Jawohlt Major....I will give as complete a report of the actions in Lestre as I can.
After defeating the American Rangers my FusilierKompanie was forced to pull back as the entire front collapsed...the remnants were merged with elements of the 2nd Panzer Division near Lestre with me leading a KampfGruppe of:
HQ: 2 PzIVH
1st Plt: 4 PzIVH
2nd Plt: 4 PzIVH
Recon: 1 Puma Patrol (2 Puma)
AA: Armored Quad 2cm (2 ea)
Infantry: Gepanzerte Panzer Grenadier (3 Squads)
Artillery: 8 Panzerwerfer 42
The little village we occupied was "quaint" as are most French villages....
Integration was going smoothly until we heard the rumble of tanks in the distance.
The Artillery forward observers reported seeing an American Armored column head right for us. Damn the luck!!! At least half my force is back in the Division rear getting resupplied...."Quick call Battalion and have them send 2nd plt, the Pumas, and the AA back here as soon as they can." I know it will be a while before we will see them. We must make do with 1st Platoon the Infantry and the PanzerWerfers.
"Sir...the observers report seeing the following Ami's approaching:
- 2 Plts of Shermans (M4s)
- 1 Plt of Sherman 105s (3 ea)
- 1 Plt Armored Rifles (5 halftracks and the infantry)
- 1 Plt of Cav recon (2 jeeps and a Greyhound)
- 1 security section for Tank Destroyers....not sure which type"
All that headed straight for us.... Quick...to Arms!!!! Get the infantry into their positions and the Panzers into ambush....get the rocket launchers manned....we will need them.
I started on the open end of the map (hoping to slow him down with terrain and arty until reserves arrived) with my Infantry dug-in on the left side blocking the edge and the buildings on the left and with the Panzerwerfers behind the hill and woods on the right and center...out of LOS for the most part. one observer in each of the 2nd stories of the buildings by the infantry to spot the center and the left side...the Panzerwerfer Platoon Leader would spot the right side. Michael Split his force...Infantry to the town and 1 plt of Shermans, the 105s and the Recon to the left and the rest to the right through the wheat fields.
The Americans are moving forward...the 105s attempt to dislodge the Infantry with gunfire to no effect... The American Sherman Plt on the left must have seen the glint of the lead observers' binos...and all guns fired at his position. All attempts to reach the FO failed after that...Cruel payback for our taking out the Ranger FO a few days ago...fate I suppose.
The halftracks move into the center of town and the other tanks move through the wheat fields.
The scream of rockets fills the air and slams into the Armored Rifles...destroying 1 halftrack and 2 teams and the infantry dismount and run for the buildings. The PzIVHs pop from ambush and drive forward to engage the 105s, killing one, bailing the other 2 as well as an attached recovery vehicle....MORALE TEST!!!
Fritz! I can see the wavering and wanting to run....wait...what ...Who is that? NO!!! The American Commander is yelling at the to stay and fight!!!. Mein Gott...they are returning to their tanks. So close....
The Shermans on the left pushed forward to engage the PzIVs....Ach du Lieber! Hellcats!!!! That security section on th eright has lead HELLCATS to the flanks of the Panzers. This will not be pretty. The infantry are firing at the other observer...luckily the miss the observer.and mange to kill a team of infantry...luckily...rockets still have eyes at least into the town. Have the rockets pummel the Infan....WHAM!!!!!!!! Bail out...Bail out!!!!!! (A neat trick Michael used to target the FO...while explain at the end)
|CiC PzIVH dies as well as another from the platoon with a 3rd bailing out. If I jumped my CiC I would have forced a Morale Test for the platoon as they would then have been below half operational. I decided not to push my luck.|
From here Major I was without a tank and communications. I couldn't make it to another vehicle to take charge. All I could see was the Hellcats on the left taking out my tank and another from the Panzer platoon and bailing out a third. I heard the rockets land in the town and then the screams of the Americans...knowing that a few more American teams fell.
|Mortar team ...Skullified!|
From here I could only watch the action on the left and as I tried in vein to move forward...my injuries were to great and I couldn't make progress to the remaining tanks before they died. The order of events are a bit jumbled....I saw some of the Panzerwerfers take hits as well...and before they fired again killing a Sherman and more infantry (when do those American Infantry ever break and run!) I saw the Panzerwerfers engage the Hellcats with MG fire. The PzIVs moved to engage the Hellcats and killed one at least...bailing 2 more...The Infantry will have to hold the Shermans until help arrives or the Hellcats die...whichever comes first. The Shermans assaulted the Infantry and had to pull back before destroying them utterly, but he infantry stayed in the fight
Then I saw 2 more PzIVs brew up and the 3rd bail out...but that sole remaining crew braved the odds and stayed with their tank. After all this sir, that crew deserves an Iron Cross.
After that I passed out...and awoke to see my command destroyed....
I have to ask...where were my reserves...If I had them maybe.....
6-1 victory to the Americans. Another great game to Michael. This one was interesting...It was the first time I ran all 8 Panzerwerfers and the Pie Plate of Doom. Not bad...but at 405 points not worth it in this game. If I dropped them and added a 3rd PzIVH platoon of 3 tanks at 270 and bumped the Infantry to Lehr without their transports and Kampfgrupped the 2IC and the 4th tank from the other 2 tank platoons I would have had 8 plats and more on the table at the start...maybe...
Also Michael did a neat little trick I mentioned earlier. I had an FO near my Infantry. He had his Cav section lift GTG on the Infantry...so they needed 5+ to hit. The FO needed 6s. He then targeted the FO forcing it to join the Infantry and now that combined platoon only needed 5+ to hit...nice way to at least get a chance of a hit on an FO...at least as long as they don't need 7+ as no hits can be assigned in that case.
Great game yet again...and I learned a little more. Was good to play at the HobbyTown store again...Michael had bought a bunch of terrain at Historicon as well and he got to baptize it with fire.