AAR: Raid On St. Nazaire – Turn 6

TURN 6: 0158

The searchlight beams now focus on the Old Town, the Normandie Dock, the Old Entrance and the Old Mole.

The Harbor Defense focuses on the only remaining boat, ML 268/Tillie. Despite engaging in evasive maneuvers, Tillie is sunk as it attempted to exit from the St. Nazaire area.

More lights turn on in the Western Reinforcement Zone, where the 705 Naval Flak Battalion is located. Clearly, the Germans are increasing their reaction to the British incursion. Quickly, they start closing in on the remaining commandos.

Pennington starts moving towards the swing bridge in the North, its primary target. However, it comes under flak gun fire and is then intercepted by a full Stosstruppen squad coming from the Normandie Dock. As Pennington opens fire, a searchlight quickly spots it and traps the commando team under its beam. This will make it easier for the Stosstruppen to successfully return fire. The Stosstruppen suffer light casualties. Their return fire, however, almost renders the Pennington team ineffective as a unit.

Barely escaping the defensive fire from the elevated flak tower, assault teams Newman and Moss abandon their positions at the Normandie Basin and start moving towards the Normandie Dock. They will try to assist Pennington but I doubt they will arrive on time.

Moss crosses the swing bridge just as Woodcock blows it up. Newman will have to find another way into the Normandie dock.

2017-10-14

 

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AAR: Raid on St. Nazaire – Turn 5

TURN 5: 0152

The 4 active searchlights switch their beams to the Old Town, the East Jetty, the Old Mole and the Old Entrance. Tillie and the landed commandos escape their beams.

With only one boat left in range, all guns fire on Tillie who is already on fire. Tillie’s crew suffers minor casualties but the boat also loses a gun. Tillie tries to take out one of the 20mm guns on the East Jetty but fails. The dockside guns focus on Tillie for devastating effect and crew casualties. Tillie is now left with a skeleton crew to man the boat.

TML 270/Irwin and ML 298/Nock slip through the English Channel undetected. They reach England with the surviving members of the Roy assault team and the Chant demolition team, and the Roderick Assault team and Brett demolition team – all of whom had been aboard the Campbeltown when it was sunk.

On fire, Tillie reaches the mouth of the Loire River.

2017-10-13

The Stosstruppen keep appearing en masse. One small squad actually takes a position in the swing bridge that Swayne demolition team was planning to destroy next. More Strosstruppen join the fray in the Normandie Dock, U-Boat Pen and Western Reinforcement zone.

Swayne demolition team enters the swing bridge, where they engage the Stosstruppen squad. Two Stosstruppen squads spot Swayne as it enters the swing bridge. They fall behind the demolition team which is now being flanked. Swayne team quickly disposes the small Stosstruppen group in the swing bridge. However, they are no match for two full strength Stosstruppen squads. All members of the Swayne demolition team die fighting on the swing bridge.

2017-10-13 (1)

In the house, Pennington team kills the remaining Stosstruppen and are now ready to continue on their way to their primary target.

The elevated flak guns open on the Newman and Moss assault teams but are ineffective. The assault teams fire their mortars. They, too, are ineffective.

Woodcock readies its charges and is ready to attempt to blow up the swing gate.

2017-10-13 (2).png

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AAR: Raid On St. Nazaire – Turn 4

TURN 4: 0146

The active searchlights now focus in the Old Mole, Old Entrance and Old Town. The commandos in the Old Town and the boats in the Old Mole manage to escape detection from their light beams. Sperrbrechen 137 repairs its remaining gun and the harbor defense opens again on the remaining eight boats.

Already on fire, ML 457/Collier is hit again. The boat explodes, lighting the East Jetty in yellow/orange light. No survivors, not even from the Walton demolition team.

ML 267/Beart commences evasive maneuvers but is hit and loses about half of its remaining crew. The second time Beart is hit more crew goes down. Left with a skeleton crew, Beart decides to head back to England. The third hit kills the remaining crew and sends the boat to a watery grave.

ML 268/Tillie does not fare any better. First hit kills crew, destroys a gun and sets the boat on fire.

The remaining six ships return fire. Again, ineffective. The defensive fire continues. With the 20mm gun in the Sperrbrechen 137 repaired, things can only get worse for the commandos.

TML 156/Fenton is hit in the Avant Port area and goes down, no survivors. The Swayne demolition team will have to try to escape into the French country side and attempt to reach neutral Spain.

Sperrbrecher 137 focuses its guns on ML 262/Burt and sinks it with one barrage.

TML 270/Irwin and ML 298/Nock reach the open sea. However, they still risk detection by destroyers, submarines and airplanes as they cross the English Channel.

ML 268/Tillie decides to retreat to England and sails towards the East Jetty. The landed commandos now have no way to return home.

