Thursday, 26 May 2016

Prokhorovka (Battle Three) : 12th July 1943

Behind on blogs again...just too many things to do all the time. Anyway back with the plot we played the third and final scenario in our mini Kursk / Prokhorovka campaign. As the honours were so far even this would be the decider.

This scenario would see the German 2 SS Panzers of Das Reich division attempt to break through the II Guards Tank Corps to the south of Prokhorovka itself. Historically the Germans were fought to a standstill by the Russian Guards.

We played this as a slightly larger game than normal extending the battlefield to 8x4 feet with 5000 points with Blitzkrieg Commander rules. This gave each side five independent units under command, but the size of the battlefield gave the realistic option for manoeuvre rather than giving a static battle. (We also gave ourselves a bit more time knowing how frustrating it can be to not quite fight a battle to conclusion)

The overall battlefield, Prokhorovka is on the right (North from this viewpoint) the Germans have already made a very successful advance onto the field. The Russian guards unlike their historical counter parts were caught napping and are slow to get into position, they immediately come under fire as they come into range of the Tigers and PzIV's.
Although the majority of the battlefield is open ground we have broken it up with occasional small farms and trees, having looked at a lot of pictures of the real battlefield it wasn't just flat terrain but had a significant number of undulations.
On the German left flank grenadiers look to advance towards the town towing with them their own anti-tank guns. They are supported by an independent anti-tank unit as well but the Russians are not going to give up easily and have sited infantry and guns in the town and pushing forward with T70's supported by SU-76's.
As the battle develops both sides start to take casualties but the longer range German guns have the upper hand, and the Russians unlike previous battles are unable to close quickly enough to concentrate their fire adequately.
The Russian left flank is being hit really hard and ominously the German Panzers in the centre have taken out the large 85mm holding the Russian centre and they are starting to advance into the space which has opened in front of them.
A closer shot of the German right flank at this stage fairly intact ! Although two of the panzer IV's have been pinned down.
On the German left the grenadiers have made it to the cover provided by the field but further progress is likely to lead to serious casualties so they deploy waiting further orders.
Shot of the whole battlefield.......I have decided to make some more bases with out the dirt roads, but the nice thing with the 8 foot width means a greater element of movement so will try to play at this scale more in the future.
The Russians have finally woken up to the risks and started concentrating their fire more effectively, consequently the Germans are taking increasing losses. Even the usually invulnerable Tiger has been pinned down.
The Panzers in the German centre have now split looking for opportunities to out flank the Russians on both sides. Although not quite panicking the Russians are beginning to sweat !
Closer to the town, the Russian light tanks and mobile anti tank guns are effectively holding the Germans back but they are surprised when flanking fire starts to land amongst them as the German centre turns north to cross the railway
To the south things are getting desparate for the Russians as they are fighting on both flanks and are in danger of being completely over run.

Eventually the Russians just couldn't hold on any longer and reached breaking point and with such high losses they failed the required test, giving the field to the Germans.
A final shot of the devastated Russian left flank.....but they have made the Germans pay for their victory.
Another really great battle......the Russians really only lost due to some poor dice rolling early on. Particularly liked having a bit more space and we will play on the 8 foot table more often. The plan is now to finish basing up my British forces and try some battles in and around Caen and the attempted break out by the allies.

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks luckily we gave ourselves extra time !

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Gordon VBCW this weekend !

      Delete
  3. That's a big battle on a big table. Nice one.
    I used to play BKC 1st Ed. solo (in 10mm), but foolishly sold off everything. Now I'm waiting to see what Pendraken Miniatures do with the new edition rules, and then decide what scale, and forces, to collect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have an aversion selling stuff which is why I need more storage. I really like the BKC rule set looking forward to seeing how different it will be in the boccage countryside. As for scale .......they are all good 😀

      Delete