DWAC-Pac Scenario 1 : Saint Gilles

Stuff concerning Koz's Hedgerow Obsessive Disorder. ;)

DWAC-Pac Scenario 1 : Saint Gilles

Postby Koz » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:44 pm

New Scenario using standard ASL boards.

I am just starting to get this one thrown together but it is one I wanted to do for a while.

North of the map on the 11th of July, the 137th of the 35th made their first contact with Kampfgruppe Kentner. After hammering the 137th at La Meauffe, the Kg fell back to Saint Gilles where they had fortified the towns chateau and church:

Despite the loss of ground and many prepared positions, the enemy continued to fight stubbornly. A few hundred yards down the road, beyond "Purple Heart Corner," was his key defense in the area, the Church and the Chateau at St. Gilles. The Church was one of those pretty monuments that are often seen near the roadside in France. Erected in 1718 by the Corps de Denis, it stood sturdily by its quaint and well-kept cemetery, surrounded by several small buildings used by the church officials. The Church itself was built of sandstone and, like most edifices of that area, had walls eighteen inches in thickness. It was surmounted by a bell tower about fifty feet in height.

The beauty and sanctity of this haven did not prevent the enemy from converting it into a veritable fortress. It bristled with firepower and atop the bell tower was a German machine gun nest that commanded the approaches to the area. Close behind the church was a chateau, another thick-walled building with excellent facilities for fortification. To this building the enemy added embellishments of his own devising. A labor battalion of impressed Russians had been forced to build heavy reinforcements and a bomb shelter of concrete with walls three feet thick. Here the enemy was determined to make a last stand.


It took the 137th 2 days to clear the church. On the 11th they tried to break it with an infantry assault of 2 Battalions and Artillery. No Joy. The next day the US Sent in tank destroyers, the recon unit (I presume Stewarts) and the infantry again. The germans had no Anti tank defenses (Including no PF) and were surrounded and pounded by point blank tank fire. They withdrew in the night to take up positions in the bocage.

So far I have grabbed board 54 and will represent the church with overlay X19 in the big bocage fields at i8/j7/j8/k8 (Graveyard K7, steeple I7). A 1 hex multi story building overlay at K10 can be the Chateau. Liberal access to fortification points and some bunkers, and a fortified cellar level in the Chateau will round it out.

This could easily be two scenarios. One with the July 11 infantry/artillery attacks, the other the infantry armor assault with an SSR for no PF. The latter sounds a little boring. Drive the tanks up and pound it. Both sides have artillery big time though so OBA is a given, which if large enough caliber could take out the armor. Maybe a hybrid scenario where the tanks come in late game...That may be the way to go as this will allow the infantry to overcome the massive fortifications. Thats a big church building. plus 3 Locations in the Chateau...Yeah I like that. the July 12 assault, and I can talk up the failed July 11 one in the Scenario background. (ominous spooky noises.)

Needless to say I need to work on it. But there's the concept.
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Re: DWAC-Pac Scenario 1 : Saint Gilles

Postby Koz » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:18 pm

Found another history on the fighting here. It seems the battle for La Mouffe and St Giles were one and the same. I have been wanting to include La Mouffe and the "purple Heart Corner" since I started catching wind of it...I think If I do this will become a large scenario bashing through La Mouffe to St Giles...Or maybe a prequel.

Just before dawn July 11, more than 200 division guns and supporting Corps artillery pounded Nazi positions in a thunderous barrage. Then, at 0600, infantrymen stormed "over the top" of hedgerows.

The 137th rushed along the area following Highway 3 where the Germans awaited the attack on a small road leading from the highway to the Vire Canal. Dungeon-deep foxholes, connected by underground tunnels and heavily protected by mines, lined the road.

The regiment lunged forward with bayonet, grenade and point-blank fire. Green troops fought like veterans as they punched along the narrow road until reaching La Meauffe. There they ran up against Germans barricaded in houses and shops, where every building was a converted pillbox. Yank artillery crashed in and levelled the strongest points with deadly accurate salvos. Doughs rushed other positions, driving Nazis from the town.
[35th Infantry: artillery crew in action]

The 137th continued up the road to "Purple Heart Corner," pushed the Germans from a solid stone chateau used as Gestapo headquarters, then took the Chateau of St. Gilles, key defense in the area. When Col. Layng was wounded by machine gun fire during the battle, Col. Robert Sears took command. Lt. Col. John N. Wilson, 219th FA Bn. CO, was killed.
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Re: DWAC-Pac Scenario 1 : Saint Gilles

Postby Koz » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:40 pm

On the second day of attack, 12 July, the 35th Division employed a 45‑minute artillery preparation to try to soften the German defenses. This helped to achieve success against a fortified position in a church and cemetery on the right flank, where machine gunners in concrete emplacements behind the cemetery walls had been an immovable obstruction since early the preceding day. A battalion cleared the obstacle shortly before noon; no prisoners were taken all the Germans were dead. The Infantry then proceeded to take the next strongpoint, a fortified chiteau that had been set ablaze the previous night by artillery shells.
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