Monday, 16 July 2018

Bovvy '18 - El Alamein campaign weekend

Battlegroup South has been and gone for 2018, another top weekend down in Dorset at the Tank Museum (once you have fought the traffic). This year we played the campaign weekend using the Torch book, 1942 lists for some desert-action. Three games over Sat and Sunday, each 500 points. Time to get out my DAK and get some sand in my boots.

I pre-planned three lists for the three scenarios chosen for each round of games. The first was Defence Line, with the Axis dug-in - the initial Allied attack. The second would be the Axis response with an attack/counter-attack scenario. The final game, on Sunday morning, would be the Axis in retreat, defending in a Delaying Action. A neat little narrative of games, the work of our campaign organiser, Andy Tutton.

Game 1 was against Mark van der Born’s Brits, who made good use of an SAS jeep team and LRDG team to start behind my dug-in defences and, starting turn 1, jump me, assaulting my HMG dig-out in a blaze SMG fire and grenades. It was a close game, his 25 pdr timed strikes hammering my trench lines (my counter-battery fire stopped one). The RAF also turned up on turn 1, bombing my positions and costing me an anti-tank gun… a horrible start. I did recover somewhat, trying to fire-fight the SAS teams behind me… and my artillery started to cause his approaching Shermans some pinning issues. My MGs managed to hit and damage the circling Kittyhawk. But, in the end, when his 3” mortar bombs started landing, he squeaked home… using tactical co-ordination to good effect to get his SAS back in the fight with their twin-pintle-mounted MG jeep (that thing kicks out firepower!). A narrow Allied win (by just 2 BR points) and a memorable fight (especially for the SAS/LRDG sneak attack).

Here is my force list:

Comms relay team            15    0-r    comms re-roll
Wir Sind Rommels Soldaten        15    +D6

Schutzen Platoon (vets)        134    15-v    off

FO Team                23    1-v    off, art spotter+
2 105mmL28 guns            90    0    off-table

20” Trenches                20    0    3+
3 Minefields                30    0
20” booby-trapped barbed wire    15    0   
HMG Dug-out                32    1-r    3+

sniper                    10    1-v    sniper scout

Pzjager battery + tows        70    4-v    restricted

PRTP                    20    0
Timed Stuka strike            15    0    1 lg, 4 small bombs
1 counter-battery fire mission        10    0    4+

Totals                    499    22+D6    (6)    2 offs, 1 scouts


Next game was to be against another of our Dutch visitors Rogier. It would be a tank-brawl. He brought Crusaders and Grants, to face my Pz II, IIIs and the single Pz IV F2. This went the distance (14 turns I think), both seemingly unable to hit with AP fire, or unable to penetrate when we did, except my F2, which scored 4 Crusader kills (after a resupply). Still, neither of us were that close to breaking when my 250/3 took off across the table towards the last far objective (I already had 3 thanks to my Kradschutzen squad). It was pursued by a Daimler armoured car, 2 pdr frantically targeting it. It missed and then, luckily for me, ran out of ammo. My 250 took the objective, machine-gunning his single sniper holding it, to win the game on all objectives seized. Another fun battle, with a lot of KO’d armour by the end. I even emptied a Pz II of 20mm ammo… some doing (all long range suppressing fire at enemy tanks). My resupply truck earned his wages too, resupply 4 tanks on my side. The British lack of supply truck started to hurt him by the end.

Pz III (J) lang Platoon            150     9-r    off, mortar spotter
Pz III 2 x H, 1 x G Platoon        118    9-r    off, mortar spotter
Pz II Platoon                65    6-r    off, mortar spotter   
Pz IV F2                56    3-r    (restricted)       

FHQ in SdKfz 250/3            32    3-v    sen off, arty spot
SdKfz 222                20    1-r    scout, mortar spot

Kradschutzen squad            34    3-v    6+3
Supply truck                8    1-r    resupply

Timed Stuka strike            15    0    1 lg, 4 small bombs

Totals                    498    35    4 off, 1 scout


Final, on Sunday, I’d be facing an old nemesis (and lovely man), Graham Baylis, whom I have played twice at campaign weekend and lost both times. Time for some measure of revenge! Graham has been to all the BG campaign weekends (a stalwart) and learn the rule well over the past years. He knows a few tricks now and likes to reserve move a lot. Ambush fire then!

