Its 1600 on 13 May 1940, elements of 7th Panzer Division (to whom Kampgruppe Klink is attached for the campaign in France) is advancing west, descending on the Belgian town of Dinant, where it intends on crossing the Meuse River. The Commanding General, Rommel, dispatches elements of the 37th Reconnaissance Battalion slightly north towards the town of Houx, where it is to scout ahead of the 7th Infantry Regiment. KG Klink's Armored Reconnaissance Company, commanded by 1st Lieutenant Wehner (wearer of the Iron Cross 2nd Class), is on the far right (northern-most) flank of the division, and closes in on a small hamlet defended by a French force from the 39th Infantry Regiment, 5th Motorized Division (5 DIM), which today pushed into Belgium in an attempt to halt the Germans at the Meuse.
The Recon Company was moving west and, as it approached a small bridge, began receiving small arms fire. 2nd Motorcycle Platoon immediately dismounted (on the east side of the bridge; the river is really but a stream, a tributary of the Meuse, which is still two miles to the east), while two armored cars pushed across and two more darted right, searching out a covered position to ford the stream, while 1st Motorcycle Platoon escorted a single Panzer Mk III forward on the far right.
CO - 1Lt Wehner (Iron Cross)
Armored Car Plt, Commander: 2Lt Weider (Sdkfz 222)
Vehicle 2 (Panzer II): Sgt Keck (Iron Cross)
Vehicle 3 (Sdkfz 232): Sgt Pichler (Iron Cross)
Vehicle 4 (Sdkfz 222): Cpl Dormund
Vehicle 5 (Sdkfz 222): Cpl Edst
1st Motorcycle Platoon, Commander: SSgt Gradl (Iron Cross)
1st Squad: SSgt Sachs
2nd Squad: Sgt Lowenstam
3rd Squad: Cpl Wilhelm
4th Squad: Cpl Visner
2nd Motorcyle Platoon, Commander: SSgt Behrendt (Iron Cross)
1st Squad: Sgt Eisen
2nd Squad: Cpl Obst
3rd Squad: Cpl Wallon
4th Squad: Cpl Pankau (Iron Cross)
Pz Mk III, Vehicle 4 3rd Platoon: Cpl Benten
MG34, Schwere Plt, Schutzen Co: Cpl Creuzburg
If you're thinking this map looks familiar, well, I'm cheap and I'm lazy. This is the same map I just fought the Team Yankee deal on...
I give an 'even up' roll to determine who shall go first, and it's the French. Campaign's starting out perfect...
The German MG (bottom right) fires on the charging French infantry squad, hits nothing. Let me repeat: the German MG34 team atop the hill fires at the French rifle squad in the open, and there is no effect. Damn my dice!!!
SSgt Behrendt (just right of bridge) Sgt Eisen's 2nd Squad, while Cpl Pankau leads his 4th Squad and Cpl Wallon's 3rd Squad over the bridge (3rd Squad ended up in front because they got a better sprint roll), while Cpl Edst pulled his 222 (top left) up to the river and fired on the French tank (off camera to bottom right).
The the Germans catch a break: the French roll a scurry, which really sucks for them as they don't need to move, they need to shoot!
The French get a normal activation for Turn 5, with a random event ("Confusion: one unit may not act this turn." I roll it up and it's one of the French squads in the trees on the left, which really didn't have any impact).
Off camera, the German CO falls back and rallies Cpl Obst's squad, but they only get up to 'pin.'
The Germans roll up a normal activation with random event ("Initiative, one extra unit may activate this turn"). Gotta like that.
Unfortunately for the Allies, the French and Belgians were unable to mount a coordinated, concerted defense, and so in the wee hours of the morning of 14 May 1940, the 7th Panzer Division's 7th Infantry Regiment pushed across the river, brushing back the French/Belgian defenders from the heights overlooking the Meuse. Elements of KG Klink quickly began flowing across the river and, in support of the 7th Motorcycle Battalion, finds itself in the town of Haut le-Wastia, staving off the counterattack of the French 14th Dragoons.
Wow, what a fight! For everyone wondering if the Germans would roll over the French, or if it would look more like the hard-fought campaign in Poland, I think you have your answer. I'm so aggravated with that one French tank, able to shoot and scoot, taking my vehicles out one at a time. It's funny that there were also a couple snap fire deaths (a 6 on 1D6), and a couple losses/tie in close combat. Quite the up and down game.
-2nd Lt Weider (PC, Arm Rec Plt), 1 Tank Kill (F1).
-Sgt Pichler (V3, Arm Rec Plt), Mentioned in Dispatches for Valor in fighting off French infantry charge, Wound Badge, WIA Campaign (F1).
-Cpl Visner (4th Squad, 1st M/C Plt), Awarded Iron Cross 2nd Class for leading close assault, Wound Badge, WIA Campaign (F1).
-Sgt Keck (V2, Arm Rec Plt), Wound Badge, WIA - return (F1).
-Cpl Benten (V5, 2nd Pz Plt), Wound Badge, Panzer Assault Badge, KIA (F1).
-Cpl Dortmund (V4, Arm Rec Plt), Wound Badge, Panzer Assault Badge, KIA (F1).
-Sgt Lowenstam (2nd Squad, 1st M/C Plt), Wound Badge, Infantry Assault Badge, KIA (F1).
-Lost: 35 KIA/WIA, 1 Pz Mk III, 1 Pz Mk II, 1 Sdkfz 232, 1 Sdkfz 222.
-Caused: 50 KIA/WIA, captured 10, captured 1 damaged H35 light tank.
Can't wait for the next one.