More Russians

Having painted an American battlegroup for Cold War Commander, I needed to upgrade my Soviets somewhat in order to have a matching force. So I added a T80 regiment, and another BMP infantry battalion, burt this time in BMP 2

The whole lot :

T 80s

Motorised Rifles & BMP 2s

And some more US pics, to answer a request

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South of Marsa Matruh – July 1942

 As the broken British 8th Army was falling back towards the Nile delta, with the Deutsche Afrika Korps in hot pursuit, it became evident some kind of delaying action would be needed. As lines seemed to stabilize around the Egyptian village of Marsa Matruh, Rommel sent Kampfgruppe Von Mars around the south flank with 3rd Panzer Battalion of the 5th Panzer Regiment, with a battalion of PanzerGrenadiers and an AT artillery company. A desperate Auchinleck sent the recently arrived 47th Tank Brigade and its brand new Crusaders and Grants to counter them, with an accompanying rifles battalion and some mortars under Brigadier Foxbat. German command was the usual superior stuff, while the Brits were at 8CV, except the armour HQ which was at 7 to reflect the abysmal performance of British tanks at their nadir of mid 42.

 

Opposing forces 

German   British

   
CO 10   CO 8

  6 x Grant
HQ 9 Panzer Battalion   3 x Honey
6 x Panzer III H    
2 x Panzer IV F1   HQ 7 Crusader Regiment
1 x Panzer IV F2   6 x Crusader III
3 x Panzer II    

  HQ 8 Rifle Battalion
HQ 9 Panzer GrenadierBattalion   6 x Regular Infantry
3 x Regular Infantry   6 x Trucks
3 x trucks   2 x 3” Mortars
3 x Regular Infantry   2 x Universal Carriers
3 x SdKFz 251/1    
2 x Flak 36 88 mm guns   German Break Point : 11
2 x trucks    
1 x le 18 IG 75 gun   British Break Point : 12
1 x truck    

We had selected an encounter scenario, and my opponent made the terrain which let me select what side I’d be entering from. I picked a long side (no sense in taling time getting to grips with these 88mm). As expected, Mars deployed his force behind the little hill 123, hoping to safeguard his left flank with his infantry while on his right his panzers would be rolling up the British left flank, the artillery and flak deploying on hiill 123. My plan was to slow down his tanks with my Crusaders, while mly Grants and Honeys rushed the hill under the protection of my mortars that would take out the big guns before they’d done much damage. These were the plans, but as you know, it’s BKC. None of this would survive the first roolls of the command dices!    silly

The table looking North

The table looking South

While seeming somewhat slow, turn 1 nondetheless determined the shape of the battle. A superb German command blunder sent back the infantry & guns to their starting line, while the British CO and his tanks failed to make an appearance. Nonetheless, the Crusaders could take position on the left flank, while on the right flank, lorried infantry and mortars made a full advance move and debussed.

 

1 German Command Blunder sendsback the PzGre and their guns

 

2 The British HQ fails to appear with the Grants and Honeys

British Infantry move forward and disembark

Crusaders deploy, while the CO is still lost somewhere…

The German deployment, post command blunder laughing

 

The apparent gap in the middle of the British line brings the German to change their plans : the heavy Flak guns are sent south of hill 123, in order to pound the Crusaders, while the German tanks advance to take part in the kills. The German infantry moves forward and debusses, while the Infantry Gun reaches the top of Hill 123, but still remains embarked. Seeing the writing on the wall, the British redeploy their Crusaders to the North, but this fails to take themout of reach of the 88… A Crusader is destroyed by reaction fire. Their mortars however take out the Infantry gun, while the Grants and Honeys make their appearance. Rather than deploying themin fron of the 88 and Panzers, they are sent as far north as possible, facing the Panzergrenadiers.

 

1 The 88 deploy end destroy a Crusader with reaction fire

 

2 3″ mortars pound the Gedrman 75 gun to oblivion

While the Crusaders redeploy, the Grants enter at last!

