Kampfgruppe Von Duck was once again called to the fore!
Once again, a complement of 7 Panther tanks, 3 StuHs and a full Grenadier platoon featuring those lucky enough to have escaped the Allied onslaught on Normandy were ordered to defend one of the roads leading to Caen.
– A Panther platoon was deployed to cover the long road leading to the sleepy town, expecting the British armor to attempt a hard push along the road into the town square.
– The StuH platoon, on the other hand, was deployed to oversee any movement across the fields next to the town, covering the Panthers’ left flank
– The Grenadier platoon entrenched themselves in the set of buildings and cooked themselves a light meal, occupying both objectives
– The remaining 4 Panthers (including Oberst Von Duck himself) were held back in reserve, in the hopes that they would be able to deal a counterblow should such an opportunity arise
*EARLY HOURS OF THE BATTLE*
– Having had sight of and unnerved by the presence of the Sherman Fireflies, the Panther platoon fell back slightly in order to take advantage of their superior range. With this slight adjustment in position, they were able to knock out 2 of the Fireflies.
– The StuH platoon, having survived the first salvo let loose by the Shermans, bombarded the oncoming British tanks still negotiating the rocky terrain. Despite their efforts, all survived with naught but a scratch. The Shermans continued to push forward, avoiding the fields in the fear that they may get bogged down by such unpredictable ground.
– The StuHs continued putting in their best to take down the oncoming Shermans, but were only managed to unnerve one of the tank’s crew to evacuate the tank. For all intents and purposes, the Sherman horde could not be stopped, and the StuHs soon lost one of their number to the British onslaught.
– The Grenadier platoon similarly took fire from the advancing British veterans, engaging in building-to-building shootouts. The Grenadiers stubbornly held on despite taking some hits.
*LATER HOURS OF THE BATTLE*
– The Panther platoon, obsessed with their firefight with the Fireflies, continued to fire at their British counterparts, watching with glee as the onboard ammunition on one of the Fireflies cooked off during its advance along the long road. Little did they know that such mirth was sorely misplaced…
– The Grenadier platoon suffered a devastating blow as the British infantry charged out of the buildings, braving the oncoming MG42 fire and displacing two squads’ worth of Grenadiers. The British were now just within sight of the road to Caen!
– The remaining two StuHs were soon lost to focused Sherman fire, unable to maneuver themselves into a favourable spot.
– The Panther platoon in reserve finally decided it was their time to shine, but came to the field of battle too slowly and were simply assigned to hold the road.
– The Panther Platoon which took on the Fireflies realised their mistake and attempted to maneuver themselves along the cramped streets of the town that was hardly made for such beasts of steel. They let loose a hail of MG fire against the British infantry occupying the Grenadier’s former position, pinning them down.
– The Grenadiers themselves repositioned themselves to reinforce the Panthers which had just come onto the scene, occupying the road to Caen.
– Unfortunately, such attempts to salvage the German situation were ultimately in vain, as another British infantry platoon revealed itself in the opposite street, assaulting the Panthers and knocking all of them out with their sticky bombs!