By Dane Tkacs
On the last weekend in February, the Huntsville Historical Gamers ran a "total war" multiplayer, flames of war game representing the opening battle of Operation Citadel; the battle of Kursk.
The army lists were determined using historically present forces. The game was played with 3 players per side each commanding an independent company. The game was a modified No Retreat, Defensive Battle, played for roughly 6 hours with 6 turns played.
German Forces: (~7,000 points)
4th Panzer Army
39th Panzer Regiment: 10x Panther D + Support
2nd Gepanzerte Panzer Pioneer: 4x Pioneer Platoons + Support
503rd Schwere Panzer Abteilung: 5x Tiger I + Support
3x Batteries (Guns across the Volga rule)
2x JU87 Squadron
Soviet Forces: (~6,000 points)
6th Guards Army
170th Tank Brigade: Guards Heavy Tankvoy (KV-1S) + Hvy Assault Gun Co
53rd Motor Rifle Brigade: Guards Strelkovy Batalon + Med Tankovy Company
169th Tank Brigade: Guards Tankovy + Lt Tankovy Co + Assault Gun Co
3x Batteries (Guns across the Volga rule)
Germans advance! Artillery engages the Soviet 53rd Motor Rifle Brigade in their first defensive belt position with no effect. The Luftwaffe brings in a 4 sortie mission killing 1x T-34, pinning both companies of the Strelkovy Batalon and the Tank Destruction Company.
Germans continue their advance. Panther Company attacks towards the Soviet right flank. Tiger Company attacks in the center. The Pioneer Company supports both attacks and secures the German right flank with a Flak36 battery. Artillery engages the Soviet 53rd Motor Rifle Brigade in their first defensive belt position with no effect. The Luftwaffe brings in 2 air sorties killing 1x T-34 and pinning the forward Strelkovy Company.
Soviets: The remaining Guards Tankovy Companies arrive on board. Light Tankovy Company (T-70s) arrives on the Soviet right flank and maneuvers between the second and first defensive belts finding a gulley to conceal their position. Artillery targets the Panther Company killing two Panthers! Then targets the Tiger Company bailing a Tiger and finally targets the lead Pioneer platoon causing a bail check.
German: Pioneers deploy to clear minefield in front of the center objective. Tiger Company provides covering fire for the pioneers. Panther Company forms a firing line killing 2x T-70s as well as placing fire on the Strelkovy Company in the first defensive belt position. 2 platoons of Pioneers advance to the soviet right flank obstacle belt to breach a second lane. A German Higher Level Commander in a Panther tank maneuvers to right flank to provide support to the Flak36 battery, killing a T-34. Artillery repeats its fire mission on the Strelkovy Company killing a team. The Luftwaffe brings in 1 air sortie killing the SU-122 platoon.
Soviet Higher Level Commanders arrive on the battlefield. The Light Tankovy maneuvers its lead elements to place fire on the Pioneers. The Medium Tankovy Company inches past the first defensive belt driving directly at the Flak36 battery. Artillery continues to target the Panther, Tiger and Pioneer platoons.
German Pioneers clear the minefield in front of the center objective clearing the way for the Tigers. A Panther platoon moves forward along with a Panzer III platoon to high ground to engage the soviet "heavies" in the second defensive position. Panzer IIIs engage and kill a T-70. Panzer Pioneers dismount and advance to clear the soviet right flank mine fields. The Flak36 battery kills the lead T34. Artillery repeats its fire mission on the Strelkovy Company in the first defensive belt killing a team. The Luftwaffe is refueling and rearming this turn.
Soviets: The Light Tankovy places fire on the Pioneers pinning both platoons. The Medium Tankovy Company pulls back behind the first defensive belt and advances towards the center. Artillery continues to target the Tiger, Panther and Pioneer platoons. The Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sturmovic Squadron (3 planes) arrives targeting the Tiger Company causing a bail.
German Pioneers clear a minefield on the soviet right flank opening a breach lane for the Panther Company to attack toward Tomarovka and the soviet right flank objective. Panthers engage and kill 2x SU-152s. Panzer IIIs engage and kill 2x T-70s. Artillery repeats its fire mission on the Strelkovy in the first defensive belt killing a team. The Luftwaffe brings in 2 air sorties killing 1x SU-152 and 2x T-34s. Tiger Company assaults the Strelkovy Company killing 3 teams and forcing the fearless company out of their trenches. Pioneers occupy the abandoned soviet trench line.
Soviets: The Light Tankovy maneuvers to close range with the Panzer III platoon inflicting no casualties. The Medium Tankovy Company fires into the side armor of the Tigers on the center objective. The Tank Destruction Company also fires at the side armor of the Tigers, killing the entire platoon! The Razvedski Platoon races to the center objective contesting it. Artillery continues to target the Tiger Company on the objective also catching the pioneers.
German Pioneers clear wire on the soviet right flank widening the breach lane for the Panther Company. Tiger Company Commander is joined by his second platoon on the center objective raking the Razvedki Platoon off the objective with machinegun fire. Panthers kill the remaining T-70s. Panzer IIIs machinegun the remaining Strelkovy Company in the first defensive belt. Artillery begins to soften up the second defensive belt targeting the rear Strelkovy Company. The Luftwaffe brings in 1 air sortie killing the remaining T-34, causing the Tankovy to quit the field!
Soviets. The lone remaining Tankovy Company Commander in his KV-1 fires into the flanks of the Tigers now on the center objective. The 53rd Motor Rifle Brigade Commander, alone on the hill, has not been dislodged away from 4 inches of the objective. The Tank Destruction Company continues to shower the Tiger Company with deadly 57mm antitank fire. The rear Strelkovy Company and Sapper Company hunker down in their trenchs awaiting the inevitable attack.
The battle resulted in a rather ambiguous draw. The Germans were unable to capture one objective. The soviets were unable to kill any of the German companies.
The Commander of the 53rd Motor Rifle Brigade was the lone contester of the Center Objective. The Soviet right flank objective did have a full Guards Strelkovy Company entrenched around it but would have fallen quickly as there was a Panzer III platoon less than a move away. The Soviet left flank objective was protected by a Soviet Sapper Company but that (platoon) and the Guards Heavy Tankvoy commander were the only forces left in that company. Given the force array, the group decided to continue with the campaign as if a breakthrough had been achieved.
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