The battlefield. I held the side nearest the camera.

Ian was putting this game on and it was a follow on game from the one we played before Christmas. I was in charge of the US Airborne again and had been reinforced with a 57mm AT gun so was expecting to tackle some armour. I had also been informed that the Germans had dug a line of entrenchments when they had controlled the area and that they were still ok to use, which was nice.

The entrenchments ran from the copse on the right (by the rulebook in the photo) to near the road so I placed one platoon in there as a forward line. The other two platoons were placed in the wood by the crossroads and along the hedgeline in front of the building facing towards the Y-junction. My HMG was in the building with the mortar in the ‘garden’. My ATG was placed on my right facing towards the gap between the copse and the Y-junction hoping that any armour would come that way. In case it didn’t I put the Bazooka team in a reserve by the crossroads opposite the building.

Mike and Daren were taking the Germans and they had a force comprising some Fallshirmjager (or maybe Luftwaffe FeldDivision – I can’t remember, sorry) and a platoon of armour. My plan was simple, wait for the Germans to get close and let fly once they get into close range – Mike and I had been playing the first 3 games of the campaign over the weekend and I think I was all gamed out to be honest!

I managed to spot a German platoon early as they crossed from the road to the field in front of my entrenchment, although they failed to spot me back. I let this unit creep along the hedge popping some ineffective mortar fire at them until they got close enough and let fly with the guys in the trench.

I spot the Jerries as they cross from the road.

Pour it on boys! My guys in the trenches let themselves known to the encroaching Germans.

This surprise fusillade did some damage to one section but brought down a heavy weight of return fire and I lost the firefight quite quickly with the surviving members hot footing it along the trench to the safety of the copse on the right. The action then settled down to a gradual German advance with me waiting on overwatch for the time to fire. In fact all I did was to swing my 57mm round to point up the road to cover the crossroads as the armoured support had been spotted and they weren’t coming the way I’d hoped but over on the left.

German armour spotted on the left flank. Lovely Pz III models (PSC I think?).

Watch out, Tigers!

I also decided to withdraw the chaps in the wood to the left as the PzIII’s were headed straight for them and they had an uncovered blind moving along with them too, didn’t fancy taking them on with smelly socks and swearing so thought discretion and all that.

German return fire clears the trenches, and the advance continues.

I think I must’ve got a bit bored waiting for the Germans to get a move on because I opened up on the them in the road with my HMG when they weren’t quite in close range. I failed to do any damage apart from to myself as the Germans let fly in return and the weight of fire put paid to the MG team. My mortar had been plonking rounds on the road troops too but to no real effect.

The panzer iiis crash into the wood

my left flank platoon safely retreat to the hedge and spy the encroaching germans

german advance down the road relentlessly carries on. drawing mg and mortar fire.

The panzers and their accompanying blind hit the wood but I had managed to withdraw the lads there across the road and that is when we ran out of time.

All in all a nice enjoyable game, and many thanks to Ian for putting it on – even though I had to put up with a bit of stick due to the drubbing I had suffered at the weekend from Mike – so it was nice that I managed to not technically lose this game, I may have lost a few casualties but had slowed the Germans down enough that they had failed to take the crossroads. It might not have ended like that if we had more time mind you!

Iain Fuller