43 (RM) Commando vs 5. Gebirgsjäger Division
Allies: 5 | Stingray
Axis: 2 | Yellowman
While A and B Troop of 43 (RM) Commando were still recovering from the heavy losses suffered during the costly victory at Liri River Valley, C and D Troop were transported to the Anzio beachhead. After arriving there, the Commando was ordered to conduct a Night Attack against a full Company of Gebirgsjäger, that was resting in the woods near Aprilia.
Both sections of C Troop had to advance through the city to put frontal pressure on the defenders position, while under the cover of the night, D Troop together with 3 Shermans was trying to outflank the enemy.
The main advance of C Troop was supported by the Heavy Weapons Platoon (Vickers MMGs and 3" Mortars) and a battery of 25pdrs. Also a Royal Navy Observer was getting into position inside a tall building, overlooking the battlefield and waiting for the daybreak in order to call in Light Cruiser support.
The enemies forces consisted of 3 full Gebirgsjäger platoons, 4 HMGs (not combat attached), 4 Heavy Mortars, two 88 Flaks, three 2cm FlaKs, two Pak40s, 6 Nebelwerfers and 4 StuG Gs.
While still at night, the Commandos carefully advanced and managed to move unnoticed into optimal positions. Just before daybreak, the first assaults on the first defensive perimeter took place and one Commando Section managed to overrun enemy positions, destroying a Mortar and a Gebirgsjägerplatoon with few losses. At the same time, the other two Gebirgsjäger platoons dug in around and inside a wood, that had major tactical importance, because this area was perfect for orchestrating ambushes. This wood was also the main objective for the outflanking Commandos, that just arrived at the moment, when the sun set. German intelligence obviously had got wind of this manouvre, because the StuGs already waited for the Shermans, shooting them to pieces. But not before the British Tankers had managed to crush the Machine Gun emplacements under their tracks, thus safing the accompanying Commando sections from devastating defensive fire.
So at the start of the new day the tactical situation was as follows: Commandos were creating close quarter combat mayhem among the German's first line of defense, but weren't able to advance any further. They had to methodically eliminate one position after another, which they eventually did, but that method did cost a lot of time. Meanwhile the other half of the Commando Troop (2 Sections) was digging in near the objective in the woods, facing 2 Gebirgsjäger platoons (in foxholes) and the StuGs and waited for artillery support. Now, with a clear view on the battlefield for the observers, artillery shells of varying sizes started to rain in on the defenders. The German Commander realized, that his forces probably could not wheather a prolonged bombardement, so he decided to take the initiative and assault the two Commando sections with both Gebirgsjäger platoon. The surprised Commandos, who weren't used to be the ones, that got assaulted, opened fire on the Germans, that were emerging from the woods. Concentrated defensive fire resulted in the total annihilation of both Gebirgsjäger platoons. After that, the way was clear for securing the objective and the Germans, having lost their Commander during that daring charge, retreated, since their losses were just too high, this day.
Unlike 43 (RM) Commandos last battle at the Liri, losses were minimal, besides the three tanks, that were lost, but the officer leading the British was aware, that the brave charge of the Germans would certainly have destroyed the whole outflanking force, if the Germans had actually been able to reach the foxholes of the British. Only excellent individual marksmanship of the British soldiers saved the day for the Allies.