Sunday, August 5, 2012

Canadian breakout - Operation Totalize

With the City of Caen more or less secured the Canadian forces (with the help of Polish and British forces) decided to spear point an attack south and attempt a link up with US forces and thus complete an encirclement of the German army in Normandy.
We would attempt a segment of this scenario over 3 separate days of wargaming. I would command German forces while my friends Bob and John would command considerably more Canadian forces.
View of the field of battle from the Canadian side.
The German forces consisting of elements of 89th Infantry division, and 12 SS Division position themselves on the high ground at the end of the table. A screening forces of German infantry set up just south of the ruined church.
German infantry set up at a stone wall. The Panther in the top of the photo is a wreck from an earlier aerial attack.

2 Panthers on the hills with a supporting Tiger I holding the road. In support were 2 Mk IVH tanks and a couple of Wespes.
Most of the heavy German weapons were further back with the exception of 2 Pak guns halfway across the field hiding in some ruins.
The Canadian attack begins with elements of the  2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade moving forward.
As the Canadian armour advances around the church ruins the German infantry get quickly overwhelmed.
The German infantry managed to knock out a Firefly tank with a Panzershreck but soon had to fall back through the orchard.
My mistake was keeping the German infantry too long in the forward position. I ended up losing most of the infantry force positioned there. The Canadian mechanized infantry started a successful running battle through the orchard. My 2 Pak anti-tank guns succumb to 25 Ib'r artillery fire.
On the other side of the table the Canadian armour starts to bunch up and waits for the right time to launch the attack.
A Panther in over watch position.
My opponents  don't like what they see and decide to lay down a smoke screen to hide their advance.

So far so good for the Germans. The Canadian attack on the right is losing steam.

Eventually the German right starts to crumble. A Mk IVH brought up to support the retreating infantry gets nailed. Another Mk IVH had it's main gun knocked out and attempts a retreat out of the Canadian advance. The Panther on the hilltop suffers the same fate and starts to back up.
The German right starts to give way. The Canadians lose 5 tanks in the advance but manage to get into position to roll up the German defensive line.
On the German left the other Canadian armoured column starts forward and feels the sting of the Tiger's 88.
The Canadians managed to start rolling up the German line on the German right. A Firefly and M10 Achilles ignore a Panther that has it's main gun knocked out and concentrate fire on it's sister. The remaining Panther does get knocked out but takes the M10 with her.
With the German right dissolving the Canadian armour on the German left makes a dash for it. A Panzershreck takes out a cresting Sherman while the Tiger takes out another Firefly.
The Germans were eventually overwhelmed with the Canadian attack and had to give ground. We decided it was a Canadian tactical victory.
If you didn't notice in the photos the plowed fields changed appearance. I was using cut up floor mat for them but decided to replace them with Hot Matz ones I found on the internet. The rules used were my homemade ones. The gaming scale is 1 figure = 1 man, 1 vehicle = 1 vehicle. The figure and vehicle model scale is 1/72.

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