Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Caught Up Outside Caen

[It was a most infuriating battle, wherein I failed by my own foolishness. We played Dust Up, with me 'attacking'. I deployed just off of where I should have, and suffered ill dice at just the wrong times.]

14.30, D-Day: Having been rebuffed in the direct assault on Caen, we flanked around to the West, hoping to catch Jerry from the side. I am growing to hate hedgerows and it's been what, 5 hours? Each one brings an MG nest, an anti-tank gun, or God Forbid, an entire German infantry company. We found ourselves once again lined up against the hated StuGs, though our flanking did manage to catch a single isolated platoon. We deployed within a more open area of ground, and I ordered A Platoon up to the crossroads, while B took a farmhouse. C Platoon took up positions around the SP battery I'd managed to keep with us. I had the tanks attempt to break around to the East, to cut them off from Caen.

Scouts have reported that the tanks have lined up, and are conferring by radio. They report some rustling in the forest to the East, and we can hear a battery of AA that's been harassing our planes probably since the landings.

14.35: As soon as the scouts return, I order the infantry to dig in. My FOO takes a spot at the corner of the farmhouse, able to see down the road. He quickly begins signaling that the enemy is on the move. I swear it's as though they can smell us. They poke those accursed long barrels out through the hedges, making the road a fool's errand. Luckily, this guarantee we can see them.

14.40: Our SPs have found the correct range, and are dropping shells all around them. One at least was brewed up, we could see the smoke curling up. The men to the East seemed to be having a hard time, either with harder dirt, or with finding good sightlines. Everyone else seemed properly in their slit trenches.

The Canadians begin to dig in, having sighted the enemy.
The German deployment looks so... Harmless. So deceptively harmless.

14.42: No sooner did we start shelling them, then they burst out of the bushes like we'd lit a fire under their arses, which, I guess, we had. Unfortunately this led to them shooting at our Platoon A as they attempted to dig in, and I could see a few men taking hits. The StuGs managed to crash fully through the bocage, machine guns blazing a bloody fire through my men. They quickly pulled back, attempting to find cover in the wheat field.

14.44: The SPs and 6pdrs opened up on the StuGs at close range, but out of fear of hitting our own men, they ended up firing long. The men themselves were too concerned with getting out of the way to manage any effective counter-attack, and the StuGs seemed unstoppable.

Oh if only he hadn't remembered his CO's motivation reroll, I'd have taken two of these!

The Poor Bloody Infantry can do little to stop the charge of the Stugs.

14.50: Radio reports came in that the Shermans had rolled on the field too far back! Rather than coming on the flanks by the StuGs, they were mixing it up with their infantry near a bog! Bloody recon UCs didn't help much on that one. A 6pdr managed to luck out and destroy one, and I could see the weight of fire was disorienting or spooking the crews of the rest. The StuGs continued their reign of terror, neatly bisecting our forces.

Shermans and UCs drop onto the objective, but the infantry sacrifices teams to keep the objective covered.
StuGs bully their way onto the objecitve.
I gave the order to fall back and consolidate positions. While the Shermans have made the objective, we can't push through to them at the moment.

[Essentially, the Shermans and UCs took the far objective, but my opponent snuck single infantry out of the woods to keep contesting it. In the meantime, the StuGs ran roughshod over my forces, and then I foolishly assaulted them when I should have remained contesting. I had two bailed out, one dead, with the remaining cowering in the cornfield. I got bloodthirsty and charged, losing what remained of the platoon holding the objective. Had I waited, it's very possible I'd have taken the objective on the next turn! Oh well, being my first time deploying an infantry force was going to be rough, but I know better now how to line them up...]

Unsurprisingly, it was a 1-6 against. Though Caen may have been taken thanks to the valiant efforts of companies not-mine, I will continue the fight in the hedgerows, for France, for England, for Canada!

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