Normandy ’44 – Turn Four

Weather

Bad news for the Germans as it’s another clear day (Clear – 5) with the consequential loss of mobility for German mechanized units, and Jabos on the prowl.

German Turn

The 12th SS switches to the western flank of Caen, while other Panzer Lehr reinforcements make their way towards Omaha.

The defenders at Tilly pull back and are joined by odds and sods to form a solid base at Villers Bocage.

Meanwhile, around Omaha, The defenders pull back to avoid the inevitable attack from the Allies and their reinforcements.

And at Utah, the defenders try to pull back a bit and stiffen their line.

Given the weather, and the lack of worthwhile targets, the Germans do not launch any attacks this turn.

Allied Turn

I now realized that I had been shortchanging the Allies with their reinforcement schedule. In Clear weather it is 6 points of reinforcements for the US and 6 for the Commonwealth. Maybe that explains the trouble the Allies are having in matching the historical progress at Utah and Omaha? Anyway, we’ll keep going and put it down to the friction of war.

As an aside, closer rereading of the stacking rules seems to suggest that even with the beaches fully stacked, I could have brought in more troops. Had their attacks out of the beach failed, however, the overstacked units would have died. So, probably not a risk I would have tried. But some would.

Allied reinforcements are units of British Guards Armoured Division at Juno and Gold, CCA of US 2nd Armored Division at Omaha, and a couple of TD battalions at Utah.

At Utah, the Allied forces attempt a drive north. Attacks by the 9th Division are stalled, but 101st Airborne successfully clears another strongpoint on the coast.

At Omaha, the effort is to get across the Aure River. The German defense is not yet stiffened with the Panzer Lehr units, and backed by naval and air support, the Aure river line is breached.

In the vicinity of Caumont, Commonwealth units pounce on the Panzer Lehr’s (strategically moving) Panzer Jager Battalion, catching it in transit. The Panzer Lehr unit is wiped out, but not before making the attackers pay a bitter price.

Commonwealth forces attack Caen but are bloodily beaten back. However, led by the British 3rd Division, the Allies take Epron and continue to exert serious pressure on the city, threatening to cut it off.

Commonwealth forces, striking in the Reserve Phase, clear the last of the German defenders from west of Bayeux, and so effectively joining Omaha with Gold, Juno, and Sword.

A reasonable turn from an Allied perspective, but the limited progress at Utah and Omaha threatens the success of the operation. The Allies may need to gamble a bit more in the coming turns.

Rules Highlight

There is an optional rule about the German naval gun batteries which I am using. In essence, if the Allies do not take out certain gun battery positions, they forfeit some naval support as the Allied ships have to suppress these gun batteries instead. The incentive is there for the Allied player to clear the gun batteries as soon as possible.

It’s not a difficult rule, and it adds good historical flavor for not much effort. It works for me.

And now for the pictures

Caption

Gold, Juno, and Sword, and the action at Caen. The Allies have almost cleared the Germans from the west bank of the river.

Caption

Omaha, showing the Allies south of the Aure River. Unfortunately, Isigny looks as if it should hold out fro a bit longer. Note the British 50th Division units responsible for connecting the beaches. Note also the Panzer Lehr lead unit, whose arrival surely means trouble is on its way for the Allies.

Caption

Utah, showing some progress in the north, but little sign of the ring of defenders being broken.

caption

Near Caumont, Commonwealth forces surprised the German reinforcements and eliminated a Panzer Jager battalion, at some cost though.  The Strat Move marked German unit is about to lose the marker. Note the modest accumulation of forces for the Germans at Villers Bocage (bottom right) which may be where a stand will be made against the Allied thrust.

Replay Links

Turn 1Turn 2 – Turn 3 – Turn 4Turn 5Turn 6Turn 7Reflections

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