Thursday, 31 December 2015

Operation Blau : Battle for Kastornoye June 1942

The second battle in our (mini) Operation Blau Campaign, sees General Major Ivan P Korchagin's 17th Tank Corps attempt to halt the tide of Panzer Divisions under Hoth. This battle took place around the town of Kastornoye close to the Olym River. As usual at this stage of the Eastern Front the Russian generals were pretty poor failing (according to R Forczyk) to provide adequate fuel. They were also out maneuvered by Hoth who sent in the 11th and 9th Panzer Divisions north and south of the town.

Historically the Russians were outgunned by the newer Panzer IV's and the 17th Tank corps lost 141 tanks during the battle.

Battlefield looking south Kastornoye to the right
 We had originally planned for this to be a larger battle but I ran out of time to sort it out so we kept it to 3000pts each side. The Russians with three tank brigades entered from the the East (left in the picture) , we played it as a simple encounter battle to represent the mobile Germans pushing forward but with the Russians feeding in reserves through the battle. To represent the improved German mobility they were permitted to bring one of their formations in on the left/Northern flank. We played to a fixed break point as per Blitzkrieg rules.

Germansupport flank attack Stug's and PzJaegers
 With some obvious defensive positions on both sides of the battlefield it require some decisive action to break the deadlock so the Germans deployed their flank attack fairly early on.

Russian Armour turns to engage the flanking force
 Although the flanking force created significant worry in the Russian camp, they were immediately able to turn towards the enemy and with significantly more powerful guns were able to get the advantage. But this allowed the Panzers in the Town to break out attempting to pin the Russians.

Panzer Break out
To the south stalemate
 To the south around two small farms a stalemate has been reached with neither side gaining an advantage.
Russian casualties mount up 
Things were now in the balance but whilst the Russians finished off the Germans on the flank they themselves were hit in the flank in the open !

German flank force destroyed
Germans use cover to catch Russians in flank
German right flank holds on just !
In the end the game played surprisingly close to historical events the German flank movement caused just enough distraction to the Russians to allow the Panzers to get the upper hand. It felt closer than the end result might indicate, The Germans can now push ahead with our final battle at Gorschchnoye where the 4th Tank Corps will attempt to block the 24th Panzers.

As my last post of 2015 I wish everybody a happy new year. More gaming, painting and collecting to come......


  1. And a happy New Year to you, too, sir!

  2. Happy new year Look forward to more from you next year