Thursday, May 10, 2012

Appleford, Kent (Royal Military Canal) - Operation Sealion

Bob and I decided to do the FJ Assault on the Royal Military Canal scenario that Craig Baxter created for the Operation Sealion campaign. Major Leichtgehen was confident that his elite Fallschirmjägers would capture the canal bridges sweeping the British Home Guard defenders aside. His battalion had been assigned two of the bridges near the hamlet of Appleford, Kent. Little did he know he was about to drop into an inferno created by the elite 82nd Airborne Division. The Americans had just moved into the area, recently taking over defense of the canal from the Appleford Home Guard unit that were being called northward for further combat training.

1st Fallschirmjäger Division
  • FJ HQ - 2 Cmd SMG PzKnack, 3 PzSh, 3 GW42 mtr
  • 1st FJ Platoon - 1 Cmd SMG PzKnack, 9 Rifle/MG
  • 2nd FJ Platoon - 1 Cmd SMG PzKnack, 9 Rifle/MG
  • 3rd FJ Platoon - 1 Cmd SMG PzKnack, 9 Rifle/MG
  • FJ AT Gun Plt - 4 PaK 40, Cmd SMG
  • Sporadic Air - Ju 87D
  • Naval Gunfire Support
  • Total - 1580
82nd Parachute Division
  • Parachute Rifle Co HQ - 2 Cmd Carbine
  • 1st Parachute Rifle Plt - 1 Cmd R/MG, 1 Bazooka, 6 R/MG, 1 60mm Mtr
  • 2nd Parachute Rifle Plt - 1 Cmd R/MG, 1 Bazooka, 6 R/MG, 1 60mm Mtr
  • 3rd Parachute Rifle Plt - 1 Cmd R/MG, 1 Bazooka, 6 R/MG, 1 60mm Mtr
  • Parachute MG Plt - 4 M1919 LMG (attached out)
  • Parachute Mtr Plt - 1 Cmd Carbine, 2 Bazooka, 4 81mm Mtr


North side of the canal. Americans defending the canal line and the village. Two platoons with the mortar platoon. Germans on the right with 1st FJ Plt.

South side of the canal. American 3rd platoon placed in immediate ambush after the German PaK 40 Plt and the HQ mortar Plt deployed on the left.

1st Fallschirmjäger Division
  • Sporadic Air (Night turns)
  • Naval Gunfire Support
  • 2nd FJ Platoon
  • 3rd FJ Platoon
82nd Parachute Division

    1st Fallschirmjäger Division: Before the drop, the HQ PzSch teams were assigned to the combat FJ platoons. The drop was widely scattered with Major Leichtgehen finding the 1st FJ Platoon and leading it south towards the canal. Finally spotting the canal east of the hamlet of Appleford. The HQ mortar platoon and the PaK 40 platoon found their way north towards the canal stumbling into each other and the defenders at about the same time. They quickly deployed hoping to defend their gains until reinforcements from the rest of the battalion could arrive.
    82nd Parachute Division: As the defender the 82nd forces were restricted to a narrow deployment around the canal. With one platoon allowed to be in Immediate Ambush. The defense was deployed around the canal area and the buildings of Appleford, near the crossing points. The Parachute MG Platoon was attached out to the 1st and 3rd Parachute Platoons. The ambush (3rd Parachute Platoon) was deployed on the extreme edge of the deployment zone facing the FJ Mortar and PaK 40 support platoons.

    TURN 1

    The 2iC, in the church steeple, calls in the mortars on some noises in the woods north of the canal.

    Somebody's there!

    The only manage to pin them down.

    1st Fallschirmjäger Division
    • None
    82nd Parachute Division
    • None

    1st Fallschirmjäger Division: Night - No Reserves, No shooting. Mostly just moving up trying to get in closer range to be able to hit GtG, Concealed, Vets!
    82nd Parachute Division: Night - The Americans hear some movement north of the canal and the 2iC calls down the mortars on suspected enemy. Hits, but only pins down the 1st FJ platoon.

    TURN 2

    The 1st FJ platoon remains pinned! Where's a Commissar when you need one?

    Three dead mortar teams... This is NOT starting well...

    1st Fallschirmjäger Division
    • HQ Mortars - 3 81m mortars
    82nd Parachute Division
    • None

    1st Fallschirmjäger Division: Night - No Reserves (a common theme... Thank goodness for V3 reserve rules!) The 1st FJ platoon does not rally, even with the Maj. Leichtgehen encouraging the troopers! They wait their turn to assault, but do shoot into the house to their front with no effect. Most of the other units find the thickness of the night too much to identify any enemy.
    82nd Parachute Division: Night The American 3rd Para Platoon has no problem seeing through the darkness and manage to get 4 hits on the FJ HQ mortar platoon. Some bad die rolls later and 3 HQ mortars buy the farm... The 2iC survives and becomes just a 2iC again...

    TURN 3

    The firing line is ready!

    2nd FJ Platoon arrives!

    Those mortars are accurate little pests!

