Assault on Fort Edith Evian May 1940

March 15, 2016 10:15 pm Published by - Leave your thoughts


Just another Monday night down at SLW saw a daring attack on the mythical French Fort of Edith Evian by German paras and gliders at the start of the German offensive against France in May 1940.   Yes it is Eben Emael but I don’t own any Belgians.  The battle used my 10mm collection and the Command Decision  ToB rules which I have rediscovered to my considerable joy and satisfaction.

For those  unaware of this extraordinary event see:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Eben-Emael

The Fort in my game had a central 75mm turret (represented by a 75mm artillery piece)  plus several MG, infantry  and 25mm AT bunkers covering a key road and rail bridge.

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The Fort awaits…

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The assault teams load up.

The German player (Iain) was given a map of the fort and surrounds a few days before the game, with few other unknown positions on it, to plan the assault. He had a para btn, a glider btn but not enough Ju52 lift to bring them all in at once, and a reinforced recce company riding hopefully to the rescue up the road form the east.

The German first wave was all gliders to maximise surprise, all aiming for inside the fort’s minefields and wire.  Luck was with them except for the glider aimed at the 75mm turret overshoot on to the top of another bunker.  The luck turned when the specialist demo charge failed (a recurring problem for the Germans…) and the 75mm turret caused casualties and pushed that company back into cover.

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That landing zone looks occupied sir…

The next wave of paras arrived, only to have selected drop zones uncomfortably close to previously unseen dug in French infantry and worse a 20mm auto cannon AA battery.

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Kaboom…

The subsequent wave also faced a rough drop and nearly half the para btn were casualties (and the French dice were running red hot!) but the 20mm AA position was cleared and finally the main 75mm turret was destroyed.

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The cavalry arrives…

The tide turns again as local French reinforcements, a cavalry company , H35 tank platoon and some Panhard armoured cars. The Germans become increasingly disorganised in the close quarters fighting especially as the dice rolling of the poorer quality French was awesome and effectively give up on sizing the road bridge.   But then the German recce company sprints onto the table and across the rail bridge (bumpy but passable! ) .  The game ended at that point in a marginal win for the Germans but there won’t be any para drops by Germany anytime soon…

Thanks  to Iain for a fun game.

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This post was written by Philip Andrews

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