A Mi la Legion!
Blue Division #20
|(Defender) Spain||vs||Soviet Union (Attacker)|
|Spain||Legion Espanola de Voluntarios|
|Overall Rating, 3 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 598|
|Parent Game||Blue Division|
|Maps||3: 17, 18, 6|
|Layout Dimensions||84 x 43 cm
33 x 17 in
|Enter & Exit|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Eastern Front||maps + counters|
|Road to Berlin||maps|
The Blue Division left the Eastern Front in late October, 1943, leaving behind a 1,500-man "Legion Espanola de Voluntarios" in its place. Made up of some hardened fascists and the final "march battalion" of replacements from Spain (mostly petty criminals swept out of Spanish prisons), the Legion entered the front lines along the Volkhov River on 15 December. A month later, a Soviet offensive saw it retreating toward Estonia. At the small town of Oredesh, a partisan brigade made a bid to keep the Spaniards in Russia a little longer.
The partisans, sensing victory now that the 900-day siege of Leningrad had been broken, ambushed the Spanish continually on their trek to the west. The Legion, composed of Spanish legion veterans experienced in the no-quarter atmosphere of Morocco plus criminals with no desire to fight at all, lost most of its heavy equipment during the retreat and was declared incapable of combat when it arrived in the "Panther" fortified line on the old Estonian border. A number of the new recruits had attempted to desert, but found no welcome among the bitterly resentful partisan bands.
|Partisans ambush the Spanish Legion on their retreat|
The main objectives:
Spanish 1. Exit to the west (12 units)
Soviet 1. Inflict Casualties (8 steps).
Time = 5 hours (20 turns)
The Spanish enter from the east. They have 5 hours to traverse across 3 boards. The Soviet partisans are hidden, ready to ambush the Spanish.
Half an hour in and still no sign of the Partisans. The Spanish, wary of the town, begin to circle around the north, abandoning the road.
As the Spanish continue to move they spot Partisans in the town who quickly engage. Fire is traded.
The Spanish send one company and the mortar-laden wagons to the northwest off the road.
The next half hour sees the Spanish continuing to move their northwest company and wagons around the woods to the north while the main thrust of their force encounters some more partisans down the road.
A couple platoons are left in the town engaged with partisans. One platoon is disrupted. Spanish Comment #1 (see below)
Partisans down the road retreat into the woods and Spanish ignore them and head west. Spanish Comment #2 (see below)
At the two hour mark, the leading forces of the Spanish northwest column is charged by Soviet OMBs!
A bit of a risk, but the Soviets win initiative and the OMBs use direct fire, killing, disrupting and demoralising the Spanish forces!
The Spanish begin to manoeuvre to avoid the OMBs as much as possible. While engaged, the wagons manage to slip by in the far north.
In the east they abandon the town, leaving just that damned disrupted INF behind. HMGs are attacked by Partisans still in the woods and demoralized. They are too slow to make it off. They are later employed to assault the partisans so that the INF from the town can quickly slip past.
The Wagons continue to trek west as the infantry hangs back.
FOW continues to plague the Spanish impeding their swift exit. Spanish Comment #3 (see below)
In the south, the Spanish head off the road to exit south of the swamp.
At the 3.5 hour mark, the last of the Partisans are revealed in the east, near the road in the centre. They are out of position and have little to do but capture a Spanish captain who was on his own.
The battle was pretty much over at this stage. It was expected (by me) that the 6 full strength units in the south would make it off. As well as the two wagons in the north. The only real question was if the half platoon and full INF platoons in the north could “outrun” those OMBs!
The final 90 minutes saw the expected 8 units make it off the west edge as well as one and a half INF platoons in the north.
OMBs and HMGs harassed one Spanish INF platoon forcing them back 1 km, while Spanish forces in the south rallied together for protection.
Time was not on the Spanish side. They really need to move swiftly to get off the far edge. The Partisans are slow, but their OMB units are fast and deadly.
Spanish managed to exit 10 of the required 12 units (83% success) while the Soviets only eliminated 5 of their required 8 steps (63% success). Since I was playing the Spanish, I declare this a SPANISH MINUSCULE VICTORY!!!
Just some notes as referenced above:
-1 Bloody disrupted INF in town just would not rally. I really needed him to rally (7 or less) so that he could exit the town with the other INF. Instead he failed 4 consecutive rally rolls (even with the town bonus). This was one unit that should have made it off, IMHO.
-2 - This will bite the Spanish in the bum later, as those Partisans cause problems down the track and stop the HMGs from exiting. This was an error in my play. The INF had enough time to try to finish them off, which is what they should have done while the HMGs caught up.
-3 FOW – I let some of my formations fall apart and FOW was brutal. Many times I had insufficient actions to make pivotal rally attempts (like that demoralized guy in the north woods). It also allowed the Soviets to do pretty much what they wanted and left me scrambling trying to get away.
Scenario Rating: 3/5 – A fairly standard enter and exit, try to avoid combat and be unpredictable scenario for the Spanish. What made it interesting enough to get a 3 was the hidden Soviet Partisans and those deadly OMBs.