Thursday, 22 October 2015

Here Come the Yanks, Campaign Turn 4

Turn 4 of our campaign has finished, with 2 actions as the americans try to push back the German defenders.  Field reports as follows:

Report by Leutnant Franz Beckenbauer (German 2nd Platoon, just North of Ophove):
The Americans attacked with support from a 4th rifle section and a flamethrower section. They advanced through the village on our right flank but their 1st platoon was caught rushing across the open road by our 1st section on overwatch and took 4 casualties. The American 2nd and 4th sections, supported by a flamethrower team, advanced to support the 1st section and their 2nd section advanced through the wooded area towards the centre of the village.
Our 2nd section took up position to support 1st section and 3rd section came up to hold the centre.
Our 8cm mortar battery OP took up position where he had a good line of sight to the American positions and brought down a barrage which was so effective that it pinned all of the American forces. A firefight ensued on our right flank and our 1st section lost 3 men to fire from the American flamethrower, however their infantry fire proved ineffective. With our mortars continuing to give support our firepower eventually overwhelmed the Americans and drove their entire force from the field.
Their 3rd section wisely decided to stay off the field.
In addition to losing their entire supporting 4th section and flamethrower team, the American platoon took 13 casualties (6 KIA).
German losses were restricted to 3 men(1 KIA).

Gerrman 3rd Platoon (in Defence of Arques):
My platoon was desperately pushed forward to plug a gap in the line, one section took up position in a ruined bombed out cottage to block the rapidly advancing enemy, they came under accurate and fairly constant fire from the beginning, unfortunately the section leader and the platoon commander became casualties during this early stage of the fight.

The remainder of the platoon began to move up to an adjacent supporting position but also came under fire, again a section leader was killed during the first exchange of shots, the enemy attacked on this right flank catching our men with no commander. Despite this disadvantage the first enemy assault was repelled in a desperate close quarters clash.

Realising the predicament that they faced the platoon commander (having recovered from his minor wound) dashed back to rally his men but to many had fallen to the enemy assault whilst the enemy fire to our front remained constant and deadly.

We had no option to withdraw from combat to regroup, reform and prepare for the next round of combat.

USA 3rd Platoon of the same action:
The patrol phase worked well for the allies who were able to take up good positions nearly halfway up the board after the first move facing off against the one German section in a building on my centre right. They were soon softened up by one allied section plus the HQ and suffered an NCO killed and officer wounded.

My section in the centre caught a German section advancing down the road and once again killed the NCO. They bid a hasty retreat. The final German section was committed to their left leaving my left flank section virtually unopposed and able to make a flanking move. My centre section also advanced down the road

My target was the rear German jump off point which was now defended by a weakened German section with the now recovered officer coming over to lend support. The left allied section made what turned out to be an overconfident assault which the Germans were able to throw back. This was only a temporary respite however as the next firefight saw the Germans in full retreat.

Allied losses were 4 men ending on a Force Morale of 11

German losses were 16 men (including 2 NCOs)and they ended on a Force Morale of 6.

So at the end of urn 4 the Yanks are finally making progress, but the men are starting to feel some resentment towards their CO's due to high casualties, while the German troops and CO's remain fairly ambivalent about things so far.

Our options for turn 4 are:

In Turn 5 the Yanks can keep the initiative by pressing on with their attack along the Ophove Road towards the rail bridge defences in an Attack & Defend scenario. Meanwhile The German 2nd Platoon (John) could either launch a counter attack to drive the Yanks back out of their toehold in Arques or consolidate the defences at the eastern end of the village. The latter would mean that the initiative would switch to the Americans to launch an Attack on Arques in turn 6, both sides having recovered their wounded.

I think the Germans will withdraw their 3rd platoon to give it a chance to rest and recover wounded, while the 1st will take their place.  The German 2nd Platoon Commander will be given the freedom to act as he sees fit, either to consolidate his defence or take the fight to the Yanks.

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