The Brit's attack started with them driving straight towards my three minefields, before his leading Daimler drove into it. 'Err... that’s a minefield marker’ I explained. Graham hadn’t realised… and suddenly his whole attack plan (advance straight at the big minefield) had to be abandoned (no engineers to clear it). The Brits all reversed away and swung right across the table, to attack into the open ground (covered by my waiting 88 and 25 pdr). At the back, my panzers lurked on ambush fire, as a second line. I was simply playing for time, as the Brits only had 9 turns to break me or lose the game.  The ‘Oh, it’s a minefield!’ mistake cost the Brits at least 3-4 turns. Highlight for me was a an M3 Honey rolling over my buried 500 lb bomb and going into orbit.

The minefield delay cost Graham the game really… he did get going, knocked out both my big guns (both rolled 1 for morale tests and the gunners fled - rubbish!), but my tanks held him up long enough… so by turn 9, I was still fighting and it was an automatic victory to my DAK. Delaying action successful, the others would now get away back to Libya.

My third force list:

Wir Sind Rommels Soldaten        15    +D6

3 minefields                30    0
Buried 500 lb bomb            10    0

Schutzen squad +AT gren        33    3-r
Schutzen squad            28    3-r

2 x AT dug-outs            40    0    3+ cover
88mL56 + loader team        65    3-v     (restricted) in dug-out
Captured 25 pdr + loader team    51    2-r    (restricted) in dug-out

Pz III (J) lang Platoon            150     9-r    off, mortar spotter
Pz IV F2                56    3-r    (restricted)       

Timed 150mm barrage        20    0    4 guns

Totals                    498    23+D6    (5)    1 off, 0 scouts


It was a top weekend, along with some light retail therapy (fresh stowage and bits and bobs) with the show traders and a few good chats (and many questions about BG NorthAG's progress). Thanks to all those that came to play BG, Andy T for organising, Matt T as best Axis player (3 wins with his Italians) and Nick P as the best of British. Well done the Brits who won the campaign overall, 21-11 in victory points. Now, it is on to Tunisia for them… I look forward to next year, when a BG Blitzkrieg weekend is planned. Might be time to paint some Belgians.

Here are a few shots (not many, I was busy) of the tables, forces, games, etc.



 Sneaky SAS jeep team behind me in game 1, stole an objective then unleashed hell for twin-pintle-mounted MGs. 

 Table 4...

 Table 5... the Mosque. Scene of my tank-clash.

 Table 1... desert hillocks to defend in game 1.

 Table 2. Scene of a heroic Italian defence of the compound in their first game. 

Will's (from PSC), Italian armoured force, narrow defeated in game 2 after a epic come-back (he was in big trouble after the first few turns).  

 The RAF show up again in my game 2... I was dogged by air power, no sign of the Luftwaffe though.

My Pz IIs do sterling work with 20mm cannon pinning... allowing my Pz IIIs to close for killing shots (well, that was the plan). 

Round the other side of the Mosque, the other British pincer, ran into a F2 'special' which worked them over (despite being immobilised by wear and tear)

My DAK tanks fight to get out of the corner after some rubbish reserve rolls... no Panzer Marsch in 1942... (who wrote these rules!).

Rocky desert jebel... table 6. 

Matt T's winning Italians, the backbone of the Axis efforts... 






Monday, 2 July 2018

Engagement at Jebel Mayouf

This was meeting engagement scenario (we randomly rolled Recce Screen, but only after we’d picked forces),  for Battlegroup: Torch, set in 1942, somewhere in the deep deserts of Egypt. It would be an Ariete armoured battlegroup vs a British armoured battlegroup, 750 points aside.

I had planned to go with an infantry force, using both my infantry platoons (one has not yet seen action), but realised that the 'Mobile Warfare' rule meant I’d need trucks for them all, and I don’t have the models (hoisted on own rules petard), so I reverted to an armoured list. I’d go with smallish force, but well-supported by off-table guns and additional fire support. That would eat into my BR total, but make C and C easier, with only 3 officers in this sized force, it would be tight anyway.

