The Wargamer

29 April 2017

After Action Report: Abstracts from the War Diary of Heeresgruppe C Final Part

Gary Grigsby's War In The West Scenario - Battleground Italy

Published on 11 DEC 2014 10:26am by Wargamer Staff
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Our AAR of the Battle of Italy draws to its conclusion in this the fourth part. Part 1 of this AAR can be found here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here. 

 

September 2nd, 1944: the 10. Armee abandons Pisa and Lucca and withdraws to the second line of defence; also the left wing of the 14. Armee retreats towards Rimini. 

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September 6th, 1944: the resistance on the Apennines has been definitively broken, and the enemy units are beginning to descend the mountains towards the open Po Valley. Another enemy strong attack has cut our left wing reaching the sea near Rimini and cutting out the 26. Panzer-Division, our last Panzer unit. 

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September 9th, 1944: notwithstanding the insistence of the OKW to resist at all cost, Generalfeldmarschall Kesselring has decided to save what remains of his Armies and ordered the general withdrawal to the “Vallo Alpino”. All units disengage and run as fast as possible to the Alps. The isolated 26. Panzer-Division¸ ascertained the impossibility to reach our lines, instead of surrendering attempts by initiative a desperate “death run” towards the port of Ancona, in the hope to find there some sea transport to safety. 

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September 13th, 1944: the enemy has taken Forlì and Ravenna on one side, Carrara and La Spezia on the other. The surprise move of the 26. Panzer is causing some concern and confusion behind the enemy lines. 

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September 16th, 1944: practically all our withdrawing units have reached the Alpine passes and now have to reach the assigned fortifications across uneasy terrain. The 26. Panzer has reached Ancona avoiding the pursuing enemy units, and with a “coup de main” has captured the port. 

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September 20th, 1944: the epic escape of the 26. Panzer has ended with its surrender in Ancona, where the port was too damaged to grant a sea passage before the attack of the pursuing enemies. The Anglo-Americans have crossed the Po around Rovigo and expanded West to Rapallo. 

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August 26th, 1944: the enemy has reached Padova and Treviso, and is approaching Venice. Also Genoa and Piacenza have fallen. 

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September 30th, 1944: the LXXXXVII Korps of General Kubler is added to our Headquarters organization, helping to better distribute the units to Commands along the front. The “ChioggiaFestung-Brigade has remained isolated due to lack of transportation trucks and soon forced to surrender. 

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October 5th, 1944: the advanced enemy units have reached Belluno and are in sight of the Alps, while the expansion West continues towards Milan and Turin. Also Venice and Vicenza have been taken. 

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October 10th, 1944: the enemy units have reached Udine and taken Milan. 

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October 14th, 1944: the “TriesteFestung-Brigade, although late, has moved to reach the front, but has been intercepted by advancing enemy units. 

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October 18th, 1944: the first enemy units (the 3rd Polish Infantry and the British 6th Armoured divisions) have entered in contact with the Alpine defence line near Tarvisio and West of there. The “TriesteFestung-Brigade has been forced to return to its starting positions. 

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October 22nd, 1944: Trieste is taken by the Anglo-Americans, that have also reached the Swiss border around Como. 

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October 28th, 1944: the arrival as reinforcement of the 232. Infanterie is of very little help, since it came through the French border, and from there it’s impossible to reach the Alpine front, so it goes to reinforce the Imperia garrison. 

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November 4th, 1944: the 232. Infanterie moves to Savona, with the intent to harass the enemy supply lines. 

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November 8th, 1944: the “TriesteFestung-Brigade has been encircled near Trieste. 

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November 11th, 1944: the 232. Infanterie retakes Genoa. 

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November 14th, 1944: the “TriesteFestung-Brigade has surrendered. 

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November 18th, 1944: the 232. Infanterie tried to advance from Genoa along the Riviera di Levante, but encountered strong enemy units around Rapallo and returned to Genoa. 

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November 22nd, 1944: the enemy forces have begun to attack the Vallo Alpino near Tarvisio, without success. 

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November 27th, 1944: the Anglo-Americans have concentrated their assaults on the extreme right wing of the front, along the Swiss border, forcing the 29. SS-Grenadier-Division “Italia” to retreat. The enemy is also trying to encircle the 232. Infanterie in Genoa. The LXXIII Korps of Generalmajor Fuchs is made available to us as additional Staff and attached to 14. Armee. 

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December 2nd, 1944: the 92. Infanterie has regained the ground lost near the Swiss border; the 232. Infanterie leaves Genoa to avoid the encirclement. 

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December 9th, 1944: the 1st US Armored Division has cut off the 232. Infanterie, that in turn manages to take refuge in Genoa. 

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December 13th, 1944: the Vallo Alpino has been broken by heavy enemy assaults in front of Lienz; Genoa is encircled. 

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December 16th, 1944: in the still unoccupied western part of Italy, Italian Freiwilligen have formed the Prima Divisione RSI “Italia”, that moves to retake control of Vercelli; the remaining Festung-Brigaden in Histria move from Fiume and Pola to try to join forces. 

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December 23rd, 1944: the Prima Divisione RSI “Italia” has been attacked and routed by strong enemy units, and escaped to Turin. Our units in Histria have met near Pisino and are ordered to return to defend Fiume together. 

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December 27th, 1944: our Festung-Brigaden in Histria have been intercepted and attacked by the Indian 3rd Infantry Division, that has closed the road to Fiume; the units will return to Pola. Strong enemy attacks have broken the fortifications of the Vallo Alpino near Toblach. 

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December 30th, 1944: the XIV Panzer and LXXIII Korps manage to plug the breach in the line near Toblach. The division in Genoa has expanded its control to the nearby hills and to Rapallo. 

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January 6th, 1945: the 8. Gebrigs-Division arrives at Turin; although useless to defend the Alps, is ordered to disturb the enemy rear and moves to occupy Asti. The 356. Infanterie is withdrawn by order of OKW, and substituted by the 710. InfanterieThe 232. Infanterie has to again seek refuge in Genoa, being chased by several enemy units. 

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January 11th, 1945: our Festung-Brigaden in Histria are attacked by the enemy near Pisino and forced to retreat, but their action are distracting enemy forces from the main front; the same applies to our units in the western Italy, that are now threatened by strong enemy forces. Also the 16. Panzergrenadier is recalled to Germany. 

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January 20th, 1945: the 8. Gebrigs-Division has retreated to Turin, the Prima Divisione RSI “Italia” advanced to Levaldigi. The alpine front continues to be quiet. According to informations from the Abwehr, the enemy is reducing the number of forces engaged on our front, being strongly engaged against the Westwall. On the other hand the Soviets are near to Budapest and to the Lake Balaton, and we are at risk to be engaged on two fronts. 

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January 27th, 1945: Generalmajor Versock has launched a surprise attack with his Hauck Korps, and has dislodged the 21st British Tank Brigade from Glurns, but prudently has avoided to advance. Budapest has fallen to the advancing Red Army. 

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Continued on Page 2 …