Forgotten Hope Public Forum

Announcements => Developer Blogs => Topic started by: Ts4EVER on 24-07-2012, 21:07:56

Title: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: Ts4EVER on 24-07-2012, 21:07:56
The history of Forgotten Hope 2

In this series we will be taking a look at the history of some of the battles that served as an inspiration for FH2 maps, starting with Sdi Bou Zid from the last patch.

(http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg854/scaled.php?server=854&filename=sidimap.jpg&res=landing)

The battle of Sidi Bou Zid, or Operation "Fr├╝hlingswind" as the Germans called it, took place on February 14th 1943. At that point the Axis position in North Africa was threatened on 2 fronts. Rommel believed he could push the Allies out of Tunisia by splitting his force: His mobile troops would counter attack the Americans and French advancing from the west, while the rest of his troops would hold the Mareth Line against the 8th British Army in the east.

(http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-MTO-NWA/img/USA-MTO-NWA-p415.jpg)

Sidi Bou Zid was defended by elements of the US 34th Infantry Division and Combat Command A of the 1st Armored Division. Parts of these forces formed "Lessouda Force", taking up defensive positions north-east of the town. This force conisted of tanks, artillery and tank destroyers.

The Germans assigned the task of taking Sidi Bou Zid to the 21st and 10th Panzer Divisions. The 10th Panzer, attacking from the north-east, organized two Kampfgruppes, called Gerhard and Reimann after their commanders. Kampfgruppe Reimann was to attack Lessouda force and then advance on Sidi Bou Zid. It consisted of the 86th Panzer Grenadier Regiment, a platoon of 88mm guns and a company of Tigers.
21st Panzer attacked from the south, split into Kampfgruppes Stenkhoff and Schuette, each about a bataillon of tanks strong.

(http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-MTO-NWA/img/USA-MTO-NWA-p410.jpg)

When the attack started in the morning of the 14th, things soon went awry for the Americans. A pre-planned artillery barrage on the German approach near Lessouda could not be called in, because all communications with the first outposts was lost. Reinforcements sent to clarify the situations found Poste de Lessouda already in German hands and were destroyed. The Americans were forced to withdraw southwestward.
The forces in Sidi itself were subjected to heavy Stuka attack.

Things didn't go better in the south. Company A was destroyed and captured with all vehicles and the advance of Kampfgruppe Schuette threatened to encircle the defenders in the town. In the afternoon, the US troops began their withdrawal from Sidi Bou Zid. Colonel Kern of the 6th Armoured Infantry Regiment used his forces and a company of light tanks to establish a fallback position at a crossroads north-west of the town. By night-fall, Sidi Bou Zid was in German hands, with all the Americans either having withdrawn or occupying isolated positions on the surrounding hills.

(http://www.aberjonapress.com/catalog/sh/maps/map5.jpg)

The Allies launched a counter attack early in the morning of the 15th, consisting of Combat Command C with some supporting troops. This attack was beaten back with heavy losses. When asked to report his situation and if he needed help, Colonel Stack of Combat Command C radioed back: "Still pretty busy. Situation in hand. No answer to second question. Further details later." This was the last communication received from him, as German forces were in the process of encircling his unit as he spoke. He was captured and released from imprisonment after the war. Only 4 tanks made it back to Kern's crossroads.

(http://www.liberationtrilogy.com/images/h_djebel_lessouda_no-sm.jpg)

The place where the Combat Command C was destroyed

For a more detailed account, check out:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-MTO-NWA/USA-MTO-NWA-21.html
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: RAnDOOm on 24-07-2012, 21:07:13
Very nice.

I allways like to read this WW2 history articles.
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: pizzzaman on 24-07-2012, 21:07:28
I enjoyed this devblog!  :D
Will there be more covering more maps?

