|28 × 22 × 1 cm
NOTE: From the Cellar 9 is not a complete game. Ownership of the Advanced Squad Leader game system is required.
|TOO LITTLE, TOO SOON
Gafsa, Tunisia, 21 November 1942 : On November 8, 1942, the Allied Forces landed in North Africa. Part of the French forces had rallied to them under Admiral Darlan, but other troops had handed their weapons to the Germans, who were reinforcing as fast as possible through the French harbors. Of paramount importance to them was the security of Rommel’s rear in Tunisia. The Germans rushed units to the Tunisian-Algerian border, but ran into French troops ready to try and wrestle the control of the area from them, their spirits high after making contact with the spearhead of the US troops, mainly paratroopers and tank destroyers. On November 21st, at around 10 in the morning, the riders of 3ème RCA spotted a group of German motorcycles driving towards the village of Gafsa, fifty miles from the border. General Welvert immediately sent a platoon to secure the village.
near Burbulatovo, Russia, 25 February 1943 : At the end of February 1943, after months of retreats and defeats against the Red Army, Axis forces suddenly took the initative back. In the southern sector, General Manstein gathered several divisions, including elements of SS-Panzerkorps, and prepared a counteroffensive. Units of the Voronej Front stopped exhausted and unsupplied a few dozen miles from the Dniepr, while the Stavka believed the enemy was falling back. On 20th February, the SS and forces of the 47.PanzerKorps began a pincer movement on the lead Soviet elements. On the 24th, their assault carried on while to the east the 40.PanzerKorps destroyed the Popov mobile group. Nevertheless, the Russians tried to fall back, keeping a continuous front, aided by the meagerness of assaulting forces. But on the 25th, the 17.PanzerDivision found a breach and broke through towards the Barvenkovo-Lozovaya Railway.
Wisnicz, Poland, 6 September 1939 : Since the first day of the invasion, divisions of XVIII. ArmeeKorps met stubborn resistance, in particular from the 10th Motorized Cavalry Brigade, the only big operational and modern Polish unit at this time. While retreating, it had bitterly contested every step of the way. Despite a clear numerical superiority, the Germans had not cut into the front of Colonel Maczek’s unit, nicknamed “The Black Brigade” because of the black leather jackets worn by its members. However, the attackers mobility allowed them to exploit every breach while the Poles suffered from mediocre communications, aerial attacks, jams provoked by refugees and rumors. Therefore, on September 6th, while the 10th Brigade general staff set up in the village of Wisnicz, it learned that the enemy was to be found in a village about 4 miles to the southeast. A reconnaissance confirmed the situation. While cut from the same stone of its units, Colonel Maczek decided to stay. Wisnicz was put into the defensive with a Bofors gun placed at the opening of each of the four routes. Service staff armed and took position. The village was then dubbed “Alcazar”, in reference to the Alcazar siege at Toledo by the republican troops during the Spanish war.
Filiberta, Russia, 26 September 1941 : During the end of September 1941, troops of the 3rd Romanian Army, reinforced by some German divisions, setup in the steppe of Nogaï, between the Dniepr and the Black Sea. Axis units were decimated and prepared to bear the brunt of a vast Soviet counter attack. Nevertheless, they performed local attacks in order to consolidate their positions. Calarasi 2nd Regiment of the 8th Cavalry Brigade received the order to take the hamlet of Filiberta in order to protect a nearby German division. On 26th September, after a heavy artillery preparation, the 2nd Calarasi, led by its 2nd squadron, mounted an assault.
|THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS
Algiers, Algeria, 8 November 1942 : As part of Operation Torch, direct assaults on Oran’s and Algiers’ ports were planned in order to prevent sabotage. The operation aimed at Algiers, nicknamed Terminal, had been entrusted to the 3rd Battalion,135th Infantry Regiment and to sailors of the Royal Navy. These troops logically received the “Terminal Force” code name. This unit, ferried by the British destroyers Malcolm and Broke, arrived in sight of Algiers’ harbor on 8 November in the morning. Hopes of symbolic resistance were swept away by sustained fire from coastal defenses. The Malcolm fell back but the Broke managed to land her troops by 0530. Disembarked troops seized several buildings but at 0940 the destroyer was forced to weigh anchor because of sustained damage. Part of the “Terminal Force,” under Colonel Swanson’s command, chose to remain.
|20 YEARS LATER…
Berensdorf, Germany, 8 September 1939 : Beginning in September 1939, armies on both sides of the French-German border took position, behind the cover of front line protection units. France had created specific units for border surveillance, the Gardes Frontaliers. But, with mediocre training and second rate equipment, sometimes they even had part of their families in Germany, these were second-rate troops. On the 8th, such a detachment was tasked with the reconnaissance of the village of Berensdorf.
