Iron Wolves #7
|(Defender) Lithuania||vs||Soviet Union (Attacker)|
|Lithuania||2nd Infantry Division|
|Soviet Union||42nd Guards Tank|
|Overall Rating, 2 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 588|
|Parent Game||Iron Wolves|
|Maps||2: 17, 18|
|Layout Dimensions||56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
|Enter & Exit|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Road to Berlin||maps|
Lithuanian dictator Antanas Smetona wanted to resist the Soviet occupation in June 1940, but his political and military leaders refused to go along. Had the Lithuanians made the brave but futile gesture, the Soviet invasion would have been spearheaded by V.I. Kuznetsov's Third "Vitebsk" Army. The Red Army came well-equipped with tanks and guns, but its dismal performance in Finland had weakened its reputation.
Soviet tank brigades were not balanced forces, lacking enough infantry to really support their armored element. They were converted into better-organized tank divisions during 1940 and 1941, following the experiences of the Nomonhan campaign against the Japanese in the fall of 1939. The Lithuanians were not well-equipped with anti-tank guns in 1939, but would have had the chance to learn from the Polish campaign by the time the Soviets struck.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|Iron Wolves Take Out Iron Chariots|
First try at the Iron Wolves book, I wanted a short scenario with a good mix of troops. This one has Lithuanian infantry and AT weapons vs Soviet light tanks and truck transported infantry, both sides with OBA while the Lithuanian 75mm guns were better for bombardment than for AT fire. Russians are to take out as many Lithuanian defenders as possible as they try to get as many Russian units as possible off the west edge of the board. The Lithuanians set up with one stack of leader, Inf and HMG on the eastern board in the northwestern woods supported by a 37mm AT gun with it's wagon transport, just close enough to the east-west road to engage tanks and trucks going by. The rest of the Lithuanian force was set up in a line from north to south using the central town hexes as a main base, with infantry & hmg stacks with leaders and in between AT guns with their wagon transports. The idea was that this would inflict some damage to any Russian force that left the road and tried to get around the flanks of the woods on the western board. Russians lead off with the truck mounted troops, who took the first losses as they got too close to the central town of the western board. The infantry stack in the woods in the eastern board fired but did no damage as those trucks went by. Next the Russian tanks came in stacks of 2, each one having the top unit with the tank leader. They stopped at the end of thier first move just in range of the 37mm AT gun but suffered no damage to that unit. Russian infantry deployed in the middle and tried to assault Lithuanian infantry and AT guns in the northeast edge of the southern woods while the Russian tanks moved up the road again, and again taking no loss from the weak AT guns. Lithuanian infantry in the central town moved to assault Russian armor while Russian infantry got bogged down in asssault with one of the Lithuanian 75mm guns and some infantry. Lithanians were devastating in assault, with rolling a 2 in two assaults, taking out the first full Russian tank units. After just a few more turns, Russian infantry survivors were headed back the way they came, exchanging OBA fire with Lithuanian troops, but Russian armor succeeded several times in breaking away from assaults, and succeeded in getting several units off the edge of the board. Casualty for casualty though, the Lithuanians dished out much more than they took. At the end of 18 turns, Russians succeded in getting 14 points of armor at 2 points per step off the edge of the board, but lost a total of 34 casualty points, which included quite a bit of their armor and all of their infantry. Game ended with 34 points to 24, Lithuanian minor victory. Great game.
A large Soviet armored column with supporting infantry is charged with the need to cross a couple boards. The Lithuanians are amply supplied with AT guns and plenty of space to place them. As the Lithuanian I decided to use my setup to deny the Soviets the use of the road and then use the light nature of the AT guns to permit me to relocate them to address the actual location of the tanks once they come on board. The infantry force would be used to shape the battlefield by denying the tanks any clear route to exit the board.
This worked like a charm. The Soviets saw the AT trap and moved south of the swamps and initially made decent time. The infantry support had a lot of trouble,however as it got hit multiple times by the Lithuanian artillery and left a trail of disrupted and demoralized units. As the T-26s lumbered forward the Lithuanian guns won the race to put pressure on the tankers. The infantry was shredded by Lithuanian HMGs and assaulting infantry and ultimately lost over half the force. The tank movement was hindered by initial AT gun success in demoralizing two leader tanks. The remaining tanks dove into the woods to try to avoid the potential assaulting infantry and walked right into a terrible AT gun crossfire in a real kill box.
After 8 out of 12 remaining mobile T-26 steps were eliminated the Soviets called for mercy. Since we were Lithuanians and not Finns mercy was granted.
This is a very hard scenario for the Soviets to win as the slow tank movement off road will make it possible for the Lithuanians to counter nearly anything the Soviets do as long as the Lithuanians do shut the road off first. They cannot permit the Soviets to move along the road without causing significant losses.
It was fun to see the defense truly shape the battle and see how terribly the Soviets were outmaneuvered but I don't see a good route for a Soviet win. This oen tilts to the Lithuanians so I give it a "3".