Our latest battle in our Barbarossa Campaign, following the exploits of Army Group North sees the Russian forces under Kuznetsov, 21st Mechanized Corps and 5th Airbourne Corps, attempt to break through a hastily developed defensive position held by Von Manstein’s 8th Panzer and the 3rd Motorised Division. The Germans having captured the Dünaburg Bridge are holding the town the Russian have been cut off and isolated so they are attacking East. The German bridgehead includes the town over the bridge and the castle where heavy artillery is able to target the advancing Russians. The battle took place on the 27th June 1941, and if not covered in much detail is ‘immortalised’ on the cover of the Osprey Campaign book which we use for to help planning our battles🙂
and on to the action............
Germans infantry in the bridgehead have built hasty defensive positions
The gun emplacements marks the access to the bridge which is to the right in this picture, a Panzer II as per the Peter Dennis picture.
The Russians had the advantage of seeing the German defensive setup, and also brought down a fairly effective bombardment pinning some of the Germans early on. Lots of Russian infantry keen to break through to the East !
Supported by a couple of BT7 tanks
The ground is fairly open but has a number of drainage channels etc which the russians use to advance
They are quickly at the half way point in significant numbers.
The Germans on the right flank find they are not being opposed so start to advance supported by a 38(t) looking to sweep around the Russian flank
The Germans are supported by artillery situated over the river in the Citadel
and then with a whoosh the 38(t) explodes into flames
The Russians including this unit of elite infantry are now pushing forward to their objective which is to overrun the German defensive line
Having made a dash for the farm house a German unit prepares to outflank the Russian charge
The Russians are taking casualties and pins but this is only slightly slowing them down
The Panzer II has turned to defend the small gully in front of the German lines, a hit on the BT7 but only temporary damage which is quickly repaired
A period shot.......
More Russian infantry advancing beyond the farm
Russian infantry just seems to be everywhere
The thin German defence line is now starting to fall apart and is being overwhelmed
Clinging on a single machine gun unit
Russian infantry reach the defences
..... and are then through them, the German commander is being told in no uncertain terms to surrender as he ponders the map and wonders where it all went wrong.
A significant victory for the Russians this time, they played a clever battle focussing their assault whilst the Germans were spread out. The German Artillery was completely useless and we probably under played it putting the Germans at a disadvantage from the start. This combined with poor German dice and the game was up.
But they can’t have it all their own way and a good battle all the same.