Getting closer to Christmas but I managed to get another Operation Sealion
Battle played. The German Fallschirmjager have dropped inland of the main landing beaches between Folkestone and Dymchurch. The German Invasion planners have identified key day one objectives, these include a number of crossroads to protect the developing bridgehead and to prevent the British bringing reserves into the area.
One of these crossroads is at New Inn Green
. The Germans have attempted to drop troops by parachute and glider to the north on the open ground of Westernhanger Racecourse and to the south in open ground close to Folks Wood. Intelligence indicates the area is being held by troops from the 2nd London Brigade. The strong platoon of Fallschirmjager has been given a clear objective to remove any resistance at the cross roads and hold it until the main troops can reach them from the beach, but as the first troops on the ground they only have limited anti tank support.
Reinforcements from the 2nd London have been held back to counterattack and are expected to arrive from either the north B2068 from Canterbury or west down the A20 from Ashford.
But the predawn drop has not gone quite as planned, with transport planes being forced off course by coastal anti-aircraft guns, the paratroopers have been scattered, this means the German commander will have to choose between early but random deployment or a delayed but more organised assault ! Fallschirmjager will enter from the orange markers, the British reinforcements have a similar choice to enter from the blue markers, early but randomly or wait to enter from turn two in a more organised counter attack.
An early morning shot of the village around the crossroads, the New Inn is on the right. The British contingent to hold the objective consists of a heavy machine gun in the newly built pill box and an infantry squad who are currently in the pub ! During the last few days the defenders have put in place road blocks but these are more check points rather than a barrier to an invasion force.
Let's hope the guys in the pill box are awake....the unsuspecting cows graze as normal
The German commander immediately chose to bring on all his forces in the first turn, this meant they would be dispersed but would potentially have more turns to get to the objective. The British split their force with their armoured vehicles in turn one with infantry then following up from turn two.
Oberleutnant Schmidt surveys the objective, whilst he has a good map it is immediately obvious that his main challenge will be the dispersal of his forces which come on from almost all different directions. Perhaps the biggest problem being the bulk of his infantry having to enter from the opposite direction to himself. Luckily the pre drop briefings have been thorough and the veteran paratroopers immediately get on with the task in hand.
One unit of Fallschirmjager having landed on the racecourse, make their way towards the village centre through a corn field, currently all seems quiet !
But the invasion church bells have been rung and all nearby British units are being ordered to the location, first on the scene are a Vickers tank, an armoured CS9 car and a Matilda Mk 1. Although lightly armoured and arriving in an uncoordinated way, they are each packing automatic weapons. Also arriving on the scene are some reinforcements who have cycled down the road from Stanford.
The Fallschirmjager have started to edge forward but immediately come under fire and they are caught between pushing on and going down to avoid unnecessary casualties. The solid stone walls of the nearby farm house provide valuable cover.
From the SW of the village the bulk of the Fallschirmjager have made it to the edge of the village, but they seem less than keen to rush forward in the open and look to use the cover of the nearby village buildings.
After considerable effort the first Germans have broken through the Silver Moon Cafe onto the main high street.
The British on the road are spreading out, but they are not getting it all their own way, the reserve cyclists foolishly ride out from their cover only to be hit full on by medium machine gun fire and wiped out ! And out of shot they are coming under intense medium mortar fire.
To the North the Germans are still pinned down they have managed to drag their Pak36 through the field hoping to knock out the British armoured vehicles, but they take a direct hit from a light British mortar killing the crew.
The Vickers tank has moved forward to protect the crossroads, whilst in the background you can see the infantry squad from the pub have finally woken up and have charged out to finish off the remainder of the paratroopers who had entered from the cornfield.
Finally the advanced Fallschirmjager unit have nearly made it to the crossroads, armed with grenades they hope to take out the Vickers.
This was the high point for the Germans as they failed to knock out the Vickers and at this point although the Oberleutnant has made it into the building on the left he decided to pull back from the objective.
An atmospheric shot of the German highpoint in New Inn Green
So at this point is was clear that although the crossroads was contested, the Germans weren't going to secure the objective and they would have to pull back and await additional heavy support from forces currently landing on the beaches near Hythe.
Always hard to get scenarios just right and balanced, and in this case we didn't get it quite right. It was a little too tough for the Germans, I think I needed to hold the British reserves for another turn. Although during our post-battle analysis we couldn't decide if the Germans would have been better holding off one turn so they could choose their entry point but allow a more concentrated attack. The benefit is we have automatically generated the next scenario, as the Brits dig in and the Germans bring up more heavy reserves to take the crossroads.
Santa is bringing some Sealion reserves so watch this space 😀
An extra photo.......strictly not sure the FJ did carry antitank guns but is was obviously possible if not common......think this photo is from Crete 41