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Action at Casa Berardi, Italy December 1943

On September 20th the Last Man Club fought another battle in the 1943 Sicilian Campaign. The scale of the models and infantry was 1\72.

Battle Report by JZ

After failing to pierce the German defensive lines to their direct front the 1st Canadian Division was ordered to send a recon in force up a ravine known as the “gully” in an attempt to turn the German flank.

 This move caught the seam in the German lines between elements of the 1st Fallschirm Division and the 90th Panzergrenadier Division.

 Reinforced companies of the Canadian Royal 22e regiment and the Ontario regiment which included combined arms teams of armor and infantry with artillery support advanced up the gully neutralizing all German resistance reaching the objective of the Casa Berardi farmhouse complex.

 After a brief firefight the farm and the road leading out of the gully and into the German rear area was cleared and the Canadians took up defensive positions to hold their objectives.

 The 90th Panzergrenadiers who were ordered to reoccupy their original position and attempt to seal the Canadian breakthrough were unable to block the advance due to the severe muddy conditions.

 With the 1st Fallschirms flank crushed both German divisions were ordered to fall back and form a new line of resistance.

The Canadians were awarded a complete operational victory.

With a lot of uncertainty and fog of war at the beginning of the action both sides showed a remarkable degree of sportsmanship and gentlemanly behavior. Casa Berardi turned out to be a true game in “the Grand Manner”. Thanks to all. 

Pictures of the action below.

Canadian Order of Battle: 1st and 2nd Company Royal 22 Regiment, two Shermans and two White halftracks with infantry on the left. 1st and 2nd Company Ontario hRegiment, two Churchills and two White halftracks with infantry on the right (back), 22nd Brigade HQ with one Sherman, one Bren Gun Carrier and Command Jeep. Not pictured: One 3′ mortar and one 25 pdr artillery battery (off board).
German Order of Battle: Elements of the 90th Light Division, two Stug. IIIg and two halftracks with infantry. This force was hastily called back to fill the seam. Not pictured: Two companies of the 1st Fallschirms and two Pak 50mm ATGs.
The Royal 22 Regiment advances into “the gully.” Resistance was not encountered until a 50mm ATG opened fire. It was quickly put out of action. 
The 90th Light attacked from the right of the picture. The Royal 22 Regiment held that flank. The orders were for a recon of force and to take the farm complex\control the road to the far left. As the Germans approached the Canadians retreated to the victory conditions; in other words attacked in a different direction! The turrets on the Shermans are turned just in case the 90th Light catches up.
Once of the German assault gun elements trying to close the gap between the 90th Light and the Canadian advance to the farm complex.

The Royal 22 Regiment have just about out run the pursuing the 90th Light. The Canadian commander didn’t have a good reason to try and shoot it out with the superior Stug IIIg’s so he retreated from them.

Pursuing StugIIIg, more than a match for a M4 Sherman.
Meanwhile the Churchill’s and mechanized infantry of the Ontario Regiment assault the farm complex in a successful effort to control the road and adjoining far complex.
The other company of the Ontario Regiment advances to the road. The white marker to the rear of the Churchill identifies the unit. Each unit moves and fires with the flip of a card and we refer to the units by their names.
The Germans try to close the gap and rescue the outgunned Fallschirm panzer grenadiers.
The Ontario Regiment supported by the brigade HQ over run the Fallschirm position and begin to turn to meet the 90th Light counter attack.
Canadian losses were light but included one of the Sherman’s from the Royal 22 Regiment. The panzer grenadiers of the FJ Division were all but annihilated.
The 1st Canadian advances up the now cleared roadway. Except for this picture the pictures were of the actual game.

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