Well done on Sidi,
I guess the US counterattack is Supposed to fail.
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: Matthew_Baker on 24-07-2012, 22:07:26
This is great, awesome devblog TS! :) One of the biggest reasons I play FH is knowing how historically accurate it is as a game, I love feeling as if I'm in the real battle defending Sidi Bou Zid while being surrounded by German forces and having to fall back. 8) I REALLY hope you'll be doing this for more FH2 maps, I love seeing the mapping process and the references you used.

It also might answer some of the questions that I don't want to make a new thread to ask; like what tank division do you guys have supporting the 352nd Infanterie in St. Lo (I thought the 352 only had Stug brigades) ;D

Hope there's more
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: VonMudra on 24-07-2012, 23:07:48
For more history, the infantry that went in at Sidi Bou Zid and broke the american lines were actually Italian Bersaglieri.  FDR himself intervened and made sure it was reported as "german infantry", in order to keep any loss of morale from the news reporting american troops being beaten by italians.  Even Rommel, who generally held much disdain of the italians, praised the bersaglieri especially, who had spearheaded the attack, and whose colonel had been killed in the fighting.
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: NTH on 24-07-2012, 23:07:41
Well done TS4ever. Pretty good read. Would love to read about more maps in this way.
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: THeTA0123 on 24-07-2012, 23:07:23
For more history, the infantry that went in at Sidi Bou Zid and broke the american lines were actually Italian Bersaglieri.  FDR himself intervened and made sure it was reported as "german infantry", in order to keep any loss of morale from the news reporting american troops being beaten by italians.  Even Rommel, who generally held much disdain of the italians, praised the bersaglieri especially, who had spearheaded the attack, and whose colonel had been killed in the fighting.
The italians are the biggest underrated army of WW2.

So few know about these actions.

Another mostly forgotten action is the heroic defense of the ariete devision, who fought till the last man at el alamein


it always hurts me to hear when a unit gets send into combat, and is completly destroyed  :'( :'(
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: Thorondor123 on 24-07-2012, 23:07:04
For more history, the infantry that went in at Sidi Bou Zid and broke the american lines were actually Italian Bersaglieri.  FDR himself intervened and made sure it was reported as "german infantry", in order to keep any loss of morale from the news reporting american troops being beaten by italians.  Even Rommel, who generally held much disdain of the italians, praised the bersaglieri especially, who had spearheaded the attack, and whose colonel had been killed in the fighting.
The italians are the biggest underrated army of WW2.

Right after the Poles and the French :P
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: THeTA0123 on 24-07-2012, 23:07:11
For more history, the infantry that went in at Sidi Bou Zid and broke the american lines were actually Italian Bersaglieri.  FDR himself intervened and made sure it was reported as "german infantry", in order to keep any loss of morale from the news reporting american troops being beaten by italians.  Even Rommel, who generally held much disdain of the italians, praised the bersaglieri especially, who had spearheaded the attack, and whose colonel had been killed in the fighting.
The italians are the biggest underrated army of WW2.

Right after the Poles and the French :P
and the belgians and dutch :(


I have found quite some german biased books wich gave alot of credit to the belgians and dutch and the poles

but the french and italians? NEIN NEIN NEIN
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: pizzzaman on 25-07-2012, 00:07:45
German bias,
German bias everywhere  ;D
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: THeTA0123 on 25-07-2012, 00:07:05
German bias,
German bias everywhere  ;D
(http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/23914998.jpg)


Sidi Bou zid is nice but still a bit akward on balance, especialy when the germans have captured all the flags. Its like operation cobra but then opposite sides
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: pizzzaman on 25-07-2012, 00:07:35
It's beautiful THeTA!  ;D
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: Zoologic on 25-07-2012, 06:07:37
To this day, I have no clear picture about the progression of battle in North Africa, with the exception of early 1941 to the 2nd El Alamein and at the beginning of Supercharge.