2017-10-12 (3)

Shit has hit the fan. Seven Stosstruppen squads ready up and move towards the 5 commando teams. One of the squads is in a house, close to the Swayne team. However, it does not spot the commandos. Another squad appears in the U-Boat Pen area; two in the northern reinforcement zone, where the 4 Works Co. is at; two in the western reinforcement zone, where the 705 Naval Flak Battalion is; and one in the northern reinforcement zone, where the 2 Words Company is at.

Pennington team crosses into the Normandie Dock, where they attempt to hide from the Strosstruppen squad that was coming towards them.

Moss team catches up with Newman team. Together they move towards the St. Nazaire Basin. Once there, they separate and set up their mortars to fire at the elevated flak tower by the U-Boat Pen. Flak guns fire at them as they run for cover and set up their mortars. Both teams are unscathed by the fire, they fire their mortars. They both miss.

In a bold move, the Strosstruppen squad enters the house where Pennington team was hiding. Small arms fire and hand to hand combat ensues. As the soldiers move from room to room and floor to floor, firing, weaving and dodging, the Strosstruppen squad suffers moderate casualties. Swayne team remains unscathed, except for the commando that was wounded in the motor launch on the way to the landing zone.

2017-10-12 (4)

Woodcock team seems to have problems with its demolition charges and cannot set them.

The Swayne demolition team destroys the swing bridge. The team still has two demolition charges left. It will attempt to destroy the lock gates adjacent to the swing bridge before heading into the French countryside.

2017-10-12 (5)

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AAR: Raid on St. Nazaire – Turn 3

TURN 3: 0140

Two searchlights keep looking for boats in the Avant Port and the Old Mole. A third switches from the Normandie Dock to the Old Mole, where the Burt and Tillie motor launches are still loitering, and the fourth switches from the Old Entrance to the U-Boat Pens. No boats or commandos fall under their beams.

The Harbor defense guns open again on the commandos:

MGB 314/Ryder is hit as it enters the approach zone on its way back to England. The boat goes down, all crew is lost. A few of the commandos survive the sinking but if not rescued soon, will be dragged out to the Atlantic Ocean and lost.

ML 262/Burt is hit while in the Old Mole. It bursts into flame and goes down with full loss of crew.

ML 267/Beart is hit losing some crew and its remaining guns. Not many boats left so they start focusing on Beart, who is forced to engage in multiple evasive maneuvers. Surprisingly, Beart manages to land the Moss assault team, which I forgot was in the boat and could have landed two turns back.

The remaining eight of the original seventeen boats fire at the gun emplacements in the St. Nazaire Dock. Again, ineffective.

The Germans’ dockside defensive fire proves ineffective. However, more Strosstruppen keep waking up in the U-Boat Pens, the Normandie Dock and the Western Reinforcement Area, where the 703 Naval Flak Battalion is located.

ML 457/Collier, still on fire, slowly enters the area in front of the East Jetty on its way to land the Walton demolition team at the Old Mole.

TML 270/Irwin and ML 298/Nock reach the near part of the Loire river as they attempt to retreat to England with the commandos they rescued from the sinking Campbeltown.

TML 156/Fenton moved to the Avant Port, where it will attempt to pick up the Swayne demolition team once it is done with its mission.

2017-10-12 (2)

The Swayne demolition team reaches its target, the swing bridge connecting the Old Town to the U-Boat Pen. Acting quickly and efficiently, the team prepares and places its demolition charges.

2017-10-12

The Pennington demolition team moves into the swing bridge connecting the Old Town to the Normandie Dock. While that swing bridge is Woodcock team’s assigned target, Woodcock must wait for Pennington to cross the swing bridge because Pennington’s assigned target is at the other end of the Normandie Dock. As Pennington enters the swing bridge, it comes under fire from an elevated flak tower 20mm quad guns, suffering light casualties. Complicating matters, a Stosstruppen squad spots the Pennington demolition team and makes a bee line towards them.

The Woodcock demolition team takes up a defensive position inside a house at it prepares to enter its assigned target area in the next turn. By taking a defensive position inside a house, the team escaped fire from the elevated flak tower guns.

The injured Newman assault team starts moving towards the St. Nazaire Basin, hoping to lob some mortar rounds on the elevated flak tower guns once it gets there.

2017-10-12 (1)

 

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AAR: Raid On St. Nazaire – Turn 2

* If you read the AAR, let me know if you think the Newman assault team made the right decision, regardless of its result. What would you have done and why?

TURN 2: 0134

The remaining 20mm gun in Sperrbrecher 137 was not repaired by 1:34. Work on the 30mm gun in the Old Mole was slow but improved the gun’s condition from out of action to disrupted. Either way, neither gun will fire in the Dockside Defense phase.

As the Harbor Defense phase starts, the Campbletown and any boats on fire get an automatic predesignated shot. The predesignated shot does not miss and does not count against the 12-shots limit that ends this phase. Had the Campbletown been on fire, it would have received two predesignated shots. As it stands, Campbletown, Platt motor launch and Boyd torpedo motor launch will get automatic hits.

