600pts Canadian vs German, Free for all.
With the recent success of the Allies in Gloucester, 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry have received orders to conduct offencive operations toward Wiltshire. In order to prepare for this, Maj McKinley and his B company have been sent to "patrol" in force, and clear an area forward to a small creek line of enemy forces. Battalion command is hoping to use this area as the jumping off point for the attack into Wiltshire. For this patrol B Coy have the added support of a mortar Pltn and a section of vickers MMG and their carriers. Intelligence reports suggest expected opposition to be from the SS Wiking Division. We have tangled with these chaps before and have had the better of them each time. They do fight hard though and now is no time to take them lightly.
The patrol area with the objective creek line to the right.
After an uneventful start to the patrol, forward scouts reported hearing engine noise and spotted Germans filtering through the treeline over the creek line. The SS were out and about. Up to no good to be sure. Maj McKinley deployed his company and prepared to engage the Germans and clear them from the area. 3 Pltn and the vickers section moved to the right to cover the centre and right farms. The mortar Pltn deployed in the small wood and hedges at the crossroad so as to support both flanks. 2 Pltn filtered through the walled orchard and 1 Pltn occupied the high walled farm on the left under the watchful eye of the "old man".
It was the Germans that opened the show, carrying their MG42s on their tripods onto the small tree lined ridge and let loose a few ill directed bursts at the mortar men as they set their tubes on the base plates. On the left a Pltn of grenadiers supported by two 251/9 half tracks, pushed forward through the other orchard toward the creek line. The mortar Pltn sends a few rounds their way, pinning the grenadiers and giving the tracks second thoughts about hanging around in the open. The vickers section spot a 251 half track across the creek and give it a short burst. They are amused to see the crew bailing out of the unscathed vehicle.
The grenadiers push into the orchard.
The MG42s sprayed the mortar position with fire, striking down the Pltns commander as he encouraged his men. Seeing this, Capt Doyle the Coy 2IC immediately took charge of the Pltn and directed their fire onto the MG42s, pinning them down and greatly reducing the amount of fire from the position. This easing of fire allowed the vickers section to accurately engage them. The withering fire scythed through the German machine gunners silencing them and leaving only one crew alive. 3 Pltn advanced down the right flank under the cover of the vickers fire. 2 Pltn moved forward from the walled orchard to meet the advancing grenadiers.
The vickers death machines.
Following the success of the vickers section the Germans turn the attentions of their mortars on them, to little effect. Through the explosions surrounding them the vickers spot what is obviously an SS commander extolling the remaining machine gunners to keep up the fight....and unceremoniously gun him down. Maj McKinley orders mortar fire to be directed to his left flank to pin down the infantry there to prepare for his assault.
The SS commander directing his men from up close.
The SS commander upon hearing of the death of his 2IC realises his last MG team would not hold out long on his flank and begins to redeploy some of his grenadiers....Stretching his line thin. Seeing this opportunity 1 Pltn launch an assault across the creek line. The first victims of this attack are a mortar FO team. Upon witnessing the brutal dispatch of these men by the wild eyed charge of the woodsmen of 1Pltn, the nearby grenadiers recoiled in fear. Abandoning their positions along the creek line, they withdraw to the hedge lined road. The 251/9 half tracks bog down trying to cross the hedge.
The grenadiers recoil from the Pats assault.
1Pltn then go firm on the ground to provide a base of fire as 2Pltn advance to the creek to assault the rattled Germans. At this time 3Pltn and the vickers section finish of the last MG42 and push across the creek on the right, squeezing the Germans into a pocket around a small wood. Screaming like mad men, 2Pltn storm through the creek and burst out of the treeline to fall upon the grenadiers as the very horsemen of the Apocalypse. The SS men held firm and their machine guns spat death at the on rushing Canadians. To their horror these daemons appeared to shrug off the effects of the hail of fire, not a single man fell.....Then they were among them. Grenades and bayonets were all that were giving any who dared stand their ground. The ferocity of this assault was more than the remaining grenadiers could bear, they break and run. Even the exhortations of their commander could not hold the route. Reluctantly he ordered the remaining troops to withdraw and reluctantly followed...
The survivors flee the "Daemons" of 2Pltn.
With the withdrawal of the Germans. Maj McKinley quickly organised his Company to defend the newly captured jump off point. One thing you could always count on was the willingness of the Krauts to counter attack. Then it was time to count the cost...Two dead and ten wounded, barley a section of men lost. Considering the close combat his men had engaged in, Maj McKinley felt himself lucky to have taken so few casualties....But how long would it last ? For his men's sake he hoped much longer.......
Canadian 6 - 1 Victory