29/08/2019 at 01:17 #120842
Ambush at Abbeville, #7
1200 28 May 1940
Following the fighting in and around Flavion, KG Klink was briefly pulled out of the line to rest, refit, perform maintenance on their weapons, machines, and equipment, and bring in a few replacements. They were actually parked outside the Dunkirk perimeter when they were called back to action; further south, German forces had forced a crossing on the Somme. At 0600 27 on May, the Allies counterattacked the German bridgehead, striking the German 57th Infantry Division southwest of Abbeville, in an attempt to reach the encircled Allied troops at Dunkirk.
Unbeknownst to the Germans, the French French 4e DCr (or 4th Division Cuirassee, 4th Armored Division) arrived in the battle area that evening. The French force, heavily armed with Char B1, Somua S-35, and Hotchkiss light tanks, immediately set about reorganizing, preparing to attack on the morning of 28 May.
But KG Klink moved all through the night in order to reach the battle area. arriving at approximately 0500 on 28 May. The plan was for KG Klink to counterattack down the Blangy-Abbevile Road, hoping to flank the French 2e DLC (2nd Cavalry Division), maybe even cut all the way across and in behind the British 51st Highland Division, cutting off the British 1st Armored Division. With that, KG Klink set off, passing through the German 217th Infantry Regiment, launching its attack down the Blangy-Abbeville Road. KG Klink passed through Villers sur Mareuil, then Huppy, and were moving towards St Maxent en Vimeu, when they encountered trouble near the three (fictional) villages, Dujour, Deture, and Toujour, on the River Bleu.
The first fight saw Colonel Klink lead the 1st Grenadier Platoon, supported by Stugs, in the attack on Dujours. Repulsed, they were reinforced by the 4th Grenadier Platoon and drove the French force back onto Hill 44.
The second fight saw 1st Lt Tausch, lead his 3rd Grenadier Platoon into the assault on Hill 34. The attack stalled in several locations, but the Lieutenant’s skillful leadership maneuvered his troops until they were able to unhinge the enemy’s defensive line.
The third fight saw the Reconnaissance Company Commander, 1Lt Wehner, seize the bridge at Deture after some very heavy street fighting.
The fourth fight saw Colonel Klink go down in a blaze of glory atop Hill 44, the remainder of his Stugs and 1st Grenadier Platoon chewed to pieces, though still able to force the French off the hilltop.
The fifth fight saw Major Schultz, the Kampfgruppe Executive Officer, lead the assault into the French village of Toujour. The attached panzer platoon was roughly handled, and the infantry didn’t fair much better, with Major Schultz wounded while leading a close assault to secure the village. However, no sooner was the village taken then strong enemy forces appeared, forcing not only the 4th Grenadier Platoon to fall back from Toujour, but also the Reconnaissance Company to abandon the bridge at Deture.
The sixth fight saw Captain Bohm led the better part of his Panzer Company to counter the enemy’s armored thrust, and it was chewed up handily. However they did fight the French armored thrust to a temporary standstill, enough for the remainder of the of the company and the Panzerjaeger Platoon to be brought up.
The overall area of operations, and that stupid north-seeking arrow at top right is incorrect, north is to far left… The three villages are, from left to right: Dujour, Deture, and Toujour, and the hills are, from left to right: Hill 34, Hill 44, and Hill 54. The River Bleu runs east-west down the center of the table.
My intent is to play a series of battles on a 6′ x 4′ layout, using small pieces, maybe 2′ x 2′ with 10mm troops. I’ve gone back to my old standby, Ivan’s “5Core Company Command.”
The seventh fight sees a second clash of armor, as the Germans seize the initiative and charge the French heavy tanks, which have just finished refueling and rearming just south of Toujour. The German Panzerjaeger Platoon and 2nd Panzer Platoon (Pz IIIs) are on the attack.
It all comes down to this…
A cheer goes up from the German Landser atop Hill 44 (of camera to top right) and 34 (off camera to bottom right) at the sight of the Kampfgruppe’s remaining Panzers streaming south down the Blangy-Abbeville Road! Lt Loeb leads his platoon (and Cpl Otjen’s vehicle) up the road as Sgt Dittrich’s PzJgr Is split left (top left), looking to get into supporting positions atop Hill 44.
