The second battle of this turn saw us returning again to the Russian-held river crossing that marked the German start-line for the campaign. As this as the German's third attack on this table they received a heavy artillery bombardment and +2 point of reinforcements.
Regular readers will be familiar with this table by now - the shallow stream has two bridges and a ford, with scattered woodland and fields covering most of the ground.
|Table from the Russian left|
|Table from the Russian right|
Expecting the Germans to have amour the Russians went for 2 * medium AT guns as their reinforcements. The Germans opted for a mortar, a StuG III and an infantry squad. The Germans picked the StuG as they are beginning to suspect the Panzer IV could be cursed as it seems to rapidly in every battle!
The Russians plan was largely to react to the Germans deployment and try to ensure their precious AT guns could fire at the StuG as they had no other AT capabilities. The Germans for their part spread across the table with the StuG in the centre and infantry overloaded on their left flank opposite the foot bridge.
|Germans deploy on their right|
|Germans sneak forward in the centre|
|German infantry on the left flank |
|And finally the STuG |
Sensing an infantry assault on the German left the Russians responded by placing additional and both their Maxim's to face this threat. The preprogrammed artillery bombardment rained-down on the Russian's front line but on this occasion fell mostly wide of the mark and caused little damage.
|Russian hordes on the right|
|The all important AT guns - centre piece of the defense |
|Russians near the central bridge|
|The Russians on the left|
Seeking to shift the axis of attack the StuG moved from the centre to support the assault on the German left. As it pushed across the table it came under flanking fire from the Russian AT guns deployed near the road bridge. The German's run of bad-luck with their amour continued as the second shot penetrated the side of the StuG and brewed it up.
|Germans press forward as the STuG repositions|
With this set-back the Germans paused for a re-plan and began to lay down fire on the Russians whilst seeking positions from which they could later launch assaults.
|Germans base of fire in the centre|
|The ford still under Soviet control|
|The STuG well ablaze|
The superior German firepower began to chip-away a the Russians but it was a slow business and the time was ticking-away towards darkness, which would leave the Soviets in possession of the victory markers.
|Russians on the right|
|Germans mass for the attack against the Soviet-held hill|
Sensing their moment may be slipping away the Germans launched a series of attacks across the line against the weakened Russian forces. Assaults on both flanks were repulsed due to some poor German rolling. The attack in the centre was pinned-down as it tried to capture the hill dominating the centre of the Russian position by flanking fire from Maxims and AT guns.
|Desperate struggle on the German left |
|The attack stalls under flanking fire|
|The main attack grinds to a halt|
So a third defensive victory for the Russians at the river crossing but a tense game. Its certainly true that the Germans were unlucky on the melee dice but perhaps they were a little slow in getting their assault underway which meant they did not have time to develop their attack fully. Loss of the StuG and accurate Soviet flanking fire.