May 27th, 1940. Ze report for herr Kommandant Rommel:
Yesterday we were repulsed from our attempt to cross the canal line. Despite being able to capture the railway bridge, hold it for several turns, AND break the British BR, the german left flank was unable to make progress and defeat ensued.
A photo of the battlefield from our divisonal Fieseler Storch:
All started well in the right flank, when Kampfgruppe Katta sped away toward the railway bridge. Our Mittiere Panzer IV valiantnly in front of us and trucks unaloading lethal schutzen cargo.
And Kradschutzen making use of their speed
We felt confident that our supporting Schwere Infanterie Geschütz would make life easier for us. (it did, it blew an entrenched 2pdr gun with 2 direct hits from 47 inches away)
Our Liechte Panzer II Zug comes forward also to reinforce the Schwerpunkt
Oberst Katta supervises the advance from behind in his Panzerbefehlswagen
However, on the left Flank, Hauptmann Maganien found inmediate trouble for his forward scouts. Both his sdkfz231 and his cavalry scouts came under fire from a hidden cruiser tank in the barn orchard and a pair of accurate british snipers who made advance a difficult affair.
Bigger problems come in the form of some pre-registered british artillery (ie, a PRT) and a roadblock. Those Tommies must have some contacts up the chain of command, because a rain of 4,5¨ shells stonked over us.
The left flank packs more panzer punch in the form of our Czech made 38(t)’s, PzJaeger I and supporting PzIV
Herr Katta orders the advance to continue. But the leading PzIV starts receiving some small caliber fire from the other side of the river. Clank, clank, clank… grrrr Heavy spalling ensues, and Hans the driver is wounded. Again, clank, clank… more steel spalling…Jürgen the loader screams in pain…. the nervous crew cannot stand anymore and abandons the vehicle…. A loud cheer is heard from the other side of the canal. (a Boys AT rifle has done its job).
Undaunted, the leichte panzer zug start to cross the river as ordered by Herr Oberst. We know the British would feel demoralized by that (special scenario conditons make the british draw 1BR counter per each german AFV that crosses the river)
More Schutzen from 6th schutzen regiment come to support the panzers
Once on the other side of the river, our leichte panzers start to wreak havoc amongst the entrenched british. But some of them are well concealed and difficult to see. Too much smoke and chaos on the battlefield. We did not noticed a small light mortar team who fires in front of Petersen´s Panzer (nr 11) and some shell splinters penetrated their thin armor. They bail-out. With no infantry nearby to support them, the crew is mercilessly machine-gunned by the evil BEF.
As rumours of British reinforcements arriving start to be heard, more schutzen and the rest of the leichte panzer Zug dash to the river ford.
Meanwhile, on the left flank, Haputman Maganien could not make progress against the barn (an objective), defended by tenacious British infantry and supported by what appears to be infinite and withering amounts of Artillery of all calibers. (The germans were sitting on a british PRT and they do not move out. All kinds of indirect fire was stonking there: 25pdr, medum mortars and heavy 4,5¨guns)
Back on the right, British reinforcements have arrived. Small carriers unload small teams of more of those pesky light mortars. Zug leader Dietrich order his tanks to take defensive positions to confront the new arrivals, which include some very heavy tanks with 3 turrets.
More panzers cross the river. Petersen and his crew are avenged by killing the nasty light mortar. The other panzers try to eliminate the british infantry, but there is smoke everywhere and vision is very blurred as consequence of those nimble mortars firing smoke everywhere. Nevertheless, the AT rifle team is eliminated.
Schutzen squad approaches the railroad bridge and prepares to take it and disable the demolition charges.
The left flank commits more infantry to the barn, but cooperation with tanks is still not that good, and they stumble in the same PRT as the panzers (maybe they weren´t in Poland….). Result: more destruction from above, pinning and attack stalled again. Oberst Katta is furious: Hauptmann move away from that PRT!!!! But commms are down….
Full leichte Panzer Zug is across the river now (5 BR counters drawn by the BEF) and they must prepare to defend the bridgehead. Those big british tanks are approaching.
Panzer II nr.12 waits until the leading enemy is within 50 meters and unleash a lethal salvo of 20mm autocannon. The british tank stops, and then catches fire. They are big, but not hard to knock down it seems. When we are still celebrating, Zangen´s Panzer nr.14 receives engine and transmission damage form the remaining light mortar and must abandon the vehicle. They surrendered to a british artillery captain in a tench nearby.
The british counterstroke is unfoding. Our leichte panzer Zug defend the bridgehead. We need some help from our left flank. We´ve done our part!
The bridge is ours! The enemy infantry has been eliminated by autocannon fire, and we can claim the objective.
Time for our schutzen to start crossing the river and support our beleaguered panzers. We could hear the shouts of a british artillery officer calling multiple artillery support requests in a trench nearby
The left flank is now definitely stalled. No progress could be made against the barn. Supporting schutzen are more worried finding shelter from the rain of british shells that came raining down every turn. Why Hauptmann Maganien does not run away from that damn spot!!!
With a last breath, the left flank tries to make a last push. The british are Broken (past their BR rating) and the railway bridge is ours. If we take the Barn, we win. But the British infantry is tenacious. We machine-gunned all british presence from the barn, and gain control of it. But could not dislodge a last british section from their trenches. And the objective is not taken (they are still within 10´ of it).
Oberst Kata orders a last effort to be made (takes 2 BR counters to unpin). Orders are quickly spit by radio, but the junior officers are spent. They do not answer or said those are impossible commands, and start to withdraw. They had have enough.
Those last counters have taken the german BR beyond its limit. With the BEF still in control of 3 objectives (they need 2) they win the game.
That´s what always told you Fritz, never stand still on top of a PRT!