Sunday, 15 July 2012

FoW: Operation Sea Lion - Free for All

I'm posting this Sunday night instead of the usual Monday morning so I can submit this batrep before the Operation Sea Lion deadline ends.

Friday saw my final battle for WWPD's Operation Sea Lion campaign, this one was between my Guards Tank regiment a German Panzer company. We both had 1750 points and my force was as follows:

Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy Polk (Guards)
Guards Heavy Tank Regiment
Soviet Late-War
Platoon Qty Unit Points
Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy Polk HQ p.45
1 KV-85 110
Combat Companies
Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy Company p.46
5 KV-85 555
Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy Company p.46
5 KV-85 555
Corps Support Companies
Strelkovy Company (Guards) p.26
Cmd Rifle/MG team
Rifle/MG team
Artillery Battalion (Guards) p.138
Cmd Rifle team
Staff team
Observer Rifle team
122mm obr 1938 howitzer
Air Support p.141
5 Limited Air Support Il-2 Shturmovik 200
Company Points: 1750

While the German forces were as shown below:

Tank Company
German Late-War
Platoon Qty Unit Points
Panzerkompanie HQ p.73
2 Panzer IV H 180
Combat Platoons
Panzer Platoon p.73
5 Panzer IV H 450
Panzer Platoon p.73
4 StuG G 380
Weapons Platoons
Panzer Anti-aircraft Gun Platoon p.75
3 Sd Kfz 7/1 (Quad 2cm) 120
Divisional Support
Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Platoon p.77
Cmd Panzerfaust SMG team
Sd Kfz 251/1
MG team
Rocket Launcher Battery p.169
Cmd SMG team
Observer Rifle team
15cm NW41
Heavy Anti-aircraft Gun Platoon p.171
Cmd SMG team
Kfz 15 field car
8.8cm FlaK36 gun (8 crew)
Sd Kfz 7
Air Support p.172
3 Sporadic Air Support Ju 87G Stuka 100
Company Points: 1750

The mission was 'Free for All' with the Soviets defending. The terrain layout can be seen below. I put one unit of KV's on each flank with the artilley in the centre and the Strelkovy on my left ready to enter the buldings. The Germans mirrored my deployment with Stugs on their right with the Grenadiers and AA, the Pz IV's were on their left flank. The centre was held by 88's and nebelwerfers plus the HQ.

The view from the German right flank

The view from the German centre

The view from the German leftflank

The view from the Soviet centre

The view from the Soviet right flank

The Germans went first and, thankfully, as the mission used the Meeting Engagement rule they were denied artillery bombardments and air support. They moved up the AA trucks hoping to catch my infantry in the open but had forgotten that they only got the 8" extra range against aircraft so were out of range. The grenadiers moved round their right flank heading towards the ruined buildings. On their left they moved the Pz IV's into firing positions. Everyone else stayed put and shot but could only manage to bail one of my left flank KV's.

My air support arrived but was shot down by combined fire from the 88's and AA trucks. I moved my infantry into the building with the aim of threatening the objective on that flank. I moved up a couple of the far left KV's up to the small wood to get them into cover. Unfortunately my fire was worse than the Germans and I did no damage but I did range in on one of the 88's.

The German right flank at the end of turn 1

The Soviet left flank at the end of turn 1

The German left flank at the end of turn 1

Turn 2 saw the Germans continue to move round my left flank with their half tracks and AA trucks. All their tanks also moved forward to get into short range where possible. Their aim was to Stormtrooper back out after shooting leaving me to shoot at long range. Luckily for me the KV's armour proved too much for the German 75mm guns. But they did manage to pin my infantry with the nebelwerfers. They also got air support and the Stukas dove in on my left flank KV's hitting two but failing the firepower tests. Successful Stormtrooper rolls saw all his tanks pull back to long range except on their left flank.

My air support arrived and again was shot down by German AA. I also failed to unpin my infantry. I was pretty happy with my positions so I stayed put and shot. My right flank KV's managed to knock out one of the PZ IV's and my artillery knocked out one of the 88's.

The Germans continue their outflanking manoeuvre 

The tank duel continues

As it also does on the other flank.

Turn 3 saw the Germans fail in their request for air support. The tanks maintained position to maximise fire. While the grenadiers dismounted and moved forward to get into position to assault my pinned Strelkovy. Fire from the Grenadiers combined with support from the half tracks killed two bases. Things were not looking good for my infantry. But the German 75mm guns again proved ineffective only managing to bail one KV. But the Grenadier assault went in and after some bitter fighting managed to push back the Strelkovy inflicting heavy casualties.

I managed to call in air support again and targeted the pinned 88. I failed to remount my KV and couldn't unpin my Strelkovy. But my right flank KV's knocked out two more Pz IV's forcing a check which they failed. I also managed to knock out one of the Stugs. The Sturmi's dove in on the 88 hit and the 88 failed it's save so now the German left flank was completely open.

The tough armour on the KV's means only one bailed out tank

The German left flank objective is wide open now

The Grenadiers have the beating of the Strelkovy

Turn 4 saw the Germans get their air support and his Stukas targeted my left flank KV's hoping to stop them contesting my left flank objective near the building. His only hope now was to finish off my infantry and hope to claim the objective before I could take his unguarded left flank objective. Worried about more losses he pulled back his stugs into cover except for one which bogged. He also pulled back his HQ tanks hoping to protect his left flank objective. His infantry and AA trucks opened up on my Strelkovy and some excellent dice rolling saw him wipe them all out. His plan to take my left hand objective was working. Sadly for him despite his Stukas hitting two KV's he again failed his firepower rolls.

My air support failed to arrive this turn although I did remount my bailed out tank. My right flank KV's moved up but their progress was hindered by bad going and their slow speed. I repositioned my left flank KV's so that they were better positioned in case his Grenadiers decided to try and assault me to clear the objective. What fire I had did no damage.

The German's pull back

My KV's prepare to be assaulted by the Grenadiers

My right flank KV's look to grab his unguarded objective.

Turn 5 and no air support for the Germans. Their HQ tanks move into cover so they can contest the left flank objective. The AA trucks move forward hoping to get a lucky flank shot on the KV's. While the Grenadiers consolidate to get ready for an assault. His bogged Stug remounts and moves forward hoping for a lucky hit on a KV. But again all the German shells bounce off my armour. The nebelwerfers drop smoke on on of the KV's to protect his Stugs.

I call in my air support and target his CIC near the objective. I double move the right flank KV's, one more turn and the objective will be mine. My CiC's KV shoots at the German 2iC knocking him out. My other fire does nothing but my Sturmi hits, the CiC fails his armour save and I make the firepower roll knocking his Pz IV. At this point the Germans concede. He has nothing close to contest the objective and can't clear out my KV's contesting the other one.

The final positions on my left

The unguarded objective with the knocked out HQ section

An interesting game, the Pz IV's and Stugs were no match for my KV's and the 88's proved to be much less of a threat than I thought. But those grenadiers were nasty with all their machine guns. So my final battle for Operation Sea Lion and a win for the Allies 5-2. Lets just hope we've hung on to London.

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