Monday, 28 May 2012

Operation Sea Lion - The Hungarian 1st Army Part 2

Hello All

Welcome to my second narrative piece about my Hungarian Army and my gaming groups story for WWPD's Operation Sealion campaign. Since my last write up I have changed the ideas of the narrative slightly as I misjudged the speed that the campaign would be moving, I have also played 2 games against Soviets (Who for fluff reasons I call Free Soviets) and British Paras.

The Hungarian 1st Army In Britain 1944 - May 13th - 27th

13th May 1944 - A Hungarian Panzer IV
knocked out of action by a Firefly
of the Irish Guards.
On the 13th May the Hungarian Armoured units finally arrived in the Bournemouth and Poole areas. General Jány threw them straight into the line in an attempted to carry on the encirclement of Christchurch. The assault, at first made good gains, but after a couple of miles they hit the heavily entrenched British 1st Para Division supported by forward units of the Irish Guards. This slowed the assault, at first to a crawl and then all but stopped any forward progress. Jány, furious that all the German units on either flank were making far better gains ordered 3 more attacks on the 13th May but all failed in their objective of getting to Christchurch and resulted in heavy casualties.

15th May 1944 - A Hungarian Stuka Squadron leader
briefing is men at Christchurch airfield.
The next day the situation took a surprise turn when the German 712nd Infantry Division broke through to Christchurch from the west and in doing so made the British position on the Bournemouth-Christchurch road untenable. This forced the Armour and Paras to quickly fall back before they became cut off. General Jány seeing an opportunity of redemption for his troops ordered a full scale pursuit of the retreating Allies. The extra pressure didn't turn the retreat into a rout but it did force the Allies to keep going to the next fortified line. The next line of defencive would be anchored on the New Forest, which the Axis forces reached just before night on the 14th. With the fall of Christchurch one of the initial goals of taking forward airfields was achieved. By the morning of the 15th May three Squadrons of Hungarians planes (one fighter and two dive bombers) had arrived and was getting ready for combat operations. The 15th itself didn't see much fighting around the New Forest The Axis forces spent most of the day trying to reorganise the units after 2 days of heavy fighting, while the Allies tried to bring reinforcements up to the front line. The Allies did try a few counter attacks but each one was repulsed with light damage done to the Hungarian or German forces.

Salisbury 18th May 1944 - A brief rest bite for the
inhabitants after Hungarian shells destroy most of the
town.
In the early hours of the 16th General Jány was woken from his bed to recieve a telephone call. It was Field Marshal Von Rundstedt info forming Jány that an offencive operation in the Fordingbridge area was to take place that morning by the 712nd Infantry Division and that the Hungarian mobile forces were to be put in reserve to exploit any breakthroughs the 712nd managed to achieve. The Assault went ahead as planned and by 11am Fordingbridge was in Axis hands. Wasting no time Jány ordered the Hungarian 1st Armoured Division up the Ringwood-Salisbury Road, the speed and aggression of the assault caught the Allies by surprise and by late afternoon the Hungarians had reached the edge of Salisbury. The next day the offencive continued and made good ground everywhere but Salisbury. The Units in
Salisbury were well prepared to hold onto the town at all costs and didn't give up any ground. The following day saw no better results so Field Marshal Von Rundstedt made the decision to bypass the city. He put the Hungarian 1st Army in charge of the siege with orders to take it within the week. General Jány finally saw a chance to show how well his forces could fight , soon became a frenzy of activity and set about the task of taking the city. His plan was to shell and bomb the town into submission with a days continuous bombardment, dawn to dusk from Artillery and the Air. He was sure after this his Infantry could take the town in a days fighting. On the 18th the onslaught began, the Hungarian Air force made 300 combat missions as Stuka after Stuka dove from the sky dropping there deadly payload. 200 guns of the Hungarian Infantry pounded the city for 12 hours turning it into a ruined shell. The following morning the infantry walked into Salisbury and met only light resistance. General Jány's plan had gone exactly to plan and the town was in Hungarian hands by noon.
18th May 1944 - Hungarian Stukas on their way to
bomb Salisbury
The Hungarian flag flies above
Salisbury Cathedral













