The story so far....
B Company had made several efforts to capture La Cambe, but were repulsed each time with heavy casualties among the attacking infantry and supporting armoured units. Given the company's failure to take the hamlet, they were pulled out of the line and replaced with A Company who were ordered up to the front. 1st Platoon made a cautious approach to La Cambe, but found it deserted except for what looked like battle plans and some black painted broomsticks made to look like gun barrels. With American forces approaching La Cambe from the flank and front and with the hamlet zeroed in for US mortar and artillery fire, the Germans have clearly pulled out deciding they have held up the US advance for too long. Captain Ford of A company sets up his Company Command post in La Cambe and orders 2 Platoon forward to assault the village
A Company, 175th Infantry, prepares to get into the war
It's been a while since our last game - I now have a new baby, so time for wargaming along with pretty much anything else is very limited! But I managed to squeeze in a game at the weekend with Sigur. Sigur decided to withdraw his platoon from Map 1 so this game was to be the Delaying Action at Arthenay on Map 2....probably a good thing as I don't think either of us could face playing map 1 again! The game from.the German perspective can be found here: https://www.tabletopstories.net/language/en/2022/11/29-lets-go-game-5/
I set up a reasonable representation of the map from the 29 Let's Go PSC. As with the rest of the US platoon's in the PSC, I don't really need to keep track of the personalities as I get a fresh platoon each turn. However, I think it adds to the narrative and I like doing it. So, here is 2nd Platoon:
The Platoon is led by 2LT Jared Acland a 24 Year Old Farmer's son from South Dakota. He is supported by Platoon Sergeant SSGT Lew Olsen, a 27 year old warehouse clerk from California. The three squads of 2 Platoon are lead by SGT Eric Wishinski (first squad), a farmer from Idaho, SGT Rick Carney (2nd Squad), a Bank Teller from Maine and SGT Dan "Chief" Waupoose (3rd Squad), the company's only Native American, formerly a hunter from Oklahoma. For support, I took 3 Shermans and an Adjudant.
As before, they face the original platoon of Germans under command of Unterfeldwebel Zausel. The German platoon has a number of patched up wounded, but no losses so far.
For this game the Germans ended up with a force morale of 9, The US Force Morale was 11 - clearly 2 Platoon were very glad they didn't have to storm La Cambe!
The Patrol phase was fairly standard although the position of several patrol markers made for difficult decisions in placing the jump off points. The US ended up with one on the edge of the orchard on the left flank, one behind the hedge on the right flank and one on the table edge on the right flank. The Germans ended up with a JOP in the garden, one in a house and 1 just behind the wall by the barn (note: one hte map the walls are high - we didn't have any low walls so just used the high ones and said they were low!). The German JOP in red is the objective for the US - they need to take and hold this JOP for the end of the turn.
The US forces began their advance. 1st Squad deployed by the hedge in the orchard, and went on overwatch along with 2LT Acland, while a Sherman rumbled up the road. With no sign of the Germans the rest of the US force rapidly deployed - the rest of the Sherman platoon on the road and 2nd and 3rd squad on the right flank. SSGT Olsen accompanied 2nd Squad. Despite their swift deployment, once ordered forward the US infantry slowly picked their way towards the village. The lead tank went onto overwatch, as the other two Shermans advanced in support of the infantry.
"SGT Forrest - advance your tank forward on my flank!" 2LT Peterson in the command Sherman ordered. "You first!" muttered SGT Forrest deliberately moving his tank slowly. Forrest had seen the burnt out wrecks of the 3rd company of the 747th Armored regiment and had no intention of ending up like them.
SGT Forrest was wise - there was a faint boom and suddenly 2LT Peterson's Sherman was knocked out by fire from an off-table Marder. The lieutenant and 2 crew were killed, the other two rolled out of the burning wreck and headed back towards La Cambe. That was an unpleasant surprise!
