Firestorm: Red Thunder - What Happened?

Firestorm: Red Thunder

Firestorm: Red Thunder - What Happened?
with Phil Yates

Well, Firestorm: Red Thunder is over! I must say, it was even more fun than I thought it would be both to run and to play (and more exhausting).

The campaign saw the Warsaw Pact taking an early lead with the success of their attacks in Schleswig Holstein and up into Denmark, achieving their first campaign goal.

Click on the maps for larger versions

Step 1
Step 2 Switching to their next goal of reaching the ports on the English Channel, they made a strong thrust into Bremen, while overrunning the Fulda Gap and keeping up the pressure in the far south of Germany.
While NATO’s SACEUR (the Supreme Commander in Europe) decided to hold back the US Reforger reinforcements until they were ready for a concentrated strike, Stavka (the Soviet supreme command) threw the first part of their follow-on forces into the attack towards Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Their attack there was barely halted by the commitment of the British II Corps and the epic battle of the Parachute Brigade holding the Arnhem bridges. Step 2
Step 3 SACEUR held strong to his vision of a major counterattack and committed the US III Corps to a major attack bursting through the Hof Corridor and advancing towards Leipzig aimed at Berlin. Stavka meanwhile, decided to settle for operational-level gains rather than strategic victory with the commitment of the remainder of their reserve in an attack towards the Ruhr aimed at encircling the British I Corps at Hanover.
Neither attack had quite the strength to succeed, and strong Warsaw Pact counterattacks on the Leipzig thrust slowed the advance to a crawl. In the final stages of the campaign, Stavka withdrew forces from the flanks and concentrated them for a final thrust on the Ruhr. This weakening of resistance was exploited by NATO, who recaptured most of the ground lost in the Netherlands in the north and Niederbayern in the south. Meanwhile, the British Chief of the General Staff pulled II Corps out of the Netherlands (giving up the opportunity to completely liberate the country) and launched strong counterattacks in the Ruhr, holding the corridor to the beleaguered I Corps open. Step 4
Who Won
So Who Won? Well, the British performed their assigned task extraordinarily well. They were told to hold Hannover and let the Germans and Americans deal that the stuff to their north and south. Not only did they hold Hanover to the end, even when threatened with encirclement, but they were able to make major contributions elsewhere in NORTHAG (Northern Army Group).

The US forces tackled their assigned task of holding on the CENTAG (Central Army Group) front, while preparing and launching a major counterattack, with a determination that wasn’t matched by their battlefield success.

The West Germans were ordered to hold everywhere, and I think they did a remarkably good job. Their performance on the battlefield enabled them to regain most of the Netherlands and Niederbayern.

The Warsaw Pact came on strongly at the beginning, dominating their battles and gaining ground for the first half of the campaign. As NATO performance picked up and the Warsaw Pact started losing more games, their advances slowed, and then they started to lose ground. Their bold thrust into the Ruhr came within a hairs’ breadth of success, but didn’t quite make it.

I think I’d have to give the top honours to the British, but only by a nose.

Now you know what happened, check out Phil's article what happened behind the scenes...
British vs Soviets