Category Archives: Ostfront 1941

Shevchenkovskiy Rudnik

The constant roar of the panzer engines made the last comments at the orders group difficult for the offices assembled to hear. Adjusting his back, the cramped conditions were doing nothing to relieve the incessant pain, von Funck gathered his voice. “Gentleman, we have been defeating the Soviets since we crossed the border almost two weeks ago. Now, while it seems the enemy resolve is stiffening I have complete faith in you to execute your orders. Remember, we must manoeuvre at every opportunity and use the indirect approach to overwhelm the Bolshevik.” Handing over the briefing to the regimental commander von Funck departed. Indeed in these few days since crossing the border in June 1941 his opinion of the fighting quality of the enemy had reached a new low. He had no doubt the enemy would be swept aside.

The companies of the divisional reconnaissance battalion, combined with information from an ever increasing flow of prisoners indicated a concentration of Soviet tanks to the Division’s front. While a cautious commander could await a concentration of the division von Funck wished to retain the momentum. Two battalions from 6th Schutzen would advance. Both would advance from the left in an oblique movement. The 1st Battalion would take the position on the extreme left and advance through the town of Berezyne. While a Flak platoon would be deployed in a covering position in the nearby woods the remainder of the battalion would advance to the dominating ground to the south-east. As 1st Battalion past through Berezyne 2nd Battalion would cross its start line advancing in a similar south-easterly arc falling on the north of a ridge that ran east to west, the Shevchenkovskiy Ridge. Behind this stood the village of Shevchenkovskiy Rudnik. In immediate reserve was 1st Panzer Battalion which sat due west of Shevchenkovskiy Rudnik and south of the ridge.

General Hans von Funck was confident that the direction of his attack, effectively an attack from the north, would draw out the Soviets who would be forced to react. Leaving their west facing orientation and defensive positions they would instead advance north to counter the German force. These Soviet attacks would, as always, be disorganised and lacking in combined arms. They would first be held by the Schutzen and then, with their flanks exposed be destroyed by the Panzers.

Above, the battlefield as viewed from a Fieseler Storch from the north looking south. The town of Berezyne is visible in the right foreground while in the centre left is the village of Shevchenkovskiy Rudnik. West of the village is the key east-west Shevchenkovskiy Ridge. 1st Battalion (left) and 2nd Battalion (centre right) are clearly visible.

Below, 1st Battalion is somewhat scattered but has just secured its primary objective. The battalion advance position will be the second ridge across the stream. In the extreme distance Soviet tanks and infantry are just visible. The Soviets had achieved combined arms here by deploying an independent company. On the extreme left an 88mm Flak platoon has fully deployed and covers the gap in the two battalions. It’s position provides an excellent overwatch position covering the flank of 2nd Battalion.

Below, another view from the Storch this time flying near 2nd Battalion looking east. Shevchenkovskiy Ridge is on the right where an advanced platoon of KV-1 tanks has been located. The KVs, originally facing west, would soon fall back over the ridge.

The Soviet defences had been well considered with no less than three KV-1 platoons carefully deployed in ambush. As one retired another prepared to open fire. Below, in the centre distance another T-26 platoon engages 2nd Battalion from a wood. Hidden next to it was a second KV-1 platoon. Undeterred the 6th Schutzen’s 2nd Battalion press forward to seize the ridge, and into the Soviet trap. Additional T-26s, T-34s and infantry are visible just west of the village of Shevchenkovskiy Rudnik.

While 2nd Battalion was advancing on to Shevchenkovskiy Ridge a Soviet reserve tank regiment was ordered forward. Expecting a weak Soviet tank reserve the commander of 6th Schutzen’s 1st Battalion was alarmed to report a massed Soviet armoured thrust which predominantly comprised T-28 supported by a battalion of T-26 light tanks.

