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Thursday, September 23, 2010

British Light Armour vs German Panzers in Road Block

A long column of British vehicles crawl along an Italian built road somewhere in cyrenaica. The tankers know to be on the lookout for Jerry, but they are near delirious as their tanks cook them in the blazing sun. Subaltern Callahan in his brand new American made Grant tank lazily eyes an Oasis to his left with his binoculars. Just as he begins to reach for his canteens- something catches his eye- a glint of metal. Instantly he recognizes the silhouette of a German gun!

"Driver! Step on it!" but before the words are even out of his mouth, the Oasis lights up with fire and smoke! His Grant is hit but hasn't brewed up- behind him the two other Grants in his troop go up in smoke! "It's an Ambush!"

HQ- 4x Crusader II CS
4 Troops of Crusaders (1 II, 2 IIIs each)
2 Troops of Grants
Motor Infantry Platoon
Scout Patrol w/ .50 cals

HQ- 1x Panzer III J, 1x Panzer IV F1
1st Zug- 4x Panzer III J
2nd Zug- 3x Panzer III J
3rd Zug- 4x Panzer IV F1
Light Tanks- 3x Panzer II F
Schutzen Platoon w/ panzerknacker
10.5cm Battery

British armor rolls down the road

The Grants are the target of the Ambuscade. Sean elects 2 Crusader troops to be their escort.

Panzer IIIs wait for the signal to attack.

Panzer IVs do likewise.

The artillery prepares to open up on the Grants!

Two Grants are knocked out, and the other is bailed!

The board from the German edge.

British Motor Infantry races forward to help secure the road from the ambush!

On the German left, American Grants come in from reserve under an observer's watchful eye.

Despite lacking HE, Crusaders boldly engage the artillery with MGs blazing!

On the other flank, Crusaders move to secure an objective.

One 10.5cm gun falls to MG fire!

Panzer IIIs roll out, and immediately knock out a Crusader III at range!

Panzer IVs move up the right flank, taking long range shots with their cannon on the infantry.

The 3 remaining guns split their fire. The Remaining Grant is destroyed, but shots wildly miss the Crusaders.

Grants burning on the road.

More British reserves arrive. Crusaders with the HQ and 2iC come racing on the board.

The infantry looks for cover in a patch of scrub.

Grants on the German left take position on top of an escarpment with a commanding view.

Crusaders swing around behind the 10.5s

And boldly charge the battery!

The Germans have little choice but to counter.

In the end the battery is wiped out. Both companies are down a platoon now.

Panzer IIIs continue to move up the center taking shots on the Crusaders- another one burns!

The Panzer IVs open up with their cannons on the infantry again. Despite being vets at long range in concealment, 3 teams fall to the cannons!

Dig boys! Dig!

The commander of the Crusaders on the objective, having lost 2 tanks, decides to head to the rear. Two platoons down for the British.

Crusaders arrive on the German right flank and charge headlong into the Jerries!

Driver! Ramming speed!

The Grants are too far out of range, and so move down the escarpment.

In the center, a Crusader III swings around the Oasis where the 105s were knocked out to take a pot shot at a Panzer III's side armor.

The 2 HQ CSes fire a smoke barrage on a Panzer IV at the top of a hill.

The return fire is bloody. The Panzer IVs decimate the charging Crusaders. Scratch 3 platoons for the British.

Meanwhile an armor duel develops between a Crusader III and a Panzer III.

A Panzer IV bogs down attempting to get down a draw.

The Board from the Germans' side. Panzer IVs and IIIs are all that is on table as no German reserves have yet arrived.

The British CO is furiously shouting orders.

CSes again drop smoke on the Panzer IVs.

The Grants bolster the British efforts to outshoot the Panzer IIIs.

Lydia got bored and insisted we take a picture of the 10.5cm battery staff team marvelling at a chewy sweet tart candy. She's a silly girl. That's why I like her.

The first German reserves arrive, swinging far to the right to take side shots on the Grants!

The Panzer IVs move into assault range of the British motor infantry.

One Grant brews up!

The Crusaders cannot go toe to toe even with the short barreled Panzers.

The Panzer IVs steamroll the British infantry- another lost platoon.

Things are looking grim for the British.

A final push of armor races towards the objective. Scouts sit on it holding it temporarily.

The Crusaders redirect to engage the Panzer IIIs on their other flank.

Schutzen arrive from reserve.

Another Crusader burns.

The German left flank.

Panzer IVs now hold the objective.

A mass of British armor is their last hope.

The Schutzen intended to assault the remaining Crusader platoon, but the British tanks break and retreat. The British company is now below half strength.

The board. The British pass their company check and keep going.

The British tanks swarm the Panzer IVs, but heartbreakingly do no damage.

The Schutzen continue to advance!

Panzer IIIs line up rear shots on the British armor swarming the Panzer IVs.

Panzer IIs arrive from reserve.

The return fire is devastating. Every single British Crusader is knocked out.

The British company commander maintains order and the company fights on for another round!

The scout makes a desperate attempt to .50 cal the side armor. The shots bounce off the Panzers harmlessly.

The carnage on the right flank.

The British company commander tries for a side shot, but misses the mark.

With that, the Germans begin their turn in posession of both objectives. On the right flank only a bailed scout contests (and bailed teams down't count) while on the left only the Company Commander contests (and independent teams don't count).

CLOSING THOUGHTS: My God, the Germans were unstoppable. Except for the 10.5cm battery not a single tank was lost. Hell of a rough time for the British- kudos to Sean (and his company commander) for sticking it out to the end!

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