Dienstag, 30. Juli 2013

Operation Overlord - Attack on Hill 192

The campaign is soon coming to an end and so we had a go at the fifth battlereport. Last time the men of dog company, lead by Captain Simmons liberated Cerisy-la-forêt and captured a german supply column. With the town taken the move out south east to attack Hill 192 overlooking the area of Saint-Lô.

Attacker, Rifle Company, 2nd Infantry Division
Company HQ, with 2x Bazookas
Rifle Platoon, 2x Squads
Rifle Platoon, 2x Squads
Weapons Platoon, 1x Machine-gun Sections, 1x Mortar Section
Intelligence & Recon Platoon, 3x Squads
Anti-Tank Platoon, 3x Sections
Engineer Combat Platoon, 2x Squads, 4x Bazookas
Independent Tank Platoon, 5x M4A1 Sherman
Independent Tank Platoon, 5x M5A1 Stuart 
Sherman Assault Gun Platoon (2nd A.D.), 3x M4 (105) Sherman
Field Artillery Battery, 4x M2A1 105mm howitzer
Corps Armored Field Artillery Battery, 6x M7 Priests HMC

Hauptmann Krüger has established a defensiv position around manor north of Hill 192.  He is unaware of the imminent attack.

Defender, Füsilierkompanie, 352 Infanteriedivision
Füsilierkompanie HQ,  2x Panzerknacker SMG
Füsilier Platoon, 3x Squads, 1x Panzerknacker SMG
Füsilier Platoon, 3x Squads, 1x Panzerknacker SMG
Füsilier Platoon, 3x Squads, 1x Panzerknacker SMG
Füsilier Machine-gun Platoon, 3x MG42 HMG
Füsilier Regimental Anti-Tank Gun Platoon, 3x 7.5cm PaK40 gun
StuG Platoon, 3x StuG G
StuG Platoon, 3x StuG G
Festungs Heavy Artillery Battery, 4x 15cm sFH18 howitzer

The Mission: Counterattack
"Captain, the liberation of Cerisy-la-forêt, has put us in the position to make a swift attack on Hill 192. The enemy seems unaware of the importance of this position, take it with a suprise attack. Except a Füsilierkompanie holding a manor north of the Hill german resistance is expected to be negligible. Good Luck."

The Battlefield

The Deployment:
"Männer, der Amerikaner ist bei Le-Molay-Littry durch gebrochen und hat Cerisy genommen. Bald wird er uns erreichen. Ich will das ihr eure Schützenlöcher ausbaut und euch hier eingrabt. Wir werden nicht zurückweichen, bezieht Position um den Gutshof. Die PaK soll einen Hinterhalt legen, Sturmgeschütze sollen die nördliche Flanke halten. Die Maschienengewehre will ich im Gutshof."

 The german position around the manor.

"Ok boys, this is it. We will take Hill 192 and enable our spotter to overlook Saint-Lô. I know we have a lot of casualties and the loss of Lieutenant Harris may by tragic but if we take this hill we have earned ourself a rest. Lieutenant Lewis you lead your Platoon through the middle I want you to take the hill and dig in like an alabama tick. Nice to have you and your engeneers here Lieutenant Miller you follow Lieutenant Lewis on the heels. Lieutenant Jackson you will attack the manor, you got armour support make good use of it. The Stuarts will cut off the germans at the manor from the hill."

Ready to move out.

The Battle:

 Lead by the recon the Americans move out.
 "Sarge, I have a bad feeling about this." "Woods when didn't you have a bad feeling, we have them hit so hard there will be no resitance any more."

 Shermans move into attack position.
"Kraut infantry in the wheatfield, fire at will!"

The artillery starts hammering the germans at the manor.
"... Red Leg this is Big Boy, Fire mission, Direction 2650, distance 500,  Infantry, fire for effect. ... "

The german positions are well prepared and the Füsiliers suffer no casualties.

A first assault of the Shermans is repelled.
 "Sir, the wheat is to high we cannot see the enemy. We're falling back." Crkk

"Hauptmann Krüger, die Amerikaner stossen Richtung Hügel vor." "Piepke, ich will, dass sie ihren Zug sofort in bewegung setzen."
The Germans realise the importance of Hill 192 and move to counterattack.

 At the manor the StuG's move out to meet the Shermans.

 Artillery and StuG's blow up 3 Shermans.
"Steady boys our artillery will silence these gun in no time!"

In the center the Stuarts threaten to cut off the germans from the hill.
 "Kraut infantry in the open hit them hard!"

Behind the mobile elements the G.I.'s move up.
"I told you, didn't I! This will be a walk in the park."

 The Stuarts drive the Germans back, but the Füsilier fight on.

The Shermans press on with a second assault. Losing one Sherman they break the Füsiliers in the wheatfield.

To save resurces the Shermans start to move in to cover.
"Captain it seems going according to plan."

From southwest the sound of StuG's can be heard, as the german reserves arrive.

At the manor the StuG's open up on the 105mm Sherman.

 Turning the remainig to in to smoldering wrecks.

 "Advance we have the ..."
At this moment the german artillery hits the command Stuart and another one.

Lieutenant Jackson leads his platoon around the smoldering wrecks.

Confused and leaderless the Stuarts open up on the Füsiliers.
The recon jeeps move up the road towards the manor trying put some pressure on the objectiv.

The StuG's secure the hill, and the crossroad soon will turn in to a slaughterhouse. Earning the name of "Blood Red Corner".

Meanwhile Jacksons Platoon gets attacked.
"Hold fast. Do not shoot until you see the white in thier eyes."

The position cannot be held."Fall back!"

Luckily the recon draws the attention of the germans back to the objectiv.

At the "Blood Red Corner" Lieutenant Lewis leads his Platoon on the crossroad.
"Common' we get those Kraut tanks as we got the Tigers!"
The first assault is pinned down.

 "I told you Sarge! We're f*****!"
The StuG's move back.

Artillery hits the engeneers.

"Get moving or do you wanna get killed here!"

 "Lieutenant Miller, get your men out there and get our men out of there."

Lieutenant Lewis platoon is hit by heavy machine-gun fire and artillery.
Right by the Sarge a shell goes off. "Sarge noooooo!" Private Woods is hit by shrapnel as he hits the dirt.
 The Platoon evaporates under the heavy fire.

At the manor, the StuG's hunt the recon.
 The battle has clearly turned in favour of the Germans so the Shermans and Lieutenant Jacksons move out again to try to turn the tide again.

But the effort is in vain, after finishing off the Shermans the StuG's break Jacksons platoon.

At the "Blood Red Corner" the struggle goes on.
"Miller you have to get those StuG's"
The engeneers move out, but as Lieutenant Lewis platoon before the get pinned down.
The assaults stalled, the american try to recover the wounded at "Blood Red Corner" and move back to their lines.

"... get back to the lines!" The scattered remnants of dog company move back to the lines. 

... a little while down the road - near Hill 192...

"... last time we tried to hit the Hill directly." "Captain we are in no shape for a new attack." "I know but headquater wants us to." A jeep approaches the company commandpost...

A 3-4 loss to the allied cause.
Campaign Aftermath:
This was our last battle for the campaign and so it is time for a campaign aftermath, first I'd like to thank my mates for the games they played agains me and I'd like to thank the WWPD-Crew for organising the campaign.

We had a lot of fun playing these games but we should not forget that real people fought and died in this conflict. 

"The solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."

 Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Summer 2009