Sunday, June 9, 2019

27-28 MARCH 1945: HAMMELBURG


Historical Dates: 27-28 March 1945
Game Dates: 4, 6 and 7 June 2019
Location: Hammelburg, Germany
Situation: Task Force Baum to OFLAG XIII POW Camp and Back?

Adapted from real events using available 28mm equipment.
We use what we have.
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PERILOUS MISSION

ACT I
Lt. General George S. Patton's Operation
To Rescue American POWs

27 March 1945: Morning
OFLAG XIII Prisoner of War Camp
Hammelburg, Lower Franconia, Bavaria

"Herr General, die Amerikaner kommen hierher."
(General, the Americans are coming here.)

"Das denke ich auch. Wir werden bereit sein."
(I also think that. We will be ready.)

Task Force Baum (Not everything is shown)
3x Stuarts, 6x Shermans, 3x Half-Tracks with infantry,
1x Half-Track with 75mm gun, 2x HQ Jeeps and
1x Truck loaded with fuel for the return to American lines.

Area A
Photo orders given to the German commander. His units are hidden.
Volkssturm #1 will harass Baum's TF from the trees at the photo top. An unseen Marder III deployed near the gondola will fire in support.

Left side of Area A

Area B (Area A is to the right)
Photo orders for the German commander. These units are also hidden.
Volkssturm #2 and Tank Destroyers: 1x Marder III, 1x Panzerjäger.


Return to the Task Force Baum Photo, third from the top. 
Note four leading USA tanks entering Area A.... 

Engaged by this Marder III....

And a Volkssturm panzerfaust armed soldat.
Baum ordered his Stuarts to leave the road to trouble these foes.

One Stuart destroyed.

One Sherman destroyed along the road.

Two remaining Stuarts maneuvered deep into Area B causing a different Volkssturm unit to abandon the battle. These Stuarts were eventually knocked out by two more Tank Destroyers.

The Stuarts enabled Baum's Task Force to reach OFLAG XIII successfully summoning it to surrender. Now for the return to American lines but....

Without the fuel truck trailing at the end of the column.
Volkssturm #1 captured it. My fault!

ACT II
The Return To American Lines
28 March 1945: Morning

Four Shermans covered the road column thinking
it might might dash sufficiently away from the foe.

 A Tiger Mk VI then appeared, fired and knocked out one Sherman.
Two crew were able to bail out.

The other Shermans poured 75mm AP rounds into the heavy tank.

It backed away.

A lucky penetration caused an internal explosion.

When the head of the American column drove within range,
a PAK 40 75mm anti-tank gun opened up on a its Sherman

Supported by two Tank Destroyers, the column's only Sherman was knocked out.

So was the PAK 40;
its Protze truck speeding away with a lone survivor.

The column was forced off the road slowing considerably. 

Three surviving Shermans....

Poured fire into this Marder III destroying it.
American spirits lifted but hardly dared believe a breakout might occur.


ACT III
BREAKOUT

One Half-Track did brake free onto the open road.

Followed by infantry and tank crews
who had jumped free of their disabled vehicles.

Oberst von Kessel, the German commander, observed it all. 

His men were in earnest to stop the retreating Americans.

One of the three Shermans attempted to join the race to freedom.

It was stopped by a Marder benefiting from cover.

The last Shermans took dubious cover, fired and....

Raced down the road following their distant friends. 

Who now were far away.

German fire slackened because ammunition was running low. The closest tank destroyer had just fired its last armor piercing round to no effect. Additionally, hull damage was accumulating.

A remnant of Task Force Baum regrouped without further opposition. 
It arrived safely back within American lines.

Some American tankers though became prisoners.

"My name is Colonel von Kessel. Identify yourselves."

"Sergeant Harry Benning, serial numbers 145...."

"Stop. What was your mission and division?"

"Sergeant Frederick Carlton, serial numbers 223...."

"Take them to OFLAG XIII."

