Friday, 6 May 2016

Stalingrad: Part Nine - High Tide

 Again the Katyushas and mortars come down on the forming up points and the road which is the start line for this final German push
"If I stand up I'll get a hole in mein clip board!"
Three shredded battalions supported by the last of the assault pioneers put it the last desparate attack to take the second half of the Barrikady complex

 The infantry queues for its place in the mincer...
 ...no one is under any illusions in this wasted place...
 ...mortar crews count off the seconds to the whistle
 GHQ sees only the defensive barrage ahead and that the last of the Divisional reserve has passed it by
 Boots and engines no longer roar through the under pass
 But there are prisoners to interrogate. These units are newly arrived and were but a few days before east of the Volga...
 The General can see for himself the destruction of his Division
 The HQ Flak unit scans the sky but sees no Russian aircraft. Ominously, it sees no German aircraft either...
 The Russians hold their mound of rubble...
 ...with desperate tenacity
 German infantry assaults with reciprocal ferocity (I'm running out of period troops hence the soldier with an MP44!)
 German mortar round fall all around the Russian positions taking a high toll of the defenders
 Two companies sacrifice cover for speed
 ...but all movement in this city leads to high casualties and tactical failure
 The losses are unsustainable
 and even the best are liable to crack. The engineer battalion suffers 75% losses and pulls back into the cover of taken ground
With neither jubilation nor despair the Russian defenders watch the Germans reel their necks in. So far they have survived but will they prevail?

A biting wind slices in from the east. Experienced Russians can smell the snow in the air and know that their greatest general is coming to the city on the Volga...General Winter, scourge of the Invader.

Next Time: The butcher's bill so far and free ice lollies in new water flavour!

Thanks to 'Stalin's little helpers' Alan, Ross, Ferdy and Colin.

10 comments:

  1. What a great report! Atmospheric and beautiful pictures...

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    1. Thanks Phil. You may get bored before the end. It's quite a saga full of snow and steppes with Romanians and Italians squashed by T34's, yadda, yadda, yadda...

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  2. Superb- never get tired of these Stalingrad reports. Keep them coming.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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    1. Thanks Pete but be careful what you wish for! It started in a corn field and now this...followed by Frosty the snowmen with PPSh's, mosin-nagants and riding tanks across the snow

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  3. I echo Phil and Pete's comments - excellent series of posts, and still they keep coming!

    Really enjoying figure spotting as well - you have a great collection on minis.

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    1. Thanks Sun, I love the plastics most of all. I have some metal fellas but the bewildering number of plastics on the market mean you can get a fair spread of types and poses. We may break a couple of weeks with Talavera 2 (the return...this time it's perturbable) but we've a good dozen or so Stalingrad-Esque to go!

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  4. I've been looking to your Stalingrad post and I like them a lot! Great gaming table to! Keep them coming!
    That makes me your 100th follower of this blog! And I have put you on my blogrol so I can follow your next posts!

    Greetings
    Peter

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  5. Welcome and thanks Peter! Triple digits, never thought it would get such an interested number of folk. I hope you continue to enjoy the blog. The guy's and I enjoy playing toy soldiers in the sand pit and taking photos of the action. All the pictures and commentary are of the actual games i.e. we're not doing a 'Commando' comic in photos we're just recording our antics...er...games

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks Spyros. Hope you enjoy all the blog posts.

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