Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Operation "Bagration" 1944: The Rout (Part Three)

 The chaos continues as the fuel runs out and the panic begins to set in. The flak gunners see IL2's of the 3rd Aviation Regiment nose into a shallow attack run

'Up a bit...right a bit...'

 First aircraft dives...
 ...and all the flak along the route opens up. Quads, single 20mm, 37mm, small arms, kitchen sinks and officers napkin rings are thrown at the attackers.
 ...a hit...
 ..and too low to bail out the Sturmovik spins into the ground.
 The next is all bombs...
 ...and raking cannon fire. Fortunately for the troops it's none too effective.
 Russians....and lots of them.
 T34 Battalions supported by tank riding infantry Battalion's at the 6 expected.
 ...and at the 3 position...not expected (pretty good Russian dice roll by Comrade Colinski)
 Unlike the larger tactical picture the local Russian attack from the 3 position is quite uncoordinated. The Russians not being used to a vulnerable, target rich environment. Panthers are bounced but at the cost of a clear attack into town.

 Accompanying anti-tank company now believe in Christmas and almost fluff it.
 Meanwhile, 1 o'clock is the nightmare they had hoped (and the roll was set) to avoid becomes a reality. Von Billy sobs into handkerchief. PAK 40's are valiant but swamped. Flak is engaged at CQ and fights desperately...
 The 3 makes an enveloping shake out to its right...
 The 1 gets an idea that opposition could be patchy...
 The 6 is tardy at getting forward to support 3 but keeps German attention divided.
 Quick at the response the Hun concentrates mortar and small arms fire, supported by a 20mm Quad Flak in the ground role upon the infantry battalion in the van of the attack by 3.
 Corps HQ is shank's pony through town as the situation becomes awkward.
 ....frontal assault by two forward companies is roughly handled by vigorous defence.
'Give that comrade a coconut!'
 Cheering for the hit...but the lead Inf Bn is decimated and a poor morale roll send them into a rout.
 The 1 group decides on a stop for a sit rep and O group.
 Flak gunners having a field day...
 ...No 2 goes in..
'Get the chalk out Hans'
 Jubilant gunners watch the second kill fall...only two successful runs in so far
 Other gunners not so lucky.
 Some move up along the road..
 ...keeping to the cover of the tanks...
 ..others do the sneaky peaky out flanking  manoeuvre...
 ...accompanied by infantry.
 Out of fuel Pumas face the direction of the enemy and wait.
 The lucky ones are over the river...

More lost flak...victory is fleeting. However, the town defence is still holding up well.

 Too little, too late.

The 3 sweeps on to out flank the town and cut the road, the only viable escape route.
The out flank... set to be effectively within reach of the main escape junction...

...but this crews panic is over...

and this lot couldn't be more relieved.

Next time....the end?


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Paul, though I think it will be a lot shorter game than we had thought at first. More Russians to come but they will probably only get a 'walk on' part. Ironically, in the real battle the Russians had problems with supply at first but this represents the total chaos of the German situation.

  2. Hi Simon, Fantasic as usual ,looking forward to seeing you on tuesday, will be asking lots of questions about your German army.

    1. ...anything to oblige Billy. Hugh plays a bobby dazzler so it will be recorded for posterity. Bring a camera.