Later an American L-4 Piper Cub "Grasshopper" reconnaissance plane
took this photograph of the defenders of Hammelburg.

"Alles ist verloren." (All is lost.)
"Das ende." (The end.)


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Did you just notice some unique vehicles?
Next is their extraordinary story from Chuck L.

Hello Gents! 

Bill asked me to do a quick write up about my WWII vehicle collection.  He thought there would be interest in who made them and where I got them.

I've never really collected my forces with much of a plan.  Typically what happened is that I would chance upon a lot of figs or vehicles that were too good to pass up either on EBAY or The Miniatures Page (TMP).  If I got really lucky, I would find useful items at local retail shops like Walmart or Target.

I had no intention of doing large scale WWII games in 28mm.  The only reason I was buying WWII figs in 28mm is that I wanted to do some "Weird WWII" games and the selection of figures was better in 28mm than other scales. I had picked up a couple of Solido or Corgi Shermans here and there but really didn't have much of a collection.  Then about ten years ago I stumbled across a lot on EBAY.  It consisted of about four squads of painted and based US Infantry along with a Chessex figure case and about 10 Corgi and Solido vehicles.  The price was very reasonable.  Like most wargamers, I'm a sucker for a good bargain.  I couldn't pass it up.  I put in a bid thinking it would never hold up and the whole thing would end up out of my price range.  As it turned out, I was the only one to bid on it and six days later I added a considerable amount of stuff to my collection.  If memory serves, I picked up a Solido Tiger and German half track, three Shermans, three Half-Tracks and a couple other resin vehicles for less than $300.  In my  mind the infantry alone were worth $300

Most of my German tanks actually came from Walmart.  It must have been around 10 years ago that I happened to notice they were carrying 1/50th scale WWII tanks.  Unfortunately all I saw were German tanks.  The good part is that they were some of the more hard to find kits like Marders and Panzer IIs and IIIs. This was before Warlord had their excellent range of vehicles  To make them even better, they were fully painted.  The best part was that they were only $5 each!!!!  I would buy a bunch every time I went to Walmart.  I ended up getting three Marders, three Mark IVs, one Mark III, and two [Czech] Panzer 38s.  Sadly Walmart didn't carry them for long.

The rest of my vehicles were purchased here and there at flea markets, yard sales and online.  My German infantry were purchased in a lot from TMP and painted by a TMP member named Combatpainter.  I added a squad or two myself over the years mainly consisting of Old Glory and Black Tree with a few bits from Warlord.

That's about it.  I hope you found this interesting.  If nothing else, keep your eyes open.  You never know where you are going to find the next deal.

Thanks,
Chuck

Hey Chuck, I foresee some very large AFV games featuring your collection in 2019! John B. has more to add. Bill P.


CLOSING REMARKS

1. Hammelburg was played in three sessions on 4, 6 and 7 June 2019.

2. First Session: March 27 Participants: Greg B., Bill K. (Cpt. Baum), Chuck The Lucky, Chuck S., Bob B. and yours truly Bill P. (AKA General Pettygree).

3. Second Session: March 28 Participants: John The Formidable, Don D., Dave G. and me again.

4. Third Session: March 28 (for the finish) was conducted solo by me.

5. All vehicles except the Stuarts and Protze truck are from Chuck L's fine collection.

6. Player Orders: Using photos with text on them helps players get into the game and comprehend orders faster than other methods tried.

7. The Germans had complete knowledge about TF Baum. He only knew what his men were able to spot or saw when Germans fired and therefore were placed on the table. However, when the latter scooted away out of sight, German forces could be picked up and rehidden. On 27 March the Germans were numerically weak. Baum did not know how weak.

8. Buildings are from Miniature Building Authority and Lionel Trains. The track is Gargraves three-rail O Gauge.

9. Main guns: Stuarts 37mm, Tiger 88mm and 75mm for all others.

10. Home rules.

11. Grateful appreciation to Stefan S. who kindly assisted with German language dialogue.

12. What matters is that we companionably move units, throw dice, play historically as best we can, laugh and have fun. "The currency of friendship is time." Dr. Mark Miravalle

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Friday, June 7, 2019

Coming Soon: Perilous Mission



Ja. It was a perilous mission alright.
I was there.
You won't believe it, till you see it.

