This is the first battle in a campaign set concerning the Korsun Pocket operations during February 1944 between the Soviets and Germans. It is based off the campaign series on the Flames of War website http://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=1063
The Battlefield consisted of a semi wooded landscape, a small river, and German trechworks on the western edge. The battlefield was under a blanket of snow which made the terrain difficult going. The Big Push scenario from the Flames of War book was used to recreate this battle. There were some modifications to the defenses, because i prefer the defenses outlined in Stalins Onslaught.
Russian forces in this battle consisted mostly of infantry with some T34s for back up. Order of Battle:
- Strelkovy Batalon with 3 companies
- Sapper platoon
- 2 section of flamethrowers
- 82 BM 41 Mortar platoon
- 2 batteries of Katyusha Rocket launchers with extra loaders
- 7 x T34
The Axis Powers
The german forces were based around a grenadier company with basic support. The addition of significant defenses such are minefields, trenches, bunkers, and barbed wire added to the german point total. Fortifications are based off costs in Stalins Onslaught.
- Grenadier Company
- HMG platoon
- 7.5 cm Pak 40 AT gun platoon
- 8 cm mortar platoon
- light infantry gun platoon
- 15 cm Nebelwerfer battery
- 2 x mobelwagen (I just finished painting them and wanted them on the board!)
- plus fortifications
The preliminary bombardment was sucessful in destroying the entire german rocket battery. After the initial preliminary bombardment, the Russians had very bad luck with their artillery section. They did not make a single range in attempt until the last turn (6 turn). The mortars were sucessful and managed to pin the german left flank. The Germans had bad luck in that the light infantry gun platoon took 4 turns to unpin plus the PaK 40s werent firing too straight. The German mortars were deadly as usual.
The Russians made a general advance from the woods across the German front. With the intention of having the Katyusha rockets keep the german’s head down. The Russian Right Flank was able to advance with minimal casualties. However the Russian Left Flank began to distintergrate from the german fire. A combination of both the T34s and engineers managed to breach the minefields and barbed wire.
Once it was certain the Russian Right Flank was going to be sucessful the left and center forces started to move to support. Unfortunately, the Left Flank collapsed just after the repositioning started. They did have one good piece of luck before they routed… the flamethrower teams were able to burn out the Pak40 in the bunker.
The Russian Right Flank was victorious in occupying the Facist lines and was able to secure victory. The T34s had incredible luck and only lost 1 tank to PaK40s and one to a panzerschreck. The remaining tanks made an assault into the german lines and displaced the center portion. However, the Germans were able to force the Russian center Strelkovy to make a platoon check which they failed.
Overall the Russians lost two Strelkovy companies and the Germans lost 2 Grenadier platoons. The German Right Flank was entirely intact, but the position was not defendable. This would be a very costly Russian Victory!