Monday, 11 September 2017

Operation Sealion : The Battle for Dover continues..

The continuing Sealion campaign saw a large battle at the weekend. The German high command have designated Dover Harbour as a key objective. Fallschirmjager from the 2nd Parachuute Regiment have been dropped all around Dover early on S-tag but have found the area well defended with the British putting up a stiff resistance......but they are closing from east and west. From the north elements of the 2nd Parachute Regiment, 7th Flieger Division have pushed forward to River Bottom Wood. Here on the northern outskirts of the town between the settlements of River and Crabble the 9th Battalion Green Howard's have been ordered to make a stand. Supported by the Buckland Home Guard they will hold the line hopping that armoured support from the Dover garrison will arrive soon.

The battlefield is constrained to the East by the River Dour and the West by a pillbox close to Combe Farm. The german Fallschirmjager are anxious to get stuck in as they can hear fighting from the far side of Dover and know their comrades are pushing towards the Harbour. But they have lost valuable time wainting for the infantry of the 17th Infantry Division to bypass Folkestone. Finally they have arrived along the B2060 Alkham Valley. Some of their armoured support has been diverted along side roads and they are not sure when they will arrive but the attack must go in at once.

It was a pretty big battle so I took too many photos.. but I know some of you enjoy them ....

A period photo of the River Dour a chalk stream which runs down into Dover all quiet at this stage
Fallschirmjager of the 2nd Parachute regiment in River Bottom Wood, they have gathered and are just waiting for the order to attack
The Green Howard's close to Coombe Farm seek out defensive positions
Further east more infantry are being deployed into defensive positions 1 unit of Home Guard are ordered into the Pub overlooking the bridge
The first shots of the battle come from Fallschirmjager mortars situated in the woods
This is the signal to advance and the squads of paratroopers vault the low wall and run forward
The British have a medium mortar as well which returns fire hoping to break up the advance, the second unit of Home guard move cautiously forward
Some much needed artillery support arrives from the main Dover garrison. A 25 pounder, but there is some debate where to set it up as no German armour is yet on the battlefield
More British Infantry across the Stream, beyond them the main road has been blocked and a 2 pounder and Smith Gun have been set up to deter any armour rolling straight through to the town centre
But german infantry on mass has arrived and they rush through the fields, a single flamethrower crew tramps forward in the rear.
The Vickers machine gun which had been in the pillbox has been smoked out by mortar fire, unable to breath they redeploy in the open but come under heavy fire, they are soon pinned and then wiped out !
The centre of the British defensive line is currently held by a single Vickers Tank and a home made Northover Projector....not sure they have even worked out how to fire it ?
To the north the Germans are bringing up artillery which soon deploys, the German general has jumped out of his Kubelwagon to get a better view of the battle, the mysterious character to his right is a german spy ordered to infiltrate the enemy position.
A german sidecar Armoured with an MG34 has rushed down the road it opens fire on the artillery but is then engaged by a slow but heavily armoured Matilda II.
Over the stream the defenders of the roadblock are concerned to see German armouradvancing down the road. A 38t and a freashly painted Stug III
Seeing the armour adavancing the infantry hide behind the bridge as the artillery opens up, the Matilda also trundles forward to engage
An overview of the battlefield at this point, Coombe Farm to the right, River Bottom Wood to the left, in the distance the River Dour. The Fallschirmjager by the cornfield in the foreground are coming under heavy fire
A second Bren Gun carrier advances through the smoke to engage the Fallschirmjager 
Some of the Home guard have advanced towards the secret military compound partially hidden by woods, they then come under fire from machine gun fire from the trees
False rumours have reached the Buckland Home Guard unit that Germans have attacked closer to the centre of Dover ignoring their orders to hold the Kings Head Pub they rush home to check (this was a random event and the British definitely got the worst of them through the game )
Despite the shouts of their commanding officer the Bren Gun carriers pull back back through the smoke, what he can't see.....
Is the german reinforcements which have arrived down a side road, a PzII, an Sd. Kfz 222  and more Kradschutzen.
Encouraged by the support the Fallschirmjager break cover and advance, but the incoming fire is intense and one unit is force to take cover in the cottages by the road.
German artillery pound away but are mainly this stage
Infantry advance towards the Kings Head covered by an MG34 on the hill
Eventually the 2 pounder manages to immobilise the 38(t)
Completely doubled crossed the German spy meets a British spy dressed as a German officer as soon as they realise a brawl ensues, thankfully the german spy is killed allowing the Brit to make his way behind german lines......this will provide important intelligence to the British in the future as long as he doesn't get captured.
The Home guard in the compound exchange fire with Germans in the woods and second unit of infantry has moved up to attempt to cover the rear of the pub.
If only they knew how to fire it !
The defenders of the pub are in the beer garden, the question is will they have enough fire power to stop the assault..?
Close by on the other side of the pub the Matilda whose armour appears impervious to the german gun trundles forward
'Take aim FIRE!' A direct hit on the side armour of the Stug which erupts into flames
Unfortunately at the other side of the battlefield the PzII has started to knock out the Bren Gun carriers and is taking on the Vickers as well
Captain Smythers the British spy can be seen hot footing it across the corn field, because of his German uniform he manages to escape
The Matilda concentrating on the armour over the river doesn't spot the flamethrower advancing .........😱
At the same time the assault on the pub goes in !
Woooosh a jet of flame leaps across the road hitting the Matilda......but somehow it manages to survive the crew putting out a small internal fire
By the pill box the smoke has drifted leaving the Carriers exposed !
As the Matilda slowly traverses its turret a massive explosion πŸ’₯ occurs in the bushes, the flamethrower has been targeted and hit by a boyes antitank rifle located in the house beyond the pub ! The Germans haven't had much luck with these so far in the campaign !
But ignoring the horrifying spectacle the infantry push into the pub outnumbering the defenders
Stalemate by the pillbox as the various vehicles attempt to manoeuvre into the best position for a killer shot..
With the threat to the road block now eliminated the Home guard pull back across the stream
The PzII gets the better of the Vickers πŸ’₯
It then turns on the remaining Bren Gun Carrier
The Battle was pretty much drawing to a close now with the German General looking on from the rear.
Whilst the Matilda was still functioning and the german armour in the road had been knock out, the pub overlooking the bridge was in german hands, the British held the centre but only just, and the Germans had pretty much wiped out the defenders of the pillbox, having eliminated the armoured support in that area.
But the Brits had once again made the Germans pay for their victory....they had delayed the advance, what wasn't clear was whether this was enough for the British engineers to blow the Harbour to make it unusable or for the command units holding the Castle and the tunnels there to either escape or destroy any vital information.

