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Battle of Mokre

Page history last edited by Kiwi Dave 15 years, 8 months ago

 

Battle for Mokre (just north of Ogledow)

1200hrs, 13th August, 1944

A Command Decision scenario by Bob MacKenzie

(http://homepage.ntlworld.com/bob_mackenzie/index.html)

 

Adapted (with permission) for Blitkrieg Commander by “Kiwidave” Pike, September 2008

 

Historical Background

On August 10th 1944 elements of the 1st Ukrainian Front crossed the mighty Vistula River. This created the "Sandomierz Bulge", a bridgehead over the Vistula that the Germans were determined to eliminate. On the 11th of August the 6th Guards Tank Corps took the town of Szyldów and then dug in on the outskirts just south of a village called Ogledów. The Germans’ first counter attack was a disaster. Early on the 13th eleven Tiger II tanks of the 501 schwere Heers Panzer Abteilung attacked the entire 6th Guards Tank Corps  supported by a few grenadiers in half-tracks. These were the first Tiger IIs to see combat and they suffered for mechanical reliability problems; despite seeing no combat yet, eleven runners was all the battalion could muster. The crews were new recruits and their commander was not particularly competent, attacking over unsuitable terrain with no reconnaissance. The result was inevitable Germany's new super tank was defeated and the attack vanquished.

 

Emboldened by their victory the 6th Guards Tank Corps resumed the offensive, taking the village of Ogledów and then pushing further north, capturing some abandoned Tigers in the process. Around midday the Germans launched a much stronger attack. The armoured elements of the 16 Panzer Division started to move over the hill at point 272.1 towards Yablonitza with the intention of pushing back towards Ogledów. Unfortunately for them the 52nd Tank Brigade was all ready in position on their flank.

The scenario covers the counter-attack of the 16th Panzer Division, supported by the few remaining Tiger II's against the 6th Guards Tank Corps.

 

Deployment

Units are deployed as indicated on the map.

 

KG 16 Panzer is deployed east of point 272.1 with the exception of the artillery. At least half the tanks must be to the south of point 272.1 (i.e. in LOS of the 52nd Tank Brigade) facing east.

 

I Abt 79 Pz Gren Regt can be deployed anywhere in Yablonitza or the adjacent woods/forest. All units of this battalion can be dug in.

 

52nd Tank Brigade is deployed on the outskirts of Mokre or the western edge of the large wood.

 

53rd Tank Brigade is deployed as indicated, no units should start the game in LOS of KG 16 Pz Div.

 

289th Rifle Regiment is deployed where indicated on the map, starting within 10cm of the board edge; no unit of the 289th may starts the game within 30cm of any element of the 53rd Tank Brigade.

 

The 385th Heavy SU Regiment is the Soviet player's "commander's reserve". It can be deployed from the start of turn 2. The reserve may be placed anywhere on the board the Russian player likes as long as its within 30cm of an HQ or CO and is NOT within 30cm of the enemy. If the enemy is in LOS than the reserve must be placed in cover.

 

Starting the end of turn 2 the Soviet player rolls for reinforcements every turn. On the next turn they enter anywhere along the southern or eastern board edges as long as they are over 60cm from any German stands in LOS. Roll on the following table; if a reinforcement is already gone then no reinforcement appears that turn.

 

1 - no reinforcement

2 - FAO 1645th Artillery Regiment

3 - FAO 185th Howitzer Regiment

4 - 1893rd SU Regiment

5 - 51st Tank Brigade (eastern edge of table only)

6 - Soviet player's choice

 

References

The primary reference was http://www.battlefield.ru/library/battles/battle16.html

There were many good discussions: http://www.feldgrau.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=11435&highlight=Ogledów  and  http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=76369.

Map was supplied by Google Earth

Important note: Bob Mackenzie did all the research for this scenario: I just fiddled with it for BKC!

 

 

Map

Terrain

The map is designed for an 8'x4' table. North is towards the top of the map. Red lines are roads. The green dotted lines along the roads are tree-lines. The lines are sparse and provide open blocking terrain for LOS purposes only, they do not provide cover. The dotted lines that are not immediately adjacent to a road are tree-line hedges, which block LOS and provide light cover.

 

The green areas are woods. The big triangle wood to the south, and the sickle shaped wood adjacent to Yablonitza, are forests (i.e. impenetrable for vehicles). All the small wooded areas are open woods.

 

The green dotted line is a track through the woods, units may move down the track as normal.

 

The gray areas are towns with mostly wooden framed houses and extensive back yards (treat as BUA).

