Sunday, September 28, 2014

Operation Jupiter - Battle for Maltot

With a little help getting started, I played out solo Andy Parkes' new Battlefront WWII scenario, Battle for Maltot. It was played in 20mm on a 6' X 8' table. The scenario is based on Operation Jupiter, the British 49th Infantry Division's attempt to capture Hill 112 outside of Caen on July 10th, 1944. Maltot was on the left flank of Hill 112, and was the objective of the third battalion, 7th Hampshires. In support were Churchills of the 9th RTR and an Achilles troop from 233 Battery 59th Anti Tank Regiment. The Dorsets supported the 7th Hamps right flank.
The village was thought to be undefended, but in actuality was held by 15. Pionier Kp. 10th SS, supported by Panzer IV's of the 12th SS, with reinforcements en route. Enfilading fire from distant Tigers on Hill 112 further complicated the British attack.

The Battlefield

The battlefield, showing the attack routes of the 7th Hampshires and their supporting armour. A Company was tasked with taking the small orchard at "A", D with the crossroads at "D", B Company the woods north of Maltot at "B" and C Company a forward position at "C". A Company of the 5th Dorsets, supporting the right flank, have drifted over and become engaged in the battle for Maltot.

The British approach Maltot
With A Company of the 5th Dorsets (foreground) supporting their right flank, 3rd Battalion, 7th Hampshires move through the cornfields on the high ground west of Maltot (upper left). The village, seen upper right, is thought undefended.

Armour screens the right flank
A Squadron of the 9th RTR screens the right flank as the tank destroyers advance toward the village. Mid foreground towed 6 pdrs. move to take up positions in the corn fields to engage the Tigers (off board, right) which have opened fire from Hill 112 on the Churchills' flank as the British tanks moved down the paved highway towards Maltot.

A and D Companies advance through cover west of Maltot.

Lt. Col. DWG Ray dismounts from his carrier to survey the objective behind A and D Companies.


The German FOO, dug in at the edge of what becomes known as "The Orchard" west of Maltot, calls in random shelling along a hedgerow north of the paved road. The advance is momentarily stalled but casualties are light.

German mortars zero in on the tank destroyers as they approach Maltot, suppressing the lead vehicle.

But the advance continues …
B and C Companies, spared the artillery attacks, make good progress towards the north end of Maltot.

 Churchills move to engage machinegun nests

With the 7th Hamps coming under small arms fire from The Orchard on the edge of Maltot, the tanks move in to drive them back.

SS Obersturmfuhrer Willi Kandler repositions his tank
Seeing the armour focussing its attack down the paved road and into the orchard from the south flank, the Pz. IV dug in on the north end of Maltot repositions in the village to face this new threat.

Meanwhile south of Maltot …
A second Pz. IV, dug in next to a smaller orchard south of Maltot, engages the armour venturing down the paved road.

First KO
He knocks out the lead Churchill, commander of A Squadron.

Achilles take up position
The British armour splits, with some, including the tank destroyers, engaging the Pz. IV on the south flank while others support the infantry attack on The Orchard west of Maltot.

Battalion 6 pdrs. emplace
The battalion 6 pdrs. emplace on the right flank, firing at the Tiger on Hill 112, hoping to pin him down and free up the armour to continue to support taking the objectives.

Second kill for Pz. IV
Although the Tiger's long distance fire proves ineffective, the Pz. IV south of Maltot chalks up its second kill, one of the Achilles.

Dorsets move through a large orchard on the 7th Hamps' right flank.

Infantry advance on The Orchard
With the edge of The Orchard cleared of the enemy, who fall back in face of the Churchills, the British infantry move forward to support the tanks in clearing it. 

B and C Company advance around the left flank
In conjunction with A and D's attack on The Orchard, B and C Companies move into and around the north end of Maltot towards their objectives.

A devastating mortar strike knocks out two of the three 6 pdrs. The remaining gun soon loses nerve as well, and abandons its position.

