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The Battle for Iron Acton

A “What if?” battle report by Steve Evans

Operation Sealion has been a success. Axis forces have landed in Kent and Panzer companies have rapidly spread out to cut lines of supply. Hauptman Dread Lord has pushed west to secure the port of Bristol. Meanwhile the Airborne company of Captain Lurkusspleen, waiting for transport to the Mediterranean theatre, have counter attacked and are holed up in the village of Iron Acton and control vital road and rail links. The Panzers must drive them off or the success of this phase of Sealion could be in jeopardy!

We used the Cauldron mission scenario for this game. The forces are:

Captain Lurkusspleen (CL), 82nd Airborne PIR

HQ with Carbine team and 2 bazookas

1st Platoon Mortar squad, 2 rifle squads, 1 bazooka team

2nd Platoon Mortar squad, 2 rifle squads, 1 bazooka team

Mortar platoon, 2 sections

1st tank Platoon, 4 M4 Shermans

2ns tank Platoon, 3 M3 Lee

Hauptman Dread Lord (HD), 11th Panzer Company

HQ PIIIJ late

1st Platoon, 1 PIIIJ late, 3 PIIIJ early

2nd Platoon, 1 PIIIJ late, 3 PIIIJ early

Recce Platoon 4 PIIF

3 Neblewerfer

Limited air support

Turn 1 (Allies)

The ambushing platoon deploys on the side of the village closest to the Panzer III platoon and the mortar platoon fires smoke onto the PII position.

(Axis)

The Nebelwerfer battery is deployed on the long edge of the battlefield and digs in.

Turn 2

The mortars fire HE rounds at the PII in the hope of slowing them down but is ineffectual.

Stukas attack a platoon and kill 1 team. The reserve PIII platoon arrives by the Nebelwerfers. The ‘werfers fire and kill 1 team. The mass of PII and PIII on the Allies right move forward with guns blazing. Another team is lost.

Turn 3

No allied reserves arrive. The mortars fire smoke.

No air support this turn. 2 PIII bog down entering the village. Tank MG fire kills 1 team and pins the platoon. The PII assault and kill 2 teams forcing the platoon to fall back. ‘Werfer fire kills 2 teams.

Turn 4

Still no word from Allied Command and no reserves arrive this turn either. The platoon hit by the Nebelwerfers remains pinned. A counter attack sees a PII bailed out by bazooka fire but the platoon fail to follow up due to a failed motivation test to assault tanks.

The Stukas are still refuelling - no air support this turn either. Bogged and bailed tanks all recover this turn. Shooting kills 3 teams, including the command team, and the PII assault kills 1 more team. The PIII platoons use a Stormtrooper move to reorganise.

Turn 5

With the arrival of 4 Shermans the Allies have cause to celebrate! They promptly destroy 1 PIII.

A mass Panzer assault kills 4 stands and drives the Allies from an objective.

Turn 6

3 Lees arrive to bolster the Allied defence. A paratrooper platoon tries to deny the objective. The Shermans move in to pummel the PII but miss! The shots from the Lees bounce off also.

Panzer MG fire badly mauls the paras but the CinC escapes.

Turn 7

Massed Allied tank fire kills 4 PIII and 2 PII but it is not enough.

Victory to the Axis forces. Iron Acton is absorbed into the 1000 year Reich!

Final Thoughts

Axis – A tricky scenario. Having to have platoons in reserve didn’t allow for immediate massed Panzer attack. I was lucky that the Allied reserves took so long to turn up as the Shermans can make a real mess of the Panzers. Once I had the Panzers massed together I was able to sweep all before me.

Allies – Turn 5 dam it, that’s when my reserves decided to show their faces, turn bloody 5. By this time the Axis Panzers had moved it to position to take the objective and there was no way I could get my armour close enough to make a difference. The Para’s held on for as long as they could but it was just not long enough.