Germany December 1983
This game was fought between Keith and I in my conservatory on 7/2/20 using what were formally known as BBWW2B rules. I played the liberators of the oppressed proletariat (aka USSR) and Keith played the spiffing defenders of freedom, democracy and blood sports (aka the British). All the kit on display is mine. For the most part the British are old Skytrex with a smattering of H&R and Scotia. The Soviets are almost all Heroics and Ros.
The battlefield looking east. The British chose to defend forward (the far end of the table)
British forward defences. Waltwiesche is in the foreground
The British second line, though its more hole than line, centred on Gross Lafferde
The 32nd Heavy Regiment pushed up close behind Gross Lafferde, to exploit the spotting opportunities offered by the church spire.
The nuclear capable K Battery 5th Heavy Regiment Royal Artillery nestled between Hoheneggetsen and Stienbrucke. Note the error in the stats on the label.
The 353rd Tank regiment noses through the rubble caused by the Soviet nukes on the south flank.
323rd Tank Regiment attacks in the north
A Company of the Fusiliers in Schmedenstedt watches for the Soviet attack
353rd Tank Regiment deploys for the assault
332nd Tank Regiment attacks towards Schmedenstedt
The RDF with the Soviet DAG detects the 32nd Heavy Regiment which is subjected to a vicious strike causing 50% casualties. Unfortunately so much ammo was used the BM-21s are given low on ammo status which precludes their use until re-supplied over night.
The Lynx of 651st squadron cautiously noses forward (3d Print)
Gazelle (3d print). This one is the spotter for the nuclear capable K Battery
Feeling confident the 353 Tank Regiment launches its attack
In the north the British launch a two regiment counter attack against the Soviets.
In the south the Soviets have eliminated a single infantry company but have taken considerable casualties in doing so. The Inniskillings are intact and waiting.
Although 332 Tank Regiment has taken Schmedenstedt and broken through the British lines they have scant forces to repel the British armoured counter attack.
The forward detachment is eliminated and the Hussars break though to assault the Soviets SAM battery, which promptly turns and flees.
The first echelon of the 332nd Tank Regiment has broken through into the British rear. Unfortunately this makes it an ideal target for a nuke. After a couple of abortive calling attempts K battery drops a 1Kt nuke in the centre of the unit. However 1kt is a very small nuke and tanks are tough so the unit survive, reduced to 50% strength. It is enough to stop the Soviets gambolling through the German countryside though.
Behind the Soviets are struggling to keep a supply line open to their advancing units as the Hussars close in on Schmedenstedt.
In the south the Inniskillings are under pressure. However the British infantry on their flanks prevent flanking attacks. This is the final assault at the end of the 26th.
At the start of the 27th the Soviets renew their attack. The day started badly as their programmed bombardment of 8 battalion failed to produce a single casualty. During the night the Inniskillings dropped back. This means in order to attack the British the Soviets need to mask off the infantry on the flanks. This dilutes their assault force to the point were it will need to be lucky if its to defeat the better trained British.
The First Echelon of the the 332nd, although firmly within the British rear, has taken to hiding in an unoccupied village to confound targeting by nukes or Lynx launched TOW.
Recce of 332nd Regiment heads into the depth of the British position
When you are using your artillery as assault guns, things are not going as well as they could.
However the recce of the 35úrd regiment has also broken into the rear of the British position. Celebration was short lived however as the British commander decided to use his last nuke on the company eliminating it.
The British cling tenaciously to the flanks of the Soviets' southern attack thwarting any further advance.
The British heavy forces in the north swing south...
At that point we called the game. Although the Soviets had gotten one recce company off the table it wasn't enough. The Soviet "breakthrough" was cowering in a German village whilst the British heavy units were romping freely at the eastern end of the battlefield. It was a clear British victory. The Soviets massed artillery is emasculated by poor logistics in nuclear conditions and is not enough to compensate for the much higher British troop quality.
Even small nukes (which still have a 2km "danger" radius) are very difficult to use in the dense terrain of northern Europe. Most targets that can be seen are too close to friends to be engaged.
Tanks are tough even for nukes.
If you leave villages un occupied the enemy will hide in them to confound the targeting of artillery, nukes and stand-off missiles
SAMs on their own are nearly worthless against aircraft with stand off missiles, they need mutually supporting pairs.
In nuclear conditions where logistics are strained, the tempo of operations is reduced. However high quality troops are effected proportionally less than poor quality troops.
Adverse logistical conditions forces artillery to the front lines so it can direct fire and still be effective.
Although not a lesson from the game as such, a though occurs. Once in a logistically strained environment due to use of nukes, its nukes that are the most cost effective to deliver to the front line units as they have more "bang" per unit volume where volume is constrained. Tthis will serve to make a conflict more nuclear and less conventional and is a driver of escalation.
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