Friday, 9 March 2018

Encounter in the desert

So once again we delve into the operational battles with an encounter in the desert circa 1942.

On the allies side were

Frank "Hannibal" Reynolds

Phil "Mad Murdoch" Broders

Mark "face" Shakespeare

The Battle

The South African division of 2 Brigades were dug in at the centre top table commanded by "mad Murdoch"
A brigade of the Northampton division was behind them guarding the two passes and holding the divisions artillery.
The rest of the Northampton division would secure the airfield and open up the route to the South African division.
"Colonel Hannibal" took 1 No regiment of valentines and 1 of Matilda's to relive the cut off 1st Northampton's and then pushed forward with the valentines to link up with the SA division.
In the meantime the axis were pushing units down either side to take strategic positions and to relieve the Italian division stuck in the fort.
At this point the allies only controlled the centre two tables and the airfield.
The valentines were then pushed up to reconnaissance the top right table  to cut off supplies to the fort and all axis units down the right hand side.
This elicited a large response form the axis as first a recon battalion appeared followed by a Panzer regiment and then a panzer grenadier regiment.
The valentines at this point fell back at this point to the SA division having done their job of forcing the axis to commit some of their reserves.

At this point "Hannibal" proposed a bold move, The 1st armoured division ,currently in reserve would move up passed the airfield and thru the passes picking up the Matilda regiment and attack the top left table isolating any units down the left hand side .

The attack rolled in, but the axis had an anti tank gun line waiting on the hillside for this type of manoeuvre, Just as the tanks rumbled into range the heavy drone of RAF bombers could be heard and a carpet of bombs fell on the hillside neutralising many of the anti tank guns.
This was the start of the main battle of the day, as 1st  division drove towards the hill and the waiting bridge behind axis reserves were called in from off table and then from their right flank and finally from the forward right position.
The day was fast running out and the allies needed to secure some strategic positions so the 7th armoured division was released from reserves to move up the left hand flank claiming strategic positions as it went .
The axis sent in a recon battalion from the fort to the airfield to reveal the strength of the defenders,
which was found to be too strong and were driven back to the security of the fort by the airfield defenders.
The allies had no intention of attacking the fort as we believed that the defences were too strong.
The valentine regiment was sent back to the top right table to put the fort defenders out of supply but it ran into another panzer battalion equipped with some Pz4 F2 and an 88 battery. These made short work of the valentines, but their purpose was served, by not allowing the axis time to develop their attack.

With light fading the axis launched a final attack against the SA division but it was too late.
"Hannibal" and the 1st armoured were slowly getting ground down  by increasing axis pressure and would not last, but by engaging the enemy so far forward they shielded the SA division from attention for most of the day and allowed 7th armoured the freedom to take strategic positions unopposed.

And so another successful operational comes to a close with an allied victory
Thank you gentlemen for a fine day 
Ian, the tables and troops looked awesome. 


Ian said...

Nice report. If you had a BA Barrachus (?) it would have been even more successful. Forward deployments gave both sides options but the British timing deprived the Axis of an opportunity to counter attack. Great game.

Russ Fewtrell said...

Well done to the British. Franks air attack on Jon's heavily defended hill on our back table was enough to soften up the German defences and the attack which followed cut off the German communications. I was toying around with the Recon battalions and not really looking at the bigger picture. I think we would of caused a collapse of Franks forces eventually but with time running out the British had swept away all the lose points on the tables with little German resistance.

BA Barracus is Dr Woo