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Kampfgruppe was retreating towards west and before meeting own troops, the recce elements encountered enemy forces occupying river crossings and it looked like the Kampfgruppe would have to smash trough the enemy lines. However, besides command stands, of the Russian troops only those that were immediately visible for Germans started the game on the table.
It seemed that the Russians had laid minefields on both bridges. In the north Germans had just a token force consisting of several platoons of Pumas as well as all the Kampfgruppe's engineers who were supposed to tie Russian forces and not seriously engage them. More to the south a mechanized and Tigers companies were planning on ruthlessly pushing over the bridge. These would be supported by the one mechanized company on the southern side of the river.Germans are pressing on. It seems that there are some Russians defending the bridge but nothing that the Kampfgruppe shouldn't be able to handle.
Russians support arms make their appearance, Heavy mortars hammer a platoon of Sdkfz 251/17 flaks and Sturmoviks boldly attack the Tiger company. This is however followed by mechanized AAA company in addition to the other AAA assets nearby and the Sturmoviks are shortly shot down in flames (was there around 32 dice worth of AAA directed against the IL2's...?)
The Russian mortars kept on pounding the paralyzed German mechanized company to smithereens. The company commander failed to get any commands through and the CIC managed to further order it twice, and only once per turn. One half-track is bravely trying to scout whether the minefield is real or a fake one, and has just made it to the edge of the minefield after which the CICs attempt for 2nd command ends in failure and the Russians promptly dispose of it.
The other mechanized company on the other side of the river has just cleared the first woods of the Russians, barring one scout. Meanwhile the first platoons from the Pumas & engineers from the north start to arrive to the vicinity of other Germans.
A Platoon of SU122 is lurking about in the village and opens up against the Tigers during the German move but fails to do damage. Instead of waiting for the German retaliation it decides to move back in on the Russian turn and the Tigers, surprising everyone, fail to destroy it.
The southernmost German mechanized company gets a command blunder and everyone decides to assault the lone scout platoon...
...which quickly proceeds to open up a XL sized can of whup-assksy killing the assaulting Germans and driving almost all the others off-table. Since units forced off-table are considered to be casualties scenario wise this brings the Germans 1 point from the break point of the Kampfgruppe.
The company commander of the badly mauled other mechanized finally manges to get not one but two commands through and quickly retreats his remaining troops off table. Other German companies do likewise ending the game in sound Russian victory.
Kampfgruppe commander's report after the battle:
25.6.1944, Near Orsha
KG v V,
Report to 4th Army HQ
Kampfgruppe has failed to recapture crossroad and bridges as ordered.
Strong Soviet force was found defending the crossroad area and the northern crossing. The strength is estimated as one regiment of infantry with strong mortar support and some assault guns. During the battle enemy minefields were spotted at both crossing sites.
Trying to surprise the enemy, KG swiftly attacked the southern bridge with one company supported by Tigers, while the other company attacked the enemy flank south of the river. During approach we were attacked by several Sturmoviks, but our effective Flak units destroyed or drive of all of them.
However, the main attack was repulsed with heavy losses from Soviet mortars and heavy machine guns at the crossing. Our own artillery was timely, but ineffective. The Flank attack progressed better until a rash attack ordered by company commander run into Soviet ambush in the woods. The whole company retreated in disorder and with heavy casualties.
With both attacks repulsed, KG disengaged.
I have relieved the commander of 2.Kompanie, due gross-incompetence during the attack.
Unit has suffered heavy losses, but is still ready for limited combat operations.
1K: platoon of 250/9's,
2K: two platoons of infantry, platoon of 250/1's
3K: platoon of infantry, platoon of HMG's, two platoon's of 251/17 (only Hans Jurgen Hellmann's platoon "survived")
4K: platoon of 251/2's
Infantry regiment, few losses (about 1 company)
(Played: March 22nd Russians: Andy, Chris, Mr H. Germans: Janne, Mr V)