#0725_01: A Bloody Day at Verrieres Ridge - Battles of Normandy
#0725_01: A Bloody Day at Verrieres RidgeBy Saunders & Blackie/Hankins
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Verrieres, South of Caen: July 25th, 1944. (Scenario Size: Brigade+. Head to Head or Commonwealth Human vs AI) To this day, there is still some debate about the ultimate goal of Operation Spring. On a strategic level, it is said that the attack was to hold the German panzer forces in the British sector so that the US could break out from the Normandy beachhead in Operation Cobra. On a tactical level, this was not the message passed down by the HQ of the 2nd Canadian Corps. They said it was an attack to drive the Germans from the high ground. This scenario simulates the attack by six battalions of the 2nd Canadian Division on the Corps' right flank. The plan was a complex three phase operation to be executed at night because the Germans had lines of sight from the high ground of Verrieres Ridge, and Hill 112 to the west; that had made the previous daylight attack a costly affair. However, enemy resistance proved very stubborn, and throughout the night each phase fell behind or did not meet its objectives. Daylight found the two battalions of the second phase involved in a bitter contest to secure their objectives prior to the final two battalions launching the third and final phase, the attack to capture the ridge itself. As the Black Watch of Canada advanced up Verrieres Ridge, German MGs and mortars appeared repeatedly on the flanks and in the rear. The Germans had hidden units in mineshafts, and used underground passages to move troops around unknown to the attacker. Furthermore, innocent looking haystacks erupted with fire to reveal hidden panzers. It truly was a day when in the words of historian Reginald Roy, "courage was not enough".