Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Scenario and AAR Operation Capri Campaign 1 First Contact

Background Using the excellent ne Battlegroup Torch book I began a new campaign pitting Column Bari - elements of 90th Light , Spezia and Trieste divisions against the elements of 51 Highland Division and 7th Armoured Division. It will follow events over 6th and 7th of March as the 8th Army approached the Mareth line. The newly created 1st Italian Army launched a spoiling attack against the British 8th Army concentrating around the desert outpost of Medenine.
We use the scenario Clash of Reconnaissance to represent the first clashed. During the reconnaissance phase of the battle thick early morning mist was represented by using the special Night fighting rules. As the main forces arrive the mist burned off and normal spotting rules resumed.

I chose 600 pts from the British Infantry lists in Battlegroup Torch and my opponent chose 600pts from the Italian armoured division list. The Italians won the reconnaissance battle deploying there Bersaglieri on Motorcycle combinations raced forwards to seize the Arab farm which would become the focal objective of both sides.
Reconaissance clashes the Italian and British advance. 
British Daimler Armoured cars advance using MG.s to suppress the Bersaglieri in the farm and exchanging fire with the Italian Autoblinda lurking in the Wadi. An M15/18 forward observation tank moves into position to spot for the mortars and a motor tricycle mounted HMG team flank the Arab farm using the wadi for defilade. The Black Watch A platoon advance on foot with the farm as there objective. FO team in there Carrier make for the high ground overlooking the battle field. An off table battery of RHA will support the British advance.  But with the Bersaglieri in position on the objective they would prove tenacious in there defence.

British column advances 

The early envelopement as the Britsh advance into the jaws 
The British bring up  second platoon of lorried infantry using their mortars begin to pound the Arab farm whilst the off table artillery . The British "A" platoon advance toward the farm using the wadi . The Italian HMG team reach the ridge before the "B" platoon, The excellent off road speed of the \Italian motorcycles really paying off,  

Increasing desperate to pin down the Italians in the farm the Carrier section deploy to bring more fire onto the farm but the Italian troops hold on regardless.  Italian armour and infantry - M15/41tanks advance to support he Bersaglieri in the farm the tanks to the north and the infantry to the south.

Italien LMG advance 
British FO and carrier transport calling in fire from RHA 25 pounders

The Black watch fix bayonets and prepare for a last attempt to dislodge the Italians. By now the supporting infantry are beginning to bring fire on the troops in the wadi . Despite a heroic defence from the six pounder anti tank gun and the Daimler Mk 1 the tanks begin to outflank from the north. The HMG destroys the gun and only an Anti tank rifle holds the Britsh right flank. 
THe jaws of the Italien pincers close. 

Italian infantry reinforce the ridge
Air support for column Bari 

Italian recon use the wadi for advance in defilade 
There position untenable and losing casualties to infantry and tank fire. The infantry failed to assault the Italian Bersaglieri finally the British morale collapses and withdrawal begins. The Italian column advances further into the British lines.


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