1st Canadian Armored Brigade vs 26.Panzerdivision Panzerkompanie
Allies: 3 | happymcrobert
Axis: 4 | JAKPanzerIV
This was a battle for the Albano Hills between a Panzerkompanie from the 26.Panzerdivision (Jeff) and an Armored Company from the 1st Canadian Armored Brigade (Robert). The Canadians won the roll to be the attacker and the Germans were in defense. The scenario rolled was "Surrounded".
All action described will based on a North-South and West-East perspective based on the photos below with North being at the top of the photo of the empty table as well as of the next two.
HQ - 2xPzIVH
P1 - 4xPzIVH
P2 - 3xPzIVH
P3 - 2xTiger 1E
P4 - 2x8-Rads
P5 - Gepanzerte Panzergrenadiers (6 teams + CMD SMG Panzerfaust team)
P6 - 3xNW41 15cm Nebelwerfers + Transpo
1st Canadian Armored Brigade, Armoured Squadron
HQ - 2x75mm Shermans
P1 - 3x75mm Shermans
P2 - 3x75mm Shermans
P3 - 3x75mm Shermans
P4 - 3xStuart V Jalopies
P5 - 4xM-10 TDs
P-6 - 4xPriest SP Arty
Initial deployment had the Nebs deployed on the western edge of the deployment zone supported by 4xPzIVHs to their NW protecting against the Canadian M10s and Stuart Jalopies starting from the NW. Dug in around the western objective were the Panzergrenadiers. To the east, three PzIVHs, sprung from immediate ambush, sat behind a ridge protecting the eastern objective and they were accompanied by the two Tigers The PzIVHs protected against a platoon of Shermans in the SE while the Tigers initially targeted the Sherman platoon in the NE. The 8-Rads screened the ridge from the southern Canadian forces while the German 2iC guarded the eastern flank and the 1iC was in the town covering the SW approach of another Sherman platoon as well as the Priests.
The Canadians mounted a 4-Corner offense reminiscent of former UNC Tarheel basketball teams. By providing multiple swirling targets and axes of attack, they hoped to provide more targets than the Germans could engage and overwhelm the defenses.
Turn 1 - The Canadians began with a flourish and in the NE the M-10s were able to bail three PzIVHs. The Priests pinned the infantry and one Neb was destroyed by the marauding Stuart Jalopies. The bailed PzIVHs were able to remount one tank but two remained bailed. The two fully functional PzIVHs and the 1iC placed precise fire on the M-10s, bailing two and killing one. On the west side of the board the 2ic was able to bail one Sherman.
Turn 2 - The bailed Canadian M-10s and the Sherman all remounted and re-commenced their attack. The Stuart Jalopies were quickly able to wipe out the Nebs. On the eastern front the NE and SE Sherman platoons attacked destroying the 2iC and two PzIVHs from the three-PzIVH platoon. The remaining PzIVH decided discretion was the better part of valor and fled the field following a failed morale check. This left the Germans with two destroyed platoons and a destroyed 2iC. They quickly fought back destroying a Sherman from the NE unit with fire from the eastern Tiger and the western Tiger destroyed one of the Jalopies.
Turn 3 - Things were looking grim for the surrounded German panzers as the Canadians quickly bailed two of the NW PzIVHs and destroyed one of the 8-Rads and bailed the other. That crew failed its morale check and also fled the field resulting in the loss of both 8-Rads. Field Marshall Kesselring was beginning to lose his smile. However, the NE PzIVHs remounted and quickly dispatched the M-10s killing two and causing the other to quit the field after failing his morale check. The Germans had now lost three platoons and the 2iC while the Canadians were only down the M-10 platoon.
Turn 4 - The tide began to swing in this turn as Sherman fire was only able to kill one PzIVH in the NW and the Shermans from the SE firing into the town killed the Neb observer team who had been hiding after the loss of the Nebs. The Tigers however were able to kill the two remaining NE Shermans, destroying the platoon and leaving the Canadian 2iC isolated behind a line of trees. The Canadians were now down two platoons.
Turn 5 - Inaccurate gunnery from the Shermans and the Priests caused no losses this turn and the tide of battle quickly swung to the German side. The NW PzIVHs were able to wipe out the Jalopies and the Tigers killed one Sherman from the SW platoon. The score was now tied with each side having lost three platoons.
Turn 6 - The climax of the battle was rapidly approaching. The Canadians tried an assault on the town and the west objective with the Shermans from the SW, but they were repulsed after only destroying two infantry teams. One was destroyed in preparatory shooting and the other in the assault. The NW PzIVHs began moving toward the town and ridge to reinforce the eastern flank. The Tigers however, stationary and hull down behind the ridge, unleashed an awful volley destroying the remaining two Shermans in the SE platoon as well as the 1iC, destroying the fourth of six platoons and forcing a company morale check, thus causing the Canadians to relinquish the field.
Lessons Learned - This was a bloody slugfest between two well matched teams. Robert's converging attacks initially caused casualties and disruption among the German forces. However, as the perimeter began to shrink and the Canadians closed in, the German were able to mass fires on specific platoons and win the war of attrition. Key lessons here reinforced that Panzers sitting still don't last long and the ability to move and shoot are critical. Further, the Principle of War of Mass and Economy of force can be powerful tools in an attrition battle when maneuver options are limited.
All in all a great game and a superb afternoon of gaming.