Directive No. 3
March on Leningrad #1
|(Defender) Germany||vs||Soviet Union (Attacker)|
|Germany||21st Infantry Division|
|Soviet Union||28th Tank Division|
|Overall Rating, 7 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 497 of 598|
|Parent Game||March on Leningrad|
|Maps||3: 1, 5, 7|
|Layout Dimensions||84 x 43 cm
33 x 17 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Eastern Front||maps + counters|
|March on Leningrad||book|
Gen. F.I. Kuznetsov received his orders to stop Germany's Operation Barbarossa in the form of Directive No. 3, which stated "While firmly holding onto the coast of the Baltic Sea, deliver a powerful blow from the Kaunas region into the flank and rear of the enemy's Suvalki group." Kuznetsov complied by ordering his two mechanized formations forward in hopes of stopping the rampaging Hitlerites. The Soviet 28th Tank Division promptly went on the offensive upon making contact with the enemy, and from June 23rd - 25th they struggled mightily to stop the momentum of the invaders.
After three days of hard fighting against Soviet defenders, German fortunes changed when unsupported Soviet tanks approached their positions. German anti-tank fire cut through Soviet armored ranks quickly, and the infantry finished the job with Teller mines. Soviet 11th Mechanized Corps lost 700 tanks in three days of fighting, with the 50 survivors retreating toward Siauliai. Lessons from this disaster were not lost on the Soviets, who would soon come to understand that only combined arms would defeat this enemy.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|3 Errata Items|
The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
The morale and combat modifiers of German Sergeant #1614 should be "0", not "8".
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
The movement allowance on the counters in Airborne is misprinted. It should be "3."
(rerathbun on 2012 Jan 30)
|Stemming the Steel Tide|
This scenario was a lot more balanced than I thought it was going to be. I didn’t think unaccompanied armor facing a swarm of defenders and a plethora of guns with AT capability had a chance. However, the game ended with only a Minor German victory. The Russians were able to get 12 steps of tanks south of the river, stranded two and the Germans eliminated 14 steps of Russian tanks for a final 30-24 margin. The tanks had no luck at all putting any kind of dent in the defenders.
The Russian assault was a three-pronged attack with the fast tanks attacking the East and West flanks and the heavier, slower tanks sticking to the road and trying to pin and wear down the defenders in the center. Germans spread their guns along the south bank of the river to cover all approaches with an infantry screen in front. Once in position, the infantry Dug In and waited for the tanks. The Russian attack was successful in the west, with all 4 tank platoons making it south of the river without a scratch by the end of Turn 8. In the east, only three steps of 7 made it south of the river, falling prey to some great initiative rolls from the Germans and one lucky AT shot from a 37mm. Otherwise the AT fire was pretty ineffectual. Things in the center held for a while but when the Russians pushed their luck just a little too far, it fell apart quickly.
The Germans had ridiculously good morale rolls all game, they only failed three Morale checks all game and only one unit reached Demoralized status (and promptly recovered completely on a “snake-eyes” recovery roll). They also had fantastic Assault rolls, almost completely opposite the Russian rolls. The higher morale and great leadership made a huge difference. Even the OBA got into the act, forcing a couple platoons of tanks to take base Morale checks which they failed miserably.
If a few more rolls had gone the Russian’s way or if they’d been a little bit more conservative in the center, the game could have gone either way. Nice, tense little scenario with lots of subtle options for both sides.
|General, we need more than tanks|
Just finished this small scenario using the "Play by Skype" method with Vince Hughes. The scenario has Soviet tanks trying to overrun a German infantry division holding a small river crossing. The Germans have a small contingent of infantry, AT guns, infantry guns, HMG's, ENG's and OBA to try to stop Soviet T-28s, BT-5s and BT-7s. The Germans have an edge in morale and the hold the defensive position of the south side of the river. The Soviets have a 14 tank units and the mobility of the armored vehicles.
The scenario starts a 0800am with the Soviets advancing down the north-south road toward the German line. The Germans are spread out along the river with infantry stationed near the river to contest any crossing. Heavy machine guns were positioned on the bridge and the artillery was positioned close behind to support the infantry. Deadly German AT guns were well positioned out of site of the advancing tanks. (Note - we played setting up the AT guns out of site of the advancing Soviets). Once the first T-28s reached the edge of board 5 and 7 the tank groups split into two groups, one going just east of the river and one going just west of the river to try to flank the Germans. At this point, German OBA started to come down on the tanks but it had little effect. A 150mm Infantry gun started to fire on the advancing tanks but it had little effect. The Soviet tanks moved a little closer and then German 37mm guns started to fire scoring an initial kill. The Soviet tankers to the east started to move around the gun camouflaged in the woods, but we hit by a second hidden gun. Backing off the attack a second BT-7 platoon was hit and had to fall back.
To the west the T-28s with supporting BT-7s moved to cross the river, but nimble German infantry moved to block the Soviets crossing points. AT fire from a small town turned the Soviet attack back from the rivers edge. Regrouping the T-28's tried to silence the 150mm gun protecting the bridge defenders. A gun duel started with the infantry gun finally being destroyed but not after claiming two steps of Soviet tanks. German HMG's provided support fire to try to turn the Soviets tanks back.
