Sunday, March 31, 2013

Firefight at the Farm - Bolt Action AAR Part One

The Regina Rifles, entrenched at Norrey-en-Bessin, pushed out a fighting patrol in the early evening of June 7 towards a small Norman farm to sniff out what Jerry was up to. It so happened that a similar force was probing towards the same farm from the 1st Battalion of the 26th SS Panzergrenadier regiment.

The small farm as yet untouched by war.

The lead section of Canadians and a 2" mortar team crept towards the farm.

Another section sprinted past them to occupy the small barn.

On the other side, the Hitlerjugend arrived. Some advanced up the road while others moved forward behind bocage and tall trees.

A Canadian sniper teams hustled to the left flank for a look-see.

Another section reached the farm and double-timed it onto their right flank.

Untersturmf├╝hrer Fritz growled at his young men to hurry their asses up and they complied. A quick dash brought them to the stout walls of the farm and their FO raced up the flight of stairs to the second story.


Across the way, Lieutenant T. Horton advanced to the high wall and peeked over for a better look of the courtyard.

Right about then all hell broke loose. Firing broke out between the two farm buildings and the road leading into them became a shooting gallery as Germans in the taller building and up the road behind the hedges spotted the Canadians.

The flanking section formed up, began trading fire with the Germans in the taller building and prepared to tee off an assault to root them out.

The German FO spotted the Canadians from an upper story window and called in an accurate artillery barrage that caused the Canadians to go to ground but luckily without any casualties.

On the Canadian left, the sniper team sighted a squad of Hitlerjugend creeping forward through the high wheat and a few well-placed shots killed their machinegun team.

The German squad pressed on and in a fury of return fire eliminated first the spotter then the sniper himself.

Under accurate small arms fire from the farm buildings, the Reginas for the moment faltered on the road and an unfortunate incident of friendly fire among them made things worse.

All the while, the Canadian section inside the small barn was exchanging close range fire with the Germans in the adjacent building until a determined assault from the Jerries evicted them from their objective.

With casualties mounting and daylight running out, the Reginas fixed bayonets and barreled through the high hedge to assault the now depleted SS at the objective.

Gallant though the effort was, they found the young defenders a tough nut to crack and were driven back with heavy loss. Thereafter, the Reginas pulled back to their own lines to lick their wounds while the Germans consolidated their new hold on the farm.

We had a fun first go at Bolt Action. Laughs were had, tears were shed and hard lessons learned. Stay tuned for Part Two.

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