Saturday, 22 August 2015

Falaise Gap - Part IV

To the west, things sounded like they were even more bloody, but I naturally had little idea what was going on, it being all of two meters away...  From what I could see, Peter had driven westwards hard with his first wave, and been mauled in the process, losing both the 2nd SS Panzers and the 362nd Infantry in the process, before his southbound force had even arrived on the table!  He almost broke Rhys' Podhale Rifles in the process, but there's a big difference between "almost" doing something and actually doing it... 

The veteran paratroopers assaulting from the other direction proved to be a big headache for Rhys - and he new this would be case, since they are his regular WW2 gaming force!  And once the 9th SS Panzers arrived just in time to replace the exhausted 353rd Infantry on their northern flank, they started pushing up the hill in real earnest.

Detail of elements of 9 SS Panzer Division supporting 3. Fjr-Division assaulting Mont Ormel. The brownish pipe cleaners are being used to represent light entrenchments (the Poles having dug in during the night).  The number of vacant positions attest to the intensity of the fighting in this sector of the table.

As it happened, the Germans just couldn't shift the Poles off the northern Hill 262, just as happened in real-life (in our game the 9th SS Panzers were  essentially destroyed in the attempt), but the Poles couldn't hang on to the southern portion of Mont Ormel either; again, mirroring the real life situation, and thus opening the way east for those elements that could make it.

The rest of the view of Mont Ormel shown above, at the end of turn 12.  No German forces remain to the left (northeast), while the 3rd Paratroopers have cleared a path straight up the centre of the shot, demonstrating yet again that when it comes to assaulting close terrain, "veteran"-rated infantry just can't be beat...

So after 5 1/2 hours of play, and 12 turns completed, we essentially had our result, and it was very close to what happened historically.  The Poles had fended off all assaults on Hill 262, but could not prevent a corridor being opened up for part of the 7th Army to slip through, south of Mont Ormel.  But while men may have gotten through, hardly any heavy equipment made it. A satisfying result to a good day's gaming!

In hindsight, the eastern end of the battlefield should have been rotated northwards, gaining an extra km there at the expense of a kilometre of unused terrain to the south.  And with more research, unit positions and strengths, etc., could have been tweaked, but it all went pretty well I thought. Here's Rhys thoughts on making up the scenario.