Above, the Soviet Tank reserve advances while below, 1st Battalion prepares to engage them. The 1st Battalion was already engaged in an ineffective fire-fight with elements of the Soviet centre near Shevchenkovskiy Rudnik. As the T-28s moved up the engagement became general. German artillery fires were generally ineffective and the Soviet combined arms ensured the German infantry engaged their counterparts while the Pak-36 and 75mm Infantry Guns attempted to counter the Soviet armour. However, dispersed along the lines their fire was ineffective. 1st Battalion was hopelessly pinned down.

The Soviets now began their counterattack. In the centre Soviet tanks surged forward. Nearest to Shevchenkovskiy Rudnik the T-26s were concentrated while at the western end of the Shevchenkovskiy Ridge T-34s and KVs advanced. All around them Soviet infantry moved forward. Soon, the Soviet armour attempted to overrun elements of German infantry on the ridge, with mixed results. While German artillery fires were typically concentrated at infantry on occasion the were focussed on tanks. Pak-36 and 75mm Infantry Guns further targeted the Soviet tanks – when they crested the ridge.

In all the better part of a Soviet Tank Brigade was now concentrating their attack on 2nd Battalion. The armour was particularly determined (veteran morale), yet the supporting infantry were equally focussed on their task (regular). A further infantry battalion was soon detected moving towards the ridge having been previously positioned on the Soviet extreme left. 2nd Battalion was clearly about to be overrun!

Below, T-34s and KV-1s press their attack against elements of 2nd Battalion.

Below, another view of the situation, this time looking east along Shevchenkovskiy Ridge. Visible in the distance near Shevchenkovskiy Rudnik are T-26 and a KV-1 platoons, some ten tanks in total. All would advance on 2nd Battalion before being driven back by fire by 88mm Flak weapons deployed to the left. In the extreme distance elements of the T-28 equipped brigade can be seen engaging 6th Schutzen’s 1st Battalion.

Below, a view of 1st Battalion’s position. Unable to engage the armour effectively the battalion abandoned its forward position and retired to its secondary position while covered by fire from the anti-tank guns and infantry guns the battalion. While executed with precision the retirement was the first significant retreat of the division since the invasion began.

General Hans von Funck was furious. His intelligence officers had clearly let him down and he had foolishly underestimated the enemy. The well considered Soviet defence and audacious counter-attacks were decimating 6th Schutzen. Either a general retreat must be authorised, or the reserve committed. Yet what could the Panzers of 1st Battalion achieve by attacking in to the KV-1s and T-34s astride the battalion’s route of attack? It was a hopeless situation. Yet, the prospect of a retreat was unpalatable. The orders were issued and 1st Panzer Battalion moved forward with speed.

Above and below the Panzers move forward. Visible are Pz-38ts, Pz-IIs, PZ-IVs and halftracks.

Details of the unfolding engagement on the southern flank of the ridge are confusing to say the least.

The advancing Panzers were hopelessly outmatched by their Soviet opponents and paid a significant cost for their frontal attack. Yet many Soviet tanks were outflanked and engaged from the flank and rear. Some were even isolated and engaged by German infantry and halftracks. Soviet infantry suffered heavy casualties from German infantry and concentrated artillery fires. Yet, a further Soviet battalion (veteran) was committed and attacked the Shevchenkovskiy Ridge with great determination.

As darkness engulfed the battlefield the fires of burning vehicles provided an eerie illumination. Von Funck’s veterans had held, but the butcher’s bill had been terribly high. The 7th Panzer had fought well, but over confidence, and a resolute enemy, had nearly ended in catastrophe. Von Funck had been taught a lesson!

The scenario was another Hasty Attack and like those previously, had been developed with the Scenario Generation System. The change in Soviet force structure had proven particularly effective. Careful and considered deployment had resulted in combined arms being achieved by the Soviets at each point of engagement. Further, the use of ambushes had resulted in a number of surprises for the Germans. Soviet resolve had also stiffened with two Soviet battalions, or equivalents, being veteran while another was regular. Only the T-28 Regiment was classed as green. The massed T-28s were particularly effective and their ability to engage infantry was particularly concerning. This was countered by their tendency to become periodically combat ineffective – suppressed.

