Showing posts with label panther. Show all posts
Showing posts with label panther. Show all posts

8 June 2015

KWC Open Day: Batrep of the Defense of Niedlingen

Open Day FoW in 20mm Game: Defense of Niedlingen, East Prussia (Winter 1944-45)


The  (fictitious) East Prussian Town of Niedlingen is situated a about 600 hundred kilometers east of Berlin, near Arnswalde.

Historical context:

In early February 1945, the 11th SS Panzer Battalion Nordland was ordered onto the offensive as a part of Operation Sonnenwende, the plan to destroy a Soviet salient and to relieve the troops besieged in the town of Arnswalde.
11. SS-Freiwilligen-Panzergrenadier-Division „Nordland“.svg

The offensive had been conceived by Generaloberst Heinz Guderian as a massed assault all along the front but had then been reduced by Hitler to the level of a local counter-attack. Initially, Nordland's attack achieved a total tactical surprise and the division soon advanced to the banks of Lake Ihna in all sectors. However, as the Soviet forces realized what was happening, resistance grew stiffer and the advance began to slow. On 17 February, the division reached Arnswalde and relieved the exhausted garrison. Over the next few days the town was secured and the surviving civilians were evacuated.

Soon however, strong Soviet counter-attacks halted the division's advance, and Steiner called off the attack, pulling the III (Germanic) SS Panzer Corps back to Stargard and Stettin on the northern Oder River. The 10. SS-Panzer-Division "Frundsberg", led by Brigadef├╝hrer Heinz Harmel, also took part in the operation after being detached from the II SS Panzerkorps in December 1944 (at the time engaged on the Western Front).

Flames of War in 20mm

By 21 February the conclusion was arrived-at that no more useful gains could be made against an increasingly powerful enemy without incurring undue casualties, so Steiner ordered a general withdrawal back to the north bank of the river Ihna.

This is where our battle is set.


Elements of the 11th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg occupy the Town of Niedlingen, East Prussia


General Jaydovich advising Colonel Bruce-chev on the best use of the Soviet Guards Army Tankovy

Russian armour arrive on the banks of the frozen  Ihna River
German pioneers have laid a mine-field on the north bank. A pedestrian bridge (left) and a
single lane metal bridge span the river. The Germans have not had time to dig in, so swift has the Soviet retaliation and pursuit been.


The fuel dump (Soviet Objective 1) is defended by a Pak 40 and MG 42 along with infantry

Turn one:  Colonel Bruce-chev approaches the two bridges, and orders a unit of Cossacks and a unit of Partisans to clear the minefield. As the Don Cossacks had fought on both sides of the war, they are considered expendable, as are the partisans. 
Among their number is a group of nuns, possibly secreting hand-weapons under their habits.


Several groups of partisans succumb to the mine-field. Somehow the nuns survive, and keep moving forward. The Cossacks follow eagerly behind them on horseback.


The second Soviet objective is the town centre of Niedlingen. The only road approach is protected by two stugs and several Pak 40s. The town centre is held by a number of Panther tanks. In the fields beyond  the town is a unit of Nebelwerfers and an artillery battery of 7 LeFH 18 howitzers.

Her Oberst is ably assisted by Herr Leutnant Romlet in his first battle. Fresh out of Panzer schule he is very knowledgable on armour and eager for battle. 


The Soviets attack first, and drive for the bridges


IS-2s clearing a bank on their race for the bridge


Columns of Soviet Armour pouring towards Niedlingen

The German 1st turn sees the lead T34-85 and T34 Obr 1943 destroyed on the bridge. The Soviets are caught in a bottle-neck. They try to cross the frozen river on foot, but the infantry commander falls through the ice on a roll of a 1. (Roll anything but a one, Bruce!)