    1st Fallschirmjäger Division
    • HQ Mortars - 3 81m mortars
    • 1st FJ Plt - 1 R/MG
    82nd Parachute Division
    • None

    1st Fallschirmjäger Division: Night - 2nd FJ Platoon arrives from reserve Maj. Leichtgehen finally finishes interrogating the British farm lass, Millicent, also deciding the mead cache is sufficiently guarded and rallys the 1st FJ platoon! They fire into platoon holding the house with only two hits. They choose not to assault yet. The 2nd FJ platoon arrives, but is slowed picking their way through the darkness. The PaK 40s arrive at a reasonable distance and fire on the American 3rd platoon with no results. When is daylight coming?
    82nd Parachute Division: Night The 2iC radios the mortar platoon to see if they can spot the Germans to their front since a low fog bank seems to have disrupted his sightline. The mortars open fire and cause hits on the 1st FJ platoon resulting in one casualty and pinning them again. No one else can see anything in the shadows.

    TURN 4

    South of the canal - top of turn 4

    North of the canal - after the FJ have unpinned

    The 1st FJ Platoon takes the house!

    Day breaks leaving a good portion of the FJ in the open. Mortar fire pins them again!

    1st Fallschirmjäger Division
    • HQ Mortars - 3 81m mortars
    • 1st FJ Plt - 3 R/MG
    82nd Parachute Division
    • 1st Parachute Platoon - 2 R/MG

    1st Fallschirmjäger Division: Night - Naval Gunfire observer shows up (as the automatic reinforcement...) Maj. Leichtgehen ignores the pleadings of Millicent to return to the hay loft and rallies the 1st FJ Platoon! This time, we're going to get that house! After a hail of bullets, the American defenders suffer no casualties, but do seem to be pinned down. Charge! Three teams hear the call and rush the two American defenders in the house. The defensive fire from the defending platoon, who is strung out, and the the mortar platoon within 8" doesn't cause enough hits to drive back the assault. Two of the German teams hit and then push into the house. The rest of the American platoon chooses to not rush in foolhardily and breaks off. The 1st FJ Platoon consolidates their position with a risky move to setup an assault on the mortar platoon next turn. It looks like daylight is still a ways off... The 2nd FJ Platoon and the PaK 40s hear the fighting north of the canal, but can't seem to find any enemies on this side (night range rolls were really terrible...)
    82nd Parachute Division: Daylight! Mortars see the Fallschirmjäger clearly now and fire everything they have! The heavy firepower only manages to wound a few paratroopers, but does pin down the platoon.

    TURN 5

    North of the canal - The naval gunfre observer has worked his way into a good position in the vineyard.

    South of the canal - The 2nd FJ platoon slowly works it's way up through the woods

    Stukas arrive, but have no real effect on the company HQ

    Leichtgehen moves the platoon out in preparation for the assault on the bridge!

    The destroyer fire is called in, but they appear to be a bit rusty.

    The assault is ordered against the better judgement of some of the NCOs...

    Hans! Why are they shooting at us?

    More fire whittles the 1st FJ platoon down even further!

    1st Fallschirmjäger Division
    • HQ Mortars - 3 81m mortars
    • 1st FJ Plt - 7 R/MG
    82nd Parachute Division
    • 1st Parachute Platoon - 2 R/MG

    1st Fallschirmjäger Division: Now that daylight has finally arrived, Leichtgehen sees his opportunity to capture the bridge by a lightning assault! The tanks will be needing these bridges soon! The roar of Stuka divebombers is also heard above the gunfire. They bomb the American company HQ in the town of Appleford, but do no real damage. The 3rd FJ platoon arrives in reserve (another default arrival...) and force marches (doubles) to the sound of battle north of the canal. They are still a ways off. The naval observer targets the platoon that was defending the house, but ends up not being able to get the ships to understand where he wants the shells. Maybe sitting in port for so long has made the crews rusty? Fresh off his recent victory, Leichtgehen, orders his men to assault the mortar platoon even though he isn't able to pin them down. Their fire, combined with support from the American 2nd Parachute Platoon, mows down four of the FJ stands (I rolled at least 6-7 1s&2s!) They are stopped and pass the platoon morale check. The 2nd FJ platoon finally finds the enemy, but can't put enough hits on them. The assault doesn't look like a good proposition especially after having identified several American LMGs in the defense. The PaK 40s are fairly useless today. Maybe the barrels were bent on landing...
    82nd Parachute Division: The 2iC calls in the mortar platoon onto the naval observer before he can coax those big guns on to a target. They aren't much better at finding the observer and he survives. The American 1st and 2nd Parachute platoons poor heavy fire into the remnants of the 1st FJ platoon. They cause two more casualties including Lt. Grübber. Sgt. Feldeis takes over from his position in the house. Again, the 1st FJ Plt survives the motivation check, but they need a little help from Maj. Leichtgehen.
    At this point it was getting a bit late and we decided to leave the game where it was since there is a whole lot of fighting left to do. We also discussed scrapping this game in favor of a game that counts towards the other parts of the campaign. We figure that the Germans will be able to hold Kent even without another victory! Although that is far from certain at this point.
    Delayed daylight helped and hurt the Germans. They were able to preserve a good portion of their force, but they haven't been able to inflict much damage on the Americans either. Daylight brings all of the German weapons to bear, so maybe the tide will begin to turn. Still a lot of fight left!

    Generated by WWPD's BatRepper Software.