Thursday 30 September 2021

Battle of Hechtel

This was a big multi-player WWII Rapid Fire! game held at Quendon on 11th September. Guards Armoured Division have to fight their way through German defenders in and around Hechtel to get to what will become the start positions for the Arnhem campaign.

German end - including Hechtel

Mid table view 

And this the Allied end

I was pleased to see an innkeeper on the table !

First turn - the Allies are going to advance !

Recce vehicles and 25pdrs supported by infantry

and Allied SP guns wait for targets to be advised by F.O.O.s

The narrow hedge lined roads are a worry for the Allied tank commanders

Artillery being towed into a gap in the hedgerow

With nervous infantry in attendance

Armoured cars and bren gun carriers take another route

 Armoured cars make use of gaps in the hedges

Busy gamers !

The Allies feel their way forward, expecting trouble at any moment

So far, so good

This troop is well concealed in the woods

Enemy ! Armoured cars come under fire

Nothing to see in the main - where are the Germans ?

More and more Allied armour gets forward and well on the way to Hechtel

They must be somewhere

Movement has been spotted on the high ground so Indirect fire brought into to plaster the wooded area there

Now German units are sighted and engaged

They are quickly over run

A Typhoon roars over head looking for enemy armour

Some fast Allied tanks rush across some open land on their left flank

More shadow the hedge line

A German SP gun reveals its position and opens fire on them

With some success - a tank brews up

But these shots attract the attention of Allied artillery - they missed this time !

A German 88mm gun also fires from a position close to the mobile gun 

These are the British SP guns providing indirect fire support back on the base line

Troop carrying trucks are also making their way up behind the armour

The Allies are making good progress

and using all the ground and cover available

Worried about minefields, a flail tank is brought up

The 88mm has been attracting some attention from both the Typhoon and Allied artillery

At last ! The Panzer IVs under my command are ordered forward and open fire on the enemy tanks approaching on our right flank 

There are are least two squadrons of enemy tanks coming, possibly more

A German mortar team joins in, targeting the enemy up against the hedgerow

A cheer goes up from the German positions - the Typhoon has been shot down !

But there is little time to enjoy it - the German forward SP gun explodes !

Now the Allies discover our German minefields ! Boom - one tank brews as others realise their predicament

Panzerfaust teams are also hiding there and another tank is hit by them

But the Allies keep coming

My two PZ.IVs have hit two Shermans - but not put them out of action

I bring forward two more tanks on our left to engage the enemy armour getting too close to Hechtel

My first Zug of Panzer IVs is now receiving fire from 6 enemy tanks !

Allied SP guns burst through the hedges beside the burned out German self propelled gun - and the 88mm has been taken out too.

My second Zug exchanges fire with these

We've uncovered another anti-tank gun just ahead of Hechtel

and I have been given a couple of STuGs which rumble forward to engage the enemy

our multi-barrel Ack Ack gun is being pulled back to Hechtel as it is too exposed forward of there

Good shooting - two more enemy armour billow smoke from hits

but we are under pressure where ever we look

My first tank zug is now in trouble - one tank burns and the other has been hit too

They were outnumbered so this was inevitable but it was the indirect fire which did the real damage

A sad end for my brave men !

Sensing our weakness on this flank, the Allies now surge forward, including troop carriers

The Allied SP guns can add another couple of notches to their barrels !

More enemy push forward on the right too

But our minefields have slowed them and caused a bottleneck

No ! Another pesky Typhoon has arrived over the battlefield !

The Germans are pulling back into Hechtel

British infantry can now be seen deploying  now the German armour has gone

The Typhoon swoops over the town, firing as it goes

Our Panzerfaust teams are still causing the Allies problems in front of the minefields though

A burning German tank is all that remains before the Allies on the bend in the road leading to Hechtel

but we still have some nasty surprises for them in Hechtel itself

British infantry cross the hedges beside my burning tanks

Enemy artillery has hit the church where our HQ and Observers are

A PaK is hiding in the final hedgerow to the right of town

And a JagdPanzer waits in the lee of the inn

and we have infantry lurking in the woods on our right flank, so we are still fighting for every inch of ground

Allied tanks crash through the hedges on our right flank

But guess what ! We have brought down the second Typhoon !

Burn, baby burn  !

By this point, we had fought all day and the Germans were still in possession of Hechtel so a small victory  of sorts but it was clear that the Allies had far more stuff on the table and the town would fall on the following day for sure.

But, our brief was to hold it today !
Here's the merry gang of gamers - minus Mick Hoddy who too the photo.

A really enjoyable return to Rapid Fire! We all agreed we want more.