PTRDs move up to give defensive fire while the heavy IS-2s advance

The Nebelwerfers and LeFH18s take a heavy toll on infantry, mortar units  and 122mm Howitzers, almost all falling prey to the template of mass destruction


Turn 2 degenerates on both sides into an artillery slugfest, with almost all infantry in range being destroyed by artillery fire. Su76s, 85s and IS-2s all unleash a torrent of lead on the German defenders. Pak 40s, mortar units, MG crews, all fall to the murderous fire. 

The  Germans return the favour with all their artillery capable of firing HE and rockets.
The Soviets used foresight, and brought a recovery vehicle with them. The burning T34s are swiftly moved out of the way, and IS2s and ISU 122s start crossing the bridge



Turn Three: CCCP: The Cossacks and Partisans advance through and clear the mine-fields. 
Seems some of the German soldiers are good catholic boys, 
and cannot get themselves to shoot at the nuns. 
They make it to the fuel storage tanks, habits flowing in the mid-winter wind.

The Cossacks cavalry charge the defenders, mowing them down with SMG fire. The last men standing are two artillery observers. They fall to merciless flashing sabres and flailing hooves in the assault phase. The nuns and the cossacks take the objective

Their Turn 3 sees the Germans leave the town centre, in an attempt to outflank the Cossacks attacking the fuel dump.
StugGs, Panthers and Jagdpanthers advance past the church. Reinforcements arrive, but fail to make any impact on the rest of the battle.


German armour rushing towards the Russian advance


Turn 4: The Soviets counter with armour to back up the Cossacks holding the fuel dump.
The T34s make it across the frozen river, but for some reason the assault gun commanders seem to think that their vehicles weigh the same as the medium tanks.

The lead SU 85 plunges to the bottom of the frozen river, with only a small splash and trail of bubbles to mark his passing. The rest stall on the bank.



Desperate to remove the nuns and cossacks from the fuel dump the SS bring up their heavy hitters. 
A King Tiger and Jagd Tiger with an Begleit Panther clank through the narrow streets. The bulk of the factory and station prevent them from drawing a bead on the cavalry troops. They are unable to shoot.


Unfortunately for them, they are now within the range of the tankbusters. 
The Panther is the first to brew up in Turn 5


During their turn 4 the Germans also bring up the balance of their Panthers 
and two tank destroyers of their own


Turn 5: The sole surviving PTRD fires from the farmyard


Hits the flank of the lead StuG who had not thought to wear schurtzen that day. 
This oversight creates a fatal bottle-neck for the German tanks


The assault guns continue to rain destruction, and this time it is the King Tiger that cops it. 
It is hard to stop a barrage of 122 mm shells dropping on your thin top armour


Source of the destruction: ISU 122s and IS-2s en masse, protected by SU 76s and T34-85s


Final moments of the 10. SS Tank Battalion at Niedlingen. 

The tightly packed German armour succumb to a whirlwind of Russian shells. The nuns and Cossacks hold an objective  by the end of the game, and the Germans fail in their attempt to deny the Russians and push them back across the river. 

A resounding victory to Colonel Bruce-chev and his Red Guard Tankovy

21 May 2015

Cold Cats: Late War German Armour in the Snow

Cold Cats: Tigers and Panthers in the in the Snow

Some WIP photos (Still a fair wack of work to be done on them):


Following on from my post on the Hinterhalt (Ambush) Camo used in the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle for Germany, my thoughts swung to the conflict on the Eastern Front.

My proctrastination box delivered more Panzers in need of the brush. Tigers and Panthers came out.


The Heavy Tigers with their Begleit zug of Medium Panthers move out. 
The Russians have been sighted!

