Monday, 4 August 2014

Glozow, Spring, 1945. FotR at the Kildare big weekender...

This was a battalion-level historical scenario seeing a Russian armoured attack against the defences of Golzow, with the aim of closing the Kustrin corridor. Facing the big Russian tanks would be local defenders of the Golzow Volkssturm  and behind them, the far more (we thought) hard fighting forces from Panzer Division Munchberg, backed by 502nd Schwere SS Panzers’ King Tigers.

Below is the board and some shots of the battle. Each Russian player took one of the four waves, arriving from turns 1 to 4. I volunteered for the honour of the lead, taking the lightest and fastest tanks, 2 SU-85s, an infantry platoon (they would have to run) and some other scout assets with the OP team, all to get into position quickly and get our off-table guns and mortars firing.

Following would be the strike forces of JS-IIs, T-34/85s, ISU-122s and 152s. The second wave would overrun the Volkssturm trenches, then waves three and four would crash on through towards Glozow, with the fourth wave storming the town itself. That was the plan, but we all know plans don’t survive contact with the enemy.

My speeding first wave had to take an objective on the right hand hill, held by a dug-in PAK-43. That gun, and its twin on the left ridge, next to the big church, would kill 9 advancing tanks before finally being knocked out, when their crews abandoned them with the Russians just outside. The line of my in-cautious advance was marked by burning T-34s, although our repair halftrack (captured SdKfz251/1)  did fix an SU-85 and get it back in the battle.

My infantry fared well in casualties having run miles, until a Nebelwerfer strike landed closeby and caused carnage, then a VS MG-42 added to the death-toll, leaving my platoon gutted down to 6 survivors. By the time the VS had finally been assaulted at close range and destroyed, all I had left was my SU-85s, which positioned themselves by the road in the gap between the hills and engaged the waiting gun line of big German tanks at long range. Here they fared well, in a battle of heavyweights as the JS-IIs and King Tigers pounded away, they scored two StuG kills (more their league really).

By now it was late, we had played hard all day, we were hungry, weary and any assault on Golzow itself looked like another huge game with what we had left (probably not enough). The big tank engagement lasted for about 3 turns each, and I kept track of the ammo. 54 German AP shells fired scored just 2 kills (and lots of unlucky glances on JS-IIs – whoo-hoo). 20 Russian shots fired scored 4 kills (2 Panthers for the JS-IIs, 2 StuGs for my SU-85s). A small victory, but Golzow just couldn’t be stormed. 

We called it a day, a German win, but we had lost 59 BR, the Germans had lost 50, surprisingly close given the losses!

 First blood, an SU-85s encounters a Pak-43 round at 60+"s. Later it got repaired and rejoined the battle.

Urrah! Frontoviks following on as fast as they can.

Scout team, carefully into position for mortar spotting.

T-70s and T-43/76s lined up for the race up the table. Might as well let the weakest tanks face the big guns first and see if they can't save the following waves the damage. That didn't work!

Back in Golzow, Panthers arrive and deploy on ambush fire for the later battle.

Second wave, T34/85s and SU-76s for direct fire support on the trenches. 76mm guns barely dented them!

  Recce T-70s go first, hoping to find minefields... they didn't, and neither survived the fusillade of German fire. Beyond are the Volkssturm trenches in front of the big church.

Old men and boys, dug-in. They fought to the last and died to the man, but what a fight!

The SS big cats await the Russian onslaught at Golzow.

Infantry support on their way into the town.

Dug-in 88, tank-killer and immoveable, despite Katyusha fire, SU-76 fire, MG fire, they just hung on and kept firing, dam-them!

 My T-34s head for the hill objective, just before they began to brew-up from 88 fire.

 Wave three arrives behind me, the heavy metal. This was our main breakthrough wave 
to face the big cats waiting them at Golzow.

 Ouch! First T-34 goes up from the 88, still at long range.

Motorised rifles, our reserve for deployment for the assault on Golzow, held at the back most of the game.
 Big guns... targeting the church to bring it down, our 203mm howitzer caught a direct hit from a 120mm mortar shell and the crew fled! Thwarted again!

My SU-85, on ambush fire, should any German armour push forwards to support the Volkssturm. They didn't, leaving the locals to the Russians... harsh!

 The view off the hill into the valley, full of red armour.

 Third wave, still rolling!

T34s and tank riders move up to face the trenches, and MGs let rip. This attack stalled, 
and the fourth wave, following behind, pushed through to finish it.

Even the SU-76 fire support couldn't help much.

 T-70s close in on the Pak-43, MGs blazing, to no effect.

Return fire has dramatic effects... boo!

and still they come!

 and still they wait for targets, soon there will be many.

not just for big cats either.

even ambushing infantry were waiting with remarkable patiences to get into the game. Sneaky.

 Whilst these did get into the game, every 3 turns battering our advance with rocket strikes until the OP team was found and killed.

Russian infantry stormed the trenches, at great cost. 
Volkssturm finally destroyed and the advance to Golzow is on!

PT-34 mineroller comes forwrad to clear a way, then caught a StuG 75mm shell and thus ended its war!

Finally targets for the ambush fire... a fusillade that scored, erm, no kills!

SU-85s finally engage... as the JS-IIs move up to join them.

The gun duel about to begin as the JS-IIs finally come face to face with the Panthers and King Tigers.

 AA defences for Golzow, but no aircraft showed up, for either side.

Ammo truck comes up to re-arm the King Tiger panzer ace.

 A hit, scratch 1 Panther... 122mm AP shells - nice!

 My SU-85's first kill, winning its dual with a StuG - at least my guys did something beyond just dying!


  1. Smashing! This is what an armored WWII battle should resemble. Two questions: which rules are you playing and what scale are your delightfully painted miniatures? Well done, sir! well done!
    A/K/A The Celtic Curmudgeon
    "Grumpy is good."

    1. The rules are Battlegroup (the best around!), using the Fall of the Reich supplement for 1945. All models are 20mm, although the game is written for15mm or 20mm. Thx

  2. Amazing game Warwick! I need to do something similar! I know it was battalion size game, but how many points per sides? And how many players and how long you've played the game (how many hours) ? I know too many questions...

  3. Spectacular and inspirational stuff.

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  5. We didn't add up points, the forces were pre-set by the scenario, but it must have been 2000ish. 7 hours, 4 players per side... a full days gaming.

  6. Really nice report, I'm impatiently awaiting the arrival of my BGK book.... I only ordered it yesterday but well....

    Pity that you ran out of steam/time, It would have been cool to see the final assault on the town, Maybe in another report eh?


  7. Awesome stuff, Warwick! I just have one question: How would you go about modifying the rules for 28mm? I do have 15mm stuff to play, but to get exactly the type of force I want (namely, Muncheberg Division in the ruins of Berlin) I can only seem to find the ideal models in 28mm scale. Im new to the game, and have never had to modify rules for scale before. I figured I would go straight to the source. Thanks, and keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Alexander, I know that some play 28mm with no changes at all, but for me I'd think weapon ranges were a bit short, so x by 1.5 or 2 would seem a bit more realistic.

    2. Ok, thanks much, Warwick. I do greatly appreciate it!