Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Monday, 10 May 2010

PMZ Campaign: Amiens 2

Report from General Student,
commanding First Parachute Army

The second battle for Amiens, dated September 5th 1944

This report is based on confused evidence pieced together over the past few days.

General Eberbach prepared to stop the expected British attack by deploying the PzIVs of Panzer Lehr division on high ground supported by the Tiger IIs of Panzer-Abteilung 501. On the left he placed the 422nd Infantry Division, resting its left flank on marshy ground with a lake beyond it. The 716th Infantry Division was in reserve protecting the command centre and supply base amidst light woods. To the right of Panzer Lehr was open ground.

The British attacked aggressively with three armoured and infantry divisions in the centre. Panzer Lehr fought valiantly, the Tiger IIs causing one of the attacking divisions to precipitously retreat. On the left, a division of mixed tanks and infantry attacked the 422nd Division, which held on determinedly. Meanwhile the British 7th Armoured division swung wide round the right flank. The British attack faltered at this first setback and they appeared to doubt the possibility of breaking through our position.

The view from behind the German positions. Panzer Lehr are on the high ground under heavy attack. 422nd are in the marshy ground to the left. In the foreground the 7th Armoured are advancing with the remnants (Pv IVs) of 716th retreating before them.
Then a battalion of Churchill tanks reached the hill and together with the remaining troops broke into the Panzer Lehr positions. On the left, the British succeeded in pushing the 422nd Division back into the woods. On the right the 7th Armoured turned and smashed into the flank of 716th Division which disintegrated, allowing the command and supply bases to be overrun, General Eberbach being captured along with most of his staff. Being almost surrounded, Panzer Lehr broke at last and retreated from the field. With no effective command, the entire corps now broke and retreated back towards the Scheldt.

I was commanding the Fallschirmjaeger regiments guarding the Scheldt, these were the first elements of First Parachute Army. At this time units of the British First Airborne Army dropped on Antwerp and seized the bridges over the river.

Fifth Panzer Army now split in two, with half facing the Americans and the remainder being pursued by the British. The British armour drove rapidly for the Scheldt, German resistance crumbling in front of them, and they managed to reach the bridges before my troops could crush the First Airborne Army. However I have now contained the British within the Antwerp area.

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