I got the next fight in, and the whole battalion was involved! As usual this was a five-hour slugfest, with heavy casualties on both sides, but once again the Fightin' First carried the day!
It started the night of 24 August, when Ol' Blood and Guts himself visited the battalion area to congratulate the men on two days of hard fighting, and, more importantly, to beg the battalion for one more day's heavy lifting. Gen Patton was convinced the Army had the Germans on the ropes, and he was convinced one more hammer blow would unhinge the German defenders and open a gaping hole for Allied tanks to pour through.
In this particular neck of the woods, 1st Bn would be leading the attack to split the German defense in two and grab at least one bridge over the Soiree River. The operation would involve the entire battalion task force, nothing held in reserve, in one go-for break session. But the General swore that if 1st Bn would 'break the damned door down' the other two battalions of the regiment would storm through, with 1st Bn earning a spot out of the line to rest, recupe, and indoc replacements.
What follows is their story ;)
Bn CO will come on for initial assaults by A and B Companies, then lead C Company task force to secure Cordon Rouge.
Bn XO will lead fast task force of:
Lt Tangoe's Recon Plt (three vehicles).
Lt Ithoriel's Tank Destroyer Plt (three M10s)
Lt Lionstar's Engineer Plt, four squads in four M3 halftracks
A Co Task Force
CC Capt Dillon
Lt Gwydion's 1st Plt (2 squads, bazooka)
Lt Drakenganer's 2nd Plt (2 squads, bazooka)
Lt Womble's 3rd Plt (3 squads, bazooka)
Lt Freduelve's Wpns Plt (60mm mortar)
Lt Ditteaux's 1st Tank Plt (2 M4 Sherman)
B Co Task Force
CC Capt Keepers
Lt Harwood's 1st Plt (2 squads, bazooka)
Lt Tocapixie's 2nd Plt (2 squads, bazooka)
Lt Technough's 3rd Plt (2 squads, bazooka)
Lt Lejunfore's Wpns Plt (MG and 60mm mortar)
Lt Worlwind's 2nd Tank Plt (3 M4 Shermans)
C Co Task Force
CC Capt Ronan
Lt Lemmey's 1st Plt (2 squads, bazooka)
Lt Herzbleu's 2nd Plt (2 squads, bazooka)
Lt Poller's 3rd Plt (2 squads)
Lt Evahnkeath's Wpns Plt (60mm mortar)
Lt Salt's 3rd Tank Plt (2 M4 Shermans)
Tank Co CC Capt Travers (1 M4 Sherman)
CC Capt Leon
MG Plt (1 .30 cal MG)
Mortar Plt (2 81mm mortars)
Gun Plt (2 75mm howitzers)
Lt Lasthuzzer's SPG Plt (2 M7s)
Lt Ditteaux's two M4s came on shooting, getting a hit on the ATG, then fired again, but got no hits. One more round of fire eliminated an infantry squad.
Wpns Company then entered the fight (top right, in the crop field). The MG section got three rounds of fire on Hill 65, didn't achieve a single hit! Then Captain Leon turned to the 81mm mortars, who promptly failed their command roll (CR). But the two 75mm pack howitzers went to work, rolling boxcars (two actions)! First round of fire eliminated the PaK-40, though a German MG returned fire, getting a hit, and the second round of fire eliminated the German MG. The howitzers fired again, hitting the PzSchreck team and causing it to run.
The Bn CO, LtCol Mac, came on next to A Company's 1st Plt, on left.
The German PC in Cordon Bleu can't unpin his rifle squad, but it does itself before failing its CR.
Lt Technough led his 3rd Plt on a right hook into Cordon Bleu (bottom right), but opp fire from the German PC got three hits and a pin... They passed another CR, fired at the German PC, got a hit, then decided to charge, but failed, rolling doubles...
