Disaster at Dompaire – September 1944

The historic Battle of Dompaire converts well to a brigade sized Spearhead scenario. In addition it includes several interesting aspects, not the least of which of raw German troops, and pits them against veteran French troops.

At Dompaire the French commander, Langlade, took advantage of the poorly sited German units and seized a number of well sited positions overlooking the village of Dompaire. No doubt aware of the loss of these critical positions to French forces, German troops attempted to regain the initiative. The fighting erupted around the east of Dompaire as German Panther tanks attempted to move south. Soon French M10 tank destroyers, supported by accurate and sustained artillery fire were engaged. As the battle progressed air strikes by American P-47s engaged the Panthers strung out throughout the villages. As the battle progressed more German Panzers moved into the area and the battle expanded further.

dompaire1944

Above, a  photo after the battle which shows French Shermans advancing past German PzIVs near Dompaire on the 13th September 1944.

I wish to particularly acknowledge the research assistance given to me while developing this scenario by Jean-Marc Largeaud. This included research, from French sources in one of his research trips to Paris, that has enabled a detailed order of battle to be drawn up for both French and German forces.

An outline of the historical battle, and a scenario covering the battle, can be found in the Scenario section here.

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