As the scenario was drawing to the end, Soviets tried one final push to get over the river. They were successful but with heavy casualties. In the end only 5 steps of Soviet tanks made it across the river. The Germans had destroyed 10 steps and the remaining tanks were struggling to recover on the north side of the river. The Germans won a major victory.
Historically, the scenario is accurate, the Soviets had a very hard time trying to with this one. Without a combined force the Soviets are very one dimensional. The Germans have a lot of options to defend. Each one on it own cannot stop the tanks but together they will be able to defeat the Soviet tanks. From a game perspective, this scenario favors the Germans, with the different mix of units, morale, OBA and setup/terrain. I would also look to this scenario as a good one to teach defense of a tank attack with just an infantry and light artilley.
|Comrade, There Is Something Wrong With Our Tanks Today !|
This battle was played over a skype link with Alan Sawyer, our third such encounter. As usual, all played in a fine spirit, though the pain felt with the loss of each tank could be heard down the mike. This pits a Soviet ALL tank force completely unsupported by anything! Against them a useful defensive German AT line made of infantry, guns and leaders. It also includes the lesser spotted 150mm Infantry Gun!
The Rumble Of Enemy Tank Tracks Can Be Heard As The Morning Breaks
Somewhere Near Kaunas
Our piece of this particular action begins at 0800 hours on the 25th June 1941 where a force of 60-70 Soviet tanks (14 platoons) composed nearly of all BT variants and some T28’s attempt to push past a defended river. The defenders are made up of a reduced battalion of infantry supported by a collection of guns made up of three platoons of 37mm AT, and three infantry gun platoons, one of which being a 150mm IG (this fires HE dustbin size cocktails). Spanning the minor river was a bridge that the German commander placed his two HMG platoons to defend. The rest of the troops were strung out with the guns being placed so as to be able to support each other across the line of the river. All guns were defended by nearby infantry platoons. The 37mm units were concealed in wooded and town areas.
The Soviet tank force headed down the main north-south road so as to be upon the river in the shortest of time. To the Germans pleasure, they saw the enemy force split into two main parts and then divert east and west to probe the German lines. OBA bombardments regularly hit the Soviet tanks, but this failed to steer them off course as they drove through the bombardment with no losses or hold-ups, albeit the tankers nerves were tested a couple of times (2 x M MC's all passed). The trouble began for the tank force once they closed to within 400-600m. At this point, some of those hidden AT guns began belching out their iron death-letters and the Infantry guns also found themselves within range to hurl large charges of HE shells. It was around 0900 hours when this defensive AT fire began to knock out the first 6 of the attacking tanks and cause some disruption in the attack itself. On the west flank, the Soviet tanks immediately pulled back from revealed enemy 37mm’s as these pesky guns knocked out two of their BT-7’s. Over the next 15 minutes, another 6 tanks had been taken out. The situation did not look good for the Soviets already. The western attack had retired to support other probes. The bridge held by the HMG’s and 150mm was not going to be budged and the east flank would need more support.
The Soviet tankers now spent time trying to re-shuffle and recover their units, at the same time, those in good order laid down MG and HE fire at the defenders across the river, albeit most of it ineffective. The 150 IG platoon behind the bridge had taken out a number of the enemy and had proved of value, but finally, around 1015 hours, Soviet fire eventually managed to knock out these guns. This was to be practically the only Soviet success of the day. Losses on the defenders had been minimal and yet some 20 AFV’s from the attacking force had been eliminated.
In the closing stages of the attack, with desperation taking hold of Soviet thoughts, they managed to push 10 vehicles across the river, but these represented a fraction of what was required to make the breakthrough. The attack had been thwarted by a prickly line of defenders that managed to react well and support each other as and when required. The Soviet repulse, as it was with only 10 of the 60 or so tanks getting across the river showed how tanks simply can not operate on their own without any other support. A very ill conceived plan from the Soviet hierarchy above.
Final Points Tally : Soviets 11pts, Germans 33pts
I rated this a 3 because it was standard PG fare. Entertaining, and probably, for the Soviet player, quite thought provoking. Our play appeared skewed towards the defenders. But saying this after one play is probably premature - maybe not? I'd like to see a Soviet attack with their whole force pushing at possibly one flank. The German has no choice but to initially deploy in which way he sees fit, along the line of the river, and such an attack would mean the Germans having to take time to redeploy in support of any flank threat. I look forward to seeing more plays of this.
|March On Leningrad, scenario #1: Directive No. 3|
This is a kind of an odd matchup but a fun puzzle to solve for either side. I set my German up on the south side of the minor river with all six AT guns/IG Guns protecting any crossing areas and Infantry units in support to assault when necessary. The AT/IG Guns look small compared to latter battles but against the small armor protection factors of the Soviet BT-7’s, BT-5’s & even the T-28’s, the Germans were easily able to put a huge dent in the Soviet armor. The Soviets were able to get some armor to safety on the south side of the river but not enough, as the German came away with a Major victory.
The Soviets run their armor through the German forces and the German forces have to clean them up after they are through. Otherwise, not a lot happens. This is a quick scenario and illustrates the 1941 lack of combined arms sensitivity of the Soviet forces. The problem with the scenario is that the race seems almost pointless. In reality the 21st Division would have to conduct a retrograde of 3 km to reduce the tank force that luckily stopped and parked (the edge of the board provides an interesting dilemma). Meaning that even with a substantial tank force in their rear and intact, the Germans "won" the scenario.