Wednesday, 26 January 2011

World War Two Desert Action

At 12:30 on a dark night two vessels crept slowly from the sea towards the harbour at Safi on the North coast of Morocco. This was the start of our first venture into 20mm WWII using the Rapid Fire rules.

Turns)1,2,3) The vessels managed to enter the harbour before they were spotted and the coastal guns opened up on them. Either the gunners were sympathetic to the allies cause or they were only firing “Pour la Honour” as they managed to avoid any damage to the ships.

4) The converted destroyer Bernacole moored alongside the mole and two companies of the assault force disembarked while the LCM following made for the beach designated Green in the attack plans.

Again the French guns failed to damage either of the vessels but the guards around the harbour were now alerted and were starting to respond and shots began to hit the armoured decks. The companies of the Moroccan Tirailleur Battalion who were barracked in the town of Safi itself began to assemble in the town square.

5) The following turn a Stuart tank rolled off the LCM followed by two scout jeeps, the first of which upon cresting the rise from the beach was hit by machine gun fire and destroyed with the loss of the driver.

The other two crew members managed to scramble out and take cover behind the dunes.

French troops occupying a house adjacent to the harbour launched a grenade attack upon the forces on the harbour mole but with no effect.

6) Exasperated at the French resistance to the landing the Allied commander decided to call in support. First the Battleship New York opened fire at the coastal guns and scored a direct hit

knocking it out of action for a while. Secondly a spotter plane from the Cruiser Philadelphia achieved radio contact and called in fire on the machine gun post located at the edge of area of scrub bush. No noticeable effect was noticed as fire was returned later.

Moving out off the beach the Stuart moved in to the town and was able to machine gun a squad of French who were marching towards the harbour causing them to scatter in to buildings. The second Jeep opened fire with its machine gun at a hut where French troops had been seen to be firing from, killing all inside.

The squad of allied troops on the Mole assaulted the house from where the grenades had been thrown but were held off by strong resistance.

Meanwhile the French had now organised all there forces and were moving their armour towards the harbour when a lucky hit by the 3” gun on the destroyer knocked one out.

7) A miss by the battleship on the coastal guns allowed the remaining crew to clear away debris and fire the gun again, this time at a group of LCVP’s heading in to the beaches designated Red and Blue, again a miss and the craft sail on.

A second assault on the house causes casualties but the defenders hold on for a while longer. Meanwhile other troops start moving past the houses in search of the Post Office. The Stuart tank and remaining Jeep make a bold dash out of town in an attempt to capture the French barracks and hopefully plans of the defences.

A second barrage of shot from the cruiser caused only minimal damage as the spotter plane passed over the area again although this time it had to avoid shot from an AA machine gun.

A wildcat fighter plane was called up to strafe the area where the machine gun had been firing from and the gun fell silent.

The destroyer managed to get a clear sight on one of the French tanks as it rounded a bend in between hills and a direct hit managed to destroy it

Meanwhile the French managed to send support in to town in the form of an armoured car which managed to sneak past the advancing Stuart.

In response to the wildcat the French sent their own fighter in to strafe the troops still on the mole.

8) A third volley by the New York again hit the coastal guns and disabled them for two turns.

The assault on the house finally succeeded and troops started making their way into town while the wave of LCVP’s closed on the beaches.The two fighters met in aerial combat and drove each other off. The spotter plain from the cruiser kept a low profile and avoided being noticed by anyone.

The Stuart tank moved up to the road junction while the Jeep continued to follow, this came under fire from troops hiding on the hill but received no damage. In the distance the Stuart could see a French tank and took a shot but only lightly damaging it.

The a/c managed to work its way around the town and held off an assault on a second house on the coastal side while more allied troops attacked a third house and inflicted sufficient casualties to drive the French out.

9) One more volley on the coastal guns was sufficient to destroy them and clear the harbour of any covering fire. The LCVP’s now reach the beach and troops start to land.

The Stuart manages another shot before being destroyed at close range by the French tank.

An assault with a/t grenades causes the a/c to withdraw while the troops occupy the house vacated by the French.

10) The wildcat makes its final run at troops of the French Foreign Legion causing some injuries before retiring back to the carrier Santee.

Troops leaving Red and Blue beaches come under fire from a French light tank and foreign legion troops, the troops on blue beach taking considerable casualties. Fighting in the town is halted as the a/c patrols the streets and forced allied troops in to cover.

The scout Jeep attempts to out flank the French tank and is shot by machine gun fire causing it to be destroyed with all crew.

French attempts to being a 25mm a/t gun in to play were negligible.

11) The spotter plane managed to drop three bombs on a group of troops centred around the light tank but achieved no hits.

Troops in the town were still pinned down by the a/c while troops from Red beach managed to break out and head for the train station.

At this point we called it a day with a French victory as the Allies had not reached any of their objectives although the station was within reach for 5 points. The Allies were trying to capture 30 point of objectives by turn 15 which did not seem likely.

If playing the game again I would increase the speed of the landing craft as on calculation there was not enough time to bring on all the successive waves before turn 15 at the current speed.

Given that this was the first time and everyone was still learning the rules 15 turns would be achievable in future games.

1 comment:

Ian White said...

Count me in for the next one please Adrian. Cheers, Ian.