Another outstanding game, full of challenges and an ideal way to complete a series of Ostfront games between my son and I, at least until next time…

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Clash at Zahvizdya

With his staff car drawn up next to the peasant farm house von Funck, supported by his forward command group, watched elements of the II Panzer Battalion move down the road before peeling off the road to the right 200m distant moving. As he sipped his coffee he was aware his attack was now well underway. Then, as he rested his cup on one of the nearby command tanks, the first artillery shells impacted 2km distant. The battle had begun…

While elements of the division were heavily involved in fighting less than 24 hours prior at Dzhelishay now key fighting units were well in motion by first light. Enemy positions had been located east of the previous battlefield by elements of the 37th Reconnaissance Battalion, the division’s reconnaissance battalion. Indications were that three enemy infantry were this time heavily concentrated and deployed in depth with individual battalions positioned to rapidly reinforce each other and more importantly with interlocking fields of fire. Two battalions were deployed forward their defence based around the towns of Zahvizdya and Krivosheintsy with the later being the larger town. To the rear the village of Vasyukiv seemed to mark the rear of the enemy defencive positions. Clearly the Soviet commanders felt that the retention of the villages, control of the road network here and their interlocking fire was critical. However, the Soviet left looked open it was here von Funck focused his main effort.

Again a three phase of operation was adopted. Phase One would see 6th Schutzen’s 1st Battalion advance over open ground to the right of Zahvizdya in a wide arc. This battalion was tasked with the securing of a gentle slope to the right of Zahvizdya. Here the commander was to position an attached 88mm Flak platoon and secure the woods to the flank of Zahvizdya. If the situation warranted the battalion was to advance further through the woods to a position at right angles to the advance. Phase Two would start as 90 minutes after the troops of 1st Battalion crossed their start lines. Here 2nd Battalion would conduct an angled attack on Zahvizdya and its environs attacking in an arc from the south east. The battalion commander was encouraged to infiltrate left and right of the town rather than risk a direct attack.

Above, 6th Schutzen advances. 1st Battalion is in the foreground while the 2nd Battalion is visible in the distance as it moves on Zahvizdya. Below, another view clearly showing the town of Zahvizdya, the rising ground and the Zahvizdya woods between the town and rising ground.

Phase Three began a 30 minutes after Phase Two with a rapid movement by the the 2nd Panzer Battalion around the right flank in a deep turning movement, driving deep into the Soviet rear. More importantly it would open the road network and provide follow on formations a clear road east.

Above, the 2nd Panzer moves forward. While below the general situation with the road from west to east in the foreground showing the general open Soviet left flank and route of the Panzers. Soviet positions are visible at the top with the two towns on the left and the small village of Vasyukiv in the top right. The Soviet rear battalion can be seen providing protection from a German flanking movement. In the top right Soviet armour, drawn from an Independent Tank Brigade, is just visible moving forward. It was committed here to reinforce the Soviet infantry formations.

Meanwhile fighting around Zahvizdya became confusing. German infantry became quickly engaged by Soviet infantry in woods to the north of the town. The German battalion commander as expected now worked the flanks overcoming the north woods and advancing and engaging the rear of the town. Here support weapons and several platoons in the outskirts were overcome. Despite putting up a determined defence the surviving Soviet troops deployed around Zahvizdya were soon those huddled in the town itself.

Above, German 6th Schutzen is shown involved in heavy fighting. The 2nd Battalion is shown engaging the Soviets around Zahvizdya. In the upper right elements of 1st Battalion secure the woods and prepare to face the Soviet armour.

Below, another view of 1st Battalion. Here the 88mm Flak platoon, represented by its prime mover, has just fallen back. The battalion commander had been overly optimistic around positioning it so far forward. Likely to be engaged before it was deployed the platoon was withdrawn leaving the enemy armour to be engaged by the battalions light anti-tank and infantry guns supported by artillery fires by divisional artillery.

