Thursday, July 21, 2016

Battle in the bocage

Mike and I had a 1500 Bolt Action game this afternoon. The scene of action was Normandy, 1944. We used a scenario out of the rule book whereby his German kampfgruppe of Wehrmacht,  Fallschirmjager and Waffen SS infantry supported by assorted armored vehicles were tasked with holding a crossroad against my two U.S. reinforced infantry platoons backed by a pair of Sherman tanks.
                  The crossroads viewed from the American lines East of the bocage
The Germans started with an infantry squad and a light howitzer in position near the objective. One American platoon moved on them from the East and another from the South. They were supported by a pair of medium mortars.
                  American infantry advance past the chateau toward the objective
German infantry reinforcements took up position in the bocage edged field Northwest of the crossroads. Their small arms fire started taking a heavy toll of the American platoon moving up from  the South.
American infantry rush to occupy the hedgerows adjoining the German position
Armored assets from both sides were deployed on the flanks of the main infantry battle around the crossroads. To the North a PZKW IV began to move on the American left flank. It destroyed a bazooka team, sniper team and a Sherman while the mortars fired on it with more enthusiasm than success.
The bazooka team tries to address the Panzer problem

The Americans cross into the bocage
Meanwhile, the Germans attacked the American right flank with a StugIII supported by an armored scout car and a howitzer armed halftrack. The Americans deployed their other Sherman to oppose this move while their forward air observer team called in airstrikes in support. The first target selected was the scout car. The aircraft didn't arrive but the Sherman took out the enemy vehicle. The Stug and Sherman engaged in a long range duel but another aircraft arrived over the battlefield and took out the Stug. The Sherman then engaged the enemy halftrack which fought back gamely but finally was destroyed by the more heavily armed and armored American.
The Stug and scout car burn while the halftrack advances undaunted
Meanwhile, back at the crossroads the more numerous American infantry were putting pressure on the German defenders from the East and South. Losses mounted on both sides. One American squad passed through a gap in the thinly stretched German defense of the hedgerow and close assaulted an enemy squad. The Americans prevailed, but their squad was rendered combat ineffective in the effort. The hard pressed Germans could ill afford the loss and their commander determined that he had too few resources left to hold the position, and ordered a withdrawal.   


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