Sunday, 3 June 2012
A Very British Civil War - the War Comes to Durham - after High Hold
8 hours after the end of the Battle of High Hold. The sun is already rising over Durham at 4.30am...and the Royalist Alliance is fleeing in disorder.
Lord Percy's Tenantry have fled north, skirting around the Communist territory in a desperate attempt to reach their line of retreat across Wylam Bridge.
The Gateshead German League, heavily mauled by the allied Boilermakers, have disappeared back east, forging a path through the disorder and no doubt taking out their impotent frustrations on an ;undesirables' they come across (the utter cads).
Lambton's troops have staggered south east in disarray, back towards their barracks around Durham.
And the Royalist Alliance leaders, the Gateshead BUF, are hastily packing up and heading back to the city. However, they have a lot of kit still stockpiled in the forwards supply depots and Lt. James Foyle has been ordered to recover the depot at Pelton.
Hastily gathering up what troops he could find, including some local police auxiliaries and a rather shaky looking collection of Lambton Troops (who offered the use of their lorry in return from some fuel from the rear supply tankers over in Chester-le-Street).
The action opens with the nervous, jumpy BUF and their work parties, hastily loading up their transport lorries with the food and ammunition at the depot.
Lambton's Troops lurk in a nearby lane, with their transport waiting to pitch in where needed. Frankly they'd really rather be anywhere but here, but the flickering fuel gauge needle on their truck means they've had to strike a deal with the panicked BUF to trade some fuel to get their truck back to Durham.
The BUF's nervousness is well founded though as out of the rising light to the west, a large Communist force emerges into view.
To the south west, a platoon of poor quality High Hold militia advances with purpose, bouyed by success the day before.
To the north, the rather more competent Chopwell Comrades, supported by a force of Cossacks...
With High Hold to the west paralysed by the chaos of the jubilant celebrations of the recent victory, and reinforced with new defenders from Stanley, local commanders have pushed forwards a strong force to capture the BUF supply bases and 'convince' the Royalists to continue their rout.
A wounded BUF prisoner recovered from the battlefield had given them the location of the depot, and it was too tempting a target to miss. The battle opens with the Communists pushing in from two directions, using the dense woodland as cover.
The BUF workers frantically load their wagons and get the first one away...
...unfortunately, it sputters to a halt as it runs out of fuel!
The Red militia fought hard through the woods, taking heavy losses but eventually overwhelming the BUF defenders by sheer weight of numbers...
To the north the Comrades do a similar job on the BUF and the poor quality police auxiliaries...
The BUF do manage to get their supply wagons away though, but another breaks down on the road! And before the final two can nudge round them, the Chopwell Cossacks thunder around the local houses (occupied by terrified and cowering civilians) armed with wrecking gear, swarm all over them and force the drivers to surrender.
With the wagons captured, and many of their fellows lying dead and wounded, the few remaining defenders are surrounded and throw down their arms in surrender...
Lambton's troops who managed to stay out of the fighting, decide to slink away. Their truck captured by the hated Reds, their morale broken by the defeat the day before they had little stomach for the fight in any case...
The Chopwell Communists secure a good stock of supplies from the BUF and are riding high after two days of successful actions. They bring up their own trucks and omnibuses to take away their prisoners and captured booty.