Dienstag, 23. Juli 2013

Operation Overlord - German Withdrawal from Le-Molay-Littry

For our fourth battlereport for Operation Overlord, Maurus and I decided to go on with the "Storyline" unfolding around the men of a rifle company of the second infantry division. In the last report, the G.I.'s hold of a german counterattack near the town of Le-Molay-Littry. The Germans could be stopped at the last moment and now the doughboys are once again on the offensiv, while the germans try to save thier supplies.

Attacker, Rifle Company, 2nd Infantry Division
Company HQ, with 2x Bazookas
Rifle Platoon, 3x Squads
Rifle Platoon, 3x Squads
Weapons Platoon, 2x Machine-gun Sections, 1x Mortar Section
Machine-gun Platoon, 2x Machine-gun Sections, 1x Bazooka
Intelligence & Recon Platoon, 3x Squads
Anti-Tank Platoon, 3x Sections and 3x Bazooka
Independent Tank Platoon, 5x M4A1 Sherman
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

The Führer might have given the order not to take a step back, but to hold the german postion south of Le-Molay Littry is hopeless. The german Hauptmann has orderd a withdrawal to the defensive line northeast of Hill 192.

Defender, Grenadierkompanie, 352 Infanterie Division
Grenadierkompanie HQ,  with 1x Panzerschreck
Grenadier Platoon, 3x Squads
Grenadier Platoon, 3x Squads
Grenadier Platoon, 3x Squads
Grenadier Machine-gun Platoon, 2x Machine-gun Sections
Grenadier Anti-tank Gun Platoon, 3x 7.5cm PaK40 gun
Panzer Platoon, 4x Panzer IV H
Tank-hunter Platoon, 3x Hornisse
Artillery Battery, 4x 10.5cm leFH18 howitzer

The Mission: Fighting Withdrawal

"Captian, our division has overrun the german positions south of Le-Molay-Littry and has cleared the forest of Cerisy. Elements of the 352th Inf. Div. are retreating through the village of Cerisy-la-forêt. They escort supplies originaly for the ill-fated offensiv. Your mission is to destroy the retreating german coloum and to clear Cerisy-la-forêt."

The Battlefield

The Deployment:
"Hauptmann, Amerikaner nähern sich unserer Position von Nordosten her." With a smile on his face Hauptmann Schneider turns to the breathless Unteroffizier, as a Panzer IV rumbles down the road. "Ruhig, Lemke, dass habe ich schon vermutet. Ich will das Leutnant Nilke mit seinen PaK einen schönen Hinterhalt legt. Leutnant Hammel soll mit seinen Männern die Häuser beim Dorfrand Richtung Osten besetzten. Leutnant Rheine solle sich am Ende der Kolone in diesem Garten eingraben. Unsere Mobilen Einheiten sollen sich entlang der Strasse verteilen um schnell an die Angriffspunkte des Gegners vorrücken zu können. Und Lemke, ich will eine Verbindung zur Artillery bei Couvains."

 (the two Opel Blitz are objectivs)

"Listen up, Lieutenant Jackson, good to have you and your Platoon back from Charlie Company. We have orders to attack a german column and the town of Cerisy-la-forêt. Jackson I want you to cross the open ground in the north and hit the rear end of the column. Harris and Lewis, you merge your depleted platoons together and will attack the center. I want a fire base in the center on the edge of wood. Lieutenant Water drive your Shermans up the road and cut of the german column. We have artillery support from the Division and the lads of the 2nd A.D. have send us three Shermans with howitzers make good use of them."

The american deployment

The Battle:
The americans move into kickoff postitions.
        "Lads move fast and keep your head down."

Reluctantly the Shermans move into position.
Crrk. "Sir, I don't know if it is such a good idea to move out there. The germans might have a trick up thier sleeves." 

American artillery starts softening up the defences.
"... Red Leg this is Big Boy, Fire mission, Direction 2700, distance 300, Kraut Tank and Infantry, fire for effect. ... "

 With a roar the artillery opens up, starting to hammer the german defences.

There is some movement in the german lines. A Panzer creeps up the road.

"Da sind Ami-Panzer nehmt sie aufs Korn!" 
The german artillery shoots at the Shermans.
  Two Shermans go up in smoke.
"Oh my god they got the lead tank, what shall we do!"
The Captain moves to one of the Shermans and knocks on the hatch.
"Sergeant, you have the lead and now get those tanks moving!"

All guns repeat!
 One shell hits the crew compartment of a Hornisse, the crew has no chance. Another one is nearly missed the crew bails out and hits the dirt.

One Panzer has moved in a quite exposed position.
"Come on guys we get this son of a b****." "Sergeant do you wanna kill me?!" "Shut up Woods!"
In a swift assault one of the G.I.'s throws a handgrenade through one of the hatches.

Meanwhile on the northern flank.
 Lieutenant Jacksons platoon moves out of the wood and the recce tries to flank the Grenadiers.

Hit by artillery and machine-gun fire they keep moving.
 "Keep moving!"

The bold assault of Lieutenant Harris gets hit by alot of return fire! But with the exception of some smaller wounds, no one gets seriously injured.
 "I knew it, I knew it, you wanna get me killed Sarge!" 

Led by the Captain the rest of the Lieutenant Harris platoon moves out of the wood.
"Lieutenant keep your platoon moving!"

Finally the Tanks move out.

The PaK ambush.

Opening up on the recce and the rifle platoon in the open.

Slowly the germans withdraw and time for the americans starts runing out. 

"Come on, we can get them!"

Lieutenant Jacksons platoon assaults the german position at the end of the column.

The first assault in the center is repelled.

The column has moved on. (the objectiv is withdrawn)

Meanwhile on the other side of the town.
"German Tank, in the open, fire at will!"
With a bang the Panzer starts burning.

But they are not alone. The only hope for an Allied victory is to turn the withdrawal in to a rout every vehicle moves up to dig out the Grenadiers in Cerisy.
Under the combined fire of the Shermans the Grenadier abandon their position.

In the center the rifle platoons close in on the PaK's.

"Let's get them!",  screams Lieutenant Harris as he leads his platoon in the final assault. 
In the same moment a bullet hits him in the chest, he sinks to his knees and toppels over, his men not believing what just happend hit the ground, and refuse to fight on. 

But the men of dog company succeeded, the german withdrawal is turned in a rout. Hastily the last defenders abandon their position, leaving Cerisy-la-forêt and the rest of the supplies  to the Indian Heads.


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

With squealing tires the jeeps stops. "Captain Simmons, the attack has been postponed. Your company has earned them self a bit of rest. Report tomorrow 0900 at headquaters. Dismissed."

A 5-2 victory for the Allies, but it could have ended just the other way arround. I'd like to thank Maurus for a good game. And again thanks to all those who read the reports and appreciate the work and can forgive me my typos. Good Luck for your next game.