Confused and desperate fighting now occurred in the area known by many survivors as the cauldron. Soviet tanks surged forward engaging the Germans. The few anti-tank guns available fired relentlessly and suffered the ferocity of the Soviet tankers. Infantry guns likewise lobbed shells at the lumbering giants which more often than not bounced off.

Above, in the area of Zahvizdya just following the armoured overrun of 2nd Battalion’s anti-tank guns. Below, the situation in 1st Battalion’s sector as Soviet infantry abandons its positions in the woods to support their armour.

Hans Vilmer, a private in the 1st Battalion describes the action in his sector:

“While much of the battalion engaged the Soviet tanks from the woods my company engaged the enemy infantry that remorselessly advanced in support of the enemy Panzers. Their infantry tactics were poor and we often slowed their advances with rifle and machine gun fire. Once they went to ground they usually stayed put. Then selected men on my left would sneak forward using the small undulations that separated the fields in the cauldron and attempt to engage their steel monsters with anti-tank rifles or satchel charges. It was a dangerous business. These Panzers, like the Bolshevik infantry, were under our almost unceasing artillery fire.”

However, the arrival from the east robbed all hope of a Soviet victory. The 2nd Battalion from 25th Panzer Regiment had taken a circular path and now engaged Soviet infantry from the flank. Almost simultaneously the Soviet tanks and their supporting infantry collapsed. Below the Panzers move forward to the attack.

With the Soviet formations around Zahvizdya destroyed General Hans von Funck mounted his command halftrack. With a brief word to his driver the vehicle lurched forward from the verge and on to the dusty road. From here Funck continued east, with the other elements of the division…

The action was Hasty Attack developed using the Scenario Generation System. The Germans used an Attack List, supplemented by an Option A, while the Soviets used a Defend List also with an Option A. Soviet morale was classed as random and on this occasion the one infantry battalion, deployed around Zahvizdya, was determined to be regular and another, supporting the tanks green. The final battalion was not involved in the fighting. The Soviet tanks were however found to be veteran. The Soviets were hamstrung by poor command and control being unable to change orders, despite multiple requests. Worse, their artillery refused to support the troops involved in the fighting despite continual requests for fire support. Had they the outcome could have been entirely different.

The Glorious 7th Panzer

The first few days of June were glorious. Sweeping manoeuvres, rapid advances and prisoners in quantity. The armoured elements of Army Group Center were making outstanding progress and in just a week high command was issuing orders for the Panzers to pause while infantry formations dealt with pockets of resistance. Of course it wasn’t just the infantry divisions completing these tasks. One such position was in 7th Panzer Division’s area of operations and elements of the division were allocated to eliminating the Soviet pocket centred around the town of Dzhelishay.

The town of Dzhelishay itself was of little importance. However it was the central element of an area that sat astride 7th Panzer’s line of communications. The various areas of high ground and bridges were of more importance as they dominated or defined the routes of advance for any Soviet counterattack. Yet as General Hans von Funck stood, straightening his back after pouring of maps and hearing the latest intelligence briefing, he was in no doubt the real objective for the day was to destroy the enemy concentration. “Gentlemen, this action will be different. Our infantry will be getting amongst the enemy.”

Funck’s plan was relatively simple. Three villages stretched across the area of operations with Dzhelishay in the centre. Vernigorodok was on the Soviet left and Kaynary on the Soviet right. With a number series of spot heights behind Vernigorodok. Funck determined the forces around Vernigorodok would be the focus of his main effort. His plan was divided into three phases.

