Friday, 18 May 2012

                1750pts Canadian vs German, Surrounded
    This was decoded from scratchy radio transmissions from 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in the Somerset area of operations.

    The Battalion had been taking part in offensive operations in the area to attempt the recapture or at the least, isolation of the german beach heads in the south west. After a promising start to operations, the 1PPCLI found itself overextended and isolated after successful german local counter attacks. 1PPCLI was at risk of being surounded and cut off from the rest of the division. Lt Col Anderson detached Maj McKinley's Bravo Company with tank support from the Fort Gary Horse and P and Q Battery 14th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, with orders to hold a corridor until reinforcement or a withdrawl could be organised.

                                          Airial photo of corridor taken from the south.

    Maj Mckinley quickly organised his force and dug in to defend the vital corridor from the inevitable german attack. And they didn't have to wait long. As a platoon of english churchil crocidile tanks arrived to bolster the defenses, the german onslaught began. It was a mechinised company from the SS wiking division that led the german attempt to close this tenuous corridor and cut the "Princess Pats" off. A hummel battery pummeled the north of the corridor but fortunatley the Pats had dug in well and only took a half section of casualties. The tankers from the Fort Gary Horse where not so fortunate. Four panthers supported by grenadiers advanced from the East. Engaging the shermans from long range, they destroyed two of them with ease. (poor tankers never knew what hit them)
    The crocidiles lumbered to the east and managed to brew one of the panthers with a flank shot while they were busy with the shermans. To the Pats delight the RAF weighed into the fight, launching a rocket attack on the Hummel battery destroying one and the single 88 that was passing through the gun position at the time.

    At this point the panthers and grenadiers advanced on the northern battery, bringing it under intense fire, destroying two 25pdrs and supressing everyone in the area. To the west the hummel battery decided to vacate thier recently straifed position and advance on the Pats northern battery as well. A remarkably well placed round from a moving hummel at a concealed firefly found its mark! The round plunged through the engine deck and all but disassembled the firefly. The lone platoon commander returned fire destroying one of the hummels (some retribution at least)
    An artillery bombardment that had engaged the panthers with little effect was repeated. This time with Regimental support and managed to catch the advancing grenadiers in the open, inflicting severe casualties. This finished them as a fighting force and they withdrew from the field of battle. Again the crocidiles attempted to work around the flanks of the panthers, with a little success. Only to see thier rounds ricochet off the beasts "thin" flank armour! The combined efforts of an elite marksman and the vickers machine guns in the centre of the corridor kept the grenadier platoon in the west from advancing much past thier jump off point.
                                            Marksman in foreground engaging grenadiers
    Again the last remaining hummel relocates...and again with a snap shot on the move he hits and destroys the last sherman, the Fort Gary Horse are no more...(sniper with a hummel, I am a little worried about that!) The panthers surge forward, stripped of thier infantry support they are determined to cut through the 25lbr troop and infantry holding the north. They pin the defenders with cannon and MG fire and move to assault. A lone infantryman with his PIAT rises up from his fox hole and destroys the lead panther. The 25lbr troop firing in support manages disuade the remaining panthers from pushing home the attack. Almost immediately the gunners swung thier ordinance around on thier turntables to engage and destroy the dreaded "sniper" hummel. The RAF made another pass but was unsucessful this time.
    In desperation the two remaining panthers surged forward again, determined to crush all before them.....Again the lone PIAT gunner felled one of the beasts with a well placed round to the turret ring. Undetered the panther commander attempted to crush the men in the forward pits but was unsuccessful. Seeing his opportunity the gallant PIAT gunner broke from the cover of his hole and calmley dispatched his third panther of the day....
                                        the first panther assault, PIAT man just at left of shot
    Coming under a withering fire from a whole vickers platoon and close attention from circling typhoons the remaining grenadier platoon withdrew to the west, dragging casualties and thier hopes of cutting off 1PPCLI. We are of now awaiting word on plans to exploit this hard fought victory. Maj Mckinley has also recomended Pvt C. Hope (PIAT operator) be mentioned in dispatches and possibly for a medal. For now Bravo company will restock with amunition and improve its positions.
                                                A 5 - 2 VICTORY TO THE ALLIES

                                 crocidiles watching thier rounds bounce of the panthers' flanks

                                                                 THE END

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