Monday, 5 February 2018

Scenario and AAR Forward the Guards Screening Cagny

Forward the Guards 1
Screening Cagny 18th July 1944
Platoon size game
The table layout

British Forces
from 2nd Grenadier Guards
2x Sherman Tank Squadron
 each with 2 Sherman V tanks and 1 Sherman Firefly
  (I used Cromwell tanks for the 75mm armed Sherman's with my opponents agreement)
1 FAO tem in Daimler Dingo.
1 3rd priority artillery request.
BR 19 Officer 3
German Forces
from 3rd Luftwaffe Flak Corp
4x 88mm Flak 36  gun and crew ( we used 3 Pak40's to stand in for 88's)
1 Grenadier Squad with 1 Panzerfaust
1 MG42 team
(3 of the 88mm Flak 36 survived the battle and were added to the forces in Battle 4 Evening Assault on Cagny)
BR 18 Officer 0
In an attempt to outflank and surround Caen the General Montgomery has decided to commit the bulk of his armoured forces in an attack East of Caen. Preceded by a massive bombardment by RAF Heavy bomber force that left the German defenders shattered. However as the tanks of the Guards Division  made there way through narrow channels in the minefield to begin exploiting the gap the German defenders began to recover. Resistance formed around the fortified villages scattered across the open terrain east of Caen. One of these was Cagny where a hasty screen of 88mm antiaircraft guns had already accounted for many tanks of the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry. The 2nd Battalion the Grenadier Guards where sent to screen these guns whilst the rest of the Guards Armoured Division move past to the west of the village.
The German player is the defender in this scenario and the British the attackers so the Germans deployed first and the British had first move. There are no objectives for this battle but it will last only 6 turns before the British tanks disengage from screening the rest of the Guard Division. Surviving German 88's will be added to the forces in Scenario 4 Evening assault on Cagny.
Panzer Grenadiers with camouflage zeltbahn in the woodland

88 Flak defends the outskirts of Cagny

The German defenders deployed first their table edge  within there table edge. Cagny outskirts is represented by a single complex of farm buildings of there board edge. Inevitably the 88's lined up along the hedge line close to the board edge. The infantry deployed forwards in the wooded area the MG42 covering the squad with there panzerfaust.
The 2nd Grenadier Guards tanks and supporting scout car all deployed within 8 inches. Recognising that the Firefly's 17 pounder gun lacked any HE at this stage of the war. I opted to try to close with the Germans with these tanks to use there MG's whilst the other tanks tried to supress the 88's from range with there 75mm HE. The Firefly's hooked left through the woods before dashing for the line and the 75 Sherman's would try to keep moving and make use of the cover.
The British tankers took first turn the Sherman 75's advancing to the hedge  and the Firefly's pushing to the edge of the woodland.

 In the German turn  the Flak 36's split there fire keeping two guns on ambush whilst the other took pot shots at the British tanks taking cover behind the hedge. The Panzer team and MG42 took ambush orders to cover the advance of the Firefly's
In the next turn I decided that fortune favoured the brave. Despite the infantry skulking in the wood the Firefly pushed onward. Stick to the plan is my motto!

Shermans began to lace the 88's with HE pinning one gun. The fire from the two on ambush pinned one tank leaving it vulnerable.
The next German turn saw the Panzerknacker in the wood taking a pot shot that destroyed one Firefly. The pinned Sherman 75 a sitting duck was knocked out. Two tanks lost in a turn- ouch. This battle was to prove a tall order for unsupported tanks of the Grenadier Guards.
The firefly tried to push on but close range MG fire pinned the tank.

The Sherman's failed to pin any guns with there supressing HE fire but the FAO called in fire from the divisional guns  pinning and 88 behind the hedge but not doing an further damage
The deadly duel between the Sherman 75's and the 88's continued The tanks concentrate there fire on the pinned 88 and managed to destroy the gun. The price was to be paid next turn when the guns pinned and destroyed another of the Sherman 75.