The newly placed German mortars hit 3rd Plt/A Co on Hill 65, getting a hit, and 2nd Plt/A Co, to no effect (2 hits, 2 saves). The mortars go again, getting no hits on 3rd Plt but 2 hits on 2nd Plt. The German mortars go again, but get no hits. On the right, the beat up German squad and PzSchreck mess with B Company and get eliminated, with no friendly casualties. The same happens to the PzSchreck on the ridge (every one of those stands was down to its last one or two hits, and two of them were pinned as well).
Lt Ithoriel's three M10s come on, but get caught up in traffic (burning and abandoned vehicles around Cordon Bleu) and don't make it very far...
LtCol Mac's section takes one hit, while Capt Travers' vehicle is hit, suffering optics damage. The 'other' 3rd Tk Plt vehicle is hit, but it bounces, pinning the crew. The 1st Tk Plt vehicle is also hit; another richochet, with no ill effects. The 1st Plt tank returns fire, to no effect (2 hits, 2 saves), while Salt's vehicle fires, knocking out a main gun and causing the crew to bail.
Both PaK-40s fired, the 'other 3rd Plt tank getting its gun knocked out (but the crew stayed!) and the 1st Plt tank getting running gear damage, and pinning the crew. The German infantry fire at Lt Lemmey's 1st Plt/C Company, getting a hit and pinning a squad.
The German 80mm mortars in the center, sheltering behind Hill 35 and shocked when Ithoriel's tank destroyer's suddenly popped up there, took off running for their baseline.
Meanwhile, Lt Lionstar still can't unpin the remaining pinned Engineer squad, adn the last Engineer squad mounted up in a halftrack.
The 1st Plt squad that ran (bottom center) manages to unpin, then fails.
With that, organized resistance in Cordon Rouge ceased to exist, with Oberst Fritz, once again, fleeing in his Kubelwagen like the coward he is, leaving his troops, on foot, in his dust. The battalion did it! A and B Companies cracked open the front line, while C Company sealed the shoulder of the gap by taking Cordon Rouge, allowing the XO and a couple squads of Engineers to take and hold the bridges. Troops from the 4th Infantry Division are enroute to take over blocking positions in and around Cordon Rouge, while the Regiment pours tanks and men across the River Soiree, with 1st Battalion in reserve.
14 Rifle Squads 1/A (Gwydion): 4 men
2 MMGs 2/A (Drakenganer): 4 men
2 80mm mortars 3/A (Womble): 4 men
3 PzSchreck Tms Wpns/A (Freduelve): None
2 Plt Commanders 1/B (Harwood): 8 men
1 Company Commander 2/B (Tocapixie): 2 men
1 88mm ATG 3/B (Technough): 4 men
3 PaK-40 ATGs Wpns/B (Lejunfore): None
1 Pz Mk IV KO 1/C (Lemmey): 1 squad
3 Pz Mk IV dam/abandoned 2/C (Herzbleu): 4 men
8 additional men 3/C (Poller): None
Wpns/C (Evahnkeath): None
Wpns Co (Capt Leon): 2 men
Tank Company CC: M4 damaged
1st Tk Plt (Ditteaux): 2 M4 KO
2nd Tk Plt (Worlwind): 1 M4 KO, 1 dam/abandoned
3rd Tk Plt (Salt): 1 M4 damaged
Recon Plt: 3 vehicles KO
TD Plt (Ithoriel): 2 M10s dam/1 abandoned
SPG Plt (Lasthuzzer): None
Engineer Plt (Lionstar): 1 squad and 8 men, 1 M3 H/T KO
Bn CO: 2 men
Bn XO: 2 men
Lt Ditteaux, 1st Tank Platoon, 891st Tank Company
Maj Legan, Bn Executive Officer
Lt Lemmey, 1st Plt, C Company, for leading a close assault which broke the back of enemy resistance in the village of Cordon Rouge.
Major Joe Legan, Battalion Executive Officer, for leading an ad-hoc task force to secure two bridges over the River Soiree under against intense enemy opposition.
Another fun, but marathon-length game. We'll see what the future holds as I have quite a bit of business travel coming up. Hope you liked it.