This game was part of a three part series played out be contributors MS and JZ. Report and pictures by MS.
Southern Russia, June 1942
Following the failed Russian May Offensive to retake Kharkov, the German Army is again pushing east, taking advantage of weakened Russian forces.
The (10 turn) game, is the spear head of a German Panzer Division pushing hard to take a bridge, secure a foothold across the river and to cut off retreating Russian forces.
Defending the bridge itself, dug-in, are a Hvy Mg and a 45mm Atg. In a light woods north of the bridge is an 82mm mortar. Further west, defending a three-way crossroads, also dug-in, is a company of Russian infantry, consisting of 8 Rifles ,2 Lt MG’s and an ATR, and another 45mm ATG.
Leading the German forces to the bridge is their recon force which is divided into a Hvy and Lt Section.
The Lt Section is made up of a Sdkfz 222 and 250 radio halftrack.
The Hvy Section has a Pz II, a Sdkfz 123 Radio, a 37mm and 50mm ATG, a 75mm IG, and an infantry company of 4 Rifles 3 Smg’s and 1 Mg.
For the 1st two turns the recon unit is the only German troops on the board. The Lt Section follows the road and on turn 2, contacts the Russian infantry blocking the crossroads. The Hvy section 75mm IG sets up and begins engaging the blocking forces 45mm Atg, while the rest head cross-country directly for the bridge.
Turn 3, two Stug’s , an Ausf D and an F, arrived and engage the roadblock while the Sdkfz 250 races for the bridge and encounters the Russian HVY MG and 45mm ATG. The HVY MG fire kills one of the crew and pins the vehicle. The Recon Hvy Section now engages the Russians at the bridge inflicting casualties on the gun crew and killing the HVY MG crew
On the far NW corner of the board 4 BT-7’s come on. They are the lead elements of a retreating Russian Armor Force.
Turn 4, Stuka(s)
The Germans lose the 222 to the blocking force’s 45mm before it takes a direct hit from the Stug Ausf D. Not knowing how many Russians are defending the bridge the Stuka is directed to attack the 45mm defending the bridge. The already wounded gun is destroyed.
Turn 4 also saw the arrival of the lead PZ company of three Pz 4’s, one F1 and two F2’s.
The two F2’s and Stug F, engage the BT’s. Three shots, three kills. The fourth turns to run.
Two T26’s pass the retreating BT7 and turn south towards a small village trying to avoid the Pz 4’s.
The BT never reaches the edge of the table but the the Pz 4’s miss the T26’s. They also survive a Stuka attack and will reach the village and take cover there for the rest of the game. Can you blame them???
Turn 6, The Hvy company is the first of three motorized infantry companies to arrive. Due to the appearance of the Russian tanks and infantry riders. the main German force delays it’s advance on the bridge and deploys in defensive while the Recon Hvy Section continues on.
Turn 7, Three T34- 76’s enter the board and engage the two Stug’s destroying them both. ( with a 30% chance to hit the first shot hit with a 02% and the second hit with a 06% )
The Pz 4’s moved out of cover for a better shot at the T34’s and again two shots, two kills. the third turned to run but latter met the same fate as the BT7.
Turn 8, The blocking force, which had been slowly reduced in strength decided it was time to leave. The Germans, still covered by the Pz 4’s , began to pack up their paks , ( Ha Ha ! ) and push for the bridge .
Turn 9, The Recon’s Hvy Section had crossed the bridge except for the Horch Kfz 69 and 37mm, which took a direct hit from the mortar, destroying both the vehicle. and gun and damaging the bridge. ( The only time in the game that the mortar hit anything. )
The bridge is passable by infantry but will require the first two turns of the next game to repair before it can be used by Veh.’s