Monday 29 May 2023

The Battle for Mersham : Operation Sealion

Like a couple of others who attended Partizan I was inspired to put on a bigger game this week and with nice weather in the north of England we ventured for the first time into the shed for a large Operation Sealion battle. The campaign continues with the Germans looking to break out during day 2, they are meeting stiff resistance. The Germans are pushing NW along the A20 through the village of Smeeth but the British are intent on holding them back at Mersham where the advance is potentially constricted by the River Stour.

Our battle will take place as shown, the Germans advancing from the SE
The battlefield setup, there were three objectives to capture/contest for both sides, the British have a slightly wider arrival zone. A few other tweaks for the scenario, a unit of Kentish police Officers have hidden in one of the buildings unfortunately the British commander doesn’t know where they are so they will randomly appear when activated, the Mersham and Smeeth Homeguard are also holding one of the buildings luckily they have been able to get a message back to the regular army but they are desperate for support. The German Wehrmacht are awaiting reinforcements from a platoon of Fallschirmjager unfortunately no body knows where they are or when they will arrive (this will be randomly determined). This was a pretty big battle so I took a few photos, I think we played around 7 or 8 turns but really we were playing to a finish time of 16:00. One final tweek all troops when entering the table D6 for a chance of a double move the hope being that we don’t spend 2 hours just moving up. This worked well and we will use this addition again when playing on the big table.
German recon forces charge on past Home Farm, a Kradschutzentruppe with grenadiers in Hanomags. German armour in the distance and Pak38 being setup in the farm.
More German armour
Looking dated now but the British RTR have been thrown into the defence
The bulk of the British regular infantry are put into a defensive position behind the church, they have managed to rescue a Bofors anti-aircraft gun
Which is lucky as the Luftwaffe are out in force a Henschel 123 armed with machine guns is strafing in front of the advance  
Moving forward along the line of the railway embankment
German HQ setup in the farm, where a camera crew are recording the attack
An early blow for the Germans as their RAD8 is knocked out
The Luftwaffe don’t have the skies to them selves
Panzer35t is temporarily set on fire but the crew managed to put it out
The British are spreading out behind the church, whilst further down the street a tank duel between the Pz35 and the Cruiser 
German infantry occupy the village shop by the railway, only to discover the police unit hiding, after a fierce hand to hand combat the police are wiped out or captured.
The railway truck is hit by a stray bullet ! Killing a nearby German infantry man 
The PanzerIV hits an isolated mine on the railway embankment (we had a lot of random events) during the battle 👍
The skies congested over the village but the spitfire can’t get a clear shot.
The early advance of the kradschutzen has been blunted
One of the A9’s having bravely advanced along the A20 to knock out the antitank gun hadn’t spotted the Panzerjager who catches it the rear immediately blowing it up
Finally the Fallschirmjager arrive (a D6 and a 1rolled so the British can chose where they arrive !)
British Vickers tank has broken through into the orchard and pins down the Germans advancing towards the church.
Time for tea !
Not surprisingly the British are taking casualties
Finally the spitfire finds its mark and the Henschel crashes into the church on fire 
The Fallschirmjager move as quickly as possible to hold the river bridge objective
The skies are full of smoke now, the Pzjager having knocked out another British tank in the church yard, the Bofors has been hit by the Stuka, the A9 on the road is immobilised and burning !
German infantry finally approaching the objective but they are pinned behind the wall
Having thought they would be in the pub turns out the Homeguard were hiding in the church they heroically run out and the Germans in the orchard beyond the church yard are put to flight
The church yard is now a real strong point for the British, even if the church is on fire !
But as we approach the end of the battle the Germans make a bid for a second objective gallantly assaulting the British in the petrol station.
Some are shot on the way in but a couple of grenades and the remaining three infantry are able to claim the road junction
The British are in a strong position in the centre
Tom Hardy is still flying about, but the Stuka has been forced to fly home to rearm
The Fallschirmjager have taken the river crossing.

At this point we call a halt, a splendid battle although the Germans have it by a whisker really the winner was the game, great to get lots (not all) of my Sealion collection on the table. The German advance continues……..

Although I am focussing on painting Napoleonics at the movement a game like this of course makes me think I should get some more Sealion stuff painted, I have quite a bit in the Sealion pile ? Amongst which is an 88mm, a unit or two of early waffen SS, some British infantry and more planes….I’ll have a think ?

Thanks for checking in Matt 🙂

Monday 22 May 2023

Partizan, Cycling and Loot

Seem to have lots going on at the moment, I was keen to get to Partizan this year and I am glad I did. But to make the travel worthwhile and with the advantage of the van for accommodation I chose to spend a couple of days cycling before getting to the show on Sunday. We also had a fantastic curry in Newark ….shout out to Dave and Martin 😀

There will be plenty of show reports out there so just a quick note and some photos from me. First it was busy, which is good, the games were excellent quality the selective photos below show the pick as far as I was concerned. Plenty of traders and even a little second hand stuff to spend my money on. Best of all I was able to catch up with loads of people who had made an effort to get to the show. It was really good to catch up and discuss projects. I also spoke to a fair few game organisers all of whom took the time to explain what they were doing etc…. All in all a great show as far as I’m concerned.

The photos, I’m afraid I didn’t take all the details

Simon Millers massive ancient phalanx’s
SYW in 15mm
Lovely ACW MacPherson Ridge battle
AWI Springfield ? I think
Lots of Napoleonics on display 
The Arnhem setup from the recent magazine
Really impressive close up, I really like the allotments
Could spend a long time looking at these tables
Massive Napoleonics 
Command and Colours Napoleonics nicely done
Carenton WW2 beautifully done apparently took nine months or so to put together
Eastern front

My van parked up the night before I found a lovely spot only a stones throw from the venue which will make future visits much easier
The loot………all Napoleonic stuff as that remains my focus at the moment. French cavalry, lots of commanders which I need going forward a couple of secondhand bits, a second highland regiment (I haven’t painted the first one yet!) some spare cannons, a few extra walls for Sicily. The box is full of mixed command figures to add into future Battalions and to creat vignettes and more interesting command bases.

Finally the cycling, both days before the show were hot and sunny, I had taken my ‘gravel’ bike day one 40 miles in Derbyshire on the high Peak trail 
Only two hills and then beautifully flat converted railway tracks
Day two more gravel in Nottinghamshire, around Clumber Park and into Sherwood Forest miles and miles of forest cinder tracks and only one puncture 🙂
Finally on my way to Newark I briefly visited the Stoke Field Battlefield as I hadn’t been before. Some interesting visitor boards, and a nice walk although the battlefield is fairly featureless and due to the extensive crops it is hard to get a sense of the battle.

I will save the next Sicily photos for next time, thanks as always for checking by