Rapid Fire - The battle for Greece April 1941
Wednesday night saw a secret wargaming friend re-introduced to the Fast play WW2 rules, Rapid Fire. The rules feel like an old friend, and are one of my oldest rule sets.
The portion of Greece to be fought over
The premise was an Axis armoured thrust south to capture a bridge protected by a hotch potch British scratch force. I was keen to show my opponent the various aspects of the rules, so I generously gave him a whole unit of conscript Italian armour and infantry - how nice of me.
The Italian advance column enters the table
The Axis faced a half battalion of dug-in British infantry, supported by a platoon of cruiser tanks. There was a possibility of the remaining ten tanks of the company joining the battle. In addition the British had some universal carriers, and ten Mk VI light tanks. The aim was to hold a bridge over a narrow river.
The bridge - with Italian armoured cars racing to capture it
My opponent raced straight for the bridge, sending ten armoured cars, with a company of M11 tanks in support. The British had the single platoon of cruiser tanks to stop them. It was a big ask.
The British command post watches the approaching Italians with some concern.
Lead elements of the light British armour also races toward the bridge
A cruiser tank is hit defending the Bridge
British infantry take defensive positions atop a rooftop overlooking the bridge
Italian infantry de-bus and race to covering positions to support the assault on the bridge
My opponent saw a company of universal carriers and a company of light tanks racing to a wheat field to take cover and be in a position to fire on anything crossing the bridge - so he called for the Luftwaffe.
Bombs drop amongst the British unit
The infantry dismount and race for cover during the aerial attack.
The attack stalled due to the stubborn defence of the single platoon of cruisers, five armoured cars were destroyed crossing the bridge, to the cost of heavy damage to the cruiser platoon. The Italian commander called on his reserve, a company of German armour, and a company of motorised infantry.
The German infantry dismount from their lorries.
I called on my final reserve, ten cruiser tanks, and they moved quickly to cover the British left, and for a period of time held back the Axis forces. They seemed to have stalled the attack.
Desperate to cross the bridge, my opponent used his well armoured Panzer IV's to force their way over
Italian infantry moved toward the bridge, following the German armour
In a master stroke, the Italian commander called on his final reserve, an 88. This was to prove the turning point in the battle. This gun quickly took out five cruiser tanks, and caused their comrades to run for cover. Almost immediately, the last tank of the venerable cruisers blocking bridge was destroyed.
The game was up, and the surviving British units withdrew.
An Axis victory - and a good game to boot.