Thursday, June 27, 2013

Battle for Bodange, Belgium Sept 1940

At the June club meeting myself and Ian rolled out a Early war game. I have a single batn of Chasseur Ardennais that I have had for ten or more years, that has only ever had one other outing, I also have a frontier Belgian militia batn that has never been in action. A few touch ups were required before I put them on the table for the game. 

At some stage I also plan too add a Hurricane and some T15 and T13s and another coy or two of Belgian line so I can feild a full Btn.

I wrote a scenario based around the villages of Bodange and Wissembach and the river crossings they commanded. Historically only the 5th company of the 1st Division of Chasseur Ardennais defended these villages and put up such a great defence the Germans thought they were fighting a whole batn, they held up the lead elements of the 1st Panzer Division for a whole day, only a few men remainded when they surrendered, tired and out of Ammunition. Today the road from Fauvillers to Bodange in thier honour is called "Rue des Chasseur Ardennais".

The scenario required elements of the 1st Panzer division to get off the table through Bodange in ten turns, all of the belgian troops started in prepared dug in positions. 

Order of Battle Belgians

Militia Border Batn
1 HQ coy Militia inc 50mm mortar, 1 x MMG,  OC and 5 ORS
2 x coys of 8 militia

Defending the Bodange and Wissembach crossroads
Special Rules
Start game dug in hard Cover, test at 25% casualties 

Chasseur Ardennais
1 x HQ coy, 1 x 75mm Mortar, 1 x MMG, OC and  medic, 3 ORs
2 x coys of Chasseur Ardennais 8 figs
1 x support coy 47mm AT gun, 1 x HMG

2 x T13 47mm  (in the game I used FT17 37mm as stand ins)

Belgian Chassuer Ardennais Deployment
HQ in Bodange
1 coy Bodange
1 coy  Wissembach
Support coy  Bodange
2 x FT17 Wissembach

special rules Cassuer Ardennais test as Elite fore as regulars.

German 1st Panzer Division
Recon Btn
Armoured car coy
1 x 222
1 x 232
1 x Coy in 251 8 figs
1 x coy in Steyr 8 figs
1 x  coy on MC and MCC 8 figs
1 x support coy inf gun, 1 x MMG 6 figs

Schutzen battalion 1
1 x HQ coy 6 figs 50mm mortar
3 x coys 251 8 figs
1 x supp coy Inf gun, 2 x MMG, 1 x 37mm AT 9 figs Trucks x 2

Panzer batn 1
HQ coy 1 x Panzer IB, 1 x sdkfz 265
1 Coy 2 x Panzer IIA 2cm KwK 30 L/55 
1 Coy 3 x Panzer IIIA 3.7cm KwK 36 L/46.5
1 Coy 1 x Panzer IVA Kwk 37L25 75mm  

German Deployment

  • Recon batn sets up on the south eastern road or may enter along the sawmill railway line from Radelange or the Warnach road.
  • Infantry and armour arrive on the Warnach road.
  • Dice each turn for arrival of each coy, 4 + they arrive.
Special Rules
  • All Belgians start the game dug in heavy cover.
  • Enemy units may only target troops dug in after successful observation
  • Belgian Bunkers have 3pts before detroyed.
  • German Armour may only use open country the forests are unpassable.

The Game

The Village of Bodange

The village of Wissembach

The German Recon enters
The Brave Belgian militia hlding the crossroads

The German Recon arrives in Wissembach
Surprised by the belgian tanks they retire and assult the rear of the Militia
The German armour arrives almost all together, and roll around the flanks of the Militia

German tanks move up to the railway bank opposite Bodange and lay down heavy fire.
The crossroads are finally captured
The dive bomber makes a successful spoting roll and takes out the 47mm
The Panzer 3s all make it onto the table
The remainder of the armour arrive
The germans have a hard time clearing the entrenched Chassuers
The Recon Battn attack Wissembach 
They pass thier morale roll and enter the village
The FT 17s are no match for PZ III

With more than 50% casulties and captured the Belgians fail the morale test and surrender.

A great day out and a close one, 
Changes I would make.
  1. The Militia line of defence should of been unflankable on the left it would of held on longer. Also a AT gun in support would of made short work of the A/C, they did manage to destroy two coys of Inf though so the bunker worked well with the MG.
  2. I should of only made the roads passable for tanks.
  3. The Germans managed to knock out the AT gun with a dive bomber, we should of used the arty obeservation and radio rolls when it had fired.
  4. The amount of PZIII was too high, perhaps more panzer I and IIs would of been better.
  5. The FT 17 is a shite tank........say no more...Two T13s would of made a bigger difference!
  6. No supression of infantry in defences, for two turns the Belgians were suppressed after failing HE tests on one bunker. therefore the whole batn was supressed on the whole defensive network.
  7. defensive Arty for the Belgians would of helped.
 Militia and Chassuers Blitz/batlefeild ranges
FT17 Matchbox

Various plastic


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