WW2 German “Heavy Metal”
After recently painting a Tiger 1 battalion I had pulled together a scenario to use them and establish how my revised Spearhead rules would work with some of the best German equipment against a reinforced British Infantry group.
This involved a German armoured Kampfgruppen comprising of an armoured panzer grenadier regiment of 2 battalions, one in halftracks and one in Lorries with regimental support namely Grille SP guns and an armoured engineer company. This was supported by a full-strength Panther Battalion and Tiger 1 Battalion. Artillery support was by provided by 2 regiments are artillery one of 3 batteries each with a 105mm gun and one SP regiment of 2 Hummels and 4 Wespes. This was the best the Germans could use in any Schwerpunkt.
Facing them were 2 British Infantry battalions supported by a squadron of Archilles SP guns (17pdrs), a troop of towed 1 7 Pdrs AT guns, 2 squadrons of Shermans and squadron of Stuarts in a Recon role. In addition, they had a large amount of artillery one regiment of 25 pdrs (6 guns), A regiment of 5.5” howitzers (4 guns) and a battery of 7.2” Howitzers (2 guns). Finally, they had a cab rank of rocket firing Typhons that could be called in each turn.
The German objective was to capture 2 villages and 2 pieces of high ground on the base line of the British side.
Doug, Neil, Mark & Simon took control of the Germans whilst Pat and Brian with supporting advice from Phil took command of the British.
The Germans concentrated their Panthers and Armoured infantry into an all-arms attack group on their left flank. The Lorried Infantry battalion was to move in the centre to capture the high ground. The Tigers were kept in reserve. The British deployed across their base edge with a battalion holding one village and adjacent high ground with their SP guns and Shermans in reserve.
The Germans advanced on the left. The Germans however were unable to locate targets to start with all British units were classed as concealed. The British tried to counter the attack with artillery and Typhons, keeping their direct fire until the enemy was closer. However, radio communication with their artillery was very patchy to say the least. The dice gods were particularly cruel to them over the game and most common result from a D6 was a 2… The first Typhon attacks were aborted due to sheer weight of AA fire put up from the German armoured infantry battalions with their Drilling halftracks and SP flak guns.
The German Lorried Battalion took the central high ground but suffered a few casualties in the process. The British artillery started to come down in force. The heavy and medium regiments (7.2” and 5.5” guns) causing havoc amongst the attacking infantry and also started to degrade the AA within these units. The Panthers however were moving forward almost impervious to whatever the British threw at them thanks to their frontal armour factor of 8.
The British deployed their Archilles SP guns on their far right to try and hit the Panthers on the flank. The Typhons continued to come into play and caused a few Panthers to burn but not enough! The Archilles SP guns caught a couple of Panthers but were overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers.
The Germans now brought on the Tigers on their right flank. The British players then deployed their Shermans. One Squadron did a cavalry charge against them and were wiped out completely with only one Tiger knocked out in return.
Casualties mounting on both sides which caused several morale tests. After taking two thirds’ casualties the German Armoured Infantry withdrew leaving the panthers with only the Regimental Armoured Engineers in support. The remaining British artillery pounded these engineers but at the same time the panthers and German artillery were hitting the British hard opposite them and both the German Engineers and the Brits needed to do morale tests. Both failed. The British right lank withdrew. However, the Germans had very little to take the village with; just one platoon of engineers from their Panther Battalion HQ.
The Tigers on their right advanced slowly but had not reached their objective when the game finished.
The game was a draw with 2 objectives each. Both the Panthers and Tigers are very powerful in game terms but so was the British artillery. Future scenarios will need to bear this in mind. The Typhoons could have been better, but the dice gods were not good to the British players. A great excuse to get my newly painted Tigers, Panthers and armoured infantry onto the table!