Saturday, 28 January 2012


This was a company-sized Escalation game, giving my Tank Corps a run out against a Panzer Division battle group and it turned out be to a very close run thing. There were objectives: a. the hilltop (marked by burning T-34), b. a village hut, c. road junction.

My forces where:
Battle Group HQ in Jeep
BA-63 armoured car
Motorised Rifle platoon in trucks
Motorised Rifle platoon tank riding
Maxim MG team
AT Rifle team
76.2mm Infantry Gun
T-34 squadron (3)
SU-76M Battery (3)
FAO Team
2 High Priority Artillery Requests

They would be facing:
Battle Group HQ in SdKfz 251/3
SdKfz 223 radio armoured car
SdKfz 232 armoured car
Armoured Panzer Grenadier Platoon in half tracks
80mm mortar team
Pz IVH squadron (3)
FAO Team
Off-table 2 x 120mm mortars
Timed 105mm howitzer barrage

The battle began slowly, with the BA-64 claiming the hut objective, and half the panzer grenadier platoon racing forward to occupy the woods on the German left, trading fire with the BA-64. 

Meanwhile, the Tiger arrived and it moved to the right of the hill, using the wooden hut as cover, and traded the first long range shots with the SU-152  behind the railway line, but to no effect. In the centre the T-34s raced onto the board, each loaded down with riflemen, and heading straight for the hilltop objective. 

The Tiger's advance.

T-34s heading for Point 172 

The SU-76Ms slip left and right, two moving to engage the arriving Panzer IV squadron from the railway embankment. The third went left, and ran smack into a barrage of 105mm shells landing on turn 3, a direct hit destroying the Suka. 

The Panzer IV platoon, note the panzer grenadiers holding the wood beyond.

The focus of the battle flared in the centre as the T-34 crested the high ground, disembarking their infantry to claim the hill top objective, and a T-34 suppressed the Tiger - mercifully protecting them  from incoming 88 fire. But the Panzer IVs broke off their long range engagement with the Sukas to destroy two of the three T-34s on the hill, and the hill drew mortar and machine gun fire, which suppressed all 5 infantry units . The centre was now cauldron for fire for two or three turns, but the Russians endured it, to hold the objective despite the 120mm mortar fire sweeping the hilltop for most of the rest of the game.

The tanks crest the hill (burning one marks an objective)

Scratch two T-34s as the infantry dismount. Note, the T-70 is off to grab the last objective, the junction by the hut. 

Objective seized! Then lost, as the Tiger tank destroyed the T-70.

The T-70 made a sneaky break to win the game, moving to grab the last objective, but the Tiger, now unsuppressed, responded and destroyed it just in time to prevent a sudden defeat for losing all the objectives. 

On the Russian right the second motor rifle platoon deployed into the village and began to push forwards on foot, to clear the woods, which were well-held by 2 squads, 2 MG teams and their 2 251s. The focus of the battle now shifted to here, as the panzer IVs, now reloaded, rejoined the battle with their MGs and HE shells. 

 The trucks bring in the second platoon. Sukas ahead.
Infantry attacking the woods, with support from the BA-64 and Suka

Grenadiers, Hanomags and 232 engaging the hilltop.

Aware that the Germans were behind on the morale count, the Panzer IVs switch targets from the infantry to their parked trucks, and their machineguns raked them, destroy three, and cost me 9 morale! I should have hidden them behind the railway embankment. 
Still, I tried a second time a steal the last objective, with my maxim mg team moving to claim it, and the now reloaded SU-152 rumbling up behind. At which point the Tiger broke down and was immobilised. This move elicited a desperate German response, and all that could react was their radio armoured car and its single MG. It was SdKfz 223 vs SU-152! The armoured car’s fire saved the day by destroying the MG team, before taking a 152mm shell at close range.

The SU-152 making for the objective

Mismatch, SU-152 vs 223 radio vehicle at point blank range.
The German’s were desperate to break me, knowing the objective would fall to the SU-152 next turn, with a hail of MG fire against my infantry on the right who took the brunt of it, and two squads were wiped out. The resulting 5 morale loss broke the Russians by 1 point. Harsh! The Germans hrevealed they had 1 point left! 

Drat! (not the word I used at the time). The narrowest of defeats, and when I had twice been so close to winning by holding all three objectives. It was a memorable battle, especially the look on my opponent’s face when, with the SU-152 closing in, his Tiger broke down! The heavy casualties inflicted by German machine guns cost me the game, and the loss of the trucks. It was my error to leave them exposed, and interesting to find out that the best way to destroy them was 4 shots per turn from the tank MGs.  I should have withdrawn them, but I never felt I had enough activations. Many things never got done, my SU-76Ms ran out of ammo, withdrew and never got re-supplied.  My artillery did almost nothing. 

Lessons to learn, but a fun evening, and as I write Liverpool have beaten Utd, happy days!

1. T-34s and tank riders capture the hill.
2. Truck-borne infantry advance, dismount and attack on foot.
3. 2 Panzer Grenadier squads hold the woods, supported by 3 Panzer IVs.
4. Tiger advances and breaks down!
5. Deployed Panzer Grenadiers engaging the hilltop.
6. SU-152’s advance.


  1. Great looking game and report.

  2. Woah, this is great reading.
    I need to drop by here much more often!