DAY 3, 8TH OF JUNE 1944
The British have purchased chits to allow a dawn attack on Bayeux, but overnight (or rather in the 4 days since I last played) the Corps commander has been worrying that a day of street fighting against well entrenched infantry (17 companies worth!) could well lead to the complete destruction of two British Brigades. I feel the German has over-committed to Bayeux and have therefore decided the screen the city and concentrate on pressing south, where the current strength of Panzer Lehr outside Bayeux is not sufficient to mount an effective defence across the full width of the Gold sector. This means accepting that the Germans will get 10 victory points for holding Bayeux (specifically the Seminary observation point in hex 97.023) in the hope of making up the deficit later.
The Panzer Lehr Div activation chit was the last one drawn in the previous night turn, and is played as the first chit on 0700. Infantry-Gun fire kills a step of the D/8 DLI on the outskirts of Bayeux and suppresses the accompanying tanks. Artillery fire is also effective in covering long-ranged allied units with barrage markers.
The event is ‘Allied Lost’. Two companies of the DLI who thought they were just a km north of Bayeux find themselves much further north and on the wrong side of the Magny ridge.
Lehr armour is barraged by the naval guns, but the tanks move out from under the smoke in the German Direct Command that follows.
Heavy fire from the defenders of Bayeux kills the last step of another DLI company.
The attempt of 8th Armoured Brigade to pull back from Bayeux and engage the Lehr panzers east of the city is a fiasco. Artillery and mortar fire is off target, tanks are suppressed before they can retreat, and point blank fire at smoked Panzer IVs is ineffective. I think I made 10 rolls and 5 of them were ‘9’s.
The 22nd Armoured Brigade charges the smoked panzers, causing 2 cohesion hits.
In the 50th Division activation a company of Lehr panzers is eliminated, and a brigade begins to swing around Coulombs to the east and south under cover of smoke. The DLI have pulled back out of range of Bayeux and are digging in. Esquay is still proving difficult to reduce.
47 Commando take out the Longues coastal Battery in an assault, after it was suppressed by fire.
The northernmost hex of the Esquay strongpoint is reduced by fire during the 50th Division activation. Armour successfully pulls back from the Bayeux perimeter.
In the ongoing tank battle around Villeneuve, Lehr has knocked out the Fireflies from 2 companies of the RTR, putting the allies at a serious disadvantage.
The Commandos begin to march inland, with their target Sully and Wn53, which is blocking Connecting Road B from being cleared.
Lehr's panzers attempt to pull back out of the fight to recover cohesion, but the Company in Villeneuve is under opportunity fire from 5 units while it tries to withdraw, and suffers suppression and a 2nd cohesion hit.
Under KG Scholze the panzers successfully retire under smoke barrages.
The German Infantry-Guns defending Sommervieu are finally destroyed in the 50th Div activation.
56 Brigade uses mortar fire to eliminate and suppress Lehr rearguards, and moves infantry forward to threaten the dwindling defenders of Esquay.
69 Brigade presses forward against Coulombs and Rucqueville on the eastern edge of the sector.
22 Armoured Brigade feeds more Fireflies into the tank battle at Villeneuve, and gives a cohesion hit and suppression to the panzers there.
Port-en-Bassin is finally cleared of all defenders, and the attacking battalion begins to march to the front lines at Bayeux.
Scholze tries to pull the weary Panzers back from the Villeneuve battle, but they are pinned in place.
With 22nd Armoured Brigade now at full strength, it drives directly south through Villeneuve, engaging the Germans at point blank range through the covering barrages. The suppressed panzers lose a step, and rearguards are engaged and eliminated.
Event ‘0’ comes up, which means Connecting Road A is checked. As it is free of all German units the quality of each allied Division increases by +1.
56 Brigade reduces Esquay and pushes south as far as Vaux-sur-Seulles.
Naval gunfire prepares the way for the planned advance by 56 Brigade, smoking long-range units and knocking out or suppressing rearguards. The destroyers are now out of range of everything but the hold-out in the bocage at Sommervieu.
Lehr artillery takes out an entire company of the Essex at the forefront of the British advance. The panzers fighting at Villeneuve are finally able to disengage from the masses of oncoming British tanks and fall back to the next ridge. Scholze has pulled his battalion out of Bayeux, figuring that the troops of the 352nd can now surely hold the city until nightfall.
47 Commando destroy the bunker at Sully and have cleared Connecting Road B.
69 Brigade activate and advance a km under smoke cover.
The troops that cleared Port-en-Bessin embus onto the Divisional trucks to be driven to the front lines.
The Lehr panzer company that had taken a step loss is brought back to full strength by recovery of the lost tanks.
The German Company at St. Germain does not hold out for long under the attack of most of 22nd Armoured Brigade, and surrenders after a couple of hours under sustained fire.
Gerhardt pulls back the panzers directing artillery fire from Hill 87 as British infantry close up. Rival armoured cars skirmish around the village of Loucelles. Engineers work full-out to mine the roads on the approaches to the defence line.
The two Lehr companies on the front line fight a delaying action, causing step losses to the advancing British troops before successfully falling back without loss.
69 Brigade continues to drive forward on the German right under cover of smoke
In the 50th Division Activation the British concentrate on reinforcing the eastern flank where the Germans are giving ground. The divisional trucks begin ferrying the Devons and Hampshires over to that flank from the NW sector.
A company of the Green Howards led by their Brigadier assaults and eliminates a trapped flakwagen company of KG Gerhardt outside Ducy-Ste-Margeurite. Batteries from Park 2 begin deploying forward to Park 1 outside Le Manoir, as the Germans are starting to pull back out of their range.
7th Armoured Division moves up onto the Damigny Plateau and begins firing at KG Scholze armour. This may be a mistake so close to nightfall, as the Germans will be able to activate while the British formations are passive.
Accurate night shooting by mortars and artillery of the 352nd kills a company of the DLI ringing Bayeaux. This is the 6th company that the Brigade has lost in three days, reducing it to half strength.
47 Commando is now positioned just north of St Leger.
KG Scholze (using Direct Commands) skirmishes with 22nd Armoured in the dark, but only achieves a couple of cohesion hits at the cost of a lot of command points.