Hell's Bridgehead CG 3 - or how to burn.

Miller

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Hell's Bridge Head - CG 3 - AAR 2015. FF1, 10 July 43, dusk, German attack.

I play this Kursk campaign face to face with my firm ASL opponent. We play ones or twice a week. I am the German in CG3.

We use the original map and have placed two building-overlay in accordance with the errata. Level lines are pulled up with a black marker pen.

We use an improved (private done) version of PL. 2.5, and we have a very good index. PL works really well for us. We do not do the recon, and we do not take losses for movements/deployments behind the MLR in the reorganisation phase, as it takes too much time.

Here is the situation right after the German preb fire in turn 1:

View attachment 51822

As reinforcement to the pioniers and Infantry I chose a MTR gun platoon, Stukas, a MG platoon and an Inf. platoon. NO OBA for Smoke. This was wrong because my MTRs, MGs, and guns could not prevent the russians from taking out rafts and pioniers when crossing Psel River.

The Russians drop smoke with OBA on my MTRS and guns. The Germans suffer some losses in the river, but comes over with a few units. Fortunately, we can now attack in the western part of the battle area in the village.

View attachment 51823

The Germans take part of the village. The russians are weaker than I feared. The River crossing goes painfully slow, but a few germans manage to take the lower part of the gully. The area between the 2 gullies to the right is the only few hexes, where the tanks and halftranks can leave the valley. So the russians need to go!

View attachment 51824

This is the perimeter after the fighting has ended.

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Gunner Scott

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Great AAR, but I think the Russians need to attack at night to regain lost terrain and get some of those ATG's or ART pieces on board to prevent a quick German exit as well as dig entrenchments to help solidify perimeter lines. Also a night attack is a good way to try and cause a few casualties to the SS who penetrated to far for their own good.

Scott

FF2 Night. Idle.
 

Miller

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FF 3, 11. july 43, AM

The night was quiet. Germans bought 2 SS Inf. Platoons, Pioniers, Half Tracks, Tigers and a 80 mm OBA.

Early next morning the Germans also bought AT 75 mm, attack option Motorcycle platoon, Sniper, Stukas and PzIIIN platoon.

Here are the overall situation in turn 3. The Germans moving tanks and halftracks from the south side of the river to the gullies north of the river. The infantry taking control of gullies and the lower parts of the plateau to the West.

The Germans have a great fear of mines and hidden cannons. The Russian sniper pins/and kills a OBA spotter to the west in the village, while the Russian artillery puts spotting rounds in the hexes, where the german tanks have to climb the slopes.

View attachment 51829

Here is a close up of the Russian defense. Spotter for OBA and MTR is far back in the wood to north/east.

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Then the SS goes bananas for four more turns. Halftrack and Tigers roll over the landscape. A Tiger dies alone in the cornfield east, and more halftracks suffer the same fate. However, it binds the defense and betray their position. At the end the game is at least three flaming wreckage.
The Russians have sent a platoon of T34’s to the west. They create some unrest, but the Stuka’s manage to smash one, while the other two is trying to defeat a German advance on the western defenses (brush). They do not succeed, and the Germans end up controlling some very important fields in the Western defense and a trench in the woods in the middle. The Germans now have room to put a PAK-front up, and has opened up to the Russian defense. The greatest sorrow for the Germans is that they failed to gain control over grain fields to the east. The German flank is threatened, while the Russians have dug many foxholes. The next FF can be severe.

View attachment 51831

MAP and Perimeter:

View attachment 51832
 

Miller

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FF 4, 11. july 43, PM

The Germans did bring these new units for the FF: AT 75mm guns, 2 SS inf. platoon, 80 and 105 mm OBA and a MTR section.

Here is the situation in the 1'st German turn of FF4. The Brush area in the West was not isolated so the Germans reinforced the trenchsystem there. Adjacent but concealed is a dug in tank. The small targets (turrets) would be a big problem. So far we have seen 2 turrets - 1 in the brush and one in the grainfield.

The plan is to take the grainfield, the rest of the brush, more of the big Wood in center and push MLR to the edge of the high plateau in the West.
View attachment 51835

Here is the situation after turn 8. It has been a hard but good fight with a lot of rain. The MTR's in the slope back to the Southwest did a fine job. Same did the MTR and HMG to the extreme South of the plateau. It seems as if the Germans can outgun the russians. Only longrange AT-fire and OBA is a real problem. Suddenly at AA-gun opens up from the upslope bruch in N2. It kills some inf and a halftrack, but is taken out by long range fire and the german sniper. The russian turret in the brushhex M11 is taken out in CC.

