Friday, 31 March 2017

Kursk - Part Eight: Keep on keepin' on

 Ivan wrecks another Tiger...not that the Germans started with many, even in the actual battle. I have read statistical analysis that explains that there were never more than 100 Tigers up and running at any one time across the whole Russian Front. Production and repair facilities couldn't keep up with losses...
 From 1943 onwards you were 4 times as likely to see a Panther or late mark Pz IVH and a StuG more often than a tank at all. In fact most anti-tank work on both Eastern and Western Fronts was carried out on the Axis side by 88's or various Marder and ad hoc conversions
 A Pe 2 comes in to strafe and bomb. The culprit is spotted by the overwatching Flakvierling...
 ...and immediately brought down
 The artillery continues to relocate. They have to move in batteries and have ten feet to go...
 ...GHQ has decided to risk getting closer to the action (they have a 16 ft journey)
 This period is critical for the Germans as the Luftwaffe is having a fuel shortage crisis and they were supposed to take up more of the slack while the artillery moves
 ...still, the Panzerwaffe is confident of victory. They haven't been beaten in the summer.
 Another blockhouse anti-tank hedgehog takes a battering
 In the absence of friends (the expected 79 Infantry Division and support) 18 Pz is at the first objective earlier than expected with much lighter casualties and decides to recce the other side of the Orel/Kursk railway line, across the Divisional boundary, so that 9 Pz can carry on towards the next objective (Ponyri) without delay
 18 Panzer will follow the railway and cover the left flank of 9 Panzer...
 9 Panzer is expecting friends on its right to arrive at the objective at the same time
 Leaving the casualties cooking off behind them they eagerly advance, sensing victory already
 The Germans may well change history. They are well forward through the first defensive belt, as per the battle. They are not too badly knocked about, as per the battle...
 The Russians have a lot more artillery moving into the defence of the Ponyri sector, also as per the battle...
 Several other historical features are the same....They have support and reinforcement left flank, right flank and to the rear...
 ...and Russian infiltration.
 Two Russian SMG companies appear behind 18 Panzer among their Panzergrenadiers and take out some transport...
...immediately the Germans go into their anti-ambush drills. On ambush, if your enemy is within charge range - you must assault with all fire power at your disposal and close with the bayonet. Ambushes, by their nature are triggered to the advantage of the enemy and only resolute action will give you any chance of survival...

Home never seemed so far away

My thanks as always to Colin, Ross, Alan and Tom... well done Tom, you made it to retirement the object of the exercise!

Next time: 'You're late!...but we'll forgive you'


  1. You're making me homesick...

    1. Home is where the heart is...come up and have a few games. I know Ferdi and the gang would love it.

  2. Thanks, your battle reports are really excellent. You must have a Tonnage of models etc!

    1. Thank you Paul. I only do the one scale and, until I got caught out with a few Napoleonics, only did the one period. The collection is large but I need to be more disciplined or I'll be dead before the last model is built

  3. In the heart of the action...Spectacular and beautiful!

    1. Thanks Phil. The Germans are on a roll and the Russians are waiting to spring the trap.

  4. This is just SO epic! Love the game, love the scale.

    Looking forward to reading more.

    1. Thanks Robert. I've been on holiday but we're getting back down to it now

  5. In my brief career as a young squaddie, I always thought anti-ambush drills were shockingly counterintuitive - what, run towards that fellow what's shooting at me?
    Tigers - yes, every Flames of War game I see at my club has Tigers, Elefants, Ferdinands, Mauses all parked wheel to wheel and blazing away. So much history.