Sunday, December 14, 2008

1st Ranger Pics

Here's my Ranger battalion.  Odd that we've all got Rangers done early on in the process.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

83rd Chemical Mortar Battalion

A couple of items discovered on the web covering the actions of C & D companies of the 83rd Chemical Mortar Battalion in support of the Rangers and Commandos




Monday, December 8, 2008

Ranger update

I'm making good progress on my Ranger Battalion to, I should be able post some pictures soon.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Fabulous Disappearing HQ

I've more or less finished building 1st Ranger Battalion - pictures later.  

Next was going to be the Ranger Force HQ.  I say "was" because it now appears there wasn't such a thing.  By the time of the Anzio landings a 6615th Ranger Force had been constituted but it now appears this was a response to the problems co-ordinating Ranger operations at Salerno. 

Colonel William Darby was the father of the modern Rangers and was seen as their commander at the time but strictly speaking in September 1943 he was only commander of the 1st Battalion.  He directed the Chiunzi pass battles without the benefit of a properly constituted brigade/regiment HQ.

What does this mean for the game?  Not a lot, I suspect, but it does rather suggest that I need to add a specific Darby figure to 1st Bn's four figure HQ.


Friday, December 5, 2008

USS LCI (L) 35's role in the Invasion of Salerno on September 9th

Interesting little snippet on one of the LCI(L)'s involved in the operation link
There is a useful map and panorama.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rangers Lead the Way

Richard Baber has sent some pics of his 4th Ranger battalion.

They're a mixture of Britannia, SHQ, Skytrex and Battlefield miniatures.  

Below, I believe, is the battalion HQ.

Here is a .30" cal medium machinegun team.

And finally an 81mm mortar.  These were held in store by the battalion to be doled out within the unit as required for an individual mission.  I've proposed that we assume for our purposes that the Rangers have converted one "rifle" company to a heavy weapons role to operate the battalion's 60mm and 81mm mortars.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

AOP 654

I've now managed to confirm the details of a unit I'd come across references to in one of the accounts of the battle.

654 Air Observation Post Squadron RAF was attached to British X Corps at the time of the invasion. This unit, flying Taylorcraft Auster MkIII spotter planes at the time, directed naval and later shore based artillery fire in support of the infantry.

It's by no means necessary to have 654 AOP Sqn represented in the game but if anyone can find an Auster MkIII kit and wants to have a go, I ain't stopping them!

Latest Who's Doing What Posting

Me (Richard C)
No.2 (Army) Commando
Ranger HQ
Ranger Cannon Company
1st Ranger Bn
Supply echelon DUKWs
Some terrain mats

Richard B
3rd Ranger Bn
I. Panzer Grenadier Bn
16. Aufklaerungsabteilung

Stuart A
4th Ranger Bn

Will McN
Some more terrain mats
41 (RM) Commando Will
654 AOP Sqn

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just a quick update.

After discussing things with Richard; I`ll be bringing the elements of 16th Panzer Recce battalion, a lorried PG battalion and 3rd Ranger Battalion.

I`m limited to how much I can hump up by train so by doing all these units I save the closer guys (and those with transport) having to worry about them and concentrate on larger terrain/buildings, etc.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stuart A

Just to say hello!

I'm going to be helping out with a unit or two. I've volunteered to paint up the 4th Ranger Battalion for starters. I may be able to help out with more if needed.

Scenario thoughts

We should think about how far we want to follow history in setting up our scenario.  

In reality the Rangers got in land as far as Chiunzi Pass before they encountered serious opposition.  The Commandos also got fairly far inland having faced only relatively light opposition.  Most of their heavy fighting was after they had been transfered closer to Salerno itself.

On the other hand, if we allow the German players too much freedom of deployment we're in danger of spending all of Saturday just watching the Allies cling to the beaches.  If we've spent ages building the rest of the terrain that'd be a shame.

On the third hand, I've said before that this northern part of the landings is rather like a bathtubbed version of the whole Salerno battle.  The main landings really did spend days clinging to a relatively narrow bridgehead so perhaps we should simulate that?

Or should I keep it all to myself and leave the players in the dark as to what to expect?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Turn to Sign In

For those who don't know me I'm Pete Jones author of the freewargamesrules website and member of Deeside Defenders.

I only currently game in 20mm for Vietnam, Moderns and Boxer Rebellion.

I look forward to this years game and hopefully we can build on the success of last years game.

Will signing in

OK, I'm in, don't forget that as I'm based at Deeside it's easy for me to provide stuff (all sorts figures, terrain, etc.)


Monday, November 17, 2008

Hello all

Just a quick note to say hi.

I have to admit to not knowing much about Salerno, but I am fully behind Richard`s project and will contribute forces as required and attend the event to assist.

Rob Connolly Signing In -

Typical me, long on chat, short on 15mm figures/terrain/anything else.

Currently reading through Hugh Pond's "Salerno"*, after having read the relevant section in the "Firepower" chaps book - what's their name again? Ah! Shelford & Bidwell. History of the war in Italy; detailed on the Allied side, rather less so on the Axis, and thankfully avoids the "Teutonic Supermen with State Of the Art Weapons Only Defeated By - By - Er - The End" syndrome. Given lower interest rates in 2009, I confidently expect to be reading the other recommended volume in a couple of months.

*Terrific cover illustration for a 1961 Pan paperback; I recognise the style but don't know the artist's name.

Map of the Battlefield

Our scenario covers the northern end of the landing beaches where the US Rangers and British Commandos landed to seize the vital Naples highway.

The map above is based on one in Operation Avalanche by Des Hickey and Gus Smith. Converted into wargames terrain we end up with something like the layout below (although most of the blank areas on the map should be hilly ground too).


Achse and Avalanche

Hi!  Welcome to the new blog that's designed to help set up SOTCW's participation game for Gauntlet 2009.

Our game this time takes its title from the code names of the two opposing operations.  Achse (Axis) was the German plan in September 1943 to disarm their allies in the event of a unilateral Italian withdrawal from the war.  Avalanche was the Allied plan to land a major force at Salerno in central Italy, capture Naples and advance quickly to Rome knocking the Italians out of the war.

As it happened, the Italians surrendered anyway, a fact that was announced to the troops as they approached the invasion beaches - with dire results for morale in some cases; the Germans were not about to allow a walkover.

We'll be using this blog to track the development of the game, to share research, and to make sure we have all the necessary toys available.  You should also get to see some nice models as we go along.