Tuesday, June 30, 2009

HG at Salerno

Some extracts from Salerno— A Defender’s View By Winfried Heinemann Army History Spring 2008

..."While the major Allied force did indeed land along the plain south of Salerno, light troops attacked into the mountains west of Salerno. U.S. Rangers first captured the coastal village of Maiori, and British Commandos took Vietri. Both then qickly ascended the dorsal mountain rdge of the Sorrento Peninsula, wresting control of a section of the ridge from the Germans and seizing the heights overlooking the Naples-Salerno road, along which mechanized reinforcements would have to pass. The Germans had not anticipated any assault on these heights and had left the area virtually undefended. Part of their counterattack would now have to be diverted to regain control of the mountainous Sorrento Peninsula.

General Balck’s XIV Panzer Corps reacted by ordering its Hermann Göring Panzer Division to advance into the area, with its armored reconnaissance battalion sent in advance of the main body to operate under the 16th Panzer Division’s command until the headquarters of the Hermann Göring Division reached the area. In particular, the reconnaissance battalion was to stop the Allied advances from Maiori and Vietri. Now, this was no easy task for an armored unit, as the ridge rises steeply on both sides to heights of
over 1,000 meters (some 3,300 feet) above sea level, and the roads were narrow, winding, and difficult to negotiate—ideal terrain for Rangers and Commandos, but not for tanks, especially tanks hampered once again by fuel constraints.17

By about noon, the battalion’s advanced elements established contact with the 16th Panzer Division’s organic reconnaissance element, the 16th Reconnaissance Battalion,
north of the ridge at Nocera, about 13 kilometers (8 miles) northwest of Salerno, as the latter battalion had been pushed that far back during the morning. The Hermann Göring Division’s reconnaissance battalion then tried to dislodge the Rangers
from the ridge south of Nocera but throughout the entire day failed to do so. The push along the road toward the town of Salerno ended at Cava de Tirreni, four or five kilometers north of the objective.18 To reinforce this battalion, the XIV Panzer Corps tasked Col. Wilhelm Schmalz, the Hermann Göring Division’s deputy commander, with forming a regimental-size combat team to assist the 16th Panzer
Division.19 As this would leave the Hermann Göring sector weakened in the face of a possible subsequent Allied landing further north, the corps ordered the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division to send replacements from the Rome area.20"...

..."During the day, the main body of the Hermann Göring Panzer Division arrived in the area between Naples and Salerno, concentrating around Nocera. As the 16th Panzer
Division’s armored reconnaissance battalion was already fighting in that area, Vietinghoff placed it under the Hermann Göring Division’s operational control."...

..."Another change in German command arrangements was implemented on 12 September. The Hermann Göring Panzer Division was relieved of responsibility for the Gulf
of Naples and told to concentrate on winning the battle for the heights north of Maiori and Vietri. The division managed to take and hold the heights above Vietri despite murderous naval gunfire. The 16th Panzer Division’s reconnaissance
battalion, still operating as part of the Hermann Göring Division, pushed south to within two kilometers of Salerno, but it too encountered increasing Allied resistance during the afternoon.32"....

Monday, June 29, 2009


Recent reconnaissance flight over the town.

I will now move on and base up the my remaining new buildings as Dragonea and Pagani. I'll just use my older ones for Nocera Inferiore and Superiore.


Recent reconnaisance flight over the town.

Cava de Tirreni

Recent reconnaissance flight over the village

Herman Goering division mustering

Allied intelligence sources have identified units of the Herman Goering FJ Panzer Division in the Naples plain to the north of the landing beaches.

Spotted are an Aufklarungs battalion (right) Panzer grenadier battalion (front) backed by two Panzer companies and panzer Jaeger company AA and an artillery battalion.

If any members have any exact details of the HG organisation on this date please add a comment
Some input from Neil on the HG orbat for Salerno link

Interesting to see Panzer III's in the line up

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Here are some pics of the hills I've done for the game.  To be honest they look better in real life than they do in the photos.

The first pic shows the full set of completed hills with sand texture added but before painting.

Next a few pictures of the completed hills with the Ranger Cannon Company for scale.  You also get a chance the see the Crawley family's new hall carpet.  You lucky people. 

The dry-stone retaining walls of the terraces took ages to build.  I'd be quite happy never to handle cat litter again!

The Allies are up to something!!

Spotted on a reconnaissance flight over Sicily
Initial estimate is 3 x LCA; 2 x LCVP; 2 x DUKW and 8 x LCM
Hopefully enough for the game

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Buildings of Salerno

Here are the buildings I've just finished for the game. Like most of my buildings they are built as modules each mostly 12cm x 6cm with a few 6cm square.

Construction is foamcore with Wills pantile tiles for the roofs. I started with the very basic rectangular buildings but I really prefer the second wave where I split the building 1:2 as they look far less monolithic

The next step is to try and create some scenic village bases to place these on. Typically I'll place 3/4 buildings in each location.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Hills of Salerno

Inspired by "Alcal"on The Guild wargamers' forum, I decided to have a go at building some Italian style hills with dry stone walled terraces.  The plan is to have enough to do all of the hills we need for the game with the exception of the Chiunzi Pass feature that Will has already started.

The hills are built on hardboard bases.  First I chamfer the edges and then glue on layers of expanded polystyrene using PVA glue.

Then the retaining walls are built up.  These use large pieces of cat litter and gravel attached to a bed of "grab adhesive" (something like No More Nails brand).

Then the surface texture is added by gluing on sand with PVA.  Painting and static grassing will follow.

As I say, this is enough hills for the game except that I'll need to add one more for the gun battery hill above Vietri.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Some more mortars

Will has already built two nice models of US 4.2" Chemical Mortars but we need a grand total of four  for the game.  Here are a couple of very simple scratch-built ones I've produced to make up the numbers.  They are very much in the style of the late John Sanders whose articles on modelling the 8th Army in Airfix Magazine played a large part in getting me in to wargaming in the first place.

They're just placeholders really, to show the location of our second Chemical Mortar Company.  If they ever need to fight at close quarters we'll need to add a few more crew figures. 

The figures are from the Hasegawa Willys jeep set and all of the rest is scratch-built on bases made from old mini CD-ROMs.