" countries even know about much before D-Day. This would be an educational experience for them. The French were in fact very heroic for the most part. They are the butt of many jokes but I do not think it was their soldiers but more their doctrine and leadership that were to blame. It certainly was no cake walk for the Germans and iirc they suffered heavy casualties.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 04:01:20 AM by Destraex »
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Offline besilarius

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2020, 06:12:12 AM »
One of the factors that never seems to be wargamed was the re-deployment of the First French Army by Marshal Gamelin.
This was the strategic reserve, and included much of the French mechanised forces.  Originally it was placed near Laon, a central position that was well placed to move anywhere west of the Maginot Line.  In particular, it was well sited to cover any movement through the Ardennes.
Gamelin thoroughly believed the Germans would follow the blueprint of the Schlieffen Plan and moved First Army way to the left near the British.
When Guderian and the panzers got through the rough terrain of the Ardennes, there was no reserve to stop them.
Playing a scenario where the theater reserve is used as planned, would be a very different game.
“Most gods throw dice, but Fate plays chess, and you don’t find out until too late that he’s been playing with two queens all along”.  Terry Pratchett.

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Offline MengJiao

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2020, 07:31:34 AM »
Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
Plan Jaune is the free expansion for post scriptum that is set during the German invasion of france. I would say a tonne of people will be trying this that are more wargamey types. Why? Because who else cares about the early ww2 campaigns and who wants to play the French apart from wargamey types like us?
I doubt normal people in "some" countries even know about much before D-Day. This would be an educational experience for them. The French were in fact very heroic for the most part. They are the butt of many jokes but I do not think it was their soldiers but more their doctrine and leadership that were to blame. It certainly was no cake walk for the Germans and iirc they suffered heavy casualties.


  Yes, I'll be looking into this.  Re, the French: while their policies in the 1930s, 40s and 50s seem a bit elaborate and somewhat confused, I blame the crumbling 3rd Republic, the Vichy Regime and the 4th Republic.  Now that France is in its 5th Republic, I think we can look at the oddness of those days as representing a lot of conflicts within France and its colonies just as the issues surrounding Israeli independence reflect a near civil war within the British Commonwealth.

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2020, 08:01:55 AM »
Yeah, I'm reading Frieser's The Blitzkrieg Legend https://www.amazon.com/Blitzkrieg-Legend-1940-Campaign-West/dp/1591142946/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= right now.  The Allied disaster in France wasn't so much about the failure of the French soldier, as it was a profound and utter failure of French doctrine and French strategic decision-making.

At almost every occasion, it reads like, "Guderian's units charged blindly ahead, dashing madly for the Coast.  The French, meanwhile, made sure that their flanks were secure and waited for orders from their superiors' superiors, making sure that they were perfectly aligned with the orders that they'd received from their superiors.

The French were also plagued by poor communications.  They had few field radios, and the ones that they had often broke down.  Their telephone system was even more unreliable. 

As was mentioned above, most of the best French units had advanced forward into the Low Countries, like a bull charging for the matador's cape.  In essence, the Germans had spent the previous months training, while the French had spent previous months building field fortification everywhere that they could.

It all combined for a disaster of epic poportions for Le Grande Armee!

Offline MengJiao

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2020, 08:33:10 AM »
Yeah, I'm reading Frieser's The Blitzkrieg Legend https://www.amazon.com/Blitzkrieg-Legend-1940-Campaign-West/dp/1591142946/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= right now.  The Allied disaster in France wasn't so much about the failure of the French soldier, as it was a profound and utter failure of French doctrine and French strategic decision-making.

At almost every occasion, it reads like, "Guderian's units charged blindly ahead, dashing madly for the Coast.  The French, meanwhile, made sure that their flanks were secure and waited for orders from their superiors' superiors, making sure that they were perfectly aligned with the orders that they'd received from their superiors.

The French were also plagued by poor communications.  They had few field radios, and the ones that they had often broke down.  Their telephone system was even more unreliable. 

As was mentioned above, most of the best French units had advanced forward into the Low Countries, like a bull charging for the matador's cape.  In essence, the Germans had spent the previous months training, while the French had spent previous months building field fortification everywhere that they could.

It all combined for a disaster of epic poportions for Le Grande Armee!

