Essel Pictures

The game took place 16/12/07 at Chris's house. Ian Armstrong (of Armstrong Models) and I played the Brits. Chris and Rob played the Russians. All the British kit except a couple of M5's was supplied by me; Ian helped with the M5's. Chris and I supplied the Soviets helped by Rob who supplied the Russian cavalry


British fighters sweep the skies of Soviet aircraft preparing for the para drop. Airfix Meteor by Chris


The British had total air supremacy during the drop. Heller Vampire


Start of the British advance, leading with the heavily armoured Centurions. The Brits approach the NKVD in the Soviet outpost line around Grosse Gridnau. Nearest Centurion is a Mk II converted from the Airfix kit (see here) and the others (Mk I) are from Cromwell Models


Stuarts, with an attached Cromwell CS guard the right flank of the main British thrust. Old Cromwell Stuarts and an MMS Cromwell. The NKVD were mightily perturbed by the British armour and several companies broke an ran allowing the recce to sneak forward


First of the 100mm guns watches for the Brits. Under the Bed gun. In the background is a Frontline Studebaker


The other 100mm lurks in a tree line to the East. This gun deterred any move north-east by the Stuarts


1137th Artillery Battalion. SHQ guns


37mm M1939 scans the skies for British planes (PST kit)


Soviet convoy approaching Schwarmstedt, held up by NKVD traffic control. Under the Bed 160mm Mortar and Frontline truck


The NKVD cavalry (painted by Rob) charge to engage the British paras before they can link up and concentrate


203mm B4 Howitzers turn to face the oncoming Centurions. However the crews are picked off by long range 17pdr fire and the supporting artillery before the guns can fire a shot. SHQ guns & Vorisholevets tractors


NKVD Cavalry continue to race for the landing zone


B Squadron races through Schwarmstedt to engage the construction troops beyond. Matchbox Comets


The surprise arrival of the Comets from the Russian point of view


The rest of 1st RTR's armour moves up the western flank, ignoring the NKVD outpost line. Having destroyed the 100mm and neutralised the 203mm's there is very little between them and the main road


The RAF arrives and makes a bombing run on the 122mm's. Distracted by the fire of the Soviet DshK the bombs miss. Heller Tempest


RAF Auster loiters outside of the effective range of the Soviet AA. The FO directs the guns on the newly arrived T-34's bunched much too close together just out of shot. Airfix Auster AOP.6


The NKVD finally reach the Paras and swarm around them. However Elite 10 paras are very tough. Despite being out numbered 2:1 they force back the cavalry and fall back to the wood behind


Get the Tetrarch. Chris sent the entire 99th Separate Tank Destroyer Battalion to finnish of the Para's Tetrarch (MMS). Perhaps he figured it was the only tank on table they had a good chance of hurting? Unfortunately they are too far away to engage effectively and the Tetrarch survives


The Soviet 1602nd Tank Regiment swarms towards the British. The Centurions are all but invulnerable from the front so Rob is looking for flank shots


The rest of the 1602nd pours in to battle


The construction troops flee in the face of the Comets. Unfortunately the Comets' morale was none to good either and they fled Schwarmstedt to the south. In the background the motor rifle troops of the 1602nd can be seen advancing to take up positions in the town


Tank battle south of Schwarmstedt. Both sides start taking serious casualties. In the foreground is a Cromwell Crusader AA


The regimental commander trying to rally the shaken company from Schwarmstedt before his other troops are overwhelmed by T-34's.


The last Centurion's morale fails and it flees south. The Comets hold the line. In the background the recce also flees south after an abortive attempt to nail the IS-3 fixed by the Soviet repair company


Carnage. The newly rallied B company pounce on the flank of 1602nd Tank Regiment. In the background the motor rifle troops take up position in Schwarmstedt


Where was the Russian Airforce? This is a post battle propaganda shot of a Yak-15. The Soviet players consistently failed to roll their air support


We only managed 7 turns. The scenario was over ambitious, but we may have got a wee bit further if there had been a bit less chat and a bit more play. As we left it the game was poised on a knife edge. The Soviets had a few more tanks than the Brits and were holding the indestructible paras off in the north. They had strongly garrisoned Schwarmstedt. However the 13th/18th Hussars were immanent and the paras had lost but a single stand so things could have started going in the Brit's favour

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