Friday, 19 February 2016

Stalingrad: The Barrikady - Part Three

The continuing saga of the siege sees the Germans expanding their lodgement in the workers houses area so they can bring up more heavy weapons
As the companies work their way down the streets to the factories they've learned to keep their eyes open for traps, snipers and ambushes...
 The sIG33B demolishes the fence...err, matchsticks, and moves up in support of the infantry at the end of the road
 One unit tries a dash across the road to the nearest wall of the factory buildings...
 Two STUG's drive over the road and try to shield the next infantry move...
 Nothing moves. No sign of life.
 In the absence of a parking ticket machine, or any change, the Div HQ shoot the parking warden and park up anyway. Clattering towards the grease monkey wagon comes the severely battered Pz III lone survivor of its Coy.
 Out on the marshalling yard the Pz III's protect the infantry as they near the other side. Mortar fire falls ineffectively to the rear.
 Still, it encourages the men to get a move on.
 Smoke from the X rd's drifts across covering the advance...unexpected bonus!
 Out on the road the panzers cover said cross roads
 The last surviving Russian comes out of the cellar of the corner house. Just one survivor!
 Smoke clears and...Ooops! Gunner load HE! Fire at will! Bow let them have it!
Tankski! Kill it! Kill it! Kill it!
 Surprise cuts both ways. A 45mm ATG and some infantry in the ruins at the corner of the yard react to the German tank just appearing out of the smoke
 Both ATG and grenades miss! Poo-ski!!
 Across a couple of blocks and another 45mm ATG gets the drop on one of the STUG III's...
 This time it's a hit...and he's heavily damaged
 Fire erupts from the factory and annihilates the unit crossing the road (If only they'd learned the Green Cross Code)
 Rounds beat up the streets of houses
 The factories are alive with defenders
 Helpless the Germans watch from the top floor of a captured house
 The workers militia are defending their factories. They put down a withering fire.
 Defence in depth is the order of the day.
 The regular RKKA are going to help make the Germans pay....
 ...they occupy every nook and crannie...
 The German infantry absorbs the shock
...and now get into 'pay back' position...I think I can hear Stuka's...yeah, I can

Keep watching the skies 

Friday, 12 February 2016

Stalingrad: The Barrikady - Part two

 The fierce fighting continues to exact a crippling toll from the German attackers...
Having secured the junction a siege within a siege is going on in the workers houses close to the rail embankment
The broken German battalion takes casualties even while it tries to extricate itself from the fire sweeping the front of the corner house
 Meanwhile the Germans in the middle houses are beginning to feel like the hole in the polo mint
 The 4th Battalion is still moving across the marshalling yard when they come under a deluge of mortar fire. 82 and 120mm rounds bracket the troops as they advance to the objective.
 They are told to look out for friendly armoured support coming in from their right
 At the next junction a T34 waits to ambush the panzer column
 The assault pioneers mover up to deal with the end house...
 ...while another assault pioneer company prepare to assault the corner house and cellar
 T34 gets a bead on a Marder III and...
 Wham! Got him!
 Katyushas bracket the middle houses. Clearly the Russians aren't too worried about a 'blue on blue'
 The end house falls to cross fire before the pioneers get there...typical
 ...the cost has been high and the defenders have perished to a man.
 The sIG33B rolls up to the corner house and put a 150mm round in at point blank range...
 ...smoke covers the assault party...
 ...as they scramble over the embankment. Again the pioneers miss out taking the corner house because the sIG33 has finished them off.
The promised tank support arrives and the infantry gets cover to get to the other side of the yard.

With the workers houses in german hands along with the junction exit to the tunnel and the majority of the yard, the Germans are feeling confident but battered. The losses in armour are acceptable for close built up area fighting...but the infantry losses are becoming a problem. If reinforcement doesn't come soon the assault will falter.

So far, left hand German advance 4ft. Right hand, still only a foot. One battalion in reserve, one routed, three at about 50%...but the Stuka support is coming.... 

