|Somewhere north of Arras|
|The Durhams on my left|
|The Gloucesters on the right flank|
|Infantry of the Gloucesters deployed on the right|
At 1.37pm we spotted the initial Jerry advances with what appeared to be an infantry battalion advancing against our centre right, and armour advancing against our left. I was determined to keep my nerve. I knew I could count on the men.
|The initial German armoured thrust against the Durhams, whom I'd set to advance to take the high ground. They managed to reach the feature and take up position before Jerry arrived.|
Seeing the Durhams facing what I took to be a major armoured thrust, I committed the 5th RTR almost immediately in their support. Engines roared into life and platoons of A13s and MkVIs moved out.
|A13s and MkVIs advance on the extreme left of our position|
It look very little time before we heard the drone of aircraft engines, and what we came to recognise as the howling scream of Stuka sirens over the heads of the Gloucesters. The bang bang of the Bofors deployed to provide AA cover was easily drowned out by the screaming sirens. The sound chilled the nerves.
|The Bofors battery in the foreground.|
|The air attack took out a significant left flank position with a platoon of infantry and an AT battery destroyed in quick succession.|
|The German reserve seen at the top left, the 5th RTR at the bottom left of the photo|
|The Gloucesters on the right advance towards the river in preparation for their attack on the German flank.|
|Carrier platoons were proving their value this day|
|Initial contact between the Durhams and the German armour|
|Contact with the Durhams - two German tank platoons close assault a platoon of the Durhams|
|The close assault goes in|
|The German reserve advances on their extreme right|
|Meanwhile things had hotted up for the Durhams. Boyes AT rifles seemed to be proving their worth as German tank casualties mounted.|
|Crossing the river on the right|
|Gaps in the German formations, with both Byes, and 2pdr AT batteries protecting the Durhams. Their infantry was struggling to support the armour|
|Both forces were feeling the impact of the intense struggle|
|Early casualties on the 5th RTR|
|The Gloucesters in the woods|
|The struggle reaches a crescendo on the right.|
News came through from Division: Jerry had broken through elsewhere. We'd need to break off the action and fall back south of Arras.
This was a game that Keith and I played using our favourite Spearhead rules. The game was set in France in May 1940. We set the game using Keith's Scenario Generation System. At the end of play, points slightly favoured the BEF, but another turn of play would have swung the balance - the Durhams, and the armoured battalion attacking them, were on the verge of a morale check.
A great game which has lead to a fascinating discussion on orders options for the defender.