Canadian Armoured Squadron vs 26.Panzerdivision

Allies: 3 | happymcrobert
Axis: 4 | JAKPanzerIV

This report is the second of two battles between these forces, the first being played earlier in the day as my opponent and I attempted to squeeze in a couple of games under the wire to turn the tide of battle. Having met up at our FLGS, Grand Adventures, we had the table set and our armies ready. Rolling up mission we got Breakthrough, and as both of our forces were tank companies, rolled off, with the Canadians getting the honour(?) of attacking.

Attacker: Three Rivers Regt, 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade (C/V) - 6 Platoons
HQ: 2x Sherman V, 1x Sherman ARV
1st Platoon: 3x Sherman V
2nd Platoon: 3x Sherman V
3rd Platoon: 3x Sherman V
Recce: 3x Stuart V Jalopies
AT(SP), RCA: 4x M10 3"
FB(SP), RCA: 4x M7 Priest, Staff, Command & Sherman OP

Defender: II/26.Panzer-Regiment, 26.Panzerdivision (C/V) - 6 Platoons
HQ: 2x Pz IVH
1.Platoon: 4x Pz IVH
2.Platoon: 3x Pz IVH
Recce: 2x SdKfz 231 (8-rad)
schwere Panzer: 2x Tiger IE (w/ Rapid Fire)
Gep. Panzergrenadiers: 3x Squads w/ SMG Panzerfaust Command, 3x SdKfz 251/1 and 1x Sdkfz 251/10 (3.7cm)
Rocket Battery: 3x NW41 Nebelwerfer, Command and Transports

The table, if looking north had a road running from southwest to northeast with a connecting road coming from the south west. A ridgeline was near the center to the east, a small village surrounded by fields sat the intersection of the two roads, and a ruined monastery surrounded by vineyards in the northwest quadrant. A small orchard was in the northeast and some tree lines in the northwest and southwest quadrants. Two small irrigation ditches ran diagonally, one in the Northwest quadrant and the other in the Southeast quadrant. The defender chose to deploy in the Northwest and Southeast quadrants, placing the 1.Platoon and schwere Platoon both to the northwest, while the attacker deployed to the Southwest with objectives in the Northeast. The Canadians deployed everything but the M10s which were held in delayed reserve.

Recce move: The Stuarts moved from along their easterly facing past the village towards the ridge.

Turn 1: 1st and 3rd Platoons advanced to the east of the village with the 1iC, 2iC, Sherman OP and ARV moving with them. The Stuarts advanced along the ridge, between its cliff face and the irrigation stream in that area. 2nd Platoon held in place in a wheat field to respond to any German firing. Firing was limited with the Canadian artillery attempting to bombard the Pz IVs and failing. The Germans received their first reinforcements, bringing on the Panzergrenadiers in the Northwest corner and advancing slowly, using the woodline there for cover. After shifting their tanks a little, firing resulted in one Sherman from 1st Platoon bailed out.

Turn 2: 1st and 3rd Platoons continued to move, moving two tanks each, and leaving one each to provide covering fire. The Stuarts moved on further as the Shermans followed them along the back of the ridge. The artillery did better, bailing two Pz IVHs, while the Shermans, most of whom were using semi-indirect fire failed to damage or bail any German tanks, including one Pz IV which took 4 hits over the course of firing. In return, the Germans got their 2.Platoon from reserve, bringing the Pz IVs in behind the Panzergrenadiers, while continuing to move, shifting the 1.Platoon up onto the ridge. German firing resulted in the Stuarts making a disengage move and weathering the fire at them, while 1st Platoon lost a Sherman.