  

Panthers from 3 different 1/72 plastic model producers, and 3 different models (Ausfuhrungs). 
Italeri (L) and centre, Airfix 2nd from left and unknown manufacturer at centre. The Tigers are all from Italeri

I noted the 3 different exhaust configurations on the models, giving a hint that they were from differen production series. (apart from the driver, gun mantlets and commanders hatch configuration differences)

You may also notice that one Panther is slightly smaller - 1/76 I suspect, Airfix's ongoing cardinal sin, selling 1/76 as 1/72 ! It also happens to be the early (Ausf. D model) as used at Kursk. (2nd from left) The central model is an Ausf. A model, and the rest late war Ausf. G models, equipped with flame dampers for night operations, as in the Battle of the Bulge

Unusual picture of a dual exhaust, as seen in A Ausfuhrung (series), with flame dampers. 
Presumably this Panther A survived to late in the war. The series numbers were designated from Ausf. D to A the G, not alphabetically. 

 photo PantherDZimmeritJackBrackets04.jpg

Early (D) model exhaust configuration


Ausf. A configuration


Ausf G without flame dampers


First production flame damper (Large bore curved)


Final production Ausf. G flame dampers (Cylindrical)
This photograph also shows the crew compartment heater which was installed on the last production models.Some late models also carried infra-red sighting gear for night operations


Crew compartment heater attached to air intake on a knocked out Panther. These were not made in the M.A.N factory, but were assembled elsewhere and fitted in the last stages of production. This modification was evident on Panthers in the Ardennes and Wacht am Rhein.



My infantry are all set on autumn bases, some with a light dusting of snow terrain, so they can be used in late summer, autumn, winter or early spring. For a winter game I would need appropriate armour though.

My attention was drawn to one tank in my collection in particular that was a hand-me-down. It was painted in honey-comb grey pattern, almost reminiscent of WW1 disruptive  camo schemes, but less garish. It was based on the early to mid-war dunkelgrau paint schemes, with the occasional dark blue and green bit thrown in. I decided to give the Panzer force a similar look.


You can almost see the snow flying in this snap.



Weathering dust winterisation of a mottled PzKfw V Panther 

I base coated the Tigers and Panthers in German Grey (Dunkel/Panzer Grau) and applied the honeycomb in Rain Grey freehand. I rather liked the look of the end-result, without filling in any of the honeycomb bits. It looked rather like hand-applied white-wash,  hurriedly brushed on in the field (albeit with a little finesse)


88s swing to meet the enemy...

Next I decided to winterise the tanks. Tried two techniques, one being Humbrol's Winter pigment dusted on with a brush, and the other Spraypaint. The latter gave mixed results, mostly due to a malfunctioning, nozzle, leaving me more that just a bit miffed. That would teach me to be too lazy to clean the airbrush. The paint job was almost completely ruined. So a-weatherising, there we go...



Russian medium Tanks T34s await the attack. Obr 41s, 43s and T34-85s



Supported by some Su-76 tank destroyers


Pzkfw Vs in Battle of the Bulge Hinterhalt for comparison

26 August 2013

KWC refights Kursk: Prokhorovka

The Kapiti Wargames Club re-fought 

The Battle of Kursk's deciding battle, Prokhorovka, at the weekend:


Much like the initial stages of Operation Zitadelle it appeared that Army Group South may succeed in encircling the Soviets:



More photos and brief battle report on the KWC website:


9 August 2013

Kursk Order of Battle: Protagonists Part 2: The Russians

Kursk Protagonists Part 2: Soviet Forces 



Western Front 
(Vasily Sokolovsky)


50th Army (Ivan Boldin)
11th Guards Army (Ivan Bagramyan)
1st Air Army (Mikhail Gromov)

Bryansk Front 
(Markian Popov)



3rd Army (Alexander Gorbatov)
61st Army (Pavel Belov)
63rd Army (Vladimir Kolpakchi)
15th Air Army (Nikolai Naumenko)


Central Front 
(Konstantin Rokossovsky)


13th Army (Nikolay Pukhov)
48th Army (Prokofy Romanenko)
60th Army (Ivan Chernyakhovsky)
65th Army (Pavel Batov)
70th Army (Ivan Galanin)
2nd Tank Army (Alexei Rodin)
16th Air Army (Sergei Rudenko)

Voronezh Front 
(Nikolai Vatutin)



