After Action Report
This game is set just before dawn on the 21st December 1944, just on the northern edge of Bizory, near Bastogne. The German’s are pressing their attack which started the night before. Dog company from 2nd Battalion 501st PIR have moved forward in an attempt to prevent the enemy advance.
This photo shows the battle field. The German’s will be entering from the east (top of the photo) with the Americans defending around the edge of the village. My force consisted of two full PIR platoons, one half-strength platoon, an platoon of PIR Engineers and three Shermans. Pádraic had to full Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier platoons, four StuGs and five Panzer IV Hs.
The battle started in darkness, but that had little effect as the visibility was quite good. Pádraic started the battle with his tanks in play and the mechanised troops in reserve. I started with one of the large PIR platoons on my left flank and the other in immediate ambush (the plan was to deploy them into the edge of the village).
The German’s advanced rapidly towards my left flank, though they were hampered slightly by some vehicles becoming bogged down in the snow. The Panzers began firing into the paratroopers in the woods, while the StuGs fired into the village. Neither caused much damage, as the Americans kept their heads down. Reserves were slow to arrive for both forces, but as daybreak arrived so too did the remainder of the forces. The mounted Germans were focussed on the American left and moved up behind the cover of woods. The Shermans arrived at speed and took speculative shots at the Panzers. The return fire was devastating and the American armour was decimated.
As the Germans dismounted from their transports the Engineers and half-strength PIR platoon arrived to support the paratroopers in the wood. The Engineers took heavy fire from the StuGs as they moved to protect the centre. This was a precursor to a large assault, with a platoon of Panzergrenadiers smashing into the frond of the paratroopers in the wood. The American’s prevailed, but suffered heavy losses. The Engineer’s bazookas destroyed two Panzers and subsequently bailed a third. The StuGs assaulted the now under-strength Engineer platoon, but three were destroyed at the third was abandoned.
The PIR platoon dug in at the edge of the village moved out in support of their comrades. The Panzergrenadiers eliminated up the remaining PIR around the woods while the Panzers remounted and unbogged.
Just as the PIR arrived to hold the objective the Company Commander made the call the fallback. Victory to the Germans.
This was another great game. I made the mistake of saying it was highly unlikely for me to roll on a 1 or 2 with a reroll before making my Company Motivation check, but of course that’s what happened.
I think there’ll be one more game in the campaign. I just need to make some more terrain, as I think Bizory will be the centre of the fighting.