Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Counterattack on the Dvina June 1941

My aim was to adapt a scenario from Where the Iron Crosses Grow for the Spearhead WW2 rules for use as a Blitzkrieg Commander Counterattack game.

The Germans have seized a bridgehead across the Dvina and are just regrouping prior to pushing on with their offensive.  The Soviets are either fleeing or choosing to surrender, however some decide to counterattack.  More information can be found here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3O3fJlp-yozZTlVbnE1R0FKWXM/edit?usp=sharing

The Soviets had thier scheduled artillery firing concentrated barrages, but with the exception of the first strike these missed their targets as the Germans generally vacated the wooded areas and came out fighting.

Looking at the opening turn from the eastern edge the Soviets had made slow progress with the exception of one heavy tank battalion that was just about to crest a central hill.  The Germans were already redeploying from the wood on their right, after the antitank gun took out a Soviet armoured car.

On the western half of the battlefield the Soviet flank attack was very successful and was able to take advantage of the opening artillery barrage which had hit the Germans holding the wood.

The two other battalions of the 144th Rifle regiment were distinctly tardy and the commanding officer on this side initially blundered onto the battlefield and then on the next turn blundered off.

After the 144th Rifle Regiment’s HQ had fled the field the flanking battalion fought on extremely well, but the other two battalions hardly moved.  The Germans came out to attack and while engaging the Soviet flank attack that was now holding the wood, they were subjected to return fire that wiped them out.

Back on the Soviet left the motorised infantry had finally arrived.  The German 8th Panzer regiment had knocked out a good number of the Soviet heavy armour, but more was on its way.

This is the situation at turn 5 on the Soviet right, with the battalion holding the wood having driven off the Germans, while the other two battalions advanced extremely slowly.  The command failings were not limited to the Soviets as at the climax of the tank battle in the centre, the German panzer regiment failed its command.  The German overall commander then took over but it too failed: disaster!

This is just before the end with Soviet tanks now successfully engaging the enemy, although they had suffered significant losses.  Off picture on the far left is another battalion of Soviet tanks coming round the right flank of the Germans.  With the Germans now exposed and facing superior numbers it was only a short time before they reached their break point.

I had been concerned that the fixed 8 turns would not be enough for the forces to get engaged, and while this was certainly true for some units, it was certainly not a hindrance to achieving an outcome.  The number of troops (3,000 points of Germans – effectively four battalions; and 4,500  points of Soviets – effectively eight battalions plus artillery) filled up the battlefield which meant wherever the Germans where they were likely to be engaged sooner or later.

All models and terrain are from Richard’s collection.

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