6th Guards Army (Ivan Chistiakov)
7th Guards Army (Mikhail Shumilov)
38th Army (Nikandr Chibisov)
40th Army (Kirill Moskalenko)
69th Army (Vasily Kriuchenkin)
1st Tank Army (Mikhail Katukov)
2nd Air Army (Stepan Kravsovsky)


Steppe Front 
(Ivan Konev)



5th Guards Army (Alexei Zhadov)
5th Guards Tank Army (Pavel Rotmistrov)
5th Air Army (Sergei Goriunov)

 Composition of forces: 

1. Western Front 
(Vasily Sokolovsky)

50th Army (Ivan Boldin)


 38th Rifle Corps (Alexei Tereshkov)

17th Rifle Division
326th Rifle Division
413th Rifle Division
49th Rifle Division
64th Rifle Division
212th Rifle Division
324th Rifle Division

11th Guards Army 


(Ivan Bagramyan)


8th Guards Rifle Corps
11th Guards Rifle Division
26th Guards Rifle Division
83rd Guards Rifle Division
16th Guards Rifle Corps
1st Guards Rifle Division
16th Guards Rifle Division
31st Guards Rifle Division
169th Rifle Division
36th Guards Rifle Corps
5th Guards Rifle Division
18th Guards Rifle Division
84th Guards Rifle Division
108th Rifle Division
217th Rifle Division

1st Air Army (Mikhail Gromov)


2nd Assault Air Corps
2nd Fighter Air Corps
8th Fighter Air Corps

1st Independent Tank Corps (Vasily Butkov)
5th Independent Tank Corps (Mikhail Sakhno)


2. Bryansk Front (Markian Popov)

3rd Army (Alexander Gorbatov)

image


41st Rifle Corps (Viktor Urbanovich)
235th Rifle Division
308th Rifle Division
380th Rifle Division
269th Rifle Division
283rd Rifle Division
342nd Rifle Division

61st Army (Pavel Belov)

Portrait of Colonel-General Pavel Alekseevich Belov

9th Guards Rifle Corps (Arkady Boreiko)

12th Guards Rifle Division
76th Guards Rifle Division
77th Guards Rifle Division
97th Rifle Division
110th Rifle Division
336th Rifle Division
356th Rifle Division
415th Rifle Division


63rd Army (Vladimir Kolpakchi)

5th Rifle Division
41st Rifle Division
129th Rifle Division
250th Rifle Division
287th Rifle Division
348th Rifle Division
397th Rifle Division


15th Air Army (Nikolai Naumenko)

1st Guards Fighter Air Corps
3rd Assault Air Corps

 25th Rifle Corps
186th Rifle Division
283rd Rifle Division
362nd Rifle Division


1st Independent Guards Tank Corps

3. Central Front (Konstantin Rokossovsky)

17th Guards Rifle Corps (Andrei Bondarev)
6th Guards Rifle Division
70th Guards Rifle Division
75th Guards Rifle Division

18th Guards Rifle Corps (Ivan Afonin)
2nd Guards Airborne Division
3rd Guards Airborne Division
4th Guards Airborne Division


15th Rifle Corps (Ivan Liudnikov)
8th Rifle Division
74th Rifle Division
148th Rifle Division

29th Rifle Corps (Afanasy Slyshkin)
15th Rifle Division
81st Rifle Division
307th Rifle Division

48th Army (Prokofy Romanenko)


42nd Rifle Corps (Konstantin Kolganov)
16th Rifle Division
202nd Rifle Division
399th Rifle Division
73rd Rifle Division
137th Rifle Division
143rd Rifle Division
170th Rifle Division

60th Army (Ivan Chernyakhovsky)
24th Rifle Corps
42nd Rifle Division
112th Rifle Division
30th Rifle Corps
121st Rifle Division
141st Rifle Division
322nd Rifle Division

