The Bruneval Raid: Part 2
Introduction (from Wikipedia)
Operation Biting, also known as the Bruneval Raid, was the codename given to a British Combined Operations raid on a German radar installation in Bruneval, northern France, that occurred between 27–28 February 1942 during World War II.
A number of these installations had been identified from Royal Air Force aerial reconnaissance during 1941, but their exact purpose and the nature of the equipment that they possessed was not known. However, a number of British scientists believed that these stations had something to do with the heavy losses being experienced by RAF bombers conducting bombing raids against targets in Occupied Europe. A request was therefore made by these scientists that one of these installations be raided and the technology it possessed be studied and, if possible, extracted and brought back to Britain for further study. Due to the extensive coastal defences erected by the Germans to protect the installation from a sea-borne raid, it was believed that a commando raid from the sea would only incur heavy losses on the part of the attackers, and give sufficient time for the garrison at the installation to destroy the Würzburg radar set. It was therefore decided that an airborne assault, followed by sea-borne evacuation would be the most practicable way to surprise the garrison of the installation and seize the technology intact, as well as minimise casualties inflicted on the raiding force.
On the night of 27 February, after a period of intense training and several delays due to poor weather, a small detachment of airborne troops under the command of Major John Frost parachuted into France a few miles from the installation. The force then proceeded to assault the villa in which the radar equipment was kept, killing several members of the German garrison and capturing the installation after a brief fire-fight. A technician that had come with the force proceeded to dismantle the Würzburg radar array and remove several key pieces to take back to Britain, the raiding force then withdrew to the evacuation beach. The detachment assigned to clear the beach had failed to do so, however, and another brief fire-fight was required to eliminate the Germans guarding it. The raiding force was then picked up by a small number of landing craft and transferred to several Motor Gun Boats which brought them back to Britain.
The raid was entirely successful. The airborne troops suffered only a few casualties, and the pieces of the radar they brought back, along with a German radar technician, allowed British scientists to understand enemy advances in radar and to create counter-measures to neutralise those advances.
Two British Ghosts enter the village to secure one of the buildings opposite the Garrison where the German counter offensive should originate:
The British believe this building (blue arrow) offers the best vantage point of the German Main Garrison (red arrow). Also, the beach is the British escape point so this area needs to be secured if the mission is to be a success.
But they are getting increasingly closer to the German patrols: if they are spotted before they gain the cover of the building it could be disastrous.
Next card dealt is the German Blind…the MG Nest close to the Villa is placed…MG bursts rip out of the MG42 towards the top left window of the Villa where they spotted the movement of a Bren Team setting up…in the dark the firing has little meaning full effect just causes some panic but no one's hurt (one Shock on the Bren Team).
The second German pillbox is activated, and turns its MG towards the first, captured, pillbox:
A German Ghost rolls to spot the British Ghosts that have just entered the village. The British are spotted by one of the German ghosts and a German patrol is placed onto the table:
The British are spotted and caught by surprise. The German patrol opens fire, and the British suffer their first casualty.
However this did mean that the German MG couldn't shoot through his own men, so went on overwatch as he waited for a target.
Just opposite, the German 1st Platoon begins to pour out of the garrison building, and opens fire on the British troops
Through the dark and gaining the protection of the wall the British don't receive any more casualties but panic will soon begin to set in unless they can get better cover (1 Shock). Luckily, the first card drawn in the new turn is theirs.
1st Platoon direct their fire at the MG nest. This danger will need to be negated if the technician is to get across to the radar station. 1st squad have two Bren guns (I believe historically every section had two Brens) so the extra Bren gives the section an extra die: they score a total of 18, but firing in the dark against the dug-in MG means a poor shot and a column to the right. I have been critical of the fire table in the past but I did really enjoy using it in this game.
The score of 18 means 3 hits. The hit dice score two Shock and one dead. The pinned status is a result of the fire table and is not allocated by shock as in CoC. The Germans have lost another man that's a total of 4 KIA and 10 captured so far
Next card drawn is the Tea Break which means all movement is ended but any troops that have not fired now do so simultaneously i.e. the consequences or results of shooting isn't applied until all units have fired.
The British 1st section 2nd Platoon in the captured pillbox open fire on the Germans in the 2nd pillbox. The rolls score 17 on the firetable meaning two hits. Two hits roll a 4 and a 5: means one shock and a kill
Next the German MG replies, and the MG knocks out another Para.
Meanwhile in the village the German Patrol fires on the British 3rd again receiving just 1 hit and a score of 4 means one more shock.
The German 1st platoon from the Garrison complex also fire at the British 3rd platoon across the road. Four hits score one Shock and two more dead…the British are caught in a crossfire and will need to seek cover soon!
3rd Platoon opens fire on the German patrol. Without cover and having given up their position the Germans are blasted at close range and are almost wiped out to a man!
The next instalment follows shortly...