Before the guns resume firing, the 4 active searchlight switched their beams to the Avant Port, Old Mole, Old Entrance sea zones and the Normandie Dock land zone. Of these, the only sea zone with boats is the Old Mole, which has six (Burt, Platt, Henderson, Nock, Tillie and Rider). No commandos have entered the Normandie Dock yet.

Predesignated shot against the Campbletown: 1 crew and 1 gun lost.

Predesignated shot against Platt: Platt is forced to turn away from its landing zone and is sunk in the process. All crew are lost.

Predesignated shot against Boyd: the torpedo motor launch is shot full of holes and sinks. The crew died from injuries suffered from the massive fire power and fire on deck before the boat began to sink.

Results of the Harbor Defense phase:

ML 457/Collier is hit once, losing 1 crew, 1 gun and is now on fire. A second hit forces it turn away once more from the entrance to the St. Nazaire harbor and kills a crew member.

ML 262/Burt is hit once, losing most of its crew. When it is hit a second time, it is forced to take evasive maneuvers.

ML 306/Henderson is hit twice, commencing evasive maneuvers but losing most of its crew and 1 gun. When it is hit a third time, it goes to the bottom of the Old Mole, all lives lost.

TML 270/Irwin is hit once, commencing evasive maneuvers but losing one third of its crew.

ML 446/Falconar is hit once. Its external fuel tanks explode, setting the boat on fire. Its remaining crew dies to the incoming barrage from the harbor defense gun and the boat eventually sinks in front of the East Jetty.

Campbletown is hit once, losing one crew and one gun. Accumulated damage causes the Campbletown to now move at half speed. It might not reach the Southern Casson. The second time it is hit, it loses its remaining crew and the Smalley demolition team loses most of its commandos. The Campbletown sinks in front of the East Jetty. The six commando teams it carried will be swept to the Atlantic and will drown if they are not picked up by a boat.

2017-10-09

What is left of the British flotilla concentrates its fire on a 20mm gun on the Old Mole to no avail.

20mm guns from the West and East Jetty fire back at the boats in front of the East Jetty.

TML 156/Fenton is hit once, forcing it to turn away from Sperrbrecher 137 and killing most of its crew.

20mm guns from the Old Mole and the Normandie Dock return fire against the boats remaining in front of the Old Mole.

ML 268/Tillie is hit once, it commences evasive maneuvers but still loses one third of its crew.

2017-10-09 (1)

After evading enemy fire, TML 270/Irwin rescues the commandos from the Roy assault team and the Chant demolition team, who had been in the Campbeltown. They will attempt to leave the St. Nazaire Harbor and head for England the next turn.

ML 267/Beart, carrying the Moss assault team, moved from the approach zone into the East Jetty Area on their way to the Old Mole landing point.

ML 298/Nock left the Old Mole for the East Jetty and rescued the commandos from the Roderick Assault team and Brett demolition team, who had also been aboard the Campbeltown. They, too, will try to head for England.

MGB 314/Ryder left the Old Mole for the East Jetty and rescued the commandos that were still alive from the Smalley and Purdon demolition teams, who had already suffered losses while aboard the Cambeltown. They, too, will try to head for England. Since the MGB is a faster boat, Ryder and his passengers made it to the approach zone.

ML 262/Burt and ML 268/Tillie remained in the Old Mole to provide some covering fire and transportation for the landed commando teams when they complete their missions.

Stosstruppen continue to be awakened by the explosions and gunfire. Two more units appear in the Normandie Dock, one in the Old Town, dangerously close to the wounded and diminished Newman assault team, and one in the Western Reinforcement area where the 705 Naval Flak Battalion is located.

After moving North through some houses that provided cover from searchlights and gun emplacements, the Swayne demolition team is now in one of the Old Town’s main roads, without cover. However, their target, one of the swing bridges connecting the Old Town to the U-Boat Pens, is within sight.

Demolition teams Woodcock and Pennington go East, moving closer to their targets in the Normandie Dock and, unbeknownst to them, the Stosstruppen that are just readying up in that area.

The Newman assault team is now in a quandary. South of them, emerging from the searchlight at the end of the jetty in the Old Mole, is a Stosstruppen squad. Closer and to the East is the disrupted 30mm cannon that has easy firing lines to the motor launches in the Old Mole and East Jetty areas. If the team goes for the 30mm gun, they will be an easy target for the Stosstruppen but they may give the motor launches maybe fifteen more minutes afloat. If they go for the Stosstruppen, they will probably eliminate the Stosstruppen threat but risk the 30mm gun becoming repaired and active again.

Newman orders his men to go for the 30mm gun.

The Newman commandos close in on the 30mm gun. Grenades fly and… the 30mm gun is destroyed! The Stosstruppen at the searchlight seem more preoccupied with protecting the searchlight and do not move to engage the Newman commandos… or maybe they’re waiting for reinforcements.

2017-10-10

 

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