The Eagle well and truly landed in Worcestershire yesterday when a small element of the Herman Goring Panzergrenadiers Company ‘Kreuzman’ steamrollered into the village in an attempt to make use of the its main road as a supply route.
US forces spread out to defend the village against enemy infantry and tanks but just could not hold on long enough to make a full fighting withdrawal. The battle was bloody sources reporting a whole platoon of veteran rifles cut down while bravely trying to sticky bomb tanks and fire in bazookas.
In the end only the C-in-C of brave Dog Company Captain Steven “Steel Balls” Johnson could stand against the tanks in a desperate bid to hold onto the village Manor house while the few remaining civlians could be evacuated . He was cut down in a viscious and bloody assault by a Panzer 3M tank.
Mission: Fighting Withdrawal
Points: less than 900
Sides: HG P’Grens 885 points / US3rd Id 780 points
Result: 6-1 in Turn 5
Purple Heart: 1iC Captain Steven Johnson (posthumous)
The map: taken from a field sketch (US army).
The final stand of Captain Johnson:
HQ: 2x carbine teams, 2 bazookas – 80
Rifle platoon (1) – 9 stands, 1 bazooka, 1 co. – – 200
Rifle platoon (2) – 9 stands, 1 bazooka, 1 co. – – 200
Weapons Platoon – co, LMGx4, 60mm Mortar x3 – 165
AT Guns – co, 2 x 57mm – 75
Sniper – 50
Attachements: the two HQ bazookas were given 1 o each Rifle platoon.
total: 4 platoons
HQ: 2 x SMG, 3 x panzerschrecks – 120
Panzergrenadier platoon (1) – co SMG panzerknacker, 6 x MG teams – 220
Panzergrenadier platoon (2) – co SMG panzerknacker, 6 x MG teams – 220
HG Panzer platoon – 1xP4H (co.), 2 x P3M, 1xP3N – 325
Attachments: Axis 2iC made a platoon from the 3 panzerschreck teams
total: 4 platoons
Objectives – were placed, 1 by allies in their limited zone, the axis placed the other two. they ened up near the Manor, Church and Corn field as per the pictures.
Deployment – US spread a line out to defend the 3 objectives. The sniper and CO of the Mortars climb the church tower ot get a good LoS.
Axis: (attacking) The Axis start on Main Street to the south of the village. They sent the tanks up the right field behind the houses toward the Manor House objective. The Panzergens (1) moves up to the shadow of the house to the left of Main Street. the 2iC teams move to the ame house on the other side of the street. The Panzergrens (2) make their way down Long Hyde Road to try and get into the shadow of the copse of trees.
The tanks fire on the Manor Rifle platoon and kill 1 team. They use their assault move to stormtrooper even closer to the Manor House wall making it nearer to Blacksmiths Lane.
US: Hastily move their AT guns to try and get a bead on the tanks. The mortars use smoke on the tanks. The AT guns fire and fail to do anything.
Axis: The tanks make it to 4 inches from the Manor House wall. The far right Panzergrenadiers make it to the cover of the copse out of sight of the Church tower observers. This unit is important as it keeps pressure on the US right flank. In two turns they could grab the wheat field objective if the Rifle team is moved to support the Manor House!
The 2iC platoon dismounts and moves up into the garden of the house on the east of Main Street.
The tanks MG the rifles getting 6 hits (pinning) and killing one more Rifle team.
The tanks assault the Manor House platoon. the defending teams bail one tank with a bazooka to the side armour. Not enough to stall the attack. the other baxooka in the platoon is out of range some 8.5 inches to the front of the Manor House!
The tanks kill 2 stands of rifles and fail their motivation check and break off backwards. The tanks consolidate around the objective.
US: The Manor rifle platoon unpin and move the other bazooka closer to the action. Now they have a chance. The AT guns move again to keep pace with the tanks that are using the walls and Manor House to keep away from that obvious threat.
The mortars try unsuccessfully to bombrd the Axis 2ic platoon in the garden. The AT guns manage to bail the same tank again but it passes motivation and is not destoryed. The Manor Rifles fire the bazookas and bail one more tank.
The Manor Rifles try to assault the tanks using weight of numbers. their low skill at these ops shows – at least they had the guts to go toe to toe with the tanks! The tanks manage to get 5 shots in defensve fire and pin the rifles. In return, the tanks counterattack and kill 2 more rifle teams. the rifles are forced to fall back again. Their persistence is to be rewarded with them breaking off ready for more…
Axis: The two bailed tanks remount. the situation around the Manor House is not looking good for the defenders. The tanks move up a little over the objective. The 2iC platoon moves up another garden, disturbing the radsihes (the only food not eaten by the desperate people of South Littleton).
