A week ago, Part One of this two-part battle report was published, and here we are with the second part.
The battle that was too big for one report concludes!
With the first order of the turn, the veteran crew of an SU-76 comes on from the Soviet side's left flank. Their first, surprise, shot on the Puma misses wildly, the men aboard overly excited.
With the anti-tank rifle team killed before their eyes, the ZIS-3 crew aims and fires their weapon at a squad of recently disembarked grenadiers. Half the squad evaporates, but the soldiers keep their nerve and stay on the field, approaching the objective.
Next, the German light howitzer crew continues to fire on the Soviet LMG squad as their target reloads. They finally find their range, and the troops are forced Down to protect themselves.
The Soviet regulars, having previously taken fire, fail to motivate. A nearby commissar sees to it that their attitudes are adjusted, but they refuse to leave the relative safety of the abandoned sandbag position, thinking the pistol of their political officer more forgiving than the machine guns of the enemy.
Even a smoking hole in their comrade's skull couldn't get them moving.
The empty half track moves forward to shield advancing Germans. One of the Soviet light machine gun squads pours fire down into the woods, killing a surviving member of the grenadier squad that had taken fire from the ZIS-3.
What's left of the grenadier unit advances behind the cover of the vehicle, and sprays bullets into approaching Soviets, following the orders of their Leutnant.
Ignoring the shouts of a nearby officer, the panicked crew of the Stummel continues to blindly fall back, and they slam into a tree.
Seeing an opportunity, the Puma's commander orders his crew to steer their vehicle towards the SU-76 in order to find a clear line of fire. They do, and the ammunition from their main gun slams into the ZIS-3. It immediately catches fire, but her veteran crew manage to put the fire out before it can reach the ammunition rack.
A talented German sniper advances out from behind cover, and takes a shot on the move at the decimated Soviet sub-machine gun squad. His snap shot catches a trooper and spins him around, dead. The assault squad's commander looks nervously around and the last survivors of his beleaguered unit, and at the next opportunity, decides to run away from the fiercely fighting Germans. (FUBAR!)
On the other side of the battlefield, untested conscripts decide advancing on their objective is a better prospect that remaining inside the position with the furious commissar. The grenadier squad, waiting in ambush in a nearby defensive position, open fire as they move, killing three Soviets.
Inspired to courage at the sight of their fallen squad members - or the baleful glare of the commissar - the survivors pass their green roll and are upgraded from inexperienced, to regular soldiers.
What's left of the German platoon circles the wagons around the objective, but the screaming Soviet horde approaches from nearly all sides. The defenders are almost cut-off.
Desperately advancing under fire, attempting to get to the objective, a unit of grenadiers engages in a running gun battle with the courageous Soviet conscript squad. Three more riflemen fall to the German bullets.
After taking fire from the German howitzer, the Soviet light machine gun squad leader decides it would be better to charge towards the objective that take further artillery shelling. Now the Soviets challenge the German middle.
Under pressure from the rapidly approaching Russians, the remaining two grenadiers at the objective decide to look for cover instead of defending the supply cache. The platoon leader looks on helplessly.
Continuing its accurate fire, the ZIS-3 zeroes in on the last remaining German infantry squad approaching the objective from the German table edge. More than half of the unit falls to the shell.
Fearing a complete collapse of the center, the Puma's commander hurls his vehicle into the tide of Soviet troops, firing its machine gun wildly.
Close range fire, with the majority of the combatants close enough to touch the objective, nearly destroys another squad of German grenadiers.
Their fire mission completed, and their comrades bravely charging forward, the observer team throws itself into close combat at the objective, sub-machine guns blazing.
The victorious spotters hold the objective, slain Germans at their feet, as the Heer officer looks on in horror. Soviets run towards the supplies from all sides, overwhelming the center.
With most of his force destroyed, and the Red Horde overtaking his positions, the German commander decides to quit the field with what remains of his men.
(And one last little tidbit for those of you that survived the entire two-part battle report: Today, The Countdown begins!)
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