Phase One would see two battalions from the 6th Schutzen Regiment conduct a silent attack initially though well supported by divisional artillery. Infiltration tactics would be used with rapid advances on the flanks supported by heavy support fires by each battalions support elements in the centre. Once enemy advanced positions were overrun the second phase would begin. Phase Two would see 2nd Battalion exploit the position swinging 90 degrees capturing rear positions and the high ground behind Vernigorodok. Meanwhile, 1st Battalion would complete its deployment into defensive blocking positions. This would be backed by attached 88 Flak weapons and together would likely be the focus of Soviet armoured counterattacks. Phase Three would see the commitment of the 1st Panzer Battalion on the left of the infantry. Held in reserve it would be used to either, exploit the general situation by a rapid deep movement north, to engage the expected any armour attacking the 6th Schutzen by a thrust in the flank or, overrun Soviet infantry moving to reinforce the defenders of Vernigorodok.

Above, the general situation with the Germans advancing from the left. The 6th Schutzen’s two battalions are visible on the left. The forward villages are Vernigorodok in the foreground, Dzhelishay in the centre and Kaynary in the far distance.

Below, another view of the German advance. 2nd Battalion is in the foreground with 1st Battalion on the east side of the road. Each battalion’s fighting stands are general deployed forward with machine gun, infantry gun and Pak companies deployed in close proximity to provide support fire. A German 88mm Flak platoon is being moved into overwatch positions on high ground prior to deployment.

Two companies of Soviet infantry have been deployed forward of the village of Vernigorodok with other elements held further back. Soviet artillery observers are located in Vernigorodok itself along with various HQ and support companies.

While Vernigorodok was clearly under attack the village of Kaynary to the west (above) and the town Dzhelishay in the centre of the area of operations (below) were peaceful.

Interestingly the Soviet garrison in Dzhelishay was predominantly deployed within the town environs and was to act as a reinforcement to an attack on either flank. The Soviet Regimental HQ was located here to further enhance the ability for the battalion to react. Yet, before it could be committed approval from the divisional commander was needed. Communication was frequently a problem and while the divisional commander approved the commitment of his armoured reserve he was less willing to commit his infantry located at Dzhelishay.

Above, Soviet armour, from an independent tank regiment moves forward. The vehicles comprise T-26s, KV-1s, T-34s and T-28s. However, the distances involved meant the infantry engagement around Vernigorodok was entering a critical phase and the Soviet armour was still some distance from the now hard pressed Soviet defenders.

Above, Soviet infantry fall back on Vernigorodok while a Soviet heavy machine gun platoon is close assaulted by elements of 6th Schutzen’s 2nd Battalion. Despite a determined defence the Soviet infantry were finally overcome and the survivors fled from the German veterans.

Above, the Soviet armour moves into the attack uncovering advanced German elements drawn from 6th Schutzen’s 1st Battalion. With no infantry in support the Germans engaged Soviet tanks with anti-tank rifles, Pak-35 anti-tank guns, 75mm Infantry guns and even artillery fires from divisional 105mm guns. These were further supported by a well positioned and deadly 88mm Flak platoon firing from high ground, visible below.

The German fire from the woods had an unforeseen side effect. The regimental commander of Dzhelishay, who had been continually requesting approval to support the attack on Vernigorodok took the initiative himself. While careful to not move his headquarters from Dzhelishay, and risk another trip to the gulag, he ordered elements to engage the Germans firing from the nearby woods at Soviet armour. Soon the Soviets from Dzhelishay surged towards the Germans. Outnumbered the German company halted the advance in several places but lacking support weapons and artillery the position looked untenable. At least until the commitment of the 1st Panzer Battalion that now swept forward.

The Soviet position was clearly hopeless and within thirty minutes of the commitment of the German Panzers the Soviet armour broke in rout and with it the last Soviet hope of halting the German attack was lost. General Hans von Funck was pleased he had once again found the measure of the Soviets. Tomorrow he would take the offensive, his line of communications secure.

The action was Hasty Attack developed using the Scenario Generation System. The Germans used an Attack List, supplemented by an Option A, while the Soviets used a Defend List also with an Option A. Soviet morale was classed as random and on this occasion the two main formations involved were regular while the counter attack from Dzhelishay was by green troops. All German troops were classed as veteran. The Soviets were hamstrung by poor command and control being unable to change orders, despite multiple requests.

