Thursday 30 August 2018

Op Battleaxe - Game 2: First British Attack on Pt. 206

For the second game of the Operation Battleaxe campaign the British 7 RTR Group [7 RTR, 4 RTR, 22 Gds Brigade and 65 AT] attacked Pt. 206 in overwhelming force, with artillery and (potentially) air support.

After the lacklustre attack on Pt. 208/Hafid Ridge last time, some success was sorely needed here if their campaign had any hope of progressing.

Using the Strongpoint Assault mission, the British force would be tasked with eliminating a German strongpoint. Having significant advantage in Combat Points thanks to the units involved, the British would be attacking with 500 Pts vs. a German defence of 350 Pts...a tough ask for the defenders, doubly so when facing concentrated Matilda IIs and having no 8.8cm for easy counters. Their best hope was not to win outright (which was unlikely), but to hopefully at least damage the British attack and hope for better results facing the B-Sqn/Cameron Highlanders attack to the east.

(The pictures are not great, the lighting at the venue is terrible as usual)

The British attacked across a broad front with two Motor Platoons, six Matilda IIs and three Vickers Mk. VI B, plus artillery and 3" mortars....ouch.

The German left: defences deployed, but troop are thin on the ground.

A good start for the Germans: a timed 8cm mortar Strike pins some infantry and, crucially,
KO's a Matilda II with a direct hit!

The Matildas trundle forward firing their MGs as they go, with some effect.

A timed P40 strike bombs the hill to little effect, but 25-pounder and
3" Mortar bombardments slowly inflict casualties on the defenders.

Matildas trundle more (5" move is slooooow...).

The British flank attack arrives on their right: things are looking grim for the Germans,
though they manage to immobilise a Matilda before the PaK38 crew is wiped-out by 25-pounder shells.

On the German right, the PaK38 trades shots with Matildas but cannot beat their thick armour.

The British flank attack at full strength: it will take some doing to stop this lot! 

A close assault into the German trenchline...the Germans lose three men, but
remarkably roll a Beyond the Call of Duty test and immediately counter-attack!
This inflicts six British casualties for one of their own.

Both units are reduced to a single man, though neither breaks.
However a second section assaults and wipes out the Germans FO team, breaking the German force!

A pretty one-sided game as the Germans had (mostly) rubbish dice and terrible chit draws, while the British pretty much lit-up everything they fired at.  The result is a Major British victory and sees German infantry units (6 Oasis Bn and 15 MC Bn) both degraded due to losses.

With this game being so quick, we immediately played the Second British Attack on Pt 208 involving the Cameron Highlanders and 'B' Sqn, 4 RTR.


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