Encounter at South of Serafinovich
30th July 1942
To the North of Stalingrad the Axis forces were, for the most part, facing the Soviets across the River Don. However the Soviets had a few bridgeheads on the west bank of the Don. One such bridgehead was at the town of Serafinovich. The German 578th Infantry Regiment had been trying to reduce the salient but the Soviet forces were too large to be eradicated by a single weak regiment.
Late in July 1942 the German high command ordered the Italian 3rd Motorised Division to attack the Soviet positions, hoping a division would succeed where the German regiment had failed. The Italians initially attacked on the 30th July.
Unknown to the Axis the Soviets were busy reinforcing their bridgehead. In the early morning of 30th July two regiments of the 63rd Rifle Division supported by a tank battalion crossed the Don, their aim to expand the Bridgehead and forestall any Axis attack
The scene was set for an encounter between the two forces.
Order of Battle & Map.
All units are deployed in the deployment areas delineated by the red dashed lines with the exception of II/120th which is a reinforcement.
The 15th and 19th Bersaglieri Battalions can be deployed anywhere west of the dashed line ZY
The 120th AT Battery is deployed in the area indicated.
The DHQ must be within 3" of road WX
II/120th Artillery Battalion is a reinforcement which arrives on turn 5 (it must deploy on table if it wishes to fire). It must enter up road W, it is in convoy, one vehicle enters at a time and each vehicle after the first enters the table moving 3" less than the one before.
All Soviet forces are deployed in the area's delineated by the pink hashed lines.
The map is 6ft x 4ft if playing at 1" = 50m. The grey dashed line gives a 5ft x 4ft table. North is indicated by the arrow
The dark red lines are roads
The dashed tan lines are crest lines. Crest lines break LOS and give hull down positions to AFV's touching them (-2 cover)
The thick brown lines are ravines. It takes a BMA to enter the ravine and a BMA to leave it. Moving along the ravine is at half speed. Vehicles and man handled guns may not enter the ravine. Stands moving in the ravine are not visible to stands not in the ravine unless the stands outside are within an inch or the stands within are declared as being on the bank. Stands on the bank get -2 cover verses small arms fire directed against them.
The light green areas are open with a scattering of trees. These provide no cover or concealment. However within the area it is considered open blocking terrain (all spotting distances halved) with a maximum visibility of 12"
The dark green areas are open woods
The green dotted lines are thick tree lines. These break LOS and provide -1 cover. Any stand on the road is considered adjacent to the tree line.
The game starts at 11:00am and finishes at 17:30 (inclusive) i.e. 14 turns
Until each side has spotted one another each turn all stands, with the exception of the 120th AT Battery and both sides' DHQ, MUST make at least a cautious advance
The Soviets are aiming to capture point 210 and the T junction beyond, the Italians are aiming to advance to the north east
There are two objectives point 210 & the T junction (together they are considered one objective) plus the board edge AB.
If one side holds both objectives it is a decisive win. In one side holds an objective and the other is disputed it is a marginal win. Any other result is a possible draw.
To hold an objective a side must have stands in good morale within 3" (if point 210 & T Junction) or 6" (if the board edge) They must have at least twice as many stands as the enemy or the objective is disputed
Good morale means NOT shaken and NOT demoralised
The Bersaglieri repulsed the Soviet attack, destroying perhaps 14 tanks despite their lack of AT weapons. However the attack delayed the assault on Serafiniovich for a day.
After a couple of days fighting the town fell to the Axis troops but despite many extra days of hard fighting it proved impossible to completely eradicate the Soviet bridgehead.
Most of the information for this scenario came from: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=104609. The map was based on sheet M38-086 which can be downloaded from: http://maps.poehali.org/en/