Near Kalinovka, Russia, 31 July 1943 : By the end of July 1943, the Southern Front of the Red Army was strongly entrenched on the western side of the Mius River. Large forces of three different armies defended this position, but, showing overconfidence, had not setup proper defenses. On the 30th of July, the Russians were taken aback when the Germans started an offensive to try and eliminate the bridgehead. The XXIV.Panzerkorps, in a scythe maneuver, managed to encircle 5 rifle divisions. The defenders were trapped between the 16.Panzergrenadiere-Division in the south and west, and the 23.Panzer-Division in the east and north. The Germans shelled the pocket, and nearly 1000 Russians surrendered. Other Russian units tried to break in to the encircled units, but to no avail. On the 31st of July, the 23.Pz.Div. was tasked with eliminating the remaining defenders.
|HANDS OFF THE LOOT !
Near Paulhac, France, 2 June 1944 : By the Spring of 1944 parts of the French countryside, in particular in the center and south, were no longer under Vichy control nor that of the occupier, with large Maquis bands growing restless. Eagerly waiting for the Allied landings they harassed the “boches”. Aware of the threat, the German Army planned to eradicate them. Though the Germans envisioned the use of operational units such as the 2.SS-Panzer-Division Das Reich, they would often make do with less motivated troops and in particular “eastern volunteers” to cope with partisan redoubts. Such a stronghold was the Mont-Mouchet, in southern Auvergne. It hosted both numerous bands some inexperienced youth with poor leadership and more efficient troops, like the Corps-Franc des Truands (“Mobsters”), a picturesque (its members wore a skull and crossbones insignia) but able unit. On May 25th and 31th, parachute drops enabled new recruits to be hastily armed. Soon, skirmishes took place with the police, Milice and German units. On June 2nd, a stronger column reached the redoubt.
Bolec, Serbia, 17 October 1944 : All through 1944, the German Army suffered encirclements, from Korsoun-Tcherkassy (Ukraine) in February, to Falaise (Normandy) in August, not to mention Belarus. These kessel (cauldrons) in German military vocabulary, sometimes led to crushing defeats as near Minsk. A forgotten battle took place in southeastern Europe, near Belgrade, where in mid-October Tito’s Partisans and Marshall Tolboukhine’s riflemen surrounded the bulk of 1.Gebirsgjäger-Division in the process of liberating the Serbian capital. The mountain division, along with various units, the better part of Grenadier-Brigade (mot.) 92, were trapped in a kessel between the Belgrade suburbs and the Danube, where its destruction looked certain. However, Gerneralleutnant von Stettner kept a cool head and organized his forces in three groupments in order to escape to the west on the night of the 17th. Meanwhile, the Allies tried to break into the enemy perimeter.
|A FINE MESS…
Near Pommereuil, France, 18 May 1940 : On 15th May, 1940, the 1ère Division Légère Mécanique, then deployed in the Netherlands, with little success, received the order to rush to the Sambre to stop the panzers advance from the Meuse. General Picard, commanding the 1ère DLM, arrived to find a “fine mess”. His leading elements obtained contact early in the morning of 17th, however the Somua S35, his strongest tanks, were unable to get into action providing little results by the end of the day. However, Picard planned a large counterattack for the day after, mustering both task forces of his division, each with a tank regiment. The 18ème Dragons under Colonel de Beauchesnes initiated a reconnaissance toward the Sambre with part of Capitaine d’Ussel’s squadron and some motorcyclists. The captain received the order “not to rush in, but to reconnoitre” and to bring his tanks back for the counterattack…
Thugny-Trugny, France, 9 June 1940 : : At 4h20, following a 35-minute artillery barrage, the German XXIII Corps, led by 73. and 86. Infanterie-Divisions attacked positions of the 14ème Division d’Infanterie under Général De Lattre along the Aisne River. Led by elements of the divisional reconnaissance battalion, Infanterie-Regiment.170 (73.ID) effected a crossing at Thugny-Trugny and infiltrated the French lines. IR.170 advanced steadily, threatening to encircle the 31ème Bataillon de Chasseurs à Pieds defending the town.
