Steve and I played a game of Chain of Command as a follow on from last week’s game of What a Tanker!. This battle is set a little later in the day on the 26th July 1944 as the US infantry from the 22nd RCT, 4th Infantry Division, encountered German resistance on the northern edge of Saint-Gilles. That resistance came in the form of Kampfgruppe Scheele (275. Infanterie-Division) Panzergrenadier and infantry strongpoints on the road north of Saint-Gilles.
To represent this battle we used Scenario 3: Attack & Defend, with the American Patrol markers starting on the western edge of the battlefield (bottom side of the map below) near the orchard. The German Patrol markers started deeper on the battlefield along the road. Here’s where they ended up and the Jump Off points are also shown.
All told a pretty successful patrol phase for the Americans. We then jumped into the battle. The Americans went first and their initial phase would have allowed all four of their squads to come onto the battlefield, but I opted to bring three on with a plan to try to role the right-hand flank.
After a few phases (above) things were shaping up quite well… that was until I sent a squad over the bottom-right hedge and they were wiped out. That was a costly mistake and my Force Morale took a hit.
The squad on the left were more of a decoy and they did a good job, eventually drawing out another section near the centre of the hamlet. I lined up again to have a push on the right…
… but I was much more patient this time. Putting several phases of shooting into the German section first. My assault was a success and I was beginning to roll the German right flank. My mistake was not committing my other squad in the orchard to that right hand attack sooner. A turn ended and I removed the right-most German Jump Off point. The German Force Morale was beginning to lag now, but mine wasn’t far behind.
I began to push for the other Jump Off point on the right and the German section on the road reacted to move towards me. I thought I’d have a bit of an advantage defending an assault from behind the hedge…
… and I did, but it wasn’t enough. The assault German section won the day after two rounds of combat. I started that close quarters fight with a Force Morale of 6. I ended it with 0. The Germans had won this skirmish thanks to the bravery of the Leutnant who led his men along the road to prevent the circling American infantry from cutting them off.
Here’s how things ended. In hindsight I would have done a couple of things differently: the initial assault was overly hasty (mainly because I misunderstood a rule in how assaults work) and I should have reinforced that right flank attack sooner.
I reckon the Germans will probably fallback from Saint-Gilles towards Canisy in an attempt to delay the overwhelming advance of Operation Cobra. Steve and I will play a game of Battlegroup next week to represent a battle in the environs of Canisy.
Until next time,