Saturday, January 26, 2019

"Packed in like bloody sardines, we was...."

Northern France, May 1940:

" 'ere Corp, wot's 'is Lordship up to? 'e's got us crammed in 'ere like bloomin' sardines, 'e 'as."
"It's called concentration, me old china."
"Well this bleedin' concentration's gonna 'ang us out to bloomin' dry, I tells yer. Bloody Jerry's sniffin' 'round already wiv 'is bloody aircraft, 'an I reckon we've got hole in the line you could drive a whole bloomin' fleet o' London buses through."
"Nah, we'll be right me ol' mate. Sarge was talking to his mate over in D Company, in 3 Battalion..."
"That bloody bastard Bateman? The Sergeant they call the Bus fare Bateman - dishes out charges like they was bus tickets?"
"Yeah, that's the one. Anyway Sarge was sayin' that he told him that the whole battalion is primed to counterattack as Jerry sweeps past. Meantime we've gotta keep these bloody bridges from falling into Jerry's hands."
"An' who the 'ell is gonna pay for that? We is, we's the muggins wot's gonna do the dirty work, we's the muggins wot's gonna be stuka'd to 'ell, we's the muggins wot's gonna 'ave bloody Jerry panzers drivin' right over the top of us... Bloody officers, bastards, every one of 'em."

The regiment had deployed in a concentrated formation to guard the bridges. The German advance had be blunted, and the river and its bridges were vital to protect toe flank of the division deployed further east.

The regimental position seen from behind looking north, with the river and bridges on the right. 1 Battalion was deployed at the northern most bridge, 2 Battalion immediately behind, 3 Battalion slightly to the west, with the Independent Tank Brigade in support

1 Battalion position, with the Vickers company deployed in support

2 Battalion

3 Battalion, with several of the tank troops, three others were hidden completely from view to the enemy

Matildas.. I's and II's

The German attack is launched with the aim of bypassing the cenytre of resistance

Panzer Battalion

3 Battalion;'s thrust begins, with the Independent Tank Brigade in support - three troops of Matilda II's, and two troops of Matilda I's

The German attack swings into the British position, with one Panzer Battalion driving deep to get in behind the British position. 3 Battalion's counterattack is developing in the upper centre of the photo

3 Battalion begins to take casualties

Two troops of Matilda I's, with infantry support, advance against the German infantry battalion on the German left

The Matilda II troops advance to the high ground and engage the German armour

Several platoons of Pz Is and IIs are destroyed in the 'ambush' from the British armour.. a third platoon is suppressed

The British armour is clearly a significant threat. The German commander calls on his 88mm Flak guns to engage the British armour, clearly little else is able to touch them

While the heavier German 88s are deploying, the German artillery blankets the British position in smoke. A British counter battery response is quick, and one battalion of German artillery is hit, one battery destroyed, another suppressed 

However the depth and significance of the German outflanking move can be seen here as German tanks drive past the British flank and into the rear

The British armour is under pressure, one troop is completely neutralised by the now deployed German flak guns

Meanwhile 2 Battalion has attempted to respond to the German threat on the German left, but time is running out
Overall, a fantastic game in which my 'creative' British plan saw me completely 'wrong footed' and outmanoeuvred. The British heavy artillery responded well, but the 25pdr batteries were noticeable for their lack of response. Attempts at order changes to respond to opportunity on the German flank were singularly unsuccessful, even though the regimental commander was positioned with 2 Battalion in order to facilitate the order change that I had anticipated I might want (my order change rolls were 1, 1 and 2, over three turns).

However, those comments are not meant as 'excuses'. I was out thought and outplayed by Keith in another outstanding game. Even my allocations of support weapons was misplaced. However that all encapsulates so much of what I ,love about Spearhead.. it is a fantastic exercise in using resources, space and time. My allocations of resources, and planning of the use of space and time, were less than optimal in the face of an outstanding plan form Keith ... LOVE it.

The game was played using the Spearhead rules system, and Keith's Scenario Generation System. Our armies are composed of Heroics and Ros figures and vehicles, 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Good things take time ...

Well... we estimate 14-15 years. That's when Keith and I bought the figures for our 6mm French and Prussian armies for Volley and Bayonet Franco Prussian War. I painted up about 2/3 of the figures I bought at that time. They have sat in the box since. Keith similarly has had his painted figures sitting in a box unused for a very long time.

Tonight .. finally... a small game ... fascinating.  I leave Keith to do the AAR. Here are just a few photos from the game.. a teaser. The figures are Heroics and Ros, the Prussians mine, the French Keith's.

Forcing the Uvarova

The vastness and the difficulty of the terrain through the Caucasus meant that by 1915 there were still avenues to be explored if victory wa...