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Tuesday, 20 August 2019

A Clash of Steel - WW2 Western Desert

I fancied a quick tank on tank battle and thought I would give my Roco and BPM tanks an outing.

The scenario is that the British are defending a low ridge with anti-tank guns and 25pdrs dug in across the high ground. They have 2 x 25pdr, 2 x 2pdr and one 6pdr anti-tank gun units. In support is an tank regiment with Matildas, as well as two squadrons of Crusaders and a single squadron of newly arrived Grant tanks.

The Germans, whose task it is to capture the ridge, have six companies of Panzer IIIs and IVs. Notably one company is equipped with the long barrelled Panzer IV F2.

Dawn; the Germans begin their advance:
The 25 pdrs open up and a Panzer III goes up in smoke:
The Germans make their first move on the British right flank:
But the 6 pdr knocks out another German tank, a Pz IV D:
The Germans try to knock out the British anti-tank guns without success.

On the other flank, however, the Germans successfully engage and destroy on of the 25pdrs:

On the British left flank Crusader tanks rush towards the advancing Germans and fire into the sides of the slower German tanks:
A major tank battle begins on the British left and in the beginning the British Crusaders cause considerable damage:

Then, the German Panzer IV F2s enter the fray and soon the tide turns against the British Crusaders:
A Stug III advances and is quickly destroyed:
But, the German armour outclasses the Crusaders and soon they are overwhelmed:
On the British right flanks some of the Matildas rumble forward firing at the Germans, but their shells cannot penetrate the frontal armour of the German tanks. The Germans do not have this problem:
Although one Matilda gets a shot into the side of a Panzer III, destroying it:
The Germans push forward up onto the ridge and a mass of tanks fire at the anti-tank guns, destroying two more positions:
Meanwhile on the British left flank the F2s finish off the remaining Crusaders:
With the defence of the ridge crumbling, the Crusader squadrons destroyed and the Matildas taking a battering, the British commander decides to commit his Grants, and they begin to move forwards onto and left of the ridge, engaging one of the F2s, with devastating effect:

The Germans return fire but miss and the Grants take out a Panzer III:
And a second F2 loses a duel with the third Grant:
The Matildas too score a hit on a Panzer III and suddenly it is all over. The Germans are beaten off the ridge and having lost well over 50% of their tanks they must withdraw:

An excellent game that could have gone either way. The Crusaders sold themselves dearly and swung the action in favour of the British, with Grants delivering the coup de gras!



  1. Lovely game. When I look at Grants, I often wonder how that 75mm worked so well from a gun laying point of view! It all looks so awkward.

    1. The Grant is an odd looking beast, almost like a WW1 tank. I never really saw the point of the upper 37mm gun either.

  2. A splendid game. So nice seeing those older models in action on the tabletop. What rules did you choose to use?

    1. Hi Peter. I used my own rules, which are based upon Grant's 'Battle' rules, but adapted for a hex based table. You can find them under 'Tank Rules' in the labels to the side.