More nebelwerfers light up A and D Companies as they approach Maltot, but to little effect and for the last time as the German FOO is driven form his position. 
Battling it out in The Orchard
With the Churchills in support, the 7th Hamps move into The Orchard. A vicious fight breaks out with the two German platoons dug in here. One of the tanks is KO'd by panzerfaust fire and another disordered, but the British infantry begin to drive the Germans back towards Maltot. 

Overview of The Orchard and north end of Maltot
At top A and D Companies can be seen pouring into The Orchard, while in the foreground B and C Companies move through the north end of Maltot, which is mostly undefended. A Panzershrek team is cleared from one of the buildings, allowing the infantry to move in and close assault the waiting Pz. IV. This is attempted twice and both attempts are driven off.

Germans attempt to pull back to Maltot
The German light machine guns and FOO are caught in the open as they try to withdraw to the village, and are knocked out by enfilade fire from the north.

Achilles sprints down the road
Meanwhile things heat up on the British right flank. The remaining Achilles sprints down the highway to get away from the fire of the enfilading Tigers. It reaches the cover of buildings south of Maltot but …

Bad timing!
It is just in time to meet head on one of the two Tigers that now enter from the east along the paved road. The Achilles is knocked out at close range.

C Company, unchallenged, moves around the north end of Maltot towards its objective as the second Tiger purrs up through the woods east of the village.

3rd KO for Pz. IV
The Pz. IV dug in south of Maltot proves hard to dislodge as it brews up its third target, a Churchill in panicked retreat.

Dorsets pinned in open
As A Company of the 5th Dorsets move down from the right flank towards the small orchard south of Maltot, a German heavy machinegun opens up from a nearby cornfield, pinning one of the platoons in the open.

South flank overview
In the foreground Dorsets come under machinegun fire as they move towards the small orchard and its defending Panzer IV. Two Churchills and a tank destroyer go up in flames south of Maltot as British armour casualties mount unanswered. A Tiger enters the fray.

Churchills retreat
A bad manoeuvre roll sends most of the 9th RTR into retreat, including its close support tank. Things are not looking good for the British armour.

Tiger moves to bolster defence south of Maltot
With the British armour in disarray, one of the Tigers move to support the south flank against the infiltrating Dorsets. The Pz. IV pulls back from its revetment as the position becomes in danger of being enfiladed and falling to close assault from infantry in the nearby orchard and buildings. The German HMG post and mortar pit can be seen in the field in the foreground.

Command Tiger KO'd
Just as things were looking dark for the British, the second Tiger is KO'd by a lucky shot from one of the Churchills on the north end of Maltot. The Tiger was moving to take the pressure off the second Pz. IV in the village proper which in turn was coming under increasing pressure as the 7th Hamps pushed into the town.

Major RJ McPhillips directs his C Company around the north side of Maltot

An attached Vickers section from B Company, 8 Middlesex dismounts from its carrier and takes up an overwatch position in the houses at the north end of Maltot along with B Company's commander.  The Pz. IV commander begins to feel the heat as the British infiltrate in behind his position.

Also on the north flank, 2" mortars, a Churchill and the FOO, currently operating with the battalion mortars, add their support for the final assault on Maltot.

The Orchard is cleared
With The Orchard cleared, A and D Companies form up for the assault across the road into Maltot. Machinegun fire from the houses and Pz. IV brass up the hedgerow on the edge of The Orchard.

Panzer IV withdraws
With Maltot all but fallen and having driven off two close assaults by B Company, the Pz. IV positioned on the main street in Maltot gives up his position and reverses into the woods below the town. He takes some ineffectual fire from a British PIAT but the knocked out hulk of the Tiger I blocks his retreat, as he slowly tries to make his way around.

Too late!
The blocking Tiger wreck slows the Pz. IV down long enough for elements of the 7th Hamps to close on it from both sides. It finally falls in this third close combat attempt.