The tank being knocked out gave the US infantry the impetus to move forward, covered by the remaining two Shermans and first squad on the left. The lead Sherman reversed to move out of LOS from the Marder.
Sigur now rolled a double phase and deployed infantry in the house and the garden. They opened fire on 2nd and 3rd squad who were advancing across the fields. The rifle teams took shock, but the BAR teams are gunned down. US force morale is slowly being picked away, and the German squads move back out of line of sight.
In the face of German fire, 2nd squad fired covering fire at the garden and the Shermans fire HE rounds into the building with no real effect (I was hoping to knock down the building or make it unstable enough to force the German infantry out.) 3rd squad moved up on the far left flank and 1st squad, urged on by 2LT Acland, made it to the hedge, then moved towards the walled garden on the left.
Getting into sustained firefight with German Machine guns is a recipe for disaster, so SGT Waupoose orders his squad forward in a charge in a vain effort to clear the garden of Germans. One lucky US soldier guns down the German squad leader but ultimately the US force is wiped out. US force morale drops further!
The Germans continue to fire sporadically at 2nd squad, wounding SGT Carney and inflicting more shock. 2LT Acland and first squad move closer to the walled garden to line up for a follow up assault on the squad in the garden. A shell from one of the Sherman's blasts into the garden, causing some shock and throwing dirt all over unterfeldwebel Zausel who has rushed forward to take command of the squad. As first squad closes on the walled garden a third German squad pops up and fires at them, again causing shock on the rifle team and killing all but one of the BAR team, who breaks and runs for the rear.
With the end of the turn, 2LT Acland decides war isn't all it is cracked up to be and withdraws.
US Force Morale:1
German Force Morale:8
So....another defeat for the US! reviewing the game afterwards, clearly advancing on the right flank across open ground was not the best tactical move. The left flank provided more cover for the infantry. Unlike previous games I used overwatch and covering fire more, with some effect and did better with fire and maneuver. The charge by third squad was a bit of a gamble which ultimately didn't pay off, but then getting into a firefight with Germans to kept moving forward, firing at half effect, and withdrawing, was not going to go anywhere either. And on the plus side, I did take out one of the German junior leaders who won't easily be replaced.
The US took 22 casualties in this game, including the loss of SGT Waupoose. As before, US casualties don't need to be tracked but 10 are killed, 6 seriously wounded and 5 lightly wounded and will be available for the next game (not that it matters as I get a fresh platoon each time). The Surviving BAR gunner from 1st squad and one of the survivors from 3rd squad are listed as MIA...They eventually roll back into the company Command Post later. two of the wounded survivors from 3rd squad are captured and sent to the rear.
Roll of Honor
SGT Waupoose KIA, 175th Infantry
CPL McWilliams KIA, 175th Infantry
LCPL Sheridan KIA, 175th Infantry
LCPL Yates KIA, 175th Infantry
PVT Chapin KIA, 175th Infantry
PVT Ely KIA, 175th Infantry
PVT Serpico KIA, 175th Infantry
PVT Poulos KIA, 175th Infantry
PVT Hervey KIA, 175th Infantry
PVT Torres KIA, 175th Infantry
PVT Wheatley KIA, 175th Infantry.
2LT Peterson, KIA, 747th Armored
CPL Mercado, KIA 747th Armored
PVT Karic KIA 747th Armored.
PVT Markland POW, 175th Infantry
PVT Kostnaro POW 175th Infantry.
Col. "Pops" Goode, is getting shakier and shakier and drops down from Nervous to Anxious. However, I elect to have the divisional commander give him a stern talking to to focus his mind. As a result he ends up back at Nervous.
And on the German side, poor Obergefreiter Ralf "Fuchs" Lohse is killed outright. One of the soldiers in the squad is promoted to squad leader
So, a nice little game. The US advance continues to get bogged down while the Germans manage to move more troops and equipment across the bridge to safety. Next, 1st Platoon will try and take Arthenay in order to get the 29th Division moving.