Friday, 23 August 2013

Une Bataille Perdue? Partie 3e

After this action and retirement into Valenciennes my memory gets a little hazy. I'm fairly sure I received orders that I was now in command of the troops near Douai. The divisional designation? No idea. I also received reinforcements from Bob's Lorries (or 5th Motorised Division as they were more correctly known) which had been in action to the east. The battle had become VERY fluid by this point.

The Panzers disentangled themselves from the Valenciennes fighting and moved off to the west as per their original orders. The agony of 18ID didn't end there though. A rather hefty German infantry division arrived and prepared to engage and destroy my gallant band. While the Boche infantry sorted themselves out I took the opportunity to move my assigned infantry into Douai itself where the concentrated on digging in in peace as Panzertruppen drove around and past them. The lorried infantry made good progress along the road towards Valenciennes; my fevered brain, this was now Day 3 of 3 in game terms, imagined some kind of fighting relief column. Yeah.

Here we can see an entire Pz Div being terrorised by a man on a bike.
Vive Le Recce de 18eID!

Bottom right are the troops I was given. 
I moved them into Douai, just out of shot bottom RH corner. 
They remained there for the rest of the battle before surrendering.
18ID is just out of shot left centre.

German Panzers encounter a BEF counter-attack. 
The gallant brown-jobs did their best but the Panzer machine wasn't unduly troubled.

The reinforcements from 5th Motorised Division arrive and are ordered to attack the Panzer division which had just left the fighting around Fortress Valenciennes. As I flipped over the order chit I overheard a German Panzer general mutter: 'You'll have to attack'. I let them sort themselves out and then promptly surrendered.

And what of 18ID's stand at Valenciennes? With no orders or re-supply from GHQ, the town in flames, ammunition all but exhausted and faced by an overwhelming force of German artillery, infantry and StuGs they too laid down their arms. No photographs commemorate this sad event. 

Well now, first I would like to thank Tim Gow for organising the whole game, Tom and Keira for organising the room, tables and food; my French comrades and German opponents and last but not least Chris Kemp who did a sterling job as Air Umpire but also gave me a Schneider armoured car model before the game began. Thank you all!

All the best!


  1. Just seen your posts on the game - nicely reported!

    1. Thanks, Tim! I was trying to run my view of the battle posts concurrently with your wide over-view ones. Nicely done all round!