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Welcome to the site where the story of the battle is as important as the battle itself. Here we will focus on men thrust into extraordinary situations of life and death. They must lead other men with duty and honor to meet their countries objectives. Some will be blessed with great skill, some will carry great shortcomings. No matter what nation, no matter what war, no matter what theater, they are all called to move their Platoon or Squadron forward!

These are their individual stories as played out using my various campaign rules . Hopefully these stories will entertain and inspire you to use your own troops, airmen and sailors to accomplish your own great heroics.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

On the road to Casablanca

 I have been busy puttering with some 6mm figures I got from my friend Jack.  I traded for a Russian force and a West German force.  The figures are great but I would like the germans in camo so have to paint them up before I can get them on the table properly.  So I have been experimenting with this new scale...

I think for large armored battles I will really like it.  That way tanks won't look out of place with the ground scale.  For infantry heavy actions will stick with 15mm because, though I am impressed with the 1/285 infantry, it still can't compete with 15mm.

For today we have a hypothetical scenario of a contested push of US forces towards Casablanca after tthe Torch landings.  It is actually taken from Rich Baber's blog and can be found here:  https://baberonwargames.blogspot.com/2022/02/dash-to-oum-er-rbia.html

I play a fair amount of US/ Vichy confrontations on land and in the air but really don't personalize them because the "war" lasted about 2 days.  You really can't develop characters in 2 days.  The battle is a US infantry company plus 1 platoon of stuarts, a section of TD halftracks and a section of 81mm MTRs.  The US is considered trained.

the French have 2 platoons of infantry, 1 trained and 1 experienced plus 1 ATG, 1 MMG dug in along the river.  On turn 4 they received a platoon of Renaults and a platoon of FFL infantry.  they also have a section of 60mm mtrs.

    The battlefield while I was setting up the French.  US enters from the right.   The US plan is to send a tank section and infantry platoon to the right and take the farm.  He will send his recon jeep to the left to see if the railroad bridge is heavily defended.  He assumes the center will be defended.  

The french set up hidden.  They put the goums and ATG on both sides of the rr bridge and the colonials in the farm. 

The US forces on the road to Casablanca! 

The US begins to execute their plan.  

The french move 1 squad from the farm buildings into the orchards to support their other squad already there.

1st platoon deploys under supporting fire from a pair of stuarts.  The stuarts decimate the french.

20 minutes into the battle, small mortar shells pin 1 US squad as the 1st platoon prepares to move up to the orchard.  Reconnaissance shows nothing guarding the RR bridge.  Maybe the french don't have enough forces? 

40 minutes into the battle, despite significant losses, 1st platoon has driven the french back and are preparing to enter the orchard.  3rd platoon has been sent to reinforce the schwerpunkt.  Meanwhile, 2nd platoon [ blue truck] has been sent to the RR bridge on the off chance that it can be taken in a coup de main. 

French reinforcements begin to arrive!  [ I know I have to buy a second Renault.  Anyone have one to sell?]


50 minutes into the battle US forces enter the orchard.  No blitzkrieg here I guess!  Here some Goums fire after they have been shifted from the RR bridge.  

Another view of the overwhelming numbers of US troops in the orchard.  The french LT being shelled pulls back to the end of the farm complex.  Unfortunately the goums are not in his platoon. [ That is the type of command friction I enjoy.] 


The US TD on the hill, sees the french armor coming and decides to move to the flank for a killing shot.  Unfortunately, they get bogged down right in front of the captain!  [ That move cost me an order too.] 

1 hour into the battle.  1st and 3rd platoon move into the farm proper as the french try to form a line.  The MMGs and company CO retrograde across the bridge as the french tanks so up.  The US recon section finally spots the Goums by the RR bridge.  With this info the US Capt. halts 2nd platoon's deployment.  They were painfully slow, clearly their heart wasn't in it.   They now become a reserve force.  

a close up shot of the fighting at the farm.  The french line is trying to hold until the legion shows up but it is wavering badly. 

 70 minutes into the battle.   The french infantry are pushed out of the farm and retrograde across the bridge after the loss of the LT.  Embarrassingly, the french tanks, after being fired upon loose their nerve and also retreat across the bridge.  The French CO, seeing french martial prowess, debusses the legion to make a stand at the bridge.   Things are looking pretty good for the US.  

 80 minutes into the battle. Seizing the moment the US charges the bridge as the french push up a FFL squad.  Simultaneously, the Captain orders 2nd platoon to take the RR bridge to further pressure the french. 

 The Legion can't hold but retreats in good order to the base of the bridge.  2 of the renaults head for Casablanca claiming to have their turrets damaged.  

90 minutes into the battle.  3rd platoon tries to clear the base of the bridge with small arms and the stuart.  They use a wonder weapon, "the bazooka" against the renaults but miss.  

The french fight back as the battle rages.  2nd platoon is stymied at the RR bridge.  

100 minutes into the battle.   With US forces in disarray on the bridge, the legion fixes bayonets and charges.  [ This was a nail biter turn to roll for initiative.  The US needed to rally their forces and the French needed to attack before they could rally.  Amazingly neither side gains the upper hand as men snipe each other among the stones.

  Meanwhile 2nd platoon finally manages to break the goums and sends them packing.  

110 minutes into the battle  The french manage to send another squad into the fray. [ forgot to take a picture it was so intense!] The outnumbered GI's hurl grenades desperately as the buttoned up stuart does what it can to assist.  Astoundingly, the french...

 are beaten back!     

Now over an hour and a half into the battle it was clear the road to Casablanca was not open.  It was going to take some artillery or airpower to open this road.  The team would have to hold in place until the rest of the army caught up to open the road.  

I declared it a french victory with the FFL stopping the gap and the goums plugging the other bridge.  It felt like a morale victory for the 3rd platoon however.  I really like the mix of the two games and the order system of O Group  really makes you feel like you are in charge of a battalion or in this case, a company plus.   







  1. Nice to see this played in a different scale (your eyes are obviously better than mine).

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  3. Rich, I am just near sighted! Great scenario and great blog

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.