Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Christmas Offensive Game: 1st May Collective at Ponyri

Planning for my annual "Christmas Offensive" is in the works and this year's showcase rules will be BATTLEGROUP: KURSK with a whopping 968 point battle.  (technically it will be 968 German to 963 Soviet) but it will be one of the biggest BGK games I've played thus far.  German Breakpoint is 65 and Soviet Breakpoint is 63.  Battle will be "defense line" from the Battlegroup: Kursk book.

We will be picking up the action right where we left off last year with the RAPID FIRE CHRISTMAS OFFENSIVE to seize The 1st May Collective and Hill 253.3.  [CLICK] If we're following the story line, the German 292nd Infantry Division captured the 1st May Collective at a very high price and was not able to capture Hill 253.  This year's game will see the Soviets counter attack into the 1st May Collective (July 9th attack with 3rd Tank Corps) with the 57th Motor Rifle Brigade and 27th Guards Tank.

We'll pull out all the stops for this game including Ferdinands and SU-122s.  (OH YEAH!!)

I thought I'd include the list for everyone to read.  We will commence operations at 1700 hours local, December 22 (hopefully).

German Forces:
Elements of I Battalion, 507th Infanterie Regiment:

Forward HQs
FO Team
Comms Relay Unit
2 x Infantry Platoons each with HMG, 75mm PAK40/Truck, 81mm Mortar
x 3 Stug III
105mm Off Board Artillery Battery (2 guns)
2 x Ferdinands
30" of Trenches
x 3 Foxhole purchases
1 x 222 Recce Armored Car
Supply Truck

Soviet Forces:
Elements of 57th Motorized Rifle Brigade / Elements of 27th Guards Heavy Tank Regiment

Foward HQs
FO Team
Comms Relay Unit
2 x Infantry Platoons with MMG, ATG upgraded, all with 3 man loader teams
2 x SU-76
9 x T-34 tanks
3 x 82mm Mortar Battery
Scout Foot Patrol
T-70 Scout Tank
Supply Truck
2 x SU-122
Off Table Priority Request 2+

Onto the battle itself.  The Soviet 3rd Tank Corps conducted an aggressive counterattack on the morning of July 9th that saw numerous penetrations into the 507th's lines.  German attacks throughout the day stabilized the situation but at tremendous cost.  The photo below is unbelievably similar to the aerial recce photo I have from my "Objective: Ponyri" book [click] (and that book is worth every penny!)

Soviets advance from the "Google" word.  The farm complex to the south was not as built up as in present day, but otherwise this is hyper accurate and matches July, 1943 closely.
The Christmas offensive will see the Soviets try and take back 1st May Collective, replicating the 57th/27th's assault on 9 July.  Can the war-weary landsers hold?

Eventually this will be a springboard action for the thrust into Ponyri by the 507th and 508th Infanterie Regiments.  In real life, that combat is going on concurrently with this battle.


  1. Will keenly follow this 'Little Stalingrad' action.

    1. Cheers Norm. I'm still amassing the terrain for Ponyri itself but am getting closer every month.

      I fear tonight's game might not be finished by midnight but we will certainly try!

  2. I thought that Kursk had ended well before Christmas!!!
    so much for caroling in 507 IR...

    1. Not much caroling or making merry with these fellas, Alex!