AAR: Pianzza Armerina, July 16th, 1943 (a Poor Bloody Infantry tabletop wargame)
After the landings near Pachino on July 10th, 1943 the Second Canadian Brigade pushed North.
|Canadians entering Modica|
By noon on July 16th they were three miles south of Pianzza Armerina when a large explosion on the road halted their advance. At this point the Loyal Edmonton Regiment was in the lead. "C" Company had been riding on the sherman tanks of the Three Rivers Regiment in the vanguard. "C" Company dove for cover as they came under machine gun fire from the nearby slopes.
|German MG position|
Brigadier J.C. Jefferson ordered "C" Company to take the slopes on the right side of the road and "A" Company was ordered to clear the left.
Our Poor Bloody Infantry (PBI) game takes place with "A" Company attempting to clear the left side of the roadway.
Here are our initial deployments for the game. Two Loyal Edmonton Regiment (Loyal Eddies) platoons started on the board with the third platoon as reinforcements. The German 15th Panzer Grenadiers started the game as hidden.
1st Platoon sent one section North over open ground (very risky) looking to seize the house and use it as cover. 2nd Platoon sent one section to clear the woods. Very quickly the Germans responded by attempting opportunity fire on the advancing Loyal Eddies but no casualties were caused.
The Germans Forward Observer (FO) called in a medium mortar barrage which caught the Loyal Eddies on the road (partial cover). One rifle team was knocked out of action.
A firefight broke out on the right side of the board. 2nd Platoon's lead section became pinned down in the woods.
Seeing an opportunity the Germans launched an assault on the isolated section pinned in the woods.
The results were nasty for both sides but it was a German win.
1st Platoon lost a team in open ground and moved to partial cover in the orchard where they were supported by another section. Another Mortar barrage landed on their heads but resulted in no casualties.
(Historic Note: "B" Company which was helping "C" Company clear the right side of the road had been pinned down in an Orchard by Mortar fire. A signalman came out of the orchard apparently drenched in blood. Turns out he was covered in Mulberry juice as a mortar bomb had hit a fruit-laden tree).
A section from 2nd platoon was able to cause some casualties on a German squad which was put to flight (retreating north to seek cover in a building).
This lead to a push by two 1st platoon sections on the left flank to seize some strong points.
The Germans responded quickly and shifted some squads to cover their exposed flank.
The 1st Platoon section that was holding the orchard came under heavy concentrated fire and lost their morale check and fled from the field. The Germans sent a section to seize a house South of the 1st Platoon section thus cut off the lead section from any support.
A time check ended the game (About 6 turns were completed).
The LER's at this point had three partial sections on the board and their 3rd platoon which was their reinforcements were only able to muster 4 teams out of 12 and were not able to deploy by the time the game ended.
(Historical note: "A" Company had an easier go of it than "C" Company. They were able to clear the left side of the road while "C" supported by "B" Company, after some heavy resistance cleared out the right side of the road.)
Thanks to everyone who played the scenario and struggled with my recollection of the rules. I hadn't played PBI in a while. It wasn't a typical PBI tourney game (400 points per side) as I simply wanted to use the rules for a specific scenario. The result was the Loyal Eddies had 285 points against the Germans 168 points. The Germans were in a defensive posture (having three dug in positions) and had hidden deployment and mortar support.
Results: ( I created a die role system to determine casualties)
Loyal Eddies: 4 KIA, 20 wounded
German 15th: 5 KIA, 11 wounded
(Historical losses for the Loyal Eddies were: 5 KIA and 22 wounded but that was for all three Companies that were involved.)
Next Action: The Loyal Eddies move to take the town of Pianzza Armerina itself...
Brown, Shaun R.G., "The Loyal Edmonton Regiment at war, 1943-1945" (1984).Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 11. http://www.scholars.wlu.ca/etd/11