Attack on Campobello

11/7/43

 

On the 12th of July 1943 the 3rd Infantry Division assaulted the southern beaches of Sicily in Operation Joss,  the US part of Operation Husky.  The beaches were lightly defended and US forces wasted little time in expanding the beachhead. 

The forces of the US 3rd Infantry Division went to the west and the north. In the middle of the US advance was the 15th Regimental Combat Team heading up Route 123 towards Campobello. On day one of the invasion the Axis response was sporadic in the sector or the 3rd Infantry Division but on the 11th resistance started to get tougher.

Colonel Venturi commander of the 177th Bersaglieri March Battalion formed a battle group,  Gruppo Venturi,  which was ordered to attack south down route 123. In the meantime forces of the 15 Panzer Grenadier Division were shifting west to block the roads leading from the beachhead. The scene was set for clash south of Campobello. 

Scenario map and order of battle

US wartime map of the battlefield: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/ams/italy_50k/txu-pclmaps-oclc-6540719-palma-di-montechiaro-271-1.jpg

US Deployment

The 3rd Battalion 15th RCT is deployed in the area shown on the map by the pink dashed lines.  It is accompanied by the RHQ.

The 1st Battalion 15th RCT is a reinforcement which enters within 12" of point B on turn 4

Axis Deployment

Gruppo Venturi is deployed in road column from points to X to Y.

The 61 Batteria Controcarro enters along road A on turn 1.

Gruppe Neapel is deployed within 12" of Campobello the turn after any US stand gets within 24" of the town or on turn 4 whichever is earlier.  The unit may not have any orders on the turn it is deployed. 

Terrain

The table is 8ft x 5ft if playing 1" = 50m

The open terrain is farmland,  a patchwork of small fields.  For the most part there are no tactically meaningful field boundaries but some edges have intermittent bushes along the edge. Circa 10% of the boundaries have bushes that give +1 cover and break LOS. 

The green areas are olive groves. They are open blocking terrain with a max visibility of 6" within. The groves do not give cover.

The grey squares are stone BUA. The BUA break LOS and give hard (-3) cover. Vehicles and towed guns may not end their moves in the grey squares. They pass through the town on the roads. The small squares can contain only a single stand.

The red lines are roads,  described as "poor" in US reports. They do not allow a road bonus,  but do allow travel march orders.

The brown dashed lines are ridge lines. They break LOS. They are sufficiently elevated that that stands touching the line can see over all terrain over 6" from the line,  except other ridge lines.  AFVs touching the ridge line get the hull down bonus (+2) verses all direct fire that crosses the line. 

The black dashed line is a railway line.  It has no game effect.  Where the railway crosses a ridge there are 6" long cuttings. To see or shoot into or out of  the cuttings stands must be touching the end of the cuttings. This rule applies even if shooting along the length of the cutting.

The green dotted lines are semi-dry steams. They are choked with reeds.  They give +2 cover to personal and towed guns and +1 cover to vehicles.  The foliage is down in the stream bed so does not break LOS.  Movement along streams is only possible for personnel stands (not man-handled guns). Movement along the streams is at one quarter speed.

Aircraft

Each turn there is a chance that the US has an L4 spotter in the air.  (roll 1-2 on a d6). This can call any and all guns of the 39th Artillery Battalion on a 1-5 (d10), Note this is the same battalion that is called by the infantry.

Special Rules

The game lasts 12 turns with a 50% chance of a 13th turn rolled just before the orders phase on turn 12.

The Semovente da 90/53 is not a "proper"  SPG, its crew must dismount in order for the gun to fire. It takes a BMA to deploy the gun or to move off. When deployed it counts as a soft target for IDF.  The munitions carrier must be within 2" if the gun is to be fired. If the semovente suffers a forced back result the crew abandons the gun and is forced back.  Enemy contacting the abandoned gun destroys it.

All command stands BHQ and higher auto recover any morale failures before the orders phase.  For example a shaken RHQ will be forced back by the failure but will still be able to issue orders in the next morale phase.

Victory Conditions

There are three victory locations P, Q and R. The US player must hold two of them to win.

To hold a location the US player must have the only stands in good morale within 9" of the point.  Good morale means not shaken and not demoralised. 

Point P is where the ridgeline crosses the road. Point Q is the crossroads. Point R is Favourotta Station.

References

15th Panzer Grenadier Division in Sicily (May-Aug. 1943) - FMS C-077: https://www.fold3.com/document/158919545/ (note link is for a subscription site, though there is a free trial)

CSI Battle Book B-3: Operation Joss. This is the main reference for the scenario: http://www.6thcorpscombatengineers.com/docs/Operation%20Joss/JOSS%20Sicily-CSI%20Battlebook.pdf

Fatti d'arme dal 10 al 21 luglio 1943: http://www.canicatti-centrodoc.it/nuovocentro/sezI/storia/SchreiberOttorino%201/RelazioneGuerra1943/

German WW2 Organisational Series vol 5/I, Leo Niehorster

Lo sbarco e la difesa della Sicilia. Da Licata ad Agrigento, 10 16 luglio 1943 http://www.militarystory.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Sicilia-1943.-Da-Licata-ad-Agrigento-10-16-luglio.pdf 

Operations report, 3rd Infantry Division, Sicilian Operation: http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p4013coll8/id/5