Friday night found my Fallschirmjaeger once more striving to hold their bocage fortresses against an ever increasing tide of American Armor and GI's.
The 1230 Hours CG Turn had left my lines shattered and my personal ELR hanging by a thread. I set about selecting reinforcements and new Fortifications. I purchased 4 x 5-4-8 Squads, 3 x 4-4-7 squads, 2 x 8-3-8's, an HMG, an MMG, and a 50L AT Gun. My points exhausted, I could not bring any Stugs into the fight. For my DSP, I purchased 2 x 1-5-7 Pillboxes, 6 x Wire and 4 x foxholes.
Together with my survivors this would constitute my last best force to face the Amis as they closed in on the 4 Crossroad Victory Locations.
As for the Americans...Three Hard Turns of bocage busting had hardened them to the business of "deestroying" my squads. Time and numbers were on their side and I expected Big Kansas to come a scalping after the first wind change DR.
My boys prepared for the fun to begin! Concealment and fire discipline would be the watchwords! Oh..and helmets to keep the scalping down to a minimum!
With limited forces, I elected to create a fortified "Goose Egg" around the Y29 Crossroads Victory Location. I placed two pill boxes and equipped each with a HMG and/or a MMG. I tried to place additional troops whose goal was to protect the pillboxes.
Right or wrong...I elected not to put any reinforcements to hold the N34 Crossroads Victory Location. The troops located there following the 1230 Hours CG Turn would have to fight and die in isolation. My two groups located to the north were under orders to move towards my fortified positions in the east. One of these two groups would actually make it.
In the West the Americans just CX'd forward with no fear.
Having purchased bocage breaches, Big Kansas' forces moved rapidly in the center with the U30 Crossroads Victory Location as their initial objective.
Huzzah and forward boys!!
but..wait...one peculiar problem seemed to afflict the American effort...Radio Contact...the Artillery F.O. called out again and again...'Broadsword to Danny Boy...come in Danny Boy..."...but to not avail for 2 Turns as the American Radios remained silent and spared the Germans a rain of incoming artillery salvos...
Spotting Round error...direction 5...distance 6...can't see it...
My boys hunkered down and tried to survive the huge wave headed towards them.
Near the N34 Crossroads, I have a single Fanatic 5-4-8 squad in the M32 Building. They were told to sell their lives dearly to slow the US advance.
As the battle progresses, I was plagued by familiar problem. US troops were able to frequently advance and retain concealment, thus severely lessening the fire I directed at them. Equally frustrating is the assault fire capabilities of the Americans which ensure a heavy volume of fire in Advancing Fire. So my boys were forced to fall back under the hail of US firepower.
When I created my defense I intended to use the bocage surrounded road as a trench to help gain concealment and funnel my troops to the hottest parts of the US attack. What I had not factored was the strength of the US attack from the north. The US squads came on and went into CC with my boys the W24 House. They quickly KIA'd a half-squad and locked the rest in melee. Melee...oh how I hate it...
Here we see one of the Grumblejones photographers embedded with my Fallschirmjaeger...to cover the action...you gotta be there!
In my turn, my 9-2 Officer kept my defense on track and forced back the US attack in the north. A 5-4-8 retook the W24 house.
My 9-2 bears the burden of keeping my boys in the fight. He's got to keep it up for at least three more US movement phases.
A very daunting task...
In one of those rare moments...my boys laid down a huge volume of fire that staggered the US forces by pinning and breaking some squads. One US squad came on in a fury determined to place a DC. A desperate FPF managed to DM them, but my boys would eventually fall in the fighting.
Two reserve Shermans traveled the length of the map as they drove up the hard top road to support the American effort...hopefully before Big Kansas won the battle!
In the West, the US forces were in complete control, but Big Kansas rolled a remarkably high number of "3's" during the night. I stopped counting at 6. This "reckless" rolling of "3's" activated my sniper twice and a hapless 3-4-7 with a Flamethrower was the unfortunate victim each time. Naturally, a small price to pay for rolling "3's".
While the battle had raged in the center and center-north, I managed to escape a group of Germans to U25. Their escape from the west and entry into my fortified "Goose egg" was a very satisfying moment for me.
As Big Kansas' men and armor pressed forward...I began to feel a twinge of panic...
I knew trouble was headed directly towards my Landsers.
Big Kansas' riflemen did some fine shooting throughout the battle and DM markers showed where their fire had done its job.
Circled is a German HMG on top of my eastern Pillbox. How did it get there you may well ask. Well...it's owners attempted to enter the pillbox, but were broken in the effort and being a half-squad could not rout with the gun into the Pillbox. So now I will have to find a way to get that gun safely into the Pillbox. Problems...problems...will they never cease!?!
But the gun was so heavy...4 portage points...you know that 3 is our limit...
See...see what I have to deal with...
A final look at the US advance and the German pocket, which shrank a little more than desired during Turns 1 and 2.
And traditionally in this CG...Turns 3 and 4 have been pretty darn bad for the Germans. So I must prepare myself for the storm that is coming.
At 3 Hexes Volley Fire...
Turns 3 and 4 Next week...