I am simply not familiar with the maps of Tunisia and Algeria combat theatres. Where is Mareth Line? Where is Sidi Bou Zid. And after being beaten in Libya, where did Rommel draw his next fallback lines? Was it the Mareth Line? A simple big overall battle map of 1943 North Africa will be helpful to explain the whole idea of why each of those battles occurred. This picture by Wikipedia explains a little bit about the German gains at Sidi bou Zid and their progress at Kasserine:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2f/Tunisia30Janto10Apr1943.jpg/466px-Tunisia30Janto10Apr1943.jpg)

It seems to me the Germans tried to pick the Americans first by attacking them before the British arrived. Is this a result of poor coordination between the US and British forces? Or simply because the Brits were busy resupplying themselves using the badly damaged Tripoli ports, and hence the delay of the push to Tunisia in time.

As we can see here, the Afrika Korps is pretty much pinned.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a1/Tunisia1942-1943.svg/747px-Tunisia1942-1943.svg.png)

So far, this blog post enlighten me about the point of attacking the Americans at Sidi Bou Zid and the Americans' relatively clumsy performance due to inexperience in combat. But still doesn't explain why they are eventually defeated by the Americans. As they make quite a gain after this battle.
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: Raziel on 25-07-2012, 07:07:35
Very interesting post TS! Thanks.
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: Wilhelm on 25-07-2012, 07:07:03
An awesome Allied propaganda film from 1944 about the Tunisian campaign:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUNAEUU4WSQ
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: DLFReporter on 25-07-2012, 08:07:15
...
So far, this blog post enlighten me about the point of attacking the Americans at Sidi Bou Zid and the Americans' relatively clumsy performance due to inexperience in combat. But still doesn't explain why they are eventually defeated by the Americans. As they make quite a gain after this battle.

As far as I know Rommel lost the advantage after the Allies managed to block his supply lines to Italy and the rest of the Axis territories in 42. That  finishes any army in the field. Also the numbers were very much against the Axis in NA.
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: [F|H]Taz18 on 25-07-2012, 10:07:13
To this day, I have no clear picture about the progression of battle in North Africa, with the exception of early 1941 to the 2nd El Alamein and at the beginning of Supercharge.

I am simply not familiar with the maps of Tunisia and Algeria combat theatres. Where is Mareth Line? Where is Sidi Bou Zid. And after being beaten in Libya, where did Rommel draw his next fallback lines? Was it the Mareth Line? A simple big overall battle map of 1943 North Africa will be helpful to explain the whole idea of why each of those battles occurred. This picture by Wikipedia explains a little bit about the German gains at Sidi bou Zid and their progress at Kasserine:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2f/Tunisia30Janto10Apr1943.jpg/466px-Tunisia30Janto10Apr1943.jpg)

It seems to me the Germans tried to pick the Americans first by attacking them before the British arrived. Is this a result of poor coordination between the US and British forces? Or simply because the Brits were busy resupplying themselves using the badly damaged Tripoli ports, and hence the delay of the push to Tunisia in time.

As we can see here, the Afrika Korps is pretty much pinned.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a1/Tunisia1942-1943.svg/747px-Tunisia1942-1943.svg.png)

So far, this blog post enlighten me about the point of attacking the Americans at Sidi Bou Zid and the Americans' relatively clumsy performance due to inexperience in combat. But still doesn't explain why they are eventually defeated by the Americans. As they make quite a gain after this battle.

Take another look at that first map and you'll see Medenine, Mareth, and Gabes.

Supercharge didn't end until November and at that point the 8th Army was still in Egypt. After Supercharge, Rommel pulled back to El Agheila and Montgomery held off attacking for 3 weeks (beginning of December). Another defensive live was setup at Wadi Zemzem about 230 miles east of Tripoli (end of December) and again the attack was put off this time for a month (mid-January). Tripoli was finally taken on the 23rd and at the same time Rommel's forces pulled back to the Mareth Line. The 8th Army then built up at Medenine to assault the Mareth Line and on March 6th the Germans launched a counterattack against them. Operation Pugilist followed.

