04 July, 2014

Securing the Flank

So after a month-long hiatus of posting I'm back! I do have a few in the pipeline, so expect some posts in quick succession next week. I suppose I've been pursuing my other gaming hobbies a bit more recently:
Anyway, back in May we got together for a day-long Memoir '44 campaign of the British attack on Caen...

In preparation for Montgomery’s Operation Epsom, the 49th Infantry Division, nicknamed the Polar Bears because of their arm path, was order to take the town of Fontenay le Pesnel. Their second objective was to secure Raury and the heights that surrounded it. The capture of these two locations would protect the 15th Division’s flank as they made the main push against their primary objective of Epsom – an outflanking action that would finally take Caen. 

The 49th Infantry was faced with the 12th SS Panzer Division (Hitlerjugend) and bumped into Panzer Lehr’s flank, bring them into the battle. The German defenders held tough and the inexperience division was unable to take its objective that day.

Allied command chose to move ahead anyway and Operation Epsom was kicked off on June 26 with the high ground around Raury still in the hands of the enemy. German armour and artillery overlooked the ground that the 15th was moving over, leading to heavier resistance than Montgomery had hoped to face.

The battle lines are drawn; some elite German armour backs up PanzerGrenadiers in the centre, while another unit lies behind some bocage on the extreme German left flank
The British have some unexpected help in the form of an artillery battery (tucked in behind the ridgeline separating the two sides)
The Luftwaffe makes a surprise appearance; this must be the sortie of the day!
With British armour still at its start line, they're incredibly susceptible to the strafing run. The attack is a great success!
The British right flank advances in strength, mostly infantry but with some armoured support - the German units beyond are dug in on the hillside
With the German armour making a move through the hedgerows, a British attack is launched
The British tanks, with significant infantry support drive the German infantry out of their defences and force the German armour to retreat
The German air cover is still making a nuisance of itself, and now is supporting the elite German units' attack in the centre
With some reverse-slope support from its armour units behind, the British infantry attacks and wipes out the Tigers and PanzerGrenadiers in short order
The Luftwaffe plane follows in quick succession!
A overwhelming victory by the British; but one where many of their units were on their last legs. 
Will they be able to maintain their momentum to capture the bridge crossing over the Odon?

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