It was early, the men had only had two hours sleep and the previous days ordeal at Gold beach had taken it out of the Royal Marines tasked with taking the village of port-en-bessin.
The german defenders looked like they had holed up in a church and the surrounding buildings and were dug in good and proper.
The Major had called in a bombardment to soften up the Jerries, before we went to take the town. They still had their heads down when we first saw them around the now ruined church building.
The company marksman was already ahead of us in one of the ruined buildings near the church, he must have been watching for an hour or two before we got there, all we heard was a rifle going off and from up in the church tower a body fell, he had won the sniper war.
We had a few units in a buffalo, supported by one of those Daimler cars that seemed so handy. They were going round the flanks looking for the advantage and pulling the Germans out of our way.
A few fellows with a light mortar was also sneaking up the flank ahead of these, dropping some mortar support ahead of the convoy and announced the indication to advance to the church. The Germans must have anticipated a flanking manoeuvre as up ahead the mortar team saw two veteran units approaching and one of those weird half track motorcycles.
Following us up was a Centaur CS tank, he broke a track on the way so he waited to fix that before coming to help make way. What we didn’t expect was to see a bloody great Panzer IV show up! Where had he been hiding?!? With a few exchange shots and nothing to show for it they retreated to try and get a better vantage.
With the signal to attack given, 1st unit advanced through the beautiful stained glass window of the church and had to take immediate cover from the waiting Germans in the church ruins.
With a blood curdling cry, the boys drew their knives and attacked, they didn’t stand a chance against the highly trained veterans of the Royal Marines Commandos.
Expecting support from the 2nd squad, a loud explosion was heard, damn those Germans, their mortar had hit and destroyed them to a man. It looked like we had to take it to them up front.
Alas it wasn’t to be, we had taken the church but as the day withdrew, we made camp inside the church and awaited the inevitable counter attack from the Germans.
We gathered our energies and sent a scouting party to look for the 81mm mortar team who had gone missing somewhere up the right flank after their spotter had taken an unlucky shot to the forehead.
Someone put the kettle on!
A fantastic game, on a spectacular board with the 4Ground church as a centrepiece, (which Andy had been reviewing in a previous article) this was 1500pts a side, Bolt Action using a scenario from the Battleground Europe theatre book.
The end result was a draw with 13 points each.