Once again a suitably epic battle very close fought to the end which went to the Germans but only just. A bit of technical detail for those interested we used Bolt Action Rules (edition 1) with a few amendments, we have 22 or so units per side. The objective for the Germans in order of priority were to break through the defence line and cross the road, to capture the bridge, the pillbox and the secret monitoring base. If possible both sides had an objective to either capture or kill the other sides enemy agent. 


  1. Splendid, these reports are a treat, its like Saturday morning cinema (showing my age there) can't wait for the next instalment.

    1. Very kind as may be quite a long film πŸ™‚

    2. I will get in plenty of popcorn :~)

  2. Matt, your game layout is spectacular and a real treat to explore. I find myself zooming into each photo to discover more detail. So much going on! Great stuff and with few peers. What is the source for your AFVs?

    1. Too kind too kind Jonathan, I do find myself collecting more stuff all the time. The AFV's are mainly get the right scale I am trying to stick to a single manufacturer. The only exception in this game is the German 69 artillery tow.

  3. Cracking game! I was gripped by the pictures and the commentary, wanting the British to win! Hopefully they will strike back hard in the next campaign round :-)

    1. Thanks J the next battles around Dover are likely to be a smaller scale as there is a gun emplacements to capture, the Castle and the tunnels !πŸ˜€

  4. What a wonderful table, game and AAR! Really enjoyed that! The Mk1 SUL is doing its job too!

    1. Thanks David a pleasure to share.....confused by the Mk1 comment ?

  5. Lovely looking game and your usual entertaining write up,good to see the newly painted stug turn up and blow up and who would be a German flamethrower team in your games?
    Best Iain

    1. Paint barely dry on the Stug ! But I suspect they have a few more on the boats. πŸ™‚

  6. Interesting AAR thanks! Great looking as usual.
    Good to see the campaign enthusiasm is strong.
    The spies are an interesting touch (I've had agents in a couple of my VSF games) but it makes me think perhaps you could have a behind the lines game with Quislings or some of Mosleys boys up against rear echelon British types...

    1. Thanks...Captain, indeed the campaign as a canvas on which we play our games gives us loads of opportunity and behind the lines battles are definitely on the cards for some time in the future πŸ™‚

  7. Replies
    1. wife got me a new phone for my birthday and the quality of the photos is definitely better than those taken on the iPad. I did have to edit the colours though πŸ™‚

  8. Superb as always! Got a bit of catching up to do on your posts!

  9. Great AAR and a stunning game table sir!

  10. Great AAR and a stunning game table sir!

  11. Awesome! Specatacular pictures, a wonderful attention to details...