Canadian and British Commando Dieppe Forces PDF - Flames Of War

Canadian and British Commando Dieppe Forces PDF - Flames Of War

By Mike Haught and Wayne Turner Updated on 10 September 2014 1 OPERATION JUBILEE The Raid on Dieppe, France, 19 August 1942 was to supply air cove...

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By Mike Haught and Wayne Turner Updated on 10 September 2014

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OPERATION JUBILEE The Raid on Dieppe, France, 19 August 1942

was to supply air cover and gain air superiority over Dieppe. Both these assumptions were to prove woefully inadequate.

The Dieppe raid has gone down in history as a tragic military blunder. The lack of proper intelligence on the German defences and ineffective preparatory bombing and bombardment meant the troops came ashore against withering fire. Despite this the Dieppe raid did have some successes including some epic struggles against extreme odds, which led to some tremendous acts of heroism and bravery.

The destroyers became involved in a short exchange with a German convoy, which alerted the Germans on shore something was a foot, and the bombardment did little in the way of damage to the German positions. On top of this, the RAF fighters did not have enough fuel to stay above Dieppe for any length of time. Therefore both surprise and air cover were limited.

The Dieppe raid, code named Operation Jubilee, was launched on 19 August after several delays and a cancellation. It was conceived as part of on going raids of different sizes (and was the largest such) along the French coast. These raids aimed to test and reconnoitre the German coastal defences.

The Assaults

The raid was supported by eight destroyers of the Royal Navy and the fighters and bombers of the RAF. Most of the troops taking part in the raid were Canadian. The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, Essex Scottish, Fusiliers Mont-Royal, Royal Regiment of Canada, South Saskatchewan, Cameron Highlanders of Canada regiments and the 14th Canadian Army Tank (Calgary) Regiment all took part in the raid. Also involved were Nos. 3 and 4 Commando of the British Army, the Royal Marine A Commando, 18 inter-allied French Commandos and 50 US Rangers. The total force was just under 5000 strong. The raid opened with a short bombardment from the 4.5” guns of the Royal Navy Destroyers. It was hoped that by not engaging in a prolonged bombardment and bombing of Dieppe the element of surprise would be retained. The RAF

The raid wasn’t just an attack on the town of Dieppe. It also included several landings on the flanks. The aims of the raid were to seize and hold the port for a short period, to gather intelligence from prisoners and captured materials, and to test the German reaction. The Allies also wanted to destroy German coastal defences, port structures, and all strategic buildings. Flank attacks were to seize the headlands. To this was added an attack on a German HQ and an airfield further inland.

Blue Beach The Royal Regiment of Canada landed at Blue Beach near Puys, but delays meant advantages of surprise and darkness were lost by the time they landed. Sixty German defenders were able to hold the Canadians on the beach. They were joined by several platoons from the Black Watch of Canada, but they weren’t able to free themselves from the beach. The Canadians lost 225 men killed and 264 surrendered on this beach, with only 33 men evacuated back to England.

No. 3 Commando Yellow Beach 1

Main Dieppe Beach

White Beach Green Beach

No. 4 Commando Group Two

Dieppe

Group One

Varengeville

Radar Station

Varengeville Battery

Pourville

2

Red Beach

Yellow Beach 2

Blue Beach

Goebbel Battery

Petit Berneval

Berneval

Green Beach On the other side of Dieppe at Pourville (Green Beach) the South Saskatchewan Regiment and the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada landed with few losses. The South Saskatchewans advanced on Dieppe, but they were stopped short of their objective by German defenders, as were Camerons. Both regiments were forced to withdraw and suffering casualties in the process. Landing craft crews managed to evacuate 341 men to the flotilla, leaving the rest to surrender as the Germans closed in on the beach. 141 men were killed. The South Saskatchewan Regiment’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry during the battle, despite being captured along with many of his men. Part of the purpose in landing in Green Beach was to gather intelligence on the German radar station on the cliff-top just to the east of the town of Pourville. RAF Flight Sergeant Jack Nissenthall, a radar specialist who had also completed Commando training, was attached to the South Saskatchewans and assigned to investigate. Strong defence prevented Nissenthall and his Saskatchewan bodyguards from entering the radar station, but he was able to crawl up to the rear of the station under fire and cut the telephone wires leading to it. This forced the German crew inside to use radio to talk to their commanders, allowing the transmissions to be intercepted by listening posts on the south coast of England. The Allies learnt a great deal about the German radar arrays along the channel coast because of this. Nissenthall escaped back to England.

Dieppe Dieppe itself was attacked from three points. The Essex Scottish Regiment landing at the eastern Red Beach, The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry at the western White Beach and 14th Canadian Army Tank Regiment (Calgary Regiment) in the centre. The first units of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry and Essex Scottish stormed ashore around 0530 hours, 10 to 15 minutes after the bombardment had ceased, more than enough time for the defenders to recover. As soon as the Hamilton Light Infantry had landed they came under intense fire from the German defenders. The preliminary bombardment from the destroyers had done little to silence the Germans. The Hamiltons had to withstand the withering fire laid down by the Germans for 15 minutes before the first wave of Churchills arrived. The Hamiltons became pinned down on the beach and were unable to make progress until the landing of reinforcements further down the beach allowed them a respite.

