Brigadier Rupert Winstanley (armoured car)
Runcorn /Widnes B.U.F Brigade
A/B/C Battalions Each of – C.O , 5 INF , 1 LMG , 1 HMG (Reg) x2 Trucks
B.U.F Anti Tank Squadron .x2 Trucks 2 anti-tank guns 2 INF (Green)
BUF Mechanised Battalion Half-track HMG.. Half-track quad HMG. Armoured cars x2 C.O Daimler dingo. Bren carrier +2 INF (LMG) (Green).
Air Defence Training cadets 4 INF + Truck (Green).
Liverpool Free State/Free Wirral Forces.
L.F.S Sensing the danger of government forces seizing control of West Kirby and the high ground have sent a Naval Destroyer to sit off the Dee estuary .Acts as on table artillery .
Commander Cyril Jones. (Veteran)
Worker’s Naval Brigade Battalion de Marche – 7 INF + LMG (Veteran) (selected composite Naval battalion)
Naval Spotter (car) REG
Heswall Hunt C.O + 2 Stands (Green)
Heswall militia 5 INF HMG (Raw)
Black Flag Battalion (Green)
C.O + 6 INF + HMG. A/B Companies
C.O HMG Truck ,HMG Truck + 2 INF (LMG) 1 Old tank (Green).
The BUF advanced in fairly good order – Battalion A driving to a position on the left, B sluggishly advancing to the middle and C advancing to the right.
Teh naval veterans took position int he first farm-house on the advancing BUF’s left, the militia in the church. The Hunt were tucked in behind the Navy occupied faRm house while the Naval spotter enjoyed excellent lines of sight from the right of the village ont he advancing BUF.
BUF strategy was to advance to HMG range of the farm hose and shoot up the Naval rifles who lacked weapons with sufficient range. This plan fell down on several points.
- The early entry of the Birkenhead TA who entered on the right and whose superior range (and good luck) held back from BUF infantry and the mechanised Battalion from doing any damage – eventually routing first the AT Squadron, then an Infantry Battalion, the mechanised unit (who left a broken down Half Track as war booty,) and the Air Cadets.
- The excellent spotting of the naval gunner who managed to keep laying punches on the right of the BUF advance even when his spotting car broke down.
- The Tactics of the Naval brigade troops who withdrew from the farm hose only to return when advancing BUF forces would be rifle range and won the musketry battle with minimum casualties.
It wasn’t entirely one side the Heswall Hunt got mashed in one of Jim’s more ‘Cardigan’ decisions – charging a stationary BUF battalion. But ultimately this was a searing Free Wirral Victory. The ‘Wirral line’ doesn’t seem to be breaking yet and the Caldy and West Kirby Royalists and Reactionaries will have to put the champagne back on ice.