Think this is from the same blog your second map is from:
(http://www.btinternet.com/~ian.a.paterson/Maps/chasetotunis.jpg)


You are thinking of this in terms of the Germans only having 1 army in Tunisia, 5. Panzerarmee had been fighting a separate front in Tunisia since November. Sidi Bou Zid happened while the 8th Army was stuck on the far side of the Mareth Line with the Italian 1st Army (the remnants of Rommel's army) defending it.


And to be clear it was not the Americans that defeated them in Tunisia but a combination of British, Commonwealth, French, and American forces. Only about a quarter of the British 1st Army was American and the 8th Army was all British & Commonwealth.


...
So far, this blog post enlighten me about the point of attacking the Americans at Sidi Bou Zid and the Americans' relatively clumsy performance due to inexperience in combat. But still doesn't explain why they are eventually defeated by the Americans. As they make quite a gain after this battle.

As far as I know Rommel lost the advantage after the Allies managed to block his supply lines to Italy and the rest of the Axis territories in 42. That  finishes any army in the field. Also the numbers were very much against the Axis in NA.

From what I've read, the rail lines in the east of Libya and at the very least the port in Benghazi were in working condition quite soon after those areas were taken and even beyond expectations. Can't say about Tripoli and the western end though.
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: Zoologic on 25-07-2012, 12:07:06
Yes, if I read the articles of Wiki and entries at Axisforum, they'll say that it was the British breakthrough at Mareth (by flanking the defensive line) that makes the axis forces in Tunisia collapsed.

Actually, I am thinking that Montgomery displayed his worth here more than what he showed in El Alamein 2. In El Al, the Afrika Korps was like exhausted and popular statistics that I read, showed that Montgomery has superior numbers of guns and tanks and planes compared to Rommel.

Meanwhile in Tunis, the Americans with their Generals (Fredendall and later Patton) practically failed in Sidi Bou Zid, both in defense and counterattack, and then again in Kasserine Pass. They achieved little gain in El Guetter though, but that was after Rommel turned his forces of 10th and 21st Panzer into east, facing the Brits. This is in contrast with Montgomery's maneuver, flanking the Mareth line from the south, and swing then north.
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: Wakain on 25-07-2012, 17:07:28
Not having heard of the battle before fh2 I assumed, judged in part by the american muscle shown in the preview pics, Side Bou Zid was an allied victory. The Stuka in the trailer should've brought me on different views. :p
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: AdamPA1006 on 26-07-2012, 18:07:44
This is awesome, thank you.
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: Fuchs on 14-08-2012, 16:08:29
and the belgians and dutch :(
Oh come on, the Dutch truly sucked. Outdated equipment, bad coordination and hopelessly trying to be neutral. The fighting spirit was insane though. Soldiers who's units where 'destroyed' banded up with each other and just marched back to combat.
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: Slayer on 14-08-2012, 17:08:54
Oh come on, the Dutch truly sucked. Outdated equipment, bad coordination and hopelessly trying to be neutral. The fighting spirit was insane though. Soldiers who's units where 'destroyed' banded up with each other and just marched back to combat.
Yes, but it wasn't a German walkover like I used to learn in primary school. The Germans didn't count on the resistance the Dutch eventually gave, after having become from the first shock.

At Grebbelinie it took 3 days instead of one to break through for the Germans, at the Afsluitdijk the Dutch stood their ground and at The Hague they counterattacked and retook an airfield.

The only German attack which went smooth was the one through the Peel-Raamstelling and the southern part of the country to Rotterdam.
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: Comrade Roe on 14-08-2012, 20:08:54
I think history classes should be taught on this forum, everyone's discussing history.  :P
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: Slayer on 14-08-2012, 20:08:56
I think history classes should be taught on this forum, everyone's discussing history.  :P
It is my job, actually ;)
Title: Re: The history of Forgotten Hope 2: Sidi Bou Zid
Post by: Wakain on 24-09-2012, 00:09:14
recently found out this Sidi Bou Zid and the Sidi Bou Zid the Arab Spring started refer to the same place 8)