Codeword Cromwell 1940 part 6 Battle of Rotherfield – Rotherfield School Headmaster and Mechanic concoct something nasty for the invaders

Posted: January 20, 2015 in rotherfield, wargames

With 3 German Regts now closing in on the village (7th Falschirmjager, 5th Jager & 1st Infantiere) assaults were simultaneously launched from 3 sides involving over 100 troops. The bulk still came from the West but in the South, Reynolds and Thorncroft ably defended their sectors inflicting casualties although Thorncroft was wounded.

From the relatively quiet East side, the Rotherfield Womens Institute Amazons Shooting club reported over 25 paratroops moving towards their position at the road block by the Police Stn. Urgent calls were sent to the church for Mainwaring to release more small arms to allow this group to defend themselves adequately.  Nearby, Rotherfield Primary School Head Ms. Featherlake had been working with James Arnold of SW Motors burying a large device under the main road near the garage. Arnold telling villagers nearby rather cryptically “Its ARMED.” What exactly was armed would remain a secret for the time being.  The adjacent Surgery was now full with wounded Home Guard and villagers, Doctor Greystone having to send for extra supplies of bandages and pain killers from the Pharmacy on the High St.

Home Guard volunteer Sgt Wilson - Knocked the enemy for 6 as they tried to cross the South stream

Home Guard volunteer Sgt Wilson – Knocked the enemy for 6 as they tried to cross the South stream

The main action still took place in the West and North with Sgt Wilson wiping out a flank attempt over the South stream and the East Kent’s holding out in the School outnumbered by more than 7 to 1.

Up by the cricket pavilion Pte Fraser shot down a few Germans advancing from the bowls club.  The surviving members of the cricket club equipped with just their bats were engaged in a life or death struggle of hand to hand combat and just as it looked that they would be overwhelmed, Pte Godfrey (Home Guard) who had been secreted behind the score board let fly with an accurate volley of Mackeson Milk Stout bottles causing the Germans to retreat in disarray. In the adjacent orchard the Teachers avenged the loss of the pub regulars by eliminating the last few troops in the orchard.

The village was still predominantly in British hands with half the day gone. But the list of wounded was increasing at a worrying rate and reports of heavier enemy troop build up meant the battle was still in the balance.

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