Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Club Sunday 5th December

Once again the weather played a part in our Sunday game. Although we made it to the club, some members couldn't so Luke's carefully planned scenario for an Operation Crusader battle using Battle-group Panzer-grenadier had to be put on hold and he came up with one on the fly instead.

Based loosely on the Gazala battles it saw a British force defending against a combined arms attack form the Italians, hoping to hold out until their armour forces arrived. The table was set up in an L-shape with the objective being the corner of the L and the Italians advancing in two forces along each length into the British lines.

Andy and I commanded the Italians and decided to concentrate in one area, although we still had to place a third of our forces on the other axis. We sent the reconnaissance squadron with an infantry company and a battery of 75s down the minor axis, and the remains of the infantry battalion, two tank companies, an engineer company and some 100mm howitzers along the major axis.

Initially we moved rapidly across the open desert. Andy, commanding the minor attack encountered a single MG section, but due to poor command and control struggled to keep the momentum forward and take advantage of this light resistance.

Meanwhile on the other axis I ran into two infantry companies with anti tank guns, one on either flank of my advance. Their opening salvos caused heavy casualties and stalled my advance, as artillery and the Desert air force joined in the attack on my armoured spearheads.

After this sustained attack the Italians began to get reorganised and combined armour and infantry forces suppressed and drove off the anti tank guns and then attacked the supporting infantry and secured their flanks to resume their advance.

The other Italian force had moved up and begun to encounter heavier resistance as it located the dug in British, but was making some headway on their left flank, but not on the right. To support them the other force was able to redirect some infantry and the engineers to descend on the rear of the British forces, led by their flamethrowers.

The British re-enforcement began to arrives in the form of a mixed battalion of Honeys and Grants. The Honeys immediately deployed and began to engage the Italian armour in a fight that would rage for the rest of the battle as neither side had a decisive advantage until near the end when the Italians managed to bring some Sevormettes into the battle.

The Grants proceeded behind the British lines to swing and take the Italian armoured advance head on. Covered by some 90mm AA guns mounted on Lancia trucks the first Grants to appear were smashed under the weight of the shot and the survivors fell back behind the front line.

Everywhere the Italians were pushing forwards and the British line was crumbling, and eventually broke. Although battered the Italians had won a famous victory against their opponents.

Also on today was a Flames of War Omaha beach landing game that looked action packed, although I don't recall the outcome.

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