Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Monday, 1 January 2018

Winterton-on-Sea, 1940, Chain of Command

From our intrepid reporter from Picture Post reports, “somewhere” on the coast of Norfolk.

"Yesterday saw a remarkable battle between the elite Hun Paratroopers and our own intrepid Home Guard.  Although shrouded in secrecy we have learned that a crack force of German Fallschirmjager had been despatched to rescue a shot-down Luftwaffe bomber crew. Vey strange, but the military are tight lipped about the true facts.
We have heard from some of the civilians caught up in the fighting that the Germans advanced quite rapidly through the gardens parallel to the main street, leaving one squad covering main street from the hedgerow near the churchyard.
Things looked bad for our boys as the Germans managed multiple activations without a chance for reply.  Eventually the British Lieutenant rallied some men and they rushed out to take cover behind their hastily prepared barricades and pour rifle and Lewis gun fire into the German ranks.  But these Germans were a tough nut to crack and difficult to kill. 
They also had formidable firepower with MG34 machine guns, MP40 machine pistols plus rifles. The volume of fire seemed overwhelming.  Eventually the our gallant lads also managed to take over a house that enfiladed the German position in the gardens.  Slowly we whittled away the German numbers although it is reported that one of the Home Guard squads was wiped out.  The Luftwaffe crew decided to make a break for it but were cut down in a hail of bullets.
The German squad by the Churchyard eventually decided to enter the fray and walked arrogantly up the high street towards another British unit defending barricades thrown across the Street.
In a fit of anger they turned their weapons on the civilian population and the much respected Miss Pugh-Critchley was cut down in a hail of bullets. Beastly behaviour!  Further up the High Street the Home Guard decided to unleash their secret weapon , an improvised armoured truck with armed with a Lewis gun.  As it moved into position disaster struck.  German rifle fire cut down the crew of the Lewis gun thus ending its ability to fight.
Things were looking decidedly sticky for our chaps as the Germans finally pushed through our defences in the Gardens rushing the survivors in a hail of hand grenades and cutting them all down. The Lieutenant decided discretion was the better part of valour and he retired to sensibly lead the defence of the other units in his force.  The German senior officer was wounded by sniper fire although he still managed to give orders.  The Village cricket team reportedly entered the fray by finishing their tea in the pub early, picking up their rifles and pouring fire into the German unit on the High Street. Not terribly effective but that unit had lost many men and appeared pinned down in the road.  Just desserts for men who fire on innocent civilians!
At the end the Home Guard were battered and bruised but the local top brass were highly pleased with the performance, and especially the successful interdiction of the Luftwaffe.  We understand the Lieutenant has been recommended for a gallantry award and several others have been mentioned in despatches.

The German prisoners were accorded their right under the Geneva Convention and their dead will be buried with full military honours.”

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