|This phote was staged for civilian cameramen about 5 hours after the end of the battle. When asked to stage an "action shot" the reply was "If you had been here 5 hours ago you would have seen some bloody action!"|
|Centuripe from the British deployment zone|
Centuripe was at the centre of a line of steep sided and rugged hills that blocked to road toward For the forces of the British 8th Army this would allow an advance that would link up with the American moving west and encircle Mount Etna feature that dominates the north of the island of Sicily. Capturing the town and surrounding peaks would open up the further advance and the final capture of the island.
"After two days of abortive attempts by five of 78th Division’s battalions to break through the German strong points around the town, on the afternoon of 2nd August, the brigade was readied for their attack. 2 London Irish Rifles (‘Irish Rifles’) targeted a set of hilltops on the left flank of Centuripe, 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers (‘Faughs’) were to attack via the cemetery into the northern part of the town and 6 Inniskillens (‘Skins’) were to make their assault up sheer 100 feet cliffs to enter “by the front door”. Due to a slight miscommunication, the Skins’ attack, which was led by A and C Companies, went in early, but they successfully scaled and secured Point 708. G and F Companies of the Irish Rifles were able to secure two of their targeted peaks, but not the third one, but despite this, the Faughs then joined the attack, albeit slightly behind the agreed timetable, on a single company front led by D Company, and this was followed on by C Company. By the early morning of 3rd August, the whole town was occupied by 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers."
Centuripe sits on a 2000' hill over which snakes the main road that leads west around Mount Etna towards Messina. The town sits on an E shaped ridge with the three ridges facing the attacking 38th brigade advance. The Town is a mass of narrow streets of stone lined houses . The hill is steep slopes of stone terraces some deep ravinesOnly roads are suitable for vehicles to move. The steep slopes are difficult terrain and the cliffs count around the as dangerous terrains as do the ravines. The olive groves and vinyards that fill the less steep parts of the slopes and offer soft cover. The stone building of the town are hardcover. The defenders have re-enforced some building and these are hardened cover for occupiers.
DeploymentThe 'Skins deploy in the in the 24" triangle at the southwest corner of the board. The German deployment can be within the North East half of the board. The British deploy a probe force of all reconnaissance troops and 1 d6 other units of the players choice. The remainder of the 'Skins are the Main Force who enter on the edge of the British Deployment zone. The Germans deploy all defenders who can occupy defences from the list also 1d6 units onto the table. The remainder will be off table in reserve. Reconnaissance forces can be deployed outside of the players deployment zone - but not in the enemy deployment zone.
Special RulesTherefore no off road movement is allowed for vehicles. The rear slope is invisible to the attackers and may not be the location of a Pre registered Target point. Artillery may deviate onto the rear slope. Only Air attacks may target units on the rear slope. Due to steepness of the approaches the 'Skins have no vehicles. Initial bombardment mean 1d6 deployed defenders start the game pinned.
VictoryThe first army reduces to 0 BR withdraws lost. The attacker may win an all objectives claimed victory but not the defenders. Defenders may NOT claim an all objective claimed victory.
Forces - from Battlegroup Torch supplement
British Forces A Company 6th Inniskilling Fusiliers
German Forces elements of Kampfgruppe von Carnap
AAR Battles from the Loft
|The table before deployment viewed from the British Army deployment zone|
|The main approach to the town with the main road splitting into two around a maze of streets|
|The maze of stone building that make up the centre of the German line|
|German mortar positions and reserves deployed beyond the church|
|German platoon HQ in the town. Most miniatures are AB Africa Corp |
|German reserve line beside the church and covering the furthest Objective (marked by a well)|
|The main force infantry of the 'skins taking cover in a building near the first objective. It turned out to be booby trapped - but failed to go off! (mostly CP models)|
|The 'Skins foot patrol take possession of the same building after a street fght and a successful Beyond the call of Duty roll devastated the German defence in the centre of town. So far, so historical!|
|German reseve section rushed up to reinforce their own foot patrol overrun by a swift assault by engineer troops with demo charges|
|The streets of the town become a deadly blizzard of German artillery fire|
|The 'skins take cover moving building to building|
|A Britisg Vickers brings the defendesers dug in around the church under fire . Only to be killed by the return fire from an MG42|
|Britsh troops take cover in the rubble|
|Vickers brings the objectives defender under supressing fire|
|A timed airstrike from an Desert Airforce Spitfire drops two small bombs near the church killing an unfortunate Wre team and pinning the HQ of the infantry platoon|
|The Panzer III is pinned by the 25 pounder fire|
|The skins begin there advance on the Eastern objective marked by the telegraph pole.|
|An unexpected attack from and RAF Hurribomber spells the end for the Panzer II attacked with the Planes 40mm cannons and destroyed|
|Engineers destroy the stone barn with demolition charges and the infantry close assault the pinned survivors to capture the objective|
|Mortars support the final assault|
|Reinforcements from a section of trucked infantry head for the far side of town but the damage is already done|
|Final total for the British|
|The Germans sad debacle|