Thursday, 7 June 2012

1750 pts Canadian vs SS Wiking, Breakthrough.

    After the domination of German forces in the area when clearing the jump off positions. Lt Col Anderson decided that the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry would take advantage of this success and immediately launch an attack to breakthrough the Kraut lines. As B Coy was already deployed in the area, it was decided that they should push on with the attack. Again Maj McKinley and his boys would take it to the SS Wiking mob. Two troops of 25 pounders from Q Bty, 14th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery were sent to support the attack. A Pltn of vickers MMG carriers from the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa and two Pltns of the Battalions 6lbr A/T guns arrived to add to the support. After receiving reinforcement and replacements, the Fort Gary Horse again sent 1st and 2nd Trp, 2 Sqdn to the battle. The RAF allocated an AOP and promised some support from typhoons.
The objective of the attack, top right.
    Maj McKinley decided to send 1 Pltn and a Pltn of the A/T guns to try and find a way around the German flank. 2 Pltn deployed in the wood near the creek, ready to push past the farm. The other A/T Pltn occupied the east side of that wood to cover the open ground. 1 Trp FGH deployed west of the wood, While 2 Trp FGH just south of the wood. Q Bty dug their guns in and around the wheat field, while the MMG carriers set up on the low rise.
    The Pats opened the attack with a barrage of fire directed at the dug in infantry on both flanks, pinning them down. The company marksman had infiltrated forward towards the objective and tried to shoot the crew of an A/T gun, the round pinged of the gun shield but had the desired effect on the crew. True to their word the RAF showed up with a pair of typhoons and promptly destroyed a Stug and bailed out another, forcing the remaining two to seek the cover of a wood.
Death from above.
    One of the stugs pushed through the wood and engaged 2 Trp FGH, destroying a sherman before slipping back deeper into the safety of the trees. The bailed stug crew remounted and headed for the wood....and promptly got bogged, as did the remaining stug. At this point a platoon of Pz IV showed up on the left flank of the princess pats attack. They brought 1 Trp FGH under fire as they advanced toward the wood 2 Pltn was deployed in. These panzer men were obviously battle hardened troops, led by an ace tanker. In a matter of minutes three of 2 Trp's shermans were blazing wrecks. The Trp commander, a newly arrived replacement promptly fled the field. Can't say I blame the chap ! Unfortunately 2 Pltn were caught crossing the creek at this time and attracted the attentions of the PzIV's.
The Fort Gary Horse pay the price for the dubious armour protection of their mounts......Again !
    To add a little insult to injury, the RAF fail to spot the four PzIV's laying waste the the left flank of the attack. Q Bty, the vickers and the A/T Pltn continue to pour fire into the enemy infantry positions keeping their heads down. The remaining shermans push across the creek to bring the stugs under fire. Destroying one and scattering the crews of the bogged down vehicles. Obviously realising the objective of the attack the German commander sends his left infantry Pltn towards his rear. A devastating stonk from 81mm mortars lands amongst 2 Pltn as they are strung out across the creek....Casualties are high, nearly half the Pltn are killed or wounded in seconds. Amongst this carnage the Pltns PIAT operator keeps his head enough to send a round into the PzIV aces tank. This was not enough to stop this veteran, who jumped out and ran over to another tank to take over. A lucky round from a 25lbr landed on the turret of another PzIV, destroying it.
    The scream of sirens announced the arrival of the stuka dive bombers. Their target, the vickers Pltn. Three carriers and crews are wiped out and the rest of the Pltn withdraw. Two 251/9 arrive on the right and flank the shermans, destroying the firefly. The two remaining PzIV's move around to cut off 2 Pltn's advance and machine gun the lead section, breaking the fighting spirit of the Pltn and they flee.
The 251/9's score themselves a firefly.
    The A/T gunners manhandle their pieces out out of the wood to try and extract some revenge for the loss of the infantry. After scoring four hits they are disheartened to see them bounce off the tanks armour. 2Trp FGH head off toward the objective but are destroyed crossing the open ground by the combined fire of the 251/9's and PzIV's. Finally the A/T Pltn and 1 Pltn infantry arrive from their flank march and approach the objective now covered by a Pltn of grenadiers. The 6lbrs quickly deploy their guns for action, cutting down several squads of the Germans. Buoyed by this 1 Pltn launch an assault upon the survivors, cutting down the Germans in a brutal fashion. A the loss of this Pltn the Germans move to recapture the position. As they approach they walk straight into a hail of death from the now well prepared A/T gunners. The first to perish are the two AA half tracks, quickly followed by the "panzer ace" and the 2IC. The German commander, under artillery fire with the last remaining infantry and 251/9's. Looking up seeing several typhoons circling and having lost more than half of his fighting force, decides its time to pack it in and withdraw to better positions.
1 Pltn and the A/T guns approach their objective, just a couple of pesky SS to deal with....
    Maj McKinley walks around amongst his men. Another success for B company but this one came with a price. As he had feared the luck that they had enjoyed with casualties had run out today. 2 Pltn almost in its entirety had been killed or wounded. Of the two troops from the Fort Gary Horse, only a lone tank survived. His vickers Pltn was also nearly wiped out, hopefully these valuable support weapons can be replaced. What next for his brave men. A rest he hoped but dared not think of. Things change too quickly. The success of his company was also their curse. When the battalion wanted something hard done...Give to B company. And done it would be !!!

Canadian 4 - 3 Victory....just.

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