Advancing with Mr Churchill

With our son down over Christmas we managed a most enjoyable WWII Spearhead game. While time prevents a more in depth look at the game I thought I should at least provide a few photos and supporting captions. It’s been a while since Joel had used his Germans and equally long since I’ve used my British so it was with much anticipation that we set up for a mutual encounter.

I opted for a strong advance in the centre, where a British infantry battalion was supported by two companies of Churchill tanks. My left comprised a further infantry battalion supported by a Churchill company, a heavy machine gun company and a 17pdr battalion. Finally a reserve battalion was held in reserve on the right to either attack on the right or support the centre.

The Germans in contrast opted to secure a long ridge on the German centre right, while sweeping in on the British left, once it was fully committed, with a Panzer battalion equipped with Panthers. Finally a weak Panzer Grenadier battalion would secure a town on the German left.

Above, the British left after a considerable but slow advance across the battlefield. The Churchills on the high ground were to become a significant obstacle to the German flank march which arrived soon after the 17pdr anti-tank guns were deployed. Below, the British left is echeloned back where infantry and additional anti-tank guns were deployed. The battalion comprised 24 stands.

Below, a part of the British centre. The spot height was secured without casualties but German artillery fire drove back the British infantry leaving the Churchills and British artillery to drive back the Stugs and silence the German artillery. The British counter battery fire was particularly effective silencing almost two German artillery battalions.

Below, the general situation with the flank marching German Panther battalion visible in the foreground. British 25pdrs soon disrupted the limited German flak but the Typhoons failed repeatedly to appear.

Instead, the Panthers were engaged by anti-tank guns and Churchills.

Below, and in the centre of the battlefield, Churchills engage German Stugs. With such a heavy concentration of firepower the Germans were reluctant to engage.

Below, another view of the centre and British right. Later as the battle stagnated the German Panzer Grenadier battalion deployed in the town in the top right advanced along the stream to secure another objective. This resulted in the commitment of the British reserve infantry battalion. Under extreme pressure elements of the British centre were redeployed to stabilise the situation. Unfortunately this allowed an attack on the British centre by German infantry supported by Stugs. This attack was only driven off by rocket armed Typhoons who attacked the German infantry!

Below, German Panthers engaged against British infantry armed with PIATs and supported by 17pdrs and 6pdrs. Surprisingly 6pdrs accounting for two Panthers, previously suppressed by the 17pdr anti-tank guns. 

Below, a more general view of the situation on the British left.

Above and below Churchills from the British centre move to support the prolonged engagement with the German Panthers supported by the few surviving Stugs firing from high ground.

Eventually the left and right German battalions broke, though not before breaking the British right, originally 15 stands, and inflicting very heavy casualties on the two large British battalions on the British left and centre. Realising all hope was lost the final German battalion conceded the battlefield. A truely entertaining game!

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