While the Germans got a rough start on the initial push, things start moving quickly in 507th's sector! The 507th led off with their tanks forward and soon PANZER ALARM was yelled throughout the leading infantry and armor platoons of the assault as Soviet T-34s surged forward to meet the Germans over the river crossing and push them back. It was not to be!
The German long barrel 75mm guns (the 507th actually had StugIII assault guns in support during the real battle) eviscerated the Soviet armor long before it arrived at the crossing sites, giving the Germans enough time to dig in and await the eventual attack.
|Panzer IVs move up!|
|German Infantry hustling over the bridge!|
They didn't have to wait long. This scenario was actually Scenario #5 "Bridgehead" in the One Hour Wargames book and the Soviets arrive from up to 3 different sites. In this instance, all but 1 platoon arrive at the exact same spot and a straggler platoon arrived close to the bridgehead.
This game was packed with excitement as the German early tank gunner obliterated the T-34s early, and a well timed German ambush knocked out a Soviet infantry platoon who had infiltrated close to their positions! The remaining German infantry took up positions along the orchard awaiting the Soviet infantry who were reportedly not far behind those burning tanks. There could be only 1 place they were headed to! The Ochka River Bridge!
|Things heating up. All of the German platoons are across now and the Soviets are trying to overrun the orchard on the right.|
|German 3rd Platoon moves up to reinforce but they're in a bad way. In the open with a Soviet platoon bearing down on them.|
|German 1st Platoon digs in while the Soviets take up positions and start shooting.|
|The Germans still have a platoon in reserve but are about to commit them soon!|
|German second platoon, currently waiting in a culvert along the road start reinforcing the orchard across the woods. OK SECOND PLATOON! ON YOUR FEET LETS GO!|
|Germans are firmly in control of the orchard and the battle is over!|
Mines. There were lots of them and mines were the reason for many units reporting agonizingly slow progress during the Kursk battles.
Up-Gunned Panzers. The German 75mm long barrel tank gun was an outstanding piece of equipment and I feel like the German tanks should have a little more "oomph" to them in these battles.
Heavy Artillery. Some of the heaviest German concentrations of firepower were used during the Kursk battles. I feel like there should be some additional fire support options like nebelwerfers or the big 150cm guns. If you have to stick with the 1HW construct, then perhaps if the player gets a force structure that includes mortars, then you roll on an additional table that tells you what you get (mortars, 105mm artillery, heavy mortars, 150cm artillery, rocket artillery to name some) naturally these assets wouldn't all be available each turn. Some of them, like rockets, would have considerable reload time.
Tactical Air Support. Who doesn't want a Stuka or Sturmovik crashing down on the other guys' troops?
Interestingly, I had meant to play these battles with the terrific "Battlegroup: Kursk" rules but having found myself extremely short on time and energy the past 6 months, Alex's UP THE BLUE rules, his variations on the One Hour Wargames World War II rules, have done the job nicely. While I still plan on playing these with Battlegroup, that will have to wait.
Anyways that's all for now. The third objective will be the end of the first day, with the Germans right on schedule, historically, to where they were during the northern Kursk battles. Next stop - the Kastenwald!