Shortly after 07:30 am of the morning of the 14th July 1940 the following urgent telegram arrived in London on the desk of the Prime Minister.
It was clear to the Prime Minister who sat brooding at his desk in Downing Street that the invasion had begun. He itched to get involved in the fight but knew that he would have to hold back his instincts. He only hoped that the troops that were taking the brunt of the invasion the, 2nd London Brigade, in and around Hythe could hold the first wave of troops long enough for their meagre armoured reserves from around London to be moved down into Kent.
Despite their initial assault being slowed at Hythe the Germans have continued to land increasing amounts of men and material on the beaches at Seabrook and Sandgate, with these have come more of their much needed heavy armour, and with this support the 55th Infantry Regiment have cleared Hythe. They have then pushed inland from the town. Again linking up with the 20th Parachute Regiment they have advanced to Saltwood. Apparently the high command had forbidden the area to be bombed as Goering has claimed the castle for himself ! The British infantry pulled back from Hythe have dug in close to the castle itself. The ground is broken with small copses and woods ideal for defence.
The German forces push forward from Hythe
Saltwood castle is located in the distance on the hill, although providing good observation of the advancing Germans, it has not been fortified so instead the British have dug in in the woods.
His lordship has rallied his whole household including servants and gamekeepers. They now stand shoulder to shoulder with the rearguard of the 2nd London Brigade.
Blitzkrieg in action ! If only zee sheep would get zee the way.
With covering fire from machine guns, the 55th Infantry prepare to assault the castle grounds on the hill.
This is defended by the remains of the Hythe and Sandgate Constabulary who patriotic to the last raise the Union Jack in defiance.
German armour fans out initially avoiding a frontal charge wary of the British anti tank guns.
Encouraged by their commanding officer paratroopers and infantry charge up the hill.
To the East the Pz 35t has used the dead ground in front of the British lines to push forward
It now opens up with all its machine guns on the British infantry lying down in the rough ground.
The infantry give a cheer as from behind them appears an old but serviceable A9 Cruiser tank, as they pull back
to safety the tank engages the Panzer but the first hit bounces of its superior armour.
Closer to the castle the bulk of the infantry have moved out from behind the Panzerjager to rush the hill
Just in time as it takes a direct hit from a Vickers tank. The Constabulary give a cheer but soon realise they are going to be the last line of defence.
Disregarding the A9 the Panzer 35 t turns its guns on another infantry unit in the open who immediately hit the deck. As the Pz tries to push forward to break the British lines there is a grating noise from the rear the A9 has managed to score a hit and immobilised it ! Another cheer from the British.
At the rear of the German lines they are firing smoke bombs from behind an abandoned pillbox
to help cover the advance
The Germans finally make it to the top of the hill and the remaining Police Constables flee.
At this point the British accepted defeat, although i didn't seem to get many photos of the Panzer IV it had broken through the centre of the British line, his lordship had dashed to safety, but with more German infantry pouring up the hill it was clear the Germans had gained a minor victory. The question was could they replace any lost equipment quickly enough before the expected counter attack.
A fun second battle in the campaign, if it hadn't been for the Panzer IV breaking through it could have gone the other way and it nearly fell foul of a random event ! But that is another story. In this sector the Germans have broken through. I already have an almost limitless set of scenarios in my head only limited by my collection of figures and terrain, time or opponents to play.