The heart of the force was a motor rifle platoon and its supporting Vickers and AT rifle team, with the 3 M3 Grants. The gunnery support was the FOO in his carrier, along with off-table 3” mortars (lots of spotters for them) and 4.5” guns, with a PRTP, 2 counter battle fire missions and a 2nd priority request (aided by dispatch rider) for a big-gun stonk when I had a suitable target. A Kittyhawk timed air strike would help too, for the free counter inflicted. I also had a towed 25 pdr and loader tma as a stand-in ST gun (no 6 pdr model). Hopefully, I’d be able to pound the Italians with all that firepower, keep him well pinned and use my Grants to bully his little tanks.

For recce I had three scouts: a sniper and 2 Humber IIs (first outing for these models, so obviously doomed). Other stuff included the CO in his staff car, a signals Dorchester to keep those guns firing, a supply truck, a repair truck and a Bofors for AA cover. That was about it… small 'all-rounder' of a force with a bit of everything.

The Italians, well there was a lot of them, a reinforced Bersaglieri platoon with supporting weapons, including a 47mm AT gun. An M41 tank platoon, a Semoventa platoon, four scouts (motorcycle squad, motorcycle HMG team, Autoblinda armoured car and a skulking Auto-Sahariana team). For gunnery, he had off-table 105s, a 90mm portee’d AA gun (big gun!) and change (supply truck, signals truck etc). Also,a timed Stuka strike (always has at least 1 timed air attack - hence the Bofors).

The initial recce screen turns (just 2) were uneventful, as both sides got into position and/or on ambush fire and my sniper pinned his HMG team up the Jebel’s rocks with some accurate suppressing fire to keep their heads down. My Humbers split up, one holding an objective on the my left on the end of the ‘little jebel’. The other had the ‘big jebel’ under observation for signs of Italian movement and called in a few harassing mortar stonks.

The reinforcements began to roll in (well trickle), as we both rolled low for these - stretching out the game. 1, 2 or maybe, if lucky, 3 units a turn was the norm… this made for a odd battle, with neither side being able to mass much combat power in one place. With the two jebels blocking lines of sight, it became rather cagey,and there were basically two Mexican stand-offs around the hills, me one side, the Italians the other, with both waiting for the units and orders to get an attack moving (mostly in vain). I rolled terrible for orders (2, 4, 4, 5, good grief!), meaning to get units in the battle I had to sacrifice my artillery (all those points doing very little).

The turns passed quickly, the Italian attack building slowly on my left, at the ‘little jebel’, now reinforced with one M3 Grant, and the first infantry to de-buss from their trucks (which then withdrew). The Auto-Sahariana called in artillery fire, got a wild result and shelled themselves (the first of about 6 or 7 wild artillery shots in the game - the Italians shelling their own units due to ‘Rounds on the Way’, 3 times! - mostly pinning themselves).

As the two side skirmished, my other 2 M3 tanks drove up the central valley for the objective in the centre of the table. I figured they’d be able to take most Italian AP shells frontally (and kept the rocks between them and that 90mm AA - which they could not hope to survive). It sort of worked, 1 M3 was pinned then abandoned after multiple 47mm AP hits… tsk! But the REME truck rolled up and a few turns later they were rolling again (I foxed a dead tank, first time in years!).

My 4.5” guns finally got going on the PRTP, but the nearby rocks proved amazing cover for his anti-tank gun… and I was mostly just making dust (on which, we rolled 12 for desert cloud so it didn’t figure until the very end).

The Italians were manoeuvring beyond the Jebel Mayouf, bring up their three Semoventas and more Bersaglieri in trucks. I was waiting on the far side on Ambush fire, with my portee’d 2 pdr, deployed 25 pdr in AT role, Bofors gun, sniper, a rifle section and a Humber. The 25 pdr and loader team was waiting to blast his armour (I had taken it as a stand-in AT gun, as I don’t have a 6 pdr model - one to add I think). The stand-off continued. A timed Stuka strike did try to bomb me, but the Bofors was ready and drove it off - hurrah! My own Kittyhawk swooped in but its bombs didn’t hit much except sand. Enemy took a chit though.

