The Allies just spent another hot July day in Sicily. Not that the weather was bad, but the flying lead and tungsten were enough to make one sweat! We re-visited Operation Husky in a death duel for a small Italian town. The town’s outskirts were located at the North End of the board. Just to the East, a Fallschirmjäger unit raced onto the battlefield taking positions in the nearest buildings.
The first unit to activate was a jaunty little White Scout car that flitted around the southern end of the battlefield like a hummingbird. This little fellow spent the game trying to find a place to perch while the hunters took pot-shots. First blood was drawn by a Pz IV when it hit a halftrack carrying the HMG section with a little bit of high velocity love. A Sherman and the Pz IV engaged in a tank duel, with the Sherman eventually taking a hit before it blew the turret from the Panzer.
The other Pz IV played cat and mouse with the Sherman and an M-10 for the rest of the game. This kept the Pz IV from engaging the balance of allied forces, but tied up the much need American armored support. The Fallschirmjäger took possession of the Customs House in the middle of town and the residences to the east. Meanwhile the Brits dismounted from their lorries, made some tea, and eventually took position in the dragons teeth and church-yard. A furious fire-fight ensued with the outnumbered FJ slowly whittled down. Eventually, a lone MG-34 gunner hunkered down with an emplaced weapon in a bunker thwarted the entirety of the British advance with casualties and suppressions galore. He personally accounted for a dozen casualties and completely stalled the British force.
Fallschirmjager P.A.K. 36 3.7cm Anti-tank Gun
The M-3 halftracks raced to the rescue; well not quite raced or rescued. One alf-track hit a mine when it was maneuvering around a British traffic jam of lorries and bren carriers - Ka-blewey! A German artillery barrage rattled a Sherman and scorched a half-track – Ka-blewey!. A Stuka stooped on a half-track – Ka-blewey! A mad rush of Pioneers ambushed a Sherman II – Ka-blewey!. A lone jäger with a Panzerfaust faced down a Sherman II tank with two rockets to the stern quarters – Ka-blewey with Iron Cross! A MG-34 fire fiddled with the recon Jeep – Ka-blewey!.
To end the game, a M4 Sherman was taken out by the surviving Pz IV and the little White Scout Car met its end on the wrong end of a MG-34 – double Ka-blewey!!
End of the day, infantry losses were pretty even, but the allies had lost 3 tanks, 3 half-tracks, 1 jeep, 1 scout-car to the loss of a single Pz IV. The allies assuredly made their retreat in the haze of burning olive drab paint…..