With Churchills to War

Death From Above

With Churchills to War

By Michael Miller

This battle is drawn from the book With Churchills to War by Peter Gudgin. This scenario uses information from both Afrika, Death From Above and Armoured Fist for the relevant troop formations .

Background

On 21 April 1943 the 48th Royal Tank Regiment first went to war with their Churchill tanks in Tunisia against the Hermann Goering Division. In this engagement the 48th RTR engaged and knocked out their first Tiger tank. This Tiger tank is now at the Tank Museum at Bovington, England.

The British forces of 5th Corps were preparing to launch a major offensive on 21 April. German forces instead launched a spoiling attack to slow down the British offensive. The spoiling attack was known by the German forces as Operation Fliederblute (Lilac Blossom) and almost succeeded in reaching the HQ of the 4th (Mixed) Division. The German forces then withdrew to await the British counter attack. The 48th RTR was tasked in the counter attack to support the 1/6 East Surreys of the 10th Infantry Brigade in capturing two hill features, the Djebel-el-Mehirigar (J5823) and Djebel Djaffa (J5923). Churchill III
Game Map

The Mission

The 48th RTR attack is against German forces of the Hermann Goering Division who have fallen back to these positions yesterday. Use the No Retreat Mission from the main rulebook with the Germans in defense and the British attacking. All normal rules apply. The objectives for the British forces are the reverse slopes of the two hills marked with Xs. The deployment zones are marked on the provided map.

The Battlefield

The battlefield is dominated by the two hills, the Djebel-el-Mehirigar (J5823) and Djebel Djaffa (J5923). While vegetation is sparse there are many wadis and the terrain is very rugged and mountainous.

The green terrain is vegetation providing concealment but no movement penalty. The wadi provides bulletproof cover and concealment for infantry teams only. The wadi provide this feature for any infantry team even if both enemy and friendly teams are in the same section of the wadi. The wadi is considered Difficult terrain for vehicles requiring a Cross test to move across. All of the hills (the dark brown terrain features) are treated as Difficult terrain. Even the Churchills require a Cross test while moving across this terrain.

The Forces

Allied Forces

Squadron A of the 48th Royal Tank Regiment is operating in support of the 1/6 East Surreys of the 10th Infantry Brigade. 

Churchill III
A Tiger in Tunisia

Axis Forces


The 12. Kompanie of Fallschirmjäger Regiment 5 (known as Jagerregiment Hermann Göring) supported by elements of the 501/504 Heavy Tank Battalion with an attached platoon of Panzer IVs. The Fallschirmjagerkompanie is rated Fearless Veteran and the tank platoons are rated Confident Veteran.

British 

A Squadron, 48th Royal Tank Regiment and
1/6 East Surreys, 10 Infantry Brigade

Rifle Company    
Rifle Company HQ
2x SMLE rifle team


2 points
Rifle Platoon
7x Bren Gun& SMLE rifle team
1x Boys anti-tank rifle team
1x 2-inch mortar team



11 points
Rifle Platoon
7x Bren Gun& SMLE rifle team
1x Boys anti-tank rifle team
1x 2-inch mortar team



11 points
Churchill Armoured Squadron  
Churchill III Armoured Squadron HQ
3x Churchill III

33 points
Churchill III Armoured Troop
3x Churchill III

33 points
Churchill III Armoured Troop
3x Churchill III

33 points
Rifle Company    
Rifle Company HQ
2x SMLE rifle team


2 points
Rifle Platoon
7x Bren Gun& SMLE rifle team
1x Boys anti-tank rifle team
1x 2-inch mortar team



11 points
Rifle Platoon
7x Bren Gun& SMLE rifle team
1x Boys anti-tank rifle team
1x 2-inch mortar team



11 points
Total
147 points

German
 
Jägerregiment Hermann Goering

Fallschirmjäger Company 
Fallschirmjäger Company HQ
2x MP40 SMG team


3 points

Fallschirmjäger Platoon
7x MG42 & K98 rifle team
1x Panzerknacker Command Card


9 points
2 points
Fallschirmjäger Platoon
7x MG42 & K98 rifle team
1x Panzerknacker Command Card 

9 points
2 points
Fallschirmjäger Platoon
7x MG42 & K98 rifle team
1x Panzerknacker Command Card

9 points
2 points
Support Platoons (Confident Veteran)  
Tiger Heavy Tank Platoon
2x Tiger
2x Panzer III (Uparmoured)

58 points
16 points
Panzer IV Tank Platoon
4x Panzer IV (long 7.5cm)

40 points
Total 150 points

The captured Tiger Ie

Fallschirmjager

Historical Results

Historically the British infantry and tanks failed to support each other closely allowing the German forces to spoil the British counterattack and the British forces withdrew until the next day.

A Tiger tank that was knocked out during the attack that day was captured the following day in working order by the British forces and shipped back to England for examination. The turret had jammed from a 6 pdr shot and the crew abandoned the tank in the heat of battle. Several of the Churchill tanks disabled had hits from 88m, 75mm, and 50mm rounds.

The interesting features of this battle are the lack of anti-tank units on both sides. This battle was a tank on tank fight between a force of Churchill tanks facing the dreaded Tiger tank in combat with limited foot infantry support on both sides. The rocky terrain was a hindrance to both sides but the fighting was fierce as evidenced by the fact that the 48th RTR lost four Churchills and the Germans lost two Mk IIIs, a Mk IV, and a Mk VI (Tiger).

5. Fallschirmjager Regiment in Tunisia...  


Last Updated On Monday, November 18, 2019 by Wayne at Battlefront