This Flames of War (FOW) scenario came from the former “What Would Patton Do (WWPD)” blog site several years ago. WR saved the scenario file for a future game and this last summer, Daniel and WR set up the game scenery, pulled WR’s WW2 FOW miniatures, and played out the tabletop action. Cole’s Charge is based upon an actual June 11, 1944 battle at Ingouf farm in Normandy, between the 3rd Battalion 502nd Parachute IR and their counterparts in the German army… 6th Fallschirmjager Regiment. Read the full scenario file below for more details and any internet search under “Lt. Colonel Cole, Ingouf farm, 502nd Parachute Regiment in Normandy, Purple Heart Lane” should access additional historical background material.
What Would Patton Do (WWPD) written scenario .pdf file: Coles Charge 1944
With WR’s 20mm miniatures in position and table snacks within arm reach, the scenario opens with the fallschirmjager position shelled by several batteries of American off table 105mm artillery. In FOW 3.0 MRB terms a preliminary pre-scenario start bombardment action. Every tabletop deployed German team rolls their fate 6D, except for warrior teams, and survivors end the bombardment pinned to the ground. A roll of 4+ removes the team.
US forces: 3rd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment. All teams rated Fearless Veteran (FV) under FOW 3.0 rules. Available scenario deployed forces are:
Battalion Command Group: CinC Carbine (Lt Col. Cole), 2iC Carbine (Major Stopka). with attached artillery observer team for preliminary bombardment and initial follow-up smoke bombardment placement.
Parachute Mortar platoon; Cmd. carbine, 4x 81mm mortar.
G Company Command: CinC carbine, 2iC carbine.
1st and 2nd Platoons each: Cmd. R/MG, 6x R/MG, 1x 60mm mortar, 1x Bazooka.
MG Platoon: Cmd. carbine, 2x M1919 LMG.
H Company Command: CinC carbine, 2iC carbine.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Platoons each: Cmd. R/MG, 6x R/MG, 1x 60mm mortar, 1x Bazooka.
MG Platoon: Cmd. carbine, 4x M1919 LMG
German Forces: Elements 6th Fallschirmjager Regiment, 91st Infanterie Division dug in around the Ingouf Normandy farm. All teams rated Fearless Veteran (FV) under FOW 3.0 rules. Available scenario deployed forces are:
Company Command: CinC SMG, 2iC SMG, 2x 8cm mortars.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd Fallschirmjager Platoons each: Cmd. SMG, 9x R/MG.
MG Platoon: Cmd. SMG, 4x HMG.
Scenario victory and Duration: American need to capture and control the two red square map objective markers (see scenario map above) to win or force the German retirement from tabletop (by failed company morale test). Germans win by holding any objective end of Turn Twelve, or force American force morale failure. This WWPD scenario gives no pre-determined scenario turn duration for game so Daniel and WR agreed for twelve turns.
Should note WR used his standard 6×5 foot table for scenario by making each map square 12×15″ vs. 12″ square for the scenario map 6×4 table design. The 15″ length on the table short side.
Turn One: American forces have the opening movement. Scenario opens with American preliminary area bombardment of the entire German tabletop position. Several German teams are removed (blasted) from play, including a critical HMG team anchoring the orchard corner hedge position. Following the preliminary bombardment, the American off table artillery is on 1st turn only call for smoke bombardment (three 105mm Field artillery batteries), for double wide template smoke screens each, ranged-in and positioned by the artillery observer team. From airborne divisional HQ, after the 1st turn completed, the three 105mm Field Artillery batteries have orders to support another assault nearby and will not be on call for the entire scenario Ingouf farm battle. So just the paratrooper 81mm mortar platoon can provide local area bombardments for this scenario.
Daniel deployed his forces with Parachute G Company on the left, astride the roadway, with their reduced MG platoon (two M1919 LMG) as left flank support. Positioned in the center marshy ground one Parachute H Company platoon, a supporting reserve G Company platoon, the full strength MG platoon, 81mm mortar platoon, and backing all, the battalion command group. On the right flank the remaining two H company platoons, aiming to leapfrog the marshy ground zones to directly assault the near Ingouf farm complex.
Sending the central H Company platoon forward, supported by reserve G Company platoon, the Americans race across open ground as the smoke bombardment lands before them. One American artillery battery lost the radio’s ground target coordinates as their smoke shells land in another sector. Still two 105mm batteries land on target, creating a solid wall of dense smoke clouds. The MG platoon shifts position forward to set up on the roadway berm, starting to fire streams of bullets into the smoke clouded hedgerows before them. The 81mm mortar platoon drags their heavy mortar tubes in the muddy ground/marsh, seeking firm ground to set up on. Lt. Col. Cole and Major Stopka follow the MG platoon to marsh edge, no heroic single command team charges for this scenario thinks Daniel.* On the right flank, the two H Company platoons advance across open ground and roadway, then dive into the marshy ground cover nearby, all the while closing in on the farm complex held by the Fallschirmjagers.