After receiving a telephone call of congratulations from Field Marshal Von Rundsted, Jány asked to rejoin the front line the next day. Rundsted thought the Hungarian forces could use time in reserve to recover but General Jány, not wanting to miss out on more chances of glory, re ensured Von Rundsted that this men didn't need the rest. This was a lie, after almost a week of think fighting. His men were worn out and many of the Hungarian tanks were in need of a service, but the Field Marshal eventually agreed and the Hungarians were on the Bristol boarder for the start of Operation Green Summer the assault on Bristol and Gloucestershire.

21st May - Wreaked Free Soviet T 34's from the fighting
outside of Bristol. Most of the tanks were knocked out
without the crews inside as they were caught up surprise.
Operation Green Summer kicked off at 5:15am on the 21st May. The Hungarians attacked a weakly held part of the line and by 7am were rushing towards Bristol, the Allies brought a Divison of Free Soviets to try and block the move but the forward units of the 26th Hungarian Assault Gun Division attack them while they were still forming up and quickly routed them from the field. As the Soviets tried to get to safety the Stukas of the Hungarian Air Force attacked, by the end of the day the Free Soviet Division all but ceased to exists as a fighting unit. With the massive whole in the Allies line caused be the destruction of the Free Soviets the Allied forces started to panic. With the lines in disarray the Hungarian 1st Armoured Division took Bristol without a fight in the Evening of the 21st. With that the Hungarian were finally taken out of the line for rest and re fitting.

May 26th - British Paras advance on the
Hungarians during the fighting at  the
village of Wickwar.
On the 26th May they were fully re fitted and assigned the task of mopping up pockets of resistance that were left after the Allied line collapsed at Bristol. In the disarray a few Allied units were left behind as the Axis forces poured through the hole created by the Hungarian destruction of the Free Soviet forces. The main pocket contained an old adversary of the Hungarians from the fighting around Bournemouth, the British 1st Airbourne Division. General Jány ordered the attack of the 26th May, the goal was the Village of Wickwar. The attack got off to a good start in the east where the Hungarian 26th Assault Gun Division broke through the lines and arrived at Wickwar on schedule. The same could not be said for the western attack where the Hungarian 1st Tank Division got bogged down in rough terrain and heavy fighting. The attack on the village was delayed to allow the Tanks to catch up, but by the new start time only a hand full had arrived. Fearing that the Paras were only getting stronger the longer the build up took General Jány ordered the attack with what had arrived. This turned out to be a mistake, with so few tanks and no Infantry support on the western attack. The British Paras assaulted the tanks close up and destroyed most of them. The Eastern force then took the full furry of the British defenders and soon found itself fleeing out of the village. With his forces too weak for a second attack and in danger of an Allied counter attack cutting them off, General Jány ordered a retreat. By the end of the day the Hungarians were pretty much back to their starting positions. General Jány started planning another attack for the next day but events in the north would make these irrelevant. The fighting in Gloucestershire was not going well for the Axis, their attack had been checked and now the Allies were strong enough to launch a major counter attack. On the 27th the storm broke and the Ally forces started pushing the Germans back. News arrived to the Hungarians that a Free Soviet Heavy Tank Division was heading for them, it was time to turn to the defencive.

I hope you enjoyed that, I'm really enjoying writing them! I hope to have another update in just over a week after a couple more games.

Thanks for reading Ben

6 comments:

  1. Great piece of work Ben. I look forward to reading about how my Free Soviet Heavy Tank Div crushes the Hungarian forces ;-)

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  2. Great stuff. I am enjoying your narative and clever use of pictures.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, the pictures are something I wanted to add to give it that "real" feeling. A sort of historical text book look.

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