The parachute drop - figures that landed in the river or off table were given a fifty percent chance of surviving.
Our method for making the parachute drop was for Dave to release 2cm square pieces of tissue paper from a box held 5 foot above the table – one for each figure – we then placed the figures wherever the pieces of paper landed. Considering the restricted area that was chosen for the LZ surprisingly few paratroopers were lost in the river or off-table, a total of seven casualties resulted from a force of just over fifty.
The paratrooper officers and NCO's hurriedly assemble their men following the drop.
Meanwhile the British infantry and supporting armour were putting pressure on the German defenders of Ferme de la Blanc as Dave realised he would have to keep moving if he was to achieve his objective. Mortars set the barn on fire forcing the surviving German infantry to withdraw while 3 Sherman tanks, under cover of a smoke screen, rushed the Panther tank that was lurking in the field behind Hill 112. The Panther was forced to pull back rather than risk the Shermans emerging from the smoke to take a shot at its vulnerable flank.
The British mortars are now in action whilst the infantry and tanks continue to advance.
A direct hit on the barn by a mortar causes several German casualties.
The surviving Germans beat a hasty retreat from the farm.
As one Sherman lays down a smoke screen three others take advantage of the cover and close in on the Panther.
At the same time another column of British tanks was making its way along rue Choisy towards Hameau Choisy. This column was led by two Sherman Fireflies and as the lead tank rounded a bend in the road the radio crackled with a report (from a scouting Stuart light tank) that another Panther had been spotted at the cross roads in the middle of the hamlet. The Firefly took a quick shot on the move straight along the road and with a couple of lucky die rolls reduced the Panther to a heap of burning metal. The luck of the Brits was holding.
The second British armour column approaches Hameau Choisy.
The leading Firefly takes a nifty shot on the move and...
...knocks out the Panther before it can return fire.
Back at the LZ almost as soon as the paratroopers had landed a group of 3 German Tiger tanks arrived in front of Hill 167 and began engaging the paratroopers and gliders with HE and machine gun fire. Dave optimistically chose to drive his jeeps towing the anti-tank guns directly towards this threat having been told by me that he would have to “get in close” to stand a chance of taking the Tigers out. It remains to be seen whether this unorthodox tactic will work!
Tiger tanks supported by panzer grenadiers in half-tracks arrive just in time to engage the airborne troops on their landing ground.
The only thing better than a Tiger tank (for the German player) is two Tiger tanks!
The situation at the end of turn 5 (click on the image to zoom in).