After a break for a few weeks the Wargamorium was back in action last night with a game based upon Antwerp 1914 or rather the evacuation by the last of the Belgian Field Army from the besieged city. On table was a brigade of the Belgian 2nd Division operating around Sint Gilles-Waas which is west of the city and near where the Belgian player actually comes from!
The Belgian Commander’s orders are a little vague but essentially he has to delay the German advance while making sure he can get away himself. The craters in front of the town is a result of an earlier bombardment by German 210mm mortars (“Die Morser”).
Although the Belgians had a head start they have no cavalry while the German vanguard comprised 2 full regiments of cavalry plus a Jaeger battalion so action was joined quite early.
The battle continues next week. All figures are 15mm Peter Pig and the rules are home grown. It is a great pity the Peter Pig has not completed this range. The Wargamorium Blog gets a mention on the Peter Pig website as well
FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON THE PHOTOGRAPHS JUST DISAPPEARED OFF THE SITE. I HAVE REPLACED THEM BELOW BUT SOME OF THE TEXT GOT LOST AS WELL SO NOW ONLY THE PHOTOGRAPHS
One important development was the receipt of orders from the Second Belgian Divisional HQ to blow up the railway points at both the railway station and behind Sint Gillis Waas and also the railway signal box so as to prevent the German from using them. Two companies of Belgian engineers arrived to carry out these tasks. This meant that the railway station had to be held long enough for the engineers to carry out their task. The orders went on to specify that once this had been done the entire force was to withdraw towards Zelzaete and destroy the canal bridge there once they had crossed over to safety.
There were strong clashes around the railway station between the German dismounted cavalry and the Belgian Carabiniers, supported by well placed HMGs and uncontested artillery support, which resulted in high casualties for the Germans.
Further down the road the German columns continued their advance while the Jaeger battalion engaged some Belgian Carabiniers who had attacked the flank of the columns driving them away and then pursuing them.
THE BATTLE FOR SINT GILLIS WAAS CONTINUES…..
The Belgians successfully drove the German cavalry out of the railway station and the remainder of the German cavalry was eliminated
The good news for the Belgian side is that their engineers have successfully destroyed both railway points and are working to destroy the Signals Box now after which they will be free to leave Sint Gillis Waas and head down the road to Zelzaete. However the German columns are now advancing to contest their exit. Next week’s game could be crucial.
THE BATTLE FOR SINT GILLIS WAAS ENDS
Another page of glory added to the annals of the Belgian Army
The battle for Sint Gillis Waas ended last night with the Belgian Army managing to extricate itself from Sint Gillis Waas having inflicted considerable casualties on the advancing German forces. Belgian engineers destroyed the vital railway point system which will slow down the German advance and continued their withdrawal towards Zelzaete where the rest of the Second Division is waiting for them. Belgian artillery and machine gunners fought with particular distinction and a special mention must go to the Carabiniers who sacrificed themselves at the end to ensure a successful withdrawal of the main body.
Although the Germans completely outnumbered the Belgians they did not have the time to deploy their forces and so bring their numerical superiority to bear. Their advancing artillery and HMGs proved no match for their defending counterparts so the bulk of the work fell upon the advancing infantry who paid a heavy price.
Despite repeated orders the Belgian garrison refused to quit the railway station until the main body had withdrawn. This unit had to make its way across country to get away.
That concluded the battle for Sint Gillis Waas and although the Belgians managed to withdraw they have yet to get to Zelzaete and across the canal before they can breathe easily again. However that will be for the next game.