Codeword Cromwell 1940 part 3 Battle of Rotherfield – Here come the Cavalry – G.I.’s to the rescue

Posted: January 17, 2015 in rotherfield, wargames
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IMG_3375 (800x600) Clement weather had assisted the debarkation of German troops with the 5th Jager Regt landing at Cuckmere Haven and racing towards the developing battle in Rotherfield. Meanwhile the German paratroopers began to increase the pressure on the western side of the village.  This time 5 squads attempted to cross the stream from the south side concentrating their fire on Walkers improvised defence position.  Despite wounding him he remained at his post until relieved by village Bobby Sgt Drake.


Entrance to Eridge Lane from the School Drive. Here, German Paratroopers crossed the road in the open only for a number to be cut down by the valiant Edith Finlay

The paratroopers were however unaware that Rotherfield Stores owner, widower Edith Finlay had taken up position covering the entrance to Eridge Lane. Caught in the open she couldn’t miss using her beloved husbands old Webley service revolver and very soon the lane was littered with dead and dying germans. Drake using a Springfield caused more grievous casualties to another group of Paratroopers attempting to flank the bridge from the north. For the moment the Germans were being kept in check but then the arrival of advance elements of the 5th Jager Regt threatened to upset the apple cart. Entering the village outskirts unopposed through the marshy waterlogged fields of Horsegrove Farm they successfully cut off the farm hands who were holed up in the barn observing the southern approach. Notorious “brass” Daisy Woods fortuitously managed to extricate herself moments before they arrived.

0900-1000hrs. The tactical situation from of the eastern side. 7th FJ and 5th J elements advance threatening to cut off the farm hands in the Old barn and flanking the School Drive. cutting off the farm hands in the process

0900-1000hrs. The tactical situation on the eastern side. 7FJ and 5J elements advance threatening to cut off the farm hands in the old barn and flanking the School Drive.

The farms hands would have to decide whether to make a stand or break out. Almost cut off they were unaware of the morale boosting news that a squad of regular allied infantry had entered the village from the East to support the inhabitants. The 1st United States Expeditionary Force (who were billeted in Tunbridge Wells) had arrived.



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