At the ‘little jebel’ I had seen off the first Italian probe, motorcycle troops had routed after a 3” mortar hit, and the M3 Grant had KO’d a distant M41, but more troops were massing, more infantry, a little 47mm Semoventa was being pain, pinning my Grant with AP fire and refusing to die when my AT rifle team hit it twice. I lost my rifle section to incoming 105s (finally vaguely on-target), which my counter-battery mission failed to stop. My second Humber had been immobilised by a breakdown counter, but at least it was on the objective.

The battle had sort of reached stalemate, nether side willing to push forwards much… exchanging artillery  and mortar fire and waiting. The dust thickened, so with ranges now cut and it harder to see, we figured it was time to get on with it. I pushed my M3 Grants onto the centre objective. My 4.5” guns finally destroyed his 47mm AT in the rocks (that took some pounding) and the last objective on the table was suddenly free. My two Grants could get there in a turn’s movement and win the game for me - too tempting.

I went for it, but was instantly thwarted. The first Grant was pinned by ambush flanking 20mm Breda fire from the lurking Autoblinda armoured car, the second was hit in the side by the 47mm Semoventa and KO’d (for the second time). At the same time, a pulled Low Ammo chit was played on my 25 pdr and a 6 rolled. The gun, loader team and quad all withdrew! Argh! It was a turning point… suddenly the cagey Semoventas moved up onto Jebel Mayouf and opened fire, lacking any real AP power my line was now vulnerable. The portee’d 2 pdr truck was hit by HE shells and destroyed… my infantry were pinned and the blazing 15mm Besa on the Humber was little help. My right flank was collapsing.

In the centre it didn’t go much better. My pinned Grant was targeted by the 90mm AA (it had moved to get a LoS) and its aimed fire rolled a 6 to hit - boom - no more M3! The end was close (I was now 1 BR away from breaking). I clung on and, expected the end to come on my next chit, but drew an Air Attack. In came the RAF, another Kittyhawk, which then bombed wild again! and hit my own rifle section, just pinning them - phew! Who is that idiot pilot? The RAF wasn’t enough to save me though, and when M41 tank MG fire spotted and wiped out my AT rifle team on the ‘little Jebel’ that is enough… another BR counter and my forces broke. The Italians had captured the high ground at Jebel Mayouf.

Another defeat (I’m on a bad run of 5 in a row atm - ho-hum!). It was a strange game, many weird things happened with the dice… the repeated wildly inaccurate shelling, a Mine Strike that failed to kill something (unheard of), neither side able to roll 3 or more for reserves (even with the senior officers re-roll), my Grant’s 37mm guns failing to penetrate (repeatedly) and my 25 pdr just upping and doing-one on a random draw (very gawling). I think that moment changed the game… until then it was close, with me marginally ahead on counters drawn. In my defence, I had inflicted more BR loss than I had taken, but the Italians had a higher total (less off-table artillery). All excellent fun though…

Here are some pics of the game, to prove it all happened ;-)

 Recce screen, Humber and sniper looking up at the Jebel Mayouf. 

 Italian Bersagleiri scouts rounding the little Jebel

 Waiting for them, the other Humber... 15mm BESA primed...

Recce HMG team and trike, up on the Jebel. 

 Start of the Mexican stand-off on the little jebel

 Mortaring starts

 Humber probes up the jebel, hunting those machine gunners

 Bofors unhitched and in place, as first reserves arrive

 Italian 105s fall on their own recce troops

On top of Mayouf, the Humber gets a better view of Italian deployment

A bit of help for the immobilised, pinned and an ambush fire, Humber

 Big gun deploys

HQ at the back, directing  the action. Dorchester proved useful.

More reserves on my right... to form a reserve slope defence against the jebel. 

 Victim of an M3 (only 1 n the game)

25 pdr deploys

Long range tank engagement, waste of ammo really!

Infantry arrive at the little jebel objective

 Timed strike, err... pants! 

