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 πŸ‘
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 πŸ™‚


30 comments:

  1. Another great instalment of Seelowe action Matt, but the dastardly Hun continue their advance across England's green and pleasant land it seems!

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    1. Thanks Keith…..burning and looting as they go no doubt πŸ™

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  2. Another fantastic looking game Matt. A shame the plucky Brits didn't hold out

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    1. Thanks Neil……I would like to say it was skill but the Panzerjager made a difference πŸ‘

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  3. Another splendid AAR replete with lovely pictures of your wonderful collections. Of course, you need to have more...you are a wargamer after all.

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    1. Thanks David ….more more more πŸ‘

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  4. Matt, your Sealion games are always jam-packed with terrain and troops. Marvelous spectacle and a fun battle report. As I look at all of these terrain pieces, I wonder where you store it all?

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    1. Thanks Jon, storage as mentioned many times is a challenge. Hence my approach for flexibility wherever possible.

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  5. Good to take advantage of the weather for the bigger game, photo’s delivered a great narrative, but by two firm favourites are the Spitfire on the tail of the German plane and shot showing a clothes line with washing on, blowing in the wind - super!

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    1. Thanks Norm it took ages for Tom Hardy in the spitfire to hit anything !

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  6. Splendid stuff Matt…
    Surely it’s about time for the Home Guard the throw the dastardly foe back into the sea…
    Very inspiring old chap…

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Thanks Aly…don’t hold your breath the Germans have a foot hold now and I have planned in my head a whole second front and in fact a whole alternative history imagination campaign. So you need to start painting that Nottingham Homeguard !

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  7. Looks great and the camera crew was a nice touch. I'd much rather be in the Spitfire than the Henschel or Stuka.

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    1. Thanks Lawrence all the planes are pretty cools really…..I have some more to get made and painted !

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  8. Superb on all counts. πŸ€” the result perhaps notπŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks Phil….of course the benefit of fielding both sides is I can look at the result impartially πŸ€”

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  9. Great to see this campaign back in action and on a big table too. As always lots to enjoy and take in, noticing more on the second visit that I missed first time round. I'm hankering after some AVBCW or early WWII action at present, but the stunning weather has put pay to that for a while...

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    1. Thanks Steve…glad to provide some small diversion and enjoyment πŸ‘ we haven’t played VBCW for ages as Sealion kind of took over. The draw of early war German armour !

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  10. Very cool. Brave to take on a big game with a time deadline as big games always seem to play slower. Maybe bc one takes way more pics bc there’s so much cool stuff on the table. πŸ˜€

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    1. Thanks Stew, we actually had about 6 hours gaming with lunch and tea stops etc. knowing that it can take time to get started was the idea behind the double move to start which does help get things going, so we will use that again in the future.

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  11. Fabulous looking table, Matt. Would likely be a top contender for Besr of Show at our local con.

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