Saturday, April 19, 2008

When Eagles Drop: 6 June 1944

The group got together today and ran through a Battlefront: World War II scenario, "When Eagles Drop." A battalion of parachute infantry from the 101st Airborne must clear an exit from Utah beach and seize a town garrisoned by Georgians conscripted into German service. The airborne are rated veteran, and the German forces are rated training. As in the actual drops, the airborne forces are scattered into random drop zones, and they may take casualties during the drop. The Germans have three hidden units: a flak battalion and two patrolling platoons.

In our game, the paratroopers suffered fairly severe casualties during the drop, and most of them landed in three drop areas, one in the woods west of the town, one in the marsh east of the town, and one in the woods south of the town.

The Georgians' Village

The battalion of conscripts held a village of four buildings, all from JR Miniatures' World War II range.

Causeway Exit

One depleted company (two of its platoons were out on patrol) held the causeway exit, looking east across the marsh toward Utah beach. This group would lose two of its five stands and get pushed out of the building, but would retake the building at the end of the battle. The square markers behind the hedgerows are the flak battery and some dummy markers.

German Defense

The German position was a strong one, but with the major airborne attack coming from the west, to the left of this picture, most of the German guns were pointing the wrong way.

Airborne Attack

The airborne moved from the woods into the village, catching the German mortars in the open. Only two stands of German infantry held the west-most building, and they would be quickly overrun.

Blood on the Causeway

The Airborne advancing from the marsh took heavy casualties from the Germans' 20mm and 88mm flak guns. An allied air sortie against the guns went down in flames. The airborne's mortars were able to suppress the guns at times, but when the 88 knocked out the relief column's two lead vehicles, the causeway was blocked. A desperate American attack seized the causeway exit for one turn, but a German counterattack wiped out the paratroopers and secured the causeway exit. The airborne had failed their main objective

Panzergrenadier Counterattack

Thanks to a lucky die roll, the Germans got their reinforcements early. The German player chooses between a panzergrenadier company or a platoon of Panzer IIIs. With the US holding the building on the west edge of town, infantry was needed more than tanks. The panzergrenadiers moved up from the south and took the building under fire, but didn't press too hard. The American objective was to clear the area south of the village of all German forces, and the panzergrenadiers weren't going to be moved.

The end result was a German victory. The airborne failed to take the causeway or secure the town. The causeway itself was blocked by a knocked out jeep and halftrack. Both sides suffered heavy losses.

No comments:

Post a Comment