Monday, 8 February 2016

Stalingrad - Storming the Barrikady Factory District

 Stalingrad a mega post. As the weeks go by I'll get a lot more selective in the picture posts as it will probably become samey. The German assault troops at the forming up point line up for the off...
 The scenario is based on the 'Rapid Fire' one but expanded about 50% initially to compensate for the larger table. We use their special rules too.
 As usual we're waiting for the officers! German 389th Inf Div has put up an expanded 544 Regt. for the initial assault. 14th Pz Div has supplied the 36th Pz Regt as support along with 4 A/T Bn and 13th Pz Engineer Bn.
 Also at the party we have 244 Assault Gun Bn and 389 Artillery Regt.

 There isn't an official FAC for this shindig but 14th Pz HQ is going to do the duty ....if the CO, G2, ADC or anybody with a clipboard can read a map....
 Form up...
 ...off they go...
 It's a mega post because so much happened in so short a time and needs some explaining
 As the infantry went off the smoke (err..giant fried eggs) started to go down
 ...company after company move off all along the start line...
 The embankment is higher than in actual fact but is a barrier to a tank attack as there is only a tunnel for transport so far...
 First shock!
 The T34 is seen immediately as the first wave slither down the bank and make for the row of workers houses...
 The crew wake up fast and spray the front with all its got
 The infantry is committed and gets close to the rubble
 The engines roar accentuated by the tunnel announces the first of the tank support...
 ...quickly followed up by the succeeding vehicles...
 The edge of the marshalling yard is reached without incident...
 ...the 105mm FH18's keep up the smoke fire missions
 The houses come alive with small arms fire. The Germans take a pasting but it's not all one way.
 More tanks roar through into the smoke and firing.
 The Russian infantry of the 308th Rifle Div. hold the line of the houses in force.
 MMG's set up on the bank to give cover to the storming companies
 An observer zeros in on the advancing Germans.
 Bn HQ pushes the men on, not quite realising that it's not artillery but a mine field!
 The supporting T34 starts up. He gets a shout from the infantry about the armour trying to outflank him
 Close assault.
 Germans take heavy casualties crossing the open to make their attacks
 MMG's keep up their relentless supporting fire
 ...but the casualties rack up
 The lead Pz III get a shot off as the T34 reverses. It's a hit. Only a slight damage, a glancing shot.
 Meanwhile, the corner house takes a beating. Pz IV F1's and PZ III N's pump 75mm rounds through the walls and windows.
 The other tanks skirt round and on to the cross roads.
 T34 revs out. Spins on its tracks...
 ...and shoots the Pz III in the turret.
 Another assault goes in...while a guy with a beard and a pink shirt watches from out of the blue, for some reason....
 The workers houses are swarming with defenders
 It's a hard slogging match
 Suddenly the smoke drifts to reveal a T70 at under point blank range!
 The gunners pour in the fire.
 Only the 150mm pieces are heavy enough to get the cellars to cave in.
 They fire non stop.
 The tanks are so close to the buildings (allowed with infantry support) that one falls victim to anti-tank rifles!
 Infantry continue across the yard
 Forced back the Germans gather for another go!
 This lot were so battered about that they went to ground, pinned.
 Russians shout insults from the buildings! "Call that a painted barge!?" they cry (must sound funnier in Russian)
 Middle house taken!
 Cross roads occupied...
 Broken Battalion heads for cover...
 A second house falls!
 At last the engineers have got the ramp built.
 Assault Pioneers wait to go in.
 More tanks deploy
 The corner house just won't give in!
 At the other end of the row the Germans, having secured next door, with a higher bid, enfilade the defenders.
 Detritus of the German failure to take the corner house lies all around
 ...some never made it past the start line.
 The Germans are taking hold...
 ...and consolidating.
 Now they can see the enormity of their task!
 The corner house hangs on. Must belong to Sgt. Pavlov!
 At the other end they hang on grimly. The toll rises.
 Up goes 244 Assault Gun Battalion.
 ...and the other side of the yard looks a long way away.
 It's eerily calm for them.
 4th A/T Bn arrive and get forward.
 A Pz III, burnt out, sits forlornly as a coffin for its crew.

The German advance got exactly one foot (30cm) from the start line.

It's going to be a hard battle....