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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Omaha Beach

On Saturday, my father and I played out a Hit the Beach Scenario to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day. He ran the US 1st Infantry Division, and I commanded the beach defenses.

The US force was comprised of 4 Boat Sections, Engineers, and Mortars from the Big Red One, and 3 Shermans and a Priest Battery from V Corps.

the German list was a 2 platoon company, HMGs and a scout platoon as well as the HQ mortars backed up with a 10.5cm battery from 352nd Infanterie Division. They were supported by another grenadier platoon from 439th Ost Battalion.

Ultimately the battle wound up being a tie. Technically the Germans won 4-3, but I realized later we forgot to do the Preliminary bombardment and that may have seriously made a difference so we decided to call it a tie. The US had cracked the outer defenses of Fortress Europe, but at heavy cost.

Plenty of pictures and a brief breakdown of the battle after the break.

the early turns saw the US making abysmal rolls for landing troops. 3 out of 4 landing craft were delayed in the initial landing, seeing just a single boat section hit the beach.

Finally around turn 6 the wire was breached, but the US company commander had difficulty keeping the troops moving. By the end the US had solidly captured the near objective, but were just too far away from the 2nd.

Overhead view. The objectives are the ad hoc command center in the rear bocage area, and the right-most building.

The beach

P-38s initially did quite well, but their effectiveness quickly tapered off.

The German positions are hammered by artillery and air.

Casualties begin mounting.

View from the German positions

Finally the US are able to mass on the beach, but their bunching leads to numerous casualties from mortar fire, and convincing many of the GIs to keep their heads down rather than advance.

Finally the US are able to make it to the wire.

Shermans from V Corps come ashore and neutralize the German HMGs.

Wave after wave of Americans pour ashore.

the GIs prepare their bangalore torpedoes to gap the wire.

The Shermans continue to pummel the German lines.

In a heartbreaking moment, both boat sections who were preparing to clear the wire are lost, costing the US 2 crucial turns and possibly the entire game.

German positions are continuously hammered by artillery, and shermans.

Finally the mortars are on the beach and unpinned, and drop a smoke barrage on the defenders, clearing the way for the boat sections who have finally cleared a section of wire.

The Shermans claim more kills

Despite having a gap in the wire, the US are still pinned to the beach

The mortars continue laying a blanket of smoke


The 5cm bunkers are unable to do anything to the shermans.

US Forces clamber up the bluff, and prepare to assault.

A US flame thrower floods the German position, forcing the remainder of the platoon to flee.

A massive force of Americans are ready to pour inland, but it may be a day late on dollar short!

The forward most boat section claim the high ground.

At the end of the battle, the US has landed a huge mass of troops on the beach, but many brave men lost their lives.

And in closing, to all those who really did lose their lives on such an epic and noble undertaking: thank you.

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