A random series of articles on war gaming in 40K, FOW and other systems. The headings are, WiP; Conversions and models in various states of assembly. PiP; Paint works on various models. Mission Critical; scenarios or missions to bring a bit of a twist to a normal game. MiA; rules for units and characters that could/should/might appear in a game. Dig In; How to guides on making various types of terrain for different game systems. Sit Rep; Battle reports and after action reports on games played

Monday, March 5, 2012

Operation Charnwood (FOW campaign): Attack on Galmanche

The first phase of Operation Charnwood sees Taskforce Micheal assaulting the main German strong point of Galmanche village, garrisoned by Kampfgruppe Klemens. The mission played was “Hold the Line” from the V2 rulebook. The attack starts at 04.30, so night fighting was in effect until daybreak. The Royal Hussars have been fighting continuously for three weeks before the attack so they both have a random strength determine at the start of the each game. The rolling was mediocre, 2nd squadron ended up with two Shermans and a Firefly, while 1st squadron ended up with three Sherman. The British could have got more Shermans and Fireflies. The Germans opted to use their only available panzer platoon for the defense of Galmanche since holding the village hinders any attack on the British second phase objectives.

Galmanche viewed from the east

The Forces

Taskforce Micheal (approx 1600 pts)
Kampfgruppe Klemens ( approx 2000pts)

A company 5th South Norfolk regiment
Company HQ
1st platoon with 3 section
2nd platoon with 3 section
3rd platoon with 3 section

Support units
Antitank platoon with 3 section
1st Squadron Royal Hussars
(tank platoon)

B company 5th South Norfolk regiment
Company HQ
4th platoon with 3 section
5th platoon with 3 section
6th platoon with 3 section

Support units
Bren platoon with 3 section
2nd Squadron Royal Hussars
(tank platoon)

1 Kompanie 26th SS panzergrenadier Regiment
Kompanie HQ with Anti Tank section
1st platoon with 3 section
2nd platoon with 3 section
3rd platoon with 3 section
4th platoon with 2 MG sections, 1 Mortar section

Support Units
Light SS anti tank gun (PaK) platoon with 3 guns
Light SS infantry gun platoon with 2 guns
2 Kompanie 12th 22 Panzer regiment
SS panzer platoon with 5 PiV

British placed objective

German placed objective

The Battle;
The Germans deployed 1st platoon with the CiC and attached Panzershreik and HMG teams in the village around the British objective. 4th (heavy weapons) platoon deployed its mortars near the German objective with its HMG section set-up nearer the front. The panzer platoon opted to go in ambush. The Mortar spotter went in the church spire.
In response the British deployed A company with 1st tank squadron with all the support platoons and and a rifle platoon from B company on the south bank facing Galamache village. While the rest of B company and 2nd tank Squadron went on the north bank of the river.

German artillery spotter an in church tower

Task Force Micheal

A company outside Galmanche

B company North of Galmanche

The first few turns with night fighting were very quiet. The Germans could not get any reinforcements nor could the spotter or the CiC see anything in the dark for ta mortar strike. On the British side the advance was very slow due to paranoia over possible Panzer ambush with the infantry having to secure every piece of terrain before the tanks could be brought forward. The tanks also had trouble driving through the woods at night with several breakdowns happening.

Galmanche main road

On the North bank B company got into a race with the German HMG section trying to get to the bend in the river first. The German arrived first and dug in. B company's arrival was greeted with HMG fire. They made several attempts to dig in but failed and were eventual forced back with casualties. Their tank support cross bridge to assist the capture of the British objective.

Bren section starts recces the village

On the south bank things started to heat up when the British infantry moved into rifle range on the church and started to pepper spotter with rifle fire. Annoyingly, the spotter failed to see where the shoots were coming form. German reinforcement eventually began to arrive and raced to the front but their movement was not helped by the night movement which limited their speed.

View from the German end of the village

The British infantry and armour began to creep into Galamache. One of the Bren section opted to try  out flank the village but ran straight into the newly arrived German 2nd platoon. Both sides exchanged fire and the German was lost a team. While the bren section lost a carrier and was forced to disengage.

German reinforcements moving to the village

 The Panzers finally made their appearance but the hoped for decisive ambush was not to be since they could not make the British shermans in the dark. Instead they machine gunned a rifle platoon from B company, inflicting several casualties. Shermans and anti tank guns began to engage the panzers but it was their turn to roll badly for night fight. Only the anti tank platoon, the furtherest platoon away, could make out the panzers and a salvo from their six pounders destroyed a PiV. 

Shermans start to duel with PiVs

Day light broke just the second bren section and the German anti tank platoon arrived at either end of the main village road. The Pak's fired first and destroyed two wasps forcing the survivor to flee. The British armour duelled with the Panzers. The Panzers lost another tank but succeed in destroying the British tank squadron with the Firefly. With day break the German artillery and HMGs began to devastate the British infantry in the open. The German 2nd platoon hunted down and destroyed the last bren section. 1st and 2nd platoons of A company and 5th platoon of B company were caught in the open and destroyed. Taking heavy loss including the loss of the HQ section ,A company broke and B company decide to call off the attack at 07.30. The British retreated leaving the Germans in control of the village.

The Aftermath;

Taskforce Micheal
Kampfgruppe Klemens

A company 5th South Norfolk regiment
Company HQ -destroyed
1st platoon -destroyed
2nd platoon – 3 teams lost
3rd platoon -destroyed

Support units
Antitank platoon with 3 section – no damage
1st Squadron Royal Hussars
(tank platoon) -destroyed

B company 5th South Norfolk regiment
Company HQ – no damage
4th platoon – 4 teams lost
5th platoon -destroyed
6th platoon – 2 teams lost

Support units
Bren platoon -destroyed
2nd Squadron Royal Hussars
(tank platoon) -no damage

1 Kompanie 26th SS panzergrenadier Regiment
Kompanie HQ – no damage
1st platoon – no damage
2nd platoon 1 team lost
3rd platoon – no damage
4th platoon with – no damage

Support Units
Light SS anti tank gun platoon – no damage
Light SS infantry gun platoon – no damage
2 Kompanie 12th 22 Panzer regiment
SS panzer platoon -2 PiV lost

With A company gone, the Captain of B company calls off the attack

The British took a beating. Task Force Micheal has been disbanded The 1st Squadron Royal Hussars was destroyed, and A Company affectively destroyed. Its survivors have been transferred to B company to form below strength rifle company with the anti tank platoon in support. B company and the 1st Squadron Royal Hussars have gone back into the British reserve pool

The Germans got away lightly with just one team and two Panzers lost. The Germans failed to salvage either the two damaged panzers (forgot to roll for them) or repair the destroyed British tanks (did not pass the test). This was bad since the German losses can not be replaced. They now have three effective panzers facing twelve platoons of assorted British armour. With the day breaking the British can start to bring artillery support for the next attack. Next up is the parallel attack on La Bijude by taskforce Paul.

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