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Gazala Firestorm
90th Light vs the Stubborn British
with Jacob Markson

 
Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

 

The 90th Light German forces attempted to break through British lines on the southern front. In the blazing heat of the day the infantry forces from both fronts met and battled.

Supported by Stukkas and a reserve platoon the German infantry were confident that they could secure the crossroads between two overlooking hills. As the British advanced they were covered by a hail of gunfire and mortars. This combined firepower slowly bled the Germans to a standstill. Heavy fighting on both sides rendered any action either side impossible until further reinforcements are available.

I was using a German Infantry Company supported by captured guns a platoon of Panzer IIIs. I also had the Firestorm units, which were a full Grenadier Platoon and Stukkas. I faced off against a British Rifle Platoon supported by Bofors AA and Churchill tanks with an Indian Motor Platoon form the Firestorm units.

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Turn 1
British mortar fire focuses on the captured 25 Pdrs knocking out one. German CAS (Close Air Support) pounds British infantry leaving their trenches

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Turn 2
Mortars fly back and forth as neither side as the strength or armor to assault the other position. This is a game the German forces cannot win. They desperately wait for Panzers to arrive. The 6 Pdr guns on the hill take considerable fire but continue to bravely man their position.

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Turn 3
British Mortar and HMGs pound the former British guns killing the crew or knocking out the weapon itself. Armor approaches, but it is not the Panzers the 90th Light is looking forward too. German CAS fails to hit the tank directly and the loose sand of the desert absorbing the blast as the bomb sinks in before detonating.

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Turn 4 and 5
German armor support finally arrives and begins its assault on the infantry and guns overlooking the highway. The British would prove to be stubborn and dedicated to holding the hill. Commendations were awarded to a young PIAT gunner for knocking out three Panzers. 

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Turn 6 and 7
Though the actions of the PIAT gunner cost him his life in the end, he was the reason for the lone Panzer III to fall back. German CAS and anti-tank guns managed to knock out one Churchill and temporarily hinder a second. 

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Turn 8 and 9
The Churchill Platoon was able to get the 2nd tank back in action, thankfully the tracks had not been completely knocked off. With the German armor knocked out, the infantry took it upon themselves to take the objective. One platoon secured a house at the crossroads while another platoon moved up through the carnage that was their armor support.

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Battle 5 of Gazala Firestorm

Turn 10 and to the final rounds
With shear determination the Germans managed to hold the hill. AT guns blazing and machine gun chatter would hold off and knock out another Churchill and eliminate the Indian Motor Platoon. The following turns would see the remaining Churchill make a fighting withdrawal. With British heavy machine guns taking up a new position at the base of the hill; this would end any chance the German infantry had of taking the objective. With neither side about to mobilize any assets this would be called a draw.  

Conclusion
The British would prevail in their defense of the sector with German forces unable to secure the win. I had not expected to lose three Panzers to a single PIAT team. I probably should have sent infantry with the tanks. When I lost my 25 Pdrs, I was unable to keep up with the British mortars that I was facing. Slowly whittled down both of us could not really advance just farther. On top of that, we both had rather impressive defensive fire and assaults which prevented things when we did advance.

~Jacob

 

 


Last Updated On Friday, July 10, 2020 by Luke at Battlefront