For the first game, the paratrooper drop, I did not use the full board representing approximately 2/3 of table 2. This equated to a 4’6″ x 3’9″ board (I added an extra 9″ of sea for scenic pursposes).
It is now midday and the residents of Lindos are distracted to hear the drone of aircraft gradually getting louder.
Out at sea a mass of aircraft approach the coastline. On board the Beaufighters and Dakotas carrying the 1st Para battalion, they are alert to the possible intervention of enemy fighters. So far – nothing.
As they sweep over the Rhodes coastline, not only is there no sign of enemy aircraft but there is a total absence of AA fire.
As the Dakotas prepare to make their drop, all is suspiciously quiet on the ground. Either they have attained complete surprise or something unpleasant is waiting for them.
The paras make their drop and all is eerily quiet. The residents of Lindos observe British paras moving among the rocks across the hillside and within the valley.
The HQ company lands in the valley floor and quickly takes cover behind a stone wall. Here are left to right, the HQ base, 2″ mortar and Engineer platoon.
Another view of the HQ company with the 3″ mortar having landed behind a wall to their rear (top far right).
The only mishap was that of C company who overshot their target and would now have to quickly make up ground to join the rest of the battalion.
The Italians, having been initially slow to react, now move with a purpose. Two platoons quickly take up position behind sandbagged emplacements catching B company in the open. Both platoons pour fire into the lead para platoon suppressing it.
The HQ 2″ mortar section with the Engineer platoon exchange fire with an Italian platoon positioned in a walled compound.
This was a very poor turn for the paras with only A company activating once.
B company charged into close combat with the two Italian platoons that had been causing them so much grief. They were supremely confident of eliminating the green Italians, especially as A company was on hand to give them support. This was going to be so easy for the paras!
Or so they thought! The Italians had other ideas and fought surprisingly tenaciously destroying both para platoons.
In the command phase the paras had far more success than the previous turn. C company swept through the village falling on the rear of the 2 Italians platoons while A company charged their front. The Italians stood no chance and were quickly destroyed.
A platoon of C company ran towards the sound of gunfire from the walled compound and fell upon another Italian platoon whose attention was focussed on the Engineer platoon. Again there was no contest and the Italians were quickly dealt with.
The paras now swept Lindos for any further opposition but none were found. They now began preparing to hold the coastal road against any attempt by enemy forces to reinforce the north of the island in dealing with the impending landings.
Within Lindos buildings were occupied. Although they had achieved their task on time, it was at a heavy cost against such light opposition. Over-confidence combined with being caught in the open resulted in B company being punished heavily.
Orders of Battle:
B company 1st Bn 1st Coastal Defence Regt
3 Rifle stands, Coy HQ CV7
1 x 45mm mortar.
1st Para Battalion
Engineer platoon 1 x stand
A – C companies each 3 x stands. Each company HQ CV9
It was now 2pm and the landings are about to begin.