The Clearing of Monte Pezza

6th South African Armoured Division

The Clearing of Monte Pezza, 17 October 1944

By J.C von Winterbach, Mike Bersiks and Rex Barrett

After the fierce fighting at Monte Stanco the 12th South African Motorized Infantry Brigade with both RNC & FC/CTH pushed forward again. Then on 16 October 1944, thus getting out of range of support from the “Priests” of 4/22 Field Regiment with the Armoured Brigade they came up against a strong enemy line running from Monte Pezza westward to Pt. 660. One RNC Platoon was soon on Pt. 640, supported by a troop of “B” Squadron, PAG Tanks which sliced up enemy machine-gun posts at two points and setting alight another enemy vehicle in the Carviano area.

At 11:45 “A” Company, RNC secured Pt. 707 on the ridge almost directly south of Monte Pezza, to which they pushed out patrols which found the Germans strongly entrenched on the reverse slopes. Simultaneously “A” Company, FC/CTH, also gained Pt. 640 and sent a patrol north-westward on to Pt. 660, where it had a sharp engagement at close quarters with the enemy holding Casa della Sete.

“B” Squadron, PAG, which had got Tank right up to Grizzana by way of Route 6620 and the newly opened lateral road, had put one Troop well forward as Casa della di Veggio near Pt. 640 by dint of miraculous climbing up the steep tracks from Piandisetta and two Troops just off the Grizzana-Vergato road at Mo’ di Lilame, from which positions the Sherman’s engaged Monte Pezza while the RNC firmed up on Pt. 707 and another Platoon moved to fill the gap between the two Battalions.

Monte Pezza

By 16:45 an RNC patrol was near the summit of Monte Pezza, but was driven back by machine-gun fire and hand grenades. During the night of 16 October 1944 another RNC patrol, again almost reached the top of Monte Pezza.

Early on 17 October 1944, with Lt. Col. A.S. Duncan, DSO Tactical Headquarters now in the Carbinieri Barracks in Grizzano, around which much work was done on roads during the next five days, patrols sent out at first light confirmed that the enemy was in fair strength on the reverse slopes of both Monte Pezza and Pt. 660 at the western end of the shoulder to the left of it.

At 08:00, Brig. R.J. Palmer, DSO, held an order group and the time for a further attack was fixed for 14:00 that afternoon. Though the area was out of range of the 4/22 Field Regiment, the rest of the Divisional Artillery organized a big fire plan in support of the attack, and at the appointed hour RNC on the right and FC/CTH on the left launched a two-Battalion assault on the enemy line of high ground. As “A” & “D” Companies, FC/CTH went in to attack at 14:16 on 17 October 1944 they ran into heavy enemy mortar and artillery fire, which was directed particularly on “A” Company, FC/CTH causing a number of casualties and holding up the Battalions advance. With the Divisional artillery, “B” Squadron, PAG Tanks (two Troops of Sherman’s demonstrating down the Grizzana-Vergato road) & RDLI’s heavy support weapons all adding their weight to the assault. 

76mm Sherman Rain was falling steadily, and a blanket of fog made visibility very poor. Clearing up of enemy pockets, machine-gun posts and snipers led to some brisk exchanges of fire, but between 16:00 – 18:00 the RNC established three Companies astride Pt. 748 on Monte Pezza & FC/CTH got “A” & “D” Companies on the saddle running westward from there, after clearing the northern slopes and routing a German counter-attack at Casa la Fame beyond the crest. Both Battalions took prisoners from III/SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 35 (16. SS-Panzergrenadier-Division), as well as from Grenadier-Regiment 274 (94. Infanterie-Division). 
Late on the afternoon of 17 October 1944, a patrol from RNC linked up with FC/CTH while hostile shelling continued heavily. Both Battalions consolidated their positions during the night and during 18 October 1944 the rest of WR/DLR came forward, preparing to pass through the RNC.

The Clearing of Monte Pezza Scenario

The Clearing of Monte Pezza scenario uses the Reserves (page 268 of the rulebook) and Prepared Positions (page 264 of the rulebook) special rules.

Clearing of Monte Pezza scenario map

YOUR ORDERS

GERMAN
Your orders are to stop the Allied advance towards Bologna by holding Monte Pezza.

SOUTH AFRICAN
Your orders are to advance towards Bologna by breaking through the German lines at Monte Pezza.

PREPARING FOR BATTLE
1. For Table Setup please use the “Hasty Attack” Mission (page 284) & for Terrain setup, please use the Scenario map as your guide.
2. The German player places one Objective and then the South African player places two Objectives in the German players Deployment Area at least 12”/30cm from the centre line and not within 8”/20cm of any table edge.
3. The German player then Deploys all their platoons, save the two platoons held in Reserve.
4. The South African player then Deploys all their platoons.
5. Both players, starting with the German player, now Deploy all their Independent teams.

BEGINNING THE BATTLE
1. The South African player has the first turn.
2. As both sides are in Prepared Positions, all platoons may begin the game Dug In.
3. The German reserve Platoons may arrive anywhere along their table edge.

