SUCCESSFULL - Baker Company Operation - Operation Cobra (St-Lo)

29TH INFANTRY DIVISION
116TH REGIMENT, 1ST BN
BAKER COMPANY HEADQUARTERS
CPT. PATTERSON'S DESK

Campaign - Baker Company - Operation Cobra (St Lo)


July 10th 1944

Saint-Lô serves a strategic crossroads. American bombardments have caused heavy damage (up to 95% of the city is destroyed) and a high number of casualties, resulting in the city being called "The Capital of Ruins".

Serving as an important control point on the western area of German defences in Normandy, it has fell into the American area of operations. With the fall of St. Lo will come the opening in the lines of the German army around Caen and Falaise, which are bitterly deadlocked with the Commonwealth forces.

Once St. Lo is secured we can quickly exploit this opening and move South-East, linking up with the Commonwealth forces and surrounding the German Army, this will effectively end all solid resistance in France. This operation has been named 'Cobra'.

Baker Company are tasked with securing St. Lo. Attacking from the South-West, Baker will move it's way through the five main sectors and push the Axis out of the area, capturing the main control points and their command compound and eliminating any residual resistance.


Campaign Map:
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Comments

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    edited September 2016

    Day One: BP3 Assaults Sector 00 (Codename Legion).

    July 10th 1944 - O700 Hours

    Baker Company approached St-Lo from the south, following only light initial contact with the enemy. We have set up a HQ compound in a wooded area south of Sector 00.

    BP3 Moved through the trees with the support of half-tracks and entered the sector from the South-West. Encountering an enemy presence in the area, an assault was ordered.


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    July 10th 1944 - 1900 Hours

    A platoon sized force of enemy Fallschirmjägers were encountered with BP3 taking heavy casualties, with casualties also inflicted on the enemy. Despite several points in the enemy defence being opened BP3 were unable to exploit them due to their own losses.

    The engagement ended with a tactical defeat, and the enemy withdrawing to the more defensible urban area to the east of the crossroads and river. They have set up an effective front line and are aware of our presence and location. Securing St. Lo will be a hard fight.

  • Options
    edited September 2016

    Day Two: BP3 Assaults Sector 02 (Codename Cobra II)

    July 11th 1944 - 1030 Hours

    BP3 Have spent the morning probing the enemy defences. Moving east to the crossroads a large enemy presence was observed defending the west approach to urban area of Sector O2. By moving south behind the road embankment BP3 were able to cross a more lightly guarded position at a small road bridge over the river. Moving across a field, using hedgerows as cover they have entered Sector 02 from the south and have been ordered to take and clear the sector using the element of surprise to take the initiative.

    BP1 and BP2 will support BP3 by defending sector 00 and standing by should the enemy decide to counter attack BP3's new position.




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    July 11th 1944 - 2100 Hours

    BP3 was tasked with moving into the central city of St Lo and achieving a stronghold in the center of the city. We were aware that an Axis unit was moving up from the south side of Sector 02 to contest our objective. Our primary objective was to gain and maintain majority control of three intersections surrounding the Theatre; one to the West, one to the North, and one to the South of the theatre. S1, along with WO1 Brewer, were tasked to capture and control the North intersection. S2 and S4 were tasked with controlling the Theatre and the West intersection, while S3 would move to the church on the East side and watch our flank.

    BP3 gained control of North and West with little contact early on. Because of this, S3 was ordered to send patrols to the East to watch for a flank and surely enough, a large axis unit was found attempting to flank us towards the North objective. The North objective soon after began receiving heavy contact from its north, northwest, and northeast. S3 was ordered to fall back and assist in defence with S1. The axis flanking force continued to try to hit the North objective, eventually trying to flank all the way around to our West objective, but BP3 held strong and the axis were unsuccessful. The round ended with BP3 remaining majority control of two out of the three crossroads.

    WO1 Brewer
    Platoon Leader
    BP3

  • Options
    edited February 12

    Day Three: BP3 Assaults Sector 03 (Codename Gladius)

