The Grumble Jones August scenario finds us once again in Italy. For this month, I chose to do a scenario set during the Battle of Ortona. I drew my inspiration from Mark Zuehlke's outstanding book, Ortona, which may be the best treatment of this epic battle on the east coast of Italy. Much like Cassino in the west, Ortona served a similar role in blocking the Canadian advance up the east coast of the Italian Boot. The fighting for Ortona would some of the worst urban fighting experienced by Canadian forces during the war. Ortona is often referred to the "Little Stalingrad". While, Ortona falls very much short of modeling Stalingrad, it was nevertheless one of the fiercest and most costly battles fought by the Canadians during the Second World War.
Zuehlke's book provides a great deal of small unit action detail. It is a tremendous source for generating scenario ideas. The focus of the book is squarely with the Canadian effort. But now and again, there is some good detail of the German activities during the battle.
Another great treatment of the battle is the Crossing the Moro campaign game from Lone Canuck. The CG comes with a beautiful map and a number of stand alone scenarios that depict the fighting as the Canadians drove into the outskirts of Ortona. If you don't yet own this gem, I highly recommend purchasing it.
This month's scenario is also my first attempt to create a scenario using a Deluxe Board. I will admit that I don't prefer to play DASL scenarios, but it was fun putting this one together. Hopefully it captures the flavor of the fighting for Ortona.
As always these monthly "Basement Quality" Scenarios are offered for fun only and as a thank you to the readers of this blog.
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And as always, the PDF's for this scenario can be downloaded from The ASL Scenario Archive (just search on Grumble Jones).