Sitno, Russia, 23 October 1941 : In an effort to relieve pressure from Hitler for Spain to join the war, Generalissimo Francisco Franco called for volunteers to punish the Soviet Union for their assistance to the Republic during the Spanish Civil War. Following a long tradition dating back to the year 1212 when the Spanish monarch called for a crusade against the Muslims, hundred of thousands Spaniards answered the call in such great numbers that many had to be turned away. In July 1941, the 18,693 man strong volunteer force under command of General Agustin MuÑoz Grandes was formed and sent to Germany. The division, consisting of many Civil War veterans and professional soldiers were officially designated the 262nd, 263rd and 269th Regiments, part of the XXXVIII Corps of Army Group North. After training in Germany, the Blue Division, as they became known, moved into the front lines on the night of October 11th to relieve the German 18.Division outside of Leningrad. Within twenty-four hours the 2nd Battalion of the 269th was engaged in action with Russian troops. On October 20th they crossed the River Volkhov at Udarnik as part of a German offensive and occupied the hamlets of Russa, Smeisko and Sitno.
|END OF THE ROPE…
Near Stanley Mound, Hong-Kong, 23 December 1941 : By the end of 1941, the colony of Hong Kong, although isolated by the Japanese advance in China, was still defended by a strong garrison. Believing in their chances of holding, with the help of a hypothetical Chinese offensive, the defenders took in additional Canadian forces, soldiers short on training and on equipment. The next Japanese offensive shattered these hope of holding out, and, after December 13, the defenders withdrew to the islands of Hong Kong proper. Five days later, the Japanese attacked and, despite a stubborn resistance, gained ground.
|REVENGES AT SAINT-JULIEN
Saint-Julien, France, 9 August 1944 : Just before and after D-Day, the clashes between the Germans and the Resistance increased rapidly. As July passed, the Maquis grew more active and near Bordeaux, in the Dordogne, they even dared to parade through several villages on the occasion of Bastille Day. In the first week of August, with their defeat imminent, the Germans decided to carry out a strong strike against several Resistance strongholds, one of them in the small village of Saint-Julien. The task of the German force (more correctly collaborationist Russian troops under German command) was to comb through the village for Maquis fighters, or terrorists as they called them….
|THE LOCK OF COLMAR
Kaysersberg, France, 18 December 1944 : Kaysersberg was a small town situated at the end of the Weiss Valley just before the Alsatian plain in eastern France. At the end of 1944 both sides knew that this town was essential to protect the Colmar Pocket, the last large German foothold in France. The US 36th ID had been blocked and had taken heavy loses while trying to take the town. On the 17th they nevertheless managed to take half of Kayserberg but their AFV support from the Free French 5ème Division Blindée was blocked by the river crossing the middle of the town. They requested help from the 1er Régiment de Chasseurs d’Afrique (5ème DB) and other elements of the 36th ID that have just taken Kientzheim on the northeast. With the support of 25 men from the 30th IR, several elements of the 5ème DB (2 platoons of Foreign Legion and several tanks) launched an attack from behind on the morning of the 18th.
|RISE OF THE VIET MINH
DONG MU, INDOCHINA, 10 April 1945 : On March, 9, 1945, after 4 years of occupying Indochina, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the French garrisons still stationed there. Caught completely unaware, most French units were captured and destroyed in quick disorganized fights. Despite the general staff’s lack of organization, small groups managed to evade destruction and joined up at prepared rally points in the jungle, which had been readied by Force 136, French “Jedburgh” Commandos, trained in India and sent to Indochina for such an eventuality. From there, the mismatched French units decide to withdraw to neighboring and friendly China, before thinking of continuing the fight. By mid-March, three columns, totaling 5,000 troops started marching towards the border, under the command of Colonels Capponi and Seguin and Commander Lepage.
XUAN LOC, Northeast of Saigon, Indochina, 29 October 1945 : After the formal surrender of the Empire of Japan, the British were eager to fill up the power vacancy that had developed in Indochina, lest it be filled by someone else. Lord Mountbatten was dispatched there, and quickly realized the insurrectional nature of the situation. Facing civilian kidnapping, rioting and criminal fires and bombings, he was quick to understand that his forces alone were not enough to maintain order (if not peace). After several confrontations with the Viet Minh (including one where a Russian advisor was captured, bringing the proof of Communist involvement in the disorder), Mountbatten saw no other option but to seek the aid of the remaining Japanese forces. On October 29 such an unlikely force called Gateforce was tasked to clear part of the area around Saigon of its rebels.