Codeword Cromwell 1940 part 11 Battle of Rotherfield – Plan Charlie in operation, “everyone back to St Deny’s”

Posted: January 25, 2015 in rotherfield, wargames

IMG_3381 (800x600)2000hrs – As spearhead units from 18th Leichte Panzer Regt began to arrive, the defenders realised that they had no anti-tank weapons available.  Capt Mainwaring announced Plan “Charlie” was to be implemented immediately ordering his surviving Home Guard troops to retreat back to the church perimeter in a “collapsing bag” style defence. When told of the arrival of German tanks, Pte Pike was reported to have uttered “What the hell are we supposed to use, harsh language?” His outburst resulting in him being put on a charge on the spot for insubordination.

A Panzer III ausf F with infantry support advancing on the church

A Panzer III ausf F with infantry support advancing on the church

Seeing the courage of the troops around him waver, The Manor House’s Lord Thorncroft displaying skills learned as a former Officer in the Royal Sussex Regt and armed with the very same blunderbuss he had used to kill a tiger during a hunting party in Ceylon in 1927 engaged the armour approaching the church from the West single handedly. Although unable to disable it, he managed to halt its advance. As the net closed in the fighting became more desperate with casualties being inflicted on both sides.

Tactical situation map discovered in the church after the fighting had stopped

Tactical situation map reflecting the moment of the arrival of German armour from the West and just before the Paratroops captured the south western corner of the church grounds. Discovered in the church after the fighting had stopped.

In the South West corner, the last remaining troops from the East Kents were eliminated as Paratroops from the bank entered the church grounds. Mechanic James Arnold and chief Chaplin suspect Arthur Pendrake were also killed in the waning hours of sunlight.

St Deny's church from the exact position in the south-west reached by German troops before nightfall.

St Deny’s church from the exact position in the south-west reached by German troops before nightfall.

Now the villagers braced themselves for the final attack.

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