Sunday, 1 May 2011

'The Battle of Bloody Gulch': 13th June, 1944. After-Action Report

As in reality, the Americans moved off from their start points, only to find the Axis forces moving up to meet them. The close terrain meant that the German Half-Tracks were forced to use the only road, leaving them vulnerable to attack from ahead or either flank.
 The above picture shows the battlefield from the German point of view. Below is the American initial deployment.

 The advancing Germans come under desultory fire from an American mortar unit, who are soon silenced by exceptionally accurate LMG fire from the advancing half-tracks.

The Americans push on with their planned envelopment of the attacking enemy forces. However, the Germans manage to form cohesive firing lines and push back the attempted encirclement.

Due to exceptionally, and unexpectedly, accurate fire, the Paras are forced to break off and retreat to Carentan to await further reinforcements from the beach-head.

Verdict: Not really a representative game, due to particularly 'spawny get' dice-rolling on my behalf. We thought the vehicles were a bit too good (possibly due to Mr G's appalling luck!). Overall, though, a fun game.

'The Battle of Bloody Gulch': 13th June, 1944

"When the 101st Airborne entered the town of Carentan on June 12, 1944 (D-Day + 6) after heavy fighting on the two previous days, they met relatively light resistance. The bulk of the surviving German defenders (from the 6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment) had withdrawn to the southwest the previous night after a heavy Allied naval and artillery bombardment. Both sides realized the importance of the city: for the Americans, it was a link between Utah Beach and Omaha Beach, and would provide a base for further attacks deeper into German-occupied France. For the Germans, recapturing Carentan would be the first step towards driving a wedge between the two U.S. landing beaches, and possibly destroying or severely disrupting the Allied invasion.

The remnants of the 6th Fallschirmj√§ger resupplied and were reinforced by assault guns and panzergrenadiers of the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division on the night of June 12–13. The combined force counterattacked northeast towards Carentan at dawn on June 13, just as the 506th and 501st PIR were attacking southwest to enlarge the American defensive perimeter around the town. The 506th took the brunt of the attack, and by 10:30 a.m., the outnumbered and outgunned paratroopers were pushed almost back to the outskirts of the city..."

Our planned game for this afternoon will cover a small portion of this pivotal action. The mysterious Mr G will be using his American Paras (501st), and I'll be using Panzergrenadiers (17th SS). We'll be using the Disposable Heroes rules, with the 'Engagements' section of the Battlefield Evolution: World at War rules to set the objectives. Below is a map of the actual battle.

I think we'll focus on the lower section of the battle, where the road to Periers crosses the infamous 'Hill 30'. Of course, we'll have to contract the size to fit the proportions of a 6x4 table, but should be an exciting game.