Road to Warsaw   Leave a comment

With the successful Bagration offensive in summer of 1944, the Soviet Armies pushed toward Warsaw in late August.   The 3rd SS Panzer Division stands in the way of the 8th Guards Army. 

The sides:

3rd SS Panzer

  • Panzergrenadier HQ w/panzerfaust (2x Sdkfz 251)
  • SS Panzer Platoon (4 x Panther A)
  • SS Panzergrenadier platoon
  • SS Panzergrenadier platoon
  • SS Anti aircraft gun platoon (2x Sdkfz 10/3 2cm AA)
  • SS Tank Hunter (2x StuG G)

 8th Guards Army

  • Guards Motorstrelkovy HQ                                                        
  • Guards Motostrelkovy Company (2 platoons)   
  • Guards Motostrelkovy Company (2 platoons)
  • Guards Rocket Artillery Battery (6x Katyusha)                                   
  • Priority Air IL2m Stormovik                                                         
  • Guards Heavy Assault    (3x ISU 122)                       
  • Guards Tankovy                 (5x T34/85)

Terrain was a a good mix of forest, open terrain, farms, and a swamp.

Soviet Army initiated the fight.  They deployed a motostrelkovy company on their left objective to hold until relieved.  The primary push would be on the right trying to use as much cover as possible.  Soviet air forces failed to arrive the first turn.  Mike set up his german forces to counter the main soviet force and had a panzer grenadier platoon run up the flank.  The panther tanks opened up and took first blood by destroying 2 ISU 122 at long range.   The remaining ISU 122 failed a morale check and left in disgrace.

Soviet airpower failed to arrive the second turn.  The soviets shrugged off the loss of the main AT element and continued forward on the right.  The rocket batteries redeployed due to the threat of the panthers.  German forces changed focus and concentrated the panthers and one panzer grenadier platoon toward the lonely motostrelkovy company sitting on an objective. 

During the third turn, Soviet Airpower made an appearance to strike at the StuGs which were hiding in a forest.   Pilots reported 4 destroyed tanks, but ground forces identified no loss to the enemy forces.  T34s entered a portion of the forest to chase down a lone panzer grenadier regiment.  The germans suffered numerous confirmed casualites and made a withdrawl on their turn.  The soviet momentum stalled out on the right flank due to the germans holding the center of the map with superior panthers.  

 Next turn Soviet artillery struck hard and destroyed one german AA assest.  Soviet airpower bailed one panther only to see it continue.  Multiple T34s were bogged down in the forest with the result of a continued loss of momentum.  Some T34s were able to kill some fascist infantry in the open.  The german center thrust began to open up on the valiant soviet defenders.  Soviets suffered minor losses. 

The germans presented a ripe target for soviet airpower the next turn, however due to excessive vodka rations, the soviet pilots only destroyed one german Sdkfz 251.  The panthers survived.   The german army continued their effort to whittle down the soviet defense.

At this point Soviet Airpower failed to return to the battlefield.  Three T35/85s made a brillian tactical maneuver and destroyed 2 German Stugs at the loss of only one tank to return fire from panthers.  The Soviet defenders were hanging on for life to the german seige.  Soviet artillery managed to knock out another german infantry team. 

With the lack of airpower, unable to assault the panthers due to tank assault 1 for SMG teams, and the ineffective artillery against panthers, the only option available for the Soviets was to race to an open objective in an attempt to win the game.   However, Mike was able to clear the remaining soviet defenders through shear firepower and a final assault.  The Soviet T34s were only one inch from taking the open  objective.  Germans can claim this battle, but both sides lost two platoons each.

Overall the game was a very fast paced match.  The loss of the soviet AT early in the game and ineffective airpower allowed the panthers to rule the table.  A couple good learning points were that SMG teams have no possibility against tanks and that rocket artillery has pretty much no impact against tanks.  I should have also used the cannons against the panthers instead of rockets, but somehow I dont think that would have tipped the balance fast enough against the panthers.

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