The Panzers cautiously advance.

 

The next phase will cover the next few turns… The Germans moved slowly their Panzers forward, softening up the Crusaders -destroying 2 more bases – with their 88s and their Pz IV F2, and incredibly enough rushed their PanzerGrenadiers forward. Reaction fire fromther Honeys and Crusaders accounted for the demise of all 3 SdKFz 251, while the Grants, in range, opened a devastating fire that took out the 88s from the equation. Mortar fire pinned several Grenadier platoons as well.

 

1 Mortars reaction fire pins 2 German platoons

 

2 Grants kill the 88s

 

3 88s and Pz IV F2 kill 2 Crusader platoons

 

4 & 5 Reaction fire from Crusaders and Honeys destroy all 3 SdKFz 251

A hail of 3″ mortars pins a good part of the infantry battalion

 

Next phase will cover several turns as well. The German panzers move forward and get in range at last, engaging a duel with the British armor. Dice which had been poor for the CRusaders till now get spectacular, resulting in the destruction of 2 Panzer IIIs and 1 Panzer IV F1 for the moss of another Crusader. The F2 seems to prefer long range shhoting, staying put with the CO and destroying 2 Honey platoons. The PzGre engage the rifles and kill a rifle platoon. The Grants once more prove pivotal, and destroy a Pz IV F1 and take part in the destruction of all Pz Grenadier bases with the help of the mortars, Infantry and the Honeys.

 

1 German tanks kill another Crusader

 

2 The F2 takes out 2 Honeys

 

3&4 But moving forward, the Panzers open themselves to reaction from the Crusaders. Flank shots account for 2 Pz IIIs (3) while stellar orders see the demise of a F1 (4)

 

5 Meanwhile concentrated fire wipes out the German infantry.

 

General view of the slaughter

Crusaders have paid a heavy price

Nearly there… but it’s retreat time nonetheless…

As British Grant tanks are about to rush Hill 123.

At that time, a breakpoint roll was needed for the Germans who got an 11. The Panzers rourted, effectively ending the battle.

 

Losses :

 

Germans : 2 Pz IV F1, 2 Pz III, 6 Regular Infantry bases, 1 75 mm Infantry Gun, 2 88mm, 3 half-tracks : 16 bases lost

 

British : 1 Infantry, 4 Crusaders III, 2 Honeys : 7 bases lost..

 

The pivotal point was the decision early in the game to send the 88 south of Hill 123, effectively ensuring they’d have to be redeployed again, effectively spoiling orders that could have been used otherwise to kill Grants… Without this, the battle would, in my opinion, have gone the other way. I did not think the Germans in the dsert would be such a tough nut to crack in BKC.

Team Yankee

 

I’ve finished painting my American Army for a hypothetical conflict in central Europe in the mid 80s, in order to give my Soviets a new opponent beyond my Cold War French. Of course, some minor upgrades will be done to even things out, as t 72s, 64s & 62s may well finfd it hard to yake on a full battalion of M1A1s…

 

The whole lot : 10 platoons riding in M2A3s, 10 M1A1 platoons, 6 M125 batteries, supplemented by some A10 and AH 64 (and off table MLRS which I don’t need to paint)

 

 

The base with the little pole in front is my CO. I still need to print & glue that Stars & Stripes.

 

 

 

4 HQs command part of the forces : 2 HQ command 5 infantry platoons, 2 HQs command 5 tank platoons.

 

 

M125 provide a cheap but strong support. They look weird, as they suffered some catastrophic chemical reaction when I sealed them (same for my Abrams, to a lesser extent). I guess acetone will come in nhandy some day. On a side not, that’s the only GHQ blister with 6 models instead of 5. I can’t figure why, perhaps someone at GHQ served in one of these?

 

 

A10 Warthog.

 

 

 

AH 64A Apache