Friday, December 01, 2006

Camp Cromwell 30/11/06

Mahrajah 2006 Preliminary Final 1

Jim's Bersaliglieri defending v. SteveJ's US Mech in a Breakthrough:

The Tunisian table had 2 rough quarters & 2 fairly open ones. The Ities chose to occupy the rough corners, the US put the objectives in the usual places - near the centre & near the back corner. The Ities had to leave their L6s in reserve, the US had 1 Mech Inf & T30 TDs in flank attack.

The Ities rushed their Guastatori to the rear objective on the backs of the M14s, but they failed to dig in & the US reserves both arrived on turn 4 and came on guns blazing. The Guastatori took 12 hits, then suffered 8 kills from them, included the Platoon commander, the Coy commander & 2IC. That was a big hit on the Itie's best unit. They passed morale once, but failed next turn. The Pak 38s, M14s and L6s (rushed up from reserve) exacted revenge & destroyed the flank attack. But the flank attack served it's part of the evil US plan - the Guastatori & HQ were destroyed & the M14s, L6s & Paks were drawn away from the main action for a critical time.

In the centre, the Shermans spearheaded the main attack supported by the other Mech Inf while 2 batteries of SP guns provided fire support from a safe edge of the table. The terrain channelled the line of attack helping the Itie defence. The 75 battery on the mountain got lots of hits, a good number of penetrations, but just couldn't get firepowers v. the Shermans. The 105s pounded away, but managed only 1 kill before the Shermans attacked the Bersaliglieri in the front line. The Bersaliglieri had 2 opportunites to destroy bailed Shermans, but failed morale both times and were eventually worn down. Meanwhile the US artillery smashed anything that moved and prevented the 2nd Bersaliglieri, the 47mms & the HMGs redeploying from the right flank to the critical zone.

Finally it settled into a slugfest - the 4 Shermans lined up and took on all comers - they couldn't retire without concending the objective, they couldn't advance without exposing their rear & they couldn't spread out becasue of the terrain. With 3 Shermans under the template for several turns you'd think the 105s would do some damage, but no - they got one eventually, but too late to matter. The Pak 38s weren't deployed to best advantage because they were delayed by the need to help out on the other objective, but they couldn't hit anything anyway. The M14s and L6s did the Italian thing & charged through the Shermans & out the other side. They destroyed the 2nd Mech Inf & Coy HQ, but the US still had 3 platoons out an original of 6 - the Shermans + 2 SP Art. The Shermans continued to shed 105 shells like tennis balls & the SPGs were too far away to be got. The US Artillery got the 47s & the Paks, the Shermans finished off the tin cans & it was game over.

The Ities felt very let down by their allies - the 105s & Paks had ample opportunity to kill the Shermans but fluffed it. They are thinking seriously about changing sides. But Steve handled an unfamiliar army well - he had a sound plan & it worked.

No comments: