Sunday, July 27, 2014

Something You Don't See Everyday

Here is something you don't see everyday.  We were traveling down Route 100, Pennsylvania, and this is what was parked in the local Harley Davidson dealership:

Sturmgesch├╝tz III
The conversation in the car went as follows:
"Oh my god, we have to stop back at the Harley dealership on the way back."
"Why, because of the blood drive."
"No they have a Sturmgesch├╝tz, you must have missed it because of the cammo."
My wife then pulled over to turn around.
"Thanks, but you don't have to do it now."
"It may not be there when we get back."
"It's a World War II tank, they don't move much!"

I am glad she did, and it was an impressive piece to look out.  I have found out today it is actually a replica built for the "Band of Brothers" mini series.  It was really good though, down to the Zimmerit anti-magnetic coating.

Close up of the forward port side, note the zimmerit coating.

This STG-III is owed by the 9th Reenactment Society which reenacts the 9th SS "Hohenstaufen" Division.
They generously provided the transport and setup in an effort to gather attention for a blood drive being run at the Harley Davidson Dealership.  Kudos to all involved.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Patton's forces meet the Germans at Beaumont

A Headless Body Production

Flames of War After Action Report: 4th Armored vs Panzerspah Lehr
Location: 1 Up Collectables, Reading PA
Game: Flames of War, Late War 1000 points
Mission: Encounter
Players: Colin Gallen, 4th Armored (
              Josh Hair Panzerspah Lehr

The Forces:  The II/8th Battalion, CCA, 4th Armored, with one platoon of 4 Shermans (76mm), one platoon of Shermans (75mm), 2 M-18's from the 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion, and a command staff of 2 Shermans (75mm) and one with a 105mm gun.

The Armored Reconnaissance company from the Panzer Lehr Division, consisting of 9 Pumas bolstered by 3 Panthers.

Scenario:  A demo game simulating the attack of the 4 Armored Division towards Bastogne, in which it encounters elements of the elite Panzer Lehr Division.

The Board: Just south of Bastogne, Beaumont is a small village that till now, has avoided the ravages of war.  The town is at the center of the board, with at stream and woods to the east, and some semi walled fields to the west.

Beaumont after deployment.  Americans to the right, Germans to the left.  Panthers at the bottom on the west side Puma's along the towns edge.  A line of Shermans prepare to invest the town.
The Panthers are deployed in the west edge of the board.

The Shermans are all deployed in a row.

Recon Move:
The German Pumas move forward mostly taking cover behind buildings, but the cover is not very universally available.  The American Tank Destroyer armored car and jeep speed into town, then take the east road out again.

Turn 1:
The American 76mm Platoon shifts left, which has the effect of uncovering 3 Pumas.  Reinforced by the CIC and 2IC and using Stabilizers, they double fire looking for 5's, killing the German Company Commander and destroying two other Pumas.  Not to be out done, the Germans shift their Panthers, and almost forced the the retirement of the Sherman 76mm platoon by destroying one and bailing 3 others.  This forced a platoon check, which the Americans narrowly passed with the help from a Company Commander reroll.
The Pumas didn't have as much cover as they thought.
The Panthers reply, 1 dead, 3 bailed, and a Platoon Morale Check.

Turn 2:
The citizens of Beaumont were witnessed to a knife fight as the Shermans and Pumas weaved in and out of the alleyways and back yards.  The Shermans moving to uncover the Pumas and firing on the move with their stabilizers needing 5's, and the Pumas moving to attack the flanks getting only 1 shot each, but only needing 3's.  In the end the thicker hides took the day as all the Pumas were on fire, with the loss of two Shermans.
Call the fire department, it doesn't matter where, the fires are everywhere!
Turn 3:
While all this was going on, the American 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion traveled unmolested on the east road, then north, circling around the pond, and captured the objective.

The Panthers, went for maximum cover, and and two backed into a building awaiting more targets to show up.  But it didn't matter, the Germans had lost, either the top of turn 4 for a objective win, or bottom of 4 with a company morale failure.  It was a 6-1 win for the Americans. 
With most of the German Recon vehicles destroyed, the Panthers decide to reduce their flank vulnerability by pulling into the nearby houses.  The third is hiding behind a burning Puma.
End game.  Off in the distance, and unfortunately off the left side of the frame, the M-18's hold the objective, while most of the Pumas are burning.