09.00 D+1: Well, a big push captured us the town of Caen. Our company was directed to entrench just to the West of the city, attempting to ensure we weren't overrun. Some of the men grumbled about not getting to enjoy a hero's welcome in Caen, and enjoy the soft beds and wine, but the sounds of continued door-to-door combat as those in the city rooted out the Germans quickly quieted those complaints.
We spread out among a forest and the clearing behind a river. I want to force those accursed tanks to have to ford their way across it, or stack up down the narrow bridge if they want to get at us. My 1st Platoon Lieutenant did wisely point out that a nearby farmhouse would make an all-too-tempting spot for the Germans to set up a forward command post or observer hut, so I sent his platoon forward with the 6pdrs and FOO to keep it in our hands.
|The Farmhouse, after the 6pdrs had popped ambush.|
|3rd Platoon holds the river ford in a forest, slightly exposed but soon to be reinforced.|
|The Sextons all had a good line to the bridge, held by infantry. He'd have to assault to cross.|
|8-rads toe the line, ready to race forward.|
|This was the tempting array at the start of battle. Sadly they spread before I could fire on them.|
9.35: The FOO reported the StuGs spreading out: one group rolled to where the 8-rads had been, and another spread out at the crossroads to start attempting to flank 1st Platoon. Luckily, this time our Shermans were responding quickly, when a troop from the Sherbrooke Fusiliers came trundling up the road. They stopped briefly to get the feel for the situation from 2nd Platoon, just before the bridge. From somewhere in a back field, the sound of rockets firing was confirmed when our FOO's position was blanketed in smoke. Whether they'd seen him or were just covering the end of the road, those poor observers have no luck.
|Shermans arrive and get the lay of the land from 2nd Platoon.|
|His Rocket Battery frustrated my FOO all game, either smoking or, when he forgot, shelling the FOO.|
9.40: Once again the 8-wheelers peeked over the bocage, and this time they brought friends. Five StuGs started to push their noses through the bocage, hoping to get clear lines of fire. They opened up, and an unlucky shot tore through the shield and breech of a 6pdr, causing thankfully minimal casualties but ruining the gun. In return, the AT guns scored multiple solid hits, at least rattling, if not damaging the StuGs. Following hot on the heels of the Shermans, a half troop of Achilles arrived, and were directed to where the fighting sounded worst. The Shermans raced along the road, using the continuing barrage of smoke as an excuse to not take it slow.
|Moving at speed, my Shermans pass the undoubtedly shellshocked FOO.|
|The lineup of targets for my 6pdrs and artillery: I managed to range in on the centre one early on!|
|Despite doing everything right to set it up, still his assault is rebuffed!|
|Achilles add their weight of fire to the 6pdrs.|
|My friend's snazzily converted trucks; the command figure is especially neat, I think.|
The Shermans are having a go at flanking the Jerry force, but just as they round the corner, spot that second platoon of StuGs and begin trading fire.
|Shermans brazenly roll down the road attempting to flank.|