The Defence of Ranville
6th June 2004
The Defence of Ranville was played out on Sunday 4th July 2004. This action based on the scenario in Colin Rumford's D-Day book recreates the defence by the 5th British Parachute Brigade Group against the Armoured attack by Kampfgruppe Von Luck from the 2st Panzer Division.
Shot from Herouvillette to Ranville prior to the German attack. The British Airborne forces were deployed either side of the Herouvillette road with some elements in Herouvillette and dug-in forces on the hills overlooking the road. 6 pdr ATGs were deployed forward and the 17 pdr initially sited up the road from Ranville
Ranville looking east to DZ 'N'
German Recon elements were quick to move through Herouvillete. The small British forces offered some resistance but were unable to stem the tide of armoured cars as they pushed to the heights east of the town. Meanwhile the main armoured force assembled to the west of the town in preparation for a push on the main objective - the Orne Bridge.
The advance elements of the Parachute brigade were soon overwhelmed and both 6pdrs destroyed or captured. The 17 pdr was quickly redeployed to face the danger to the Orne Bridge west of Ranville. Soon reinforced by 6 Commando they managed to hold the right flank for most of the game but were unable to stop the armoured sweep west of Ranville
Towards the end of the game German Armour spearheaded an assault by armoured infantry through DZ 'N' on their way to the Orne Bridge
Final result was victory to the Germans and a "jolly good try" to the British who just were not able to destroy enough armoured vehicles to make a difference. British artillery was not a key player in this game. Also the placement of ATGs unsupported by infantry meant the forward line was quickly breached. Overall and enjoyable game but frustrating for the British.