Communications were fragmentary throughout the raid and the reserves were committed to the Dieppe beach at around 0700 hours based on little understanding of the unfolding events. 584 men of Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal took fire during their landing on the beach. The other part of the reserve comprised 369 men of Royal Marine A Commando. They were ordered to White Beach to support if possible. The first of their craft landed under withering machine gun fire. Their commander, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph ‘Tiger’ Phillips, signalled the order to his landing craft to withdraw, but he was hit and killed in the process. However, all but one saw the signal and withdrew, though several craft were already hit. The Commandos that landed could not advanced more than a few yards once ashore. At 0720 hours the Hamiltons stormed the fortified casino, with the aid of engineers and small parties of the just landed Fusiliers Mont-Royal, taking out the German guns and positions inside. Several parties then started making their way into the town. Of the 30 tanks landed in the first wave, only 15 managed to make it off the beach and cross the anti-tank ditch and the seawall onto the promenade between the seawall and the first row of town buildings. The beach at Dieppe was made up of chert, a type of smooth rounded shingle that proved very difficult going for the Churchill tanks. The tanks would slide around or the chert would become lodged in between road wheels and tracks immobilising them or throwing tracks. They came under fire from pillboxes and the guns of flanking cliff-top positions, and they were brought to a complete stop by anti-tank walls blocking the street exits from the promenade. The engineers were unable to clear these obstacles because of heavy fire. Fighting continued on the promenade for several hours, but with many troops pinned down on the beach and no further progress made into the town, the order to withdraw was issued at 1050 hours, less that six hours after the first troops had landed. Some Churchill tanks were able to return to the beach to cover the withdrawal. The landing craft returned to the beaches under smoke and RAF fighter cover. Evacuation took place in confusion with fighting still on going. By 1220 hours, landing craft could no longer make the beaches. The destroyer HMS Calpe made a last evacuation attempt at 1248 hours before the fleet returned to England. The Dieppe raid was over. 3,367 men, including 2,752 Canadians remained on the beaches, dead or as prisoners.

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SPECIAL RULES The forces in this intelligence Briefing use the following special rules in addition to the British special rules on pages 246 to 248 of the rulebook. In addition, the Canadian Tank Company and Rifle Company use the Canadian rules below, and the British Commando uses the Commando rules on page 17.

Naval Gunfire Support The Royal Navy provided direct fire support to the Canadians and British commandos at Dieppe from their destroyers sitting just off shore. If you have Naval Gunfire support, your force will field an NGFS Observer Rifle Team that can only Spot for an artillery battery of Confident Trained Naval Guns. The guns are not deployed on the table, but have the range to hit any target on the table. They do not have a Staff team. When firing an Artillery Bombardment with Naval Gunfire Support, position the Artillery Template with the sides parallel to the table edges. Naval Gunfire Support always uses the smallest Artillery Template available, electing to re-roll misses rather than use a large Template.

Fixed mount As the Churchill I Oke flame-thrower was attached to the side of the tank it had to be aimed by turning the tank towards the target. The Oke flame-thrower can only be fired if no other weapons of the vehicle have fired during the turn. It can only be fired once during the game. However, it does not suffer penalties of dangerous empty fuel tanks like other flame-thrower vehicles, as the actual amount of fuel carried was small. Churchill I Oke tanks are not effected by the Fuel Tanks special rule (see page 199 of the rulebook).

It’s a Raid, Not an Invasion The plan for the Dieppe Raid was for the British and Canadian forces to penetrate inland as far as the airfield behind the town. This called for aggressive tactics against the defending German troops. However, once the objectives had been secured and intelligence gathered, the force was to withdraw to the beach and re-board their landing craft before any German counterattack could be mobilised. Dieppe Rifle Company or Commando forces will Always Attack against an Infantry Company.

CANADIAN SPECIAL RULES Canadian soldiers established an outstanding record in the First World War where the Canadian Corps was used as an elite assault unit. When the Second World War began, thousands volunteered for a new Canadian Corps. By the middle of 1942, three Canadian infantry divisions, a Canadian armoured division, and a Canadian army tank brigade were all training in Britain. The 2nd Canadian Infantry Division conducted the one-day raid on the port of Dieppe in August 1942, suffering heavy losses before returning to training. Canadian forces use all of the British special rules on pages 246 to 248 of the rule book except the British Bulldog special rule. In addition they have their own Assault Troops and Woodsmen special rules.

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Assault Troops The Canadians have maintained their enviable reputation as aggressive assault troops. Canadian Platoons do not use the British Bulldog special rule. Instead any Canadian Platoon may re-roll failed Motivation tests to Rally from being Pinned Down or to remount vehicles after being Bailed Out.

Woodsmen Although Canada has been settled for centuries, it was not until the Nineteenth Century that its population underwent significant growth and it remains a largely rural country. Canadian Platoons use the German Mission Tactics special rule on page 242 of the rulebook.

CHURCHILL I OKE FLAME-TANK Churchill I Oke flame-tank The Oke was a Churchill I with a flame-thrower replacing its hull mounted 3” inch close support gun. It got its name from its designer, Major J.M. Oke. The design was basically a Churchill tank fitted with Ronson flame-throwing equipment. A tank containing the flame fuel was fitted at the rear, with a pipe from it leading along and through the left-hand track guard to the inside front of it. The flame-thrower was operated by the hull machine-gunner. The Churchill Oke was the first Churchill to be fitted with flame equipment. The range of the Oke flame-thrower was 40 to 50 metres. Three Churchill I’s that were equipped with the Oke flame-thrower system at Dieppe. All three were crewed by 8 Troop, B Squadron, 14th Army Tank Regiment (The Calgary Regiment), and were carried on TLC-3 (Tank Landing Craft) No 159. The three Churchill I Oke tanks were: Landing craft

Name

WD Number

Turret Number

TLC-3 No 159

BULL

T-31862

8 in a blue square

Capt D. G. Purdy, Cpl W. D. Ibister, Tpr W. Stewart, Tpr L. Hudson, Tpr P. W. Aide

TLC-3 No 159

BOAR

T-32049

8 in a blue square

Sgt J. Sullivan, LCpl A. A. Poirier, Tpr A. R. Birston, Tpr E. Paquette, Tpr. A. L. Chick

T-68875

8 in a blue square

Lt G. L. Drysdale, Tpr R. F. Milne, Tpr R. F. Anderson, Tpr S. G. Hodgson, Tpr B. M. Skinner

TLC-3 No 159 BEETLE

Commander, Driver, Co-driver/MG, Gunner, Loader/radio

BULL was the Troop Commander’s tank and was launched prematurely and ‘drowned’ in ten feet of water approximately 100 metres off shore at the junction of Red and White Beaches. BOAR made heavy landing from TLC-3 and knocked off the flame-thrower fuel tank on the rear, but still managed to cross the beach and onto the promenade in the area of the casino. It remained mobile throughout the morning, before being ordered back to the beach to cover the withdrawal. Once back on the beach BOAR took a hit and was immobilised, but continued to act as a pillbox. BEETLE also landed heavily and broke a pin on her right track, remaining immobilized on the shore line at the eastern end of Red Beach. She acted as a pillbox during the battle. Unfortunately none of the Churchill I Oke flame-tanks were able to use their flame guns during the battle.