Yes, that is all the armor left in KG Klink at this point.
The PzJgrs begin moving up the slope of Hill 44, but they’ve gotten careless and skylined themselves. From Toujour (off camera to top right), a Char B1 fires; shocked infantry look on as the French anti-tank round totally wrecks the PzJgr I (center), killing Sgt Taube and his entire crew, whilst pinning Cpl Hamburg’s (yellow bead).
The CO (bottom center) looks on as German artillery lays smoke to mask the German approach.
And the panzers are flung across the river…
As the German PzJgr Is, atop Hill 44 (bottom left), fire on the French heavy tanks (top center and top right).
To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
The seven-fight operation totals:
Germans: 210 casualties, 3 Stug IIIs, 1 Sdkfz 222, 2 Panzer Is, 4 Panzer IIs, six Panzer IIIs, six Panzer IVs, and one PanzerJaeger I destroyed
French: 215 casualties, 80 POWs, 4 ATGs, 2 FGs, 3 H39s, 2 Somuas, and 3 Char B1s destroyed
Thus ends Kampfgruppe Klink’s tour of France, circa 1940. As always, I’ll do a campaign epilogue. Then the unit will undergo some changes, with promotions, departures, and reorganization, then it’s off for a brief stint in Greece in April 1941.
Jack29/08/2019 at 03:08 #120849kyoteblueParticipant
At least the Germans can repair all those shot up tanks…for Greece??? Are you going to do Coral Sea before Greece??29/08/2019 at 05:51 #120852
Thanks for posting Jack, interesting. I wouldn’t worry that it was too easy, it felt right. AFAIK the Pzjgr1 was built so that the Germans had an AFV that could take out the Char 1 at a respectable range (c.500m I guess), which looks like it was in your battle. The advantage of using the 88mm is that it could do the same at c.2km…
And as for the last bit…”too late, chum” was seemingly not infrequent on all sides in WW2, for the same reasons as in the battle…
https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/29/08/2019 at 08:24 #120855ThuseldParticipant29/08/2019 at 14:52 #120871
Kyote John – Yeah, I don’t really differentiate about tanks knocked out/immobilized/abandoned on the battlefield that could later be put back into action. If it was put out of action, it counts as a kill. Mostly 😉
Regarding Greece and Coral Sea, Greece is only going to be a few fights, I’m anxious to get to the Eastern Front. But don’t worry, Coral Sea is already begun! I’ve played two dogfights already, and also played two platoon level Vietnam fights, working on the batreps.
Whirlwind John – Thank you, Sir, always nice to have your biases/judgement calls confirmed! 😉
Regarding the “too late chum,” I agree, which maybe puts it in the ‘minor atrocity’ range, but I figured anything like that in a game could seem gratuitous. No one has mentioned the summary execution of the French tank commander from the last fight; that was really designed to be more tongue in cheek, reflecting my own frustrations with the French dice rolls. I didn’t expect the end to turn out like this (KG Klink actually stopping the French), I figured the French tanks would have rolled over them and I would have had to call in Stukas…
Getting any closer to getting back to gaming? I certainly hope so!
Thuseld – Yes Sir, and no shame on my part. A tough campaign, I think the French gave a good account of themselves, mostly. And all my campaigns are bloody 😉
Jack29/08/2019 at 15:37 #120882
Getting any closer to getting back to gaming? I certainly hope so!
Yes! Move complete and my stuff mainly survived intact. Well, my TV got broken but the relatively important stuff – i.e. soldiers, tanks, buildings and boardgames – were mostly okay. I have managed to get a couple of boardgames in and miniatures games will happen within the next day or two…
https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/29/08/2019 at 15:37 #120883willzParticipant
An other great read, thanks for posting.
Willz.29/08/2019 at 15:56 #120889
John – That’s great news, can’t wait!
Willz – Thank you, and my pleasure.
