Odessa: Counterattack at Kagarlik
Eastern Front #59
|(Attacker) Romania||vs||Soviet Union (Attacker)|
|Romania||1st "Royal" Guards Infantry Division|
|Romania||2nd Tank Regiment|
|Soviet Union||25th Guards Rifle Division|
|Overall Rating, 9 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 85 of 609|
|Parent Game||Eastern Front|
|Maps||2: 1, 5|
|Layout Dimensions||56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Eastern Front||maps + counters|
After a brief pause to bring up fresh formations and assess the situation, Romania's Conducator, Gen. Ion Antonescu, temporarily took over personal direction of the offensive. Though fighting had been going on several days, the siege formally opened on the 14th when Romanian cavalry reached the Black Sea coast east of the city. Two days later, the first full-scale assault began. In the Kagarlik sector, both sides deployed tanks and their best infantry.
The Soviet move out of their entrenchments and onto the attack surprised the Romanians. But the Guard, an elite formation, recovered fairly quickly and began to press forward. Both sides suffered enormous casualties, but eventually the Red Army was forced back. Yard by yard, the Romanian infantry ground toward the city's center.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|1 Errata Item|
The reduced direct fire value in Kursk: Burning Tigers is 4-4.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
|No, I mean it. Be patient.|
Really, once you have set up the units and look at the opposing forces why take 11 hours to try to gain a positional advantage when you can just throw your units against the opponent and lose in 1/3 the time? Despite being criminally impatient, the Soviets still almost broke the Romanians. A stupid armored assault with the lousy T37s broke against the southern hill but an infantry assault through the fields almost got through to the road in the rear of the Romanian position. Had the T37s been held to support this attack it seems that the Soviets could have won. Since the Soviets had a strong position but no reserves (they had all been lost earlier in the fight for the hill) this game ended in a Romanian victory, as they were able to finally counterattack and remove the incursion easily. Also, it might prove worthwile to use SOME cover from time to time. Had the Soviets taken care to advance under cover their losses in moving to contact would have been far less again giving them the reserves they needed to continue the fight. The lessons we learn, huh?
|All This Over a Piece of Road|
The Soviets and the Romanians are trying to claim a bit of east-west road. Soviets want the east half and the Romanians want the west half. Therefore the hex they both want (the one straddling the maps) is the one they both want. They both know that is where they will ultimately meet.
The Romanians move quickly forward fortifying a hill to the south and digging in a front on their side of the map.
The Soviets plod slowing allowing their OBA to do its work while sending forward its tanks to break up the hill hardpoint. As the Soviets move through the fields and woods the Romanians dig in.
The Soviet tanks begin shooting at the exposed Romanian AT guns on the hill while they dig in. The Romanians avoid the bait and continue to dig in. Meanwhile the Soviet OBA is having little effect.
Romanian AT guns are in place. Soviet tanks retreat. But too late. Romanian OBA score 3 hits. Soviet infantry begin to advance. Now it's down to the knife.
Hours of assaults back and forth with OBA screaming down. Vicious and hapless assaults, friendly fire and leaders dying. A battle of attrition ends. The Soviet leaders, but one, are gone. The final leader, who maintained a mortar company in the north town throughout the battle calls retreat.
The Romanians hold the road and supplies can now safety move east.
|Bottled up with no anti-tank defence|
The Romanians were the lucky ones in this scenario. Early on they managed to destroy the Russian anti-tanks guns with a 2 and 12 roll. They also were able to move first and place their tanks so as to bottle up the Russian tanks in the town on board one. The Russians could move out but they would come under immediate opportunity fire. The Romanians had two anti-tank guns and all their tanks to take them out. At this point the Romanians just dug in and then finished taking out ten Russian steps (victory conditions). The Russians had no way of significantly challenging the Romanians and clearing them from the road on board 5. After a few tried to take out the Romanian tanks, which failed, they finally conceded.
|Scrum down at the half way line|
This scenario is a meeting engagement between two fairly equal forces, both with good morale and some armour support. The VC are simple control the East-West road and deny control to the enemy. This scenario is 44 turns long and is very bloody. I tried to have strategies in place for both sides which would see not just a charge down the road and a mass melee in the centre of the board, with the Romanians keeping a strong reserve and the Soviets using a flanking attack but given the forces involved, the terrain, and the size of the battlefield I suspect most games will end up like mine with a titanic fight right in the middle of the board. The Romanian tanks have the edge in quality just and they should deal with the opposing BT7's first before reinforcing the Infantry attack. The Soviet flanking attack did well initially using the town as cover before sweeping down but accurate artillery fire and stubborn Romanian defense slowed the attack and then beat it back meanwhile the Russian centre had buckled and Romanian units had dug themselves in on the contested road. The Romanian MG reserve then advanced and cleared the last remaining defenders the road to Odessa was open. A bit of a slug-fest this one, solid PG fare. I hope my American readers will forgive the title referring as it does to Rugby football a game I used to play in my youth.