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MODELLING THE CHURCHILL I OKE Modelling the Churchill I OKE First you start with a BR070 Churchill I/II tank model. Materials: You will need some plastic card, 1-1.2mm diameter brass wire, 2mm diameter brass tubing, a pin-vice with a suitably sized drill bits, some superglue and a hobby knife. All the materials should be available from a good hobby/model store.

Step 1 Clean up the model and trim the hooks from the hull rear so the tank can sit flat when glued on. Before gluing the tracks to the hull drill a hole about 3mm deep in to the inside front guard of the left hand track. The hole should positioned 3mm from the guard top and 3mm from the upper hull front. Once done assemble the Churchill as normal.

Step 2 While the tank’s glue it drying you can assemble the flame fuel tank. This is made from plastic card (or you could equally carve the shape from a piece of balsa or a hard lump of putty such as milliput). I’ve made a template for the sides and middle. Cut two copies of the sides out from your plastic card. The easiest way is to print the template, cut out the paper version then clear tape it to the plastic card and trace around it with a shape knife, leaving a scored outline on the card. If your plastic card is thin enough (you might like to use the plastic from a blister pack), you can cut the middle section out as one sheet and score the lines where the folds will be. If you using thicker card, cut the panels out individually. For added rigidity I added length of square plastic tubing to the centre. When you glue the tank to the hull upper rear, glue one last panel 4.5mm x 15mm to the back of the tank and fit the flame fuel tank on to it.

If your end panels don’t fit exactly, still glue them in place anyway. Then, once the glue is dry, trim the excess off with a sharp knife.

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Step 3 Drill a hole in the left hand side of the flame fuel tank. This will be where the flame pipe will fit. This is roughly in the centre of the side panel. Take a length of 1-1.2mm wire about 35mm long and bend it 90 degrees at each end, ensuring the gap between each bend is 18mm. The bend for the tank end should be at least 10mm to reach the tank, while the track end has to only be 3mm.

Step 4 Now drill a hole in the left hand track just behind the air intakes. This is where the flame pipe disappears into the track guards, runs along the inside and reappears at the front. If you’ve flame pipe doesn’t fit between the two holes just pull the two ends apart out of their 90 degree angles until they fit the holes.

Step 5 Cut a short 2 to 3mm length of the brass piping off with a small hack saw or clippers (if using clippers you will have to file the ends flat, so cut it a bit longer). Then bore it out with your drill so it will fit over the end of the wire. Then bend a short length of wire with a 90 degree angle. The short end should be 5mm and the longer muzzle end 10mm. Then superglue the short length of pipe to the long end of the wire. Then glue the short end into the hole drilled earlier into the track inside guard. Now it is finished and ready for painting.

Step 6 I painted mine in Khaki Drab (Russian Uniform VP924) and highlighted it by adding a little Buff VP976. The markings are as they appear on the original. The green over yellow box with the 175 is found on all the Churchills at Dieppe (though I have since been informed it was probably blue over maroon).

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HEADQUARTERS

An Infantry Tank Company must field a Company HQ and two to four Combat Platoons. It may also field one Support Platoon from each box shown (Armour, Infantry, etc.).

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ARMOUR

Infantry Tank Platoon

9

Flame-tank Platoon

9

8

Air Support

NAVAL SUPPORT

AIRCRAFT

9

Infantry Tank Platoon

Naval Gun Fire Support

13

ARMOUR

Rifle Platoon

INFANTRY

9

Infantry Tank Platoon

Commando Company (with one section)

11

ARMOUR

Rifle Platoon

21

Infantry Tank Platoon

INFANTRY

11

ARMOUR

9

COMBAT PLATOONS

9

Company HQ

DIVISIONAL SUPPORT PLATOONS

HEADQUARTERS

(Tank Company)

Canadian RELUCTANT

The 14 Canadian Tank Regiment have trained hard and long in the United Kingdom. They are rated as Confident Trained and use the Canadian special rules on page 4.

CONFIDENT

TRAINED

FEARLESS

VETERAN

th

CONSCRIPT

HEADQUARTERS Company HQ Major

Headquarters

Major

Company HQ with: 2 Churchill I

210 points

• Add up to one Churchill I tank for +105 points. • Replace up to one Churchill I tank with a Churchill II tank for -5 points. • Replace up to one Churchill I tank with a Churchill  III tank for +25 points. Calgary Regiment (14th Canadian Tank Regiment) was armed with new Churchill tanks when it was assigned to support the men of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division during the Dieppe Raid. They landed in TLC’s (Tank Landing Craft),

Company Command Churchill I

2iC Command Churchill I

Churchill I Company HQ

Infantry Tank Company—Dieppe

Motivation and Skill

Infantry Tank Company HQ

which could carry three Churchill tanks each. Thirty tanks were landed after the first wave of infantry, while another twenty eight were held back as a floating reserve.

COMBAT PLATOONS Infantry Tank Platoon Subaltern

Platoon 3 Churchill III

Subaltern

400 points

• Replace up to one Churchill III tank with a Churchill II tank for -25 points. The heavy armour of the Churchill tanks means they are virtually impervious to enemy fire. While they are a slow tank, the Churchill tanks are able to clamber up steep slopes the Germans thought were impassable. However, they met their match against the seemingly innocuous chert beach of Dieppe. This form of rounded shingle provided low grip even for Churchill tanks and clogged and broke their tracks.

Command Churchill HQ Tank Sergeant

Corporal

Churchill

Churchill

Tank

Tank

Tank Platoon

Flame-tank Platoon Subaltern

Platoon 3 Churchill I OKE

Subaltern

330 points

The Oke was a Churchill I with a flame-thrower replacing its hull mounted 3-inch close-support howitzer. It got its name from its designer, Major J M Oke. Three Churchill I tanks were equipped with the Oke flamethrower system at Dieppe. All three were crewed by 8 Troop, B Squadron, 14th Army Tank Regiment (The Calgary Regiment), Canadian Armoured Corps and were carried on TLC-3 (Tank Landing Craft) No. 159.

