Battle report to follow, but here's a copy of the player briefing for yesterdays 4th game in the series. One little pick of the table, just to show whats coming!
Operation Pomegranate (also known as the Second Battle of the Odon) was a series of operations fought by the British Army in World War II in mid-July 1944 against Panzergruppe West as part of the Battle of Normandy. Operation Pomegranate were intended to draw German attention away from the upcoming assault from the Orne bridgehead, codenamed Operation Goodwood. After four German infantry divisions arrived in Normandy, the objective was to prevent them from replacing German Panzer divisions deployed opposite the British Second Army for operations against the First US Army, which at the time was preparing to break out of the German defenses (Operation Cobra).
XXX Corps launched Operation Pomegranate on 16 July. The objective of 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division on the right is to capture Vendes and the surrounding area, in the center the 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division is to capture the villages of Noyers-Bocage, Haut des Forges and Landelle and on the left the 53 (Welsh) Division is to attack, ready for the corps to advance towards the high ground north-east of Villers Bocage. 33rd Armoured Brigade is to support the efforts of 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division.
Tactical Plan – 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division, 17th July 1944, Phase IV
Phase I of the attack began at 05:30am on the 16th, with units of 177th Brigade supported by 33rd Armoured Brigade clearing their start lines and advancing. On the right, despite encountering stronger than expected resistance, which saw the leading units taking heavy casualties, 1/6th South Staffs supported by B Squadron 144 RAC have successfully captured their objective (the hamlet of Brettevillette and Quedeville). With this objective in Allied hands, 1/6th South Staffs then switched to the defensive to allow the Phase 2 forces to pass through.
On the left, 5th South Staffs, supported by C Squadron 144RAC, advanced to capture Les Nouillons. This attack ran into several unmarked friendly minefields, but achieved its objectives.
Phase II of the operation began at 1pm, with A Coy 2/6th South Staffs and A Squadron of 144RAC passing through Brettevillette to capture Pt 126 and Noyers Railway Station before pushing through to attack Noyers village from the North. At the same time C Coy 2/6th South Staffs, supported by available tanks from B and C Squadron 144 RAC, advanced from Les Nouillons and attacked towards Noyers village from the East.
Both attacks encountered heavy resistance and stopped short of the village as night fell. Overnight, efforts by A Coy 2/6th South Staffs to secure a start line to the south of the Railway Station, for a morning attack by 1/6th South Staffs into Noyers, ran into a determined German counter attack, including Panzers and infantry from 9th SS Panzer. Despite muddled and at times hand to hand fighting, the German forces were beaten off and the start line secured.
Today, 5th South Staffs will attack south towards Missy, securing Bas De Forges and Haut Des Forges. Despite yesterdays casualties, C Coy, 2/6th South Staffs are to continue the attack south west into Noyers itself, supported by B Squadron, 144RAC. B Coy, 1/6th are to attack south into Noyers, supported by A Squadron, 144RAC. Additional support is available from 79th Armoured Division.
The area around Noyers consists of large crop fields bounded by tall hedgerows. Orchards and sunken lanes are prevalent. Several enemy minefields were discovered and breached during the Phase II operation, further minefields may be encountered on approach to the village.
Known Enemy Forces
Infantry from the newly arrived 277th Infantry Division are confirmed to have taken up prepared defensive positions in the Noyers area. This Division has newly arrived in Normandy, and is believed to have been transferred from coastal defence duties in Southern France. Yesterday’s fighting has shown that they are heavily supported by dug in and concealed anti-tank guns - dug in infantry and machine gun positions also offered heavier than expected resistance. SS infantry units appear to be reinforcing German Army units. The enemy has deployed minefields as part of his defensive network. Enemy Self Propelled A/T guns were engaged and destroyed during the fighting yesterday, as was a single Panther from 9th SS Panzer Division. Overnight, Panzers from 9th SS Panzer Division launched localised counter attacks. Several were knocked out, but intelligence places more in the area.
B Coy 1/6th South Staffs, supported by C Squadron 144RAC, are to advance from PT126 SOUTH and attack Noyers from the NORTH.
As such, objectives will be:
- The capturing of NOYERS church
- The securing of the roads SOUTH and WEST from the village
- Attrition of enemy forces, especially armoured elements
Points of Note
- Preparatory bombardment will be available to support the attacks. A forward observer (FOO) from 116th (North Midland) Field Regiment has been attached to each company to provide fire support.
- Both 177 Brigade and 197 Brigade are engaged in offensive operations today, demand for artillery support is expected to be high.
- Enemy armour is known to be in the area, specifically PANZER IV’s and SP guns from 9th SS Panzer
- The tanks of 144 RAC will be available at first light.
- Specialist armoured support from 79th Armoured Division may be available to overcome enemy strongpoints and clear encountered minefields.
- The village is larger than anticipated. Both Companies will be required to secure it.
- Be prepared for local enemy counter attacks, especially supported by enemy armour.
- 5th South Staffs will be advancing to the SOUTH in a SOUTH WESTERLY direction – this does leave 2/6th South Staffs flank open until 5th South Staffs secures their objectives.