It's late 1943 and the Russian summer counter offensive is underway. The town of Novosty in the Southern Front area of operations needs to be liberated, and the commander of an infantry division has been given the task. In support he has a break through battalion of heavy tanks (KV1s) two artillery battalions and two battalions of 152 mm howitzers allocated from the Front artillery reserve for counter battery fire. (This is a reposting of the original battle report which was accidentally deleted!!)
|The battlefield seen from the south, the Russian forces entering form the left. The town of Novosty can be seen at the top of the photo.|
|The Russian forces deploying for action|
|The German forces deploy, the southern most battalion (top of photo) pushing forward to capture Novosty (just out of shot at the top of the hot), with the German armour pushing through the centre. The force nearest camera is the reserve.|
|The Russian battalion given the task of capturing Novosty advances to the town.|
|The Russian left, an infantry battalion with two of the platoons of KV1's in support swings around in to the flank of the German battalion assaulting Novosty|
|The German armour pushes through the centre|
|That Russian left again|
|The Russian commander refused his right flank. One battalion with the Regimental AT battery in support takes the small town on that flank, and digs in.|
|The Russian infantry have a firm grip on Novosty|
At this stage the German commander decided to commit his reserve battalion: infantry with armour in support. Nick had made an error in his cross attachments, hence the single tank stand here attached to a full German infantry battalion.
However the German armour ran into an on table Russian artillery battalion. The Russian commander also decided to commit his reserve (an infantry battalion supported by the other two platoons of the break through regiment. Between them they made very quick work of the German armoured battalion.
At this stage an artillery battle developed. German 105s were finally brought down on the Russian left flank, but were quickly silenced by the Russian 152 CB battalions. In exchange the German 150mm CB battalion destroyed one of the Russian 152 battalions.. ouch!!
The actin on the Russian left was fierce.
|The German right flank battalion trying to advance in to Novosty has had to re-orient itself to defend itself against the Russian left flank attack.|
|However troops from Novosty advance from the town sector in support of the Russian left and the situation looks desperate for the German attackers.|
The Russian reserve is also well positioned to bring down fire on the flank of the German reserve formation.
The position is lost and the German commander decides to withdraw his troops in preparation for another attack.
This was a great game. The forces were organised using Keith McNelly's scenario generation system, using forces of 350 points. The game was an encounter scenario. We kept the size down because the window of time available to us was limited.
I'm unsure of the size, as the loss of two stank stands severely impacted on Nick's battle plan. However he had made an error with cross attachment which, had this been done correctly, would have kept the armour in the game for longer.
Nick learned that he needs to concentrate his forces so that they can be mutually supportive.
I opted for a very conventional advance. I bought the main artillery as on board guns because of the communications difficulties that plague Russian forces. This paid off as none of the observer calls throughout the game were successful, but the one battalion firing over open sights decided the armoured engagement.
The force size may have been a little small, although we clearly avoided the 'track to track' problem that I am so desperately trying to avoid. Our next game will be 450 points. Keep watching.
Nick's account of the action is here.