While the Allied Invasion consolidates it’s foothold on Europe, the 12 SS Division lead a charge against Sword beach in an attempt to further divide the Allied forces.

No Retreat!

So, history went out the window with the roll of a dice.

Despite the initiative advantage the Allies have throughout the Firestorm: Caen campaign I managed to win the initiative for the first battle of the round, and decided to make a counter attack on Sword Beach in an attempt to divide the Allied beach further and cut off the 7th & 8th Armored Brigades from supply.

However, this was going to be a battle and half. As one would expect, Sword beach is heavily defended, and three extra Panzers are less helpful when your opponent is getting 5.5″ Guns, Naval Support, and Rifle platoon for free. None-the-less, I figured given I the Axis are largely going to be on the defensive, the gamble was worth the risk.

Knowing I was going to be up against a lot of BIG artillery guns, I opted for an Infantry Company.

German Grenadierkompanie

  • Grenadierkompanie HQ
    – CinC SMG, 2iC SMG  both with Panzerknacker SMG upgrades
  • Grenadier Platoon – Command Rifle/MG, 6x Rifle/MG
  • Grenadier Platoon – Command Rifle/MG, 6x Rifle/MG
  • Grenadier Machine-gun Platoon – Command SMG, 4x MG34 HMG& Command Panzerknacker SMG
  • Grenadier Mortar Platoon – Command SMG, 3x Observer Rifle, 6x 8cm GW34 mortar
  • Grenadier Anti-tank Gun Platoon – Command SMG, 3x 7.5cm PaK40 gun
  • Pioneer Platoon – Command Pioneer Rifle, 9x Pioneer Rifle
  • Grenadier Assault Gun Platoon – 2x StuG G

Fire Storm Troops

  • 12 SS Panzer Platoon 3x Panzer IV H

We used an online dice roller during the week to determine the scenario which rolled a 6 meaning my opponent got to select the scenario, and chose “No Retreat” on the day of the game. It seemed somewhat fitting given the territory at stake, and he had brought a paratrooper company to the party. The Allies were dug in, and going to be tough to winkle out.

Taking photo’s while standing on a chair and holding the camera slightly above eye level always produces varied results, but here we can see the PBI have started their advance, with HMGs moving up to the building, and infantry moving up behind the tanks, and the hill on the opposite side of the table. PaK40’s hold the flank against any armored flanking attempts. Behind that big pine tree on the left sits our closest objective, a fuel dump.

The  Grenadiers begin their advance
The Grenadiers begin their advance

From here on ensured a long haul across open fields while under heavily artillery bombardment. For the most part I got off lucky, and lost a couple of pioneer teams and a StuG. The attack was stalled while one platoon was pinned by artillery, and the second reluctant to walk into the ranged in zone. The HMG’s made cover and started to lay down a hail of covering fire, and the PaK40’s, with no other viable targets pounded the observers in the furthest building along to top of the picture.

mid game
The mid-game turning point

So far so good, but with reinforcements closing in, the assault on the object had to get going. Here, the plan fell apart.  Turn after turn the Allies saw off the assaults of three different infantry platoons. When the Grenadiers finally made close combat, they were defeated and fell back under more artillery fire.

Over bar the shouting
All over bar the shouting

With two platoons destroyed, the pioneers down to 1/3rd their original strength, all my armor gone, and fresh Allied reinforcements a turn away, I conceded the field to the Allies. With such a heavy defeat it came as no surprise to me the 12 SS were destroyed and return to Reserves.

The Allies also chose to exploit the Caumont Gap, with the game rules allowing an immediate charge down the Western flank to Villers-Bocage. This game and another battle will be resolved at the club tomorrow night, so tune is about Wednesday for another update. Here’s the current map.

Map after the first battle of Operation Perch.