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.


Maudlin Jack Tar said...

Great looking game and an interesting mix of units! The train is of course the star of the show but the other vehicles and figures are very nice as well. Very nice lunchtime read.

Tim Gow said...

Maudlin Jack Tar
I'm so glad I didn't put you off your sandwich!

Maudlin Jack Tar said...

Ha ha! not at all. I forgot to ask what programme you used to draw your map?

Martin Rapier said...

That was great fun Tim, it was very enjoyable having an entire 1939 era Panzer Division to play with, even if forests full of entrenched troops and guns wasn't necessarily the best place to use it.

Jack - the mapping programme is called Mapping Board. I use it a lot.

Maudlin Jack Tar said...

Thanks Martin

Pete. said...

Great game Tim- looking forward to part 2....



Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Wow .. I must fight this one
But where to get an armoured train?

Tim Gow said...

There’s more of a starring role for Pz Rgt 36 in the next post.

Tim Gow said...

I have armoured trains in three scales so they’re clearly not that difficult to buy or bodge!