Home Forums WWII Breakthrough at Lanzerath – 16th December 1944

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    piers brand

    Tonights game was the first from the campaign in the new Wacht am Rhein book and focussed on the I&R platoons defence of the ridge against heavy odds. In this scenario, around 20 US troops try and hold off three attacks by increasing number of Germans with three platoons eventually deployed over the course of the game.

    The attack by the German first wave saw little action before it withdrew. A barrage from US 105s did little except cause a couple of casualties, but in return one of the men in the I&R platoon was also killed. As the first wave pulled back, its virtually intact survivors were reinforced by a second platoon, this time with mortars in support.

    This second assault started on the platoons right flank, and began with a mortar stonk that landed a round directly onto the dug in recce jeep, knocking it out and depriving the I&R platoon of their only heavy weapon – the jeeps .50 cal HMG would be sorely missed. The Germans came forward over the snowy pastures and once in range, the small US teams inflicted some heavy losses. But this time, instead of pulling back, the Germans pressed on. More mortar fire inflicted casualties, and one bomb landed in with the FAO team, killing both men in their foxhole. German troops now traded fire with the I&R platoons units on the right flank, and though German casualties mounted, the I&R platoon lost two more men. But finally the Germans once more pulled back.

    Now the third and final German assault attacked, the survivors of the first two waves, bolstered by a third platoon. Outnumbered around 5 to 1, it looked bleak for the I&R platoon. It looked bleaker when the final US artillery fire fell onto the Germans and did little other than pin down some advancing German units. In return, German mortar fire got lucky again, killing all but one of the defenders on the right flank. One lone BAR gunner held firm, seperated by some distance from the rest of the platoon survivors. The German attack surged forward, pressing against the virtually undefended right flank. But that one BAR gunner wouldn’t go down without a fight…

    As the attacks came in he pinned down first one MG team, then eliminated another as they were just about to fire. However as he opened fire on a German rifle team, his luck ran out, and he dropped dead into the bottom of his foxhole. All the time though, his remaining comrades had been pouring fire into the Germans despite mortar and small arms fire. As the Germans closed, with the right flank undefended, it looked like the Germans would roll up the positions from the flank. But all was not lost. In a showmof some exceptional shooting, the small US teams, laced the advancing Germans with gunfire. Concentrating on the enemy MG teams who had halted to fire while the rifle teams advanced, three enemy MG were silenced. But once more the German mortars made themselves felt, and pinned down two of the remaining four US units. Following this, the Germans raced forward in a desperate attempt to close with the enemy. The remaining three riflemen and two members of the PHQ poured out what fire they could to cover their pinned buddies. With the German infantry having moved closer and in the open, they inflicted yet more casualties, and with that the final German assault was called off and victory went to the survivors of the I&R Platoon, though half of their men were casualties. German losses were far higher, and they called off the attack when their Battle Rating was exceeded… but the US platoon was just three points away from theirs at the end!

    A nice start to the campaign in the book, and a US victory allows ‘additional reinforcements’ for the US in game 2…

    Angel Barracks

    That looks very pretty.

    Is that a snow mat you have there?

    piers brand

    I made the mat myself with a few spray cans…


    …and the help of my five year old son, a budding graffiti artist. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Iain Fuller

    Stunning as usual Piers!

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