Hi Chaps, as you all may know I am hosting a number of one day events in the near future. Leading up to this I have hosted some introductory day games. Well the second of the WWII games has taken place over the last weekend and may I say it was met with great enthusiasm and the results were all round, a great success.
Mark Herdman and Paul Goodwin created the scenario for a fictitious battle during 1940 in France. Paul and Mark it has to be said are veterans of the Rapid Fire rules system and write exceptionally good scenarios with a strong historical story line.
The following scenario was designed by Mark and Paul.
The Battle of the Gembloux Gap 15th May 1940
The first major clashes of the 1940 campaign in Belgium and France took place on 12th May. General Prioux’s Cavalry Corps with the 2e and 3eDivision Leger Mechanique made a costly but successful stand at Hannut in order to buy time for the deployment of the rest of the French 1st Army, 30km to the east on the “Dyle Line” and across the Gembloux gap. Damaged, they withdrew to rest and recuperate behind the rest of the 1st Army. Three days later, the German XVI Panzerkorps, resupplied with ammunition and reinforced by their infantry divisions, made a deliberate attack on the French lines at Gembloux. Although they managed to break into the French lines, they could not break through and French counterattacks threw them back to where they had started. It was the successes further south, by XV Panzerkorps on the Meuse and XIX Panzerkorps at Sedan, that had unhinged the right flank of 1st Army. French 9th Army to the south was collapsing and the 1st Army would begin the long retreat to Lille and Dunkirk.
In this fictitious scenario the French Cavalry Corps have clashed with the Germans at Hannut, but have retired in good order. The historical defence line has been manned by the 1er Division Marocain, but none of their neighbours. In line with them to the north is the flank of the BEF I Corps represented by the 2nd Division. To the south of Gembloux is a fictional gap. In this scenario, the neighbouring French division has not arrived. Realizing the possibility of disaster, General Blanchard at 1st Army HQ has ordered 3eDivision Leger Mechanique to turn around and plug the gap.
Meanwhile XVI Panzerkorps has moved up to the Dyle Line and awaited resupply and reinforcement from 7th Infantry Division. With two Panzer Divisions (3rd and 4th) under command, it is a pity that the gap in the French lines to the south of Gembloux has not been noticed sooner. Now 4th Panzer will belatedly throw itself into that gap, unaware of the advancing French Cavalry. At the same time 3rd Panzer and the 7th Infantry will attempt to smash a hole in the Dyle line and breakthrough; just like in 1940.
The game was hard fought with lots of action between the armoured divisions and the fight for the town of Gembloux was particularly bloody with the French figthing tenaciously to hold on to it and delay the German advance. In the centre of the German and French lines the Morrocan regiments performed particularly valiantly, holding back the armoured advance and eventually only giving up their positions when outflanked. Over on the Allied left, the British Division held up the German advance where they attempted to cross the river, blowing the bridge and repulsing the German bridge laying engineers.
Well I will be bringing you some more photos of the day in the next few days.