1940: Fall of France Scenario 32: A Bridgehead Too Far
Division Marocaine #4
|France||2e Régiment de Tirailleurs Marocains|
|France||4e Régiment de Cuirassiers|
|Germany||11th Panzer Division|
|Overall Rating, 2 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 565|
|Parent Game||Division Marocaine|
|Layout Dimensions||43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Fall of France||maps + counters|
Falling back in disarray from Maubeuge and the Mormal Forest, French units tried to find some safety behind the Escaut (Schelde) River. this jibed with the French High Command's plan to form a new line of defense between Denain and Cambrai and all around Arras. But gaining control of the scattered French forces was just wishful thinking at this point, and some bridges across the Escaut were simply left unguarded and swiftly occupied by the marauding Germans.
Third Battalion of 2nd Regiment de Tirailleurs Marocains just barely escaped from the inferno at Gembloux and then marched 140 kilometers in three days to arrive at Bouchain. they were immediately assigned to the defense of the Escaut River line, and on May 20th they were sent to retake the small bridge at Boucheneuil from the Germans. The Germans repulsed the initial attack, but that night the Moroccans attacked again with Somua tank platoon in support. Pushing through mortar and heavy machinegun fire, they reached the bridge and the sappers mined it. But the demolition charges failed to destroy the bridge completely, and two Somuas were lost.
This scenario is identical to 1940: Fall of France Scenario 32, aside from using pieces from the Moroccan Division counterset. Only the ESC and ENG counters are replaced.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|1 Errata Item|
The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
On May 20, 1940, units from the 2e Régiment des Tiralleurs and 4e Régiment des Cuirasses were tasked to control the Boucheneuil bridge. After their first attempt was unsuccessful, they returned after dark with armor support in an attempt to blow the bridge. The Allies split into two forces, one centrally along the east-west road and the other on the south flank headed directly toward the bridge. The latter units were met by German troops from the 11th Panzer Division that were situated in town west of the bridge. The northern force crossed the river north of town and a German infantry platoon moved north to meet them on the east side of the river. The southern force was met in town west of the bridge by a German HMG platoon supported by two infantry units. Deadly fire from the Germans eliminated both Sous-Lt. Capilier and the engineer platoon accompanying his force by 2200 hours, so destruction of the bridge was left to the northern force. The remaining tiralleur platoon continued to battle with armor support from a group of S35’s, but to no avail. Eventually, in desperation, the Somua’s assaulted the HMG group without support from the leaderless infantry and were dispatched. The northern force had battled their way south after crossing the Escaut, but were eventually forced to retreat at 2345 when the MG34 platoon turned their fire upriver. The Allies were unable to blow the bridge resulting in a mission failure.
This scenario is played out on a single map with a very small task force. It is a great introductory scenario for new players, as it has very few units, a small playing area, a single objective, and limited LOS. The red Division Marocaine chits from AP were used for all forces except the Somua unit. Of the two possible approaches, splitting the Allied force or striking with a single large group, the former was tried in this playthrough. The early loss of the engineer unit from south force resulted in the need to move the northern engineer unit down quickly. It was unfortunately disrupted twice by fire from a single German infantry unit patrolling the east side of the river and did not get to the bridge within the 12-turn limit. The game ended with the bridge intact, and five French steps lost to none lost for the Germans, a clear German victory. While splitting the Allied force causes the Germans to have to split their very small force to cover two fronts, it is a gamble since the loss of a single engineer unit compromises Allied flexibility