Command Churchill I OKE HQ Tank Sergeant

Corporal

Churchill I OKE

Churchill I OKE

Tank

Tank

Flame-tank Platoon

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A Rifle Company must field a Company HQ and three Rifle Platoons, and may field one of each of the Weapons Platoons shown. It may also field one Brigade and Divisional Support Platoon from each box shown (Armour, Infantry, etc.).

Rifle Platoon

11

Naval Gun Fire Support

13

Air Support

13

DIVISIONAL SUPPORT PLATOONS

Commando Company (with one section) INFANTRY

Machine-gun Platoon

13

BRIGADE SUPPORT PLATOONS

Rifle Platoon

21

11

Tank Platoon

11

INFANTRY

MACHINE-GUNS

MACHINE-GUNS

NAVAL SUPPORT

13

Machine-gun Platoon

10

Flame-tank Platoon

ARMOUR

INFANTRY

Rifle Platoon

Tank Platoon

9

Mortar Platoon

12

11

Rifle Platoon

ARTILLERY

ARMOUR

9

INFANTRY

Pioneer Platoon

12

Rifle Platoon

ENGINEERS

9

INFANTRY

WEAPONS PLATOONS

Company HQ

11

COMBAT PLATOONS

HEADQUARTERS

11

HEADQUARTERS

(Infantry Company)

AIRCRAFT

Canadian RELUCTANT

The Canadian 2 Division troops are well-trained, but are lacking in experience before landing in Dieppe. A Canadian Rifle Company at Dieppe is Confident Trained and use the Canadian special rules on page 4.

CONFIDENT

TRAINED

FEARLESS

VETERAN

nd

CONSCRIPT

HEADQUARTERS Company HQ Major

Headquarters Company HQ

Major

25 points

Option • Add Jeep or Troop Carrier for +5 points. The riflemen of the 2nd Canadian Division fought on three different landing beaches during Operation Jubilee. On Blue Beach, near Puys, the Royal Regiment of Canada landed, supported by three platoons of the Black Watch of Canada. Landing at Green Beach near Pourville were the South Saskatchewan Regiment and the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada.

Company Command Rifle team

2iC Command Rifle team

Rifle Company—Dieppe

Motivation and Skill

Troop Carrier

Company HQ

Rifle Company HQ

On the main beach the Essex Scottish Regiment landed on the east, and The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry on the west. The men of the Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal Regiment were in the floating reserve with the Royal Marine Commandos.

COMBAT PLATOONS Rifle Platoon Subaltern

Platoon

Subaltern

HQ Section with: 3 Rifle Squads 2 Rifle Squads

120 points 90 points

Command Rifle/MG team

Options • Add Light Mortar team for +15 points. • Add Anti-tank Rifle team for +15 points. The riflemen of the 2nd Canadian Division have been training hard in Britain for a chance to get to grips with the enemy. Operation Jubilee will finally put them face to face with the Germans. They have prepared well, training in the latest techniques and weapons with veteran instructors from the fighting in North Africa. They are ready for action and need only the experience of battle.

Anti-tank Rifle team

Light Mortar team

HQ Section Corporal

Corporal

Rifle/MG team

Rifle/MG team

Rifle/MG team

Rifle/MG team

Rifle Squad

Rifle Squad Corporal

Rifle/MG team

Rifle/MG team

Rifle Squad

Rifle Platoon

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WEAPONS PLATOONS Pioneer Platoon Subaltern

Platoon

Subaltern

HQ Section with: 2 Assault Squads

75 points Command Pioneer Rifle team

Pioneers were initially the battalion’s labourers, but also took on the role of mine-clearing in assaults and similar work. During the Dieppe raid it was their role to clear obstacles that hinder the advance of the tanks and infantry deeper into the town. For the success of the raid it was vital that the pioneers cleared the way for the tanks to get beyond the beachhead and further inland.

Pioneer Rifle team

HQ Section Corporal

Corporal

Pioneer Rifle team

Pioneer Rifle team

Assault Squad

Assault Squad

Pioneer Platoon

Mortar Platoon Subaltern

Platoon

Subaltern

HQ Section with: 3 Mortar Sections 2 Mortar Sections

150 points 105 points

The mortars are useful—they can be man-packed across the beach and seawall, or are small enough to be fired from behind the seawall in the frontline and not be seen. This, the first model British 3” mortar could only reach a range of 1600 yards, but is ample range to fire from the beach on to the German defences inland. The 3” mortar has a smoke round that can be used to screen the movements of the assaulting riflemen and blind the German defenders.

Command Rifle team HQ Section Sergeant

Sergeant

Observer Rifle Team

Observer Rifle Team

3” mortar

3” mortar

3” mortar

Mortar Section Sergeant

Observer Rifle Team

3” mortar

3” mortar

Mortar Section

Mortar Platoon

12

3” mortar

Mortar Section

Canadian Machine-gun Platoon Subaltern

Platoon

Subaltern

HQ Section with: 2 Machine-gun Sections 1 Machine-gun Section

130 points 70 points

Command Rifle team HQ Section

The Vickers medium machine-gun is a venerable weapon, but the reliable Vickers gun is just what is needed at Dieppe. A particular tactic is to group the Vickers guns and fire an indirect barrage against enemy positions a few miles away. The bullets strike the area without warning, a silent killer for any Germans in the open. During the Dieppe raid the 2nd Canadian Division’s machinegun battalion was the Toronto Scottish Regiment.

Sergeant

Sergeant

Vickers HMG Vickers HMG

Rifle Company—Dieppe

BRIGADE SUPPORT PLATOONS

Vickers HMG Vickers HMG

Machine-gun Section

Machine-gun Section

Machine-gun Platoon

DIVISIONAL SUPPORT PLATOONS Naval Gunfire Support Captain

Naval Gunfire Support Destroyer

150 points

The raid on Dieppe was supported by a flotilla under captain John Hughes-Hallett of the Royal Navy. Eight Destroyers and a gun boat provided the supporting fire for the landing infantry for the 2nd Canadian Division. The Naval Gun Fire Support special rules are on page 4.

