Monday, 5 September 2016

Battle for Authie 7th June 1944 : Caen Campaign

The Canadian 3rd Division unaware of the recent arrival of the 12th SS Panzer 'Hitlerjugend' Division are pushing forward on the 7th June towards Carpiquet Airfield. Kurt 'Panzer' Meyer watching from the Ardenne Abbey launches a surprise attack right into the Canadians left flank.

The set up for the battle, the Canadians are in place strung out along the road, the Hitlerjugend will attack from the South (left) they will come on with mobile deployment and we allowed them to position their three 88mm guns up to 12" on the table !
A colour shot of the set up.....Authie in the foreground, Franqueville in the distance the objectives for both sides were to hold the two villages.
The Germans attack immediately knocking out two of the Sherman's on the road, they return fire and score a luck hit knocking out one of the 88's. The Grenadiers of the Hitlerjugend advance towards Cussy the village in the foreground, with a view to driving up the road to Authie.
The grenadiers have some limited anti tank capability as well as the dreaded panzerfausts
The Germans are expecting some additional heavy support but poor command rolls keep them off the table for the first couple of turns. Eventually though the Tigers arrive. ED : originally Meyer was in a staff car but we decided as per history a sidecar would be more appropriate. The gold dice represents a reduced command value which applied to Meyer after a double 6 blunder. In the early phases the Germans suffered really bad command problems, reflecting perhaps the interference of central command by OKW.
Having recovered from the initial surprise the Nova Scotia Highlanders have deployed into the fields and the remaining Sherman's of the Second Squadron of the Fusiliers have dug in behind hedges, they aren't able to move from here and eventually concentrated fire from the remaining 88's, supported by the Tigers, wipes them out to a tank.
Meanwhile in Franqueville Panzer IV's and the leading Sherman's are battling it out to get into the village. With neither side having sufficient mobile infantry the two armoured elements will blast each other for control of the village for several turns.
The Canadians have brought up some limited reserves in the shape of a squadron of Cromwells, they probe forward into the fields only to be attacked by the fanatical Hitlerjugend armed with Panzerfausts, deadly at close range !
The Highlanders have redeployed behind the cover of the boccage hedges but currently have nobody to fight.
The Grenadiers on the other hand are advancing between Cussy and Authie using cover where they can and knocking out any opposition.

The grenadiers have now made it to within striking distance of Authie which is only held by the remaining three Cromwells. The Nova Scotia Highlanders put down some covering fire but this is broadly ineffective. You can see Meyer leading the charge !
Having finished off the Sherman's in the middle distance the Tigers have redeployed and are looking to flank the village. Almost all the smoke you can see is Canadian tanks burning.
The battle continued at Franqueville, whilst the leading Sherman's are dug in, in the village they are being gradually whittle down by the superior Panzers. The Canadians do have some off table artillery support and they call this in just in time, risking being hit them selves they call in a ferocious concentrated barrage. This devastates the Panzers who are caught out in the open after yet another command blunder ordering them out of cover too early. In the end the Canadians hold Franqueville but it is a piric victory as they have only one Sherman left !

As the battle drew to a close the final Cromwells were holding on, in a desparate attempt to hold the village the Highlanders  have broken cover only to be cut to pieces. At this point the Canadians who had already passed one breakpoint test broke and retired from the field.
The Hitlerjegund had taken their initial objectives but at great cost.......which cannot be replaced.
Later in the day the 9th Brigade counter attacked at the village of Cambes and this will be our next battle........a really fun battle and a great start to our Normandy 6 mm exploits.

9 comments:

  1. That was a great read, fab battle and really bloody

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    1. Thanks Martin....WW2 and almost limitless supply of gaming.

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  2. Top stuff. I like the fields and will keep a photo of them in case I need to build my own.
    What make are the miniatures you're using, please?
    I know of GHQ (sold through Magister Militum) and Baccus6mm is beginning to produce 6mm late WW2, oh and Irregular Miniatures, but don't know of any other manufacturers. When the new BKC II (revised) rules come out I'll probably end up doing WW2 again, but might opt for 6mm instead of my previous 10mm.

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    1. Thanks Roy figures are a mix of Heroics and Ros and older Navwar I think which I picked up in bulk ages ago. The H&R are better and more detailed. They are smaller than some, true 1:300 so don't mix well with GHQ which are bigger. I think BKCII is the version we are using ? So interested to know if they are bringing a revised version out. Not that I really want another set, these are playable no easy to use. Complex enough to give flavour. We occasionally make stuff up if it feels right. As you know I think 6mm is great and if you play on a big enough table you get a feel of scale and mobility. I think BKC was written for 10 mm ? Certainly the photos show that but we keep the measurements the same....a Tiger can still shoot effectively 1m.

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    2. I'll check out the Heroic & Ros stuff - Just looked at the GHQ 1/285 and the prices are a bit prohibitive for me, though the vehicles beautiful.

      BKC / CWC / FWC set of rules have been bought by Pendraken Miniatures, and its an ongoing saga as to when they'll ever get them revised and published. BKC II (revised) was meant to be out last xmas, but its only just finished proof reading and now got to have images sorted for it. Who knows how long Leon Pengilley will have it before he gets it released.
      The revisions to BKC are just going to be as the 2nd ed., but with some kinks ironed out and making the army lists more Pendraken Catalogue friendly - Though they're now bringing out new models to meet what's in the rules.

      Yes, they were meant for N Guage / 10mm, I believe. Like you I'd probably just use 6mm and keep the rules distances as written. But this new club I'm now involved in has two chaps who do 15mm FoW and others who have 15mm Rapid Fire, so more than likely I'll either be pulled into their projects or don't and just play with their toys. BKC is the better set of rules, in my opinion.

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  3. Great looking table (as always) and report!

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  4. Great stuff, and as bloody as the real battles there.

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    1. Thanks ....luckily the ALlies have reinforcements ......

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