Saturday, 8 October 2016

Advance of the 11th Armoured : Operation Goodwood

For our next 6 mm battle in Normandy we wanted something tank heavy. Goodwood is the obvious option.....as far as I know the largest AFV battle to take place in the Western European Theatre. Monty looking to finally break out around Caen and/or tie down (depending on whose history you read) the concentration of Panzer divisions  facing the British so the Americans further west could break out into France.
Cromwell tanks preparing for Goodwood
Unlike further west the ground was open, 'good' tank country with good visibility, the allies have an almost unlimited supply of tank and vehicles, total air control, overwhelming artillery support from naval vessels offshore. What could go wrong ? The Germans facing the Goodwood attack were of course some of the toughest armoured fighting units at any point during WW2. With limited supplies they still had some of the best weaponry available. Tiger Tanks and the infamous 88mm antitank and converted flak guns.

Would the overwhelming numerical superiority of the allies simple roll over the thin German lines. Prior to the tank attack lead by the 11th Armoured Division the Germans had been subjected to one of the largest (at the time) bombardments from sea and air, unfortunately this has fallen short of some of the key objectives of the attack.

Due to scale I have had to compress the battlefield, but have included the village of Le Mensil Frementel which the allies captured early in the morning. This overview of the way the key elements of the 11th Armoured Division advancing as they did on the day. The 23rd Hussars towards Cagny a key objective, the 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry and the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment pushing across open ground towards the Bourgebus Ridge.

The ground was very open not boccage country and ideal for German antitank weapons.

The Germans have 88mm flak guns dug in, in the orchards and woods around Cagny
They also have strong 88mm batteries on the Bourgebus ridge itself. They also have anti-tank units in many of the small villages in the area.
The objective for the allies is to sweep across the open ground to capture the villages and push the Germans off the ridge. Using Blitzkrieg Commander we have given the allies a numerical advantage.
The battle begins, but as soon as the Shermans and Cromwells cross the railway line they come under long range 88 mm fire. Some are immediately brewed up others become suppressed.

The allies have additional air support in the form of Typhoons armed with ground attack rockets. When they strike these are devastating even where the Germans are dug into villages.
The advance slows but is able to fire back at the gun batteries in and around Cagny. They are lucky and knock out he majority of the guns. The Germans immediately bring up the heavy Tiger tanks of the 503rd Heavy Tank Battalion which move into the village.
More allied tanks begin to smoke.
The focus of the battle becomes Cagny itself, and the 2nd F&F Yeomanry are brought across the support the Hussars. The remnants of the RTR can be seen burning in the foreground.
The Typhoons continue to pound the village of Cagny but casualties on the allied side are gradually mounting up, eventually they reach breaking point and are forced to pull back. The Germans have held the line but it has cost them valuable resources which can't be replaced.
A victory then for the Germans but just. With the scenario set up the way we did there was always going to be a strong chance that history would repeat itself, as it did. The battle continued into the 19th and the 20th we will be back for some more soon ๐Ÿ˜€

8 comments:

  1. Cavalry charge with tanks against a defended position. Always going to be tough. Good battle

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    1. It was definitely tough for the Brits. Not fun to be heading towards an 88mm dug in knowing that it can out gun you well before you get into range ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

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  2. I agree with Martin. It was always going to be tough on the Allies, but then as you said in the report, the Germans equally paid a heavy price since "it has cost them valuable resources which can't be replaced."

    Will you carry this loss of materiel for the Germans into any subsequent games?

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    1. Thanks Roy......these WW2 games are very much narrative driven around historical battles. So although we play each game 'competitively' I try really hard to make them each as balanced as possible. This means I reset each game and base the forces around the next historical engagement. History takes care of the gradually dwindling German forces.

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  3. The table looks really epic at this scale...perfect for tank battles. Great stuff!

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    1. Thanks Gordon just like the advert ๐Ÿ˜€

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  4. WW2 in this scale takes me back a bit.

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    1. Thanks......every scale has its pros and cons. We certainly enjoy 6 mm for the eastern front this is our first attempt at Normandy in this scale and it's working out fine ๐Ÿ˜€

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