The fourth and final game in the first turn of our Firestorm Normandy campaign was fought this Sunday, and featured the landing at Gold Jig Green Beach by the Hampshires. The beach is an interesting scenario because where the 1st Hants. landed marked the boundary between the 716th and 352nd Divisions, and thus meant that the British veterans came up against German veterans on one side of the defences, and reluctant Ost troops on the other (see map and orbats for details)
The British objective on this beach was to penetrate the defences and wheel to their right, taking the objectives (green and yellow flags) at Asnelles and Le Hamel. This reflected the original objective of 231 Brigade with their mission of securing the right flank of the Gold Beach landing to allow the 47th RM Commandos to pass through to Port en Bessin and link up with the Americans on Omaha. Below is the tabletop interpretation of our map
With a current running from right to left (facing the beach, seaward side), the Brits landed their first three infantry platoons, DDs and an AVRE troop, headed for the ramp off the beach and the sea wall next to WN36, ably garrisoned by the 441 Ost, who sadly for the Germans lost a section to the naval bombardment and remained pinned for practically the whole game.
The AVRE's closed on WN36 and started to create breaches and batter the seafront buildings, preparing the way for the infantry assault.
Meanwhile the DDs were tasked with keeping the veterans of the 352nd in the Chateau Asnelles and sanatorium complex quiet whilst the attack developed on the other end of the beach. The smoke was deployed to prevent fire from the 7.5cm bunker of WN37 raking the beach. However a continual peppering of small arms and mortar fire came in from this strongpoint.
The assault on WN36 when it came was short and bloody, with the Ost troops fighting back stubbornly, taking three groups out for the three groups they lost. The remnants were forced to withdraw shaken but unbowed.
By turn 4 the attack on WN36 was gathering momentum, but would it be able to get clear of the strongpoint and swing in on the objectives?
The German commander decided to not wait for all the reinforcements to assemble and decided to just take a section of the infantry platoon and two Marders, seen here entering Asnelles. The truck and dug in infantry mark the objective hex.
Infantry supported by armour, make the dash across the open fields towards the cover of the hedgerows and immediately draw fire from the Marders and 352nd infantry sections.
The attack stalls in front of Asnelles as the British attempt to bring up M10s to support the infantry and the Commandos to make a last desperate assault on Le Hamel from the beach, which ended in failure.
At game end the German veterans were securely in control of Le Hamel and Asnelles and having inflicted over 21% more casualty points than they received were declared the winners, so ending turn 1 of our campaign with the only German win.