Major J.L.C. Lovelace Reporting Sir!

Phil takes on Mike

Major J.L.C. Lovelace Reporting Sir!
with Phil Yates.

The Cassino battles were a series of hard slogs, attacking into the teeth of the best the German Army could offer. The first two battles pitted my battle-weary veterans against German paratroopers dug in on dominating features covering open cratered ground. With no cover at all, we went in at midnight to avoid being pinned down by long-range fire. A careful advance in the dark allowed the forward platoons to reach the German positions relatively unmolested, but they were unable to clear the objectives in the ensuing vicious hand-to hand combat.

Left: Phil takes on Mike's Fallschirmjäger.

In the first attack on Hangman’s Hill we crossed the river silently, reaching the casa at the start of the road and the strongpoint at the eastern switchback as daylight arrived. The initial assaults pushed the surprised paratroopers back, but they quickly rallied and attacked in waves, eventually forcing a handful of survivors to retire back to the river crossings. A hard-fought battle against a doughty foe, but despite their griping about it being ‘someone else’s turn’ before the battle, the men took on the best the Germans have and almost beat them.

Learn what Infantry Aces is here...
Read Blake's account of the Infantry Aces campaign here...

Below: Phil's British Motor Company ready for action.

Phil's British Motor Company ready for action
After a day’s rest, we were ordered to try again further west on the edge of the town. Once again the approaches were open, so a night attack was in order. Daylight saw the leading platoon in a casa on the outskirts of town facing a counterattack by Nazi stormtroopers hopping from crater to crater. Undaunted, the riflemen charged and drove the paratroopers out at the point of the bayonet. The fighting was long and hard, ending with the few survivors from both sides still on their feet dragging their wounded comrades to the rear. Their sacrifice allowed 1 Platoon to reach their objective, but once again, they were unable to hold it in the face of relentless counterattacks.

Right: Phil moves in for the kill.
Phil moves in for the kill
The Luffwaffe HMGs have a bit of bad luck

Reinforced and supported by a full battery of artillery, we were sent in once again. This time the division had been sidestepped into the Liri Valley for the breakout. The opposition appeared to be of comparatively low quality, apparently from a German Air Force division. Fortunately their artillery and machine-guns proved relatively ineffective. When the leading platoon reached the objective, they found it defended by a heavy machine-gun platoon. Jerry must have been jumpy as the fire went high and the riflemen took the position in a combined frontal and flank assault with relatively few casualties. The artillery engaged the German reserves as they attempted to intervene and drove them off, securing the position. Good work the Royal Horse Artillery.

Read the Cassino Design Notes here...

Left: The Luffwaffe HMGs have a bit of bad luck.

With a victory under their belt, the company, now reinforced by a troop of tanks, pushed on across a stream and took the next town against more Air Force troops from the elite Hermann Goring Division. It appears that at least some of the opposition were Italian paratroopers, but they remained pinned down off on the southern flank without really getting involved. Meanwhile the firepower of the tanks neutralised the German artillery allowing the riflemen to assault the objective from the flank. The Liri Valley route was finally open!

Right: The Last Day in Combat wasn't so enjoyable for the Tank Troop.
The Last Day in Combat wasn't so enjoyable for the Tank Troop
The Last Day in Combat wasn't so enjoyable for the Tank Troop The Germans made a last desperate stand, once more throwing our old opponents from the German Air Force into battle to stop us. The paratroopers were heavily fortified with Panther-turret bunkers and machine-gun nests backed by assault guns. Coordination with the French Goums on our right flank soon made short work of the Germans securing victory!

~ Phil.

Left: Mike tries to figure out what's going wrong.

Below: Members of the Battlefront Studio enjoy some time-out to play Infantry Aces.
Members of the Battlefront Studio enjoy some time-out to play Infantry Aces

Last Updated On Thursday, August 4, 2011 by Blake at Battlefront