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MM02 - Fromelles - 19 July 1916

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Fromelles was the first major battle fought by Australian troops on the Western Front. Directed against a strong German position known as the Sugar Loaf salient, the attack was intended primarily as a feint to draw German troops away from the Somme offensive then being pursued further to the south. A seven-hour preparatory bombardment deprived the attack of any hope of surprise, and ultimately proved ineffective in subduing the well-entrenched defenders. When the troops of the 5th Australian and 61st British Divisions attacked at 6 pm on 19 July 1916, they suffered heavily at the hands of German machine-gunners. Small parts of the German trenches were captured by the 8th and 14th Australian Brigades, but, devoid of flanking support and subjected to fierce counter-attacks, they were forced to withdraw. By 8am on 20 July 1916, the battle was over. The 5th Australian Division suffered 5,533 casualties, rendering it incapable of offensive action for many months; the 61st British Division suffered 1,547. The German casualties were little more than 1,000. The attack was a complete failure as the Germans realised within a few hours it was merely a feint. It therefore had no impact whatsoever upon the progress of the Somme offensive.

The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.

 


Starting Assets

  Command Cards Combat Cards HQ Tokens Reserve Artillery Rifle Units Machine Gun Units Mortar Units Bomber Units  
Germans 5 3 6 5 7 3 1 1  
British 4 2 7 5 11 - 2 - Move First 

 


Victory Medals: 7

  • 1 Medal for each unit eliminated.
  • The British forces gain 1 Permanent Victory Medal for each unit that succeeds in breaking through and exits the battlefield from the German baseline.
  • The British forces are racing against time. The German player may take a Victory Medal, instead of taking two command cards, when playing a “Recon” command card.

Special Rules

  • British player does the No-Man’s-Land shelling roll.
  • Inexperienced Artillery. Prior to rolling Australian Reserve Artillery targeting dice, roll 1 targeting die and move the Reserve Artillery template 1 hex in that direction. Then resolve the Reserve artillery normally in the new target hex.

 

Tags: British, German, Medals: 6, Western Front

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