The Germans push forward and secure the high levels of the Wood, and even manage to take part of the northwest gully and the AA location. The Russsians are weaker then the germans feared. Maybee is because most of the FF have lossratio of 1:2. The german use the 1'st 2-3 rounds to blast the russian defence, and later in the game new targets are engage with mortars, tankguns and MG-fire.

Only in the East it goes badly. The SS infantry goes down due to MTR and MG fire from the upslope woodhexes to the North and some tanks are destroyed between the gully and grainfield.

View attachment 51836

View attachment 51837

Slowly it begins to burn in the grainfield and it will spread :)

Here is the perimeter after turn 8 - end of FF4

View attachment 51838

What did we learn:

Attack all the time as German.
Bevare of OBA
Kill Turrets or they kill ur tanks.
Improve Sniper
Outgun the Russians :)
 

Miller

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And the night was idle.

I was not sure if it would be vice to let the SS attack again, so I gave them some good rest and sleep.

Tonight i'll buy new units: 2 X Inf. platoons, Pioniers, MTR 81mm, StugIIIG and sniper. They will be ready when the sun rises in the East.
 

Miller

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FF6, 12. July 1943 AM.

New reinforcement for the FF6: Oba 150 mm, Stukas, a retained 80mm OBA, Fortifikation for Hip, Sniper, Attack Chit, PzIVH and 1 Inf. platoon.

Let it burn!! Picture shows how the grainfields ended up in flames and blazes. In this CG the grainfields and orchards change to open ground after the fire. A Woodhex will become a open ground with foxholes.

More later.

View attachment 51843
 

Miller

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A nice mild breeze from NW :)

SS wait in the gully for signal to attack. The gully is in fact a wadi.

View attachment 51849

Slowly the grainfields begin to burn. I dumped some 80 mm OBA missions in the grain . A great way to start some flames. As you can see, the flames will change to blazes, and the blazes will spread fast.

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Near the end of the firefight all the grain was almost gone. So it was time for SS to take control of the Eastern flank, but......

View attachment 51851
Most of the tanks was knocked out by long range fire from dug in tanks in the Centerwood and from the woodslopes up North. It did not help the infantry, when the russians hit them with a salvo of rockets. Almost all troops was broken or killed.


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Miller

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The german guns and MTRs started to take out the russian defence on the woodslopes.
They also got som help from a 150mm OBA.
After a few turns the russian was outgunned, and each time a defender tried to move, shoot or just sit back in the trench/foxhole, it was attacked, unconcealed and finaly broken or killed.
The russians had a AA gun and a MTR 82 mm in the NE corner but they were also destroyed.
A SU122 entered the map, stopped in the grainfield far NE, but a Tiger took it out with a critical hit.
The burning wreck made a fine startingpoint for burning down the grainfield

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In the center Wood some hexes was handed over to the germans.

A dug in tank (T-34) in the brush gave me some problems (good gun/small target), but it was destoyed by the Tigers together with another T34. But we lost one StuGIIIG and one was imob.

View attachment 51856

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North of the Wood, the germans managed to take the high level trenches, but a russian counterattack took all back but one.

And the Wood began to burn. A blaze was created, and for the next FF there will be 1 blaze and 5 flames.

The russian defensive fire in the Wood did not make much harm, but we have 4-6 squads on each side, so it is not easy to grab some locations.

View attachment 51858
 
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Miller

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End of FF.

Germans lost 47 cvp (12 sqds, leaders, a StuG, a PZIVH and a Gun): The russians lost 92 cvp (4 tanks, a gun, and57 cvp of Inf.). In all but one FF the russians have lost more than the germans. I belive we both have 15-20 squads left, 6-8 tanks, some guns and a few leaders.

The Gully in NE corner was cleared of russian. The last of the 3 T34 was killed there by a FT (as I remember). 1 Stug was imob in the gully due to ESB :(

This is not the end FF-position. But most units can be seen.

View attachment 51863

Perimeter

View attachment 51860

The germans can't win unless they can take some more stategic points. Without new ones, they can only collect 108 point, and they need 120. The plan must be to exit 60 cvp in the NE corner. That'll be difficult task!
 
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Miller

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CAM00206.jpg To make it short. The Russians gave in. They were cornered in North West, All but 2 woodhexes were gone, and the german could cover all the russian setup area with all kinds of fire.

All woods, some brush nd the grain on this was were burned out. Next time I play this CG, I'll make a house rule for spreading fire (it is to easy, and to much fire/smoke) and the russians need to have some hide aways.

Anyway it was a good campaign lasting about a year.
 
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