  True, but the Germans had come up with a pretty innovative force mix and they had been practising some of it since the 20s with a small army (perfect for innovating) and building up so fast that the infrastructure in Germany was already deteriorating faster than it could be rebuilt.  A huge set of gambles.   Gambles that paid off until late 1942.  And look at what it takes to stop the German force mix: reasonable air power, good radio doctrine, good AA, Good AT, operational flexibility, some experience at all levels and reasonable tanks with fully trained crews.

Offline Phantom

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2020, 12:24:34 PM »
How true - I played theater of War when it came out mainly for the early WW2 scenarios. Truth is early WW2 equipment was far more varied, flawed & thus far more interesting to game with than later war stuff. Char B's/Somuas - early English cruiser tanks/armoured cars & the rather weedy early panzers make for a far more interesting experience than 1000 yard Panther/Sherman Firefly slugfests IMO.
Would be great to see some of the bigger names (Combat Mission please!) bring out some very early war scenarios & equipment.

Offline Dammit Carl!

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2020, 01:00:39 PM »
Cool!

Offline W8taminute

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2020, 02:34:53 PM »
Meinen Sie "Fall Gelb" und nichts "Plan Jaune" mon amis?   :)
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Offline Destraex

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2020, 03:55:56 PM »
I agree. I think it is a fascinating time with fascinating units. There are many examples of well fought battles and a couple of good allied  counter attacks using tanks. I also remember of towns being taken and retaken 7 or 8 times over in short spaces of time. But I think if anything it's fascinating because people seem to have such a poor understanding of the French army of the period and the French soldiers capabilities and bravery.
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Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2020, 09:09:16 PM »
Yeah.  It was a fascinating time, for those of who study it rather than those who participated in it!

The towns being taken and retaken were, at least in one or two instances, an example of the flawed French C3I.  Time after time, one or more Char B tanks would roll into a village, overrun positions, destroy underpowered anti-tank guns, and drive the Germans out.  Without radios in their tanks, or much practice fighting in a combined arms capacity, the French infantry would not advance (or would not know to advance), and a German counter-attack would eventually retake the village (often at the cost of the one or two Char Bs who had driven them out).

The French "tanks in penny packets" thing is a bit of a myth.  The Main Battle Tanks were mostly employed as concentrated groups.  The French had very poor combined-arms training for the most part, so the MBTs often died in ones or twos, but that was at the squad level, and not the divisional level.

Offline MengJiao

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2020, 03:54:43 PM »
Yeah.  It was a fascinating time, for those of who study it rather than those who participated in it!

The towns being taken and retaken were, at least in one or two instances, an example of the flawed French C3I.  Time after time, one or more Char B tanks would roll into a village, overrun positions, destroy underpowered anti-tank guns, and drive the Germans out.  Without radios in their tanks, or much practice fighting in a combined arms capacity, the French infantry would not advance (or would not know to advance), and a German counter-attack would eventually retake the village (often at the cost of the one or two Char Bs who had driven them out).

The French "tanks in penny packets" thing is a bit of a myth.  The Main Battle Tanks were mostly employed as concentrated groups.  The French had very poor combined-arms training for the most part, so the MBTs often died in ones or twos, but that was at the squad level, and not the divisional level.

    As always, the "facts on the ground" are much stranger than can generally be plausibly described in popular narratives.  If you get the original, low-level accounts (down to company level), you get some very unlikely stories AND all the more so because low-level accounts are written by people who survived (somewhat unlikely in itself really).   One relatively plausible (but never in popular narratives) thing about the Germans was their use of a lot of flares at night.  The British Army always was torn between envy and smug depreciation at the flare thing, BUT, some times (as with tanks in the desert) the Flare signally business could be vital in such things as recovering tanks and rallying units.  Meanwhile, by night, the British infantry would look on with relief and redouble their sneakiness and sue of the darkness while the British armor (relatively flare-less) would retire to bunch up and refuel leaving the non "runners" to languish unreparied and unrecovered in the darkness.

   With respect to the French, I haven't read any original low level narratives -- but -- low level British Narratives reveal that -- if they had a reliable source of fuel, French armor could be very enterprising at night -- not that they got much chance to show off -- anyway, for French armor -- which had relatively normal radii of action -- finding fuel was a major problem because of over-all inexperience, disorganization, bad communications, enemy air and the unexpectedly rapid changes that being overrun by the Germans tended to cause -- by day if not by night.  If they could find fuel late in the day...they were still ready for action and no doubt glad not to be bombed.

