Monday, 13 January 2020

Battle for Sherlock’s Bridge : Operation Sealion

It has been too long since our last Sealion battle and I have plans to move the project forward this year. So moving straight to the action. The Germans have already secured a footing on the Romney Marsh having landed in strength along the beaches between Dymchurch and Hythe. Although they have started to push in land, poor co-ordination and a stout defence from local forces has delayed their progress. A number of key bridges still need to be captured to extend the beach head in line with the planners expectation at OKW.


This map shows the concentrated focus of the the German Landings on S-day and the significant actions which have already been fought in this sector. Tracking inland the key day one objective is to get beyond the Royal Military Canal. Airborne troops have already been landed beyond the canal to capture locations such as Lympne Airfield but the Germans want to capture the South Downs high ground to protect the landing beaches. After a slow start the British defenders are waking up and have realised they must slow the advance and form a strong defensive line along the hills and canal. To do this a small mobile force has been sent to delay the advance at Sherlock’s Bridge. The Germans having subdued the defenders at Dymchurch have sent a reconnaissance force to ascertain if the bridge remains intact, to capture it if possible and open the way for the advance.

Dispatched from Aldington the British force is strong on courage but low on pretty much everything else, with a single Vickers Tank and some modified defensive vehicles if the Germans assault with any strength the British can’t hope to hold the bridge.
Luckily the German heavy armour is still occupied in Dymchurch or being unloaded from transports so the reconnaissance force whilst fast moving is only lightly Armoured. Both sides are intent on capturing the bridge.
German motorcycle troops are already at the bridge, but they won’t be able to hold it on their own
They spread out to hold any defenders back whilst the infantry advance towards the bridge
The German commander can’t believe his eyes when he sees the British improvised equipment, a tiny Beaverette ‘armoured’ car and what looks like a mobile post box  (a smith gun)
The German infantry advance captured at the time
British infantry quickly fan out
whilst the armadillo with its autocannon and the beaverette move up to the bridge
The german armoured vehicles a Rad 8 and a Sd.Kfz 222 are reluctant to go over the bridge without infantry support so they take up positions east and west of the bridge
The Germans also have a Pz I it carries nothing heavy than machine guns but will be devastating if the British infantry get out in the open
The battle is heating up around the bridge and despite the significant risk to themselves the Vickers tank charges across the bridge at full speed scattering the German infantry but doing Little damage other than knocking out the German transports
The Germans assault the beaverette but somehow fail initially to knock it out (the driver just managed to shut the hatch before a stick grenade was thrown in)
Breaking across open ground the Brits make for the back of the Pub
And rush for the bridge using The armadillo as cover
But the German commander is alert to the risk and orders the Rad 8 to fire
Despite its concrete armour the armadillo bursts into flames
Spotting its chance the Pz I breaks trough catching British infantry in the open it isn’t a pretty sight
The beaverette is also in flames now but there is enough british infantry to make a serious assault on the objective, the battle is in the balance
The British Artillery is decidedly second rate hitting almost nothing during the battle
the British have managed to recapture the bridge but another German unit is ready to charge........you are joking a blunder sees them flee ! Suddenly with time running out it is not looking good for the Germans
But there are almost no British left a German unit has broken through on the far side of the bridge 
Still can’t hit a thing the artillery pounds away
A lucky escape for the German commander as his Panzer wagon is blown up
In retaliation the Pz I spots the British commander Lt Harrison hiding in a ditch and opens up with both machine guns
As the battle comes to a close the Germans have the bridge and are advancing in force. The question is have the British bought enough time for their comrades to either blow up or defend the next bridges over the Military Canal.

Splendid return to Sealion and now I feel I am back into there will be more to come ๐Ÿ˜€

27 comments:

  1. A splendid return indeed Matt, well worth waiting for, a shame the Brits could not hold, but did a jolly good job with what they had available to them. Eager for more.

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    1. Thanks Phil, yes the British did their best under difficult circumstances๐Ÿค”

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  2. While it has been a long time since we last dropped into your Operation Sealion exploits, as Phil says, it was well worth the wait. Your table is a visual feast. So much going on in each photo. Your table is the best. Marvelous stuff, Matt!

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    1. Thanks Jonathan very kind comments I always find I can add more stuff ๐Ÿ‘

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  3. Lovely table textures and a tight action for a tense game.

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  4. Splendid table and a great game well done, looking forward to the next on
    Cheers
    Matt

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    1. Many thanks for your feedback more to come soon...the Germans are back on the table this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Many thanks for taking the time to look and comment ๐Ÿ˜€

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  6. fantastic, looking forward to saturday

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  7. Super game, well reported and photographed, a pleasure to spend time following it through. But, it's about time the vile Hun were thrashed by the yeomen of old England!

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    1. Thanks David......at last the dice were in my favour, I fear the Brits are on a loosing street for a while as the Germans break through and expand into the Kentish countryside !

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  8. Very well written and great pics! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  9. Very, very impressive gaming, Matt! Figures and terrain look excellent.

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    1. Thanks Dean.....you’ll see quite a few bits of my terrain get multi use across different genres ๐Ÿ™‚

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  10. Congrats to the German side...and to you, fabulous report, very atmospheric with this gorgeous terrain...Excellent!!

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    1. Thanks Phil the dice were on the German side as the British couldn’t hit anything with their artillery ๐Ÿ‘

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  11. Great to see the Seelowe campaign back on the table. A fantastic AAR to kick off the new year.
    Cheers
    Stu

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    1. Thanks Stuart hopefully more To come soon, I am already getting some more units in the painting queue ๐Ÿ™‚

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  12. Great looking battle report, gorgeous as always! The Brits did pretty well considering what they had to play with
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks Iain , yep the British did there best, the nice part of the game is both dies were quite balanced.

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  13. Excellent game and AAR, the B&W shot a nice inclusion.
    Your figures, models and terrain are all top notch as usual.

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