After Action Report 2009

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Arrived on site Friday just on dark. Tent up, stores out, set up, food and drink.

Some of the AUSREENACT boys were there from Sydney, along with 4 local partisans and our own red army advisor.

The camp was a mixture of mainly Waffen-SS and Heer all in one area (with a strength of about 8-10? in each squad), with 5 x Pole paras and 5 x partisans further down the track.

The Campfire was welcome with temps getting to -4

A visit from the local constabulary was mainly to inform us of a big party by the villagers that was planned for Saturday night, so we should prepare for inquisitive revelers.

Breakfasts and dinners were supplied by an excellent-looking and functioning goulash cannon.

Saturday morning's first scenario, consisted of the Waffen-SS and Heer combined with the Poles in attacking a fortified hilltop in possession of the partisans. This was basically meant to be a joint assault, that would end up being a free for all anyway. Unfortunately, the Poles takeoff was delayed due to bad weather and the damned pilot dropped us on the wrong DZ, which eventuated in us probing the wrong hill.

By the time the firing started and ceased over yonder, we had missed the fight.....The Germans therefore combined forces and the partisans joined our little band, with the intent that we assault the newly won German positions. I believe we pretty much got massacred by simulated MG34 and booming K98 fire.......

After lunch, the partisan leader and Polish NCO were shown around thier respective defensive positions (thanks to use of an allied jeep this was much easier)

The Poles had to defend one of two designated positions against the SS, while the partisans defended a totally different and out-of-the-locality area against the Heer.

Eventually choosing the large tabletop plateau, which seemed not to be a good idea taking into consideration the area to be defended with only 5 troops, troops were sited and secret weapons unveiled - an imitation bren gun and a 2" mortar came into play.

When the sh!t hit the fan, it was most heartening to hear the bren gunner protecting my flank with the distinctive sounds of dadadadada----dadadadada, in short controlled verbal bursts.

Then the mortar came into play, with corrections called out by the fire controller.

From my position on the flank I could hear the slow rolling of small arms fire getting closer and more rapid. This, I imagine, would be what it really was like, waiting for the enemy to close in. But alas, nobody ventured anywhere near my position and before I knew it, it was all over. It seems that our positions and firepower massacred the SS and I didn't even get a round away! The Waffen-SS Section Leader held the honest opinion, that the SS were decimated without a doubt.

Information was sketchy about the partisan/Heer battle, but the main anecdote to that one was that one of the young partisans was instructed to initiate the contact at a suitable moment. He was to defend position `A' until it became untenable, then retire to position `B'. After initiating the contact from around 300m, he immediately fell back to position `B', apparently leaving the Heer in a damnable situation......

Back to camp for a wind down. After an excellent evening meal, those who wished to participate, took part in the night shoot.

Due to the party that was being held and the occasional vehicle coming down to visit, The Waffen-SS Section Leader decided to get a work party together and block the entrance track using hay bales and branches etc. Very effective.

Early Sunday morning, the Poles spent time dragging props and gear over to a pre-determined spot for a photo shoot. Extra supply of chocolate to the US photgrapher for putting up with it and for taking some great pics.

First scenario Sunday, the Poles and the partisans moved into the second playing field, then split forces and began patrolling on to fronts. The combined SS/Heer troops moved in and it was a waiting game to see who bumped who.

Unfortunately, the partisans copped the initial contact and could not be supported by us in time, before the Germans regrouped and faced the new threat, eventually rolling over us - after much dispute about magic bullets and people with nine lives. After a short breather, the Germans took up defensive positions and 6 of the allies split into 3 separate groups of 2 to try and increase the frontage of assault, but against dug in positions, we were all picked off.

My funniest recollection?
A Pole finally realizing his position was hopeless, losing the plot and started running around back and forth hiding behind small saplings as he tried to imitate an advance-in-rushes by a dancing bear!!!!

Time to return to camp and while others who were staying one more night wound down, it was pull the tent down, pack the trailer and prepare for the long haul home, arriving at 23:00.

Thanks for organising this one, it's been a long time between visits.