    July 12th 1944 - 0700 Hours

    The initial plan that I drew up was for First squad to move through the northern side of the map and get into the apartment building cap as quickly as possible. Third Squad would then move up behind First and move towards the wreaked pub allowing them to hold the northern flank of the map preventing any flanking movements from the axis. Meanwhile, second squad was tasked with moving along the southern part of the village to take and hold the terraced houses, thus securing the cap and the southern flank.
    In the fast paced early stages of the combat, First and Third squad moved through the northern side of the sector, First collided with the enemy during their assault of the hotel and apartments while Third set up a defensive position around the wreaked pub as per the plan without any real issues.
    Meanwhile, Second squad moved quickly up to terraced houses, here they left PFC Doe in the position holding it. Meanwhile, through the foresight and experience of Sgt. Van Middel, the rest of the squad pushed forward to get into a more secure and advantageous position in which they could engage the enemy long before they assaulted the terraced houses. PFC Tyson set up over watch while the squad pushed across the supply dump and into the ruining buildings, taking fire from the enemy in the process, the contact was quickly taken out and Sgt. Van Middel and PFC Dubois were able to set up a defence as well as spot any enemy movements in and out of the apartments building and overwatch the 88 Position. It was from this position that second squad were able to engage and harass the enemy preventing them free movement in and out of the apartments cutting off the supply of re-enforcements.
    S3 moved up to wreak pub/hotel corner to hold the northern flank. After we suffered losses in the hotel, it became the Job of S3 to cut across the road and get into the hotel ASAP to assist the dwindling forces. After an initial attempt by Cpl. Bagge and PFC Neve, which cost the PFC his life and wounded the Corporal, it became clear that the enemy had cut off S3 from S1 via a well positioned machine gunner and a supporting light holding the mortar pit firing down the road. Under my direction, PFC Sommer fired his bazooka into several windows where the enemy was situated to no avail, somehow the enemy was able to avoid the bazooka but still be an hindrance to our northern flank.
    As I was wounded, Sergeant Van Middel now took command of the platoon. After some inventive play from Cpl. Bagge, a swift grenade meant that that he and PFC Kryger were able to storm the MG nest and take hold of the enemy position by moving through the mortar pit buildings. Two machine gunners fell during this combat. PFC Kryger was then taken down while trying to get into the apartment building again halting squad threes push towards s1's position.
    At this point first squad had become serious depleted leaving only Sergeant Noye still in a position to fight, the rest being felled in the mortal combat for the apartments. The sergeant made gallant efforts to pin the enemy on the third floor of the apartments allowing for the troops of squad 3 to flank around to cafe and take up defensive positions while second squad fell back through the terraced houses and re-enforced the apartment buildings.

    Now the apartments became the focus of combat and with it, Sgt Noye panned his next move while squad two re-enforced the remainder of the building cutting off the axis retreat and re-enforcement. Wounded and on his own, he stormed the third floor of the apartments, shooting the first enemy around the corner. This caused the second to panic and throw a smoke grenade onto the second floor storming down the stairs into the sites of second squad. unfortunately, despite the Sergeants best efforts, he fell to his wounds. With the Sergeants efforts, re-enforcements were now able to enter the apartments third floor and hold them while the remainder of third squad now made a break for the Cafe under Cpl. Bagge's instructions.
    Having whittled down the enemy, BP2 was now faced with a 7/1 scenario in which we held the objectives. After a few nail biting minutes the platoon managed to take down the remaining axis solider in the town, securing the area and achieving victory.

    2Lt. Derbyshire
    Platoon Leader
    BP2

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    edited February 24

    Day Four : BP3 Assaults Sector 03 (Codename Gladius)

    July 13th 1944 - 1600 Hours

    BP3 was tasked with moving into the Merderet Bridge area and gaining control of the surrounding town and bridge. Our platoon of roughly 25 men were equipped with a Sherman tank to assist in the assault. The first round started off very shaky with the Axis infantry gaining control over the wooden bridge while we had control over the majority of the town area. Due to a miscommunication over the location of the tank, our tank moved out of cover and was taken out by the enemy Stug early in the round, which was set up on the ridge line facing into the town. Having no tank left us forced to deal with the Stug by our AT. Sgt. Noye, equipped with the AT, flanked far west around the town with some elements of S1 and S2. We took over the Overpass cap point and were able to take out the enemy tank late into the round. After this, the remaining forces converged onto the wooden bridge to cap it out for majority control. Cpl. Speirs made a valiant effort taking out several Axis soldiers, but ultimately we were unable to gain majority control meaning Axis had a foothold to counter-attack us.

    The enemy counter attack gave us an opportunity to move against an Axis defence of the bridge. BP3 used the western approach to get into the town and gained an opportunity to flank an enemy tank once again. The Stug was positioned upon the ridge just like the previous engagement and our Sherman played more defensively to stay out of its sights. Sgt. Noye flanked the tank once again with some assistance and was able to take it out with ease. At this point, we became more aggressive and the whole platoon pushed towards the river area. The enemy AT had been secured leaving our tank to fire openly across the river taking out multiple enemies over the round. Using our tank, we gained and maintained majority control until the round was over resulting in a victory.

    WO1 Brewer
    Platoon Leader
    BP3

  • Options

    With the last enemy defeated in sector Gladius the enemy are in full retreat from the remaining area, including 'Julius' sector. Baker Company, 1st Battalion, 116th Regiment, 29th ID can claim full victory for their outstanding actions in the St Lo area.

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