Assault on Kaptianovka is the second battle for the pocket forces in the Korsun Campaign series. The battle which was fought in the February 1944 pitted the 389th Infantry Division against elements of the Soviet 53rd Army. The 389th was able to hold out long enough, so that reinforcements were able to arrive. However, the overwhelming strength of the Soviet offensive won the town over and ultimately forced the Germans back.
The battlefield consisted of a snowy plain with a tree covered high ground to the west. The town of Kapitanovka is nestled in the center of the map where important important crossroads lie. The game started out with fog which followsthe night fighting rules and the snowy plain was difficult going. One objective was in at the western portion of the city and other was further west in the forest. The scenario is based on Hold the Line as opposed to the recommended Breakthrough scenario.
The Allies are based on a motostrelkovy with tanks and guards tank support:
- HQ + 2 x Motostrelkovy Companies
- 6 x T34/76mm
- 4 x IS2
- Katyusha battery with 6 guns
- Reserve Tankovy with 6 x T34/76mm
The Axis Powers are based on the 389th Infantry Division (grenadiers)
- HQ + 3 Grenadier Platoons
- HMG platoon
- Mortar Platoon
- 7.5 cm Pak 40 Platoon
- 88mm FlaK 36 platoon
- Pioneer Platoon
- Light Infantry Gun Platoon
The Fog was a great assest and allowed the Soviet forces to advance for 3 turns without taking fire. The Germans were unable to spot any units in the foggy soup. The soviet main thrust was on the left flank with a secondary thrust up the center. The germans Deployed one grenadier company in the town and the pioneer platoon on the north side of town with two 88mm AT guns. The nebelwerfer battery was to take first blood and knock out three rifle/mg teams from the Soviet company coming up the center.
The difficult terrain only slowed a few tanks down and the IS2s were able to set up on the left flank for a strike against the grenadier hiding in the town. Their first volley managed to kill two teams hiding in a building. The shear fire power and no saves with the IS2 makes it a great weapon for routing infantry from the town. The germans begane to move back to remain out of sight of the IS2s.
The motostrelkovy company coming up the center managed to take some houses from the german pioneer platoon, but casualties mounted very fast. The motostrelkovy company on the left took minimal casualites and was able to secure a number of buildings from the retreating germans. The German’s new plan was to suck the soviets heavy armor further into the city and take them out with AT guns. They managed to kill one IS2 from this tactic.
As the battle started to grind to a stalemate, the Soviets T34s tried to make a run around the germans on the right flank. However, the Germans revealed their ambush forces and destroyed 3 of the remaining 5 T34s. The last two passed a morale check and made a hasty withdrawl. The scattering T34s didnt make it far as the PaK 40s took them out the next turn.
In an attempt to slow the weakened Motostrelkovy coming up the center the German Pioneer platoon made an attack with a flamethrower destroying two teams and managed to get lucky a shot and kill one team hiding in a building. The Soviets in a panic after the flamethrower attack failed their morale check and ran for the rear.
The Soviets were able to call upon 6 more T34s from reserve, which were part of the scenario. These tanks then headed straight for the sole surviving 88mm guarding the city objective. Despite a tremendous amount of fire power the 88mm survived artillery and direct fire. However, the T34 assault was able to destroy the AT gun with no loses thanks to the gun being pinned. The T34s then made a breakthrough assault and cleared the objective.
The fog in this scenario really helped the Russians. Unfortunately, the fighting in the town slowed the infantry and tank advance considerably. A possible solution instead of going through the town would have been a full assault on the Soviet right flank. The only risk would have been the 88mms and PaK 40s getting some lucky hits in early. However, the sheer weight of infantry would have carried the woods.