Chits are starting to build up for the British. Stick to the Plan... the Firefly gets moving in and all or nothing attempt the Sherman's  break cover to split the 88's fire. But the German gunners pin the Firefly  on ambush fire .

In there own turn the remaining German guns concentrate there fire on the Firefly knocking it out and forcing another morale chit on the British .

With the Firefly knocked out and the German PaK screen holding the British withdrew to the hedge line to a long distance duel until the pre agreed end of the game in turn six. The remaining 3 tanks withdrew along with the supporting scout car the rest of the division now out of range of the 88's
The German's hasty PaK screen had held and the British would have to give the village a wide berth and  return to clear Cagny in the evening.  When they would face 3 of the deadly 88mm Flak 36 guns again. 

Comparing the BR totals show a clear victory for the Germans.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Battle of Rasiniai 1941

 The KV tanks lead the Soviet assault. We chose to play the battle as a meeting engagement as we had chosen to play a battle in the middle of the 4th Tank Armies attack after they had overrun the 6th Panzer Divions front lines and rampaged through their position East of the town of Raseniaia (AKA Rosenie). Deploying 8 recon units the Soviets took first turn and the KV's had lots of Infantry patrols for support.
 A handful of German defenders deployed West of the farm track. Mostly on board artillery and observers and the KH18 cannon Heavy AT gun of which the Wehrmatch players had high hopes! Some infantry deployed forward in the woodland on the right flank. The battle for these wood wood rage for most of the game.
 The KH18 and an artillery OP team in the field beyond.
 The kradschutzen recon patrol race to occupy the farm on the left. They would still be hanging on at the end of the game
 An early showing by the VVS pinning artillery guns and destroying our 20mm AA gun in the second turn. You can do a lot of damage with  MG's

The HQ a Pz 35t Befehlswagon it's  tactical re-roll  and a lot of Artillery observation for our mix of off table lH18 and 2x 2nd priority request as well as for the on table guns including the 150mm IG firing from next to the tank. Our flexible artillery was  the key arm.
 The Soviet reconnaissance in force infantry attack the weakly held woods the KV leads a BA64 squadron
 The panzerjaeger I moves up all along the gun lines. The Soviet "god of wars" lashes the German guns pinning the PanzerJaeger and finally in turn 4 destroying it. It managed to get two shots from it's 47mm gun at the advancing KV.
 The Wehrmacht use the Panzer Marsch! rule to get the tank moving onto the table the left. The aim to block the advance of the major thrust by the Soviet KV's and T-26 tanks toward the farm.

 For those of you who want to know how Warwick takes those great pictures
 The battle field looking East. The farm is held by recon troops but the panzers have reinforcement in the form of a schutzen platoon riding on the engine deck they deploy as the Panzers pass the farm. In the distance waves of T26 tanks led by KV 1 and a fiercome KV2 "the monster of Raseniaia" advance in 4 waves. On the right the battle in the woods rages German infantry giving way slowly pressed by waves of Soviet infantry supported by Armoured cars  and another KV1. Tucked away at the rear on the left the German Armoured artillery spotter + prepared his maps!
 My pride and joy Pz 35t fan out towards the farm
 The on table artillery guns - on table Artillery are difficult to use but in this case paid off as they neutered the massive Soviet counterbattery fire (the Soviets had 10 of these) but you cannot block on table guns. The plan was also to use the guns as ad-hoc Antitank guns if the Soviets broke through.
 The next wave of Soviet tanks BT7 fast tanks using the road moved them up very quickly the German guns bursting around timed barrages of 105mm guns as we try to delay them with a harassing narrage
 The BT7 with the Gun tow pulling a 76mm infantry gun to support the battle for the wooods
 The Gun tow leads the way.
 Platoon HQ and a PaK 36 deploy to support the tanks and cover the farm. The Panzer 35t tanks  wait in  reserve
 The sweep of the German panzers Panzer III F and G's lead the way. We concentrated our tank force on the left. It proved a good decision leaving the Soviet thrust on the right to  the Artillary and AT guns.,, and a single heroic Pz IV!
 The puffs of white smoke on the MG teams indicated Ambush orders the MG34 aim to pin advancing BT7 tanks as they move to close range. Behind the only tanks on the German left - A Panzer IV E and a Panzer II both would play a vital part in holding off the 10 or so BT tanks and 1 KV  which attacked in two waves.
 Lack of orders for our opponents and Soviet Command Chaos aided us here as lack of orders stalled the attack on the left. This lack of coordination meant that the German Panzers where able to deal with the two attacks piecemeal.
 It did not stop the KV1 from smashing a Panzer at long range whilst the KV2 lashed the farm with massive 152mm High Explosive  - an armoured supply vehicle kept the KV2 in action all agme. Some very good cover saves kept the German infantry in the game those farm building must have deep cellars!. We decided before the game not to use the optionl building targeting rule which is really for urban assaults - but the KV2 certainly had the farepower for that job!
 A German Kradschutzen platoon in reserve to reinforce the farm. Soviet infantry infiltrating through the forest where preparing their assault
 Panzer 35t swing left the strike the BT7's in the flank. Over the next few turns they would hit 4 times but fail to penetrate the side armour of the BT7's on every occasion.

