Operation Mitten BKC Scenario

I was reading Monty’s Iron Sides by Patrick Delaforce on holiday this year when I came across the description of Operation Mitten. In the book this only takes a couple of pages with no maps or real detail, but it prompted me to do a bit more digging on the internet and on TMP which gained me enough information to put together a scenario for Blitzkrieg Commander.

Background

On the 27th June, the day after Operation Epsom began to outflank and eventually capture the city of Caen, Operation Mitten was launched to eradicate a salient in the line to the North of Caen and capture the two chateaux of La Londe and Landel. Troops of the 3rd Division’s 8th Brigade were tasked with these objectives and on the evening of the 27th the 1st Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment attacked, running into heavy resistance and suffering many casualties for no gain in territory. The following morning the other two battalions of the brigade with tank support from the Staffordshire Yeomanry attacked again in the face of stiff opposition but by the end of the day were in possession of the objectives where they dug in and endured heavy shelling for almost a month.

Forces

British

1 CO (CV 9 )
2 FAO (CV 8 )
3 Artillery Units (25pdrs)
3 Artillery Units (Sextons)

1st Battalion Suffolk’s
2 HQ (CV 8 )
12 Infantry Units
1 MG Support Unit
1 Mortar Support Unit
1 Recce Carrier
1 6pdr & Carrier tow

2nd Battalion East Yorkshire’s
2 HQ (CV 8 )
12 Infantry Units
1 MG Support Unit
1 Mortar Support Unit
1 Recce Carrier
1 6pdr & Carrier tow

Staffordshire Yeomanry
3 x Sherman Squadrons, each of 1 HQ (CV 8), 1 Sherman Firefly and 3 Sherman 75mm.

* As far as I can tell, although the Crocodile tanks of B Squadron, 141 RAC were present on the evening of the 27th and took losses, but whether they took part on the second attack on the 28th I cannot say for sure. According to the War Diary they were on standby, so if you wanted to add a couple of Crocodile Units I don’t think it would be out of place. (Having said that, the War Diary mentions the attack on the 27th that the unit was supporting the E. Yorks, not the S. Lancs ?)

German

The German forces represent units from 21st Panzer Division, specifically 2 companies of 192 Panzer Grenadier Regiment, backed by tanks from Panzer Regiment 22. Later they were reinforced by troops of the divisional Pioneer Battalion who may have been riding halftracks. (Many thanks to R Mark Davies on TMP for this information).

1 CO (CV 9 )
3 HQ (CV 9 )
1 FAO (CV 7 )
9 Infantry Units
4 MG Support Units
2 Anti Tank Support Units (Pak 40)
1 Anti Tank Support Unit (88mm)
4 Panzer IV’s
1 Tiger
2 Artillery Support Units (150mm)
3 Halftracks

*(21st Panzer contained a large number of converted French vehicles, so the Halftracks would have been Somua AFV’s and the Artillery units would be Lorraine SP guns. However, you can use regular SdKfz 250/1’s if you need to, I did!)

**I rated all the infantry units and support units as fanatical which in BKC gives a bonus to command rolls to enter Close Assault, and also makes them less likely to retreat when rolling suppression/fallback. This I feel matches the accounts of the battle from the book.

Map

Notes:
* All open areas should be corn fields, woods count as light/orchards and the buildings are stone.

**The British may start from one of three options. Option one they start from the North table edge only, deploying in the red area which is approx 15cm in. Option two allows them to deploy to the West only, again 15cm in. The third option gives them free rein within both red areas. This is because I have not yet found evidence to say from where 8 Brigade attacked but the logical areas would have been to the North and/or West of the salient as Lebisey to the East was strongly held.

***The Germans can start anywhere within the Green shaded area, and may begin the battle with all units Dug In.

We’ve played the scenario twice so far and are about to play it a third time. When the Germans know which direction the British are coming from they have a very good chance of holding firm, when they are less certain then some elements can be found out of position quite quickly depending on set up. With the options in the Orders of Battle as well as set up, I hope that this scenario has some replay value and also interest to those who use other rules.

Please let me know if you have any more information on this Operation, or comments on the scenario.

Here’s a few pictures of our games. All miniatures are Pendraken 10mm, the buildings are a mix of Shellhole and Timecast and all the hedges and walls are from Timecast. Trees are a mix of home made and S&A Scenics.

British Troops close on Le Landel

Ambush in the Woods!

Overall view of the table from the North looking South.

Close in fighting for Le Landel

British troops moving through the corn. Smoke Barrage in the background.

German Counterattack almost on the British Startline

Combined arms attack on a dug in Pak 40

Comments

  1. Ray says:

    Excellent looking game!!!

  2. dave says:

    hi
    great looking game,im going to try this in 6mm with my gamming buddy clive