Battle of Steamroller Farm , EL Aroussa, Tunisia 27-28th February 1943
The Kampfgruppe Kleeburg had attacked and driven a wedge between the two brigade threatening the Division HQ at El Aroussa. Y division ordered the counter attack those elements of his reserve available set of from El Aroussa at 1100.
This small composite force with 2 troops up and the Coldstream's riding on the Churchill tanks set of in the morning from El Aroussa abd at 1600 reach Steamroller Farm on its ridge through which the road ran. Here despite heavy fire from the farm and heavy dive-bomber attacks the Churchill tanks pushed through the defences losing 9 Churchill tanks. They found dozen of transport vehicles, Captain "Gin" Holland of A squadron helped by Lt Kenton crushed an 88mm gun and a PaK 40 antitank gun and destroyed 25 truck and cars and dispersing and killing 100's of infantry with machine gun fire. The two Panzer III tanks that arrived from the next valley. Before retreating by bounds back to British lines - one of the tanks under tow but the other. Next day the 3 Grenadier Guards found the position abandoned by the Germans.
|Sketch map of the Battle of Steamroller Farm from 51RTR war diary showing movements of A Squadron|
|Google maps of the present day area around Steamroller Farm, El Aroussa, Tunisia|
Historical Forces - for Battalion Sized Battlegroup Game
British Forces from Y Division BR72 6 Officers
First Assault wave
1 Infantry Platoons of 3Co/ 2 Coldstream Guards with 3" mortar and Vickers MG
1 Churchill tank troops Mk. III/IV
Forward Observer Team in Bren Carrier
2 Daimler Mk.I Armoured Cars
1 Engineering Section
Battery of 4 25 pounder Field Guns - Off table
Second Assault wave
1 Veteran Infantry Section
1 Carrier Section
2 Churchill tank troops Mk. III/IV and 1 Mk. I
German Forces from Kampfgruppe Kleeberg 80BR 6 Officers
Forward Signals Unit - Medium Radio Truck
2 Fallschirmjaeger Platoon from II Co. 2 Jaeger Battalion Herman Goring
4 PaK38 AT guns with Sdkfz 6 tows
1 Pak 40 AT gun with Opel Maultier tow
1 Heavy AT gun with 88mmL56 AA gun and sdkfz 7 tow
1 20mm AA gun with sdkfz 10 tow
3 Timed Ju-87 Air strikes
Panzer III platoon of 3 Pz III L
1 Fallschirmjaeger foot patrol
Supply column 1 medium truck
Objectives are placed on Steamroller Farm, the road junction and the NE ridgeline (see map).
The First Assault wave arrives are places within a 20" edge from the SW table corner.
The British attackers take first turn.
German defenders reserved arrive d6 per turn from turn 4.
British Second assault wave arrives on turn 4 deploying from the British table edge (20" from SW table corner).
|The battle field with Steamroller farm the highest hill in the centre of the board.|