Monday, 11 December 2017

Stonne: 1 Research

Someone in the France 1940 Wargaming Facebook group posted about receiving Critical Hit's Stonne boardgame and while looking into some of his queries about the action, I found out why so many gamers end up playing out this scenario.

The village changed hands 17 or 18 times in the space of a couple of days but I don't know if you can call it a skirmish as there were apparently 30-odd dead tanks in the aftermath.

I couldn't resist doing a few Then & Now's with some photos taken by (presumably) the eventually victorious Germans (there are loads on the internet and beyond)...
Panzer IVD "711"
Rue de 15 Mai 1940, as the main street is called today
Pz IVD number 711 was photographed a great deal by passing Germans due to the graves of it's crew alongside...

 Some of the French Char Bs hulks in Stonne itself...

"Gaillac". Crew died in their tank.
"Hautvillers". Crew captured.
Not the exact angle but shows the resting places of the two Char Bs
"Chinon". Crew killed while baling out.
Approximate position of "Chinon" on open land called le Moulin à Vent
Then I started planning the table size and looking at the landscape a bit closer, to see what features I'd want to include in the tabletop.

Distances & gaps
 From a Google Earth view, I could now visualise the area involved.

It is only 1800m from La Besace to the Gallo-Roman burial mound, now called the "le Pain de Sucre" in Stonne and 1250m across that valley. Other gaps between the various forests are 90-640m, perfect for translation to the wargaming table.

Topographical map
Then I started screen grabbing various views off Google Earth which illustrate the landforms and
general feel of some of the approaches & landmarks.

View down Le Grand Rue in Le Besace 
Stonne escarpment on the left
The lane to Les Cendrières from the D3
Terre de Dix Cents, between Les Cendrières & Stonne (centre horizon) 
On the D130, Stonne is beyond Mont Hébreu (centre left)
The road from Les Grandes Armoises with the Moulin à Vent beyond the ploughed field
Les Cendrières Farm
Back road to  Les Grandes Armoises
Gaillac & Hautvillers lay down to the left, dead Panzers on the top road
Rues des Pâquis and Napoléon III (left), Stonne 
Back lane up to the hairpin bend area, forested rear slopes of the escarpment (Les Cendrières obscured)
This has been an interesting diversion that I've been able to do while away from home or when not working on the production of my Kickstarter forest rewards.

I can hardly wait for the day when I start terraforming the tabletop for my Stonne recreation and 'what-ifs"