As game night would fall on the 5th of June we decided that we would theme a game to commemorate it D-Day. Originally our plans were grand and involved as they often are but family priority, shortage of member attendance and I forgot for a bit all conspired to mean we would have one game.
As I had been to Normandy during the D-Day celebrations a few years ago and had spent most of the trip in the company of some of the men from the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry company that had conducted the Coup de Main at Bénouville Bridge; now known as Pegasus Bridge, we decided that the game would be loosely based on Operation Deadstick rather than a historical refight. I had spent a bit of time looking for a 1/100 – 15mm scale Pegasus Bridge but they were very expensive and I found Horsa gliders, at Old Glory, far too late to get them painted. So the using only bridge we currently have and focusing the battle after the landing here is the battle
We used Flames of War for the rules at the request of Cortez and Ballboy. The armies were drawn from the British Airlanding list from Market Garden and a Grenadier list from Grey Wolf at just over 1k points. What is a few points between friends?
The objective was the bridge; whoever controlled the bridge (umpire’s decision) would be the winner. Both sides would have reserves. The British had scattered reserves to represent the slight spread of the gliders, the Germans would get a slight delay (Turn 2) for their reserves to account for units garrisoned away from the battle. There was an 88 defending the bridge and was controlled by the German player. It could be captured and used by whoever was in control of it.
The British deployed their 6 pounders and the 2 I/C in the wood to the left of the road to cover the advance of the 1st platoon who were in the near the barn at the edge of the road. They were being led by the I/C . On the right flank the 2nd platoon would attempt to swim across the river. The observer for the 3” mortars was in a hedgerow with a view of the bridge.
The Germans sited a battery of nebelwerfers on their left flank behind a treeline, placed their mortars on their right flank and placed a platoon in the terraced houses near the bridge. The nebelwefer observer and the I/C were also positioned in the house; the mortar observer was located in the single house overlooking the bridge
The British Airborne I/C led 1st platoon out of cover and headed straight towards the objective. 2nd platoon advance out of the wood towards the canal. The 6 pounders are out of range and unable to fire, there would be plenty to do later.
The nebelwerfers and mortars range on the British 1st platoon in and cause a surprising amount of casualties on 1st platoon
The 2nd German platoon moves out of the terrace to get in position to stop the Paras plan of swimming the canal.
Panzer IV's arrive from reserve
The game ends. The British Airborne have on end of the bridge and the 88. The German armour is destroyed. The hold is tenuous but we declare a narrow win for the British