On ambush fire, intimidating the Semoventas

Here they are, sneak around behind the hill. 

REME to the rescue in the centre

The Italians assault guns byed-their-time in safety.

My Humber's probe up the jebel, very wary of the assault guns not far away, 
but making a pain of himself. 

 The repair truck does its job. M3 back in action!



After this, technical issue with the camera, I have more pics, they just won't download for some reason... ah, the technology fails again... hmmm!





Sunday, 27 May 2018

THE BATTLE OF STEAMROLLER FARM

A 'Battlegroup Torch' historical re-fight game. The scenario (written by my brother) was based on the combat report of 51 RTR, whose Churchill tanks supported the Coldstream Guards infantry in the fight, on February 28th, 1943, as the British fought against Operation Ochsenkopf. The small farm, on a hilltop, dominated a stretch of road between El Arousa and Medjez El Bab, and had been captured the day before by troops of the Herman Goring division, including Fallschirmjager, from British commandoes. The Germans had dug-in overnight.

This game would be part of the British counter-attack, which advanced along the road as far as Steamroller Farm (named after abandoned steamroller close by), where the British battlegroup, led by Derbyshire Yeomanry armoured cars, with the Coldstream Guards and A Squadron, 51 RTR, in support, reached the farm area.

The terrain, based on the 51 RTR map and a ‘Google Earth’ image (below), was the road, alongside which ran a ‘nullah’ - a gulley, heavily wooded and steep on the far side (dangerous terrain for vehicles). In the very centre is the hilltop farm - two buildings (house and goat shed). Beyond that was the farms’ groves and orchards, and another shallow valley leading up to another ridge. We placed 3 objectives: the farmhouse (obviously), the road junction where the lane leads off up the steep hill to the farm, and a point on the far ridge. The Germans would hold all three to start with, whilst the attacking British force would out-scout the Germans.


 The area today, not much changed


My force, pre-picked from what the report listed as knocked-out and captured, was a platoon of Fallschirmjager, mostly in foxhole around the farm, with an 80m mortar and 50mm PaK and tow in support. Along with a foot patrol (useful extra mortar spotter). A battery of two 80mm mortars in pits (back on the far ridge), an 88 (at the road junction, covering up the road on ambush fore), and a PaK-40 with its tow.

My reinforcements would be a platoon of panzer grenadiers in 4 trucks, supported by another 80mm mortar team and PaK-38 with tow. Also, 2 Panzer III Ls, my only armour. I also had a Forward HQ, signal relay team to keep those mortars firing, and a 20mm Flak for AA defence. Beyond the (many) mortars I had 2 timed Stuka strikes, which on the day actual knocked out several Churchills. They’d be hitting on turns 3 and 4, along the El Arousa road. I’d be mixing my Fallschirmjager and DAK forces for this battle… I like Tunisia for this ‘anything goes’ aspect!

The Brits were, well, infantry, some combat engineers (mine sweeping the road), a carrier section, 3 Churchill IIIs, 1 Sherman (standing in for another Churchill we don’t have, but still treated as a Sherman - not a Churchill!), a FOO in Bren Carrier, with a big 4 gun battery of 25 pdrs to call-in, a 3” mortar team and 2 Daimler armoured cars of the Derbyshire Yeomanry, which did the first recce up the road on the day.

I deployed with 2 Fallschirmjager squads and MGs at the farm, in foxholes, along with the forward air controller with good lines of sight should I pull an aircraft chit (about time!). The mortars were well back, with the Platoon HQ spotting from behind the orchard’s stone wall, behind the farm. With the 88 on the road on my left, the Pak-40 covered the open ground on my right, on ambush fire, hidden in the olive grove at the back, with tow close behind, ready to move it if required. The other Pak-38 was on reserve move, ready to speed to where to was most needed from the farm.

Game on…

I won’t go into too much detail, as my opponent (my brother - author of the scenario, mainly because our grandfather fought with 51 RTR in Tunisia and may well have been there that day, in his Churchill - but he never said).

