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 BattlefieldThe 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.Mortars!
German mortars zero in on the tank destroyers as they approach Maltot, suppressing the lead vehicle.
B and C Companies, spared the artillery attacks, make good progress towards the north end of Maltot.
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.
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.
A second Pz. IV, dug in next to a smaller orchard south of Maltot, engages the armour venturing down the paved road.
He knocks out the lead Churchill, commander of A Squadron.
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.
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.|
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.
|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.|
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.
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.
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 …
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.|
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.
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|
|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.|
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.
|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.|
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.
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 growlingThe 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.