Following the successful local action at Secqueville elements of the I./SS.Pz.Rgt.12 came into solid and heavy contact with several units of the British 8th Armoured Brigade. Several companies of Stuarts, Shermans, Churchills and even some of the strange looking tanks that hit the beaches two days ago, began a protracted drive against the front held by the Pz IV H’s of SS Panzer Regiment 12. Roughly about half the battalion was deployed to the East of Secqueville while II./SS.Pz.Rgt.12 held position some miles to the rear. Around 17:35 several British tanks began long range fire against the Panzer IV’s. Though the fire was ineffective most commanders ‘buttoned up’. This initial salvo was accompanied by several salvoes of large calibre activity, probably ship borne, that knocked out two tanks via direct hits. Using this hail of fire as cover, the British advanced steadily to engage our tankers at short range. Despite artillery support and the aid of the long range guns that out Panthers bear, I./SS.Pz.Rgt.12 was forced to abandon its position and retire into the ruins of Secqueville. Despite knocking out 7 enemy vehicles it suffered similar losses to its own ranks. Obersturmbannfuhrer Wunsche ordered its immediate withdrawal should it become overwhelmed by the British armour. Several self propelled guns from Stug Abteilung 200 were called up to support the 12th SS’s Panthers while the second half of the I Abteilung of SS Panzer Regiment 12 also moved forward to support the Panthers on their left flank.
6th and 9th Companies of SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 25 have today assaulted and ejected the British 56th Infantry Brigade from the rubble ruins of the village of Secqueville. Two companies of British infantry had been holding the village but one Company was forced to retreat under a ferocious bombardment of several of SS.PzGr.Rgt 25’s heavy weapon companies as well as the self propelled artillery of SS.Pz.Art.Rgt 12 and Art.Abt 989 (this latter unit is a Heer unit attached to I SS Panzer Corps). As the smoke began to settle, 6th and 9th Companies carried out a quick close assault that overwhelmed the defending British troops. This successful assault allowed Panzer Regiment 12 to advance on the left flank of the assault to take up blocking positions against British armoured units approaching from the North. Indeed I/SS.Pz.Rgt.12 had already engaged enemy Sherman tanks at extreme range. II/SS.Pz.Rgt.12 with its Panthers is holding position slightly to the rear on a reverse slope.
Situation 16:00 7th June 1944
Inspired by my trip to Normandy and as I am currently rereading Herbert Meyer’s History of the the 12th SS Panzer Division I have fired up this game again. It is not a continuation of the earlier AAR as I los tthat game when my old processor died. This is a new game and I have currently played 14 turns.
A much more aggressive AI especially to the East of the Orne River where the 6th British Airborne Division has pressed hard against the 21st panzer Division from the early hours of the 6th June. Likewise the AI pushed hard from the beaches and more or less achieved a historical line of advance on all fronts. In a parallel of historical action the radar station at Douvres and several outposts are fighting hard amidst a swarm of Allied units. the 82nd and 101st US Airborne Divisions also pushed harder in this game but towards the sea and the Causeways leading from the beaches rather than pressing the 91st Luftlande Division as happened in the last game. I guess the AI has different scripts.
The 12th SS Hitlerjugend Panzer Division has just come into contact with the enemy near Cairon. Elements of the 3rd Canadian Division were spotted by units of SS Aufklarer Abteilung 12. A nearby battery of 88m guns belonging to Panzer Jaeger Abteilung 200 engaged the Canadians as they crested a large hill to the north of Cairon. The heavy weapons company of the SS recon battalion immediately deployed forwards to add their 50mm and 80mm tubes to the battery of 88’s. Further news of contact with the enemy came from three companies of SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 25 further to the South West. They had engaged advanced elements of the 55th Infantry Brigade to the North West of Bray. Fire was exchanged and orders given to I/II/SS.Pz.Rgt.12 to move its Panthers North to assault the British infantry. SS Panzer Artillery Regiment 12 also notified its readiness to support the assault.
As much as possible this AAR will take the point of view of the 12th SS Panzer Division with occasional reports from other areas of the Invasion Front
12:00 Hours 9th June 1944
‘Where is the Luftwaffe?’ The most common question on the lips of the landsers across the invasion front. As units struggle to get to the frontlines, Allied fighter bombers reign supreme. Two units of the recently arrived 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division, Goetz von Berlichingen in particular have been hit hard on the main highway leading from Frougeres to Mortain. One company of the Aufklarer Batallion is down to 65% effectiveness without having fired a shot!
Better news was reported by Panzer Regiment 130 of the Panzer Lehr Division. A combined attack by both its Panzer battalions gave the British 4th Armoured Brigade a very bloody nose at the village of la Belle Epine. Massed Pz IV’s and Panthers destroyed three enemy units and routed another leaving over 50 enemy vehicles burning on the field for minimal loss.
And here is a little Sabaton to accompany the battle!
10:00 Hours 9th June 1944
Elements of 51st Highland and 3rd Canadian Division have pushed into the Northern suburbs of Caen. Units of both 12th SS Panzer and 21st Panzer Divisions have stemmed the Allied thrust into the city routed one Canadian Company. Caen itself is being put under tremendous pressure from the North as a combined arms assault is being launched by the British and the Canadians. AOK 7 has given the defence of Caen the highest priority as it is crucial to the strategic defence of the whole Normandy front. Elements of SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 26 have been detached from front holding against the British Airborne and have been ordered into the Caen area around Herouville to assist in the defence. Reinforcements have once again been asked for.
06:00 Hours 9th June 1944
Allied pressure continues against both extremes of the defensive line. In the West American airborne units have been pushed back three times with heavy casualties in the River Mederet sector. In the East, several companies of Special forces units have hit the defensive lines of SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 25. Artillery support has broken up several attacks and elements of a commando battalion have been wiped out in the Capriquet area in a daring counter attack led by 1./SS.Pio.Btl.12. In the centre of the line near Balleroy, elements of Panzer Lehr have beaten back and routed elements of the US 1st Division that had gained a meager foothold over the River Drome. They are now digging in by the river bank and are closing the gap in our lines here until the 77th Infanterie Division begins to arrive in force. FJR 5 is also approaching the area to the East of Carentan to also plug gaps in our line that will soon come under pressure from American units breaking out of Utah Beach
22:00 Hours 8th June 1944
Allied force have engaged our line at various points. Gradual pressure to the North of Caen has meant that our line now lies on the formidable defences on the Northern suburbs of the city. They have, however, been stopped cold due to the massive support of the artillery units on the other side of the Orne and the mobile artillery of the 21st Panzer Division shuttling around Caen to keep the allied air forces guessing where the next deployment would be. On the other side of the theatre Allied para units have been stuck fast in the bocage so characteristic of Normandy. The support given by the heavy weapons platoons has been invaluable. Unfortunately the US 29th Division has been exerting great pressure on the area of Isigny sur Mer. There is a great open flank behind this position and AOK is demanding reinforcements for this area.
Open flank behing Isigny sur Mer. Elements of FJR 5 can be seen racing up the highway