The might of the German Wermacht is rolling across the Russian steppe in a vast unstoppable blitzkrieg, and our attention turns to a small village somewhere in northern Ukraine.
|The edge of the village...|
The Germans had paused outside the town and for 6 hours their artillery had reduced the place to ruins. The people had fled east, but the Red Army was still in their boltholes, ready to fight once the Germans came in.
And come in they did.
|The Russian jump off points (in Red) have been pushed into the village by some excellent German patrol work.|
The Germans will be arriving along the blue arrow lines of advance.
The first actions was on the south flank, as an Infantry section took up position in the woods. Its MG34 team set up in the building, ready to surpise Ivan if he tried to put up a fight.
|The arrow helps denote the facing of the unit where its not clear...|
Spotting the Germans, the comrades took up position in the ruins, and immediately called down mortar fire on the Fascists.
|Comrades! the Fascists are here! Open fire!!|
|The dear leader takes up a central commanding position.|
|Mortar fire will do some damage throughout the game.|
|Cue ominous squeaky rumbling...|
It shattered and began to collapse in flames! The survivors tumbled out and sprinted forwards in blind panic to seek cover behind a stone wall.
|This isn't going to end well...|
The Germans jumped forwards, and set up enfilade into the hapless Russians who were steadily cut to pieces by the vicious MG34 ("Hitler's Buzzsaw").
|Chopped to bits, pinned, and then broken, the Russians flee but are cut down to a man before they reach safety.|
The Reds respond to the StuG by calling up their T26 armoured support. The tank traded many shots with the StuG before finally the superior German armour's shells tore through the T26 and forced it to withdraw.
Meanwhile on the northern flank, the Germans brought a second section forwards therough the woods, and the Russians countered again; they swarmed up into the outer ruins and give some serious fire into the Germans, stopping their advance.
|They're on a mission...|
|The Russians get the best of the early exchange.|
The Russians within were killed by the blast, the collapsing building, and as they staggered out shell-shocked and covered in brick dust, they were mown down by German machinegun fire. The pattern on the southern flank was repeated on the north.
Red Army morale was collapsing and the Germans were pushing hard; but they didn't have the field yet.
A second line of Russians jumped in and cut the southern German flank to pieces, including killing their platoon commander! As that shocking news spread through the German lines, their morale became shakey!
|The German southern flank is wiped out!|
Phew! An excellent battle, with a surprisingly close finish. Two more points off the Germans and it would have forced a draw.
|Russian morale collapses!|
|But it was a close run thing.|
The Germans weren't far off breaking
The turning points in the battle were the German high explosive shells that amazingly flattened both the buildings they hit! The chances of this happening are slim but sometimes the dice are with you. With the Russian front line destroyed by those collapses it opened the battle for a German victory.
We're loving Chain of Command at the moment and this will become a regular event on our table, for a while at least.