keskiviikko 10. maaliskuuta 2010

BKC Bagration Campaign, Scenario 2

Wanna play this scenario?
Get the needed documents from the Gemigabok site.

Some rough preliminary info from the GM regarding the overall situation:
After the previous battle both sides regrouped and reorganized their forces. Large numbers of Soviet troops moved into preliminary positions for the river crossing operation next morning. The German 432 Infantry division, with three battalion-sized regiments and eight operational StuG's dug in as well as it could, into a defence in shallow depth.

05:30 in the morning the sky opened up with the dreaded preliminary bombardment by the Soviet artillery. The Guards mortar companies were now in action, their salvos plastering the German front lines. Long range artillery fire from large caliber guns churned up suspected German supply and command positions, even individual crossroads were blasted with massive concentrations of shells.

06:00 the Red air force joined the fray. While the artillery and engineers were covering the entire riverfront with a thick smoke barrier, the air force strafed and bombed flak positions, field hospitals, artillery positions, and anything moving in the open in the German rear. All communication to the Divisional HQ was lost.

07:00 Offering fierce resistance the Germans were able to contain most of the advancing first wave of Soviets trying to cross the river, but in the north the front was thrown into total confusion. A brigade of fast T34's and at least two regiments of russian infantry are streaming into the German rear.

For the first time we gave a try for a formation specific breakpoints in addition to the army wide general breakpoint. Units getting 80% casualties that still kept on going against all odds seemed kinda odd, hence this house tule.

The start of the scenario. Russian forces (battalion of T-34/85's with a battalion of tank riders and a battalion of motorized infantry are starting from the upper left corner while German troops o the Kampfgruppe are located on the ridge with a company strength infantry occupying the village.
Russians trundle onwards covering most of their their flank with smoke, but the German FO and Tiger company open fire on the visible units. Artillery fire is not that effective due to long deviation distances (the further the target is the more the stike deviates).

Here is the view from the killing fields.
And here are the big cats doing the killing.
In the cover of smoke the Russians determinately trundle onwards bypassing the German wire from the flank. The Germans occupying the village also join the fray.
But trying their 3rd activation on the turn the Germans defending the village make a command blunder and the affected units (all dug-in infantry, infantry gun equipped Hannomag as well as mortar Hannomag further away decide to retreat a bit towards the own lines thus exposing themselves to the enemy. The Russians immediately dispose of the mortar Hannomag (totally off picture troughout this report).
Despite heavy losses tirst Russian tanks reach the river even if vast majority of tank riders have dismounted in panic because of the fire directed at the tanks. Infantry in truck tended to be less fortunate.

Tigers keep on pounding the Russians concentrating on the two tanks platoons containing the bridging equipment. Firing advancing enemy to their flank from the prepared positions in a forested ridge must be the optimum usage and the overall feeling is like shooting fish in a barrell!
The German fire pummels the Russians over their breakpoint. The only German casualty was the panic stricken platoon of 251/2's.
The Russian disaster from another angle.
Throughout the game both sides goth reports what was happening in the immediate vicinity of game table. It seemed that a Divisional sized Russian unit broke through German lines on German left and started to get to the rear of Kampfgruppe. Also the German 432. Division in front of KG also broke and started legging it towards German right.

If the Russians had managed to stay on for a turn or two more each turn they apparently would've started receiving 1-2 infantry battalions reinforcements that were breaking through 432. Division and the Germans would've been forced to make a hasty retreat instead of just starting to think that a retreat might be in order due to overall situation. But unfortunately now it wasn't much of a battle but a massacre...

Kampfgruppe commander's report after the battle:
25.6.1944, Near Orsha
KG v V,
Report to 4th Army HQ

Kampfgruppe has stopped Russian attempts to encircle southern parts of the 432nd division, and is covering its retiring elements.

Strong Soviet forces broke trough 432nd divisions defences in the morning. With this success enemy immediately committed armoured units of regimental strength in our sector, and approximately brigade-divisional strength north of our sector. The northern force is advancing very fast and threatens to dislocate all German defences in the area.

Russian tank regiment and up to two battalions of infantry tried to encircle 432nd divisions forward defences. The KG was positioned perfectly against just this kind of operation. The KG managed to quickly destroy Russian forces, mainly by effective fire of the Tiger company.

Because of Soviet success in the north, the KG has started to relocate according to the previous plans.

KG situation:
After some rest and minor resupply unit is fully combat ready.
Losses: platoon of 251/2's

Enemy situation:
Tank battalion (T-34/85's), 80%+ losses
Infantry battalion, 80%+ losses
Infantry battalion (motorized), 80%+ losses

Closing comments from the GM:
After a successful action the Aufklarungsabteilung is retreating to new positions as ordered by the Korps HQ. The first elements of the abteilung move towards grid D4, full of confidence after decimating a powerful Soviet armored thrust without losses.

As the recce elements at the fore of the German force cross the river and drive into the beautiful birch woods lining the road, all hell breaks loose around them - bundles of hand grenades are thrown into the open topped halftracks, panzerfausts scream through the air and slam into the thin sides of the recce vehicles. Soon the woods are filled with thick oily smoke and the screams of wounded Germans, punctuated by the dull thuds of hand grenades and the sharp cracks of rifle fire.

The commander of the platoon of Pumas on the bridge eyes the scene with disbelief and grabs his radio operator: "Hansen, we have a problem".

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