The game started slowly and built (like many BG games) the British first wave, mostly with their infantry moving up the gulley, under sporadic mortar fire. The FOO got into place, dismounted from his carrier, to get a view of the farm. The first big barrage hit, but only caused pinning, that heavy-weight bombardment was going to hurt as the turns passed… but cost a lot of orders… the only small saving grace.

The first Daimler edged up the road, and the ambush fire of my 88 boomed… hit - one very dead armoured car… first blood.

The British mortar was set up and tried to return fire on the 88, causing more pinning, but I used tactical co-ordination to get it back on ambush fire, anything up that road would face its big AP shells - I dare you!.

My first Stuka dropped in, siren wailing, bombing the nullah and causing a lot of pinning, even the British HQ had to dive for cover. The British 2nd wave arrived, the tanks and carrier section. Two headed up the road, two around the nullah and up the steep bank, engines gunning, to face the first 75mm AP shells from my Pak-40 from the distant olive grove. Misses, but the duel was on. I raced my Pak-38 round to the walled orchard to help vs those Churchills. It unhitched and crashed into action, and immediately bounced a shell off a Churchill’s front armour - the crew cared not! This duel would continue for the rest of the game, the Churchills braving the AP shells to close over the open ground, up hill, towards the farm. My Pak-40 couldn’t hit, and the Pak-38 could, but just glanced off… repeatedly. The Churchills living up to their reputation.

My second Stuka strike hit the road, scoring a direct hit on the Churchill and blowing it up… a very historical result. The British artillery wasn’t so effective, lacking orders, they were only shooting half the battery… and my foxholes proved ace…passing most covers saves. 

Pressure along the road and nullah built, my Fallschirmjager recce patrol defending the 88 with MG-34, rifles and called in mortar fire, pinning approaching British infantry (the woods in the nullah were dense, those not in the nullah only light, so not blocking line of site but providing a soft cover save). Return 2” mortar fire pinned my MG team… drat!

It had broken into 2 battles, one along the road, one towards the farm. My mortars kept firing, adding to the pining in the nullah. So far the Germans had edged it, about 8 chits to 4.

In the fight up the road, the Sherman came forwards to lead the attack, risking the 88 fire - it dared! The 88 missed and the Sherman charged up the road (historically a Churchill tank rammed an 88 here). This time, Sherman MGs sprayed the gun crew and sent them running. Fortunately, just behind, my first Pz III had arrived from reserve, it swung around the curve in the road, face to face with the Sherman, and put a 50mm AP shell clean through it at point blank range - one burning Sherman! Now parked on the objective, my panzer sat there and machine gunned the infantry in the nullah, to keep them off. They, lacking any AT shots, had no answer and that objective was secure(ish). The fight here petered out in stalemate, fine by me! 

My other reinforcements arrived, but a repeated lack of orders kept there advance slow. The Pz III pressed across the valley and to the farm, to engage the Churchills. It arrived on resreve move and then score 2 hits, both bounced and a return 6 pdr shell knocked it out. Hmmm… the tide had turned, the British were coming back.

The main fight was now the attack on the farm. The two Churchills repeated fired to pin my anti-tank guns, which kept having too be unpinned, then did get some shots off, both bounced AP hits off the front glacis of the Churchills… argh! I cannot roll an AP dice above about 6! With BESAs blazing, the Churchills boldly (and slowly) pressed on. On the hilltop the 25 pdrs eventually found their mark… it had to happen, and wiped away the defending infantry foxholes with direct hits. The British carriers charged, led by the last Daimler, pressing for the farmhouse objective. They dismounted and got to the house, but my last infantry prevent the British from claim it. I was hanging on just. My panzer grenadiers had now dismounted their too slow and vulnerable trucks, abandoning them across the hillsides, to charge the farm from the other side, counter-attack and drive the British out. The Pak-38 unhitched and its fire, from close range, destroyed the Daimler in the farmyard, where it had been co-axing away at the goat shed, now full of grenadiers.

The struggle for the farmhouse would see the British hold firm, pass a lot of cover saves and morale tests and keep my grenadiers at bay, They even fought off my close assault attempts, heroic stuff. My Pak-40 final hit and knocked out a Churchill, then ran out of ammo on a special counter! The other Churchill broken down on the hillside, and immobilised was a sitting duck for my Pak-38, which hit and failed to penetrate again and again… I counted maybe 7-8 hits on the it, and the crew fought on, still ‘BESAing' back (I invented a new verb there). 

