Culmination of Operation Iskra (Spark)
January 15th-16th 1943
v1.1 - changed 98th Tank Bde OB in light of: http://www.rkka.ru/tank-vs-tank/ussr/tbr098/tbr098.html
"The main force of 136th Rifle Division went on the attack to the sounds of the "International", played by the brass band."
On the 12th January 1943 Soviet forces launched an attack on the Shisselburg Salient to relieve the German siege of Leningrad. The 67th Army attacked from the west and the 2nd Shock Army from the east. Defending the salient were the German 170 and 227 Infanterie Divisions, massively outnumbered by the Soviet attackers. However the terrain was very bad: swamps and forests. Despite the -20deg temperatures the bogs had not frozen in the forests. The German defenders were well dug in with multiple lines of defences, the Soviets struggled to make progress but the Germans slowly gave way
By dawn on the 15th the 136th Rifle Division was in striking distance of Workers Settlement No5 in the centre of the salient. The the west the 18th Rifle Division was closing in too. If the settlement could be taken it would cut off the German forces around Shisselburg from their comrades to the south and allow supply over-land to the besieged city of Leningrad.
Order of Battle and Map
The Map is 10ft x 5ft if playing 1" =50m. The big black arrow indicates north
The red lines are the major roads the pink lines minor roads, though there is not much difference in quality between them
Blue lines are ditches and steams. The water is frozen solid however the banks provide cover and are an impediment to movement. The streams and ditches take the equivalent of a cautious advance move to cross. So if moving with a hasty advance order, the unit loses half its movement. If moving with a cautious advance order, a stand must start on one bank and will be moved to the other.
The light green areas are open woods. The dark green areas are marshy areas within a wood. Within the marshy area personnel stands are 1/2 speed. Tracked units are 1/4 speed. Wheeled and horse drawn units are prohibited from entering
The blue areas are open marshland. Personnel stands are unaffected. Tracked units are 1/2 speed. Wheeled and horse drawn units are prohibited from entering. The open marsh within the forest to the south is covered in scrub (probably immature pine trees) this gives -1 cover to personnel stands only. This terrain does not block LOS.
The gray areas are stone buildings (-3 cover).
Units are deployed in the areas indicated. Only the 188th Rifle Regiment, the FO's for the 136th Rifle Division and the German 412 Infanterie Regiment start on the table-top. The 136th's FO's can be deployed with any of the 188ths battalions. The 548th Tank Battalion will enter along the road indicated on turn 1.
All German stands starting on the table start dug-in. The Germans have four log bunkers (-5) each of which can hold 1 personnel stand. They may be placed anywhere the German player wishes within the deployment zone
The 2 Kp 502 Tiger Abt is a reinforcement. When the first Soviet stand gets to the main north south road start rolling for the panzers. Roll each turn: On a 6 they arrive the next turn, on a 4-6 they arrive the turn after. They automatically arrive on the third turn. The panzers can enter the board in any non wooded part of the table edge over 6" from the nearest enemy stand which is in good morale or pinned.
The 98th Tank Brigade is a reinforcement. Roll for the two battalions separately. Start rolling turn 3. They arrive on a 6 (d6). The HQ arrives with the 2nd battalion. They automatically arrive at dawn on the 2nd day if not rolled before. They enter from the east board edge outside the woods and at least 12" from enemy armour.
The 414th Infantry Regiment is a reinforcement. Roll for the battalions separately. Start rolling turn 3. They arrive on a 6 (d6). The HQ and mortar arrives with the 2nd battalion, the FO with the 1st battalion and the engineers with the 3rd battalion. They enter from the east board edge inside the woods.
The I/151 IR is a reinforcement. Start rolling on the dawn turn day 2. Roll separately for each kompanie and the flakkampftruppe. The HQ and 75mm is with the 2nd kompanie. On a 6 they arrive the dawn turn, on a 4-6 they arrive the turn after. They automatically arrive on the third turn. They enter anywhere in the open on the southern board edge. Stands need not enter immediately but may wait until the German player wishes them to enter.
The game covers both the 15th and 16th January. The weather on the 15th is bad, its better on the 16th.
On the 15th its snowing heavily. Visibility is only 12". Due to the crappy weather each turn is considered to be one hour long and as daylight that far north only lasts for 6 hours the day is 6 turns in duration.
There are 18 hours of darkness which is 4 turns. At the start of each night turn both sides roll a d6. If both sides roll a 4+ then the may continue to fight in that turn. If one side fails the Russian break off the combat and must pull back so they are out of LOS of spotted German stands. Each side may continue to roll for reinforcements, however those rolled after combat has ceased will enter on the dawn turn day 2. After combat has ceased each side may move its stands up to 12" as long as they do not get within LOS of the enemy. Roll a dice to determine which side makes it 12" move first. This move is not restricted by terrain, and allows limbering/unlimbering for free.
On the 16th the sky is clear and each turn is back to 1/2hr, allowing 12 turns of daylight combat
There are a possible 4 night turns available at the end of the 16th. If both sides roll a 4+ then they may continue to fight in that turn. If one side fails the game is over
On any turn its not shot-at the Soviet band will give +1 on morale rolls to any personnel company that has all stands within 2".
Soviet battalions have two calling numbers. They are +2 to call artillery on any target that is not in a wood. The Soviets made a thorough aerial recce of German positions and had many defensive locations pre-registered
Simplified Air Rules
1) Roll for air support
2) Russian roll to place their aircraft
3) AA Fire
4) Resolve Ground Attack
All air activity takes place in arty phase
Roll for Air Support
Each daylight turn on turn 2 the Russians may roll for aircraft. A 5-6 obtains an Su-2 or IL-2m air strike
Place Russian Aircraft
The Russian player selects a strike point and marks with a counter, this is the primary strike point. His opponent then selects a point within 24" as the secondary strike point. Roll d10, on a 9-10 the secondary is attacked, otherwise the primary.
Strike points must be placed on open ground
Units firing AA must spend the turn halted. Suppressed and pinned AA units are not effective at AA fire
The German 20mm FlaK has a range of 12". The 88mm is not considered effective vs low flying planes. They may not fire over terrain within 3". Roll d10: 1-3 is the minus on the attacker's hitting roll. 9-10 aborts the target and it does not make an attack
Resolve Ground Attack
An Su-2 or Il-2m attack places a 2" IDF template - the plane has a fire factor of 7, minus any penalties for AA fire. It has the normal morale effect.
The Russians have three objectives
1) Clear the north-south road
2) Clear Workers Settlement No5
3) Create a 12" corridor across the table east to west
All three objectives is a major Soviet win. Two objectives is a minor Soviet win. One objective is a minor German win and no objectives is a major German win
To clear the road there must be no un-shaken/demoralised German stands within 6" of it
To clear the settlement there must be no un-shaken/demoralised German stands in any town block
To create the corridor first of all a personnel stand from the 136th Division much touch base with one from the 18th Division. There must then be an uninterrupted corridor, 12" wide, from the east board edge to the west with no un-shaken/demoralised German stands within it