DICKIE SMITHSON’S LAST STAND

by Author | April 15th, 2011

Attached to this update is a basic battle-map showing the rough lie of the land from the passage in the novel where Lieutenant Dickie Smithson’s Carrier Platoon, supported by an under-strength rifle company, fight their encounter battle with the lead elements of the 8th Panzer Division approximately halfway between Driffield and Bridlington.

Smithson’s carriers are the first to bump into the German recce units and throw themselves out in a screen, just over the crest of a slight ridge in a reverse slope position. The two platoons from the rifle company, following up in civilian buses, quickly dismount and throw themselves into hasty defence in depth of the carrier screen. The two buses were placed across the two roads shown; one blocking the main Driffield-Bridlington road, and the other blocking the road to Ruston Parva.

Barely had the infantrymen dismounted and begun digging their shell-scrapes, than the secondary assault by the German reinforced company combat team launched their three pronged assault. The recce group makes a second thrust up the road whilst a medium tank platoon hits the British right flank. As this occurs, a mounted company of Panzer Grenadiers attack on a broad front along an axis on the Ruston Parva road. The Panzer Grenadiers dismount and began assaulting across the fields whilst the bulk of their half-tracks go of in a wide hook around the British left flank.

With only Bren Guns, Boys Rifles and Light Mortars to beef up the riflemen, the British are pretty much outgunned and out-manoeuvred in a short space of time, but go down fighting in fine style. Their sacrifice is worthwhile in the long run as it imposes yet more delay on the German main effort which is already working to a tight schedule.

This particular scenario, given the mix and number of vehicles, would be particularly suited to Flames of War. I’m planning to try this one myself once I’ve finally got my carrier platoon organised. It will be interesting to see if the British can hold the Germans off for as long on the wargames table as they do in the novel.

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Seelöwe Nord is the online home of Andy Johnson, a war fiction novelist. Seelöwe Nord is a war novel that tells the alternative history of Operation Sealion, the proposed German invasion of Britain in 1940. Followed by Thunder in May, and the recently released Crucible of Fate, the trilogy of War Fiction remains a popular read within the genre.

Andy has also started to publish small Leadership and Management Booklets drawing from his extensive experience across many sectors and industries, both military and civilian, the first of which is entitled Captains of the Gate and is now available for download on eReaders directly from Amazon.