#0719_01 The 11th Armoured on Day Two of Operation Goodwood - Battles of Normandy
#0719_01 The 11th Armoured on Day Two of Operation GoodwoodBy Jeff Conner
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Bras, Southeast of Caen, July 19, 1944. (Scenario Size: Brigade. Allied Human vs. Axis AI or Human vs. Human) The 11th Armoured Division had been the lead unit in the first day of Operation Goodwood and had paid the price. More than two-thirds of the tanks in the 29th Armoured Brigade had been knocked out. But the supporting arms had not been hurt too badly. Even better, the micro-managing from above appeared to have ceased with the heavy loss of tanks. Pip Roberts, Commander of the 11th Armoured Division and arguably the best tank commander in the British Army, could now fight his division as he saw fit. His objectives for the day were the villages of Bras and Hubert Folie, and he prepared a combined arms attack to seize the two strongpoints. The Germans had not fared well on the first day of Goodwood either. The carpet bombing had caught several units of the 21st Panzer Division with a rain of high explosive and those units were no longer combat capable. The remaining portions of the division had fought well, especially the 200th Sturmgeschutz Abteilung, but they had taken serious losses in trying to hold back the flood of British tanks. The panthers and assault guns of the Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler had also taken casualties stemming the tide. While the British received replacement tanks during the night, the German crews works as fast as they could to try and repair those vehicles that could be fixed and to salvage anything useful from those that could not. The 21st Panzer was withdrawn and its place had been filled by the tanks and infantry of the I SS Panzer Korp. The opportunity to rest and refit had been very short indeed. Pip Roberts plan called for the Cromwell tanks of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry to attack Bras from the northwest under the cover of a smoke screen. The motor infantry of the 8th Battalion, Rifle Brigade would rush forward, supported by the remaining tanks of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment, and complete the seizure of the village. Once it was taken, infantry from the 159th Infantry Brigade would advance and secure the village while the motor infantry and tanks continued to Hubert Folie. The British knew that there were Germans in the villages, but they did not know that the defenders from yesterday had been replaced by a battalion of infantry from Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler supported by anti-tank and assault guns. Day two of Goodwood would be another uphill battle for the British.