Monday, 19 May 2014

"Chain of Command" Maltot Village (1): Patrol Phase

After the successful blooding of 16 Platoon Lt Pringle had no time to spend on idle reflection or bask in in his own imaginary glory (the boys from the platoon still though he was a Public School tosser), as he found his CO had already ordered 16 Platoon to immediately move out in pursuit of the retreating Germans.

Lt Pringle made what he thought was a sensible force consolidation. He din't expect to see any German Tigers so he disbanded the PIAT team, absorbing it  into a regular rifle sections. With a returner than meant that 16 Platoon was just one rifleman 'effective' down. Lt Pringle also had a 'plan' of how to push the Germans out of Maltot village. All he needed was a Vickers HMG and a tank, preferably a Churchill, they look big and nasty and didn't tend to explode like a  "Ronson Lighter" Shermans and a bossy adjutant to keep 16 Platoon moving into Maltot. He liked the Churchill's massive and imposing bulk, despite its relatively poor gun, the standard army British 6 pounder, it was always a great morale booster (See below for 16 Platoon's OrBat):

Lt Pringle's plan was simple. Run down the middle of Maltot village and grab the big "Red House" [see middle left below] that dominated the high street. Install a "bloody big" Vickers HMG team in it as a fire base and effectively stop anything German (that is non-armoured) moving left-to-right or right-to-left in the village. Then move the Churchill to the base of the road and blast any (and all) of the buildings that hold an MG42 team or something else 'nasty' from Germany. Lt Pringle sent his patrols straight down the High Street as fast as humanly possible (see below):

The Germans true to their aggressive teaching and tactics quickly patrolled out of their deployment zone and got right into the faces of the Tommies. Despite this the British just managed to claw a foothold close to "Red House" (see below):

By taking jump-off points as far forward to their patrol markers as possible the British they were in hard-cover, "Red House" and "Grey House," and soft-cover in the flanking woods to the right of the table. "Good enough" thought Pringle, "Now let's see if the adjutant gets the boys moving fast" (see below):

After pining the British advance into initial third of the table the Germans drew back into their baseline third to hunker down. The victory conditions of the scenario dictated that the Germans simply had to hold on to their jump-off point placed  closest to their baseline. They were intending to hunker down to a tough and dirty street fight (see below the green poker chip denote their three jump-off points in a triangle of death):

Next: Race against time, to deploy onto table and steal a march on the enemy.

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