Offline Destraex

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2020, 01:55:01 AM »
It's funny. But when we wargame this sort of thing, I mean for instance in this case the French. We tend to just ignore any problems with radio, organisation, supply etc that am army had in real life. I mean if we are playing post scriptum theoretically we should wipe the floor with the Germans simply because the French had such excellent tanks. The Char1b should wipe the floor as it often did in a lot of engagements. People will not role play the circumstances of poor command and control or poor refueling and supply. Probably a good thing.
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Offline MengJiao

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2020, 06:25:06 AM »
It's funny. But when we wargame this sort of thing, I mean for instance in this case the French. We tend to just ignore any problems with radio, organisation, supply etc that am army had in real life. I mean if we are playing post scriptum theoretically we should wipe the floor with the Germans simply because the French had such excellent tanks. The Char1b should wipe the floor as it often did in a lot of engagements. People will not role play the circumstances of poor command and control or poor refueling and supply. Probably a good thing.

  Translating anything about WWII into games runs into all kinds of problems of course...the most basic being, for most people the only picture they have of WWII is movies.   The last thing a movie is going to look at is low-level signal procedures and yet in low-level original accounts (all the way up to Army level for some aspects of signal intel assessment of course) several things stand out: the whole signals thing in WWII was just plain disturbing all the time AND YET -- by 1944 the Allies were all way ahead of the Germans in terms of signals deception and intellignce.  Of course one result was that Everyone on the Allied side seems to have experienced very high levels of anxiety with the signal operations.  There's a story about a British Armored company commander getting so upset with trying to get linked into the upper and lower radio nets one morning during Bluecoat (defintely in August 1944 anyway) that he ripped off his headphones, lept screaming from his tank and went off and shot an innocent German AT team to relieve the signals stress.  What's really odd about the story is that the emphasis in the story is on how stressful it was to handle two different radio nets from your tank turret with your head festooned with wires and microphones.  Again, its a survivor story so it's just as easy to imagine the German AT team hitting a tank or two while the company commander went nuts.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 06:40:47 AM by MengJiao »

Offline besilarius

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2020, 06:58:01 AM »
Meng, if you like those kind of stories, you should look for a book.
Mailed Fist was written by an officer in a british Infantry tank unit from just before Dday to the end of the war.  It was a Major Foley (Max may have been the first name.)
He describes just such a situation where the intercom was on the wrong circuit. 
There was also incidents of german spoofing, giving erroneous commands to take the tanks out of position or into an ambush.
In the famous incident at Caen, where a Tiger tank advanced up the narrow lanes to attack a bridge, he saw the Tiger from an elevation.  This let him see how to move to a back lane, that would give him a flank shot.  Racing (well as much as a Churchill could race), he turned down the lane and found the Tiger also turning into the lane!
Mutual surprise kept both from firing, then Foley ordered his gunner to shoot.  They watched two rounds bounce off the Tiger, and then, as he said, the german gunner stopped laughing long enough to fire one round.
It's a good read.
“Most gods throw dice, but Fate plays chess, and you don’t find out until too late that he’s been playing with two queens all along”.  Terry Pratchett.

During filming of Airplane, Leslie Nielsen used a whoopee cushion to keep the cast off-balance. Hays said that Nielsen "played that thing like a maestro"

Tallulah Bankhead: "I'll come and make love to you at five o'clock. If I'm late, start without me."

"When all other trusts fail, turn to Flashman." — Abraham Lincoln.

"I have enjoyed very warm relations with my two husbands."
"With your eyes closed?"
"That helped."  Lauren Bacall

Master Chiefs are sneaky, dastardly, and snarky miscreants who thrive on the tears of Ensigns and belly dancers.   Admiral Gerry Bogan.

Offline MengJiao

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Re: Plan Jaune released on 9th Jan and then also FREE for the weekend.
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2020, 04:42:16 PM »
Meng, if you like those kind of stories, you should look for a book.
Mailed Fist was written by an officer in a british Infantry tank unit from just before Dday to the end of the war.  It was a Major Foley (Max may have been the first name.)
He describes just such a situation where the intercom was on the wrong circuit. 


   Endless wierd stuff -- sort of like Post Scriptum itself.  Here I am as a squad leader with a MAS36 in Dinant just before the the Unreal Engine crashed when somebody with a name of zeros and ones entered the game.  Maybe that crashed it?  Anyway:

« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 04:44:53 PM by MengJiao »