Operation Sealion. The Battle of Brighton – 06:30-07:00

Eventually I have reached 90 minutes into the German attack on Brighton.  This battle is beginning to look like the representation of Stalingrad refought by Lionel Tarr in the 1960s and referenced in Donald Featherstone’s books “War Games” and “Advanced War Games”

The following are the reports sent at 07:00 to the German and British overall commanders in this Play by E-mail campaign.  The battle has now reached 07:30 but for security reasons I am publishing one half hour in arrears.

Brighton 18th September 1940 British 0700

Brighton 18th September 1940 German 0700

Operation Sealion – The Battle of Brighton

Hello followers,

Well, it has been a while since I posted, and here is why.

  1. Ongoing arguments between insurers and builders about the re-instatement of our house as it was before the fire of 4th July.
  2. Arguments with caravan insurers, purchasing a replacement caravan and trying to find someone who would insure the replacement.
  3. Finding somewhere to keep the new caravan while the builders – if we ever get any – repair the house and re-fence the garden.
  4. Sourcing a new garden shed/workshop.  Achieved as a local contractor will build a bespoke shed to fit the space available.
  5. Buying an awning that fits the new caravan, and, as yet not begun, selling the old one.
  6. Undergoing a biopsy to investigate my almost certain cancer.

and finally, the fact that I am running a PBEM wargame and anything that I post will be visible to both commanders.

So, with the game now poised at 07:00 18th September 1940, here are the battle reports for the previous 30 minutes from 06:00 to 06:30.

The situation is the German attack on Brighton, with the intention of capturing Shoreham harbour to allow unloading of armoured units.

Brighton 18th September 1940 British 0630

Brighton 18th September 1940 German 0630

 

 

A poor documentary

If anyone wants to watch a highly oversimplified Germano-centric and, from my other reading, somewhat inaccurate documentary of the first part of the Second World War, I can grudgingly recommend the Lamancha Productions “Visions of War” series, Galaxy Film 1983 presentation of “Blitzkrieg” by Karl Ullman, directed by Wolfgang Richter.

On the other hand if you want to view some excellent archive footage of the same period I can heartily recommend the same film without the soundtrack.

In its defence I would say that it is good to see anything from the other side of the hill.

 

A busy man

Winston Churchill once said: “If you want something done, ask a busy man.”  Clearly this did not involve blogging. (A noticeable exception to the blogging rule is Neil Shuck of Meeples and Miniatures fame. He manages to keep up a daily blog, a weekly podcast and who knows what else in addition to a full time job, a family, a hobby and recently a broken wrist)

Anyway, back to me.  I have not posted for 6 weeks.  I have had plenty to do, but little time at the “real” computer, having spent a lot of time on the iPad and iPhone simply catching up.

So what have I been up to?

I will try to cover these activities in detail later with photographs, but meanwhile, here is the boring stuff.

I have been vainly trying to progress my “Operation Sealion” PBEM campaign, which is stagnating mainly due to the fact that I want to get all my models looking as good as possible on the table (shades of Peter Stringfellow?).

The next battle is the German assault on Brighton, which calls for a lot of railway track.  My blog followers will know that I normally use Hexon tiles for my gaming area, but extensively remodelled by me.  Well, this time I tried to mount the railway track by Irregular Miniatures and Leven Miniatures onto the raised rubber-ish roads produced by Total Battle Miniatures.  This was not successful because everything delaminated, and I am now remodelling all the railway hexagons, and, having spotted it while ordering more track I have a new railway station from Leven to paint.  I should mention that Leven have taken the trouble when asked to cast in resin a new 4-piece set of double rail track that will make a 60 degree curve specifically to fit a 10cm hexagon tile (2 inner curves, 2 outer curves).  I hope to see it on the website for general order soon.

In addition, this battle – without giving away too much to my German commander – needs a lot of British transport.  I have loads of 6mm trucks and lorries for 1944, but I want to get it right, so several packs of GHQ vehicles were ordered from Magister Militum, my UK supplier.

All of this stuff needs painting.

A failure to paint in time resulted in me not taking my semi-portable in-period wargame to the (bizarrely) 217th anniversary of the Battle of Marengo.  For wargamers, I am building armies from the Commission Figurines MDF range, but my figures are glued together in blocks for small people’s fingers to handle.  The project to create, initially French and Austrian,  armies for the French Revolutionary Wars is ongoing.

The trip to Marengo occupied much of my time, including all the necessary requirements of taking my dog camping in Europe and bringing him home again without quarantine. Superb driving over the Alps, including the St. Bernard Pass, last visited in 1989 in full Napoleonic kit for a reconstructed crossing by Napoleon in 1800.

