Mokre - Pictures
The game was played on Sunday 29th of October. Chris & Ian played the Soviets and I played the Germans. Most of the kit was mine excepting the SU-85's, infantry and one of the IS-2's which were painted by Chris. Houses by Chris too.
Gepanzerte Kampfgruppe 16 Panzer Division in its start positions. Panthers are Matchbox, StuG's Cromwell, SdKfz-251's Skytrex
52nd Tank Brigade in ambush positions. Italeri "quick build" IS-2 (with surgery to stop the gun pointing up) & Fujimi T-34/85. Their fire on turn one killed a pair of Panthers
IS-2 of the 53rd Tank Brigade just south of Yablonitza. Ostmodels IS-2 painted by Chris
T-34/76 M1943 of the 53rd Tank Brigade (Matchbox with a Vac-U-Cast turret) and a pair of Soviet infantry one with a captured Panzerfaust. Nearest bloke is Italeri with added SHQ Panzerfaust and the one further away is HAT with a head swap. These infantry painted by me.
53rd Tank Brigade lined up. The nearest T-34 has a different type of Vac-U-Cast turret. My new roads were provided by Slindon Scenics
Panthers advance! Lead elements of the 16 Panzer push east past Yablonitza. My plan was to go north of the town then swing south hoping the panzer grenadiers in the village would keep the Soviet tanks off my flank. Unfortunately Chris's reinforcement rolls were hot and the 51st Tank Brigade soon appeared in front of them
Tiger II (Esci) and Panzer grenadiers follow the Panthers
53rd Tank Brigade moves to the west of Yablonitza and engages the Panthers. Poor morale dice on behalf of the Soviets soon saw the Soviet tanks retreating. The Panthers hurried them on their way by shooting the IS-2 up the backside
52nd Tank Brigade advances into the flank of the 16 Pz Div past their burning victims
Reinforcements from the east - SU-85 (Fujimi) of the 1983rd SU Regiment. Their rapid arrival put paid to German plans for a sweeping flanking move
SU-85 suppressed by the German artillery
53rd Tank Brigade's high water mark. Despite killing off a StuG the 53rd came under strong fire from the RHQ PzKfw-IV and then failed a morale check, scuttling back over the ridge. Unfortunately for the Soviets the corps commander was several kilometres away and was in no position to rally them. However the Germans were starting to run short of Panzers...
RHQ PzKfw-IV (Fujimi) holds off the 53rd while the Panzer grenadiers move to reinforce Yablonitza
Big cats to the north of Yablonitza confront a counter attack by the 51st Tank Brigade and the SU-85's
The first of the Soviet FO's arrives on table. FAA figure with a very old Grammodels (?) Seep both painted by Chris. Chris was very cautious with his FO's which reduced the effectiveness of the Soviet artillery during the game
Tiger turns to face the 53rd. This was an unfortunate move as a lucky long range shot from the 51st on the other side of the table pieced its thin side armour. The Tiger failed to kill anything before it died, a pretty historical result.
Tiger out of the way the SU's advance. At this point of the game the Soviets had slain more panzers than they'd lost tanks of their own and killed the King Tiger. However Yablonitza was firmly in the hands of the panzer grenadiers and no better than a draw could be achieved without it. Time was running out fast.
51st Tank Brigade moves to assault Yablonitza
RHQ PzKfw-IV fires at the on-coming 51st. However the Russian artillery effectively suppressed the panzer and the 51st are a long way off
sIG-33 auf PzKfw-38(t) engages the shaken 53rd Tank Brigade. Despite being outnumbered 3:1 the sIG forces another morale failure on the 53rd causing them to retreat further back and effectively putting them out of the game
The 51st aided by 289th Infantry smash through Yablonitza. Although the panzer grenadiers shoot nearly all the infantry their fire with their Panzerfausts is lamentable. Even so its the last turn before the T-34's face the last defenders of the town. The T-34's had to kill all three of the infantry stands to win. Luck was with the Soviets and the final German infantry stand was slain, giving the Russians the town and a decisive victory. The game went down to the very last dice roll and with just a little more luck the Germans could have held the Soviets to a draw.
The end - burning wrecks litter the Polish Plain. It was a see-saw battle and at different points throughout it looked like both sides were heading for a clear-cut victory. It was great fun and even though the Germans lost they did a damn sight better than historically.
Back to Pg 1