The Cauldron 

Having failed to achieve a decisive breakthrough in the engagements along the Vodista the advanced elements of 8th Panzer Division reformed before being recommitted. The 10th Panzer Regiment’s 2nd Panzer Battalion had suffered heavily in the previous engagement and was replaced by the 3rd Panzer Battalion. Likewise the 28th Schutzen Regiment’s 1st Battalion, having been badly mauled, was allowed time to rest and reform while the 2nd Battalion was allocated to the renewed advance. Yet despite these changes the advanced battalions of the division were moving forward less than 14 hours following the bloody encounter at Vodista.

The Soviet casualties from the previous action had been similarly heavy. This coupled with the German ability to manoeuvre against the Soviet flanks greatly concerned the Soviet commander. Soviet battalion commanders were reminded of the importance of all round defence. Attempts to reinforce the division, including counter battery assets were generally rejected. Again only an under strength Tank Brigade was bought forward to stiffen the line.

As the first German reconnaissance reports came in, and were analysed, it become clear to the German commander that the reorientation of Soviet battalions had created a gap between the towns of Roskopol and Dovhonosy.

Aware of the Soviet armoured formations in the area General der Panzertruppe Erich Brandenberger ordered an advance by 2nd Battalion of the 28th Schutzen Regiment into the gap to both seize high ground and act as an anvil against the Soviet armour. This advance would see the 2/28th Schutzen advance some 3000 yards over open ground. Having secured the high ground an anti-tank screen was to be established overlooking one of two bridges in the area. The majority of the battalion would then conduct a flanking movement against the Soviets deployed in around Dovhonosy. Brandenberger was confident that here a significant portion of the Soviets here would be orientated west and south and therefore by poorly prepared for such an attack. This attack also provided relatively direct access to critical high ground, the battalions secondary objective.

At the same time 3rd Panzer Battalion would conduct a deep flank march and attack Dovhonosy from the south. The aim of this attack however was to draw the Soviet reserves, likely comprising armour across the front of the anti-tank screen. The commander of 3rd Panzer Battalion was given clear instructions to break off at anytime. Both battalions were to be supported by divisional artillery assets. Finally 1st Panzer Battalion was held in reserve slightly to the left of 2/28th Schutzen for exploitation or as flank protection for Soviet infantry attacks from Roskopol into 2/28th Schutzen.

Below, the area of operations with 2/28 Schutzen visible advancing east towards high ground overlooking a bridge. The town of Dovhonosy is visible in the right foreground while the village of Roskopol is centre right.

In the Soviet plans were also checked. With no key terrain in the centre, apart from a bridge near the Soviet rear area of operations the centre was lightly held. Further, acutely aware of the German ability to conduct flanking movements the Soviet battalions were indeed deployed to protect against such attacks. Finally, concerned by the threat posed by Panzers breaking out into rear areas, villages now became hasty blocking positions ensuring that could only be taken by direct assault. Holding has Independent Tank Regiment in reserve the Soviet commander relaxed to await the Germans.

Above the Soviets deployed around Dovhonosy, viewed from the south. The village is held by a SMG company. To the rear is the high ground that would be 2/28th Schutzen Battalion’s secondary objective.

Below, the Soviet right flank, viewed from the west. The battalion in the foreground was not engaged while that to the rear formed part of the position around the village of Roskopol. Both are positioned for all round defence but comprising limited troops (11 stands) have a limited command radius.

The advance of 2/28th Schutzen was relatively uneventful. While often visible to the Soviets they were unable to engage or determine determine the objective of the battalion or the main focus. Finally, as the battalion finally reached its first objective it began to deploy its anti-tank guns on high ground while the infantry orientated for its advance against Dovhonosy. At this point the Soviet forces were unleashed.

Soviet reserves, comprising a converged Tank Regiment were committed to an advance towards Dovhonosy, which it was reasoned was the main German objective. Simultaneously a supporting Soviet infantry battalion, deployed around Roskopol, surged forward.

