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"Shootout at the Corinth Canal" Topic


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986 hits since 9 Jun 2013
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
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Garret050709 Jun 2013 5:25 a.m. PST

Hello All,

Ran this scenario again (at NJCon this time) – one of the scenarios in the upcoming scenario book "When Olympus Trembled".

By April 24th, the situation was dire for the British Expeditionary Force. The Greek Army had surrendered, and the king had fled to Crete . The Luftwaffe was beginning to operate near the coast with impunity, and the timetable for evacuation had to be advanced. On April 21st and 22nd, the Luftwaffe claimed twenty-three vessels sunk, and the Allied troops would now need to be withdrawn from ports further south. In order to prevent the Germans from following the retreating forces, the bridge over the Corinth Canal must be held until the last minute and then destroyed. In order to prevent the Allies from escaping, it was decided to use a small group of Fallschirmjäger to seize the bridge.

Turn 1 – The gliders come in for a landing. Unfortunately, the Bofors had not not been neutralized…

Turn 2 – Here come the rest of the FJ's

The JU52 pass over the burning wreckage of one of the gliders on their way to the drop zones

What is left of the glider company presses forward

I/FJ Regiment 2 lands south of the bridge near one of the Australian positions. Although they dropped near each other, the companies were all mixed, and took a while for the German commander to form them up.

II/FJ Regiment 2 lands north of the bridge – a BF109E strike eliminating some of the Australians nearby. This battalion had a much cleaner drop, and they were in action in a couple of turns.

I/FJR2 struggling to organize – you can see that they've managed to pair up the crew of the PAK with the crew itself…

And not a moment too soon! C Squadron of the New Zealand Div Cavalry arrives, and is receives a rude greeting…

Meanwhile, in the north, II/FJR2 moves along the railroad track toward the bridge. You can make out other elements of the Div Cav reaching the bridge itself.

Glenn – Commonwealth commander – deep in thought…

Marc and Steve – the German commanders – I believe Marc is saying how easy a time he is having on the north side of the canal – while Steve is bemoaning the difficulties of being on the south side of it – where all the Commonwealth reinforcements come from…

II/FJR2 deploying from the railroad out into the vineyards.

The Aussies and New Zealanders still firmly control the bridge

But the FJs are moving to try and correct that…

4th Hussars arrives on the scene – more bad news for I/FJR2

The Australian infantry, pushed back out of the houses, takes cover on the hilltop.

II/FJR2 has now cleared the entire northern half of the bridge, and has set up their PAK to fire on the bridge itself.

Unfortunately for the Germans, while II/FJR2 had great success, I/FJR2 did not. They had taken too long to get organized from the drop, and a few bad die rolls meant they had failed to get into position to cut the road to Corinth. The game ended with Commonwealth player firmly in control of the southern end of the bridge, and so a Commonwealth victory.

Nick B09 Jun 2013 5:39 a.m. PST

Very nice – what rules are you using?

Garret050709 Jun 2013 6:11 a.m. PST

Thanks Nick – we were using Command Decision Test of Battle.

Legion 409 Jun 2013 6:32 a.m. PST

WOW !!! Very Nice !!

Bill Slavin09 Jun 2013 6:46 a.m. PST

I agree, great AAR. I've always heard good things about Command Decision and it seems to play out as a very believable encounter. Just out of curiosity, what was the historical outcome of this battle?
You have me inspired to take a look at this fight and see if part of it could be adapted to BFWWII.
Thanks for sharing.

Bill

The G Dog Fezian09 Jun 2013 6:47 a.m. PST

Very nice report! Good use of photos. And a great job showcasing how the game captures a sense of the 'narrative of battle' and reflects the capabilities of each side.

Did the armor cause problems for the Germans via morale checks, or was morale not really a problem for either side? (Given what I assume were high quality troops with lots of cover.)

myxemail Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2013 7:58 a.m. PST

A great AAR! Thanks for sharing.

Garret050709 Jun 2013 11:18 a.m. PST

Thank you all for the compliments :)

@Bill

Historically the Germans landed, managed to remove the demolition charges from the bridge, and then piled them in the middle of the bridge. At some point during the fighting, the charges went off (there are conflicting reports as to whether or not it was a stray round that set them off, or if it was a deliberate attempt by one of the Commonwealth forces). Regardless, with the bridge destroyed, the Commonwealth forces began to fall back – those south of the bridge toward Corinth, while those north of the bridge toward Megara. The Germans secured the area and eventually linked up with the FJs. Since the destruction of the bridge effectively would end the scenario, I did not put any way for the bridge to be destroyed, to prevent an early (and IMO unsatisfactory) ending to the game.

@The G Dog
The armor helped in an indirect fashion. While none of the German companies failed morale directly, it forced them to be penned up in the areas of cover they had already reached, and prevented them from moving out across the open to expand their area of control. The MkVIB survived, although the Marmon Herringtons and carriers paid a high price (3 out of 4 were destroyed) for moving to engage the FJ's at close range to hold them up for reinforcements to arrive.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2013 11:38 a.m. PST

GREAT layout. Thanks for sharing. I have been planning on a campaign Corinth to Crete and this now saves me much research. When will your scenario book be for sale? Most of my FJ are not in cammo. I thought it was first used in Crete. Was it in use at this time or are you using mult-purpose figures?

Sorry but my eyes are not all that good. What scale are the figures. I know the gliders are under scale, very clever.

Thanks

Garret050709 Jun 2013 1:20 p.m. PST

Hello Bobgnar,

Thank you :)

The book will be on sale at Historicon and then online by the end of July at various online sites (including the Test of Battle website testofbattle.com).

It contains 4 scenarios in Greece, plus 3 on Crete, and then 3 more "what if" scenarios on Malta.

We were using multipurpose figures (which are 20mm) – the gliders are 1/144th, and so are definitely underscale :)

As far as the uniforms, they still wore the wool flight blouse and trousers, and were not yet provided with the new Luftwaffe tropical uniform. The invasion of Crete did see limited use of the first "splinter" pattern jump smocks – however most of them were still wearing the blue-gray field blouse and field gray trousers.

These are my friend Marc's figures – mine are in 15mm, and I have a regiment in the original blue-gray, a regiment in camo, and then a battalion in the tropical uniforms – just to cover all the bases :)

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2013 6:29 p.m. PST

that was a great looking game. I liked the grapevines and took several photos for reference.

peterx10 Jun 2013 4:54 a.m. PST

Wonderful looking game and great report, Garrett! Thanks for sharing your report with us.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP10 Jun 2013 6:15 a.m. PST

Great looking game.

Solzhenitsyn11 Jun 2013 7:50 a.m. PST

Interesting scenario and great looking board. Thanks for sharing.

Played one like this years ago where we had to make paper airplanes and launch them at the bridge. Where our plane landed, that's where our glider came down.

Don't like the rule set at all, but everybody has their favorites.

GReg BRad12 Jun 2013 2:59 a.m. PST

Where did you accquire the flight stand arials?

Garret050712 Jun 2013 4:53 p.m. PST

@Greg Brad

I bought them at Armaments in Miniature years ago – they still sell them:

link

DavidinGlenreagh CoffsGrafton18 Jun 2013 9:25 p.m. PST

Lovely!

ThomasHobbes18 Jun 2013 11:46 p.m. PST

Very nice. Greek and Crete games always look so interesting – maybe it's the gallant stands made by outnumbered, outgunned defenders or the borderline crazy German airborne assault!

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