Monday 4 March 2024

Through The Mud And The Blood: The Warehouse at Wellow

Following on from the Fracas at Farrington Gurney a couple of weeks back, Andy took Phil and myself back to the Very British Civil War, though this time Phil swapped his Fascist blackshirt for a dog collar of the Anglican League. The scenario saw the forgetful God-botherers remember that they had left a significant weapons cache in a warehouse in the outskirts of Wellow in Somerset, the village having recently been liberated by brave Communist forces. Under orders from GHQ (God's Headquarters), and equipped with some cast off French kit and uniforms from the Great War, the Anglicans despatched a force of fifty men to recover the weapons...

What the League force did not realise was that the Communists had left a small twenty strong garrison in the village whilst the main force went off to liberate Trowbridge.

Well, not until a burst of Lewis gun fire erupted from the warehouse, killing two men of Corporal Scott's section and inflicting Shock!

Corporal Wilkinson deployed his men and started to return fire (the purple rectangles in the rear of the photo are 'Blinds' which are either hidden units or dummies).

However they soon came under fire from Comrade Murdoch's section hidden in the woods on the left flank.

The Anglicans then brought up their big gun - a Hotchkiss M1914 medium machine-gun transported by a commandeered lorry.

Whilst Lieutenant Mattingley ordered two sections of League troops to rapidly advance across the muddy fields on the right and try and overwhelm the warehouse.

Wilkinson's men kept up a steady fire on the warehouse...

Whilst Murdoch and his comrades focused their fire on Corporal Scott and his men.

The accurate Communist fire bowling down the enemy troops and wounding the Anglican corporal.

In the warehouse, the troops led by Comrade Knocker returned fire to Wilkinson's unit to their front...

Killing several League soldiers and wounding Corporal Wilkinson.

With Scott's men falling back carrying their wounded leaders and Wilkinson's men coming under sustained fire from the warehouse, the left and centre looked pretty secure for the Communists.

The action then switched to the right flank as Mattingley pushed his men forward...

Towards the side of the warehouse which was guarded by a small force under Comrade Patterson (with a Party Commissar providing moral and philosophical support).

The Anglicans then deployed their final section commanded by Sergeant Shelvey, which had been joined by a clergyman who could provide spiritual support for the faithful (rather like a holy man in Sharp Practice).

It looked like it would soon be needed as Anglican troops fell to the unerring Communist fire...

So the Clergyman moved amongst the shaken troops, dispensing words from the good book (not Das Kapital which is, of course, the best book), removing Shock from the Anglicans.

Murdoch's men continued to hold the left flank but had started to suffer casualties themselves...

From the spiritually invigorated survivors of Wilkinson's section.

Some more uplifting words (and fire direction)...

Saw Comrade Knocker in the warehouse wounded!

The League then deployed their medium machine-gun and began a steady stream of fire on the defenders in the warehouse.

Whilst Lieutenant Mattingley ordered Sergeant Shelvey and his men forward...

Whilst providing covering fire...

Which killed two of Patterson's small force!

Wilkinson charged his men in on the outnumbered Communists defenders!

But the ghost of Marx saw the dice roll in favour of the brave Communists, all but one of Wilkinson's men falling to a storm of the Red bullets and rifle butts!

However the brave fight was not without cost and Comrade Patterson now only had one man left, plus the Commissar.

The Anglican's attempted to rally...

And keep up fire on the warehouse from a Chauchat automatic rifle...

And their Hotchkiss M1914 MMG.

But although now depleted, Knocker's comrades kept up a decent rate of return fire, inflicting casualties and Shock on the MMG team.

However the main action was now in the warehouse courtyard as Mattingley led his men forward and they stormed the ground floor of the building, killing Patterson, his comrade and the Commissar!

The Anglicans then tried to rush the stairs to the upper floor to capture the warehouse...

But despite killing two of the Red defenders...

They were forced back with a very bloody nose! However the Anglican's knew one more push would see victory...

Until a flurry of shots burst from a building across the road - Comrade Murdoch had redeployed his unit into one of the houses covering the warehouse courtyard and caught Mattingley's men in the flank!

Taking more Shock, the Anglicans realised the game was up and that they could not take the warehouse, so conceded the field of battle to the brave Communist garrison. 

I must say that was a hugely entertaining and cinematic game of Through The Mud and Blood and I thought, despite suffering many casualties crossing the fields to the south of the village, that Phil's Anglicans had managed to win the day as they stormed into the warehouse, and even then when initially beaten back by the first floor defenders, if not for the redeployed unit under Comrade Murdoch, the writing was on the wall for the wounded Comrade Knocker and the one surviving Red in the warehouse. 

Big thanks to Andy for putting on the game and umpiring and to Phil for serving up his troops as cannon-fodder for the Reds! ;-)

Then raise the scarlet standard high
Beneath its folds we'll live and die
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer
We'll keep the red flag flying here