Map Key

- Stream

 

- Small = Scrub
- Large = Wood

 

- Road

 

- Orchard

 

- Wall

 

- Houses 

ENDING THE GAME

The battle ends when:
• The South Africans have Taken one or all of the Objectives at the start of their turn, or 10 turns have been played, or
• If the German player starts any of their turns from turn six with no attacking teams in the Germans table half, or
• If either the South Africans or Germans fail a Company Motivation Check.

DECIDING WHO WON
• The South African player wins if the game ended because they started one of their turns holding one or more objectives. The degree of victory is determined by the number of objectives held. 
 - 1 Objective for Minor Victory,
 - 2 Objectives for Major Victory,
 - 3 Objectives for Stunning Victory
• Otherwise the German player wins, having successfully held their positions and driven off all attacks.

SCENARIO MAP SPECIAL RULES

• The Entire Table is “Difficult Going”. High gound is indicated by darker shades of the table colour.
• Roads are “Slow Going”.
• The Stream/Creek is “Difficult Going”.
• Scrubs provide “Concealment”.
• Woods are “Difficult Going” with 12” Visibility & Artillery Bombardments can be fired from within.

16. SS-panzergrenadierdivision

Elements of the 16. SS-Panzergrenadierdivision 'Reichsführer-SS', I. Fallschirm-Korps, 14. Armee (Fearless Trained)

Using 17. SS-Panzergrenadierdivision Intelligence Briefing.

SS-Panzergrenadierkompanie HQ (FT) (Stab./III./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 35)
• 2 Command SMG teams, w/ 1 Sniper team

90 points
SS-Panzergrenadier Platoon (FT) (III./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 35)
• Command SMG Team w/ 3 Panzergrenadier Squads. (MG)

165 points
SS-Panzergrenadier Platoon (FT) (III./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 35)
• Command SMG Team w/ 3 Panzergrenadier Squads. (MG)

165 points
SS-Panzergrenadier Platoon (FT) (III./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 35)
• Command SMG Team w/ 3 Panzergrenadier Squads. (MG)

165 points
SS-Heavy Platoon (FT) (III./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 35)
• Command SMG Team w/ 2 Machine-gun Sections. (MG42 HMG)

120 points
SS-Mortar Platoon (FT) (III./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt. 35)
• Command SMG Team w/ 2 Mortar Sections. (8cm GW34 Mortars)

115 points
Motorised SS-Artillery Battery (FT) (I./SS-Art.-Rgt. 16)
• HQ w/ 2 Gun Sections. (4x 10.5cm leFH18 Howitzers)

185 points
Reserves  
Grenadier Platoon (CV) (I/Gren.Rgt. 274)
• Command SMG Team w/ 3 Grenadier Squads. (Rifle/MG)

155 points
Motorised Heavy SS-Artillery Battery (FT) (IV./SS-Art.-Rgt. 16)
• HQ w/ 2 Gun Sections. (4x 15cm sFH18 Howitzers)
& w/ Kfz 15 Field Car, Kfz 68 Radio Truck & Sd Kfz 7 (8t) Half-Tracks


       280 points
Total (8 Platoons) 1445 points
6th South African Armoured Division Elements of the 12th South African Motorized Infantry Brigade, 6th South African Armoured Division, 5th US Army (Confident Veteran) (see pages 52 to 57, Road to Rome) 

Lorried Rifle Company HQ (CV) (RHQ, RNC)
• 2 Command Rifle teams

30 points
Lorried Rifle Platoon (CV) (“A” Company, RNC)
• Command Rifle/MG team w/ 1 PIAT team, 1 Light Mortar team, w/ 3 Rifle/MG Squads

180 points
Lorried Rifle Platoon (CV) (“B” Company, RNC)
• Command Rifle/MG team w/ 1 PIAT team, 1 Light Mortar team, w/ 3 Rifle/MG Squads

180 points
Lorried Rifle Platoon (CV) (“C” Company, RNC)
• Command Rifle/MG team w/ 1 PIAT team, 1 Light Mortar team, w/ 3 Rifle/MG Squads

180 points
Lorried Machine-gun Platoon (CV) (“S” Company, RDLI)
• Command Rifle team w/ 2 Machine-gun Sections. (Vickers HMG).

140 points
Lorried Mortar Platoon (CV) (“S” Company, RDLI)
• Command Rifle team w/ 2 Mortar Sections. (ML 3” Mortars)

120 points
Lorried Rifle Platoon (CV) (“A” Company, FC/CTH)
• Command Rifle/MG team w/ 1 PIAT team, 1 Light Mortar team, w/ 3 Rifle/MG Squads

180 points
Lorried Rifle Platoon (CV) (“D” Company, FC/CTH)
• Command Rifle/MG team w/ 1 PIAT team, 1 Light Mortar team, w/ 3 Rifle/MG Squads

180 points
Field Battery, Royal Artillery (CV) (1/6 Field Regiment, SAA)
• HQ w/ 1 Gun Troop (OQF 25-pdr Guns) & w/ 15 cwt Truck, Quad Tractors

190 points
Medium Battery, Royal Artillery (CV) (7/23 Medium Regiment, SAHA)
• HQ w/ 1 Gun Troop (BL 5.5” Guns) & w/ 15 cwt Truck, Matador Tractors

315 points
Total (9 Platoons) 1695 points
   


Last Updated On Thursday, July 3, 2014 by Wayne at Battlefront