The Central Panzergrenadier platoon dismount and move up Main Street.
The Far right Panzsergrenadiers hold where they are. Their position is out of sight. From here they are putting pressure on the US Rifle platoon in the wheat field. If the rfiles come forward to see them off they lose their dug in Gone to Ground status. If they stay put they are not helping the fight at the Manor House.
The Main Street Panzergrenadiers open fire on the AT guns near the church but fail to damage them.
The tanks open fire on the Manor rifles again and kill two more stands. The US boys are true to form and pass their platoon morale check. The tanks then assault the Rifles. One bazooka team bails a tank but the other fails to damage. The assault is bloody and 3 more Rifle teams are lost. The rfiles pass their motivation to break off and counterattack! At this point the US Captain can only look on from a short way off. He failed to join the assault so is not involved. The Rifles fail to do any damage to the tanks, their improvised attempts proving futile. Neither side has the advantage so the assault continues. Two more rifles are killed. The tanks win the combat and consolidate. the Rifles break off and manage ot pass their Platoon morale check with just a couple of teams left. The Objective however is still in dispute as the US 1ic team is just within its zone of control! Not so good for him.
US: At this point ther is no need for the US player to pull off a platoon in withdrawal as they only have 4 platoons. They gain a counter. Next time they will have to lose soemone though.
The Manor rifles unpin. The Bazooka team makes his way across the wood towoard his command team. With no more thought of fighting the Lt. moves to the far side of the Manor House. He just wants to preserve his command.
The US 1iC digs in and is gone to ground. He waits for the German onslaught. Only he stands between them and the objective….
The Mortars manage to range in then kill one of the Panzergrenadiers in Main Street, pinning them.
The AT guns fail to damage the tanks, having to constantly move to catch up with them.
The Sniper on the church roof is just out of range of the nearest enemy infantry.
Axis: The panzer tank unbails and the MG platoon unpin.
The tanks move back out of LoS of the US At guns. the MG platoon in Main Street ove forward again.
The tanks open fire with MGs on the dug in US 1iC but fail to wound him.
The MG platoon in Main Street fire on the AT guns but fail to hit.
There are no assaults this turn.
US: The US must now withdraw a platoon. They choose the reduced Manor Rifle platoon. Due to the state of the deplted platoon and the proximity to the Panzer’s, the rifles will need to take a skill test to withdraw. This they succeed in to avoid a rout (destroyed).
The AT guns move again to get LoS on the tanks.
The mortars fire smoke on the MG platoon on Mian Street. The At guns fail to hit the tanks.
Axis: The tanks move to 4 inchesof the US 1iC. The MG platoon in Main Street moves forward again. The 2iC platoon moves over Blacksmiths Lane and up to the Manor house Wall.
The tanks open fire on the 1iC again but fail to damage him.
The MG platoon open fire on the AT guns on the road ahead and manage to kill one.
The tanks assault the US 1iC. The fight is bloody. As their is no one within command distance to pass the baton to, the 1iC is destroyed.
The tanks now hold the Manor objective.
US: At this point, the chances of the US player saving the day by the start of the next turn is remote to say the least. The axis is given victory, 6-1
If only the US player could have held on one more turn. On their turn 6 they could have lifted off the Manor Objective and all the hard work of the tanks would have been undone.
This is a very tight mission. I really like it. There is a challenge for both sides which makes you work hard.
Better? I should have kept the AT guns in ambush. This way they could have been where I needed them. However, like a puzzle, if I had ambushed with them on the left flank behind the Manor House Rifles, the Panzers would just have cut across or back and gone for the centre or far flank.
The Axis player played extremely well, keeping his troops where their presence would effectively tie my forces down but without taking much in the way of damage. I wish I had not deployed the wheat field rifles so far right. I should have kept the objective central and well guarded. I could also have used the US 2ic with the HQ bazookas to act as a flying picket / in ambush but then again I would have to have removed a platoon one turn earlier.
Casualties: US = 11 infantry teams, 1 AT gun, 1 1iC / Axis = 1 infantry team
Thanks: for the building templates you can get them via here.
Notes: all the scenery was scratchbuilt from various bits apart from the walls around the Manor House and the tree armatures.
Note:The slides are in time order, the yellow dice indicates the turn sequence.