Battle of Stonne
15th May 1940
V1.2 - 51RI's entry point revised, sunken lane rules revised
Pictures - from v1.0
The German XIX Korps has pushed through the Ardennes and is striking for the French hinterland beyond. The French high command rushes reinforcements to stem the Teutonic tide.
At the edge of the Ardennes is a small village called Stonne. It stands on the top of an escarpment and dominates the countryside beyond. Both sides considered it tactically important and the scene was set for a titanic struggle between the elite Grossdeutchland Regiment with the panzers of 10 Panzer Division in support and the 3e DIM supported by the tanks of the 3e DLC.
The village was set to change hands seven times on the 15th May
Map and Order of Battle
Only I & III /67e RI and the Regimental HQ are deployed on table at the start of the game. The units are deployed within the areas delineated by the ping dashed lines on the map. On table, non vehicle, units are dug in trenches (-3 cover)
The "greyed out" II/67 RI is not deployed on the table, see the special rules below
1 & 3 Compagnie 41 BCC is a reinforcement entering turn 4 down road G in road column
1/45 BCC is a reinforcement entering turn 6 down road G in road column
The FCM-36 of 4 BCC is a reinforcement entering turn 6 down road F
The elements of 51 RI are a reinforcement and enter turn 6 at any place between points H & G
The staff of 3e DIM are a reinforcement and enter turn 11 at any place between points G & F
I & II Btl GD and 48 Pioneer Abt are deployed on table in the deployment zone delineated by pink dashed lines.
Stab GD starts on table in any of the designated German deployment zones, or in the woods to the north of them.
7Kp 8 Panzer Regt is a reinforcement entering turn 4 down track C in road column
14Kp GD is a reinforcement entering turn 5 down track A in road column
II Btl GD is a reinforcement entering turn 9 in gap B between the woods.
616 Artillerie Abt & II/45 Artillerie Abt are reinforcements, only in the "long" game. The FO's arrive anywhere from points A to C on turn 16
|9||II Btl GD||B|
The map is square 4ft x 5 ft if playing 1"=50m. The black dashed line delineates a 4ft x 4ft area for those people pushed for space, If playing in the smaller table remove II Btl GD and III/67e RI from the scenario
North is towards the top of the map
Stonne is on top of a 100m tall escarpment which dominates the land to the north and east
The light green areas are open woods.
The dark green areas are woods on very steep slopes (escarpment). Infantry movement through the dark woods is halved. Movement by tracked vehicles is a max of 2" (hasty advance) or 1" (cautious advance) No wheeled vehicles may enter. Manhandled guns may not enter the steep woods
The brown dotted lines are ridge lines. The dark brown ridges are higher than the sandy coloured ridge lines and can see over them. Other than this the ridge lines. break LOS. Any AFV touching a line is considered hull down to vehicles on the other side of the ridge, unless the vehicle is on a sandy line and the observer is touching a dark brown line.
Stands touching the dark brown lines can see over most terrain except: other dark brown lines, Stonne, the light green area marked with an "X" and the dark green escarpment running from point I to point 335. Its very important that the dark and light ridge lines. are clearly discernable on the table-top
Roads are indicated by red lines. Where they enter woods max LOS along the road is 6" and stands on the road still count as in cover.
The roads bordered by black dots are sunken roads. Stands in the sunken lanes can not be seen or shot at from outside (even from dark brown ridge lines.) unless the observer is touching the edge of the lane. Personnel can fire out of the sunken lane, at targets not touching the edge, vehicles can not. Firing against personnel on the edge of the lane gets -2 cover against direct fire. Personal must be clearly designated as firing out otherwise they are assumed to be cowering in the lane and can not be shot at except by stands touching the edge of the line or within it. All stands may fire out of the lane at enemy touching the edges of the lane. Max LOS along the sunken lanes is 6". Infantry stands can scrabble across the lanes without penalty. Vehicles and man-handled guns can not enter or exit the lane from the sides. If a vehicle is disabled in the lane the lane is blocked. Stands in the lane do not block the fire of stands outside the lane (ie you can fire over them).
Green dotted lines are tree lines - these break LOS (except to observers touching the dark ridge lines.) and give -1 cover to units touching them
The dark green dashed lines in the woods are paths. Units moving along the paths still get the benefit of cover from the woods but do not suffer a movement penalty. LOS along the paths is 6"
All buildings are stone, so -3 cover for personnel. The small BUA's can only take a single personnel stand (no towed guns). The large BUA's represent spaced out buildings. Vehicles and AFV's may enter them but only get -1 cover, not -3.
The blue lines are brooks, they are small and no impediment to movement. Personnel stands in the brooks get medium (-2) cover
The open ground is farmland, a patch work of moderate sized fields. An occasional bush or single tree breaks up the terrain.
In the long game only starting turn 16 the German player may roll 1d6 for a Stuka. The Stuka arrives on a 5-6
Game starts at 03: 00. The short version ends at 10:30 (16 turns) and the long version ends at 15:00. Using that's 26 turns
Units that enter in road column lose 3" or move for each vehicle that as entered the table already.
The Char B1bis had a dramatic moral effect on the GD soldiers. For Personnel stands, in proximity of a Char B1bis the morale penalty is -3 (instead of -2).
The thin black dotted lines around II/67RI represent the unit's border. The areas beyond the dotted lines (towards the table edge) are not in play in this scenario. If any German stand approaches within 6" of the dotted line, take an infantry company and AT gun and place them on the table within the dotted line. The company is under the French players control for as long as the enemy are within LOS and 12". Once the enemy is out of range they are removed from the table. Only one company can be on table at a time but it may reappear many times. The company may not leave the deployment area behind the black dotted line.
The flanking company will take hits like any other and will not re-appear if destroyed, however the areas marked by the black dotted lines are still out of play and may not be entered by either side
There are 4 victory locations: Stonne, Point 335, Point 339 and Point 336. Stonne is worth 2 victory points and the others 1 VP.
To count as owning Stonne only one side's stands must be wholly within both the BUA's earn 2 vp. If both sides have stands wholly within the town then both sides receive 1 vp. Only stands in good morale count for occupation
For the points the side with the closest stand, in good morale, gets the VP.
Good Morale means the stand must not be shaken or demoralised
In the short game (at the end of the turn 16) the side with the most VP wins.
For the long game the Germans must have 5 out of 5 VP for a victory. If they have three the game is a draw and if they have 2 the French have won.
On May 15th the village changed side seven times, mostly in the morning, however by midday the French had a firm grip on the village. Despite the German artillery and Stukas they held on unit the early evening but at 17:30 the Germans finally re-took the village after the I/69 IR reinforced GD; though this assault is outside the scope of this scenario. This was not the end of the battle though, the village was heavily contested on the 16th and it wasn't until the 17th that it finally fell to the Germans. GD took over 500 killed and wounded in the battle which was about half their casualties in the entire French campaign
David Lehman's article on the Battle: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=45336&sid=b648070870ccd8826c14da73f0dc9029
WW2 Day by Day has extracts from German reports for May 15th: http://web.archive.org/web/20080309011245/chrito.users1.50megs.com/daily.htm
Geoportal: French map server with IGN topo maps and clear aerial pictures: http://www.geoportail.fr/index.php?event=DisplayCartoVisu&url_insert=454c8017cd9addec9f7d2e88aa8ee6ae