We are now upon the sixth fight in Operation Jupiter, the British assault on The Ridge. So far the British have successfully evicted the Germans from their initial defensive positions at and around the Chateau de Fontaine, and now are attacking the next German defensive line at and around the village of Eterville. As the British push to the outskirts of Eterville, it falls to the 1st Company of the 457th PanzerGrenadier Abteilung Sauer und Krauthammer, commanded by Captain Sorensen and his 2iC Lt Weidthaus. In the attack we have Major Dillon's A Company, with Lt Cooman as his 2iC, of the 5th Westchesterfords North Riding Rangers of the Highland Coldshire Guards (5th WNRRHCG). In the opening attack of Operation Jupiter, Major Dillon's company evicted Captain Sorensen's from the Les Duanes Farm Complex.
In real life it's 10 July 1944, and it's 4th Battalion, Dorset Regiment, 130th Brigade, 43rd Wessex Division vs 1st Battalion, 22nd SS Panzergrenadier Regiment, 10th SS Panzer Division. In real life the Brits were bombed by their own air force, but quickly regrouped to fight into the center of town, relying heavily on the Churchills and Crocodiles to shoot the place up.
We roll to see who goes first and he wins, so he has me go first so I have to get close to this unspotted units without being able to fire.
**Game note: But then the boy rolls a scurry! Not good for him at all, he needs to be shooting, doesn't need to be moving.
**Game note: And then I roll a Scurry! So things are about to get real close in here.
**Game note: Unbelievable!!! The boy rolled another Scurry! So I took one for the first turn, he rolled one, I rolled one, and he just rolled another one.
Looking to take advantage of the defenders' disorganization, Major Dillon orders his units to advance as quickly as possible.
**Game note: You guessed it, I rolled a Scurry. This is not possible: that is five Scurries in a row.
And then Captain Sorensen commands his men to open fire, and all hell breaks loose!
**Game note: Finally! But the boy rolled a damn Firefight, so not good news for me at all...
Major Dillon sees the casualties but believes they can be overcome if he can only maintain the momentum of the attack; he and Lt Cooman set about pushing, pulling, kicking, and shoving their men forward into the fight.
**Game note: I rolled up a Firefight, but none of my units have LOS to any German units, so it converts to another damn Scurrry.
**Game note: the boy is crazy!!!
The fight has really gotten crazy, with all the units jumbled because of all the Scurries. Which I like; there's plenty of stories of attackers getting cut to pieces before even getting off their starting line, but there's also plenty of stories about an attacker getting on top of a discombobulated defender and things getting all mixed up, particularly in urban environments.
**Game note: the boy moving his 1st Squad into the little orchard was basically what I would call (in retrospect) 'the play of the game.'
**Game note: as I said, the boy is crazy, charging a rifle squad that is not pinned/hunkered/men down. But I let him charge with no react fire as his men were coming onto the flank of the Brits, out of the flames and smoke.
Then I missed a damn picture... The Germans easily whacked the crew of the Bren Carrier, then began eyeing the flank of the British 4th Section. Being the last friendly unit on the Brit center/right, Major Dillon moved his command group up to 4th Section to support them in the upcoming close combat.
Things are looking up.
Both commanders have been put out of the fight in close combat!
But there's no two ways about it, this was a solid German victory, turning back a much larger British force from the outskirts of Eterville. Both sides suffered horrendous casualties, to include their commanders, both severely wounded and evacuated. It proved to be a Pyrric victory for the Germans as, almost immediately, British Typhoon fighter bombers appeared overhead, and their ground attacks were immediately followed by a 25-pounder barrage that compelled the Germans to fall back before the following infantry and armor even really came into view.
-Major Dillon WIA, evacuated.
-45 WIA/KIA, two Shermans knocked out, three Universal Carriers knocked out.
-Captain Sorensen WIA, evacuated.
-20 KIA/WIA, one Sdkfz 251/22 destroyed.
Holy @#$%, what a fight! It started off looking good for the boy, I scurry, he's ready to ambush, but then he scurries, but then I scurry again, next thing you know we are seriously intermingled. Which wasn't so bad for my attack, but threw off his defense a bit. But then he seized the day by pushing 1st Squad forward, back into the little orchard, in reaction to my scurry move. And when it was his turn that squad cleaned the floor with me, taking out a tank, my CO, a Bren carrier, and two Rifle Sections! I was able to even the score a bit with my 2nd Section, getting his CO, MG team, and Sdkfz 251/22.
-The British Corporal in charge of 2nd Section was decorated for valor, posthumously.
-The German Sergeant in charge of 1st Squad was decorated for valor.
-Both commanders (Major Dillon and Captain Sorensen) were decorated for valor for their vain attempt to halt an enemy attack/counterattack.
Well, we got three fights in this past weekend, this is the first of them, two more to come.