Sunday, 15 March 2015

German radios on the blink !

After a week of painting re-enforcements we were able to play another 6mm WW2 battle on the Russian front. This week the plan was to bring Steve upto speed on the infantry rules and how to use artillery. So I pulled together two lists from very early June 1941. Playing the Assault scenario we set a German Panzer force to assault a Russian Anti-tank brigade. This was 'very loosely' based on the 14th Panzers on the second day of Barbarossa being held up by the Russian 1st Anti-tank brigade.

This first picture sets the scene Ivan dug in on the right, with 85mm and 45mm anti-tank guns in the trees, infantry holding the main town and the farm. They are being supported by various 'hurriedly' pulled together tank companies, T28's in the forground, some BT7 light tanks behind the town and some early T34's being rushed to the front along the road. We set the main objective for the Germans to take the town in 8 turns ! The Germans have three mixed tank battalions PzII's, PzIII's and PzIV's. Sadly no fancy German armour at this stage of the invasion. They also have a strong infantry battalion in 251 halftracks supported by an attached anti-tank battalion. Both armies have some 150mm artillery off table.
2nd Panzer battalion advancing using the fields as cover before hopefully making a direct push at the town. My plan (I played Germans) was to push forward right along the length of the front overwhelm the defences and then rush the infantry in transport up to the town and take it hand to hand.
Russian infantry dug in in the town, I knew it would be hard to shift these without direct assault by infantry. Ideally I would bring down some artillery on their heads suppress them then charge in all guns blazing!
Now normally the Germans with excellent command values are fairly good at pushing quickly across the battlefield so I had scheduled my first artillery barrage at the town on the second turn. So what went wrong ? my assumption is the radio stock which the panzers had used was in some way faulty or due to the previous rapid assault on the previous day they hadn't been properly charged. Either way they didn't work and the Germans immediately began to flounder failing command roll after command roll. stalling the attack right along the front. The picture above is about turn 3 and you can see the two panzer battalions in the near ground have hardly started forward. In the distance the infantry is gradually moving through the trees, but again their Panzer support is lagging behind.
This shot is somewhere around turn 6, Panzers have finally pushed the Russian left flank back and are preparing to pincer in on the farm. The Battalion in the centre is very slowly pushing forward and picking off the light tanks in the trees by the town.
In this closer view around the town, the infantry realising that time is running out have decided to launch their assault supported only by anti-tank guns. (I know this is somewhat suicidal but I had to give it a go). In the distance the 85mm guns dug in in the trees are pinning down the panzers on the German left.
Not unsurprisingly (about turn 7) the German infantry have been mown down , running across open ground without adequate support is not fun ! The Panzers in the foreground have been temporarily slowed by the anti-tank guns in the trees.

These last two shots turn 8 show the high point for the Germans, finally the radios had started to work and the central Panzer battalion had swiftly eliminated the light Russian tanks in the woods. They could now turn tier attention to the town. the remaining German Pak36's and Stug's are starting to trade shots with the T34's. However at this stage with no infantry left to make the final push into the town all was effectively lost. A win for Ivan. Strangely this reflects history where the Russian held the 14th Panzers although it was only temporary.

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