Thursday, 9 March 2017

Kursk: Part Four - Pulverising

Another big post, trying to keep up with the action. The combined armour and infantry assault slams into the front line and the Russians take the heat. It must have been noisy for the amount of fire was prodigious...
Direct fire from the approaching panzers
 Sturmovik Il2's attack the seemingly exposed columns of advancing vehicles only to be driven off by effective Flak
 Brigaded Russian 82mm mortars lay down a barrage...
 ...making life uncomfortable for the advancing German infantry and open topped vehicles
 Flak leapfrogs forward
 Advancing through mud and smoke adds to the chaos of a traffic jam...

 Units begin to lose their way and get mixed up...
 Russians scurry about their positions checking on the surprises set for the enemy...
 The front line of trenches succumbs to overwhelming firepower

 A few survivors try to throw in the towel...

 Temporarily the Germans have air superiority...
 ... top cover and ground attack...
 ...but the Russians won't ceed airspace for long...
 It seems it takes a brave man to try and surrender...

 The ferocity of the barrage continues unabated...

 ...only two pioneers make it out of the inferno of their Hanomag...
 ...and Russian Flak reasserts itself driving off an Hs 129
"Change of underwear comrade?" ..."Ah! you're spoiling us embassador"
 The defenders watch in horror as the tanks advance over the minefield to no effect
 ...and the Pz III N's pour in fire from point blank range after passing their morale in order to approach infantry without infantry support themselves
 The long 45mm anti-tank guns have a target rich environment...

 ...also a disadvantage!
 18 Pz Div keeps a coherent but wobbly line of advance. You have to imagine another Division, the 20th, to its left and right of 9 Pz Div would be 2nd Pz Division so our battle is the slice in the middle so to speak...
 Div HQ can't see much further than the bonnet of the kubelwagen
 The Panzergrenadiers keep formation with the shield of the armour to the front...
 ...and hope not to drop off the end of the world into a ditch or ravine
 9 Pz and 86 Inf Divisions cross into the first trench system
 A/T guns try to get the oblique shots in...
 Russian fire tries to separate off the supporting infantry from the armour...
 ...so far, they've not been very successful...
 The panzers keep up the pace despite the feeling of putting their collective heads in a noose

 Wheeled transport is forced into evasive manoeuvres
 The armour feels invincible...
 ...mostly...
 clearing begins
 This process can soak up infantry...
 ...cause dissipation of effort...
 ...and loss of direction
 Tightening up can increase good command and control but...
 can lead to fatal bunching up
 GAF driven off again
 casualties mount
 A bad place to call a halt...
 ...but units are now getting hopelessly entangled
 One whole go of no momentum while the units sort themselves out.
 Orders are calmly stated over the net and compass bearings and landmarks are checked
 But a high rate of fire is kept up not allowing the enemy too much advantage
 And 'Driver advance' is called. Goodbye ATG.
 The heavy stuff is raining down now
 Although the immediate known A/T threat is under some control, casualties continue to rise
 Infantry see trenches as a mixed blessing...
 ...away from direct fire but you don't know what you might find
 Flakvierling has never been so busy
 Ground is being gained...
 ...at a price
 All is going according to the German plan
"Ok, last one out is a flat pancake!"
 'Knock, knock' Tiger wants into RHQ. Comrade Commissar is asked if we can all run away now?
 Panzergrenadiers sans Hanomag try to keep up with their mates...
 ...it's a slog jog.
 Zis 3's open up...
 Looks forbidding but...
...the next anti-tank gun line has just drawn a bead...

Next: Getting out of this mess in time to get into the next

10 comments:

  1. This is wargaming as Dino Di Laurentis would have done it. Just needs a cheesy string soundtrack.
    The flame effects are most convincing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Padre, working on it. I'll have a word with Colin Sebastian Bach our musical director.

      Delete
  2. Great stuff- the last photo of the partially obscured ATG is great.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Pete. PAK fronts and FGA are thinning out the armour. Infantry and artillery combined with katyushas is trying to separate off the infantry support.

      Delete
  3. I just wanna say thanks for the writer and wish you all the best for coming!
    facebook

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Appreciated. I'm not on facebook - but please make yourself known.

      Delete
  4. Another great chapter in this marvellous Warfare Encyclopedia!!!

    ReplyDelete