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Monday 25 September 2017

Action at Pont de la Croix

I might have mentioned in an earlier post that one of my favourite wargame books is"Operation Warboard" by Gavin and Bernard Lyall. For a long time I have wanted to try out the scenario in the opening chapter, that sees a small US force being delayed at a bridge before the fictional village of "Pont de la Croix" in Normandy, by an even smaller German force. I decided to use this battle to form the basis for this action.

This map gives an overview of the battlefield:
The German force has been ordered to hold the bridge in case it should be required for a counter attack in the future and if it cannot be held cause as much damage and delay to any attacking force as possible.  As can be seen, a road leads into the village from the northeast, crosses a small bridge over a river that is impassible to vehicles and armour, but can be waded with difficulty by infantry. This is what the wargame table looks like:
Defending the village are two platoons, a company HQ and a single tank. A machine gun is deployed forward in a bunker on the far bank and there is an anti-tank team in the ruined house. There is another undisclosed anti-tank weapon hiding somewhere on the field ( a dice will be thrown to determine whether it is a panzerschreck, a 75mm gun or a light tank destroyer).

The first German platoon is in the area of the Ruined House supporting the declared anti-tank team:
The second platoon is in the area of Red House:
And Company HQ is set up around the Ruined Church, with a machine gun in the Ruined Cafe:
Finally, and most potently, a Panther Tank lurks out of sight behind the church:

The US force consists of a company of three infantry platoons, a recce troop, with machine gun armed jeeps and three Sherman tanks. The company commander looks down the road towards the sleepy village and wonders what, if anything awaits over the bridge:
Following the "Operation Warboard" scenario, the Company Commander orders the recce jeeps forward to check out the village:

This is where my use of the scenario in the book ends, as rather than tearing down the road and across the bridge, the jeeps edge fowards covering each other. As they move the Company Commander orders two of his infantry platoons to move up to the woods on either side of the road; One Platoon on the left, Two Platoon on the right and he holds Three Platoon in reserve.
The jeeps move foward:

They are engaged by a machine gun in the bunker and one jeep is destroyed losing one of the crew; the second crew member takes cover:
The other jeeps hastily pull back, and while the two platoons advance on the woods the US commander calls forward his tanks:

Meanwhile, the German machinegun team in the bunker pulls back, wading across the river, covered by the machine gun on the top story of the Ruined Cafe:
The US Shermans halt and cover the infantry moving towards the woods.

As One Platoon approach the South Wood a hail of bullets come from the tree line and the platoon commander is down:

A brisk firefight develops as the US troops in the open fire into the woods. Meanwhile on the US right flank Two Platoon moves forwards into the North Wood:
The German commander decides to deploy his only tank, the Panther and it begins to rumble up the road towards the Bridge:
At the same time Two Platoon are emerging from the North Wood and decide to bounce the river and get across quickly; however they run into the Panther and a hail of fire from the Ruined House and gardens. Two platoon is decimated:

On the left One Platoon continues to fight the Germans in the wood, slowly grinding them down, when the Germans reveal their undeclared anti-tank weapon. Unfortunately for them it is another Panzerschreck, which fires a round that misses a Sherman on the other side of the road:
He is quickly taken out by combined small arms and tank fire.

 The US Shermans spot the Panther and engage:
One shot hits the Panther, but bounces off. The Panther returns fire and the first Sherman to be hit brews up:
Two Platoon continues to suffer casualties and is forced back into North wood:

As this is going on a second Sherman is struck by a 75mm round from the Panther, and is destroyed:
 The third Sherman wisely pulls back and swings around North Wood to try to get a flank shot against the Panther:

On the left, One Platoon finally clears the South Wood and takes up position along the edge of the river. The US commander is more cautious now having seen what happened to Two Platoon:
Despite this, One Platoon comes under fire from across the river where the German Platoon in the Red House occupies the buildings and gardens,

The US commander orders his reserve, Three Platoon, to cross the river, with One Platoon providing cover:

Three Platoon advance, but suffer casualties and withdraw back over the river:

Meanwhile, on the right flank, Sherman number three has skirted around the North Wood, spots the Panther and takes aim, however, the Panther fires first, but misses. The Sherman fires and a lucky shot enters the tank through the turret ring. The Panther burns up:
Sherman number three begins firing HE rounds into the buildings across the river, supported by the remnants of US Two Platoon:
Over on the left, the Company Commander orders up one of the recce jeeps, which along with the machine guns of One and Two Platoons, as well as the remnants of Three Platoon pours a massive weight of fire onto the Germans in the area of the Red House:
This allows One Platoon to storm across the river:

This time the crossing is succesful as Sherman Three fires into the buildings.

The German commander can see his men being slowly worn down by the tank fire and he has nothing left to take on the Sherman tank as it is out of range of any hand held anti-tank weapons. His right hand platoon is suppressed. He orders a withdrawal. Fighting around Red House continues as the Germans pull back:

Here the battle ends. The Germans withdraw and the US forces halt, having lost two tanks and nearly 50% of their infantry. The battle is a victory for the US, although they could not exploit their win without further reinforcements.

Friday 22 September 2017

Peninsular War 6 - Warrior Miniatures 25mm British Line Infantry

A recently painted British line infantry regiment. This is the fourth British infantry unit. I have some highlanders on the go and will be painting some rifles, which will give me six or seven battalions in total.

Here is the British contingent as painted so far:

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Peninsular War 5 - Black Bob's Boys - Warrior Miniatures British

My Peninsular force will consist of 6-8 British Battalions and a similar number of Spanish. They will be supported by four artilley batteries and 3-4 regiments of cavalry. That should give me enough figures to fight some interesting actions.  The French will have a similar number of troops.

To begin the British I have renovated these two battalions from Major General 'Black Bob' Crauford's Light Division - British Light Infantry:

Peninsular Warriors 4 - Warrior Miniatures Brunswickers

Forming part of my British Peninsular contingent is this battalion of Brunswick infantry.  These are old figures from my original coleection and they have not seen the light of day for several decades. I have simply rebased them and dusted them off:

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Peninsular Warriors 3 - Warrior Miniatures 25mm Napoleonic French Voltigeurs

I bought these figures unpainted on ebay for £2 - they needed a good home. I am pleased with the way they look after a spot of paint has been applied. The ebay lot included four Hinchliffe French and a Warrior Cuirassier. The mounted general in the picture is from my original 1980s collection:

Monday 18 September 2017

Peninsular Warriors 2 - Warrior Miniatures Spanish Napoleonics

Following on from my earlier post here are the other spanish troops:

Line infantry in the later blue uniform: 

Spanish Militia - Regiment Muerte:

Another line infantry regiment in bicornes:
The Spanish army so far: