The Wargames Weekend raged on through Saturday. This morning’s game was a Blitzkrieg Commander game run by yours truly. Cory, John Burt, Christian, Gary and Jay all showed up bright and early to participate!
Counter Attack at Capuzzo
Fort Capuzzo, Libya, 16 July 1941
Yesterday at dawn British and Empire troops launched Operation BATTLEAXE, another push to relieve the besieged Australians at Tobruk. The operation so far has had mixed results. While many units failed to make any forward movement, the 22nd Guards Brigade, supported by the Matildas of the 7th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment, swept the Italian defenders away from Fort Capuzzo after . Overnight
The Germans objective is to re-take Fort Capuzzo. To capture the fort they must position 4 infantry units plus one HQ (all not suppressed) within the fort by the end of the 15th turn. The British objective is to prevent this.
The British will set up anywhere within the center third of the table (in and around fort Cappuzo). The Germans then take the first turn using mobile deployment. One formation (of up to ¼ of the total forces available) may use flank deployment on of after the third turn.
Elements of 15 Panzer Division
33rd Artillery Regiment
3x Artillery Batteries (105mm)
33rd Reconnaissance Battalion
1x Recce Unit (Sdkfz 222)
8 Panzer Regiment - two battalions, each:
104th Rifle Regiment – 2 battalions, each:
2x Support (Machine-gun)
1x Support (Mortar 8cm)
Attached (from Luftwaffe):
1x Aircraft Unit (Stuka)
The German players were allowed to reorganize their formations – mixing and matching to form combined arms “kampfgruppes”.
Elements 22nd Guards Brigade and supporting units
CO – Brigadier I.D. Erksine
A Sqn. Prince Albert Victor’s Own Cavalry
1x Recce Unit (Rolls Royce)
22nd Guards Brigade Anit-tank Company
2x Anti-Tank Guns (2pdr)
2nd Battalion Scotts Guards
10x Infantry Units
1x Support Unit (mortar- 3”)
1x Support Unit (MG- Vickers)
7th Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment
6x Infantry Tank unit (Matilda II)
31st Field Regiment Royal Artillery
3x Artillery Unit (25lbr)
Gary and Christian took the British forces defending Capuzzo. Jay, Cory and John took the German counter-attacking force.
(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)
Gary and Christian set up their forces. All the infantry was set up right inside the fort, and the tanks were set up outside.
Same thing, different angle.
The defending commanders; Christian, left, played the Scotts Guards and Gary, right, played 7RTR.
The British were alerted to the approach of the Germans by a distinct whining noise which, at first, they thought might be some new secret Nazi super weapon – but in the end turned out to be just one of the German commanders. Thing did look like they were going bad for the Germans on turn one when trying to deploy one of the formations rolled a Command Blunder and lost a tank platoon and a couple platoons of infantry. Okay, fair enough, that sucks and all – but I’d hardly call the game on account of it or anything.
Things looked even worse when on the British first turn their infantry battalion’s 3” mortar suppressed one of the advancing German’s panzer platoons! Perhaps they were motivated to silence the annoying whining sounds coming from the Germans….. Of course this only served to increase the volume and intensity of the whining and cause the Germans to call into question the “realism” of the rules…
On turn two the Luftwaffe started pounding Fort Capuzzo.
Their artillery wasn’t so spectacular… another blunder brought it in on their own lines suppressing some infantry. The CO and at least two other command stands – though right in the middle of it – survived, unscathed.
A German tanks platoon was taken out by something… 2 pounder..? maybe the mortar platoon…?
Gary decided to give up his hull-down position and parade the Matildas around in front of Fort Capuzzo presumably for the CO to inspect them. Or perhaps he was just being sporting and doing it make them better targets to give the Germans a fighting chance… or at least make them shut up for a moment.
German artillery finally ranged in on the ENEMY and started pounding Fort Capuzzo and the poor Scotsmen within.
As did the Luftwaffe….
By the time their flanking Kampfgruppe arrived on turn three most of the Matildas had brewed up. At least one platoon was even taken out by fire from the German infantry’s anti-tank rifles!?
Artillery pounding Capuzzo some more…
If that weren’t bad enough the tanks were now pounding the fort with direct fire.
Lined up like a firing squad.
When the British finally broke on turn seven all that was left was that 3”mortar platoon (which was to be rewarded a mitt-full of Military Medals for their gallant service on this morning…) and two infantry platoons.
The whining from the German side had finally ceased and they were extolling their appreciation for the subtle elegance of the rules…
I know the German OOB isn’t particularly historical – I don’t know if the 104th Rifle Regiment was involved in the counter attack, they were mostly included to give the Germans a fighting chance and to take the objective. Also the make up of the Panzer battalions isn’t quite right – they probably should have had maybe one Panzer IV, two or three Panzer III, and then a couple Panzer II… but I don’t have any panzer II painted (or even assembled) so I had to make due with what I had….
Like the German force I’m not entirely sure which battalions of the 22nd Brigade were present at Capuzzo on the morning of the 16th, or what their strengths would have been. I have a feeling that 7RTR had a few less tanks at this point but more of the infantry brigade was present… Again choices were made based on what I had available and to make the game interesting…
Historically the Germans were thrown back from Capuzzo.
Good fun was, once again, had by all. The game ran a bit beyond the originally planned three hours and we all wandered over to the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market for lunch.
Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:
Wargames Weekend 08 Part 3: Saturday Afternoon