Friday 27 June 2014

Capturing the crossing

The second scenario in the Operation Epsom sub-campaign of the Memoir 44 Normandy Campaign. This features a battle we've been to a few times before, Cheux on the front of 15th Scottish Div.  In this intsance a fair portion of the front encompassing 15th Div, 34th Tank Brigade and bits of 11th Armoured Div on the British side against the left flank of 12th SS Panzer Div supported by elements of 21st Panzer and Tigers from the 101st SS Tiger Bn. The German artillery is still located on the heights around Rauray after the last battle.

Tim and Mark took the Germans, John and Kayte the British. All photos taken from the German left/British right.

As a continuing campaign battle, both sides had the opportunity to inflict minor losses on the enemy (throw two battle dice plus one for each previous battle won for losses), and both sides rolled a reserve unit too, which they elected to keep in a staging area offtable.

The German left, guns on the heights covered by infantry and tanks, Cheux in the distance with Tigers and Panthers across the Odon.

Infantry defences around Cheux, some of these were equipped with mortars.

Churchills of 34th Tank Brigade and 15th Div infantry. Infantry tanks can only move 2 hexes but take four hits.

More British infantry and some Shermans from 11th AD.

The British left flank comes under artillery fire from Rauray.

The Panther suffered a hit during the game setup sequence and moved up to support the German left.

Tanks and infantry exchange fire in the centre as the Tigers cross the Odon.

The Tiger takes numerous hits and is driven back by massed gunfire as British infantry overrun the outskirts of Cheux.

They press on to impudently threaten the river crossing (a British objective).

On the left the Luftwaffe makes a suprise appearance, damaging both the Shermans and Achilles.

On the German right the Churchills and British infantry are thinned out as Stugs counterattack.

12th SS Panzer IVs make a foray towards the British left, supported by artillery.

Churchills press foward behind artillery fire as the Panthers move up.

The Panthers make a death ride against the weakened British centre.

Another British infantry unit makes a dash for the bridge and makes it this time.

The SS Mark IVs crush a British infantry unit under their tracks, ending the game.
This was a much closer battle than last time, the scores being four: six (Allied: Axis). Overall campaign totals now being nine:seven with the Allies still ahead and importanly having captured the bridge at Cheux which affects the next scenario. The game mechanisms worked better in this, with combat being more attritional as I had hoped and both players making considered moves with good use of combined arms, the German artillery at Rauray was particularly effective.

So, on to the next one, Hill 112!

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