Churchills rally
With the destruction of the Pz. IV the tide of the tank battle turns. The Churchills rally to return to the fight, moving into Maltot in support of the infantry.

FOO moves into position
The British FOO moves into position in a Maltot building that gives it command of the south flank and paved road by which any German reinforcements will likely arrive. The big 5.5" guns, previously employed elsewhere, now come available as general support for the 7th Hampshire's attack.

Maltot falls
The last resistance in the village is mopped up, and A and D Companies move towards the south and east of the village to secure their objectives.

Big guns arrive
The German positions south of Maltot are lit up by a 5.5" concentration, but the well dug in troops survive this first barrage.

Germans appear at rear
With the British having secured Maltot and moved on, German pioneer units (upper right), unknowingly by-passed, begin to appear behind the British line and harrass B Company.

German mortar fire zeroes in on C Company as they move over the stream to their objective. It causes no casualties and is the only enemy fire this lucky company has to endure.

German reinforcements arrive
A motorized company of the III/22 Panzergrenadier Regiment arrive by truck along the paved road, entering form the east. They spot a Churchill with its gun pointed down the road and try to run their vehicles out of sight into the woods and dismount. Three of the four vehicles get off the road but the fourth bogs down on the shoulder.

The bogged down truck provides a target for the British FOO in Maltot, and the 5.5" guns again come alive, this time to great effect. Two of the German trucks are set ablaze and a third of their infantry knocked out.

South flank overview
With Maltot taken all the action switches over to the open ground south of the village. In the foreground, with the enemy tanks removed or otherwise engaged, the Dorsets venture out from their cover to assault the German MG and mortar positions. To the right, the panzergrenadiers receive a fiery welcome to the fight while the Tiger, after a bad manoeuvre roll, withdraws to cower behind a nearby building.
The remaining Panzer IV moves up closer to Maltot to take on the Churchills that are now gathering, but is disordered  by enemy tank fire as it pulls into its new position.

Taking it to the enemy
With the Pz. IV disordered British infantry swarm out of Maltot in support of the Dorsets, who are attacking from the other flank.

Meanwhile, back in Maltot…
Having reached their objective, the woods north and northeast of Maltot, B Company's commander orders his troops back to clear out the enemy that has appeared from behind and is now falling back into The Orchard. An assault pioneer platoon attached from C Company joins them to bolster the attack.

C Company takes objective
C Company consolidates on its objective, a patch of woods 200 metres east of Maltot, where it stays for the rest of the battle.

Second Pz. IV falls
Meanwhile on the south front the battle still rages. The second Pz. IV falls to close combat and the German machinegun and mortar are cleared from their positions through the combined efforts of the 5th Dorsets and the 7th Hamps.

And yet another artillery strike
A second concentration of the 5.5" guns knocks out more of the German reinforcing infantry as well as their commander. The counter attack is nullified before it even gets off the ground.

Overview of end game
The last German infantry resistance south of Maltot is snuffed out by D Company, who clear the woods along the paved road. The remaining Churchills move in on the solo Tiger, hoping to score a kill through enfilade.

Tough kitty
Despite a third artillery strike on the Tiger, it manages to knock out one of the Churchills and disorder and drive off the rest.

Final resistance in The Orchard mopped up
B Company clears out the last of the German pioneers that had retreated to The Orchard in a bitter firefight, but not without losing the Churchill Close Support Tank, KO'd by panzerfaust.

Big cat at bay but still growling
The game ends with all of the German infantry destroyed and the British firmly on all of their objectives. The remaining Tiger, however, has driven off or destroyed the enemy armour but is in no position to resume the battle. The Allies earn a major but not total victory.


  1. Cool game, cool kit. Great AAR

  2. A great looking game. Really liked the various textures used in the terrain.

  3. Thanks Al, Craig. It was a fun game.

  4. And now 102 SS TIGER BN attacks with infantry support to retake Maltot

  5. And now 102 SS TIGER BN attacks with infantry support to retake Maltot