Independent 55th Rifle Division

65th Army (Pavel Batov)
18th Rifle Corps
69th Rifle Division
149th Rifle Division
246th Rifle Division
27th Rifle Corps
60th Rifle Division
193rd Rifle Division
37th Guards Rifle Division
181st Rifle Division
194th Rifle Division
354th Rifle Division

70th Army (Ivan Galanin)
28th Rifle Corps (Aleksandr Nechaev)
132nd Rifle Division
211th Rifle Division
280th Rifle Division
102nd Rifle Division
106th Rifle Division
140th Rifle Division
162nd Rifle Division
354th Rifle Division

2nd Tank Army (Alexei Rodin)
3rd Tank Corps
16th Tank Corps


16th Air Army (Sergei Rudenko)
3rd Bombing Air Corps
6th Mixed Air Corps
6th Fighter Air Corps

Independent 9th Tank Corps

Independent 19th Tank Corps

4. Voronezh Front (Nikolai Vatutin)

6th Guards Army (Ivan Chistiakov)
22nd Guards Rifle Corps
67th Guards Rifle Division
71st Guards Rifle Division
90th Guards Rifle Division
23rd Guards Rifle Corps
51st Guards Rifle Division
52nd Guards Rifle Division
375th Rifle Division
Independent 89th Guards Rifle Division

7th Guards Army (Mikhail Shumilov)
24th Guards Rifle Corps (Nikolai Vasilev)
15th Guards Rifle Division
36th Guards Rifle Division
72nd Guards Rifle Division

25th Guards Rifle Corps (Gany Safiulin)
73rd Guards Rifle Division
78th Guards Rifle Division
81st Guards Rifle Division
Independent 213th Rifle Division


38th Army (Nikandr Chibisov)
50th Rifle Corps
167th Rifle Division
232nd Rifle Division
340th Rifle Division
51st Rifle Corps (Petr Avdeenko)
180th Rifle Division
240th Rifle Division
Independent 204th Rifle Division

40th Army (Kirill Moskalenko)
47th Rifle Corps
161st Rifle Division
206th Rifle Division
237th Rifle Division

52nd Rifle Corps (Frants Perkhorovich)
100th Rifle Division
219th Rifle Division
309th Rifle Division
Independent 184th Rifle Division

69th Army (Vasily Kriuchenkin)
48th Rifle Corps (Zinovy Rogozny)
107th Rifle Division
183rd Rifle Division
307th Rifle Division
49th Rifle Corps
111th Rifle Division
270th Rifle Division

1st Tank Army (Mikhail Katukov)
6th Tank Corps (Andrey Getman)
31st Tank Corps
3rd Mechanized Corps

2nd Air Army (Stepan Kravsovsky)
1st Bombing Air Corps
1st Assault Air Corps
4th Fighter Air Corps
5th Fighter Air Corps


35th Guards Rifle Corps
92nd Guards Rifle Division
93rd Guards Rifle Division
94th Guards Rifle Division

Independent 2nd Guards Tank Corps
Independent 3rd Guards Tank Corps

Steppe Front (Ivan Konev)
This order of battle does not show the complete composition of the Steppe Front.
 In addition to the units listed below, there are also 
the 4th Guards, 27th, 47th and 53rd Armies.

5th Guards Army (Alexei Zhadov)
32nd Guards Rifle Corps (Aleksandr Rodimtsev)
13th Guards Rifle Division
66th Guards Rifle Division
6th Airborne Guards Rifle Division
33rd Guards Rifle Corps (Iosif Popov)
95th Guards Rifle Division
97th Guards Rifle Division
9th Airborne Guards Rifle Division
Independent 42nd Guards Rifle Division
Independent 10th Tank Corps

5th Guards Tank Army (Pavel Rotmistrov)


5th Guards Mechanized Corps
29th Tank Corps


5th Air Army (Sergei Goriunov)
7th Mixed Air Corps
8th Mixed Air Corps
3rd Fighter Air Corps

7th Fighter Air Corps