Battle of Lens

DeGaulle faces Rommel, France 1940

May 30th, 2010 at the RPIII

Steve put together a Flames of War game using the new Early War rules.

The Fox and the Big Asparagus
A Multi-Company Early War For Fun Scenario-Flames of War
Steve Miller
DFW Irregulars

The Germans had punched through the Allied lines at the Meuse River with rubber
boats, pluck and more than a little blood. Rommel had started his drive for Calais to split the
British and French forces and pressure the French to end the war. Rommel's division had met
stiffening resistance and his losses in armor had not been replaced due to the fact he had
outstripped the meager refit depots that followed in the rear. German recon briefings noted a
concentration of French armor and mechanized infantry north of Rommel's position near
Lens. Rommel's staff noted this but dismissed it as unconfirmed.

French fortunes had deteriorated to the point that communications between the GHQ
and forces in the field were delivered by bicycle or horse cavalry courier. The Germans
moved faster than messages arrived. A relatively unknown colonel named Charles DeGaulleknown
as the “Big Asparagus” due to his imposing height and prominent nose, stopped the
dissolution, started to piece units together and put a plan into action independent of the GHQ.
German objective: Attack and destroy any resistance in the town of Lens. Capture the
French supply and petrol dump. If successful, the division may stand down for repairs for 48

French objective: Hold the town of Lens and protect the supply dump. It is the last available
cache of supplies for the French army in the Pas d' Calais. There is nothing to hold the
Germans from this point on.

DeGaulle's objective: (he's independent and does not know of GHQ's plan for Lens)
Recon and move to contact the German spearhead. Glory is at hand plus a chance for
promotion! Attack to the sound of the guns in the great tradition of the cavalry!

Scenario Special Rules:

1. Use the Rommel rule from Afrika-use Pz IIs instead of captured Honeys
2. The Luftwaffe is quite busy in the central campaign. No air missions are available
3. You have 2 called fire missions using divisional (4)150mm howitzers off table. You
must have a direct line of sight from an observer and may use a staff team to call the
additional fire mission if it lands where you want it.
1. The Armee d' Air has cut a deal with “The Big Asparagus” and will show up today. The
medium bomber escardron commander is quite political and knows a good deal when
he sees it. Use FoW airstrike rules. I get to use my French Bomber!!! Dice Pool:5 Dice
2. The town of Lens has been prepared for the onslaught. There are two pillboxes
available Place them where they will do the most good. They contain a 25mm
ATG/squad and one (1) HMG/squad
3. The town of Lens is defended by French Foreign Legion infantry and is rated veteran.
Armor and weapon teams are rated trained.

French OB
In Lens: Foreign Legionaires-confident veterans-”Sous-off” rule
3-Infantry Platoons (3 squads)
1-HMG Platoon (4 HMG)
1-25mm AT Platoon (2 guns + command)
1-47mm Divisional AT (3 guns+ command) BDAC AT
Tank Platoon 1: 4 H-35 Light Tanks
Tank Platoon 2: 3 Char D2 Medium Tanks
1-Two Section (4 guns) 75mm Battery: Use US “Hit 'em with everything you got” rule and reroll
all missed to hit rolls if ranged in
2-Pillboxes-1HMG, 1 25mm ATG teams inside-place at player's discretion

The Big Asparagus' Armored “Patchwork Quilt”-Must keep up to ½ in reserve. Roll for
reserves as per FoW rules

1 CharB-bis
Platoon 1
3 CharB-bis
Platoon 2
4 Souma S35
Platoon 3
3 Renault D2
Platoon 4
4 H-35 Light Tanks
Deep Recon
5-Panhard P178
Mechanized Fusilier Platoon
3 Squads +HQ, 4 Laffley trucks

German OB


2-PzIII D (1IC, 2IC)
Panzer Platoon 1
Panzer Platoon 2
Panzer Platoon 3
3-Pz III D
Pioneer Platoon-
4 squads, HQ
Panzerschutzen Platoon
2 Squads (Command, 4 infantry stands)-4 251 Half tracks

SchtzenKompanie (Infantry Company)
HQ-1 Motorcycle rifle squad, 1 IC, staff car
Schutzen Platoon 1

HQ-command team
2 sections-Schutzen Squad, Kfz Trucks
Schutzen Platoon 2
2 sections-Schutzen Squad, Kfz Trucks
HMG Platoon
1 Section (2 guns), HQ, staff car, 2 trucks
AT Platoon
HQ-1 command squad, truck
2 sections (2 guns), 2 trucks
Infantry Gun Platoon
HQ, command team, 1 observer team, 2 trucks/command cars
1 gun section, truck
Panzerspah Platoon
3-Sdkfz 222 Scout Cars
Heavy Anti Tank Platoon-88 and Command
1 Section, 1 gun, 1 transport, 1 HQ

Panzerkompanie 2

2-PzII C (1IC, 2IC)
Panzer Platoon 1
Panzer Platoon 2
Panzer Platoon 3
Medium Panzer Platoon

I am in command of the French company defending the town of Lens.
My AT guns and infantry are spread throughout the town, and all three
objectives are contained there as well. I've got tanks in the woods on
the right flank and H-35s in reserve. A battery of 75s sits on the
heights above the town. Steve's armor arrives to attack!

Two German companies begin the attack, with Mark moving around the flank
using the woods as cover.

The French airforce shows up and bombs Mark's company.

The German players are well-supplied. I guess they just need the town
of Lens for the food and women.

More Germans arrive as Mark attacks the town.

Artillery fire bails quite a few of Mark's tanks.

Overview of the battle. Steve's Char-Bs attack David's panzers
and the artillery turn to put direct fire on Mark's attack.

Tanks start burning as the German Pioneers prepare to assault.

Those are French AFVs flanking the Germans on the far left!
The panzers are unable to damage the Char-Bs, but an 88 has just arrived...

Mark's pioneers close with the tanks, and get machine-gunned in the face!

One platoon of tanks assaults the artillery...and dies in front of the guns.

DeGaulle vs. Rommel, the battle escalates.

Whoa! I shouldn't take photos like this.....

French Somua's attacking.


There's a lot of fighting going on! The Germans have an infantry company
attacking up the center.

The 88 destroys two of the Char-Bs, so Steve hides the others beside the town.

DeGaulle and Rommel are really mixing it up, the French airforce has been very active
and the German infantry kill the gun teams on the edge of town, preparing for an assault.

They just keep trying to outflank each other.

More French reinforcements!.

German infantry lined up for assault, supported by light artillery fire.

Mark's company has retreated and the H-35s move up.
This flank is secure.

The battle will be decided by the huge tank battle and infantry assault.

The H-35s drive off the German scouts.

German infantry assault the town.

Two separate German companies have attacked the town and been driven off.
The tank fight has been brutal, but there are not enough Germans left.

Time to pick up. That's David on the left, this being his first game with us.

After the game, we enjoy some burgers and bier.

Thanks to the host!.

And his wife.

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