Monday, 27 March 2017

Kursk - Part Seven: The march into the flames

FIRE! (in Russian)
The Russian god of war shouts
The artillery blazes along the edge of the battlefield
 122 and 152mm guns and howitzers...
 throw shell after shell down on the German attackers
 The deluge finds a myriad of victims
 The Germans have been expecting a riposte but this is extreme
 ...and very effective
 Up goes a Tiger
 ...but the phalanx keeps advancing
 Meanwhile, on the other side of the railway line anti-tank guns take shots...
 ... at the elements of 18 Pz as they use the hard ground of the embankment to infiltrate the Russian defences.
 Scanning for targets/threats...
 ...reaction to effective enemy fire...
 ...I see you...
 Whack!
 An apparent hornet's nest of A/T opens up
 ...and is dealt with quickly
 Back at the schwerpunkt the panzers roll on...
 ...determined to get out from under the fall of shot

 More anti-tank...
...still more artillery


Next: 'Help me obi (79th Infantry Division) kenobi you're my (second to last) hope'...and an advert for eardrum replacement.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Kursk: Part Six - A Bird in the hand...

...is worth two ZIS 3's in the bush. We did a tidy up move last night. Ross brought down his new and improved burn markers...I'll have to get him to do a 'How to' set of pics.
Meanwhile the StuG's are burning nicely thanks.
 ...and from another angle
 The Light Flak Battalions feel confident to leapfrog forward...
 ...and some of the artillery are moving through the clear ways of the minfields
Gently does it!
 The 150's prepare to follow
 The horse drawn stuff is just as quick cross country as the motorised in Rapid Fire!
 Working off recce photos, FGA is sent out to hit known targets in preparation for the next push
 ...but the place
 ...is covered
 ...with a phalanx
 ...of Russian Flak
 It quickly sees of the Hs 129 with a withering deluge of anti-aircraft fire
 For now, the dug in T34's are safe from above
 Along the embankment, and from concealed positions, the ZIS 3 76.2 anti-tank guns pour fire onto the reorganising German armour
'I think there's something wrong with our sights today comrade'
 ...but they get little joy
 ...the riposte is swift and devastating
 Guns bark...
 ...and are silenced
 ...by the lead Tigers. Wittmann, the humourless automaton Tiger ace killed by the British in Normandy, said he was more pleased by knocking out A/T guns than tanks as they were the harder to spot and hit
 The dismounted OP team get onto the tracks of the Orel-Kursk railway line
'Hey Hans, why are we doing recce's job for them'
 ...and accidentally spring the anti-tank rifle ambush prematurely
 The Pz III N's get some shots in to deal with the problem
 Initially, at least, the Pz II N was allocated to the Tiger battalions for just such circumstances a this but were withdrawn once the battalions were fully up to strength
 Damaged vehicles come into HQ at this point for repair
 86 Infantry Division has received orders to consolidate the trench system along with the cover afforded by their attached StuG battalion
 They explore the labyrinth while awaiting the artillery and heavy Flak Battalion to come forward and beef up the defence
 18 Pz Div is still pretty intact and begins to realign to the railway
 ...once it is safely across the trench system on their flank
 Tigers get to hull down positions while 9 Pz carries out a tricky manoeuvre transferring lorried infantry to half-tracks while under observation

...and the Russians just wait, keeping their powder dry and soaking up the Germans fury.

Next: Panzer marsch!