Operation Lion de Mer

The French

The forces described are based on actual organisations but almost all have been changed in some way so they should not be regarded as being actual French organisations.  They are also only the formations used in the Walmington-on-Sea Sector. 

Some sort of organisation was needed to bade the wargames force upon so I decided on a reinforced infantry regiment specially equipped for a beach assault.  It would be part of a first wave Division.  These Divisions d'Infanterie d'Assaut (DIA) were stronger than a standard infantry division and had their firepower increased.  Thus the Division had the usual Divisional HQ with an increased immediate supply group because it was realised that the ammunition expenditure would be high and that the lead divisions needed to be largely self-sufficient until the second wave got ashore.

The organisation of the Divisions was (wargame strength )

Division HQ with a defence section, medical group, signals (telegraph, radio, semaphore), artillery park, Naval gunfire direction section, and a large supply group.

Light Artillery Regiment (all motorised) HQ, observation battery and 3 firing groups each with 3 batteries of 1 x 75mm M1897 guns towed by halftrack tractors and an ammunition supply battery. 

Medium Artillery Regiment HQ, observation group and a medium artillery group with 3 batteries of 1 x 105mm gun and  a heavy artillery group with 3 batteries of 1 x 155mm howitzer and an ammunition supply battery.

Motorised Anti-tank Group with 2 batteries each of 2  x 47mm towed Anti-Tank guns and two batteries each of 2 x self-propelled 47mm Anti-Tank Guns

Motorised AA group with 2 batteries each with 8 x 25mm Anti-Aircraft guns. 

Motorised Reconnaissance Group with a motorised squadron (1 x 60mm mortars, 1 x MMG, 2-4 trucks) and one recce squadron with 3 x Armoured Cars

Engineer company

3 x Infantry Regiments each

Supporting the First Wave troops were special armoured engineer breaching units (Compagnies Des Ingenieurs Blindee).  These were equipped with AFVs, mainly Renault FT and Char B-1bis variants.  Each had a small HQ element and 2 light companies with 1 x FT with assault bridge and 1 x FT mine plough (usually deployed as a team) and 1 heavy company with 1 x Char b-1bis with flamethrowers and 1 x Char B-1bis with demolition gun.  These latter vehicles also contained a dismount half section of assault engineers.

 The Armoured Support for the Walmington-on-Sea Sector

A Battalion of 7 x Char B1-bis

Infantry support Group 1 x Char D2, 3 x R-35

Cavalry Group 4 x H-39 and 3 x H-35

Light Armoured Infantry Support

 

Assault guns and Anti-tank guns

(to come)

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