Well I kept up the pressure in the west whilst in the east I quickly took control of the whole village and the bocage almost all the way to the draw itself. Problem was that once I got to the draw I had nowhere else to get. This is the problem with attacking the draw itself it is hard to get beyond and easy for the Germans to control. This is the main reason I went for broke against the eight hex wide passage round the draw.
This area was the only part of the map north of the draw the German's contested. A HMG on the opposite hill in a stone house was causing me plenty of problems and a 75L ATG took out a Sherman (M4) and the German mortar OBA was causing units to break near the draw. I brought in my own mortar based OBA which at least made the German HMG go downstairs for the extra cover on another level above their heads which removed the threat of the HMG.
I took the opportunity to assault the last house on the contested hill were I broke the defenders but they escaped off the hill. I followed and managed to get troops into the woods next to the draw. This was further forward than I had hoped to get and we still had plenty of time left in the campaign date to grab more. The only fly in the ointment was the lack of German dead.
In the last two turns things really heated up as I finally ran into a minefield getting a half squad broken. I tried to make right the lack of German casualties by a strong attack on a German stone building in the centre of the German defence. This was at the same time as a berserk squad charged the Germans in the woods holding the right hand side of the exit from the draw.
Both these attacks failed, one costing a couple of units broken but alive and the berserk squad killed in close combat. Worse still my hold on the woods was lost and with it a chance to turn the defence. This could have far reaching results if I fail to retake this area early in the next stage of the campaign.
At this point a die was thrown for ending the scenario a one needed to end. I rolled higher so had the option to continue or offer to end the game. Martin had already said he would be happy to end early and normally I would have wanted to keep going but it was obvious I had ran out of steam and could lose more troops and ground if we continued. Martin surprised me by not wanting to go on and I think it was an error of his not to try and take more land back. Next date will see a lot more close fighting and his HMG and ATG will have a far smaller contribution in the upcoming date than this date. This will put me in a far better position and as the Germans have got to defend the area we are drawn up in it should see plenty of Germans being killed something Martin can not afford to allow but at the same time I have captured so much ground than he has to defend the ground now contested.
The area of the counter attack. The white outline of a tank is the wrecked M4. The grey square above the blue ? counter is the stone building I tried to take. Martin withdrew the troops at the start of the refit phase and it looks like he is giving it up. He could though have placed mines in the hex as a little surprise. Fortunately I can search for them if I wish. This area is so tight to move it's the perfect place to mix in mines, bunkers, trenches and MG nests. I have the troops and weapons to deal with such tactics but it would not change the slow progress such moves will make. However such defences only really work if you have men covering it and that's just what I am hoping for.
The whole area of action. I have cleared the village to the rear. Martin did the right thing by not defending it. Doing so would have cost him all te troops he had placed there and these are expensive to replace. So far all I have come against are the besht elements of the 5th Regiment, Fallshirmjager, it's possible I could face their 2nd line elements but so far it's been the cream of the crop. I think the mid morning turn (next) could be crucial to how the campaign plays out. I have a few tricks in mind and Martin is no slouch. Plenty more play in this campaign.
Her we have the full map, I need to control the rear most paved road (grey) running in the diagonal slash. Four more dates to achieve this which is still a very long way. I need to break the defence line and then get units into the slightly darker brown area (height levels are higher the darker the brown). A good day will see me as far forward as the dark green lines two to three hexes back in this area. This threatens the flank and rear of any troops holding the forward positions and also forces the German to hold a long line which they don't have te troops to hold and could force them to waste purchase points on an attack to try and get to go first. A bad day and I will be fighting against a second line of defenders just three or four hexes forward which is very possible. I also have the option to attack on the right through the draw. I doubt Martin has reinforced the fortifications as I expect him to throw all he has in that respect against the eight hex front. In fact I would love him to reinforce the draw at the cost of the point of contact.