Sit Jou Kop . . .
South Africa's War #11
South Africa (Defender)
|Britain||1st Field Regiment Royal Artillery|
|Germany||13th Oasis Company|
|Germany||5th Panzer Regiment|
|India||4/11th Sikh Regiment|
|India||7th Infantry Brigade|
|India||Central India Horse "21st King George V's Own Horse"|
|Italy||15º Reggimento Fanteria "Savona"|
|South Africa||2nd Anti-Tank Battery|
|Overall Rating, 2 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 609|
|Parent Game||South Africa's War|
|Layout Dimensions||88 x 58 cm
35 x 23 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Desert Rats||maps + counters|
|South Africa's War||counters|
With Operation Crusader's initial armored thrust defeated, the German Afrika Korps made its own counter-thrust against the Allied positions on the Libyan-Egyptian frontier. Sweeping around the open southern flank, they found the Indian, New Zealand and South African troops quite ready to receive them, having taken many of the Axis positions on the Libyan side of the border. The Afrika Korps had, as the Afrikaans phrase had it, placed its head in a very bad place.
German and British accounts of this action are in sharp contrast, with the Germans claiming to have engaged enemy tanks and the British claiming that all German tank losses were inflicted by artillery crews firing over open sights. What is clear is that both sides suffered losses, and that the Germans did not manage to wipe out the small infantry-artillery force caught in the open by their surprise advance.
Use British trucks for some of the Indian trucks.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|4 Errata Items|
This is an armored car.
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
Ignore the direct fire values.
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
The Pz IVe appearing in the original Panzer Grenadier game had an Anti tank value of 4-7. As of Afrika Korps (2002), continuing onward through the 3rd and 4th edition games, the anti tank value has been 4-4.
(plloyd1010 on 2016 Jul 25)
|Axis falls prey to it's own trap|
I have played quite a few scenarios with minefields in the past and usually they are quite effective in deterring or delaying an enemy advance. In this case they were ultimately self-serving as friend and foe alike took substantial losses from them. I think I learned a valuable lesson in minefield deployment from this scenario, to leave at least one safe, mine-free space for the defenders to either escape out of or to safely allow reinforcments in.
The Commonwealth VCs require either 10 enemy step losses inflicted or total control control of enemy hill hexes within a 4 hex radius. The axis have to either inflict 12 Commonwealth step losses or control the majority of the same hill hexes. The axis is allowed to begin dug-in and gets to place 25 points of minefields. In this case, against better judgement, I totally encircled the axis units with mines adjacent to the units. If the combined German and Italian forces were entrenched then this defense would of worked out better as demoralized units do not have to flee when entrenched. Of course the mines were randomly drawn so there was no knowing of whether fleeing axis units would be traversing over 1,2 or 3 pt minefields until they were uncovered.
So the battle begins with two separate Indian forces advancing north against an assortment of axis defenders along with a token force of South African 2-pdr portees. Right behind them, entering from the south edge is an assortment of panzers cautiously shadowing the Commonwealth units knowing that at any time British Matildas along with a mix of armored cars (Humber I and Rolls Royce) may arrive from the west edge of the map. In this case the Commonwealth armored reinforcments arrive promptly on the first turn only having to roll a 5 or 6/D6. A gauntlet also is soon set-up between the two southern hills with and Indian 2-pdr on the west hill and 3x25pdrs on the east hill so the panzers are already having to carefully plot their movements. Somehow they escape that intial trap and veer northwest intially outrunning the slow moving Matildas but still being trailed by the Bok portees from a safe distance. The axis hopes are that the panzers will get close enough to the hill where the Italians have their 47mm AT guns dug-in and lure in or drive away Commonwealth armored units with the threat of crossfire. However, once the Indian foot units edge in to the northeast hill, braving opportunity fire, those 47mms are easily spotted and soon wiped out by 3x13 OBA combined with triple stacked 25-pdr indirect firepower.
Soon the axis defenders on the hill are in bad shape morale-wise as their morale ratings are a mere 7/6 and the stronger German units, particularily the HMGs take the worst of it from direct fire. The few German units are the first to break down, take step losses and flee their initial dug-in positions ultimately getting tangled up with the Italian rearguard. Then the Italian units begin to crumble in the front lines. A horrible domino effect begins to take place. Not only have units begun to pile up 3 high in the rearguard area in various states of morale but they are mixed between both Italian and German so there is no co-operation as neither one can command or assist the other nationality. Then, from bad to worse, units begin fleeing over their own minefields with deadly results and what demoralized units survive that get pinned down.
The brave Indian Infantry traverse these minefields as well, to get inside and occupy abandoned enemy positions and also pay a heavy price, losing 5 steps of INF in the process but enough manage to get in eventually to really put the screws on the axis. At 12:45/turn 12, the Commonwealth has already met one of it's victory conditions as over 10 axis steps have been eliminated. Now they just had to survive the next 18 turns without losing 12 steps of their own to prevent a draw. There was no way that the axis could win at this point. Only a few Italian units remained on the hill, the German units and leaders had already fled off the hill after getting whittled down from their own mines. However, most of the panzers remained and they were going to stick around to play spoiler. What transpired next through the remainder of the battle was a lot of chasing; panzers chasing away armored cars and Matildas creeping up on the panzers with portees waiting for a moment to set-up some crossfire opportunities. The one Indian 2-pdr had been moved up and deployed to cause even more confusion. While the last axis defenders within hill were being either eliminated or driven off there was something like a dance going on around in a circle of the hill. There was a lot of crossfire going on in favor of the Commonwealth and soon just 2 reduced and 1 full unit of PzIIIGs remained from AT fire before they were overun by zealous Indian foot units. The panzers were able to eliminate both of the South African portees but had no luck, even at point-blank range, of phasing the Matildas.
The battle ends at 16:45/turn 28, two turns early as there are no axis units left on the map. Only the two German lone leaders are left and they are quicky rounded up and captured. The Italian leaders died at their posts. The Commonwealth suffered just 8 step losses, over half of those from the undiscriminating minefields. This scenario started out as a '4' for me but ended in a '3'. I probably made my biggest mistake with the axis in the initial minefield deployment but honestly don't think if I placed the mines further out that they would of fared much better. The axis morale was horrible and they would of been dslodged from the hill anyway but if they had a clear path to flee out of then they could of maybe made a substantial counterattack or had a way for the panzers to get in and reinforce their positons with combined arms. I think that there is a higher potential for a draw here but quite a challenge to score an axis victory. Also, the axis has no OBA or indirect fire support units to assist them while the Commonwealth has plenty of both. I do believe that this scenario does have a good replay value and may have been much different or enjoyable as a shared play.