All arms counterpunch 1918


The German offensives of 1918 have run out of steam, and the allies' own offensive has begun. This fictional scenario placed the two commanders in the respective roles of British commander planning a small offensive designed to capture ground from which to launch the next major offensive, with the German commander trying desperately to hold on to the gains made over recent months. Neither side has occupied their current positions long enough to create strong defensive positions, but German troops have already created several strong redoubts and small sections of light entrenchment with which to try to retain their hold on this ground.

The game was fought in Christchurch, New Zealand, between Robin Sutton (British commander) and Andy Gorman (German commander). The scenario can be found here.


 

The British left wing, seen from the German perspective, as the British infantry leave their entrenchments at the start of the attack. The Whippet tank section operating in support of their attack can be seen behind the line of advancing infantry.The tank was painted by Andy Gorman. The British hurricane bombardment is about to strike the German positions. The British commander had decided to attack on his left, holding his right wing brigade in reserve. In the centre his attached American Brigade was timed to 'go over the top;' shortly after zero hour.
The Mk IV goes in to action in support of the British left wing attack. Robin's deployment was poor, as he placed the MkIV on the far left of the attack: the unit was too slow to have much impact on the attack at all. This is an Emhar model, assembled and painted by Andy Gorman
The British hurricane bombardment included a gas attack on the left of the German entrenchments to the front of the British left. The British commander had opted to use persistent gas agents in order to deny the area to possible counter-attacking German troops throughout the attack, and  was lucky, with three sixes rolled for effects of the gas, effectively clearing out the defending German troops in the section of their trenchs seen here to the right. More importantly, German losses included their regiment's supporting MMG company. The remaining defending Germans were subject to bombardment from two regiments of 6" British guns, and were left shaken but still able to offer resistance to the advancing British.
The Whippets rolled forward to tackle the defending German infantry and their wire. However even these famous tanks were not immune from the fickle dice: a '1' for the first fire attack of the game!!!! Meanwhile the British reserve brigade was sent forward to pin the defending German left wing.
In the centre the attached American infantry brigade had stepped off shortly after it's 'limey' cousins on its left, and walked straight in to a German counter bombardment, from gun regiments lucky enough to hold gas shells. Casualties were significant. Here the Brigade HQ and several other stands can be seen suppressed from the gas. The German commander had also opted to use persistent gas in this attack. In addition German counterbattery fire had silenced some of the heavy British artillery for several turns. This left the British left flank facing troops unsuppressed in their redoubts, as these had been targets for the next stage of the hurricane bombardment.
It just wasn't their day: here the American infantry brigade comes under attack from a flight of Roland CII aircraft that have managed to penetrate the British fighter cover. However the pilots were put off by some heavy MMG AA fire, and the Americans were fortunate to take no casualties from this attack.. whew!!!! Frankly, Robin knew he'd got away lightly from this one!!!! A vicious counter battery fire fight between opposing artillery batteries was also being fought, finally won by the British who silenced both heavy German regiments.

The British fighter support never showed..... must have been busy elsewhere.....

The pressure from the British left wing brigade finally told, and the defending Germans fled before the attacking infantry, and two tank units (Mark IVs and Whippets, seen here advancing towards the fleeing German infantry at the top of the picture). The telling factor had clearly been the casualties they had taken from that initial gas attack: three 6's in a row... fate had not treated the Germans kindly on this day. Turn 9 and this left the town sector and the high ground on which it sat (the objective of the attack) wide open to the British attackers, even though the German left was still unengaged.
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