Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Attack of the 7th Armoured : Operation Goodwood 19th July 1944

For our next (but probably last for a while) foray into Normandy using Blitzrieg Commander we set up day two of Operation Goodwood. Having failed to make any significant headway the day before the British overnight brought forward replacement tanks for those lost. The attack on a slightly wider front involved the 11th and 7th Armoured Divisions south towards the Bourgebus Ridge, between Vimont and Caen.

The 7th Armoured attacked towards the villages of La Hogue and the village of Bourgebus . The Germans were now also pulling reserves into the front line, which meant the 7th's attack would fall directly on the ground held by the 1st SS Panzer division under Obergruppenfuhrer 'Sepp' Dietrich. The 7th Armoured under Major General George Erskine had not fought significantly the day before.

Looking east from the Bourgebus Ridge towards Borguebus and in the distance La Hogue. 88mm flak guns of the 1st SS Panzer Division are still dug in on the heights with a commanding view of the open ground around the small Normandy villages.
Attmepting to surprise the Germans the 22nd Armoured Brigade supported by the 131st Infantry Brigade have concentrated their attack on La Hogue, tanks of the LSSAH can be rapidly redeploying to counter this moving around the back of Bourguebus.
The approaching tanks are weary from the previous day knowing that the Germans still have 88mm guns in and around the villages. As soon as the Cromwells appear they come under fire and burning tanks can already be seen in the distance.
The 7th Armoured Division attacking on mass towards La Hogue
British infantry moving on foot in the open !
Tiger and Panther tanks have now moved around Bourguebus and with their extra range are threatening the right flank of the British advance.
More British Cromwells brewed up but the infantry are making good progress despite heavy fire.
A low shot from behind Bourguebus the British managed a record number of command blunders during the battle although none had a really significant impact, they also rolled several double 1's (which are good in BC)
The British concentrated massive fire on the village of La Hogue which eventually pushed the Germans back and the British Infantry were able to force a way into the village.
At the last minute the Germans have brought up their final reserves........SS Panzer Grenadiers supported by a couple of Stug III's.
But before they are able to attack and push the British back out, darkness fell (General Erskine had to get home !) this left the battle pretty much a draw. Both sides holding one village. In line with the real battle the field was literally littered with burning British tanks. According to the books over these two days of Goodwood the allies lost an unbelievable 400 tanks ! This was reflected in both our battles with the Germans dug in and incredibly hard to shift.

We are going to take a rest from Normandy for a while, reflecting on the battles in and around Caen and Operation Goodwood they have been pretty much all that is good about wargaming for me. I expanded my collection of figures and tanks, I have read and learnt in a bit more detail some history from WW2, I've made some new terrain and we've played several hard fought, but very close battles in the best spirit of gaming. By some coincidence several of these have reflected the historical outcome. It is the playing not the winning that is important. Thanks Steve for engaging in this little project it has been great fun. My only regret is I bought some 'Normandy style' buildings which didn't get finished !

Next up for 6 mm will no doubt be the Eastern front I have a couple of books I haven't explored yet as source material ๐Ÿ˜€

16 comments:

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    1. Thanks AJ a close battle reflective of the historical position

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  2. Nice battle. 88s are brutal. Lucky they didn't put them on tanks...no wait they did.

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    1. In a simple way the rules recognise the power of the 88 mm quite well....and you don't want to attack against them.

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  3. Interesting aar, you have to expect more casualties on the allied side because of the comparitive merits of allied versus german tank design but it's still vaguely depressing, all looks nice, I especially like the light shining down.
    Best Iain

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    1. Yes we try and ensure the battles are balanced and reflect the historical position.....that means for these Normandy battles the allies have to expect high tank casualty rates.

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  4. A neat report and pics Matt, I like your back drop scene.

    See you on the eastern front in due course.

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    1. Thanks Phil.......I keep mean to paint another backdrop on the other side to give me a different option.

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  5. Great report Matt, I didn't think that was going to end well for the British.

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    1. Allies are always up against it and have to accept high casualties the tactical challenge is whether to rush across the table or stop to fire.....vary hard decision when you are the general.

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  6. I enjoyed this report, beautiful and atmospheric (love the background pictures and the buildings)...Great!

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  7. Great lookin game...and interesting how it played out much like the real thing. A sign of a good set of rules, perhaps?

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    1. I like the rules and once you get used to them they feel fairly easy to play. The scenarios we set up do try to reflect in some small way historical situation and the rules seem to balance quite well for attack and defence, so even thought the allies start with about 50 % more troops you know they are going to find it hard to take the villages against dug in tigers and panthers !

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  8. Love seeing bKc games - it is my favorite set.

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    1. Thanks we really enjoy the ruleset....simple but effective.๐Ÿ˜€

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