Secure the flank
This a re-write of a scenario I wrote which was published in Miniature Wargames 242, way back in June 2003.
It is mid November 1944, elements of the US 12th Armoured Division are attempting to force passage through one of the narrow valleys through the High Vosges Mountains.
Intelligence thinks the Germans still have armoured reserves in the area of Blamont and have pointed to the village of Raon-l`Etape with its solid stone bridge over fast flowing Meurthe River as a possible direction for a German spoiling counter-attack!
Game one - seizing the bridge
A composite task force is assigned to seize and hold the vital bridge at Roan-l`Etape to prevent its use by the Germans.
You command elements of 92nd Cavalry Group, your orders are simple - this is an old fashion cavalry raid - hit them hard and fast, seize your objective, then hand it over to holding elements from the 397th Infantry Regiment. Once the infantry arrive your mission is complete and you are to return to Division for your next assignment.
The 397th personnel are then to dig-in and secure the bridge (and 12th Armoured`s flank).
Table looking towards the US entry
looking from the US side
Bridge and village
Abbe d` Raon-l`Etape
"A" & "B" troops each with:
1 x M8, 1 x jeep w/radio, 1 x jeep w/.50cal
2 x armd infantry platoons each with:
10 men (BAR, rifle grenade) carried in halftrack
Lt tank platoon
2 x M5
Off table support
A battery of M4 HTMC 81mm mortars have been allocated to you for this mission.
You area a company commander with 2nd Battalion, 553rd Infantry Regiment. You and your command have orders to dig-in and hold the vital stone bridge over the Meurthe river at Roan-l`Etape. The situation is fluid, but American forces are believed to be south of you around the town of St. Benoit. Your battalion commander informed you last night a battle-group from 2nd Panzer Division is to make a spoiling attack into the US flank later today, your job is simple hold the bridge open for their use at all costs.
CO, telephonist, NCO, 3 runners
2 platoons each with:
10 men (LMG, panzerfaust)
Pak 97/38 plus crew
Off table support
Battalion have placed an FOO in Abbe d`Roan-`Etape, he can call up to 4 turns of 120mm mortar fire (2 tubes)
Turns 1-2 sees the US recce advance towards the bridge like cavalry of old
Turn 3 a concealed Panzerfaust fails its roll to hold fire and the nervous grenadier fires on the lead Jeep - BOOM!!
Turn 4 both sides call in mortars (successfully), the Yanks call their onto the ruined farm on their side of the river. The Germans onto the cluster of US vehicles parked on the road. The first salvos cause little or no casualties
Turn 5 The farmhouse is creamed by several direct hits and machine gun fire from M5 and M8s, casualties result in the German first platoon morale breaking! The German return fire destroys the radio jeep of the second US sabre troop!
Turn 6 with the ruin cleared, the first M5 leads the advance onto the bridge it is immediately engaged by the Pak97/38 - a miss!
Turn 7 the M5 reverses back off the bridge out of sight, the Pak97/38 fires at the second M5 which had moved right along the river bank - another miss! The gun is spotted and the Yanks call down their mortars. The 1st US platoon dismounts and moves towards the bridge.
Turn 8 The first US platoon moves forward to take the lead over the bridge, the US mortars bracket the Pak (which due to bad positioning can`t see anything to shoot at - d`oh!). The German FOO calls down accurate mortar fire onto the US vehicles across the bridge claiming a half-track!
Turn 9 the two US platoons start moving over the bridge, M5s and M8s providing cover fire using their 37mm and machine guns. The US mortars continue to bracket the Pak.
Turns 10 - 12 US covering fire eliminates various German defenders and the mortars finally nail the gun. The US infantry cross over and occupy the first couple of buildings. On turn 12 the first M5 also crosses over.
Turns 13 - 15 the US light armour crosses over and the remaining German defenders withdraw.
With the village and bridge secure the holding infantry are called up, they dig in and the cavalry return to their division for their next assignment.