Captain

Destroyer Destroyer

Naval Gunfire Support

Air Support Flight Lieutenant

Priority Air Support Fighter Interception

75 points

Flight Lieutenant

Limited Air Support Fighter Interception

50 points

Aircraft Flight

48 Spitfire squadrons, 8 Hurricane squadrons, 2 Mustang squadrons and 3 of the new Hawker Typhoon squadrons provided fighter cover during Operation Jubilee.

Air Support

British Air Support at Dieppe can only be used for Fighter Interception and cannot be used for Ground Attack. See the Fighter Interception rules on page 179 of the rulebook.

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NUMBER 4 COMMANDO

VARENGEVILLE One of the interesting things about the Dieppe raid was the number of smaller operations off to the sides of the main assault. These ‘raids within a raid’ were launched with the aim of preparing the way for the main assaults on the Dieppe beachfront by knocking out guns, observation posts and other flanking positions. The most successful of these side shows was the attack by No. 4 Commando on the Varengeville coastal defence battery to the west of Dieppe. The 252 men of the Commando were split into two groups. Group One landed in front of two gullies that led up to the battery position through scrubland. Group Two landed about 1½ miles west of Group One by the mouth of the Saane River. Group One, commanded by Major Derek Mills-Roberts, consisted of the Group HQ, C Troop and 1 section of A Troop, plus various support personnel, a total of 88 all ranks. Group Two, commanded by the unit’s founder, Lord Lovat, had 164 personnel made up of A (less one section), B and F Troops, and the force HQ.

The Plan Their objective was to destroy the battery near Varengeville to stop it firing on the naval forces and the Canadians engaged in the main assault on Dieppe. Group One’s task was to penetrate from the coast and engage and pin the Germans around the battery positions with covering fire while Group Two moved inland to out flank the German positions. Once in position they were to wait for a

flight of Hurricanes to make a strafing run on the battery at Z + 90 minutes (90 minutes after their scheduled landing time) and then assault the battery and defended positions. Once the battery was knocked out the Commando was to retire to the beach and withdraw.

Group One’s Landing on Beach One At 0430 hours No. 4 Commando hit the beach. Group One made straight for the gullies in front of their landing position that led off the beach, all haste was called for as the lighthouse had shut down, indicating the raid may have been detected. The landing met no resistance and the men of Group One made for the shelter of the cliffs flanking the entrance to the gullies leading off the beach. C Troop’s leading section reconnoitred the left gully, but found it impassable. The right hand gully was then checked, but also found blocked by wire and other defensive obstacles. The commandos used explosives to clear the way, the sound was covered by the German batteries firing at the incoming flotilla. Group One, then made their way up the gully into the wood. No. 1 Section of C Troop scouted ahead and led the way into the Varengeville Sur-Mer wood, clearing a few houses as they went. No. 2 Section cleared the house immediately above the beach and guarded the gully down to the beach. The single section of A Troop attached to Group One worked its way behind the lighthouse and cut the observers telephone cable running from it back to the battery. Once C Troop had worked its way forward to the wood edge facing the battery position, they were soon engaged in a firefight with the Germans. The Group One A Troop section then worked around the flank of the German positions and engaged them from positions among the houses. By 0540 hours all of C Troop was in position and pouring rifle, Bren light machine-gun, Boys anti-tank rifle and mortar fire onto the Germans.

Group Two’s Landing on Beach Two Group Two’s landing was not so easy. A Troop (less the section attached to Group One) came ashore under fire from mortars and machine-guns and had to negotiate the thick barbed

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British The Assault on the Battery

Group Two soon received an opportunity to escape the beach. Over-flying British bombers distracted the Germans defenders long enough for the commandos to make a rush up to the Quiberville-St Marguerite Road. Crossing it, they made their way along the eastern bank of the Saane River. The going was difficult as they moved along the river bank, as the river had overflowed into the long grass beside it. By this time it was 0515 hours and fully light. B Troop led the way, followed by the Force HQ and then F Troop. The steep riverbanks offered protection from the direction of St. Marguerite, and smoke was prepared in case of fire from the direction of Quiberville. When Group Two hit the bend in the river they swung east towards the rear of the German battery.

The planned Hurricane flight arrived on time to strafe the battery position, unfortunately they were followed by some FW-190 Focke-Wulf fighters who interrupted their strafing run.

As the commandos of Group Two moved east the ground became more open and a loose formation was adopted, the sections moving in bounds across the open areas. As they got closer to their objective they could here the firefight taking place between the Germans and Group One. At the woods to the rear of the German Battery B and F Troops split. B Troop continued east and followed the southern edge of the wood. They then split into their sections and used fire and movement to advance through the orchard and village. They silenced a machine-gun post in the process and were soon in position to assault the battery. 95 minutes after landing they were ready for the assault.

Both Group One and Two were in position for the assault and firing on the battery. The A Troop fighting patrol (the section attached to Group One) continued to inflict heavy casualties on the Germans from their flank position west of the battery.

Luckily the commandos had already inflicted sufficient damage on the Germans and by 0607 hours the battery had been silenced. This intense fire from Group One silenced the forward facing machine-gun positions. Group One 2-inch mortar rounds also detonated the German batteries cordite dumps, stunning and burning may of the batteries crew. A German 8cm mortar opened fire on C Troop’s position and they took their first casualties. The signal for the assault was given at Z+100.

Commando—Dieppe

wire entanglements, suffering four casualties in the process. The commandos used Rabbit netting to cross the wire. The remainder of the Group Two, coming ashore 150 yards up the beach from A Troop, made for the Saane River mouth, also taking casualties. Relief came when the mortar fire lifted to fire on the withdrawing British landing craft.

B Troop attacked the buildings to the east of the guns while F Troop stormed the battery position itself. F Troop rushed across the open ground through defensive fire overrunning several strong points to finally end amongst the battery itself. All the Germans were quickly dispatched, with only four prisoners taken for intelligence purposes. The Guns were made inoperable by explosive charges. Gun barrels, breach blocks and other equipment vital for the batteries continued use were destroyed. B Troop mopped up the surrounding defensive positions, some pillboxes causing more casualties until finally silenced with grenades and Thompson submachine-guns.