 

The brown dotted lines are ridge lines which break LOS. The elevation over the whole table varies less than +/-10m so a unit on a ridge can not see over intervening terrain. Any stand adjacent to a ridge can see over it. Anyone adjacent to a ridge can be seen over it from the far side. There are no hull down positions available on the ridge lines.

 

The open terrain is a series of small strip shaped fields, they provide no significant cover. The ground is soft and sandy.

 

Special Rules

The game starts at mid day and runs until dusk at 8:00pm - 14 turns (30 minutes per turn).

 

Guns may not be man-handled across the open ground, as it is too soft.

 

Before the arrival of the FAO for each of the Soviet Artillery regiments one unit in each regiment may fire a scheduled fire mission. These need to be defined before deployment of either side.

 

All BUA and the forests count as Dense Terrain for command rolls. Troops dug-in to BUA count as being in fortifications (hit on 6s only). Once they move they lose their dug-in status, and revert to being hit on 5+.

 

Victory Conditions

If Yablonitza remains in German hands then the best result for the Soviets is a draw.

 

If Yablonitza is taken and the Germans lose more Panzers or StuGs than the Soviets loose T34's, SU-85's, ISU's or IS-2's then its a minor Russian victory.

 

If the Russian make their minor victory conditions and kill the Tiger II they win a major victory.

 

The Germans win if they clear a path of Soviets from anywhere on the western table edge to anywhere on the eastern table edge or to the southern table edge east of the triangle shaped wood. The end of the path is

determined by the German player, but at least two Panzers, StuGs or loaded SdKfz-251's must leave the table at that point to "anchor" the exit point. Once anchored it must not be changed. It’s a minor victory if the path is to the exit point is 30cm wide, its a major victory if its 60cm wide. To determine if a path is cleared at the end of the game have the German player indicate the centre point of the path. Measure half the distance quoted above from the marked path. Anywhere along the path there can be no unsurpressed Soviet units.

 

Historical Outcome

The battle was a disaster for the Germans. 16 Pz was ambushed by the 52nd Tank Brigade and shot to pieces. The Soviets didn't loose a single tank.


Order of Battle

German Forces

Gepanzerte Kampfgruppe - 16 Panzer Division

CO CV8

 

I Abt 2 Panzer Regiment

HQ

4 PzKfw-V (Panther)

3 StuG-III

1 PzKfw-VIb Tiger II (green crews, so -1 to command)

1 sIG-33 auf PzKfw-38(t) (Grille/Bison)

 

II Abt 64 Panzer Grenadier Regt

HQ CV8

4 Infantry

4 SdKfz-251/1

1 Heavy Mortar (essentially off-board, so leave at edge of table)

 

II Abt 16 Artillerie Regt (off table)

FAO CV7

1 Hummel (OBA)

1 Wespe (OBA)

 

I Abt 79 Panzer Grenadier Regiment

HQ CV8

6 Infantry

3 MG

1 Medium Mortar

1 Heavy Mortar

Points: 2110 Breakpoint: 14

 

Soviet Forces

6th Guards Tank Corps

CO CV9

 

52nd Tank Brigade

HQ CV8

2 T-34/85

2 T-34/76

1 SMG

1 IS-2

 

53rd Tank Brigade

HQ CV8

2 T-34/76

1 IS-2

1 SMG

 

289th Infantry Regiment

HQ CV8

4 Infantry

3 MMG

1 Medium Mortar

 

385th Heavy SU Regiment - reinforcement

1 ISU-152

 

51st Tank Brigade - reinforcement

HQ CV8

1 T-34/85

2 T-34/76

1 SMG

 

1893rd SU Regiment - reinforcement

3 SU-85

 

1645th Light Artillery Regiment (off table) - reinforcement

FAO CV6

3 76mm ZiS-3 guns (OBA)

 

185th Howitzer Regiment (off table) - reinforcement

FAO CV6

3 122mm M1938 Howitzers (OBA)

 

Points: 2950     Breakpoint: 13

 

 

The Game

Turn 1 - Russian

Scheduled artillery strikes land on Hill 272 and the road junction in Yablonitza. A SdKfz251 of KG 16 is knocked out (the infantry dismount suppressed – house rule), but the troops in the town are too well dug in to be bothered by a few shells! The 52nd start well by knocking out one Panther and suppressing another, which falls back, suppressing the HQ! The 53rd and the 289 Infantry probe cautiously forward.

Breakpoints: G-2/14 R-0/13

 

Turn 1 – German

Small arms fire from the 79th suppresses an SMG and an Infantry stand, and 2nd Panzer suppresses a T34/76. Due to the confusion caused by an unexpected flank attack, the CO fails his second order.

