Location: Somewhere on the far left of Juno beach, near the Canadian deployment area…. D-Day!
Allied Force: (CT, Normandy Brit Armoured) – 16 Allied tanks, mainly Sherman 5’s plus two fireflys (HQ with 2, 4 x combat platoons) plus a recovery sherman, 9 universal carriers (in 3 patrols), one platoon of rifle infantry.
German Force: (CV mech recon) -three platoons of grenadiers, dismounted. Two platoons of PAK40s, one Nebelwerfer battery, two armoured scout car platoons, a pair of infantry guns and the 2ic leading a ‘schreck team.
Drifting off course from their assigned beach, a company British tanks finds themselves landing on a recently shelled beach. Trying to send forward their recon carriers soon showed that German recon units had already beaten them to it. A decision was needed quickly – establish a beach head just inland and scout out the area before trying to drive to the original planned landing point. The Germans would need some guile and luck to hold this one… in “No Retreat”….. perhaps….
The task wasn’t to be easy, one of the universal carriers spotted the glint of an observers binoculars on a rise. Artillery? Then, the report of a PAK40 screamed out.
The Tank commander used the cover of a ruined building to direct his forces.
On the left, he send a platoon of tanks, a platoon of recon carriers and the ARV forward to try to cross some woods. On the right, two platoons of tanks and a recon platoon of universal carriers made for whatever cover they could get. A single tank went up as a PAK 40 round hit home. Return fire failed to hit anything.
A firefight erupted that led to the end of one more allied tank and two PAK 40,s.
On the left, the single platoon of tanks followed the recon carriers into the wood. he firefly bogged and needed towing. Carriers moved into the thinly wooded area…..
In the centre, a German scout car had kept Allied recon elements from moving too far forward. It paid for its guile by succumbing to the Tank commanders guns. A single carrier tried to spot out the way ahead and found two more PAK40’s near some bocage ahead. The Tanks kept clear of this are for a while.
Back on the right, a German ambush of three StuG’s met with success, destroying a platoon of oncoming allied tanks. One tank scuttled off into cover of bocage.
In the centre, the 1ic and 2ic made a brave move up the narrow roadway, luckily escaping the PAK 40 sat on the objective of their endeavour,the road junction that would give access to the area for the tank force! The PAK failed and in return, was put down by pinpoint fire from the Sherman ‘s Major. The Shermans moved forward to the junction, with their rifle platoon giving support to their rear.
A small assault started in the road, and the Allied commander noticed a number of grenadiers coming from the rear to support. This could get bloody. Calling in support, the Major requested his flanking forces to close on the junction. No reply came from the right flank, only the sound of gunfire.
From the wood on the left flank, the allies broke out, trying to meet up with the centre of their force, only to face only one scout car and a PAK40 nearby. The tank eventually emerged from the wood minus the bogged firefly. A fight was already ongoing between the u-carriers and the german scout car. The scout was put down but the PAK40 turned from its task to get a bead on the shermans and carriers. The PAK missed, and was killed in its turn.
The allies tried to break out into the roadway on the left flank only to see three platoons of grenadiers, one on a nearby field and tow more heading up behind. There was also the glint of sun on muzzles – some kind of infantry guns being dragged forward to the secondary objective? Then the sound of lighter engines – more scout cars heading to the area? This was getting hot very quickly!
In the centre, the Tank commanders assaulted the junction killing several men in the hedges. From the roadway, grenadiers poured into the assault, both tanks quickly went up under the weight of the assault, panzerfausts doing their job, blocking the road to the allied infantry. The junction was now contested.
The allies were down to 7 tanks now across the board. The left flank need to come down the road to take the junction before the next wave of Germans could make it there. It never happened. The Nebelwerfers had up to now been largely ineffective. Suddenly a busts of rockets landed on top of the allied left flank, killing wo shermans and killing and morale busting the recon u-carriers by their side. That had to be the lucky strike that cost the Allies the game.
With time to make a bridgehead running out, with three platoons dead and the rest shredded, with the junction blocked and contested, the Allies decided that retreat to the beach with the remnants was the only option before the German reserves bolstered the roadway. The Germans had won the morning, but at the cost of three platoons. They had bought time for the reserve…. the Neb’s and Stugs had really won this battle though. Trained tanks were no match for determined grenadiers….
Outcome: German victory, 4-3