F Troop headed northeast towards the rear of the battery. Using the cover of smoke they advanced from the wood on the German positions to penetrate their wire perimeter. They surprised a patrol of Germans just inside organising an assault on C Troop from Group One. The F Troop commandos assaulted, killing them all. Once these were cleared away, further resistance was met in and around the farm buildings. The fighting was fierce, but the commandos’ special combat training shone through, they proved quick and deadly against all opposition encountered. Several more casualties were sustained. Finally they reached their planned start positions for the assault on the battery. They now laid in wait in the ditch lining the road behind the battery’s position for the next phase of the operation.

Germans were piled everywhere, many burned by the battery’s cordite explosion and many more killed by A and C Troops covering fire and the assault by B and F Troops.

The Force HQ move up between the positions of B and F Troops, coming under fire from F Troop, but this was soon stopped by radio calls from the HQ.

The whole operation had been a complete success. The No. 4 commando had suffered 45 casualties, 12 killed, 20 wounded and 13 missing.

B and F Troops consolidated under the cover of smoke from their smoke generators and No. 77 Phosphorous grenades.

The Withdrawal While B, C and F troops withdrew to Group One’s landing beach, A Troop was busy guarding the St. Marguerite flank in case of German counterattack. A German patrol was sent from St. Marguerite and was ambushed by A Troop. Once the wounded were withdrawn, A, B, C and F troops retired covered by C Troop who were the last off the beach.

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NUMBER 3 COMMANDO

BERNEVAL As part of the Dieppe operations No. 3 Commando was to attack the Goebbel artillery battery at Berneval to the east of Dieppe. They were to knock out the battery to stop it firing on the Canadians’ main attack on Dieppe. No. 3 Commando’s attack was to work on surprise. They were to land under the cover of dawn and engage in an enveloping manoeuvre to out flank their target battery. However, unlike their comrades in the No. 4 Commando at Varengeville, the attack of No. 3 Commando did not go smoothly.

Luck was against them As No. 3 Commando’s landing craft made their final approach towards their target beaches at Berneval, a German convoy appeared made up of several armed trawlers escorting an oil carrier. A short engagement occurred and some of the Commando’s landing craft were scattered, damaged or lost. The Element of surprise was lost. By the time the last of the intact landing craft beached at 0515 hours the cover of darkness was also lost. Seven landing craft (LCP: Landing Craft, Personnel) made it to the beaches at Berneval, one on Yellow Beach 2 at 0445 hours and six on Yellow Beach 1 at 0515 hours (see map on page 2). They were covered by fire from a flotilla Motorboat as they disembarked.

On Yellow Beach 1 Most of the Commandos who hit the beach were from F Troop No. 3 Commando and Captain R.L Wills took command. Also present was a small number of US Rangers commanded by Lieutenant E. D. Loustalot. Wills had at his command 96 commandos, 6 Rangers and some French guides. Once ashore they planned to make for the low section of cliff in front of Petit Berneval to the east of the Battery position. At 0530 hours, while still unloading, a strong German patrol (about 2 or 3 platoons) from the 572. Infanterie-Regiment arrived. A frantic firefight ensued. Many Commandos were killed trying to exit the LCPs. The rest made for the shelter of the cliffs that ran on either side of the gully. The Commandos started to push towards the gully that was their only exit from the beach. A German machine-gun position was knocked it out, but progress was halted by alert Germans in well-prepared positions. The defensive fire proved too heavy to make any further advance towards the battery.

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Captain Wills was killed during the dash for the cliffs and Lieutenant Loustalot took command. Loustalot was also killed a little later. With the Commandos pinned down in their positions by the cliffs, it was decided at 0700 hours to make an attempt to get back to the landing craft to make their escape. Once again they came under heavy fire from the Germans. However, at the waters edge they discover that the landing craft have been damaged and made un-seaworthy. The German launched a counterattack at 1000 hours and captured the remaining 82 Commandos.

Yellow Beach 2 Meanwhile the sole LCP to hit the second beach on the western side of Berneval was to make a gallant effort to fulfil their mission objective, the destruction of the Goebbel battery. This section was commanded by Major Peter Young and consisted of himself, two other officers and 17 commandos. With them they had ten rifles, six Bren light machine-guns, three Boys anti-tank rifles and two 2-inch mortars. While still motoring towards the beach they spotted a cleft in the cliff and recognised their target beach. Their LCP made for the beach and unloaded Young’s men without incident. Once clear of the beach the only way to clear the cliff was up the narrow cleft they had seen earlier from the LCP, but it was heavily protected by barbed wire. They had no explosives or wire cutters to clear the way, so another approach was called for. After investigation it was discovered that the wire was firmly attached to the gully sides, the Commandos used these anchor points to climb to the top of the cliff. What had been intended as an obstacle had become an aid. Fifteen minutes later Young’s men were at the top of the gully.

British

Young’s men opened fire on the battery once in position; they kept up a hail of fire for 1½ hours, suppressing the battery so it was unable to fire. During this time the Germans had no idea how many men were attacking them. Only after

British Commando forces use all of the British special rules on pages 246 to 248 of the rule book and the It’s a Raid, Not an Invasion special rule on page 4. In addition they have the following special rules:

You Are Not Alone Commandos are small, hard-hitting strike forces. They have trained together and know each other well. Every commando knows that no matter what happens, they are not alone. Even if their troop runs into insurmountable trouble, another troop will be there to help them out or take over their part in the operation. Ignore the first Destroyed Commando Section in a Commando when determining whether it is necessary to take a Company Morale Check.

Know The Plan Commandos are expected to be independent-minded (if not downright unconventional) sorts and every man is drilled in the plan before an attack. That way if the officers are killed, an NCO, or even a private can take over as needed. Commando Sections use the German Mission Tactics special rule on page 242 of the rulebook.

Victoria Cross Captain Patrick Anthony Porteous coordinated communications between the two groups of No. 4 Commando and Lovat’s headquarters during the Varengeville raid (see pages 14 and 15). During the raid he was crossing from Lovat’s HQ to liaise with Group One when he was confronted by a German officer who shot him through the hand and arm. He then disarmed the German and killed him with a bayonet thereby saving the life of a Sergeant. Continuing on his way he soon came across a slit trench

the Commandos had exhausted their ammunition did they withdraw to the beach and their landing craft. At no point did Major Young and his men know the fate of the Commandos on Yellow beach 1. The attack on Berneval was unsuccessful, the Goebbels battery was not destroyed and No. 3 Commando lost 25 killed or missing and 110 prisoners. The only bright light in what was a dark day for No. 3 Commando was the heroic efforts of Major Young and his men keeping the battery silent for 1½ hours and probably saving many lives among the men of the flotilla in the process.

