Friday, 30 November 2012

Finding Nadia

The second battle in our 1918 Bulgarian mini-campaign as the Anglo-Greek force races across Bulgaria to rescue the Baroness Nadia Legova. Two platoons of Greek Evzones, each led by a British armoured car, converged on the village (below, top left and right).

The village waits (playing cards show blind possible positions of German troops. Top left of picture, the Right Flank Greek armoured car and platoon drives past the orchard. Top right, the Left Flank Greek platoon approached the village behind its armoured car. Bottom of picture are Germans hiding in a hastily dug trench. Right, out of the picture, a unit of flanking Greek cavalry is making its way through the trees)

German troops were hidden behind forward walls in the orchard on the Greek right and in the woods on the left, the aim being to slow the Greeks down, make them dismount from the trucks and walk over the fields where the machine guns can take them out.

The Greeks decided to use the armoured cars as mobile battering rams, knowing that there was a chance that they could be taken out by guns or close-in grenades, but moving up fast like this this would allow the infantry to get up closer faster, and not get shot up in a long foot slogging advance.

This strategem worked to an extent, the armoured cars were very hard to hit, but barriers across the roads held them up, and on one flank (the right flank) the Evzones did have to dismount to deal with German ambush units in the orchard. On the left flank, a unit of Greek cavalry was able to scout ahead and clear the way for the trucks to go across country, but were then pinned by the Germans in a  trench as they tried to go around the village flank (above picture, bottom centre) and took heavy losses


 German infantry in ambush shoot up the Greek trucks from behind the the orchard walls, forcing the Greek infantry to dismount in open ground and slowing their progress. The fighting to clear the Orchard was very fierce.

The Greek Evzones in the open on the right flank also took heavy losses, one squad being nearly wiped out, and another badly mauled before they could gain the walls as cover. From then on though, the initiative passed to the Greeks as they poured a hail of shots and rifle grenades and the armoured cars' machine guns to suppress the German machine gun posts. On the other flank the trucks, making heavy weather of the ground,  moved an entire platoon to take out the German squad in the trench (top of picture). This German squad had forced the Greek cavalry to retire but was now fairly shaky itself, and decided not to hang around to fight an entire Evzone platoon

Bottom of picture - Greek Evzone fire base behind a farm wall pours fire into Germans in the houses while (top of picture) Greek trucks go around the village left flank and prepare to assault the trench. Out of picture on bottom right the Greek Evzones have cleared out the Orchard and are threatening to move to the rear of eh village and capture the bridge.

German resistance was tenacious, but they also took losses. Once the Greeks had moved onto the village flanks, set up their fire bases, cleared the machine gun nests, and threatened to capture the bridge at the rear, the Germans felt there was no point in continuing and slipped away over the bridge, before the barricades were cleared and the armoured cars could intercept them.

(Mud & Blood rules, 1 German platoon and 2 Machine Guns defend a village against 2 Greek Evzone platoons and 2 Rolls Royce armoured cars. The Greek squads each carried a Chauchat LMG and rifle grenade team, which meant that once the fire bases were set up the Germans started to feel the impact) 

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