Wittmann’s Demise

The small but fierce battle that took place some 50 kilometers south of Caen in the fields and woods between the small Normandy villages of St. Aignan and Cintheaux on August 8, 1944 has become famous for two reasons. First, it marked the death of Nazi Germany’s most famous tank commander, SS Hauptstürmfuhrer Michael Wittmann, holder of the Knight’s Cross with Oakleaves and Swords. Dubbed “the Black Baron” by the Nazi propaganda machine, Wittmann and his crews had claimed over 135 tanks destroyed during his 3 year career first as a StuG commander and then a Tiger commander. Although most of these victories had taken place on the Russian front, Wittmann’s stunning performance against the British 7th Armored Division in Normandy at Villers Bocage on June 13 had brought him fame in the West as well. Second, the battle was a pivotal moment in the next to last great British offensive in Normandy, Operation “Totalize.”

This scenario was primarily designed for play as German attacker Vs Allied AI Defender and all third party testing has been done this way.. There is an AI Plan for the German side but the AI does not do attacking as well as a human would. Still it’ll give you some fun – especially if you like KOing Tigers! If playing against the Allies/Germans there are multiple AI Plans. German AI Plan 1 and Allied AI Plan 1 are the ones that best recreate the actual order and pathway of the attack. You can switch off the other AI Plans in the scenario editor. Given the force balance it’ll also do for H2H. However, this is a historical scenario and the forces are not balanced. It’s a very tough call for the Germans (as it was in the actual event) so I’d suggest the better/more experienced/gung ho player takes the Germans.

WHAT VERSION OF COMBAT MISSION IS THE FILE FOR? CM : BATTLES FOR NORMANDY
WHAT IS THE SCENARIO / MAP TITLE? Wittmann’s Demise
FILE TYPE? SCENARIO VS AI ONLY
DOES THE SCENARIO / MAP REQUIRE BATTLEFRONT DLC OR MODS? YES [PLEASE ADVISE WHAT IS REQUIRED IN DESCRIPTION FIELD]
WHAT SIZE IS THE BATTLE? LARGE
WHAT TYPE OF BATTLE IS THIS? ATTACK
WHAT IS THE LENGTH OF THE SCENARIO? MORE THAN 1 HOUR 29 MINUTES
WHERE IS THE SCENARIO / MAP BASED? FRANCE [BATTLES FOR NORMANDY]
WHEN IS THE SCENARIO BASED? AUGUST 1944
WHAT TIME OF DAY IS THE SCENARIO BASED? DAY
WHAT IS THE WEATHER IN THE SCENARIO? CLEAR
NATIONALITY OF SIDE ONE German
NATIONALITY OF SIDE TWO British
THIS SCENARIO IS BEST PLAYED AS… H2H, SIDE ONE VS AI

George MC

Icon of CW Wittmanns Demise CW Wittmanns Demise (5.5 MiB)

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Author: George Mc

Treadhead peacenik with a fascination for recreating historical #armoured actions from the Eastern Front using Battlefront's Combat Mission.

24 thoughts on “Wittmann’s Demise

  1. Thank you! This battle was great fun to play as Germans vs AI. I expect it would mak e a good H2H battle to.

  2. Cheers _Itchy! Thanks for the feedback and pleased you enjoyed it. It’s been played H2H although it’s a tough fight for the Germans given the force balance etc but it’s winnable Germans.

  3. This is a great scenario, which is tough for the Germans (as was historically the case), but still winnable for them. The detail which has gone into recreating the battlefield and OOBs also deserves credit. Well worth playing.

  4. Hi Odin
    Thanks for playing this and for your feedback. Really appreciated. I’m equally pleased you appreciated the battlefield and OOBs – took a while tracking down various sources and cross checking to arrive at something that was close to the historical reality.

    Cheery!
    George Mc

  5. Good effort Panzer Lehr – he’s never survived the action when I play it!Thanks for taking it for a spin and posting your feedback.

  6. Hi Nigel
    Not surer why you can’t load it.It was made with the older game version 1.11(?)and plays Ok with my updated game running version3.00. Howvere it should still work with earlier versions of the game engine I’d have thought, especially since I’ve never updated using game engine 3. It was made purely with the CW module so no need to have MG installed.

    It is a large scenario so are you getting an out of memory message.

    Is it showing up as a scenario option in your game?

    Is the download corrupt – trying redownloading.

