Saturday, 5 March 2022

Operation Cygnet - Campaign Moves - Day Three

With the British attack for the bridge South of Pemba having been a comprehensive success, both sides settled down for the night and carried out any moves as required.

Day Two - Night Moves
As the remnants of the German force defending the bridge retreated towards Pemba, the British 'B' & 'C' Coys secured the bridgehead, with their accompanying Sherman's. The 3rd Recce Sqdn moved over the bridge and advanced to the outskirts of Pemba, with one eye to the North in case any German reinforcements appeared from that direction.

'A' Coy and the 2nd Recce Sqdn continued to monitor the situation to the West in square 7. 'D' Coy with the AVRE's in support kept a weather eye towards Wuppertell, as did what was left of the 1st Recce Sqdn. The British Churchills moved to link up with the 1st Recce Sqdn, with the Cromwell's and Artillery moving towards 'D' Coy's positions.

For the Germans, the Fallschirmjager continued to hold Wuppertell whilst a Blank unit moved in from 16. Another blank unit moved from 6 - 7 to reinforce the Volkstuurm there. The remnants of 1st Fallschirmjager Kompanie moved from 15 to 14 with their Blank unit, possibly able to threaten the British LoC. 

The final German reinforcements arrived at 6 and two in 2.

An overview of the night moves at the end of Day Two.

The British are in a strong position near Pemba (3), but the Germans are massing in 6 & 7 which could cause problems for the British Club Route.

Much needed British reinforcements arrive (17 & 18), but again the Germans are massing either side of 'D' Coy, with units as yet unknown.

Day Three - Turn 1 - Weather - Mist
The German prayers must have been answered as as dawn broke, the whole area was covered by mist, thus grounding the British Air Support.

Despite this (hopefully) minor setback to their plans, the British decided to attack Pemba at first light, with 'B' & 'C' Coy's and the 3rd Recce Sqdn. 'A' Coy and 2nd Recce Sqdn would continue to monitor the Germans in 7, with support from the newly arrived AVRE's. The Cromwell's and Artillery arrived by 'D' Coy's positions, with the Artillery deploying alongside another Battery to support 'A' Coy's positions. The mist meant that any other support was unfeasible due to visibility problems. The Churchill's arrived by the 1st Recce sqdn and observed Wuppertell through the wisps of mist.

The Germans sensing an opportunity with the dreaded 'Jabo's' grounded, decided to mount an attack from 7 towards 'A' Coy and their supporting armour. The Blanks revealed themselves to be the 2nd Fallschirmjager Kompanie and the Panzer Schule Kompanie with their older marques of Panzers.

Some of the Blank units turned out to be just that, but in 2 a unit turned out to be a Battery of Nebelwerfers, whilst the other Blank in 2 moved into 1. The 1st Fallschirmjager Kompanie and their Blank unit moved into 13, ready to bring pressure to bear on the British 'D' Coy positions. With no armour support the Falschirmjager in Wuppertell stayed put and dug-in as best they could.

An overview at the end of Turn 1 - Day Two.

The fight for Pemba (the campaign objective), with the Germans receiving much needed support from the Nebelwerfers in 2.

The German attack goes in against 'A' Coy's positions, with the British luckily receiving another Artillery Battery just in time to support the defence.

Things could get interesting around Wuppertell and 'D' Coy's positions during the next Campaign Turn...

So some more interesting moves on the Campaign front, with two very different battles to be fought. The British should have the advantage in their attack on Pemba, but fighting in the mist in a BUA might out weigh the numerical and materiel superiority.

In contrast, what a mix of German units going into the attack! Thankfully for them they have the mist to help their advance and hopefully this will not cause and C&C issues. This could be quite closely fought and I must admit I'm rather looking forward to this one, given there are Volkstuurm and obsolete Panzer's being used!

With luck at least one of these battles will be fought next week, but not sure which yet will get to the table first. Plenty to think about in advance though. So until then stay safe and keep healthy!


  1. But which battle should you fight first Steve?
    Would 2FJ, assisted by Volkssturm (OK, so I’m using a sweeping generalisation here, but aren’t these mostly old men & young boys best suited for defensive tasks?) and some old/obsolete panzers really be up to the task of launching an attack? Then again, would the allies want to press ahead wholeheartedly with their attack on Pemba whilst there’s an impending threat to their rear & left flank?
    Not a serious suggestion, but it’s a shame you don’t have two tables where you could, say, play one turn of the first battle on table A before moving over to table B to fight a turn of the second battle. I can see the “timing” of certain events being crucial here, but how you can replicate this I’m not sure.
    Anyhow, it’ll be interesting to see what you come up with and how the battles play out.
    All the best,

    1. Fair points Geoff and as mentioned below, the Volkstuurm attack reminds me of the attack by the Germans on the US Paras right flank during Market-Garden. Often the German attacks went in piecemeal, purely to try and disrupt the LoC rather than with any hope of an overwhelming victory.

      Two table would be nice, but as in the last two games, I try and make sure that if the British FAO is aiding one battle, he cannot aid another. So in the forthcoming encounters, I need to decide who will be where, also taking into account that the British might be surprised by the German attack coming out of the mist, as they would not have been able to see it coming so to speak. I hope this makes sense?

  2. This really is a most tantalising campaign, throwing up very believable encounters for you to transfer to the tabletop Steve. Whichever game you choose to play first, I am sure it will be a corker!

    1. I'm glad you're enjoying it Keith:). I think having read plenty on Operation Market Garden over the years helps me put the actions into some sort of believable context. The Volkstuurm attack is reminiscent of attack on the US Paras right flank (Ginkel Heath?) from the woods by the German border. Some planning to be done today and then I can decide which game I fancy playing first.

  3. Agreed, the narrative is unfolding nicely with a good hint of unpredictability. Those face down new units add a real nice element of surprise / apprehension to affairs.

    1. Thanks Norm. The campaign mechanics are working nicely, certainly for solo play. They might need tweaking for something akin to out SCW outing of last year.

  4. Nicely done Steve an engrossing campaign developing 👍 looking forward to tabletop action soon.

    1. Thanks Matt and I'm glad you're enjoying the campaign:). The little grey cells are working away as I type with ideas for both actions. I'm hoping to play one during the week if I can get enough DIY done beforehand to keep SWMBO happy;).