Command Decision Four: a conundrum for Normandy on June 13th by Jon Sutherland
Command Decision is designed so you can read the situation and figure out your own command decision if you were leading the troops on the ground. You can either work through the various options or use the mechanics provided to create the precise circumstances of the tabletop engagement. The scenarios may have particular historical themes and settings, but you can easily adapt the mechanics to suit your own preferences and collections.
The Americans captured Caumont-l'Eventé on June 13, which threatened the German western flank on the Normandy front. The British launched Operation Perch on the same day. The idea was to strike at the junction of the British XXX Corps and the American V Corps. They would have to work around the German Panzer Lehr Division. This would fall to the 7th British Armoured Division. Up ahead was the 22nd Armoured Brigade. It entered Villiers Bocage at 0800. The units are spread out along the road towards Caen.
ROLE & COMMAND
You are Obersturmfuhrer Wittmann commanding the second company of SS Panzer Abteilung 101. You have fought extensively on the eastern front in 1941. You were wounded, but you returned to Russia in late 1942. On October 13 1943 your own Tiger destroyed 20 T34s and 23 infantry and anti-tank guns. By February 1944 you had clocked up 88 kills. Your unit was posted to Normandy and started making your way on June 6. You arrived in the area in the second week of June. You and your Tigers have been ordered to Hill 213, near Villiers Bocage, to stop the 22nd Armoured Brigade from advancing.
It is approaching 0830 and from the dust clouds and noise emanating from the enemy lines you can tell that they are on the move. Now you need to determine your response. Your objective must be to deny a crossing of Suelles and to inflict maximum losses to the British, thus deterring them from taking offensive action for some days. Take a good look at the map and then consider your options:
Option One: Move immediately to crossroads and order reinforcements to join you there.
Option Two: Move 2nd company to crossroads and order reinforcements to dig in around Villiers Bocage.
Option Three: Move 2nd company to cover north crossing and order reinforcements to move up to Villiers Bocage and cover second crossing.
Option Four: Dig in around Hill 213 and wait for opportunity to counterattack
To find out how the options can be worked out, pick up the next issue of Miniature Wargames magazine.
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