Relentless Pursuit Part 2
Southern France 3rd September 1944
This follows directly on from the last game, the 117th Cavalry have over-run Montreval, capturing or killing most of the Germans in and around the supply depot, though some did flee north out of the village or in the surrounding hills.
Now the 117th deploys to fulfil its mission to block the route through the village against retreating elements of the German 19th Army
The table remains as before, except for burning vehicles from earlier.
117th Cavalry Group
All trained with good morale
Lt. Col. Charles Hodge
Radio half-track – 2 officers, NCO, 2 RTO, 2 riflemen
2 Jeeps – officer, NCO, RTO, 3 men
3 Recon troops (less casualties) with:
1 Jeep w/ .50cal) – NCO, 3 men
Dodge 6x6 - 6 men (Bazooka)
2 jeeps (one with .50 cal) officer, NCO, RTO, 3 men
Dodge 6x6 – 8men (BAR, Bazooka)
Jeep w/.50cal NCO, 2 men
Dodge 6x6 – 7 men (BAR, Bazooka)
1 x M5 lt tank
11th Panzer battle-group
Veteran with good morale
SDKFZ222 armoured car
Sdkfz 250/9 armoured car
Sdkfz 232 armoured car
Sdkfz 233 armoured car
12-man recce infantry platoon carried in 2 Sdkfz 250 half-tracks (2 LMG, 2 Panzerfaust)
Recce Swimwagon – officer, RTO, Driver
2 x Panzer IVH, 1 x Panther
1 platoon of panzer grenadiers carried in an Sdkfz 251 (10-men LMG, Panzerfaust)
1 platoon of panzer pioneers carried in a Sdkfz 251/7 (flamethrower)
Wesp SP 105mm battery (can be directed by the recce swimwagon)
The US can call an airstrike on a roll of 5-6 (1D6) which will arrive 1d3+1 turns later –
A single P47 carry 2 50lbs bombs
If this action lasts more than 20 turns, the US receive reinforcements (again from the south along the same road)
Elements of 45th Infantry Division
Experienced with good morale
Radio half-track, Jeep – CO, 2IC, officer, NCO, 2 x RTO
2 x rifle companies in trucks each with:
HQ – officer, RTO, NCO, driver
3 platoons – 10 men (BAR)
Support platoon - .30cal, 60mm mortar, bazooka plus crews
Sherman company – 3 tanks
2 x 105mm batteries (can be directed by battalion or company HQs)
Looking north toward the village
The US commander deployed “B” troop supported by the last M5 at the southern end of the village, “C” troop covered the back road, with their M8 and the M8 HMC hidden in flanking positions among the trees off to the right. “A” troop dug in in the centre of the village, they dismounted the .50cal off their Jeep as part of their defensive position. The HQ troop occupied the village square, the HQ was set up in the same building used by the Germans! The HQ personnel also had to deploy a couple of men to guard their prisoners, they dismounted a .30cal off a Jeep to add to general firepower along with the M20s .50cal. The Radio connection to 7th Army could call upon a flight of P47s, but no artillery support is available.
German prisoners under guard
German observer team
Trying out my new artillery grid
The German shells find their mark
The Panzers open up on the former Field police building, in the process wiping out a US ambush team
On the left the recce encounter the US armoured screen, there is an exchange of fire 37mm and 75mm, the M8 is knocked out!
The M8 HMC backs up but continues to fire at the oncoming German recce (awful dice rolling), the SDKFZ 233 doesn`t miss
On the road, the M5 (seen here in the foreground) tries to lure the lead Panzer IV into a bazooka ambush
The Panzer IVs take the bait and move forward to engage the M5 (they both miss)The Bazooka team doesn`t
The next turn the 2nd panzer hoses the hedge-line with its machine guns, wiping out the Bazooka team, but firing simultaneous the bazooka team scores again!
At this point the Panther followed by the Panzer pioneers move off down the back road to link up with the recce units which have overwhelmed that flank. The Panzergrenadier platoon dismounts and moves slowly up the main street keeping pressure on the Yanks, who with their right totally smashed begin to withdraw.
Panther & engineersPanzergrenadiers German recce moving onto the US right
Over the next couple of turns the Panther and recce armoured cars have a field day blasting retreating US vehicles and men.
“A” troops M8 blows upHQ troops M20 goes the same way
The forward German elements get within sight of the US HQ
Just when it looks as if the US survivors won`t get away, a P47 arrives and bombs the Germans (destroying the Panther) and stalls their advance allowing the US survivors to scrabble onto anything moving and escape north.
Game played out pretty much as it did historically except the US dig more damage to 11th Panzer, although in the actual battle they did knockout a Panther. Also in the actual engagement no close air support was available as the US advance had moved outside the range of bases in Italy and Sicily and at the time the allies had no working airstrips in Southern France.