This weekend I hosted a get together of a few old wargaming chums and we each put on a game. Since I was the host it was easy for me to set my game up early and so I went first.
As it's the 70th anniversary of Operation Jubilee I thought it would be appropriate to put on part of the raid. As I don't yet have quite enough landing craft, tanks, figures or terrain to manage the main assault I decided to focus on one of the associated Commando raids.
I picked Operation Cauldron, the assault on Hess battery (not least because I'd already done a smaller version of it!). Since I was doing the game in 28mm I couldn't quite fit the landing and the battery all on a single table so I produced a slightly compressed section of the battery itself.
A couple of the chaps took command of the F Troop with the objective of disabling the two guns at one end of the battery. Meanwhile Lenin had the unenviable task of holding them off until reinforcements could arrive.
F Troops first challenge was breaching the barbed wire without attracting the attention of the MG34 post guarding the road entrance.
Unfortunately they were spotted and came under a hail of fire. The first group ducked back out of the line of fire whilst the bren gun team engaged the german position. Meanwhile another group were advancing on the wire with bangalore torpedoes.
The heavy fire from the MG34 caused it to run out of ammo and whilst they were changing belts the Commandos charged in an threw grenades over the germans' sandbags. Having taken out the first obstacle the two groups advanced separately towards the buildings. Unluckily the first group was spotted by yet another german machine gun position and were forced to take cover again. Only this time the bren gunner went down in an exposed position and it took several attempts to pull him to safety along with his weapon.
The other group moved steadily forward until they were engaged by german rifle and sub-machine gun fire. With the team ducking for cover, the Captain rushed across the street and threw a grenade threw the germans' open window eliminating the threat. This group could then continue to advance.
Up until this point the german flak tower had be preoccupied with the RAF aircraft flying overhead and A Troop who were providing covering fire from the other side of the battery.
Once again the advance was held up by an advancing german section but they were quickly dealt with and their machine gun, which was covering the road, was knocked out by a couple of 2 inch mortar rounds from A Troop.
When the flak tower spotted the Commandos it came under fire from the bren team they had left covering it and whilst they were throwing themselves into cover they came under fire from the A Troop mortar.
With most of the German defenders neutralised the raiders moved forward to their objectives, blew them and withdrew through the fence line covered by A Troop to the extraction point no Orange Beach 1.