The Battle at Collecchio
With the Brazilians in Italy April 26 -
27, 1945 by Richard Baber
Game 1 – The Brazilians Assault Collecchio
I laid our my plan for a couple of games based on this
late war action in an earlier post and suggest anyone reading this refers to that piece
for a more complete background.
For the first game I
decided to concentrate on the evening attack by 5th company (II/11th
infantry) and 2nd company (I/6th infantry) supported by the US tanks. The
Brazilians had none of their organic artillery present due to a tactical
decision where the artillery transport had been utilised as infantry transport
to assist the divisions speed and movement during this final pursuit phase in
the occupation of Northern Italy. I allowed Lt. mortars from the other dug in
companies to be used in support of the attacking units.
Company, II Battalion, 11th Infantry
HQ – CO, RTO, NCO, 3 runners
– 10 man platoons (1 BAR)
platoon - .30cal, Bazooka, 60mm mortar (10 men)
5th Company above
Elements US 751st Tank Battalion
– M4 Sherman (75)
mortar support fire
Elements 90th Panzergrenadier Div.
Sdkfz 232 armoured car
– CO, 2IC, FOO, 2 X RTO, NCO, 4 runners, sniper, medical unit
- weak 8 man platoons (including – 3 LMGs, 3 Panzerfaust)
– 1 panzershreck team (1D3 rockets), 1 Pak97/38 & crew, 1 88mm Flak &
turns of 105mm artillery (2 guns)
turns of 81mm mortar (2 tubes)
Some soft skinned transport is scattered through the town, short on fuel.
Brazilian orders are to clear the town, the Germans are trying to stop the Brazilian advance southwards.
Even though I knew there were no Germans I deployed a couple of platoons to check out ruined factory buildings.
In the town the German defenders waited
On turn 3 the German FOO called down artillery on the leading Brazilian company, luckily for the Brazilians it fell short
advance continued through turns 4 and 5, even though the Germans continued to throw
shells, the Brazilians remained amazingly unharmed!!
turn 5 they did however received small arms fire and took a couple of
casualties from a MG42 by the church. The supporting Shermans fired on any
spotted positions causing casualties themselves.
Turns 6 to 9 saw the Brazilians with their armoured support moving forward against stiff opposition within the outskirts of the town. Even though the German defenders had good positions, once they exposed themselves to fire the Shermans opened up with their 75s and the Brazilians plastered the buildings with .30cal, BAR & rifle grenades.
Turn 8 saw the Brazilian platoon on the far right (1st platoon of 5th company) crossing more open ground towards a farm, they came under small arms fire and took casualties. Luckily the FOO for the off table 60mm mortars was close by and called in fire against the two shacks.
turn 9 one shack was hit, a role for effect was devastating killing all inside!
10 the first German line collapses, survivors break and run! On the Brazilian right
the 60mm mortars drive out the remaining defenders of the farm shacks! On the left
the platoon there (3rd of 2nd Company) clears the graveyard
and moves to clear the church.
11 in the centre 2nd Company get hit from dug in Germans across the
park, an Sdkfz 232 adds its 20mm fire to the mix causing further casualties.
armoured car is immediately spotted and knocked out by a Sherman!
12 2nd Company go to ground under heavy German fire, but the German
position is wiped out by several HE hits from various supporting Shermans!
right the lead Sherman supporting 5th Company is fired on by a
concealed Pak 97/38 (miss)
Turn 13 the Sherman supporting 2nd company continue to blast the area around where the German machine guns were.
causes more casualties among that German platoon and causes a morale check!
the right the Sherman engages the AT gun, which fires again and hits but fails
to penetrate! The Sherman is bang on and wipes out the gun……
14 2nd and 5th Companies continue their push into the
town. The German platoon across the park having suffered 50% casualties breaks
15 2nd and 5th companies push forward, some Germans are
still hidden among the houses and cause casualties.
the far right 1st platoon of 5th Company finds more
German in the buildings across the road from the farm, luckily they have a
Bazooka team attached and decide to engage the buildings with it.
16 a Panzershreck scores a hit on one of the Sherman supporting 2nd
from 2nd company destroy a shack killing all the defenders
the far right the Bazooka goes to work
17 – 19 With the Shermans somewhat reluctant to advance into close terrain with
Panzershrecks around the infantry are forced to clear houses one by one, they
have good results but do take casualties.
20 members of 5th Company approaching the square get a nasty shock
when an 88 opens up with HE
Turns 21-23 The 88 continues to blast away at anything visible, this shot on the inn caused the death of 1st platoons CO!
Shermans now with a cleared path move forward and give fire support to 2nd
company on the left, destroying a couple of German emplacements.
24 a brave Sherman commander (a successful heroic test) orders his crew to move
against the 88. The 88 is surprised and misses the tank, which in turn nails
its deadly opponent!
With most of their infantry dead, captured or running and all the guns destroyed, I think this is a good place to call time.