Both sides had a stack of counters, I was on 49 BR from 55, just 6 away. The next British counter draw was an aircraft counter (his third pulled).  This time it arrived, a Hurri-bomber buzzing low (a turn after my long waiting 20mm cannon had been knocked out by Vickers MG fire). The Hurribomber swept in low, lined up my Pak-38 in the orchard and let rip with its many autocannons… knocking it out. 2 counters for me, under air attack and a lost unit. A 2 and a 5… that broke me. The arrival of the RAF was enough for the Germans at Steamroller Farm… they pulled back. A historically result, a very hard fight and a narrow British win… great fight though - phew! 4.5 hours of hard gaming, a good historical scenario of personal interest.

 I must play more historical re-fights. I actually like not picking the force I want, but fighting with what you are given. In all, it was about 750 points. Very close to history too. many lost Churchills, 2 lost Panzer IIIs. Here is a link to a short film taken after the real battle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0I7DRxUUdw

Lots of pics of the afternoon’s action…

My brother's blog will have the battle from the British side, and more details of the scenario he worked up.



 The farm

The road, the nullah and its steep left bank

The far ridge, covered in scrub. I need more trees! One tree marked the objective. 

Foxholes at the farm

The farm and its surrounding groves. Open ground across the British would boldly attack. 

Covered by my Pak-40 on ambush fire

Mortar positions on the far ridge (back corner)

My roadblock, 88 and recce Fallshirmjager patrol for close defence and mortar support.  
Road junction also an objective. 

Pak-38 and tow at the farm, my mobile anti-tank reinforcements.

 
Daimler creeps up the road, first to arrive.

and his partner, climbing out of the nullah. 

Guardsmen, working their way forwards along the nullah. Radio van is in place. 

Royal artillery 25pdrs having their first say... ouch

The groves behind the farm, open ground well covered. 

Stuka! Bombing the nullah.

Infantry getting well-pinned down by the raining bombs.

Peeking, hull-down from the nullah, calling in 3" mortar shells.

First armour up the El Arousa road. 

Sherman passes the forward HQ, overtaking manoeuvre on the slower Churchill!

Second Stuka attack on the road. 

Kaboom! Smoking Churchill and pinned carrier.  

Hermann Goring tanks reinforcements

 
Around the end of the nullah and up the slope, the other Churches break cover for the farm.

 My Pak-38 redeploys at speed into the walled orchard

 First panzer grenadier transports arrive on the far ridge.

Long shot of the Churchill advance. 

Pak-38 into action, with its rubber shells! Platoon HQ behind, spotting for their mortar.

Infantry reinforcements on the way to the farm... hideous lack of orders to move them. 

88 lost... 

Pz III to the rescue... end of Sherman tank.

20mm Flak still on ambush fire, in case the RAF shows up.

It's partner reaches the farm's goat-shed, en route to meet the Churchills

Lining up his target from the hilltop. 

Hmmm... outclassed by a 6 pdr. Pz III is knocked out by the Churchill's return fire.

First grenadiers disembark into the goat shed. 

The British rush the hilltop and make it, 25 pdrs having cleared the way. 
Daimler leads the way! 

Until overtaken by the Bren Carrier.

The reinforcements platoon's Pak-38 arrives to deploy to help at the farm...

...and nails the Daimler in the courtyard.  

My grenadiers, all out... and up the hill to retake the farm house. 

Still hammering away, safe at the back, view from the mortar battery.

 My grenadiers assault the house, and are thrown back... drat the hard cover save. 
There are Brits still inside.

The valley strewn with German trucks, which I can't withdraw (scenario special rule). 
On the day, 25 German trucks were reported as knocked out when Churchills found the German truck park, must have been a mess!  

 Finale... the RAF show up and a Hurricane buzzes the hilltop, before swing round on his strafing run, cannons blazing. OK, that's enough for the Germans for today. Time to go...