Butlins Beach Holiday Fun (Normandy Division)

A request for anything more sophisticated or life sustaining than a can of SPAM in wartime Britain was invariably met with a refusal, accompanied by the following rejoinder: Ďthereís a war on, you know!í.

So itís no surprise that, in the spirit of wartime austerity,  those intrepid souls wishing to enjoy the beaches of Normandy had to take all their own supplies and dislodge some heavily armed defenders before establishing themselves ashore.

Admittedly, this task was somewhat easier for the British than for the Americans. The British beaches were not as fortified as Omaha, and had fewer real defenders. On the other hand, one Panzer division lurked in the vicinity, and others were not far away, so a speedy and well organized landing was essential if disaster was to be avoided.

Since the British beaches were close and interrelated, all three beaches will dealt with in the one article.

  Gold Beach Objectives

Units landing at Gold beach have four objectives.    

  1. Assist the landing at Juno Beach
  2. Reduce attrition to zero to allow landing the XXX Corps Supply unit on Turn One
  3. Capture Bayeux
  4. Capture Caumont (42,37) to help with the capture of Villers Bocage  

Gold Beach Tactics

As with the American beaches, it is imperative to conserve the use of naval bombardment. Attacks must be planned to do this, and used in conjunction with units from other beaches. Only Recon units can be relied upon to be able to move after landing, and this capability must be fully exploited. Also, care must be taken not to land immobile units too early, which might block other, higher value units.

 

  Gold Beach Landing.

Examine Map 1. You must destroy the Strongpoints at B1, B2, B3 and B4, take two steps from the Strongpoint at X2 (52,25) and destroy the strongpoint at L1 (52,23) which becomes the landing point. Note that hex B1 is actually on Juno beach, but we are all one big happy family here, and are happy to help out.

If these tasks are completed, there will only be 5 steps within 3 hexes of our landing point, which equates to only one dice of attrition. Land the 61 Recon/50th Infantry and move it to hex (53,24) as shown. Land the 50 Composite Armour and one Regiment of the 50th Infantry at hex L1. Even if you take losses, you should be in a position to get an overrun, with a tank bonus, on the Strongpoint at (53,23). You must make this attack an overrun with no possibility of failure because the Recon unit is also needed to help the landing on Juno by attacking the Strongpoint and Ost battalion at (53,24) in due course.

Do not land any more units at this time, as attacks on Juno should reduce attrition on Gold to zero, so thereís no point taking unnecessary risks. Remember, we want to land our XXX Corps Supply unit on Turn 1.

Juno Beach Objectives

There are three Juno Beach objectives.  

  1. Link up with Gold & Sword Beach forces.
  2. Capture Villers Bocage.
  3. Create pressure to the West of Caen. This will draw defenders away from Caen and may allow the encirclement of Caen or a breakout towards Vire and Falaise.

Juno Beach Tactics

These are essentially the same as those for Gold beach. 

Juno Beach Landing.

Examine Map 1. The Strongpoint J1 (56,23) must be eliminated to reduce attrition to two dice. If you have the bombardment capacity left, then eliminating Strongpoint J2 will reduce attrition to one dice, but this may not be possible. 

Either way, you are now in a position to land at hex B1 (55,23). Land the 2 (C) Armour brigade and one regiment of the 3rd Canadian Infantry to hex B1. Land the 1 (C) Recon unit and move it to hex (55,24). These units, along with the Recon unit from Gold beach are now in a position to get overruns on the Strongpoint and Ost battalion at (54,23). It is worth allocating one DD to the combat against the Ost battalion to ensure its destruction. 

At the conclusion of the combat, your landing should look like Map 2. Again, there is no point in landing the rest of your units immediately, as future results may further reduce the attrition risk. There is also the possibility of landing units at (56,23) and taking out the Strongpoint at (57,24)

 

 

Sword Beach Objectives

There are two main objectives for the Sword beach forces. 

  1. Link up with the Airborne forces
  2. Either maintain a beachhead across the Orne at (62,28) or anchor the flank against the Orne from Benouville at (61,28).

Sword Beach Tactics

The tactical situation at Sword beach neatly illustrates an important point. Beaches are generally defended by a mixture of 1, 2 or 3 step Strongpoints. The 1 step Strongpoints are very vulnerable to attack by combat units and also have little or no anti-tank strength. The larger Strongpoints are much harder to assault, but all are equally vulnerable to naval gunfire. It therefore follows that out of the different Strongpoints within attrition range of your landing hex, the larger Strongpoints should hit by naval bombardment, and, wherever possible, the 1 step Strongpoints taken out by your landing forces. 

Sword Beach Landings.

Examine Map 2. The 3 step Strongpoints at S1 and S2 must be destroyed, along with the 2 step Strongpoint at S3. The Strongpoint at S3, the town of Benouville at (61,28) goes in accordance with our principles of Strongpoint destruction, but also to provide an exit strategy for the Airborne who are probably on the other side of the Orne. Sometimes the paras can help in reducing this Strongpoint, depending on where they land, but otherwise the task must fall to the four British battleships. Collect these BBs and move them to hex (58,13) from where they can reach this and other important targets. Donít shoot the BBs at anything else until they have performed this vital task. 

Land two regiments of the 3rd Infantry, one Commando unit (not the Engineer) and the 3 Composite Armor unit at hex L2 (60,25). Unless your naval shooting has gone exceptionally well you will be facing two attrition dice, so we donít want to risk our vital Engineer unit when we donít have to. Move the armor and Commando unit to hex (59,26) and overrun the Strongpoint on the beach at (59,25). 

The next step involves landing the Recon unit from the 3rd Infantry and moving it to hex (60,26) and taking out the other Strongpoint at (61,26). There could easily be two dice attrition attached to this move, so now might be the time to assess what defences remain, what ships havenít fired and what is the most cost effective way to commit your final assets. 

Make sure that you land the 249 Combat Engineer on the supply hex at (60,25). This will get rid of its minefield in one turn. 

With any luck, your initial landing phase will end up looking like Map 3. As mentioned before, you should now carefully examine your remaining options.

 

 

Special Airborne Tactics

These are as follows:

  1. Land anywhere, nobody knows where youíll actually end up.
  2. Accept all gifts of wine, brandy, flowers etc from populace welcoming you as liberators.
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