Here is the map we are using - a 1:50000 of the area from 1944 with the bottom circle showing the area of the probe action, and the second circle the Green Howards main objective for the day the Gheel Road
and this is the actual area of our encounter
Time wise the clock has moved on to noon on Sept 8th 1944 and Andy Parkes playing Lt Cake of the Green Howards has spent a little time running over this mornings action in his head. Now coming back over the same ground, he has decided to push on as much as he can.
Here is the battlefield with the last houses of the hamlet of Meulenberg and the Doornboom road running diagonally across the table.
Andy's job is rather simple, he just has to get one team off the table on the right hand side at which point the German (Paul) forward defence line will be compromised and he will have to fall back - Simple!
Sometimes it is. Paul was quite happy with his last game, he had beaten Andy back without breaking into a sweat, so his Senior Leader must have been enjoying a bit of a nap when he was rudely woken by the news that the Tommies were back, and that they were already outflanking his position. Andy had rolled well in the Patrol Phase and had pushed forward quickly. Paul had not realised just how far ahead he had allowed Andy to get, in fact his patrol markers were a long way over the table before they were frozen in place. Things were looking bad for the Germans, but at least they had the first move.
Paul realised he was in trouble and tried to race a pair of squads across the open ground to bring the British Jump Off markers under observation and fire.
Andy deployed his lead squads almost on top of the table edge (his objective) but came under heavy fire from Pauls deployed squads and their dreaded MG42s
Three Tommies fell, but it was not enough to stop Andy using the next activation to rally his men and push a team across the line to victory!
Paul scowled a bit but had known that after his failure in the Patrol Phase it was going to be a tall order, and anyway it was better to fall back to the main line of defence than take casualties trying to correct his earlier mistake, so withdrew.
Back at HQ Lt Cake is a little more popular with his CO, but less so with the lads on the Platoon who have now twice taken losses significantly higher than the opposition. On the German side Paul got a severe lecture from his frustrated CO but he went up in the men's esteem due to his getting them out of there before things got too dangerous.
Andy was then given the choice of waiting for the Engineers to get the Bailey Bridge in place before the next attack, which would allow him armoured support but could risk a German counter attack or digging in, or pushing on to the main German positions around the Gheel Road. He decided not to risk the delay, so the next game will be an immediate attack on the German defences. He has plenty of support available (9 points) but he cant choose anything that cant be ferried across the canal in assault boats.
Next game will (probably) be after Derby so watch this space............