No British Bulldog Commandos are fearless, but they are also raiders. Their job is to get in, strike hard, and get out. Prolonged combats simply delay their mission, so the British Bulldog rule does not apply to Commando platoons.

Commando Special Rules—Dieppe

They moved straight through the wood and towards Berneval. Once inside the village they looked to set up firing positions over looking the Battery. An attempt was made to set up a Bren light machine-gun in the bell tower of the church, but it lacked a staircase for access. The locals suggested they move through the orchard and take position in the corn field less than 200 meters from the German battery’s position.

Mind And Heart The men trained at the Commando Basic Training Centre at Achnacarry, Scotland, never forgot their instructors’ chant of ‘It’s all in the mind and the heart’ as they scaled impossible cliffs and swam rivers in full kit. All Commando Infantry and Man-packed Gun teams are Mountaineers, see page 61 of the rulebook.

Fairbairn-Sykes Under Captains W E Fairbairn and A E Sykes, a pair of tough Shanghai policemen, Commandos were trained in every imaginable method of killing and avoiding being killed in close combat. The Fairbairn-Sykes dagger they designed for the Commandos is still in use today. Commando Infantry teams hit on a roll of 2+ in and Assault.

occupied by two Germans, which he quickly dispatched with a grenade. He then arrived at Groups Two’s position and took command after they had lost their commander, ordering B Troop to clear the buildings, he then led F Troop in the final assault on the Battery. Shot through the thigh during the assault he finally lost consciousness only after the battery was taken. He was awarded the Victoria Cross on 3 October 1942. The citation for his Victoria Cross stated: “Captain Porteous’s most gallant conduct, his brilliant leadership and tenacious devotion to duty... were an inspiration to the whole detachment.” He was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George VI on October 28 1942. Porteous told reporters outside: “It was just luck I got the award.” Patrick Porteous V.C. retired from the army in 1970 with the rank of Colonel, he died in 2000.

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MAJOR

PETER YOUNG In 1939 Peter Young was commissioned into the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, with which he went to France in 1940. He joined No. 3 Commando when it was founded and soon became a Captain. His troops took part in raids on the Channel Island of Guernsey, and Lofoten and Vaagso in Norway during 1941. It was during the later raid that he won his first Military Cross (MC). After a period on the staff at Combined Operations HQ, he became second-in-command of No. 3 Commando under Colonel John Dunford-Slater. In the Dieppe raid of August 19, 1942, Major Young, now carrying a US Garand rifle, found himself ashore with only 18 commandos. Despite this, he managed to take his force up the cliffs on a network of barbed wire which, as he put it, ‘an over-conscientious German officer had inadvertently provided for them to walk on’. Young was the only Commando officer to reach his objective and bring back all his men. At one point, when they were approaching enemy machine-guns through a cornfield, he encouraged his soldiers by telling them not to worry about bullets as standing corn made effective protection!

Young’s Commando Platoon

Commando

2 Commando Squads 1 Commando Squad

Characteristics Peter Young is a Warrior Rifle team rated as Fearless Veteran. Young and his Commando Platoon can be fielded as one of your Combat Platoons in a Commando on page 20.

Headquarters Major Peter Young with:

He was awarded a Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for his part in this raid.

195 points 130 points

Young is armed with an M1 Garand rifle. He has a Range of 16”/40cm, ROF 1 with no penalty for moving, an Anti-tank rating of 2, and a Firepower rating of 6.

Options • Add an Anti-tank Rifle Squad for +80 points. • Add an Light Mortar Squad for +45 points. Major

Contrary: When faced with the ‘impassable’ cliff at Dieppe, Young privately agreed that it was, but with a surly growl he successfully tackled it anyway.

Major Peter Young HQ Section

MG team

MG team

Lance Sergeant

MG team

MG team

Commando Squad

Commando Squad

Lance Sergeant

Lance Sergeant

Anti-tank Rifle team

Anti-tank Rifle team

Anti-tank Rifle team

Light Mortar Light Mortar team team Light Mortar Squad

ANti-tank Rifle Squad

Young’s Commando Platoon

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MC and Double Bar: No one wins three Military Crosses without being calm in the heat of battle. Young’s Commando Platoon passes all Motivation Tests on a roll of 2+.

Major

Lance Sergeant

Special Rules

Young’s Commando Platoon may re-roll any failed Skill Test to cross Impassable Terrain using the Mind and Heart rule. Cornfields Stop Bullets: To inspire his men’s confidence under fire, Young told them that 15 feet of standing corn would stop a bullet. He may well have been right as none were hit and his men learned to make excellent use of cover. Young’s Commando Platoon can be Gone to Ground when shooting, as long as they are Concealed and did not move. Unharmed: Young survived five years of war without taking a serious wound. When rolling to destroy Brigadier Young using the Warrior Casualties rule (see page 106 of the rulebook), the opposing player needs to roll a 5+ to Destroy him.

THE LORD LOVAT Brigadier Simon Fraser (known to his friends as “Shimi”) was born on 9 June 1911 and became the 15th Lord Lovat. After growing up in Scotland, Lovat joined the Scots Guards but at the outbreak of war he soon volunteered for one of the daring commando units. Attached to 4 Commando, Lovat would see action on many raids including the early raids in Norway.

Commando—Dieppe

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL

British

In 1942, Lovat was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and took command of Number 4 Commando. He led them in an assault on the town of Dieppe. Although the raid was a disaster, Lovat’s commandos succeeded in their objective of destroying the Varangeville battery. As the war continued, Lovat was given command of the 1st Special Service Brigade and landed in France once again at Sword Beach on 6 June, 1944. While Lovat commanded of the 1st Special Service Brigade he was seriously wounded by a Highland Division artillery shell which fell short during an attack on Breville on 12 June. Lord Lovat is armed with his old Winchester hunting rifle.

