Battle for Zossen
This game was played at Chris's house on 11/11/07. Chris and Ian were playing the Soviets and I was playing the Germans. Most of the vehicles were painted by me but Chris contributed also. German infantry were mine and the Russian infantry belonged to Chris
SU-85's of the 1893rd SU Regiment on their start line: the steam on the south corner of the map. The 1893rd made the southern hook of the Soviet thrust; commanded by Comrade Chris. The three dark green SU's painted by Chris the more gray looking pair painted by me: Fujimi models
The panzers of Kampfgruppe Ritter and Kampfgruppe Mows move to the south to concentrate their fire on the SU's. Matchbox Panthers and a hybrid Corgi/Matchbox Sherman
The Panthers shoot better than the SU's and are better armoured. I was hoping to defeat the SU's and then turn all my panzers on the T-34's
FlaK-43 watched the sky for enemy Jabo's. The Sturmoviks were noticeable by their absence. Ian failing to roll up a single one, despite having a 50% chance per turn of doing so. Leva FlaK-43
The Maus of Kummersdorf Technischen Versuchskompanie. It's a bloody big tank and looks very intimidating does it not? Certainly the Soviets were very wary of it, not a single one of their guns could penetrate its thick hide even from the side. The Maus attracted a hail of artillery fire, though none of the Soviet artillery was strong enough to damage it. It spent the entire game suppressed. This, combined with the green rating and the fact that it had a ROF of 0, (so it couldn't fire and move) meant it was very much a paper tiger. Despite it's stonking great 128mm it failed to hit anything all game. Dragon Models pre-assembled Maus.
An Elefant is better than a Maus! especially when the Elefant has a veteran crew. Pictured here outside Zossen and about to move forward to confront the T-34's of 53rd Guards Tank Brigade, the Elefant was the big German killer of the battle, slaying four T-34's. Dug in before the panzerjager is a company of the I Grenadier Battalione, RAD Division Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. The Elefant is the old Esci model
Regimental support. German IKH-290(r) (Captured Soviet 76.2mm M1927 Infantry Gun) of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Division behind Zossen. FAA model.
First T-34/85 of 53rd GTB advances up the railway line. SHQ T-34/85 painted by Chris
T-34's of the 53rd GTB advance past Waldstadt up the main road to Zossen towards the outpost positions of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. This was meant to be a pinning move to keep the Germans in place while the majority of Soviet forces swung to the south. The German's had all their infantry in the front line, hoping to hold the Soviets while the demoralised rabble in Zossen were rallied and licked in to shape. At the start of the game only one company of poor German infantry and the ineffectual Maus stood between these tanks and Zossen. Ian was very concerned about the dug-in Germans and their Panzerfausts and the Soviets dallied in fron t of the German positions for several turns, slowing being brewed by the long-range sniping of the Elefant
U2 carrying the observer of the 120mm Mortar Battalion, just outside the range of the German flak. Initially calling fire on the PzKfw Sherman of KG Mows. In the background of the shot are the panzer grenadiers of KG Ritter waiting in reserve around Zossen. The U2 is a Koypo model.
The 53rd GTB finally breaks through in the centre
Once the company of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn had surrendered the Soviets gingerly probed up the main road to Zossen. The Elefant's victims burn in the background. Alby BA-64 followed buy Cararama Jeep. The observer for the Katyuskas spies on the German positions from the roadside.
The German panzers, reinforced by the rallied Hetzer (Fujimi) of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn confront the SU's of 1893rd SU regiment
The SU-85's close with the panzers. Despite copious artillery support the SU's start to suffer from the superior German gunnery. Because of the T-34's tardiness in the centre they are taking on nearly all the German armour on their own
53rd GTB moves forward in the centre to try and provide some extra pressure on the Panzers, sniped at by a German SdKfz-231 (Roden Kit)
The Elefant of 614 Panzerjager Kompanie turns to face the threat of 51st GTB starting to appear on the eastern flank. The panzerjager is covered by an SdKfz-7/1, the crew of which are scratching their heads at the lack of Jabos. Edai halftrack mounting an Esci gun
Frustrated by its inability to hit anything the Maus risks the wrath of the Sturmoviks and counter attacks - slowly
To the east the Germans had double lines of wire and mines to delay the Russian reinforcements. Fat lot of good they proved to be; the Soviet tanks breached the defence without taking a single casualty. The Panzerschreck team was made of sterner stuff, however, and fended off the first battalion of T-34's singlehandly. Ian's poor dice rolling ensuring they ran off table shaken
The Luftwaffe streaks across the battlefield. Fw-190A8 bombs a pair of T-34's, leaving one burning in its wake. Airfix model
From another angle
DshK AAMG's (FAA) waiting for the Fw-190, Unfortunately they were covering the wrong tank brigade, the Germans came nowhere close.
The 51st GTB stream down the road towards Zossen, into the teeth of the German defence. The Germans only had a single Elefant on the flank but its shooting proved deadly accurate and the entirety of the 51st failed its morale and fell back shaken to its start line
Many desperate calls on the radio finally resulted in the Soviets getting air support. An Il-2 shoots rockets at the Maus, which fail to scratch its hide - Eduard Il-2
Given the poor morale rating of the Maus the Soviets, and the large moral penalty for being under air attack, Chris and Ian were keen to see the Maus's moral check. Unfortunately for them it lead a charmed life, consistently rolling '1's for all its checks
It seemed that the Russians were not going to make a breakthrough anywhere on the front line: the panzer grenadiers still in reserve. SHQ SdKfz-251/16 (be warned it's a pig to assemble) and Skytrex SdKfz-251/1
The end. The Soviet advance has stalled
Although we played but 8 turns the game was clearly heading for a German victory. In the south the SU-85's were comanderless and shaken having suffered over 50% casualties. The T-34's in the centre had taken similar losses, although their morale was holding up. In the east the 51st GTB's morale had failed, though casualties were relatively light. The Germans had lost a Panther and the Sherman and a couple of infantry companies. If we had played longer its possible the Russians could have regrouped and resumed the attack, they still outnumbered the German defenders, but it would have been a tough fight.
The Soviets' luck let tem down a little, Ian's complete inability to roll up any air support until the very last moment in the battle (and even then we fudged the roll) meant that the Germans escaped morale penalties that could have crippled them. However the Russians could still have won if they had coordinated their attacks better. I was able to defeat the SU's by concentrating my armour, my flank was untroubled by the 51st GTB
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