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Flames of War

 

The Battle For Sword Beach Scenario

The Battle For Sword Beach Scenario

Sword Beach was on the eastern flank of the D-Day landings just west of the Orne River. The British 3rd Division, General Montgomery’s own division in the Battle of France in 1940, was assigned the task of landing on Sword Beach and fighting its way inland to link up with the airborne operations across the Orne River and, if possible, capture Caen.

An off-shore reef limited the assault to a single brigade frontage at La Brèche, ‘the Breach’. The divisional commander, Major-General Tom Rennie, selected 8 Brigade as his assault force with Lieutenant-Colonel C F Hutchinson’s 2nd Battalion, The East Yorkshire Regiment landing on Queen Red (as the eastern sector was called). The 1st Battalion, The South Lancashire Regiment was to land on Queen White to the west. The reserve battalion landing behind them as the second wave was the 1st Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment.
Facing the landings was Generalleutnant Wilhelm Richter’s 716. Infanteriedivision. Although the division has been in Normandy for more than two years, its troops have spent most of their time labouring on fortifications and little time on combat training. Sword Beach fell in the sector of 736. Grenadierregiment, in particular Hauptmann Heinrich Kuhtz’s 10th Company.
The Battle For Sword Beach
The defenders were well dug in and well supported with machine-guns, mortars and artillery (every gun in the division was sited to fire on the beaches), but would need immediate reinforcement to prevent the enemy getting ashore. Unfortunately, the division lacked any form of motorised reserve. Worse, the closest reserve to hand was 642. Ost Bataillon, a battalion of Russian ‘volunteers’ recruited from the prisoner of war camps.

The nearest armoured troops were 21. Panzerdivision south of Caen. This division was fairly well equipped and trained, but could not be expected to reach the beach in strength until late in the afternoon.
The Battle For Sword Beach
Whatever the outcome, Sword Beach was looking to be a hard fight and the troops knew it. Major ‘Banger’ King commanding A Company of the East Yorks, like Wolfe at Quebec, read to his men as the landing craft approached the beach. Shakespeare’s stirring speech from King Henry V echoed in their ears as they stormed ashore.

‘On, on, you noblest English!
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof,
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought,
And sheath’d their swords for lack of argument: …
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’

The Battle For Sword Beach in Flames Of War
Can the men of the British 3rd Division successfully capture Sword beach and push towards Caen or will the 716. Infanteriedivision throw them back into the sea?

Download a PDF version of the Battle for Sword Beach scenario here...

The Battle For Sword Beach