 The Panzerjaeger pinned by the continual Soviet artillery fire. The Soviet tanks Stal!Stal! forward in the distance
 6th Panzer's tanks advance bravely to attack the rapidly advancing BT7's on the  right flank
 All 5 swung behind the farm to engage the BT7's. The BT 7 returned fire - splitting the fire and providing some relief for the hard pressed small tank force facing them on the left. We had predicted the Soviet encircling manoeuvre and planned to use the light tanks for this job before the game.
 The situation on the right flank. The infantry are holding in the woods using their machine guns to pin Soviet infantry and the rifle squads to assault and destroy them. I love the way the separate MG and rifle teams play for the Germans. The BT7's push on and the 105mm are pressed into service as AT guns. Artillery spotted from across the table pins many of the Soviet tanks and breaks up the attack. We didn't know it yet but this was the high water mark of the Soviet assault.

 A long range tank duel developes on the left flank
 Whilst the Panzer 35t pay a heavy price for diverting the Russian tanks fire

 In what other set of WW2 rules can 3 Panzer III take on the massed Soviets with any hope of success
 The wreckage of the Soviet attack begins to block the sight lines for guns and tanks
 A PaK 36 and Panzer IV doing execution among the Soviet tank forces
 The OT64 flame tank sets the fam building alight whilst the KV braves anti tank grenade attacks to threaten the German panzers. Geman infantry behind the building prepare for another assault.
 The OT 64 flamethrower tankand supporting infantry prepare to counter attack the German infantry holding the farm
 German infantry MG34 teams on ambush orders prepare to repel a BT7 attack . The white smoke on the barrel indicated the reaction order.
 The Panzer II  finally pays the price afer destroying 2 Soviet tanks and pinning several others with its autocannon.
 The wreckage burns like the high tide line the Soviet threw everything at the Wehrmatch but cannot break through
 Close range tank action around the farm as T26;s and the KV press the assault. Ferocious German machine gun fire would pin there infantry support and leave them vulnerable to AT grenade counter attacks which eventually destroyed all three tanks.
 The Panzer 35t loose there final AP ammo before they withdraw to rearm. A Panzer III covers the southern approach the farm
 Two images of the end of the battle as the Russian finally crack with a Battle Rating score of 102
 T26 tanks burn whilst the mighty KV are mostly immobalised by Soviet unreliability only one KV is destroyed in the game by infantry assault with grenades.
 A lot of German armour is also burning.
 Pinned and destroyed Soviet tanks and many dead and pinned Soviet infantry as the counter attack failed and the farm and entire battlefield remain in German hands. Tomorrow we will resume the drive East.

Scenario and AAR Forward the Guards Screening Cagny

Forward the Guards 1 Screening Cagny 18th July 1944 Platoon size game The table layout British Forces from 2nd Grenadier Guards...