Scenarios Little Soldiers

World War 2: Counterattack at Mortain (Draft)

Mortain, France, August 6-10, 1944

Historical Situation

2nd Pz Division and 1st SS Panzer Division headed up the attack. Facing them was the 30th Infantry Division. Company B, 117th Infantry was hit and fought back with their 57mm AT guns. The 823rd TD Battalion with 3 inch Anti-Tank guns destroyed a bunch of Panthers and Panzer IV's.

At L'Abbay Blanche a Panzergrenadier force advanced on the crossroads on August 6th. The Germans planned to follow the highway north out of Mortain, over Cance river bridge at the Pont del la Vacherie and continue to La Dainie where it merged with Route 177 and support 1st SS Panzer Division's drive west toward Avraches.

A recon unit crossed the river and went south from the railroad station, following the tracks. They ran into a road block covering the northern bridge and were eliminated.

A little while later the main group arrived at the bridge crossing the Cance at Pont de la Vacherie. The 1st platoon of A/823rd TD battalion had dug-in two 3 inch guns west of the road in a hedgerow near the orchards. From there they had a good view of the road road and ambushed the vehicles as they climbed the hill after the bridge.

The attack started at 0430 hours and the fog limited visibility to 100 meters. Four Sturmgeshutz supported the attack the III Abteilung "DF" in their attack. Things went poorly for the Germans and they lost 9 vehicles including 6 Sdkfz 251's along with the infantry[1].

At St.-Barthèlmy 7 Panthers and some Panzer IV tanks attacked with supporting infantry. The 1st Battalion, 117th Infantry along with AT guns from the 823rd TD Battalion were waiting. Two American Infantry companies (A and C?) were dug-in to the north and kept the attackers at bay for a while[2]. Eventually the Americans ran out of anti-tank weapons and had to withdraw. The 2nd Panzer Division and the 1st SS Division combined forces and finally took the town after 6 hours of heavy fighting[3].


Map/Terrain

Mortain Map

Key features are:


Pre-game Preparation


American Player (Defending)

Objective

Details here.

Forces Available

Elements of the US 30th Infantry Division

Provision for 3 players (including someone as overall commander).

1st Battalion

1 BC (+1*)
1 FO (105mm Battery)
1 FO (155mm Battery)
1 FAC (P-47, rockets )

A Company

1 CC (+1*)
1 HMG
2 M1 57mm ATG
2 Infantry Platoons:
1 PC (+1*), 2 Rifle Squads, 1 Rifle w/ Bazooka

B Company

1 CC (+1*)
1 HMG
2 M5 76mm ATG[6]
2 Infantry Platoons:
1 PC (+1*), 2 Rifle Squads, 1 Rifle w/ Bazooka

* For rallying only.

See special rules below

Deployment

Details here.

Reinforcements

None.


German Player (Attacking)

Objective

Details here.

Forces Available

Provision for 5-6 players (including someone as overall commander).

Battlegroup Command

1 BC (+2)
1 FO (75mm IG, 251/9)
1 AA (Sdkfz 7/2)
Recce Platoon:
3 Sdkfz 250/9 or 234/1

Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Platoon

3 Jagdpanzer IV

1st Battalion, 2nd SS Panzer Regiment

Support Platoon

1 StuG IV
2 StuG III

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Companies with:

1 CC (+2)
1 FO (81mm Mortar)
1 HMG
2 Infantry Platoons in Hanomags:
1 PC (+1), 3 Rifle Squads (1 with Panzerfaust)

Morale: Regular

Deployment

Details here.

Reinforcements

None.


Victory Conditions

Breakthrough (A) and Casualty (AD) objectives.


Scenario Special Rules

Details here.

Notes

Vehicles/Stands needed:


Sources

[1] Chronology of the Actions of 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich at Mortain

[2] Featherston, Alwyn (1993). Saving the breakout: the 30th Division's heroic stand at Mortain, August 7-12, 1944. Novato, CA, USA. Presidio Press.

[3] McManus, John C. (2005). The Americans at Normandy. Macmillian (Read Online).

[4] Reardon, Mark J. Victory at Mortain: Stopping Hitler's Panzer Counteroffensive. (Purchase online)

[5] The Third Army in World War II

[6] US 3 inch AT Gun M5

[7] Chart of Towed Artillery

[8] Wikipedia: Operation Lüttich

[9] The Mortain Counterattack - The 30th Infantry Division Veterans of WWII

[10] Military Maps of Europe

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