At something of a loose end one week I decided the time was ripe to plug on with our Memoir 44 Normandy Campaign. Avid readers may recall that the Battle for Hill 112 all went a bit pear shaped for the Germans at the last minute despite some early successes, so Monty is now in a position to press on to Caen from the north a bit earlier than historically.
The Operation Charnwood mini-campaign only has three battles, and consists of the Canadian Corps attacking Caen on the north bank of the Orne after a massive RAF bombardment. The city is defended by the elements of 12th SS Panzer Div and 16th Luftwaffe Field Div. Historically, although in theory three Allied divisions supported by three entire armoured brigades attacked, in practice they only committed a brigade or two each, who in turn only committed a battalion or two...
As always, this was played on Hexon terrain using my 15mm toys with my Memoir 45 modifications. All the tanks and halftracks used in this scenario were plastic PSC ones. Memoir 45 is available from the downloads page.
|The battlefield from the German side.|
John took the Allies and Jerry the Germans. The Germans were dug in with a fair number of wire and entrenchment markers and lots of buildings. The RAF bombing had however blown a huge hole in the middle of the fixed defences, although German armour and panzergrenadiers were in evidence in depth behind the hole.
|Shermans and some infantry pushed into the gap.|
|German defensive fire inflicts some losses and pushes back one of the Shermans.|
|Undeterred the Allies press forward in an 'armoured assault'|
|The Germans promptly counterattack with the same card and it all gets very messy!|
|The battle continues to rage.|
|The panzergrenadiers pitch up to help as British infantry assault the trenches.|
|Although some of the fixed defences are cleared, sadly even the intervention of RAF Typhoons is not sufficient.|
So a fairly resounding victory for the Germans in holding off the initial assault. As so often seems to happen in Memoir 44, the action was mainly resolved by an armoured slugging match, although the Allied tanks in particular were almost completely ineffective against the German infantry dug in amongst buildings. Both sides had 'armoured assault' cards which was almost certainly going to provoke a big tank battle, although the Germans showed great restraint in holding their armour back while the fixed defences took their toll of the allied attacks.
Despite this being a pretty fast and furious game, I am still pleased with the Memoir 45 modifications. They seem to produce a more satisfactory game inline with later CnC games in the series but without the vast raft of special unit types bolted on to the original Memoir 44 game.
So, on to the next battle in the series. Despite their success, the Germans have been ordered by Army Group B to conduct a fighting withdrawal cross the Orne, which will be interesting.