Polish Infantry Company vs 44. Reichsgrenadierdivision

Allies: 3 | goe
Axis: 4 | Brian

The Liri Valley – The story of an uphill struggle

Andreas and me, Brian wanted to play our 1750 point game at the Liri location with a river and a increasing number of hills on the table edges. Just as if someone were pushing into a mountainvalley afainst my fortified Company, which I played for the first time. Hence the large amount of printed Barbed Wire Entanglements.

Brians Army:
Stützpunktkompanie, 44. Reichsgrenadierdivision (Confident Trained)

Hauptquartier (HQ)
- CiC and 2iC with Panzerfausts, Trench Line, Anti-Tank Section

Kampfzüge (Combat Platoons)
- Stützpunktzug composed of: MG Nest, MG Pillbox, Panzer II Turret, 2 Trench Lines, 2 Barbed Wire Entanglements, Panzerfaust SMG Platoon Leader and 4 Rifle/MG Teams
- Stützpunktzug composed of: MG Nest, MG Pillbox, Panzer II Turret, 2 Trench Lines, 2 Barbed Wire Entanglements, Panzerfaust SMG Platoon Leader and 4 Rifle/MG Teams

Waffenzug (Weapon Platoon)
- Stützpunkt Mortar Platoon composed of 2 Sections, 2 Trench Lines

Befestigungen (Fortifications)
- 2 Minefields
- 2x6 Barbed Wire Entanglements
- 9 Communcation Trenches

Unterstützungszüge (Support Platoons)
- Luftwaffe Heavy Anti-Air Gun Platoon with additional Crew (Reluctant)
- Reserve Panther Platoon

Andreas Army:
Kompania Piechoty, Polish Infantry Division, 2nd Army (Fearless Veteran)

- CiC and 2iC

Combat Platoons
- Piechoty Platoon
- Piechoty Platoon
- Piechoty Platoon

Weapon Platoon
- Mortar Platoon with 2 Mortars

Support Platoons
- Pancerny Platoon composed of 3 Sherman III with .50 cal AA MGs
- Pancerny Platoon composed of 3 Sherman III with .50 cal AA MGs
- Medium Battery, Polish Artillery, 1 Section

We played No Retreat as our Mission, with the Poles attacking

Turn 1
Confident in their superior Air Force and Artillery the Poles began the assault at noon, forfeiting their night fighting training. The Polish Kompania Commander gave the order for a general advance on the prepared German Lines. Seeing an Opening on his right Flank he concentrated his Force there to push an hole in the infamous Gustav Line.
The Allied Air Force in form of the dashing Sir Lionel arrived, only to drop some Rockets on the heads of an unsuspecting German team, who miraculously survived (the firepower test failed). It was the last time we had seen Sir Lionel as he did not make any appearance up to the end of thegGame. The mortars tried to smoke, but hit nothing. The trusty old 25 Pounder ranged in and bombarded for the rest of the game the same point right beside the river, pinning the Germans every round.
Seeing the problematic situation they were in the German Commander began sending his troops into the river one per round to stabilize his weak left flank.
Only two MG Bunkers on the defacto weak left flank of the Germans opened fire and began their work of chipping away attacking Poles. Suprisingly the trained Mortars were really successful and killed several teams in this turn alone. Even pinning one platoon for a turn.

Turn 2
The Polish Tanks kept pushing and slowly crawled over Barbed Wire Entanglements. Then the ambush of the feared 88s popped up, facing the Tanks, firing six shots, hitting two and killing... none. Well, that was anticlimactic.
The feared Reserve Panther Platoon showed up and moved at the double to get to the first trenches and to the Liri River on their long way to the bridge. The only way for them to cross the river and to get to the fought over objective. And the Polish Infantry got hit by the mortars and MGs and lost a few men.

Round 3
Saw the Revenge of the Shermans™, as they fired back at the 88 and destroyed the whole platoon. The Artillery began to really take its toll on the German Stützpunkt platoon facing them, killing several of them as they pushed again further, even ignoring a minefield with one tank.
Oh, and the Polish Infantry removed their first Barbed Wire Entanglement on their way to the weak flank and the Mission Objective there. A pile of crates full of... beer? Nobody knew for sure. But of course they were Bombarded and MG´d and lost some people. Again. The two Polish Platoons had to make their first Platoon Morale Check simultaneously at this Point, which was no problem for the fearless troops.
The Panthers moved and looked menacing. Even killed a Sherman. But that was all they did.

Round 4
The Shermans again arrayed themselves for an assault and shot the German Platoon at the Mission Objective down to one lone Panzerschreck Team which they subsequently killed with three attacking Tanks.
The German answer to that was an counterassault with the 2iC and one lone Grenadierteam. Both of them had moved all the way through the river and the trenches up to this point. The 2iC hit successfully with his Panzerfaust, but by pure luck the Sherman only bailed and in the inevitable counterassault from the Tanks the Grenadier was killed and the 2iC ran away.
The Panthers at this point in the game became crucial, as the Shermans were immovable for the Grenadiers. So, two of them fired over the river at the Shermans while another two crossed the bridge (or began to) with the Panther Commander being the link for the two groups. The Panthers firing over the river split their fire on both Sherman platoons, killing one in both and forcing a platoon morale check from the last Sherman in one Platoon. Which he promptly failed.
With renewed bravery the Greandier 2iC and the now present and still wet from his swimming session CiC attacked the last Sherman platoon, which only consisted of one bailed out Sherman and the last active one. The Result was a burning Tank and the last one on the run. Which decided that cowardice was the better part of valor and ran away.

At that point the Polish Commander decided that the losses were too high and signaled a general retreat. So the German Gustav Line held. But only with the loss of one Grenadier platoon and the 88.