Nick and I met for a game of WW2 Spearhead played with our 20mm armies. I commanded the Germans and took a potentially powerful but also fragile panzer Division list while Nick took parts of the New Zealand Division (a regiment of the armoured brigade accompanied by two infantry battalions).
The table looking west. The German force entered from the right, the New Zealanders from the left.
Nick concentrated all of his forces to the west of the river where I had advanced with a motorised infantry battalion supported by tow StuG III platoons.
I expected him to be on the other side of the river, so I had concentrated the armoured battalion and Gepanzert battalion (cross attached) in tow groups in the more open ground.
|The view from the German right|
Even though Nick had concentrated his entire attack on his left against the German right I was reasonably confident. The two StuG platoons took up positions on the high ground behind the river, with the infantry in support. They had a battalion of 105mm guns in support.
My plan was to hold them on the river line long enough to swing my left flank force around onto their flank. My centre battalion group was held in reserve, and so I expected to swing them on a shorter arc to bring quicker support to the defensive motorised battalion on the right.
|The German left wing battalion|
At this stage I ordered my reserve forward. I also issued an order change that started my left wing in a wide arc designed to hit the New Zealanders deep in their own right flank.
|The opening exchanges between the StuG platoons and the Kiwi M4s saw one suppression apiece|
|Nick pushed further forward|
|The German centre battalion advanced from its reserve position|
At this stage Nick successfully called in an air strike. The attack was successfully pushed home against my right wing defensive position (my Flak cover was with the reserve in the centre just out of range of the target units), eliminating an infantry platoon and, more importantly, my Forward Observation team controlling the 105mm guns. This was a defining moment in the battle a sit stripped the right wing of essential heavy support.
In the same turn Nick succeeded in calling in a regiment of 25pdr guns. These managed a suppression against one of the StuG platoons with a 'lucky shot'.
The StuG platoon was then eliminated with a second suppression by one of the M4 Sherman platoons.
The reserve engaged Nick's right wing tactical reserve. One M4 platoon and one PzkwIV platoon were eliminated.
|The German left wing attack manoeuvres onto the Kiwi right.|
|German Panzerschreck teams take out an M4 platoon that has advanced too close. However two other platoon attacks failed. The Kiwi push across the river looked to succeed using their mass.|
Disaster for the German motorised infantry battalion. Stripped of their armoured support, they are vulnerable to armoured over run. Fire suppresses four platoons, and three fail to lift suppressions. Nick attacks.
|The battalion loses three platoons including battalion command, and fails its second moral test (it had already passed its first)|
|The battle between the centre reserve battalion and Nick's right flank has hotted up. The Firefly platoon is eliminated|
At this stage more effective fire from the British artillery in support of their left flank eliminates two platoons of armoured infantry, forcing a morale check on the German centre battalion. It fails.
At this stage we call the game. Nick has accrued eight victory points (he holds two objectives and has reduced two German battalions below half strength). I have accumulated four from the two objectives that I still hold.
The New Zealanders have cracked the German line and forced the river crossing (albeit a shallow running stream).
A great game and a lot of fun. Nick's account of the game can be found here.