Jack29/08/2019 at 17:04 #120891Darkest Star GamesParticipant
Ouch, “victories” with that many loses can’t be sustained for long. I sure hope Greece goes better for ole Klinky, otherwise he might either be presented with a mutiny or a demotion and transfer to der Eastern Fronten!
"I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."29/08/2019 at 22:47 #120917
One, I don’t think many people realize how hard fought the campaign in France was, how the various Panzer Divisions were mostly at their end of their rope. Second, and on top of the first, KG Klink, which proved its mettle in Poland, is being depicted as a ‘fire brigade,’ being rushed to the worst spots in the line, attacking to crack the tough nuts and counterattacking to blunt enemy spearheads, so they’re going to always have a rough time in terms of casualties.
Having said all that, they’re going to the Eastern Front regardless!
Jack31/08/2019 at 13:32 #121016ThomastonParticipant
Your gaming plans are interesting and I’ve already adopted some ideas. BUT, these must be expensive campaigns, don’t know how much use you can squeeze out of early war tanks unless you do turret swaps, not to mention the French tanks.
Tired is enough.01/09/2019 at 22:36 #121113
Thank you, Sir, glad to hear it. As much as you’ve helped me, anything I can do, just let me know.
You’ve certainly got a point about the expensive thing, but that’s also a reason why I tend to sell so much stuff off. I want to play ‘x’ period/campaign so I buy it, paint it, base it, and play it, then when I’m done, I sell it. Not true for everything (I’m always going to need mid-late war WWII stuff, for example), but this early war stuff, it’s going to be leaving for a new home soon. I played Poland, I played France, gonna dip my toes in Greece, then it’s off to Barbarossa. The thing about Barbarossa (and Typhoon, and into 1942) is that one could spend a lifetime playing battles, just in that period.
But eventually it’s going to be time to transition to Pz IVs with the long 75mm, and from gray to dunkelgelb, and when I finally reach that point, the early war stuff is leaving, because I just can’t see myself ever coming back to Poland, France, Greece, or Barbarossa. I’ve got decent sized French and early war British, and pretty damn large early German and Soviet, and I’ve already had guys express interest, so no worries. Then I take the money and buy more toys 😉
So, it’s money, time, and resource intensive, but it’s what I like to do, so I’m going to keep on keeping on, and keep sharing with you guys, and hoping you enjoy it.
Jack01/09/2019 at 23:07 #121116kyoteblueParticipant
I enjoy the hell out of it Jack!!!02/09/2019 at 08:58 #121126
It is an interesting comment about expense. For what Jack gets out of his stuff in terms of games for what he puts in, it looks like a relatively inexpensive way of gaming compared to many people I hear about. But if gaming funds are tight then I can see that it would be best to really pick one or two periods and stick with them and then proxy forces or adapt scenarios as necessary. As one wise gamer wrote, “make the game fit the figures”.
- This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by Whirlwind.
https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/02/09/2019 at 10:38 #121128ThomastonParticipant
You got me beat there. I can’t recoup my cost by selling my minis. Can’t let my babies go.
So Jack, what are you going to so once you’ve played through the entire WWII? Korean? Chosin Reservoir and attack in all direction?
- This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by Thomaston.
Tired is enough.02/09/2019 at 15:27 #121152
Thanks, Kyote- John.
And good point, Whirlwind-John, my expenditures are relatively efficient because all the games I get in. But it’s still been tremendously expensive… I don’t mind the concept of ‘proxying,’ but the reality of the situation is that I always want new toys 😉
Thomaston – To be fair, I end up selling them at pennies on the dollar, but I’ve made my peace with that as 1) I got my use out of them, 2) I need to clear space, 3) I’m getting some money for new projects, and 4) another wargamer is going to get some use out of them.
Yes, my plan for the ‘Pacific’ blog is to move on to Korea then Vietnam, once WWII is finished. I can’t see ever being done with WWII in Europe/Med, which is why I have a separate blog for that.
Jack04/09/2019 at 16:15 #121306vtsaogamesParticipant
Thanks for the excellent saga.
https://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/04/09/2019 at 17:04 #121307
My intent was to dip my toes into Greece, but I bought Chris Stoesen’s scenario book for IABSM and suddenly I’m looking at another ten fights or so…
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