Never heard of Paestum, Italy? Neither had I until I put together this game. Paestum is the Italian seaside town where the 36th Infantry landed during Operation Avalanche in September 1943. Most people think of Salerno, but that is where the British Commandos and British X Corps landed. Kesselring had anticipated the Allies landing near Salerno and had the 16th Panzer Division in the area to reduce any foot hold. At Paestum, the US 36th Infantry went up against Kampfgruppe Doering which consisted of the 2nd Panzer Regiment and 79th Panzergrenadier Regiment.
For this scenario, I used the Hit the Beach mission. The basis behind the mission is that the 36th Infantry will be making their initial landings against the a company of the 79th Panzergrenadier regiment.
The lists were based on what some quick reading I did on the Battle. From what I read the US did not have any tanks on the beach during the opening hours. The Cruiser Philadelphia provided direct fire support even coming in close to the beach. According to the ships log and beach observers the ship scored direct hits on 6 Tiger tanks. Well the Germans used Panzer IVs instead of Panzer VI to counter attack the Americans! The one thing I forgot to add where the 88mm guns used as artillery. I should have used that instead of 10.5cm guns.
The Germans were deployed to cover both side of the beach and then utilize the town for the final defense of the objectives.
The USS Philadelphia CL-41 provided direct fire support for the beach landings. (Axis and Allies miniature) Maybe I need to get a bigger ship!
The mission calls for a preliminary bombardment. Out of 16 hits, only 3 German teams were killed, 2 mortars and one panzergrenadier team.
The Americans Storm the beach!
German fire pins the Americans down.
Americans gets lucky. All those days on the range paid off!
German fire tears up 2nd Platoon
Artillery lands, mortar drops smoke, 2nd platoon assaults and is wiped out, but 1st platoon takes the hill and secures the beach. Germans on the run to secure the town and objectives!
US 1st and 3rd Platoon push forward. 3rd platoon gets pinned for a couple turns.
The US land the 57mm At guns in anticipation of the Germans bringing some tank support
Germans unleash the 3rd platoon of the panzergrenadier company. Part of my house rules is to bring in organic units before higher level support.
The Hit the Beach mission allows the attacking player to bring back destroyed platoons.
German panzers arrive and advance into town. Maybe the US might need that platoon!
Cannon platoon arrives. Since it doesn’t have a staff team, the idea was to use it as direct fire support. Might not take it next time, but it was pivotal in the battle.
Artillery starts to loosen the German grip on the town.
The view of the beach. Always liked looking at the pictures of the Normandy with all the ships unloading cargo.
Standoff in the woods
Or not as the US 1st platoon assaults and scores!
Artillery kills a tank in the town, but not the one sticking out like a sore thumb.
German Artillery arrives.
Panzers shore up the left flank while the US tries to rally pinned units forward. Sometimes confident veterans just dont want to go forward. Never happens for CV Germans.
Germans do everything right. Both infantry platoons are pinned and the 57mm AT platoon is pinned, but luck runs out. One Panzer IV bogs during the assault, 2 out of 3 AT guns penetrate, and one bazooka scores a hit. The last remaining tank decides to retreat. Only the panzergrenadiers in the town remain and they are badly mauled from all the artillery. Mortars, a light cruise, cannon platoon, and 105mm guns eventually will reduce a foe!
Final assault and victory for the 36th.