Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Aftermath: Ninth Army Supply Route Open

 We thought it would be an interesting part of the story to show the result of the battle...
The Rzhev supply road opens for business. Ninth Army will now get its post and pepper, food and fodder, munitions and...er...muesli?
 The first thing was to have the pick'n'shovel brigade clear the block...
 ...hustle the POW's to the rear...
 ...having hived some off for the dangerous jobs. In this case the clearing of the marked mine fields.
 RV and final objective of the Cossacks. They wait to see who made it.
 It helps having the people who laid the field lift it...quicker!
 Road widening and repair.
 Graves registration
 Motor transport first. All through WW2 the German Armies remained 75-80% horse drawn transport. Trains to railheads when available did a lot of the work but horses did the lions share of distribution.
 Dobbin also pulled the artillery...
 ...and the PBI got the verge.
 Typical. Tooting everyone aside ADC and comms wagon, plus protection, bumps up. It's all over and safe so staff can come and take the credit.
 Off to the bad side of old Mother Russia...
 ...you never knew who had the worse fate
 This lot are out of it anyway. It's not surprising that figures for Russian casualties are sketchy for the 'The Great Patriotic War' as there were probably hundreds of unmarked mass graves.
'...and the horse you rode in on...sir!'
 Quick O Group.
 Someone always has to catch up
...and that's it. Until the next game.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Part Five: ENDEX - Cossacks Carry the Day

 Throughout the action 5th Panzer's armour has had no real part to play. Neither the infantry, stuck in the marsh move upon move, only the Cossacks who alone kept their mobility and the mortar and Artillery combo have carried the action to a conclusion...
 The Cossacks push on cutting the line of escape for the defenders.
 Meanwhile the road block comes under intense fire mixed with smoke being now the only, and original, bar to success...
 ...the fire is murderous...
 What to do with the prisoners? In this case the dice say to follow the Fuhrer order...
 ...our first plastic atrocity...
 On go the Cossacks, moving to outflank the road block.
 Even without the encumbrance of prisoners the infantry can't get a move on.
 The A/T at the block is knocked out by a mortar round landing behind the shield...
 Another squadron of Cossacks follow the stream along the edge of the wood towards the road.

 The deep penetration group cut of the retreating remnants and take them prisoner...the dice show them to be a descent lot.
 At a canter, the Cossacks make good progress...
 ...but not the PBI...
"So, Hans, you're telling me zis 37 is more of a dinner gong or alarm clock?" 
 ...there's a whole lot of wallowing going on.
 Spotted, the Cossacks come under 120mm mortar fire!

 The guarding cavalry can do nothing to help their comrades.
 At last a target!
 ...Ooops! they look angry...
 The dismounted Cossacks pour fire onto the seemingly unguarded mortar position...
 ...but the supporting company hears the assault and gives covering fire.
 The dismounted take casualties...
 ..and the surviving mortar crew runs for apparent safety!
 The outflanking manoeuvre has failed...
 The other Cossacks cross and approach the block frontally!

 ...wait for it...wait for it...

 Infantry arrive over the hill...at last...
 ...but many stragglers are still to get forward.
 Aware the advanced Cossacks are carrying the fight the HQ and as much support as possible make best speed forward.

 A supporting stonk comes in.

 The survivors of the outflanking group fall back to the cover of the wood.
 There's still life in the blocking company and they cause hits...
 The end is near but no-one is running. They have survived their morale test. Being a separate unit, the road block force rolls separately in the scenario.
 The Cossacks dismount, not wishing to try a frontal assault and work their way...
 ...onto the road block itself


 ...they call in mortar fire as the FOO parties are on the move so there's no comms to the 105's.
 It is concentrated and devastating.
 They don't pass the next morale roll and they surrender.
They go into the bag.

Thanks to Colin for a great game. A number of 'firsts' in this one. All grist to the mill for Stalingrad as we will come across cavalry again in the snows of 'Operation Uranus' at a future date DV.

Next WW2 game - into Stalingrad itself.
Next Napoleonic game - Talavera