This scenario, played out by myself (Germans) and Kev (Americans) at the club last Sunday concerns a company of US Airborne troops dropped inland from Utah Beach as part of the D Day landings. C Company’s dropzone is in the region around La Forge, a small hamlet on the road west from Sainte-Marie-du-Mont. Unfortunately, the company’s three platoons have been dispersed and need to join up in La Forge and consolidate their position and prevent German troops from attacking the landing zone. 

Capt. Eugene O’Neill, commanding C Company has set up his Command Post in the hamlet and deployed Able platoon in defence. Baker and Charlie platoons are scattered around and are attempting to find their comrades. Capt. O'Neill has to hold on until troops from Utah Beach can reinforce him. These are represented by a platoon of M5A1 light tanks.

So far, the US troops haven't been attacked, but German forces moving towards Utah Beach have spotted the Americans and need to eject them before joining the forces opposing the seaborne landings.

US Forces

HQ : (1 blind +1 dummy)

  • Capt Eugene O’Neill (L4)
  • Lt. Marvin Doolittle (L3)
  • 2 x bazooka teams (2 men each)
  • 2 x Browning 0.30 LMG (3 crew each)

Able Platoon: (2 blinds + 1 dummy)

  • Lt Doug Gatsby L3)
  • 3 x sections(10 men)
  • 1 bazooka team
  • 1 60mm mortar (4 man team)

Baker Platoon:

  • Lt Steve Austin (L3)
  • 3 x sections (10 men)
  • 1 bazooka team
  • 1 60mm mortar (4 man team)

Charlie Platoon:

  • Lt Harry Cooper ( L3)
  • 3 x sections (10 men)
  • 1 bazooka team
  • 1 60mm mortar (4 man team)

Tank platoon (on the road, heading for the village)

  • 5 x M5 light tanks
  • Lt Lou Reed (L2) 

La Forge: a sleepy Norman hamlet

The first US platoon arrives from this side of the village

German Briefing

American parachute troops have landed and are all over the countryside. One group is in the vicinity of La Forge. A company of Panzergrenadiers with vehicles has been dispatched to round up the Americans and prevent them securing the roads. Because of the risk of attack by fighter-bombers against large columns moving on roads, the German forces will arrive in separate groups. Two Panzerjägers are available but will not arrive immediately.

The Germans will approach from this side

German Forces

Wave One (arrives when German blind chip is first drawn) 2 blinds plus 2 dummy

HQ Element

  • Oberleutnant Stefan Wurst (L4 Big Man)
  • 3 MG42 MG teams (2 men each)
  • 3 Panzerschreck teams (2 men each)
  • 1 SdKfz 250/10 with 37mm PaK and 1 SdKfz 250/9 with 2cm cannon and MG42

Zug One

  • Feldwebel Otto Klein (L3 Big Man)
  • 3 rifle squads (8 men each)
  • 2 Panzerfausts
  • 1 additional MG42 team

Wave Two (chip goes in the bag when German blind chip is next drawn) 2 blinds

Zug Two

  • Feldwebel Uwe Seeler (L3 Big Man)
  • 3 rifle squads (8 men each)
  • 2 Panzerfausts
  • 1 additional MG42 team
  • 2 x SdKfz 251/9 (75cm L24 howitzer)

Wave Three ( chip goes in the bag when German blind chip is drawn for the third time) 3 blinds

Zug Three

  • Feldwebel Hans Helder (L3 Big Man)
  • 3 rifle squads (8 men each)
  • 2 Panzerfausts
  • 1 additional MG42 team
  • 3 x SdKfz 250/9 with 2cm cannon and MG42

The German A/T chip goes in the bag with Wave Three

Panzerjäger Zug

  • Leutnant Georg Ritter (L3 Big Man)
  • 2 x Marder III 75mm Pak 40

The Game

The Germans begin their advance under blinds, spotting the Airborne platoon in the paddock surrounded by hedges in the hamlet. On the right more German troops move to occupy the walled garden, again under blinds.

Having been spotted by the Americans in the village, the German Zug takes cover in the walled garden. This will prove to be a problem in the coming battle. 

Both sides exchange fire, no casualties are caused but both sides take some shock. The noise of the shooting is bound to attract other troops to the area. First to arrive is a second US airborne platoon, quickly followed by more Panzergrenadiers and some SdKfz recce halftracks. A couple of SdKFz 251 halftracks with short 75mm howitzers also arrive.

Things start hotting up as more fire is exchanged. So far, neither side has suffered many casualties, but shock is slowing things down. The Germans seem reluctant to advance and this allows the US Airborne to start consolidating their position when the final platoon arrives.

This platoon takes up a defensive position behind the bocage lining the road to prevent the hamlet being outflanked by German infantry. The German SdKfz 251/22 with a 75mm Pak 40 near the walled garden opens fire on the hamlet but misses, and this brings an instant response from the US bazooka teams, who destroy the vehicle after a couple of shots. 

More German troops arrive

The final US platoon arrives

Things begin to hot up

Bazooka fire destroys the half track

By now, all forces apart from the US tanks and the German Panzerjäger Zug are in action. Both sides are also taking casualties, mainly to heavy fire from the LMGs of both sides.

The platoon defending the hamlet is suffering from MG42 and howitzer fire as the Panzergrenadiers begin to advance across the open fields towards their enemy.

Realising that being stuck in the walled garden is pointless and unable to move along the road due to a US platoon behind the bocage, the German troops climb over the wall and begin to advance across the ploughed field towards the hamlet. A second Zug moves up in support.

However, time is running out because the US cavalry has arrived in the shape of five M5A1 tanks. Where are the Marder anti-tank guns when they are needed? 

The M5s immediately open fire with machine guns on the Panzergrenadiers caught in the open, inflicting both shock and casualties. The much-needed Panzerschreck teams seem paralysed with fear and are stuck in the middle of nowhere, unable to do anything useful. 

A section of Panzergrenadiers eliminates the US LMGs in the hamlet and advances over the wall towards the houses, causing the US commander to beat a hasty retreat. 

There is still no sign of the Marders, who must have fallen foul of the Allies elsewhere in the area, and the machine guns of the American tanks are decimating the Panzergrenadiers caught in the open in the ploughed field. Elsewhere on the battlefield, the third American platoon defending the road behind the bocage, has destroyed a whole section of Panzergrenadiers and pinned another in the open. Oberleutnant Wurst, the German commander is forced to admit that his assault has bogged down and reluctantly decides to beat a hasty retreat before the US tanks destroy his complete company.
We had to call a halt at this point because we had run out of time, but I think that my position (i.e. the German one) was decidedly weak. My infantry were taking a pounding from the tank machine guns and I doubt that my SdKfz 250 halftracks would have stood much of a chance against the fairly weedy 37mm guns of the M5s. I am assuming that their 20mm guns would have been pretty ineffectual against the slightly tougher armour of the US tanks. I really needed those Marders and it was a huge mistake to get the 75mm SdKfz 251 involved early on because it would always have been vulnerable to bazooka fire.

Getting a whole platoon of Germans boxed into the walled garden was a mistake too, especially as an American platoon pitched up almost immediately on the other side of the road, effectively blocking the exit.

Another thought-provoking game, with the victor's crown going to Kev's American Airborne troops.