Operation Striking Cobra - June 1944
Well Michael did it again. He arranged an excellent days competition at Entoyment. This time we would be playing as two teams Allies vs Axis; 1000 points per army. I of course enrolled 9Pl 1 DOG into the allied force.
However, for me the day did not get of to a stellar start. I arrived nice early, only to realise I had forgotten to pack my vehicles; a game without my Churchill MkVII oh calamity indeed. I had to hot foot all the way back home, and managed to turn up 15mins after H hr.
The first scenario was a new one devised by Michael.
The 7th Armd Division have been forced to retire from Villers Bocage. Corps HQ were deeply concerned about the danger of the Germans following up and exploiting their success. Bde HQ were given the mission of setting up a hasty defence to delay and if possible stop any German advance.
CO 1 DOG has been ordered to hold the village of St Pere SW of Villers Bocage until ordered to retire. The situation remains fluid, and there is uncertainty about the degree of flank protection for this position. he has ordered 9Pl forward as an advance guard to hold the village while the rest of the battalion deploys.
Signals Intelligence were tracking a German Panzer Grenadier force in the local area. Indications are that the commander of this force is Ober Leutnant Parry. This force is supported by tanks and recon vehicles.
9Pl had recently consolidated its veteran infantry into numbers 1 and 2 section. 3 Section were reinforcements from the battalion left out of battle troops. The CO had provided a sniper team, Mortar section and Bren carrier from Bn Support Company, and one of our FOOs. Division had allocated us a Churchill tank and an M5 Half Track.
9Pl is to secure and hold the village of St Pere.
The initial deployment started well. 3 Section in the half track deployed forward and occupied the large building. This would allow then to provide fire support to 1 and 2 section to the left and right respectively.
Our artillery wasn't very effective, and did not cause any delay to the German advance. The Germans occupying the other building in the village were rapidly suppressed. On the left, on the other side of the river, my sniper team managed to provide some delay and disrupt the enemy advance. However, he was forced to withdraw rapidly when the enemy out flanked us on our left.
The German tank was a very unwelcome distraction. There was a fire fight with our Churchill, with the Churchill scoring a glancing hit. However, the enemy tank recovered quickly and its shooting was perfect as destroyed the Churchill and the M5 half track as it was moving to support the sniper team.
The Panzer then attempted to overrun 1 Section. They stood there ground and allowed it to accelerate through them. I tried to launch an assault against the tank but was forced to take cover instead.
On my right flank 2 Section advanced into the woods, from which the Mortar Section were firing. They advanced into the face of a German grenadier section armed with assault weapons and 2 Section perished to a man.
A win for the Germans who secured 4 of the 6 objectives to my 2.
However, the scenario was great fun and a must to be added to the Bolt Action mix.