The infantry can be seen above having emerged from Roskopol and the woods behind the village. Below, the Independent Tank Regiment and comprising survivors from two regiments, can be seen advancing. Roskopol is visible in the top left.

Having been deployed in defensive positions the Soviet battalion commander could have formed his battalion up prior to advancing. However, encouraged by the Regimental HQ and political officers such detail was forgotten. Instead the determined Soviets surged forward.

The general situation in the centre can be seen below with Soviet tanks and infantry advancing while Soviet artillery began to fall directed by Soviet observers on the high ground to the right. The 2/28th Schutzen was now engaged against three battalions on all sides. The defence of “The Cauldron” had begun!

At this point 3rd Panzer Battalion began its own attack on Dovhonosy. Moving rapidly the battalion deployed drawing fire and inflicting casualties on the Soviet defenders.

The Panzers and Panzergrenadiers were to be supported by 105mm artillery fires. Communications issues however caused delays in these fires. When they did arrive they were often ineffective. The result was the Panzers and Panzergrenadiers were forced to engage in direct fire. These attacks while effective they slowed the advance resulting in the loss of some momentum. However, the Panzers pinned many Soviets reducing their ability to effectively engage 2/28th Schutzen. Fortunately casualties on 3rd Panzer Battalion were remarkably few.

Below, 3rd Panzer presses forward the initial plan to feint here, followed by rapid fall back had been abandoned. 3rd Panzer would instead bypass Soviet defenders and press forward to support 2/28th Schutzen.

Meanwhile in “The Cauldron” 2/28th was becoming hard pressed. As the infantry repositioned to halt the combined infantry and armoured attacks German artillery provided relentless support. The less than optimal positioning of German forward observers meant that heavy 150mm fires concentrated on breaking up infantry attacks while 105mm artillery disrupted Soviet tanks. Yet these relentless fires provided valuable time for the German infantry to redeploy.

With Soviet reserves and infantry committed the German 1st Panzer Battalion, held in reserve, was itself unleashed. Advancing the PzIIs, Pz38ts and PzIVs raced to support the 2/28th Schutzen, as can be seen below. Their advance would see them attack the flank of the advancing Soviet infantry.

Yet the advance of the Panzers took time and the Soviet assault continued relentlessly. Soviet armour, desperate to overwhelm 2/28th Schutzen attempted a series of close assaults. However, each of these assaults was driven back by combinations of anti-tank guns, anti-tank rifles and artillery. Below, KV-1 heavy tanks attempt to overrun Pak-36 anti-tank guns supporting a Flak-88. Also visible are T-34s, T-26s and T-28s.

This armoured assault was immediately followed by a desperate assault by Soviet infantry who surged forward against 2/28th Schutzen. At this critical moment 1st Panzer Battalion began to engage the exposed flank of the Soviet infantry as can be seen below.

With such desperate fighting and merciless attacks Soviet morale had finally reached critical levels. While all Soviet formations had fought with determination the tanks were first to break, being classed as green. Shortly after the attacking Soviet infantry’s resolve broke. With this the Soviet centre collapsed and the Panzers surged forward. Victory had been achieved and the breakthrough could once again begin.

The action was, like that at Vodista, a Hasty Attack developed using the Scenario Generation System. Generally similar forces were used, though some minor changes had been made. The Germans used an Attack List, supplemented by an Option A, while the Soviets used a Defend List without options. Soviet morale was classed as random. Unlike the veterans faced at Vodista here the Soviet tanks were found to be green while both infantry battalions engaged were classed as regular. There was much apprehension by both commanders when these rolls were made! Both Soviet and German artillery, while firing, was generally less effective. Yet again the ability of the Soviets to achieve combined arms was critical. As the Soviet commander described he could either advance his on a narrow front and achieve a degree of cooperation, or advance his tanks on a wider front but likely not achieve combined arms. A fascinating game with many hard choices for both players.