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The war in Normandy is going well for the Allies as they march inland and hopefully to break out as soon as possible. The Germans are on the run and need to stop the Allies from reaching Blenneville and winning this campaign, but will need to do better as soon far despite fighting well they have been defeated with severe casualties.

The American armoured column is certainly strong enough and confident that it will be able to push through the Germans defenders although it does include a unit of Panthers.

From the normal aerial photos the terrain is close and whilst the only building is a strongly built Norman Church, the surrounding hills are covered in trees and the low ground is very heavy indeed and mostly unsuitable for tanks.

The American plan is simple enough and is to attack both flanks whilst tying the centre up and then for the flanking units to move in towards the crossroads. The two infantry Platoons will move to attack the Church and hills to the west. The tanks will move on the roads to support these attacks, with the machine gunning halftracks supporting as necessary.

The German plan is to hold the centre with the tanks and MMG with the AT in support in the near hills. The church is covered by one infantry platoon supported by the IG gun. To the west the hills will be held by the 2nd Platoon.

The only action was slow in coming and was mostly medium range firing between troops in the Church against the American infantry. In the picture below you can see this going on. You can only see the American Shermans marching up the road, and please note the German AT gun in the hills.

The action extended to the west as the Americans advanced towards the entrenched Germans in the hills. This looks as though it will be a long fight but the Americans have the firepower, as in fact they do all over.

Then the confidence of the Americans was shattered in two minutes as the forward AT Gun managed to take out two of the Shermans on the road. This was a real blow to the Americans who had hoped to use their tanks in the attack.

The continuing fight for the church was a slow affair but losses can mount very quickly and the Americans do need to take the Church quickly.

The American then came on in force and caused a bit of a road block, but hopefully these will be used very soon.

But now the Germans are in place and waiting. From looking as an easy American victory it suddenly looks a closer prospect.

The road north was now full of Americans and they couldn't go anyway for fear of the Panthers at the end of the road. So Lt. Portland decided it was time to clear the church of its defenders to allow the men to spread out and hopefully threaten the crossroads more. To accomplish this he sent in the first section.

This attack was not successful at all, and the 1st Section retreated very quickly but had at least weakened the defenders some what.

The photo below shows the reason the roadblock. These Panthers were covering all the surrounding area with their superb long range weapons. These would seem to be indestructible to the American present.

But wait this was before Lt. Tim Tulsa and his men in their 76mm Sherman decided they had had enough, and two shots later two Panthers were smoking like a good cigar. To top it all the fire also took out a machine gun nest and the Artillery Observer. You can see the Panthers smoking in the rear of the photo with the pseudo Sherman in front.

This certainly was the game changer as before the Panthers and AT Guns had had it all their own way, but now the Panthers destruction allowed the field to become more open, although still terrible to walk through.

Now a close up as this event doesn't happen often.

Immediately after this Lt. Portland this time lead his men into the church and cleared it easily. Good show.

Things now starting happening very quickly as the Americans were mostly free of the threat of the Panthers. Tulsa and his Platoon destroyed the nearest AT Gun and then the section of infantry guarding the hills. This was done with the assistance of the 2nd Rifle Platoon as can be seen.

In the east at the other end of the table the Church was now in American hands and this allowed the 3rd Platoon to first shoot then manoeuvre slow across the very rough ground towards the Churchyard..

The Shermans of Lt. Tulsa had now outflanked the position and was advancing towards the crossroads to finish the job.

In the centre as well the battle was seeing the end game. The Panther got first shoot and missed twice and at such close range. The lone remaining Sherman from the 1st Tank Platoon now revenged its mates with a brilliant shot, I have never seen so many 6s thrown in go. The end result was that the Panther main gun was put out of operation.

One question I asked though was would one Sherman left out of four still be hanging around. Of course nothing in rules about force morale, so it seems OK if to me a bit shaky.

Brilliant action though!

The Support section then deployed to shoot the one remaining German section dug in over the valley. Two machine guns in one spot are a very powerful tool and upon seeing this the Germans decided it was all over.

Well almost. The AT gun at the rear of the hill had done some damage earlier in the valley and now took out a Sherman in the hills with another excellent shot. One can see the last German platoon in their defensive line as well.

Of course as is normal the AT gun was then shot by the remaining tanks and that was that.

The photographs below show the end position of the forces. All the Germans had left were a badly damaged Panther, one infantry gun and one section. These retreated to their next defensive position.

Again another great game. The terrain was very constrictive, especially for any vehicles, which basically meant everyone had to stick to the roads.

The obvious game changer was the two shots of the 76mm which destroyed the German defence in one go. One minute the Germans were in total charge and were about to move down the road to clear the infantry in there, the next the Americans had the run of the field.

The aces this game are Lt Tim Tulsa and Feldwebel Gustav Gevultzstraminer. Feldwebel Gevultzstraminer was easy as once again he was the only German Big Man left. For the Americans both Tulsa and Portland had great days, and in fact all the American leaders did something useful, but for the two shot trick Tulsa must be the one.

Now it's on the Vartres to see if we can beat these Boche again.

Craig Ambler