Additional problems are having my car fixed after a sunroof motor failure (luckily it was a heatwave with the roof jammed open) and some kind individual ramming the rear end of my car in the Marengo car park.

We took our new caravan (collected the day after my return from Italy) to Wales for an English Civil War re-enactment weekend, and I am still resolving, and paying for, the failures of the vehicle.

I have also been instructed by my GP to have certain areas of my body checked for issues that affect gentlemen of my age, culminating – I hope – in an hour of MRI scanning this morning.

And so I am returned to the “real world” of painting, modelling, and hopefully actually playing some wargames, with a resolve to post more frequently in future.

 

 

Always something new to do.

While my main project is to keep my somewhat slow-running campaign of Operation Sealion running, I also have many personal wargaming projects on the go.

The latest to appear in my in-tray is Market Garden, which awaits the first contact between the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron and reconnaissance elements of 10th SS Panzer Division in this area.

17 Sep first contact

I have two possibilities to work on:

  1. To use the orders of battle from the “Rapid Fire” campaign book
  2. To use my own adaptation of troops, based largely on units from the SPI game “Arnhem” with a simplistic conversion to the wargame table. (Note that 1 A/B Recce Sqn is not included in the SPI version)

Option 1 gives me the following order of battle:

1st Airborne

Recce Jeep squadron
CO + 12 men
4 Jeeps with MG
1 Motorcycle
1 20mm Polsten Cannon (towed)

10th SS

Recce Armoured Car battalion
CO + 19
2 Panzerfaust
1 SdKfz250 half-track
1 Opel Blitz
2 SdKfz232 Armoured car (30mm)
2 SdKfz 250/9 half track (20mm)
1 SdKfz 251/9 half track (75mm)

Option 2 gives me:

1st Airborne

4 x 4 rifles + 4 jeeps
1 x MG + 3 crew  + 1 jeep

10th SS

2 armoured cars, SdKfz 232, 6 wheel version.

If I opt for the first version it will probably be a more interesting battle, but on the other hand, future engagements should follow the same principle on a larger scale, and I try to aim for simplicity in my gaming.

I am tempted to play the second, simpler version.

Comments?

Always something else to prepare…

I want to know why it is that, with a former “walk-in” wardrobe and half a loft full of wargaming impedimenta, every time I want to play a game I have to prepare some new models?

For my next game I have already painted up some GHQ A13 and Mark VIb tanks for the British, not to mention several Adler Vickers MG teams marching and firing and about a dozen new trucks and lorries.  The Germans needed cyclists and new MG34 teams, as well as more infantry and a captured truck with hastily applied white crosses.

As for the terrain (I use Kallistra hexagons, pre-flocked and then customised) I have to make some more embanked railway lines and three level crossings which must involve ramped roadways.  Alternatively I may make road bridges across the railway, but that will be even more work!

To help this game along I have just received the first consignment of double curved railway track from Leven Miniatures, designed to my specifications so that four pieces  – two inner curve and two outer curve – will exactly fit a 10cm hexagon with a 60 degree curve.  I urge all gamers of late C19th onwards to buy some of these if only to repay Mick for his development time!

In addition, and very oddly, I needed to model an ancient British hill fort that would meet the requirements of the ground scale (10cm hexagon = 250 metres side-to-side) and also accommodate bases of at least 15mm x 20mm.   Pictures will no doubt be forthcoming in the battle report when I finally get around to playing the game.

Wargame updates

What have I been up to since my last blog posting?

1. The Battle of Brighton in my “Operation Sealion” PBEM game is coming together.  I have painted and based most of the British force.  Today some more  6mm cyclists arrived in the post which must be painted and based.

2.  I have been working on preparing game counters for a medieval campaign based on the TV series “Game of Thrones”.  I am using army lists from DBA, with 13mm square  game counters bought from “Plastics for Games” covered with printed 1/2 scale top-down soldiers copied from the “Junior General” website.  The game will be played on Avalon Hill “Squad Leader” boards using a scale of one hexagon = 20 yards (half the scale of their WW2 game).  Here are the counters for the yellow household.

Yellow

3. I have been reading about the D-Day landings from the German perspective.  I downloaded a book to my Kindle which consists of five interviews with German soldiers who were there on the day, one from each of the allied landing areas (Gold, Juno, Sword, Omaha, Utah) – although these areas were not known from the German perspective.  The interviews were conducted in the 1950s, and where possible with the same soldiers who had been interviewed in 1944 for “Signal” magazine.  These stories are the best reference work I have ever read with detail about actual combat.  My wargames of the period will be tailored accordingly.