Sunday 30 August 2020

CTS Type 97 medium tanks

These were painted some months ago but for some reason I never got round to posting the photos. They are simple plastic models - no assembly required - by CTS in about 1/35 scale.

Friday 28 August 2020

Mokra 1939 - part 2

Having played through the first few turns on Tuesday evening, we gathered (virtually) again the following night. It was a sufficiently busy evening that I will spread the remaining report over two posts.

This btl of Pz Rgt 36 got off to a good start by getting stuck into the Polish armoured car squadron.

In a bloody exchange the Poles died heroically, taking the remains of the PzII company with them.

Meanwhile Simon had arrived at the helm of Schtz Rgt 12.  Here are the chaps climbing out of their trucks on the road.

Having killed off the armoured cars, the plucky PzI co found itself in range of the armoured train's guns!
More gratuitous train porn
Having reinforced the front line the Poles were looking pretty solid... it was all down to the infantry.  Simon had deployed both battalions ready to assault the Polish infantry positions.

The attack of I/Schtz Rgt 12 went rather well and  - at the cost of a company-worth of casualties they carried the position.
II/Schtz Rgt 12 on the other hand were not feeling it.  On being ordered to attack they promptly failed their morale check and fled back to their furious Rgt HQ.
But help was at hand - or was it.  The Stukas reappeared and maintained their unbroken record of not hitting anything.  Another triumph for the Polish air defence technique of shouting and waving cavalry sabres!
Encouraged by the German reverses, Jerry saddled up 19 Uhlans and trotted SW.

Part 3 coming soon!

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Mokra 1939 - part 1


Mokra is a battle which has long interested me, so it was only a matter of time before I revisited it for a WW2 Brigade Commander game.  Getting the terrain right was tricky - I tried three versions of the layout before I was happy with it.  Mokra, for those of you unfamiliar with the battle, was fought on 1st September 1939 between the Wolynska Cavalry Brigade (plus some hangers-om) and most of 4 Panzer Division.  It wasn't the walk-(or rather drive-) over that the Germans were expecting.  Part of the appeal of the battle is the variety of kit.  In the grey corner all the trappings of what will soon be called Blitzkrieg - two Panzer regiments, motorised infantry and dive bombers.  Versus horse cavalry (mostly fighting on foot), tankettes and an armoured train!  The latter can be seen in the first two photos.  It's the Heroics & Ros model (I've had it for ages but only painted it at the weekend) which fits nicely on my plastic Bandai ZZ Gauge track.

As regards the other toys, the Germans are mostly H&R with some Scotia Panzer I.  Scotia also provided the Polish cavalry. Polish vehicles & guns are a mix of the two manufacturers.  All infantry and gun crews are H&R.

The field of battle.  Each hex is c800m.  The railway runs on an embankment which blocks line of sight.  The players were as follows:
Germans - Martin (acting DHQ and Pz Rgt 35, Simon (Schtz  Rgt 12), Pete (Pz Rgt 36)
Poles - John (Brigade HQ & reserves), Jerry (19 & 21 Uhlan Rgts, AT Battery), Graham (Armoured Train 35 Smialy).  Broadly the Germans need to get off to the east, while the Poles need to maintain road & rail links from N to S.
I ran the game and players joined via Zoom.

The game commenced at 1000 or after the first panzer attack, so some of the units of PzRgt35 were already a bit shot up.  In turn 1, the panzers again surged forward, overran the cavalry from 21st Uhlan Rgt in the now empty hex centre right but suffered in the process, so they and their chums further north fell back in a disorganised state. The Polish AT battery bottom right proved very dangerous.
2nd Mounted Rifles Rgt moves up east of the railway.  The Brigade had four cavalry regiments, each represented in the game by two stands.
The defenders of Klobuck look on in wonder as John's armoured striking force trundles past.  A squadron each of TKS tankettes and w34 armoured cars.
An overview.  Pz Rgt 36 has arrived in the West.  As the train puffs north....

The Polish er 'armour' crosses the railway and advances to the West.
The Mounted Rifles arrive in Mokra II 
A tank battle!  Well nearly.  The opportunist Poles seize the opportunity to kick I/Pz Rgt 26 when it's down.  This splendid Polish victory is followed by....
...a counter attack by the now very cross II/Pz Rgt 36...
...and the battered Poles are driven off.  Entertainingly, this left the panzers within range of the armoured train which promptly pasted their positions with 75mm shells.
Turn 3.  After the panzers broke into the positions of the by now rather battered 21 Uhlan Rgt (that's them with a single stand weighed down by a casualty marker and a disorganisation marker...) the 12 Uhlan Rgt did the only sensible thing and charged the tanks!  If only there was an Italian journalist in site to report this.
Excitingly, the Poles had the better of the assault and panzer numbers dwindled accordingly.  At this thrilling point Simon finally joined us, having been delayed by house building matters and with everything still to play for we drew a veil over proceedings until the following evening.

Monday 3 August 2020

OP Alpha 1981 - part 2

As we return to West Germany, AH-1 Cobras have appeared - their fire and that of several Sheridan platoons makes a fair mess of the  Sov force (a reinforced MR Battalion) on the highway.  Meanwhile, the Div Recce Btl (left) probes the outskirts of Haselstein.
On the left can be seen the Polizei from the first post.  They were (of course!) Spetsnaz and their planned assault on the US HQ was a spectacular failure.
By now the Cavalry was taking casualties - not least from Sov air and artillery strikes.
Plucky Sheridans (left) getting too close for comfort.

The Sov advance gained fresh momentum when Richard's Divisional Independent Tank Battalion arrived.  A chunky 51-tank formation, this was represented by four stands of T-62.
a surprisingly savage defence of Haselstein caused some Sov casualties.

At one point the air was very busy - two flights of AH-1, one of MiG-27 and Mi-24!

None of this affected the DITB which rolled slowly but relentlessly westwards.

By now the Cavalry were taking up their second or third firing positions

While a (reasonably) fresh reinforced BMP Btl cleared the hill on the right, the DITB went left and carried all before it.  A dramatic final turn (sadly un-photographed - blame all the excitement) at which point Martin decided to pull back the surviving cavalry to positions a few km to the west.  A very pleasing game which kept six of us occupied for a total of  nearly three hours spread over two evenings.