I then had the idea of playing it out using 1/300 scale figures and the seeds were sown. This is the battle area as laid down in the book:
Here is the table (most of it) laid out prior to the action:
The beach, with obstacles and mines:
The Airborne Operation
My initial thoughts were a parachute drop followed by some gliders, but I then decided to bring in the whole lot by glider. The airborne forces had two tasks. Firstly to capture the bridge and neutralise the bunkers at each end. Second, they were to delay the arrival of German reinforcements. To do this they had three units of infantry and two units of anti-tank guns.
The initial landing went well, with all gliders arriving safely and undetected by the Germans:
The Beach Assault
As would be expected the beach assault begins with a preliminary bombardment by ship mounted guns off the table. The strong points and bunkers are the primary targets:
The first wave consists of tanks and infantry engineers, tasked with breaking through the obstacles and mines. One tank is lost immediately, but the engineers push through and begin clearing mines, covered by tank fire.
The engineers successfully widen the minefield gap, but take heavy casualties from the now fully alert Germans:
Battle for the Bridge
German artillery on the high ground behind the town turns about and begins to shell the airborne forces defending the bridge:
To deal with the German artillery on the heights, the allies launch an air strike, which takes out the guns over two turns:
The Germans come close to retaking the forward strong points:
But, soon come under fire from tanks and infantry newly arrived on the beach, who take heavy casualties themselves from the 88mm beyond the road:
What a nice way to spend a bank holiday!