Come back soon.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Mind Vitamins #1


MIND VITAMINS  # 1


"The currency of friendship is time." Dr. Mark Miravalle

"To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it." G.K. Chesterton

"Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." G.K. Chesterton

"The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog." M.K. Clinton

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive." Gilda Radner

"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"You're capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other." Dialogue from the movie Contact.

CLOSING REMARKS

(1) The above quotes appeared in my recent client business newsletter #19.

(2) Dropping the paint brush to game with friends is the thing to do in our hobby.

(3) The quote from Contact does not mention the importance of a relationship with God. However, it does stress the vital importance of being with and doing things with each other. Face to face, don't you think?

(4) The other day I participated in a car race game a friend designed. At first I thought maybe not. However, it is important to support a friend's interests. I dropped my brushes and participated. My orange team of two racing cars did not do well, but I had more laughs than I've had in many years during this game. We all had a terrific and fun time.

Respectfully yours,
Bill P.
Chronicler for The Adventures of General Pettygree

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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas To All



MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

BIG Battalion Schlacht Bei Leuthen


Several photos disappear when TMP readers visit this story.
I don't know why with apologies.

Date: 1 December 1757/2018
Situation: Annual BIG BAR SYW Game
Scenario: Prussian Afternoon Attack on Leuthen
Design: Adapted by Jim P. {Der Alte Fritz}
Terrain: From the Collection of Jim P.
Miniatures: Collection of Jim P. (80%), Rob O. and Keith L.
Photos from Dave G. are marked DG. Thank you Dave!
Nuance: East, Center and West Sectors successfully played at their own speed.

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BAR, the main rule book. However, we consulted Quick Reference Charts
seen in the following photos 99% of the time. DG

The above was additionally in play for....

Our engaged, cheerful and companionable band of brothers.
Seated Left to Right: Morgan E., Jim H., Dan E. and Keith L.
Standing Left to Right: Yours truly Bill P., Rob O., Jim P. and Dave G.

Chow Time around noon.
Participants brought food and drink to share. Thank you.
Later we deployed birthday cake celebrating December birthdays.
Happy Birthday Jim P!

EASTERN FLANK

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Magnificent Prussian Dragoon Brigade southeast of Leuthen facing north. DG

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Supported by Prussian Kurassiers. DG


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Overhead view.
Austrian and Prussian Hussar Screens clash near the red die.
Austrian infantry and horse are positioned at the top of the photo.
More Austrian cavalry is unseen on a Back Table. DG

View from the Austrian position. DG

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Top Center: Dragoons move forward.
Center Right: Prussian Hussar Screen is defeated and pursued.
Bottom: Kurassiers right about by fours into a column. DG


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Later in the afternoon Prussian heavies penetrate deeply. DG

The Austrians will eventually stabilize their situation and win the flank.


CENTER

Rot Wurzburg defends the Roman Catholic Church walls.

Before the Prussian Storm!

Here They Come.

Closer.

Closer Still.

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Dangerously close.


Toward the end Prussians from the West Flank closely approached Leuthen from its west side. We reasoned this plus other losses within Leuthen would eventually cause the Austrians to retire.


WESTERN FLANK


West of Leuthen open ground afforded prodigious space for cavalry action. As an experiment Austrian and Prussian squadrons attacked by squadrons rather than en muraille (like a solid wall) by regiment.

Austrian Grenadiers (photo bottom) cover the west end of Leuthen. Meanwhile out yonder Prussian and Austrian cavalry clash.

Surviving Austrian cavalry face east at the end of the game. Just barely visible at the top are the Prussians who were here now caving in the Austrian flank in Leuthen.


Thank You For Looking In