Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anzac Day Battle

Jim's Australians defend Tobruk v. Byron's DAK
2000 pts Big Push on 6'x6' table.

The Germans started well with a devastating preliminary bombardment, killing 6 of 8 25pdrs, 2 of 4 HMGs, a 2pdr and a rifle team.  They advanced to the wire using 3 recon patrols to lift gone to ground to help their covering fire.    The Oz ambushes of HMGs & 2 pdrs were put in the village near the point of attack.  But the Germans smoked the village to cover the Pioneers as they gapped the wire & the minefield.  The pioneers made the gap but were destroyed by the surviving artillery  & the mortars from reserve.  An infantry platoon went through the gap & attacked the village.  Although supported by 3 MkIIIs, the attack failed due the timely arrival of Matildas from reserve & stubborn resistance from the 2pdrs & HMG platoons. The Matildas and MkIIIs then had a stand off - neither able to hurt the other at long range while the artillery of both sides whittled away the other side.  The Germans had better artillery (4/105s & 4/werfers), but the last 2/25pdrs & 4/mortars did well. The25pdrs got a MkIII and the 88 that dominated the ground in front of the village & allowed the Matildas to advance.  The 2 remaining MkIIIs fell back but the Matildas didn't want to advance throught he gap in the minefield where they would be bunched up under artillery templates and vulnerable to counterattack from the German infantry in the scrub.  So after a hard fight, a draw was agreed to.

Pic 1:  After the prliminary bombardment from behind the German left.  There had been a row of 25pds along the table edge on the left. A minefield with wire both sides covers the front.
Pic 2:  From behind the Oz right near the end.  The Matildas advance on the MkIIIs, one smoked by mortars.

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