Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"We'll start the war from right here!"

This article's title is borrowed from a quote by General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr, assistant division commander of the 4th Infantry Division. He said those words on Utah Beach after becoming the highest ranking officer to land in the first assault wave of 6 June 1944.

Despite the fact that I've sworn off playing Americans after sort of OD'ing on them over the holidays, I've been batting an idea around in my head for a Late-war 1750-point US force. It just so happens Normandy has been on my mind lately (for some reason!). So I thought it would be fun to explore the US infantry/tank teams that made up the bocage-busting task forces in Normandy.


I've been reading After D-Day: Operation Cobra and the Normandy Breakout by James Jay Carafano and have sort of fallen head over heels for the 4th Infantry Division. Their Tank Battalion (the 70th) was an interesting unit, with lots of battle experience (North Africa and Sicily) so I've decided to use the 2nd Armored Division from Turning Tide as my template and go from there.

The list is built with symmetry, balancing a tank platoon with a rifle platoon. The objective is to be able to use Tank Telephones to help in the attack (which Spearhead will compel me to do), hedgerow cutters and a dozer to slice through bocage, and M7 Priests to help dislodge tricky defenders. The mortars are there for smoke and the recon should guard against ambushes and help ID'ing targets when Tank Telephones become too difficult or cumbersome to use. The AOP is my eye in the sky.

Medium Tank Company (Confident Veteran)
Headquarters 
2x M4A1 Sherman (add Dozer Blade to 2iC): 185 points
Medium Tank Platoon
4x M4A1 Sherman (add 2x Hedgerow Cutters): 365 points
Medium Tank Platoon
4x M4A1 Sherman (add 2x Hedgerow Cutters): 365 points
Armored Mortar Platoon
3x M4 81mm MMC half-tracks with .50cal AA MG: 125 points
Recon Platoon
3x Rifle Teams, 1x Bazooka, 1x M2 half-track, 2x Jeep with AAMG: 120 points
4th Division Rifle Platoon (Confident Trained)
Full Strength: 155 points
4th Division Rifle Platoon (Confident Trained)
Full Strength: 155 points
Armored Field Artillery Battery
3x M7 Priest HMC: 225 points
Air Observation Post
1x L4 Grasshopper: 40 points
Total:1735

The only little historical detail that bugs me about the list is that the M7 Priests should be Confident Trained as they are sourced from either the 4th's 29th or 42nd Field Artillery Batteries (armed with SP guns in lieu of their towed guns). Oh well, I'll just have to deal with an odd training rating and one less M7 (should also be four in the battery).

Here's some interesting links about the 4th Infantry Division if you are interested in learning more about the Ivy Division.

4th Infantry Division in the ETO (Organisation, Attachments, and Detachments) ...
The Famous Fouth (Unit History) ...
Utah Beach to Cherbourg (US Army History) ...

Thanks for reading!

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