WWPD Italian campaign – 26th Panzer v Dismounted Cav – Cauldron

Hi all and welcome to another exciting Italian game. This time my 26th panzer took on Paul’s dismounted cav army. Unfortunately Paul had the old Cassino list so we ported it over to the new book, and fiddled with what we had at my place to get it in line with the new books – so apologies for the typhoon as a warhawk!

I’d gone for a very uninspiring 26th list
Hq 2 panzer 4’s + bergpanther 
4 Panzer 4’s
4 Panzer 4’s
2 Flammpanzers – combat attached
3 Panzer 4/70’s
2 8-rads
2 flakpanzer 38t’s
3 nebelwerfers 
Paul had
3 sections of dismounted Cav deployed with 3 bazookas and 2 LMG’s iirc
3 sections of dismounted Cav deployed with 3 bazookas and 2 LMG’s iirc
3 Stuart’s
5 shermans – 2 76mm (late) 3 M4A3’s
4 105mm howitzers
3 t30 75mm
Limited warhawk
We rolled up cauldron, Paul chose the side boundaried by the river and escarpments, whilst I deployed the objectives at opposite corners of his deployment area.

Paul deployed an infantry platoon on each objective, with the shermans in immediate ambush.

I decided to go for both panzer platoons and the recon as my initial wave – rolled for deployment the first panzer platoon got a 5 so I deployed them as close to Paul as I could out of LoS behind some trees whilst the second platoon rolled the opposite corner so deployed behind a hedge more towards the mid line. Finally my recon ended up in the same sector as my initial panzer platoon and hid behind some woods. 

Paul then placed his immediate ambush behind his forces looking at my 1st panzer platoon.

I used my recon move to hide the 8-rads in a wood.

Turn 1
Paul started by rolling for air and got a pair of planes. Unexpectedly he moved 3 of the shermans to hunt my 8-rads, but on shooting they missed, the two stationary ones fired at the Panzers scoring one hit on a panzer 4, but at long range I rolled a 6 and Paul failed to bail me.

I was lucky and the 4/70’s arrived from reserve, the two Sherman platoons edged nearer to the platoon near the left (from Paul’s edge) objective, my 2 IC bogged himself in a wood. The 4/70’s bailed and killed one Sherman, whilst my first platoon killed two more, whilst a long range shot from the second platoon bailed another. With three smoking and one bailed Paul passed his moral check. I failed all my storm trooper rolls leaving my tanks very bunched up!

Turn 2
Once again Paul’s air arrived ready to punish my poor storm trooper rolls, whilst the bailed 76mm jumped back in (both surviving shermans were 76mm). Once again they fired at the panzer 4’s but despite two hits Paul only bailed them both. The air also performed poorly only killing one 4/79.

No reserves arrived, I moved up closer with the panzer 4’s having remounted all my tanks. The near panzer 4’s destroyed another Sherman, whilst the flammpanzer from that platoon killed 2 teams, the other flammpanzer though did a spectacular quadruple 1! But his colleagues killed a few more stands due to the 8-rads lifting gone to ground. Paul again passed the Sherman moral test and this time I was able to spread out due to storm trooper.

Turn 3 
Paul’s t’30’s arrived behind me, whilst he once again had air support – seeing where the thrust of my attack was going he moved the second infantry platoon closer to the other objective. Unfortunately the 76mm missed and so did the plane, whilst the t30’s only bailed 1 panzer 4 from the rear.

I was lucky with both my reserves arriving this turn, I deployed the nebs near Paul’s table edge to avoid any direct shooting whilst the flakpanzers arrived to put pressure on the other objective. 
The 4/70’s missed the last 76mm but the far panzer platoon eviscerated the t30’s. The other panzer platoon assaulted Paul’s infantry, with one bogging on approach, after 3 turns Paul was victorious with two tanks destroyed and the platoon commander and a bazooka being all that remained. 

Turn 4
Paul’s Stuart’s arrived as did his howitzers – and if course the reliable plane. The 76mm Sherman lasted a 4/70 – which broke the platoon whilst the direct furring Stuart’s hits got met with a barrage of 6’s for armour saves on the Panzers! The howitzers faired better bailing a panzer 4 whilst the plane killed a neb.

The panzer platoon with only 2 tanks turned it’s attention to the last Sherman destroying it. The nebs faired badly with a triple 1 to range in. The panzer 4’s removed all the Stuart’s whilst the flakpanzer’s did squat.

Turn 5 
Paul brought on his AOP for an artillery strike on the Panzers, but lacking ToT I rolled a pair of 6’s for my saves! His plane finally stayed away.

With the t30’s, shermans, and Stuart’s gone I was a platoon from company morale so moved the intact panzer platoon to engage the smoked howitzers. Wiping them out before the other 2 panzer 4’s killed the last 2 members of the 1st dismounted cav platoon. With only one platoon left Paul rolled a one for company moral.

It was pretty one sided with Paul rolling some atrocious dice whilst mine were full of 6’s ( excepting the quadruple and triple 1!) I really loved the flammpanzers when they work they are brilliant, I think the dismounted cav list is good, but perhaps 3 squads of 2 sections may be better…
Anyway until next time thanks for reading 

Category: AARFlames of WarGermansItalian CampaignLate WarUS


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Article by: Mark Goddard