Sunday, October 20, 2013

All Americans, Part 9 (Sicily 23 July 43)

    Immediately following their victory, Shepherd and Ford huddled.  They knew what had to be done; reorganize quickly, then push forward and pinch left to make a flank assault on the German position that had 2nd Platoon pinned.  The Platoon received no outside support or reinforcements; the only addition beyond normal was that all the Wpns Plt men servicing the .30 cal. MMG were out of action, so it was given to a couple riflemen in 2nd Squad's rifle team (2A) to man.  Sgt Reyes was again angered by this; this meant he would essentially cease being a squad leader and simply be a weapons team leader.

The situation was that 2nd Platoon was attacking up the road, but has been pinned down several hundred yards south (off table at bottom) of the German positions at/near the crossroads.  1st Platoon, having won its fight on the far right flank, will now enter on the right flank (top right of photo) to reduce the main German resistance at the crossroads, as well as a two-tube section of 80mm mortars (at top center).
    2nd Plt is off table and is represented by one card that fires as a MMG each turn, occupying the attention of the German forces in the building, who must continue to concentrate fire at 2nd Plt.

1st Platoon: the Lt is leading 3A, along with Ignacio's bazooka, at far left.  Next up is Cpl Locke's BAR team (1B), then SSgt Ford with 2nd Squad's BAR team (2B).  Ford and 2B will be going for the 80mm mortars, to catch them before they realize what's happening and withdraw.  At far right is Sgt Reyes and two other men, manning the .30 cal. MMG.

The German main position: on the top floor is a fire group (1FG), on the bottom floor is a tripod-mounted MG-42 (HMG, and it will be responsible for maintaining fire on 2nd Plt).  Just outside is a 50mm mortar team, while behind the wall at bottom left is an assault group (1AG).

German position, this time showing the 80mm mortars at bottom right.  1st Platoon is just off camera at left.

Turn 1:
The fight started with a US activation, and so Sgt Reyes' MMG went into action against the German 1AG (behind the wall).  Shepherd was crouching in the woods, ready to lead 3A into overrunning the German rifle team, as they should be pretty chewed up as the MMG would catch them 1) unawares and 2) totally in the open.  The MMG barked out a long burst (seven dice), that did nothing but alert the Germans to their presence (0 hits!!!).  Shepherd shot a disgusted look at Reyes; either he hadn't spent any (of the admittedly limited) time, or had given no/bad direction.  But, in Shepherd's mind, this failure was clearly of Reyes' doing.

Shepherd led his group forward and fired on 1AG, getting a kill and 3 shock.  When 1AG failed its activation roll, the three survivors promptly surrendered (0 FM pts).  The 50mm mortar crew heard the commotion, turned, and fired their rifles at the Lt/3A, to no effect.  1FG, on the top floor, did the same, getting only 1 shock, while the German HMG and 2nd Plt exchanged fire.  The German Platoon Commander, on the 2nd floor, fired his pistol at 3A, to no effect.  Ford led 2B in a sprint across the field towards the mortars, which continued to fire on 2nd Plt.

Turn 2:
This started with 1FG, still on the 2nd floor of the building, firing on the Lt's group, 3A, getting two shock and putting Sgt Glenn out of the fight!  Reyes then got the gun into action, firing on 1FG and killing its NCO (0 FM) and getting two shock.  But then the German 50mm mortar, unable to fire at 3A as it was too close, decided to drop some rounds on Reyes MMG team, killing him (-3 FM) and getting a shock on the team!  So very quickly the Platoon lost its two remaining squad leaders...

Shepherd rallied 3A and moved them forward (behind wall), firing on 1FG, getting 2 kills and a shock, which the German PC moved over and pulled.  But then Locke's 1B fired on them, killing the two remaining men and the German Platoon Commander (-5 FM).  The German HMG continued to fire on 2nd Plt, with 2nd Plt returning serve (a kill and a couple shock so far).

Ford kept moving 2B towards the unaware German mortars.

Turn 3:
Right off the bat I rolled up a random event, which saw one of the non-player characters go heroic.  So PFC Alston (moved over from 2A to 3A when the Lt gave the MMG to Reyes) hopped the wall, killed one of the German 50mm mortar crew, and captured the other.  Then, when the Lt moved 3A up to engage the German HMG on the ground floor (which surprisingly decided to fight instead of surrender), Alston got in on this, too.  In the ensuing close combat, the German HMG team was eliminated (-1 FM), while 3A lost a man and got two shock.  Shepherd quickly fired a flare to let 2nd Plt know to shift fire.

On the right, Ford and 2B hopped the wall and then dropped three of the German mortar men, and the last surrendered, ending the fight.

1st Platoon once again carried the day, with minimal casualties, though two squad leaders were hit.  The company consolidated on this position, and set about reorganizing itself in preparation to begin moving east on the long march to Messina.

The Germans lost:
2 80mm mortar tubes captured

Our casualties:
Sgt Hurley Reyes (2nd Squad) *Negative Morale Event (casualties) (2/3); Shot in head, Purple Heart (3); Submitted for Bronze Star (5); Positive Morale Event (personal and unit performance, friendship with Sgt Hume) (6/7); Negative Morale Event, downgraded to Level I leader (death of Hume) (7/8); KIA (9)
Sgt Glenn *Repl from E Co, 2nd Bn (3/4); Ran in the face of the enemy (4); Transferred from 2nd Squad to 3rd Squad (4/5); Submitted for Distinguished Service Cross (5); shot in neck, Purple Heart (6); shot in arm, Purple Heart (9);  
PFC Uniform (3rd Squad) *Submitted for Bronze Star (4): shot in jaw, Purple Heart (6); Promoted to PFC by Lt (6/7); KIA (9)

Awards recommendations:
-PFC Alston (2nd Squad), submitted for Bronze Star for taking his own initiative, under heavy fire, to eliminate a German mortar position taking fellow members of 2nd Squad under intense, accurate fire, then charging key elements of a German machine gun position pinning 2nd Platoon in exposed positions.

Captain Linus and the remainder of Dog Company moved into blocking positions to isolate Marsala as other element of the 82nd Airborne Division set about the grim task of clearing the Germans and Italians from that city.


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