Adie Roberts continues his inspirations series to help modellers of all abilities to work out of their comfort zone building dioramas or just trying new builds.
Ich glaube, ich kann hier durchschlüpfen! (I think I can slip through right here!)
The offensive was intended to outflank and seize the German-occupied city of Caen, an important Allied objective, in the early stages of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of north-west Europe.
The movement to try to keep up with the walking barrage continues
Preceded by Operation Martlet to secure the right flank of the advance, Operation Epsom began early on 26 June, with units of the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division advancing behind a rolling artillery barrage.
"Fast da, Bruder, fast da". "Denken Sie an Zuhause". ( Almost there brother, almost there. Think about home.)
Air cover was sporadic for much of the operation because poor weather in England forced the last-minute cancellation of bomber support.
"They're all around us lads"!
Accompanied by the 31st Tank Brigade, the 15th (Scottish) Division made steady progress and by the end of the first day had overrun much of the German outpost line, although some difficulties remained in securing the flanks.
"Out wit'ya, ya tosser"! "Hände hoch"
In mutually costly fighting over the following two days, a foothold was secured across the River Odon and efforts were made to expand this, by capturing tactically valuable points around the Salient and moving up the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division. By 30 June, after German counter-attacks, some of the British forces across the river were withdrawn and the captured ground consolidated, bringing the operation to a close.
First of the P.O.W.'s were brought in
Many casualties were suffered by both sides but unlike General Bernard Montgomery, the Allied commander in Normandy, Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel was unable to withdraw units into reserve after the battle, as they were needed to hold the front line.
Obersturmfuhrer Kuret leads his men of the SS-Panzer Pioneer Battalion 12 Abt. into captivity.
"They have been searched and the Lt has been relieved of his camo smock to show off his rank for the cameras and folks back home". He and his Obercharfuhrer support each other, both lightly wounded.
The British retained the initiative, attacked several more times over the following two weeks, and captured Caen in Operation Charnwood in mid-July.
"Bewegen Sie sich schneller, verdammte Hunnen" A few kind words from the Jock, urges them forward.
Interpretations of the intention and conduct of Operation Epsom differ but there is general agreement concerning its effect on the balance of forces in Normandy. The Germans contained the offensive but only by committing all their strength, including two panzer divisions just arrived in Normandy, which had been intended for an offensive against Allied positions around Bayeux.
"Here's more of erm lads", On the way.This is Jerry Rutman's story below
First contact has been made as Montgomerys' great offensive moves south towards the Odon River and Hill 112. The front lines of the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend - SS-Standartenführer Kurt Meyer, consisting of a thin screen of foxholes, dugouts, and fortified houses cannot stand in the face of the onslaught but the survivors of the horrendous barrages put up a determined defence.
"We have ourselves a proper officer here lads". "Look lively".
The Scots describe every shot from the thin line of Infantry as coming from a "sniper" and fail to realise this is all the HJ has left! Nevertheless, casualties mount among the 2 Brigades of stout Scotsmen on line for the attack.
"A nice smile for the folks back home". "That's the spirit".Jerry Rutman
Taking the full brunt in the centre of the Scots' attack is the 12 SS Pioniere Abt and their specialist defensive skills have been put to great use before the onslaught, by, doing what engineers do best. Laying Teller mines, AP mines, and obstacles of any sort.
Initial first aid has been administered from the most valued by all combat soldiers, the field medics.
All have been carefully tagged for the follow on care personnel.
This slows the Commonwealth troops down and separates them from their tank support and then from the walking barrage. To the right of the 12 SS pioneers is the PzGren Bn from the 26 SS Rgt commanded by Bernard Krause, an experienced, calm, and capable commander who has a heart for his "boys".
"This lot will be dropped off" "and the carrier put to good use as it returns to the Royal Scots unit it came from".
15th (Scottish) Infantry Division
On the left flank of the attack, the Royal Scots run into his defensive position centered around the hamlet of St Manvieu. This, after having run a gauntlet of mortar, 88, and MG fire coming from the airfield at Carpiquet, in the middle left distance.
Meanwhile, the advance continuesJerry Rutman
It will take the left flank Brigade and the Royal Scots, all day to reduce St Manvieu, but we will deal with that in the next episode.
Hope you are enjoying the show!
The Germans begin to break, but the well-trained and motivated kids of the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend remember their training and start to exfiltrate to rally points further back. Wounded childhood friends are brought along when possible because the age-old code of a soldier dictates it to be so.
The bulk of the SS-Panzer Pioneer Battalion 12 Abt has been obliterated however and a large portion of the survivors are led into captivity.
The number of POWs starts to grow just behind the lines in initial collection points. Sadly, the butcher's bill will also include many a Highland worthy and the field dressing stations also begin to fill up.
Every effort is made to quickly evacuate the wounded.