Lots of advancing American firepower sent towards the hidden German positions… but with the dug in foxhole protection, hiding behind hedges and covered in dense smoke, little effect is result. For the German turn reply, they stay down in their foxholes, shaking off the preliminary bombardment pinned effect on their bodies, only firing their forward HMG to cut down one spotted American paratrooper team.
- Note: Players could decide that the American Battalion command teams be forced to historically advance and charge the German position on first turn…. out in the open past the roadway, but WR didn’t play the scenario with that rule.
Turn Two: American plan their first assault with the leading H Company platoon backed by G Company’ supporting platoon. Their movement closes in on the hedge line corner defended by the fallschirmjager HMG team. The artillery observer radios in to shift targeting, to blast the German hedgerow corner defenders. Radioing their supporting 81mm platoon, the mortarmen land a sharp bombardment, right atop the German Fallschirmjagers, destroying the critical HMG team before the American paratrooper platoon assault. Must have found a patch of firm ground for their mortar tubes thinks WR. Alongside the advancing parachute platoons, the newly positioned central MG platoon rakes the hedgerow defenders with streams of bullets, keep any peeking head diving for cover. Still leaping from marshy ground zone to another, the other two H paratrooper right flank platoons seek position to launch their assault on the farm complex, and jutting forward, the fallschirmjager defended orchard.
A short but wild melee erupts. Defensive firing crumples one paratroop team on the hedge. Other follow and bayonet or grenade two fallschirmjager teams. Seeing the fight going against them, the fallschirmjager fall back to regroup, still full of fight.
Other than rallying the fallschirmjager and re-entrenching at their new position near the farm orchard, the fallschirmjager kept their heads down. Minor shifting of the 3rd Fallschirmjager platoon, positioned in the rear orchard, to counter the American flanking movement by the left flank G Company platoon, sums up the German second turn.
Turn Three: Mostly a turn of movement for better positions. On the right flank H Company parachute twin platoons arrive at the marshy edge, across from the Ingouf farm complex orchard. In the center the combine G & H Company platoons edge forward behind the tall hedgerow towards the opposite side of the farm complex orchard and its fallschirmjager defenders. The roadway positioned MG platoon cuts down one unwary fallschirmjager team outside the orchard. On the left flank, the other G Company platoon with attached reduced MG platoon edge along the hedgerow aiming to flank the German farm position.
The German turn again quiet except for HQ attached 8cm mortar teams spot the mud splashed paratroopers and land several 8cm mortar rounds along the exposed roadway, catching two paratrooper teams unwisely in the open for quick tabletop removal.
Turn Four: Americans assault the outlying orchard. As the central combined parachute platoons, from G & H Company, skirting along the long hedgerow for cover, the right flank leading H Company platoon advances from their marshy ground hideout, covered by firepower from the central positioned M1919 LMG platoon. In short rushes firing from the hip, the American paratroopers quicken their pace approaching the silent hedgerow. Suddenly the fallschirmjager open fire at point blank range, cutting down two paratrooper teams as the paratroopers charge into the thick hedgerow. One fallschirmjager team falls to the American bayonet storm then fallschirmjager rear support charges forward in counterattack. More Americans fall (2 teams) on the open ground. Renewed American effort breaches the hedgerow after killing another fallschirmjager team. Fallschirmjager again redouble their resistance and remove the American breeching party. Looking about, the surviving paratroopers realize they are outnumbered and see more fallschirmjager approaching. They quickly retire to regroup back in the marshy ground starting point. Paratrooper morale holds, rallied by an unknown sergeant with long service stripes, but the leading 1st H Company platoon is reduced under half strength, their platoon leadership lying on the open ground. Meanwhile, the fallschirmjager platoon regroups from the exposed forward hedgerow position, forming a new second line of defense deeper in the orchard.
Turn Five: Creeping forward movement and lots of American firepower with little result. Flanking G company platoon edges along the long hedgerow and open fire on the fallschirmjager defending across the open meadow ground. The 81mm mortar platoon drops in a quick bombardment for good measure. Near the orchard outskirts, paratrooper teams creep forward to secure the exterior hedgerow position and recover wounded comrades from the recent fighting. For the fallschirmjager, keeping their heads down in their foxholes while awaiting the next American charge is their mindset.