Turn 3: The M10s come in from reserve and are in position to take side shots on the Tigers who are hiding along the rows of citrus trees. The Shermans shuffle a little and fire, destroying 1 Pz IV and bailing 2 others from 1.Platoon. The M10s score one hit on a Tiger which fails to penetrate. The Nebelwerfers join the line of German reinforcements entering the table, coming in loaded behind transports, as the halftracks and Pz IVs keep moving. The Pz IVs on the ridge remount and prepare to fire. The M10s are eviscerated by fire from 2.Platoon and the 1iC and 2iC, loosing 3 tanks and the 4th being bailed. A failed morale test results in the loss of this platoon. Other firing destroys 1 tank from 2nd platoon which had moved to the T-intersection in the village, and a tank from 3rd platoon being bailed out. (1 Canadian Platoon destroyed, 0 German)

Turn 4: The Stuarts moved to engage the Pz IVs from 1.Platoon in the rear with .50 cals while other Shermans continued to move and try to attain better firing positions. Two more Pz IVs from 1.Platoon on the ridge were destroyed and the last one bailed. The platoon passed its morale check with one tank left, while the 1iC took a long range luck shot, having his tank shot out from underneath him, though he was able to take command of a Pz IV from 2.Platoon. The last German platoon, the 8-rads, arrives from reserve and moves carefully around the treeline. Shooting results in another tank from 1st Platoon being destroyed along with one from 3rd Platoon, and the 1iC bailed out. 1st Platoon fails its morale test, while 3rd is only into its first casualty. (2 Canadian Platoons destroyed, 0 German)

Turn 5: The Stuarts race in, getting into a position to fire on the halftracks carrying the Panzergrenadiers, while the rest of the Canadian forces shift slightly to try to optimize their firing. Artillery ranges in and kills a second Pz IV from 2.Platoon, resulting in a morale test that is failed. Other shooting finishes off the last Pz IV from 1.Platoon, while the Stuarts shoot up and pin the Panzergrenadiers, they fail to destroy, much less bail, any of the halftracks. The Panzergrenadiers dismount and start to shift into cover as the Tigers move up to secure the southern objective. The 1iC and 2iC engage the Stuarts, firing four shots and hitting four times, wiping out the platoon. One of the Tigers hits the 1iC Sherman, destroying it and the Squadron commander within. (3 Canadian Platoons destroyed, 2 German)

Turn 6: Not much movement other than some shifting to restrict what the Tigers can shoot at. A repeat bombardment catches the 1iC panzer and some infantry, destroying one infantry team, and the 1iC Panzer, who again remounts, this time taking over a nearby 8-rad. Shooting from the Shermans finishes off the 2iC, who is unable to escape, leaving all the Pz IVs burning wreckage. The Germans move some and fire, but no damage is inflicted on the Canadian forces. (3 Canadian destroyed, 2 German)

Turn 7: 2nd Platoon has moved into cover behind the monastery and is engaging the one remaining 8-rad from the platoon, trying to score another easy kill, but they only bail the 8-rad, who passes his platoon morale test. The 8-rad remounts and again, no damage is done by German return fire. (3 Canadian destroyed, 2 German)

Turn 8: 2nd Platoon moves forward, keeping the monastery between them and the Tigers while advancing on the Nebelwerfers, who have failed to dig in since arriving. MG fire finishes off two, while the Priests, with little else to shoot at, fire at the smoke trails and hit the remaining Nebelwerfer, hiding behind a woodline. The shot pins, but fails to kill the last Nebelwerfer. The Tigers advance and fire on 3rd Platoon, killing another Sherman, and forcing a test which they pass. (3 Canadian destroyed, 2 German)

After playing pretty well all day, my opponent and I decided to call the game after one more turn. With that decision we moved into Turn 9.

Turn 9: Nothing happened. Some movement and artillery fire, a little shooting, but the turn went quick and no further damage was inflicted.

At that the game ended with a 4-3 German victory. It was a tough game, and the second that day to be a 4-3 German win. Where the first game had felt pretty good until half way through, this one felt bad until half way through, then it felt more even. The M10s not causing any damage and then getting vaporized was a huge morale blow, the Shermans proved to be 'good enough' in dealing with the Pz IVs and gave about as good as they got. The 8-rads were down to 1 team, so a bail would force a test, and the Nebelwerfers just needed one team killed to force a morale test, but then again, both my remaining Sherman platoons were beat up also. While they may not have gotten their points back in kills, the Tigers were a huge psychological factor, dominating any thinking I made on how to move and what to fire at.

All in all a great game and another one I was glad to play for the campaign. Now on to finish painting some more stuff.