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Sunday, 19 July 2015

Retreating to Dunkirk

Today, we did a scenario (of Lawrence's devising), where a British force is detailed with recapturing a bridge from the advancing Germans, to allow the rest of their Battalion to get to Dunkerque.
The British force consisted of a regular infantry platoon, supported by a service platoon.
The German defenders were a platoon of regulars (Lawrence's nice new Warlord plastics figures)

 The bridge we were to secure, and the terrain we would have to traverse to get there!
The potential German positions were placed in likely (random) places. As normal, I made separate stacks of Command, Anti-tank and Infantry - all mixed with dummy markers - then placed them in appropriate places.
This ensured we would not know where the enemy were!
Andy came on table on our right...
Our august commander, Ian, put his men in the centre..
Lawrence put his men on the left, alongside the stream.
I was in charge of the supply platoon. Not being first rate soldiers, they were placed in reserve!
Lawrence advanced, supported by a carrier.
Ian placed his group covering the advance of the other units with his 2" mortar.
Andy, on the right, spotted movement in the field ahead and called his supporting Vickers gun forward.
Unfortunately, the Germans spotted this move and opened up with their MG 34...
...with the inevitable results!
My support troops now arrived behind Lawrence's men.
Ian's men, and their 2" mortar, saw the Germans Andy was engaging...

One German was killed, and another seriously wounded.
They didn't hang around!
Ian now advanced his riflemen.
One of his fire teams spotted more Germans hiding in the woods...
...and in a ruined building beyond!
The line of tracer from another MG34 was a dead giveaway!
One man fell, the rest hit the dirt.
Lawrence's section was attracted by the fire of the riflemen in the wood...
...who were now being engaged by Andy's Vickers.
The German MG team had decided to move to a better firing position, and now appeared on Lawrence's left.
Their fire in the woods only wounded one of Lawrence's riflemen, but not in time to help their friends in the wood edge.
Lawrence bravely attacked the German gunners, and killed one...
...unfortunately, the other 2 attackers were captured and bundled unceremoniously back to the ruined house!
some more of Lawrence's men now attacked the house to rescue their friends, supported by the carrier...
...but were beaten off again, though the Germans did retreat to the second ruined building with YET ANOTHER prisoner!
What was left of Lawrence's men now occupied the empty first building.
'For you, Tommies, ze war is over!'
With no friends in the way, another MG34  opened up on Lawrence's men...
...supported by some riflemen on the bridge.
Return fire killed one of the crew...
Ian's men were firing in support...
The Germans still managed to keep the British pinned down though...
...and cause the occasional casualty. Lawrence had 2 of his wounded men try to man the Bren in the back of the carrier.
The Germans were holding their position.
...and managing to stall the British attack.
They now brought a Pak 35/36 L41 into play...  
The Bren and its 2 crew were silenced.
The driver was left cowering in his cab!
Andy, meanwhile, had entered the Inn, but as he tried to exit the front gates, he came under mortar fire!
He tried to exit through the side of the inn and ran straight into an ambush!
The British recovered and fired back effectively, as more men joined from the inn courtyard.

A burst from a Thompson tore into the Germans at short range.

The brave Germans fought to the last man.

Meanwhile, my support troops had been ordered to attack the end of the bridge with the German AT gun, so they crossed the stream...

...only to come under fire from some Germans in the terrace opposite.
My first section suffered no casualties, but hit cover and wouldn't return fire.

The other 3 sections now brought an enormous weight of fire to bear...

...despite my men's lack of combat training, we managed to get hits!

The Germans at the bridge now began to take casualties as more British joined in the firefight at the bridge.
Ian got his men round the end of the bridge, after the MG34 team retreated.
Both sides fired together, but the British came off worst.
Back on my side, some lucky shooting killed the Germans in the house, and my men began to advance towards the bridge.
Seeing Andy's men coming in support of Ian, and still being shot at from Lawrence at the ruined house, the Germans withdrew off the bridge.

Well, we had won a very hard battle! - even though we had a 3-1 advantage in numbers our casualties were about equal with theirs!

The enemy had 3 prisoners to interrogate too....!

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