Turn Six: Time to take this farmstead shouts out Lt. Colonel Cole, the 3rd/502nd battalion commander. With three parachute platoons positioned near the farm orchard the orders go out. H Company sends a fresh platoon into the orchard and storms the fallback fallschirmjager position. Nearby another H Company platoon backed by G Company platoon await their chance to close on the Green Devils while providing support fire. Hiding behind the roadway hedgerow, the survivors of the first H Company platoon creep forward to flank the fallschirmjager farm position and engage the small fallschirmjager 8cm mortar position at the rear of the farmstead. A bloody and savage war under the orchard trees erupts. Bullets first then charging forward, several paratrooper teams are cut down by greeting German machine gun and rifle fire. Then the mass of paratroopers surge into the fallschirmjager foxholes. Bitter hand to hand, fighting, shovels, grenades, bayonets, and knives leave bodies everywhere during several phases of repeated charge and be charged combat.
Turn Seven: After WR clears the orchard red stain of death markers, the next paratrooper platoon (H) enters amidst the battle torn orchard, bodies everywhere with splintered trees. The few fallschirmjager left put up a brief fight, dropping two more American teams before they are removed from tabletop. American now hold the forward orchard as the few German company command teams and team attachments prepare their final stand in the farm buildings.
Turn Eight: Turn to clear out the farm buildings. Quickly recovering from the last turn of fallschirmjager SMG fire, the battle crazed paratroopers storm the first farm building. Pointblank HMG and SMG firepower halts the 1st assault platoon in their blood trailing tracks as paratroopers again dive for any cover in the orchard. Shouting out the farm window while firing his SMG, the fallschirmjager company commander orders his 8cm mortar teams to bombard the orchard. As death rains from above, another paratrooper platoon (G company) assaults along the hedge line into the forward farm building position. HMG barrel red hot, SMG magazine clips littering the farm grounds, the fallschirmjager fight back.
German reinforce the other building with teams from their last reserve fallschirmjager platoon, joined by the lucky 2iC team, while the sole 8cm mortar team vaults the wall and legs it for safety. For the moment both sides take stock of their situation and figure out who is left standing.
Turn Nine: Americans reorganize their platoons to prepare for the final farm clearing assaults. Surprise, the fallschirmjager exit their building and assault the weak corner spot of the American position. Two paratrooper teams bite the last bullet, but the greater number of nearby paratroopers soon prevails on the small fallschirmjager force. Outnumbered, the fallschirmjager retire leaving several teams permanently between the buildings.
Turn Ten: With only two command SMG teams in front of them, the paratroopers quickly charge forward to seize the last building. One quick round of close combat and the fallschirmjager command group is wiped out or surrenders.
Scenario end: Ten turns of combat and the scenario has the American paratroopers controlling one objective. Since the fallschirmjager company auto-failed their morale test, due to cumulative platoon loss and loss of HQ company command, nothing prevents the Americans declaring control of the battlefield. Victory for Daniel and his American paratroopers.
Summary: The scenario ran its course somewhat following the historical events. Fighting around the farm was severe in 1944 and afterwards the reduced 3rd/502nd battalion was removed from the front lines to recover and reorganize. WR’s Fallschirmjagers were reduced to a single platoon while Daniel’s paratroopers had one platoon wiped out and three more under 50% strength (out of five). Close scenario…. could have gone in WR’s favor several times if any paratrooper platoon morale test failed.
Cheers from the Northridge warren. More YR2020 scenario AAR to report as we start YR2021.
From the MOH site: Robert Cole’s brave actions at Carentan led to his being awarded the Medal of Honor on October 4, 1944. Unfortunately, Cole was not able to receive this honor in person. On September 18, 1944, Lieutenant Colonel Cole was shot and killed by a German sniper near the town of Best during Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands. Cole’s widow and two-year old son accepted the Medal of Honor at a ceremony at Fort Sam Houston.
Cole is buried at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten.
Medal of Honor Citation
For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty on 11 June 1944, in France. Lt. Col. Cole was personally leading his battalion in forcing the last 4 bridges on the road to Carentan when his entire unit was suddenly pinned to the ground by intense and withering enemy rifle, machinegun, mortar, and artillery fire placed upon them from well-prepared and heavily fortified positions within 150 yards of the foremost elements. After the devastating and unceasing enemy fire had for over 1 hour prevented any move and inflicted numerous casualties, Lt. Col. Cole, observing this almost hopeless situation, courageously issued orders to assault the enemy positions with fixed bayonets. With utter disregard for his own safety and completely ignoring the enemy fire, he rose to his feet in front of his battalion and with drawn pistol shouted to his men to follow him in the assault. Catching up a fallen man’s rifle and bayonet, he charged on and led the remnants of his battalion across the bullet-swept open ground and into the enemy position. His heroic and valiant action in so inspiring his men resulted in the complete establishment of our bridgehead across the Douve River. The cool fearlessness, personal bravery, and outstanding leadership displayed by Lieutenant Colonel Cole reflect great credit upon himself and are worthy of the highest praise in the military service.