Turn 6 and the British Phase of Turn 7 were bloody turns in an already very tough CG. The Germans finally made their full weight in armor and infantry felt as the Ox and Bucks were finally pried out of Benouville. It was a rough turn for my opponent and his Ox and Bucks. In one series of Morale Checks, the dice gods presented 3 consecutive 11's. German rolls hovered in the 3's and caused havoc among the Red Devils. To my opponent's credit, he stoically endured the luck of the dice and continued to present the toughest defense possible. I tip my hat to Big Kansas for his love of the game which overrides any setbacks caused by errant throws of the dice. As any long time player of ASL knows...the dice can never be controlled, only your tactics and personal resolve to win are yours to control.
Day III ended with 21 CVP inflicted on the British and 27 CVP inflicted on the Germans. As the sun begins to set on the Battle for Pegasus Bridge, Major Howard has 8 squads left...but his Ox and Bucks still control the Bridge, the Town Hall and Schoolhouse and the T-Intersection....where final victory for either side will ultimately be determined.
For the Germans...we remove our stahlhelms...drink from our canteens and silently appreciate the strategic gains made at such cost. During the dark hours of Night III and Dawn...my Landsers could not have hoped to be in the Red Zone. But here we are going into the final turn of this CG and both sides have a chance to win. MMP...you created one hellava CG...thanks for that...and we'll see you all on the other side of the Dusk. Sieg oder Siberien!
Ain't it so...
The stage as Turn 6 begins. Pine-Coffin's death left an 8-0 running the show in Northern Benouville, while Sweeney conducted a fall back towards the bridge. In the north, the 57LL AT Gun prepared to fire at the MKIV along the wood line as German Landers aimed their KAR 98's at them.
One last advance...gotta make it count...
On the other side...the Red Devils stand ready...
The German assault begins in earnest. Tony, the British 8-0 finds himself isolated and surrounded by German infantry and armor. He directs fire at the oncoming grenadiers and creates residual fire of 12, 8 and 8. A virtual holocaust of fire as German squads close assault into the adjoining hexes on ground and first floors. But the dice gods favor the Germans and the resulting fire only pins a squad on the first level of 012. But the Germans malf the MA of one of the MKIV's which will have dire consequences at the end of Day III.
The Ox and Buck's stoic 8-0, Tony knows the end is near...but he will not go easily into the long good night.
Knowing...the time has come, my Landsers move in to finally push the Ox and Bucks out of Benouville.
The fighting around the Schoolhouse & Town Hall reaches a crescendo as the British 57LL AT Gun fires and Malf's for the first time in the game. In ensuing German fire, the crew is eliminated. The Germans surge forward with MKIV's on either flank. German grenadiers move forward onto the malf'd 57LL AT Gun. They will destroy it in the next D-Fire Phase. The AT Gun threat is finally removed.
Day III belonged to the MKIV's of the 21st Panzer Division. Von Luck's Valkyries moving across the French fields!
In northern Benouville, the Ox and Bucks have one more surprise for the Germans! An HIP Piat Team leaps out of cover and fires at the oncoming MKIV's. The last chance to open a path for the British in Benouville to escape.
The Piat Team targets the MKIV in Hex R12.
The MKIV is hit and immobilized...but the crew hangs tough and returns fire.
The German MKIV's respond...with thunderous fire on the Piat Team.
And in another amazing ASL moment...the MKIV in Hex N14 fires in advancing fire at the Piat Team and rolls 1,1 and then a 1 for a critical hit 28 down 3. The Piat Team vanishes in the blast.
The German advancing fire takes a toll on Tony's position in northern Benouville Hex P12. Tony and two squads break as 3 consecutive 11's are rolled. The remaining squad is a walking wounded 4-5-8.
For one of the rare moments in the CG, the Germans are able to fire group and inflict punishing fire on the Ox and Bucks at close range.
Back at the Town Hall and School House area, the German fire is equally effective and forces the Ox and Bucks to Rout.
Red Devils fall back to regroup and continue the fight.
In Benouville, the surrounded men of Tony, the British 8-0 face the end as they cannot route from P12.
The Germans declare No Quarter...
"Does this mean what I think it do...??" "It do..."
With Tony and the other broken Ox and Bucks eliminated for failure to rout, the German 7-0 fires the HMG on the Chateau roof to eliminate and DM the Ox and Bucks near Lt. Sweeney's position in the wheatfield NE of Benouville.
And in North Benouville, the German Grenadiers move into close combat with the Walking Wounded 4-5-8 in P12.
The Grenadiers rush the P12 Hex. They fail to kill the 4-5-8 and the two forces are locked in Melee.
As the end nears on Day III, the Germans have gotten tantalizing close to securing both north Benouville and even the School House and Town Hall sector. But the Germans never succeed in controlling Hexes Q11, Q12 or P13, which will leave the MKIV's in no man's land at the end of Day III. The importance of the British successfully rolling out in their part of Turn 7 cannot be underestimated.
In the School House and Town Hall sector, the primary German objective had been to secure the foxholes behind the hedge line and to eliminate the 57LL AT Gun. The successful breaking of the British in this sector came as a surprise and presented the Germans with a golden opportunity to seize more territory...but alas...the Germans would not get another movement phase.
In other interesting details, the British successfully rolled interrogation results with each wind change roll. Our French Fraulein once again aided the Ox and Bucks by uncovering concealed German Units. Throughout the CG...Madeline has served the Allied Cause with distinction!
The German sniper was also active...but only succeeded in pinning the British Sniper.
The Ox and Bucks successfully roll out of the game...and bring bloody Day III to an end. The sun is already beginning to sink behind the Le Port church steeple. And with it may pass the last best chance for German victory at Pegasus Bridge.
My weary Grenadiers accomplished much on Day III and have placed themselves with a chance for a victory in this CG. But they now must seize the T-Intersection and hold off British reinforcements which will include 9 Tanks, Carriers, and 25 Squads. The fading light of Day III may be a fiery foreshadowing of a Viking Funeral Pyre...only Dusk will tell...
The Ox and Bucks remain steadfast...Col. Pine Coffin and his erstwhile aide, Tony have fallen in the fight, but Lt. Sweeney and Maj. Howard remain to lead the Ox and Bucks to final victory.
The relative zones of control at the end of Day III.
The elimination box tells the tale of Day III's cost...
Major Howard looks back on the fight that was Day III. He has lost much, but still holds the vital ground and still has enough Ox and Bucks to win the day. Only 6-7 more Turns remain...
Field Marshall Erwin Rommel's HQ...let's listen in, "Herr Feld Marschall, ve haf new reports from the Orne Canal Bridge Sektor." "Ya Oberleutnant...has the bridge been secured." "Nein, Herr Feld Marschall, Grumble Jones could not reach the bridge." "Oberleutnant...the fate of the invasion rests on taking that bridge. We are now in the hands of Grumble Jones..."
"And may the dice gods show us 7's or less!!!"