Escadron de Spahi, Rifle Company vs Grenadier Company
Allies: 2 | Elias, Zerknautscher
Axis: 5 | lindsayb
A joint force of Spahi of the French Expeditionary Corps and a rifle company of the 1st Canadian Corps had successfully isolated two platoons of German Grenadiers and a Platoon of StuH 42 near the river. Their difficult task now lay in dislodging the well prepared defenders, before their Panzer reserves would arrive to relieve them.
Random deployment luckily did little to hinder the Allies from concentrating their force in one table quarter (astonishingly good dice rolls from Elias and me!). However that where the Allies' luck ended for the remainder of the battle.
The plan was to move in with all available forces and overrun the defending Germans with mechanised infantry, after the recce teams would rob them of their gtg status and the heavy support weapons would have softened them up. Canadian Sherman Vs and French M10s would provide direct fire support, while the 4.2" mortars of the Canadians would fire indirectly. However the StuH did a good job hiding in the woods and cornfield and left the Shermans without good opportunities to fire. The mortars missed completely and would continue to do so throughout the game except for a few exceptions.
As more reserves became available, the Franco-Canadian force opened a second front at the other short table edge. However the APC platoons on both sides of the table were hit by Stukas the turns they arrived in respectively - the french P-47s failed to shoot them down or were otherwise occupied and although the .50cal AA MG's scored quite a few hits, the firepower checks failed to do any damage. Meanwhile the Allied bombings were mostly ineffective, with the German StuHs proving to be impenetrable by the P-47's bombs.
As the battle dragged on, the advancing Canadian infantry was worn down turn by turn, without a good opportunity for an assault. The second platoon eventually managed to clear out the farm, but lost so many men, that the platoon commander decided to retreat and let the pioneers close the deal and secure the objective. They however could do little to advance any further and lacked the heavy support they would have needed to take the objective.
The German Panzers that had arrived from the reserve placed themselves on the objectives, while Nebelwerfers and heavy infantry guns pounded the Allied positions. With the infantry platoons, Shermans, M10s, Scotts and Stuarts destroyed, the Allies had no choice but to retreat. Ineffective bombardments, bad synergy between the forces and very difficult terrain allowed the Germans to achieve an important victory.