  7. Hi George. It is in the scenarios folder but doesn’t show in the list when you select to play a scenario? I dont get an error message because i dont get to upload it. Ive just downloaded umlats Ciebienne and the same thing there?

    1. Just an idea but have you got the whole zip file in the scenario folder. Remember you need to extract the file from it then place it in the scenario folder.

  8. Just retried from the beginning and nothing it shows when i use the editor but when i open it just open the default small square map which is blank. Ive downloaded a few scenarios before and they work but a few havent?

  9. Im asking did you unzip the file once you downloaded it from here or did you put it straight into the scenario folder.

  10. I have no idea. I can just state that I downloaded it from the site and it works fine. Problem is definitely user-side Im afraid. May be the MAC has something to do with it.

  11. Nigel, I’d suggest you take this tech issue to the BFC forum and raise a ticket on the tech forum. I haven’t got a MAC but I do know several of the original playtesters of this scenario do have and there were no issues reported. I’ve also not heard of anyone else having this issue. So whatever is up (and given you mention you have had this issue with some other scenarios) it’s most likely unique to your particular set-up I’m afraid.

  12. Another large and historically authentic scenario here. Players who want big maps and long battles will love this. I have a good rig and noticed modest load times and substantial “save” times.

    I played Axis vs. AI and found it a lot of fun. I think H2H the German player would have problems. But as noted, I strongly agree it is playable H2H as long as the more aggressive player takes the Germans and gives it a go.

    Great map, great OOB’s. Players should love this, if they like a lot of units.

    SPOILERS: I played ahistorically and went all-in on the German right flank, clearing the town of St. Aignon and getting to the TO of the “Forest SE of Garcelles” first. This is obviously the more difficult task as it is swarming with infantry. And my huge rocket pre-bombardment did NOTHING as I put it mostly on the town and I can’t see that I did any damage to any CW units. I wonder, for how many people is using the artillery going to be key for this battle. For me I barely used it at all, even though there is a lot available. I just never got any LOS that made it useful. The AI surrendered with 15 turns to go as I pushed across the back of the map in a gamey edge hug move to strike over at Point 122. I saw no forces over there, just a few units of tanks (with the deadly Fireflies). I may play this one in a few years and try to go up the road into the beautiful crossfire to see how I make out more historically.

  13. Hi John
    Thanks again for another detailed and informative AAR. Feedback like this is absolute gold dust for scenario designers, and I really appreciate you playing this scenario through and taking the time to post your thoughts and comments.

    I’m grateful you enjoyed the map. The scenario map took a looong time to make – again using period topo maps and aerial photos of the action (the Scottish National Archive is well worth the few £ joining fee as you can access HD aerial photos of the all the Normandy battlefields, often within a few days of the action you want to recreate!).

    Interestingly I’ve played this a few times H2H (once as German and once as Allies) and on both occasions the Germans won! Although when you look at the tactical situation and forces involved it does appear as if the Germans have a tough task ahead. Still I’d endorse the view that the more experienced and aggressive player takes the Germans.

    Your COA in this was how the Germans (after Wittmann and his unit blew up) continued this attack. It’s worth trying out Wittmann’s approach as you’ll soon see what happened in RL (I did my best to micromodel the iconic engagement area) and it’ll give you an idea as to who killed Wittmann (SPOILER – both Canadian and Brits had enough and appropriate ‘eyes on’ or ‘guns on’ to KO the Tigers. Most likely scenario is they were caught in a crossfire taking fire from multiple locations. It makes Wittmann’s decision to attack as they did all the more curious. Why’d he do it? Gung ho or war weary?

    I hope this scenario gives players a/a chance to explore the actual historical action b/ have a great time in CM. Thanks again John for your playtrhoughs and feedback. Really appreciated.

  14. Hi Ithikial
    Yeah when you play this you realise that Wittmann’s attack down the middle of that open ground was never going to end well. It does question how good a tactical commander he actually was. Brave and daring certainly – but tactically competent? The again this attack (and the subsequent) fighting in the area did stall the Allies enough to allow the Germans to plug the huge gap in their lines. Desperate measures eh?

  15. I think it says less about Wittmann personally than it does about the SS in general. SS troops were taught to be aggressive – look at what Viktor Graebner did at the Arnhem bridge for another example of a blind charge into enemy guns. A number of historians have noted that SS casualties were often high as a result of the expectations placed on them. The first counter-attacks by the 12th SS Panzer Division in Normandy were similarly “aggressive.” The Canadian historian actually refers to them as somewhat amateur – attacks were not coordinated, and flanks were left open.

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