Thursday, 7 May 2015

The Battle for Uman : August 1941

The third battle in our Uman Kessel campaign was centred around the town of Uman itself. The remnants of the Russian 18th Army have dug in East of the town but are gradually being pushed back and surrounded. In this battle the Germans on the attack are represented by 125th Infantry Division supported by the 94th Antitank Battalion. They will be further supported by the 11th Panzers on their left flank and the 4th mountain division on the right flank. The Russian have pulled together whatever troops they can, the 240th Mechanised division motorised infantry and Antitank Battalion with the remnants of both the 15th and 39th Tank divisions. A mixed bag of soviet tanks including the last KV1 in the kessel.

This was quite a big battle and we had included a couple of new features. In line with history the Germans had now gained significant air superiority so were supported by a unit of Stuka dive -bombers from V Fliegerkorps. The Russians in desperation had mined some of the ground in front of their forces.

A lot happened in the battle which was hard fought and very balanced. I can only skim through the details and will let the photos tell most of the story........

The town of Uman held by the 125th Infantry Division..stuka's overhead !
The Russians had dug in at five identified strong points (objectives). The Germans reluctant to push unsupported infantry forward held them back in the Town until the 11th Panzers had arrived to support. The initial attack of stukas was really successful but it was clear later on that the soviets had woken upto the threat and in subsequent rounds they were driven off by AA fire.

4th mountain Division arrives on the right flank
On the right right flank the elite 4th Mountain division under Gen Maj K Eglseer pushed forward hard and fast supported by their own Stug III's. This flank proved a killing ground for both sides as the Germans laid down heavy fire into Southern farmhouse and the woods, but knowing this was do or die the Russian simply wouldn't give up their positions.

Some of the 11th Panzers arrive on the left and push forward, infantry
 hold back in the town awaiting more support
Eventually in the centre the panzerjagers of the 125th Infantry division started to push forward clearing out the woods allowing the infantry to secure their objective. Eventually on the left flank numbers started to tell as more German panzers rolled in pushing the lighter Russian tanks back.
125th Infantry Division support by its own Panzerjager I's push forward
The original objective had been to capture or hold the five objectives but we were beaten by the clock. so had to stop. During post battle analysis we felt the Germans had probably swung it their way and with the remaining turns would have gained a minor victory.

But all credit to the Russian commander LtGen Smirnov who dug in and wouldn't give up, but why would they when surrounded.......
View from behind Uman, 11th Panzers deploy in strength, 125th Infantry
Division in the centre making for the small wood. In the distance the battle
between the 4th Mountain division and Russian Infantry for the high ground.

Stukas have started to take their toll on Russian tanks in the open

The whole battlefield from the east looking west Uman on the left.

In the distance German Infantry are forcing their way into the woods
whilst stuka's remain a threat they are actually less effective

Pretty much the end of the battle, German infantry has taken the small wood
Russians are holding onto to the hill

On the German left flank the German Panzers are starting to overwhelm the
 remaining Russian tanks.
We had another great battle which was really close. we will definitely be having more air support in the future. Size wise we need to give ourselves more time or slightly less troops the Germans on the right flank were particularly slow and it almost became a battle within a battle. No apology for the tinted photos as I just think they give such a great feel  for the battle. Without keeping a strict score I think it is 5-4 to the Germans currently.


  1. Great report and impressive table!

    1. Thanks for the feedback hoping to have some IHMN games soon

  2. Nice looking game, love these beautiful and unusual pictures!

    1. Thanks Phil, photos are just 'tinted' in the filter mode on my iPad, which I use for the photos to make it easier to upload etc... I just think they give a fun period feel.