Following on from the earlier unsuccessful attack on the Olive Oil Factory
, the Australians of 2/1st Battalion have regrouped, called in armoured support (just like the real attack) and launched another assault on the heavily dug in FJs. Here’s the table laid out the same as before.
Orange Dave played a very aggressive patrol phase, pushing his markers forward along the road with all possible haste. He was determined to make the Aussies cross as much open ground as he could manage. This resulted in my JOPs being mainly in the sunken lane (out of shot, left) and adjacent woods whereas his own were nicely placed around the olive oil factory (ammo trolley in the gardens, the motorbike in the courtyard and the camo tent just outside the walls)
Jerry gets a succession of double turns and soon has plenty of men ready to give the Australians a warm welcome. Due to casualties one of his squads is half strength and the other two are a man down, but that’s still an awful lot of firepower. I bring on the Matilda (no HE tho!) and a section to support each other as they begin the attack.
The Aussies make a good start with an almost textbook attack on the nearest building. The Bren provides covering fire whilst the corporal and the rifle team hot-foot (rolling 17” for movement) to the house.
Next they post a couple of grenades through the window causing absolute havoc on the depleted FJ squad inside.
The 2” mortar plops some smoke right outside the window allowing the platoon sergeant and Bren gunner to move and rejoin their mates.
Dave has deployed his dreaded LG40 just next to the pig shed behind the house and has been potting away at the Matilda. A couple of hits inflict some shock and rattle the gunner but the tank’s thick armour proves very effective. In reply the turret machine gun has picked off several LG40 crew but each time the JL and attached SL avoid being hit. Whilst advancing, the platoon sergeant is lightly wounded dropping my morale from 9 to 7.
All the shooting and grenades have pinned the few surviving Jerries in the balcony building so, fixing bayonets, the lads charge in and slaughter the FJs. Dave’s morale drops from 11 to 9.
However, the Aussies are now pummelled by shooting from two directions as the FJs pour belt after belt of rounds in to the building. Here’s the squad in the main factory building.
Sensing an opportunity Dave moves a squad over the wall and up towards the building.
They rush the building and quickly slaughter the platoon sergeant, the corporal and the few brave Aussies. With a slain senior leader, junior leader and a section wiped out, my morale collapsed from 7 to 1.
Another fantastic game to add to the narrative of our Crete campaign. This table is a particularly tough nut to crack even for quality troops like the Australians. From game six onwards the Allies have the option of calling in an RM Commando troop from Layforce
. We might also get those splendid chaps in the RN to give the area a thorough pasting before sending the lads in. Jerry won’t enjoy that!