Breakpoints: G-2/14 R-0/13

 

Turn 2 – Russian

More scheduled artillery arrives, and the inexperienced crew of the Tiger II batten down the hatches and wait for it all to end! The 52nd continue their good form and kill another Panther, and the 289 knock out 2 German infantry units in a hail of bullets.

Breakpoints: G-5/14 R-0/13

 

Turn 2 – German

One of the 79th platoons takes the initiative and assault a Soviet SMG unit, knocking it out. 2nd Panzer open their account by killing a T34/76. The HQ for 64 PzGr received conflicting orders and opts to relocate (nearly off the board!)

Breakpoints: G-5/14 R-2/13

 

Turn 3 – Russian

The ISU-152 arrives on the board near the 53rd and moves to join them in the shooting glallery that is Hill 272. Scheduled artillery achieves little. The Russian manage to suppress the 2 remaining Panthers.

Breakpoints: G-5/14 R-2/13

 

Turn 3 - German

2nd Panzer managed to suppress the IS-2 of the 52nd, but that’s about it. 79th Inf  HQ blundered, and the KG CO got caught in a crossfire! Somehow killed an infantry platoon – last casualties the Germans caused for the rest of the game…..

Breakpoints: G-5/14 R-3/13

 

Turn 4 – Russian

The 51st arrived on the eastern edge, and promptly failed their first order. Elements of the 289th attempt an assault on the Germans dug-in the forest south of  Yablonitza, but are repulsed and suppressed. This results in the HQ getting shot at by their own troops in the confusion. The 52nd make up for it thogh but knocking out a StuG and the remaining Panthers!

Breakpoints: G-8/14 R-3/13

 

Turn 4 – German

Given that 2nd panzer in slowly disappearing, it manages to suppress 3 T34s. 64th PzGr, start racing east towards the relative safety of Yabolnitza.

Breakpoints: G-8/14 R-3/13

 

Turn 5 – Russian

The 52nd (or possible the 53rd) knock out another StuG, but that it about it for this turn, despite their best efforts. The Tiger II gets hit 14 times, but only one gets through its armour (gotta love 3+ armour saves!) The FAO for 185th has now arrived, but has no targets available.

Breakpoints: G-9/14 R-3/13

 

Turn 5 – German

2nd Panzer suppresses another T34, but with only the Tiger II and a StuG left, it’s getting rather difficult to do much else. 64th PzGr keeps heading for Yablonitza.

Breakpoints: G-9/14 R-3/13

 

Turn 6 – Russian

The Tiger 2 is finally suppressed and forced off Hill 272, but this then puts it out of range of most the guns of the 52nd and 53rd. 289th assault on Yablonitza stalls due to the difficult terrain.

Breakpoints: G-9/14 R-3/13

 

Turn 6 – German

64th PzGr moves into Yablonitza and debusses (double 1 :D ), but little else is achieved this turn.

Breakpoints: G-9/14 R-3/13

 

Turn 7 – Russian

This is where it really goes downhill for the Germans. I had been fairly confident that I could hold the town, but Steve’s Russian peasants proved me wrong. In a two pronged attack, the Germans lose 3 Infantry to assaults, and an MG and the sIG to tank fire.

Breakpoints: G-15/14 R-3/13

 

Turn 7 – German

Now 1 over break point, the Germans decide to try and delay the inevitable. However, as confusion reigns in Yablonitza, any chance of throwing the Soviets back out of the town is gone when the HQ blunders.

Breakpoints: G-15/14 R-3/13

 

Turn 8 – Russian

The pressure mounts in Yablonitza as 2 SdKfz 251/1 are lost along with another infantry platoon. Also, the amount of fire that the Tiger 2 is taking finally causes the crew to lose their nerve and exit stage right. Game Over Player One (Killing the Tiger is one of the major Russian objectives)

Breakpoints: G-19/14 R-3/13

 

Thoughts on the game:

It was always going to tough on the Germans, but I didn’t really think it was going to be this bad! In hindsight my deployment of the 79th Infantry was poor - I should have lined the southern edge of the forest with most of the battalion, so I could stop the 289th getting too close, rather than having the bulk of them hidden away in the town itself. Secondly, I got obsessed with trying to knock out the Russian tanks, rather than try to get my command of the other end of the table. Trying to out-shoot IS-2s is just stupid…. And I forgot completely about the 64th's Heavy Mortar! Duh….

 

The board could possibly be smaller at 6 feet rather than 8, as even with 14 turns (and at least one successful command per turn), it’s going to be very difficult to get across the board in time.

 

Overall though a great game and at least I did better than my historical counterparts – I killed a tank! And my opponent Steve was a good one - any oddball stuff that came up we resolved quickly and with the minimum of fuss. If his dice had been kinder, it might have been all over a lot earlier than turn 8!

 

 

 

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