Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Omaha - Tipping Point

Generals plan, field officers point the way, junior officers lead, NCO's shepherd and kick backsides but the infantryman carries the fight across the last 30 metres. This battle, like battles before and since, belongs to the infantryman.  With the sea at his back and the enemy to the front his choices are somewhat limited. But he must have more local victories that his enemy or lose the day. This war-game recreation of Omaha has reached the tipping point that must have come at some stage on the actual day.

From their point of view elements of the 352nd Infantry Division could see, and no doubt feel, the huge weight of materiel superiority coming to its front
 Their efforts tested their nerves every bit as much as their opponents. They were severely out numbered, pinned in place within fixed defences...
 ...and getting worn down.
 The subsequent waves of Americans brought Navy fire control teams to the beaches and HQ elements to reinforce local control lost in the devastating initial interlocking fire plans of the defenders. The crucial intervening time was heavily reliant on enough infantrymen keeping their heads and doing the job as the junior officers and NCO's could muster from the mess.
 Some boat loads run for the cover of the slightly rising shingle...
 ...and some never make it.
 But the Germans are hurting.
 In our scenario, against all the odds, it looks like this lone Sherman might make it out of the mine field. Germans usually only marked the rear of their own mine fields for their own men. White for 'clear' and 'red' not.
 Big stuff now screams in from the sea to tip the scales
 It's more than plastic can stand!
 Dozer to speed up mine clearance...
 Tanks may be blind on three sides and completely deaf but that's no comfort to this lot.
 Far Western defend post crumbles under infantry and tank action

 Wire or not, they have to be close to take out the bunkers
 Bit of a Mexican stand-off...

The view through Vierville from the direction any German reinforcements must come...

Next time, more and perhaps pivotal, close quarter encounters...will history repeat itself? We shall see. 

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