Characteristics The Lord Lovat is a Warrior Higher Command Rifle team rated as Fearless Veteran. Lovat may join a Commando that does not include Young’s Commando Platoon for +25 points.

Special Rules Bill Millin: The Lord Lovat’s bagpiper, Bill Millin, never left his commander’s side. Some think the bagpipes are a terror weapon, design to break the enemy’s morale, but Lovat’s men find them inspiring. Any hits on Lord Lovat do not count towards Pinning Down the platoon he has joined, nor towards making it Fall Back from Defensive Fire.

The Mission: At Dieppe, Lovat’s commandos destroyed their targets swiftly. This was in large part due to Lovat’s careful planning and dedication to the operation. In missions that use the Reserves or Delayed Reserves special rule, the Commando player may roll one more die in addition to the normal allotment to see if Reserves arrive. This additional die may only be used for Commando Sections held in Reserve. In a mission using the Scattered Reserves special rule, once per turn you may re-roll one die rolled to determine where a platoon will arrive from Scattered Reserves.

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A Commando must field a Commando HQ and three to five Commando Companies, and may field one of each of the remaining Combat Platoons. It may also field a Support Platoon from each box shown.

Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife

INFANTRY

INFANTRY

21

Commando Company INFANTRY

21

Commando Company INFANTRY

21

Commando Company INFANTRY

20

21

Commando Company

Naval Gun Fire Support

Air Support

13

18

Young’s Commando Company

NAVAL SUPPORT 13

Commando Company

DIVISIONAL SUPPORT

Commando HQ

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COMBAT PLATOONS

HEADQUARTERS

21

HEADQUARTERS

(Infantry COMPANY)

AIRCRAFT

British RELUCTANT

Commandos are highly trained, experienced and motivated volunteers who know that Hitler has ordered them executed if captured. A Commando Troop is rated as Fearless Veteran and use the Commando special rules on page 17.

CONFIDENT

TRAINED

FEARLESS

VETERAN

CONSCRIPT

HEADQUARTERS Commando HQ Headquarters Company HQ

Lieutenant Colonel

Commando

Lieutenant Colonel

25 points

Options • Add up to two 3” Mortar teams for +30 points per team.

Company Command Rifle team

3” mortar

Commando—Dieppe

Motivation and Skill

3” mortar

Company HQ

Commando HQ

COMBAT COMPANIES Commando Company Headquarters 2 Commando Sections 1 Commando Section

Captain Commando

Captain

390 points 195 points

At the start of the game before deployment you may make any or all of the following changes to each Commando Section: • Replace up to two Rifle/MG teams with SMG teams. • Replace one Rifle/MG team with a Light Mortar team. • Replace one Rifle/MG team with an Anti-tank Rifle team. A commando has six small company-sized troops, including the heavy weapons troop. Each commando troop is made up of two platoon-strength commando sections. Commandos are well armed, however it is their daggers and silent-killing techniques which make them such a terrifying force in close assaults. Commando Sections operate as separate platoons, each with their own command team.

Captain

Command Rifle/MG team HQ Section Lance Sergeant

Lance Sergeant

Rifle/MG team Rifle/MG team

Rifle/MG team Rifle/MG team

Rifle/MG team

Rifle/MG team

Commando Squad

Commando Squad

Commando Section Subaltern Subaltern

Command Rifle/MG team HQ Section Lance Sergeant

Lance Sergeant

Rifle/MG team Rifle/MG team

Rifle/MG team Rifle/MG team

Rifle/MG team

Rifle/MG team

Commando Squad

Commando Squad

Commando Section Commando Company

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TANK TEAMS Armour Name Mobility Front Side Top Weapon Range ROF Anti-tank Firepower

Equipment and Notes

Infantry Tanks Churchill I OQF 2 pdr OQF 3” Firing bombardments

Slow Tank 24”/60cm 24”/60cm 40”/100cm

8 3 2 -

7 7 5 3

2 4+ 3+ 6

Co-ax MG, Hull MG, Protected ammo, Wide tracks. No HE. Hull-mounted, Smoke. Smoke bombardment.

Churchill II OQF 2 pdr

Slow Tank 24”/60cm

8 3

7 7

2 4+

Co-ax MG, Hull MG, Protected ammo, Wide tracks. No HE.

Churchill I OKE OQF 2 pdr OKE Flame-gun

Slow Tank 24”/60cm 4”/10cm

8 3 2

7 7 -

2 4+ 6

Co-ax MG, Hull MG, Protected ammo, Wide tracks. No HE. Flame-thrower, Fixed mount.

Churchill III OQF 6 pdr

Slow Tank 24”/60cm

8 3

7 10

2 4+

Co-ax MG, Hull MG, Protected ammo, Wide tracks. No HE.

3

2

6

ROF 1 if other weapons fire.

Vehicle Machine-guns Vehicle MG

16”/40cm

GUN TEAMS Weapon

Mobility

Range

ROF

Anti-tank Firepower

Notes

Vickers HMG Man-packed Firing bombardments

24”/60cm 6 2 6 ROF 3 when pinned down or moving. 40”/100cm - - -

ML 3” mortar Man-packed Firing bombardments

24”/60cm 32”/80cm

2 -

2 2

3+ 6

Smoke, Minimum range 8”/20cm. Smoke bombardment.

NAVAL GUNFIRE SUPPORT Weapon

Range

ROF

Destroyer 72”/180cm

-

Anti-tank Firepower 4

3+

Notes 4-gun battery, Naval Gunfire Support.

INFANTRY TEAMS Team

Range

ROF Anti-tank Firepower Notes

Rifle team

16”/40cm

1

2

6

Rifle/MG team

16”/40cm

2

2

6

MG team

16”/40cm

3

2

6

Light Mortar team

16”/40cm

1

1

4+

Anti-tank Rifle team

16”/40cm

1

4

5+

Smoke, Can fire over friendly teams.

Additional Training and Equipment Pioneer teams are rated as Tank Assault 3.

TRANSPORT TEAMS Vehicle

Armour

Mobility

Front

Side

Top

Trucks Jeep Troop Carrier

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Jeep Half-tracked

- - 0

0

0

Equipment and Notes