On the 26th July 1944 2nd Armored Division, a part of VII Corps, pushed south to the western side of St. Lo. The attack began at 1100hrs with the immediate objective of seizing the crossroad towns of Marigny and Saint-Gilles about 5km from the start line.

The first serious resistance was not met until the columns reached a strongpoint just north of Saint-Gilles consisting of infantry backed by four PzKpfw IV tanks of 5./PzLehrRgt 130 and a single assault gun. This game represents two Shermans from Combat Command A facing two Panzer IVs about half a kilometre north of the village.

The images above show the dance between the pairs of the tanks. The Panzers used the cover of the hedges and buildings to mask their advance, while the Shermans pushed quickly through the fields. There were a number of successful hits, with the Shermans taking out the Optics on one Panzer and doing some temporary damage to the other.

Things became more dangerous with tanks bursting through hedges and catching others with side and rear shots. A tank on each side was taken out and then the dance entered a deadly end phase.

Both of the final tanks were down to four Command Dice, but the Sherman had acquired target and aimed on the side of the Panzer. It’s final shot penetrated the opponent’s side armour.

My final Sherman would probably back away now and await infantry support before pushing deeper into Saint-Gilles. Steve and I will play a follow on game of Chain of Command next week set on the same map.

Until next time,