Friday, 19 October 2012

Intermission...

So, while you're eating crisps and drinking your pop...just a word to say 'sorry' to those who have been kind enough to comment on the blog posts.....that you may feel a little ignored. Well, the 'machine' doesn't like me much and as a consequence it doesn't seem to want to let me reply to your kind notes. I don't know what to do to fix it but please be assured that all your comments are much appreciated.

Here is a picture you may enjoy from a previous game.

'Well you didn't leave it in here. Look, just ring it or we'll be late for the war.'  

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Omaha - At Last: The Germans Begin to Crumble

 We've reached the half way point in this scenario and the Germans are crumbling. US Rangers and Infantry are into some positions on the right flank...historically accurate, by the way.

It's taken the Germans 2 solid years of construction to produce the 'Festung Europa' and the Allies one day to crack it.

 It's not over by a long chalk but the writing is on the wall...
 More and more GI's, kit and machinery land (wave four is approaching) and the fifth and biggest assault wave is about to arrive.
 Bunker after bunker is taken out.
 Finally, with support elements ashore, the situation is taken in hand and tactics rather than spontaneous acts take over operational control.
 Tank support....
 Tank dozer clearance...
 Assault engineers....
 ...and a mass of extremely miffed infantry coordinate attacks.
 Heavy fire support is thinning out the German hard points and countering the inland fire support that the enemy has thus far enjoyed.
 The last hurrah for the Germans of halting the onslaught is from piecemeal reinforcements. Here an 'Ost Battalion' without transport or heavy weapons walks toward the beach.

 The sight that meets them is less than encouraging.
 ..and is too late for some.
 There is nowhere to run to...so they fight on.
 despite heavy casualties the Allies come on...
 And I'm running out of casualty markers so I know what I'll be doing this weekend.
Though the end is not really in doubt the scenario has a tight time restriction. It may yet prove to be a numbers game in the end. All three villages need to be in US hands before full time. We'll have to see if the fifth wave provides the impetus necessary to comprehensively break the defensive crust.

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. 

Friday, 5 October 2012

Omaha : Third Wave, Second Thoughts

 At this point in the real battle Gen. Bradley seriously considered calling off the Omaha landing and re-embarking the survivors for a landing on one of the other beaches. This would have left an even bigger gap between the landing areas....so, the third wave was left to its own devices and the battle hung in the balance...

Some make it to the shingle a get what cover they can.
 Some engineer parties work their way up the sand. the scenario rules from the RF D-Day supplement say that a squad of engineers or engineering vehicle getting to the road line will clear a two foot wide section of the beach. That is a seriously good result worth going for as the mines are taking out almost as much  traffic as lands.
 ..and artillery, mortar and MG fire is cutting up the infantry. This officer is the only survivor of the LCVP load.
 Others are doing well...pooling resources and going for nearest targets.
At last, something goes right and a bunker takes a direct bazooka strike.


 The carnage continues.

Wreckage begins to impede movement onto the beach, vision and organisation. Still, if the infantry can co-ordinate local attacks successfully we may yet fulfil the actual days task....getting and staying ashore.

More soon.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Omaha: First Success - Point Du Hoc

The Rangers are beating seven bells out of the German defenders of Point Du Hoc.
Tom's Rangers finest hour....

German groups unable to coordinate against aggressive attackers not letting them disengage...
 Rangers amongst the trench line communications fire and manoeuvre to keep Jerry on the hop.
 Thirty Calibre Browning keeps scurrying Germans moving while Rangers catch up.
 Immediate task to investigate bunker complex.
 ...and cut Germans off from reinforcements...
 ...by pushing to the front of the battery position and blocking road movement.
 German gunners move to counter attack, although it isn't quite clear where the main point of effort of the US attack is coming from.
 60mm mortar sets up...
 Bunkers cleared...

 ...then bypassed to keep up the chase...
 Note the substantial wire. Protection from the front originally, but a hindrance to counter attackers. These enclose substantial mine fields.
 With the counter attack stopped in its tracks resistance from within the complex ends.
 ...survivors retreat...
 Smoke covers moving Rangers...but its all over for the Germans.
 While one Ranger is left baby sitting...
 The rest set up the road block positions...
and wait...

Ranger casualties are high but success is complete.

More follows.