Russians placed the arrow from Berezina to Osipovichi. The Germans received 3 Panzer IV H and the Russians got both an artillery battery and limited sturmoviks.
Up to now the map had remained static, except that the Germans lost their firestorm troops in Vitebsk (permanently). But the Russian command remains hesitant to attack a fortified city again after the difficulty they had there, opting instead to attempt to surround the Germans. In this battle they boldly attempt to attack Osipovichi which would effectively cut off large segments of Army Group Center. Unfortunately for them, there was a severe logistical problem in getting reserves where needed and a viscous counter attack pushed the Russian forces all the way back and out of Berezina.
Steven's Stug List
190 Stug HQ and 2iC
380 1st Zug (4x Stug)
380 2nd Zug (4x Stug)
205 Trucked Panzerpioneers
165 3x Puma
430 2x Tiger IE
FIRESTORM: 3x Panzer IV H
Rob's Strelkovy List (Don't know the points offhand)
HQ w/ Battalion Kommissar & Sappers
1st Strelk w/ 2 Platoons + Maxim HMG + Kom.
2nd Strelk w/ 3 Platoons + Maxim HMG + Kom.
Scouts at full strength
4x 57mm zis AT guns
2x Flame Throwers
FIRESTORM: Artillery Battery
FIRESTORM: Limited Sturmoviks
The mission rolled up was Cauldron. The Strelkovy would be defending vs the Stugs.
Overhead view of the map. The German board is the south edge, with the Russians to the north. The objectives would be placed in the Eastern central woods and the crossroad of the village.
Tons of pics after the break.
Rob elected to deploy his under strength strelkovy on the Eastern objective, his Scouts in the buildings near the crossroad, and his 57mm is guns in immediate ambush. In reserve he had the IS-85s, Artillery, and the full strength strelkovy. Little did he know, they had been intercepted by a German column, and would not reach the battle despite 10 dice for reserves in total. Rob also deployed the HQ sappers rather than attach them, placing them in the southern wheat field.
I started with my Pumas, Tigers, and a Stug platoon on the board. The Stugs began on the Eastern flank, the Tigers coming up the South Western road, and the Pumas in the wheat field in the North West.
The Scouts are tasked with holding the crossroads
The Tigers rumble forward up the road
Soviet Sappers prepare to hold the line
The understrength strelkovy defending the wooded objective.
Stugs in the East
View from the East
Pumas cautiously advance through a wheat field
Rob sprung his immediate ambush with his 57mm Zis guns from the central hill, firing on my stugs on the East flank, but did no damage of consequence (some bails, but protected ammo handled that)
Sturmoviks ranged in on my Tigers and hit them both with rockets, but I was very lucky and made both my saves. Unfortunately, in order to hit me with the sturmoviks, Rob had to move his sappers which made them lose gone to ground. On my Turn one I got reserves, bringing on 4 Stugs. The stugs rolled right into the wheat field with the pioneers, along with the Tigers and 2iC who rolled forward and sprayed Machine gun fire into the soviet sappers.
Reserves arrive early for the Germans
Tigers and 2iC join in
View from the East
On Rob's turn two, he again got air support. Fire from the 57mm is guns and the sturmoviks (typhoonskis?) destroy one stug and bail 2 more.
His beaten sappers unpin and make a bold move forward, squirting the flame thrower off and bailing the 2iC and one of the tigers.
Following the successful flamethrowering, Rob passed tank terror and assaulted! Unfortunately the measly 4 MG dice from my one remaining tiger killed 2 stands in defensive fire! His one remaining sapper failed to hit and the tiger lurched forward and eliminated the sappers. A gamble that *almost* paid off, but ultimately cost the sappers.
The victorious Tigers
The German lines are drawn.
German turn two sees the Germans advance their lines cautiously. The Stugs on the East flank win the shootout with the 57mm guns, destroying all 4 and forcing the platoon leader to run away.
German AFVs rumble forward, taking pot shots at the Scouts.
Pumas observe enemy movements and radio back to HQ
Having eliminated the AT threat, the Stugs on the East rumble forward and begin blasting away at the Strelkovy.
The next few turns saw the Russians fail abysmally with both air power AND reserves. The Germans take the opportunity to fire round after round of HE into the strelkovy to soften them up.
The Strelkovy is surrounded by 8 stugs all firing HE into their positions
German pioneers arrive from reserve, and move into position to dig out the strelkovy
The Lieutenants need a nap
Finally a concerted effort between the Stugs and the Pioneers attempt to push the strelkovy off the objective
The Strelkovy are completely surrounded
Panzer IVs arrive from reserve
The Pioneers charge!
The Strelkovy struggle to hang on to the objective
An energetic counter attack by the strelkovy annihilates the remaining pioneers!
The Stugs attempt to finish the job. One throws a track as it crashes into the forest.
The Courageous peasants force the stugs to withdraw, leaving two burning vehicles behind!
The strelkovy have valiantly defended, but with no reserves in sight they begin to lose hope
Meanwhile the Tigers and 2iC have been cautiously attempting to blast out the scouts
The Germans prepare for Russian reserves which never materialize
View of the battle field. The Sturmoviks bail a puma, but continue to disappoint overall.
Finally the Germans decide that enough is enough and prepare to send a final assault force
The Scouts begin to suffer losses at the hands of repeated HE fire form the Tigers, but valiantly hold out
With no reserves, the Soviets prepare to withdraw in the face of superior German numbers
The final assault comes. Though very little damage is done, numerous morale checks are failed in a row. The Russian soldiers even revolt against the commissar , killing him and leaving the objective in German hands.
RESULT: 5-2 German win.
To add insult to injury, both of the Russian firestorm troops (Sturmoviks and Artillery) are destroyed, and the Germans capture Berezina.