To all, this might not be the most appropriate forum but as an old player myself I send my own prost for the fallen.
It has been sometime since I have been active and I figured a way that I would reengage would be to post this old battle report from a battle between 6 of us. We had good fun back in the day fighting it out from around the globe.
It is a bit long but it involves two three man teams each taking turns one day at a time on an operation. CCIII, Enjoy. (I was not able to get the screen shots that are mentioned in the battle brief to load)
Telegram To: Red Army Head Quarters 71st Guards Rifle Company Commander Olafski
From: Commander Misfit 71st Guards Rifle Reconnaissance Platoon
Sector: Kilo 1 Kursk Defense Operations
Greetings commander from Sector Kilo 1; As per your directives in your initial
POA warning order my Reconnaissance Platoon is in place and ready to conduct
defensive delaying actions against the German offensive in the Kursk sector of
Kilo 1 (map 1). My platoon is strategically positioned to allow the 71st Guards
Rifle Company ample time to tactically withdraw to more defensible positions in
sectors Kilo 2 and Kilo 3 (maps 2 and 3).
I have conducted forward reconnaissance with one of my senior Scout squads and
have located the features that were referred to in your mission statement. The
primary area has been denoted as phase line Wolf.
Situation: German 2nd Panzer Armee Gruppe advancing in the Kursk sector. Heavy
enemy armor and infantry units of Das Reich Division are on the offensive with
a full compliment of supporting arms. The 71st Guards Rifle Company must
weather the German artillery barrage and thwart the German offensive IOT
maintain a Red Army bastion in the Kursk region.
Mission: 71st Guards Rifle Reconnaissance Platoon will delay the German advance
and allow the main force of the Company to establish strong defensive positions
in sectors Kilo 2 and 3 (maps 2 and 3). The Reconnaissance Platoon will inflict
as many casualties upon the enemy forces in sector Kilo 1 with minimal exposure
to the enemy. 71st Reconnaissance Platoon will tactically withdraw from the town
in Kilo 1 when the German pressure becomes overwhelming. A continued tactical
withdraw will be conducted through the sector until the Company’s main lines are
reached (on day 3).
Execution: The primary defensive line of the Reconnaissance Platoon has been
established at ‘Phase Line Wolf’; the eastern most section of the village
located at the base of Hill 132. All of the resources in the village proper have
been collected and destroyed to deny the enemy any use of Russian goods to fuel
their advance. Phase line Wolf will be held until the strategic value of the
position is compromised. While maintaining phase line Wolf, a ‘Misfit’
detachment of saboteurs will be dispatched to hold key ground in the AO and
conduct harassing operations behind the main German advance. If the German
commander allows this action to divert forces and slow his initial advance
critical time can be gained to better establish our primary defensive posture
eastward in the region. If the German commander fails to locate or engage these
detachments; the Misfit teams will isolate and attempt to regain strongholds in
the Germans rear echelon positions. When Phase Line Wolf is compromised the
71st Reconnaissance Platoon will destroy all remaining resources in the village
of Beresowka and withdraw to secondary positions east of the village; ‘Phase
Line Indian’. Once Phase Line Indian is established the platoon’s efforts will
be to destroy and disable German armor, while avoiding detection from the
forward German infantry elements. Spotters will be used to direct suppressive
fire on the German Infantry and disrupt their intended advance. The
Reconnaissance Platoon will avoid taking heavy casualties at all costs to allow
the main Company maximum resources for the primary Kursk defense. After two days
of defensive actions by the Reconnaissance Platoon the positions of Phase Line
Indian will be turned over to the 71st Guards Rifle Company main body for
continued defensive tactics.
Administration and logistics: All supplies for the Reconnaissance Platoon’s
efforts will be drawn from the platoon stock and the village of Beresowka.
Further reserves will come from 71st Guards Rifles Head Quarters. A steady
uninterrupted supply line must be maintained in order to sustain a defensive
posture in the sector. At no time shall resources reach a point where there are
no available reserves to draw from; this must and will be avoided at all costs
until the final days of the defensive struggle are upon the 71st Guards Rifles.
Command and Signal: 71st HQ will be notified via courier when the Germans have
launched their offensive. Flash reports will be delivered as the situation
Phase Line Wolf: Initial Russian Defensive Line (Sector Kilo 1- MAP 1)
Phase Line Indian: Secondary Russian Defensive Line (Sector Kilo 2- MAP 2)
Captured enemy positions will be marked with blue flares by the Misfit units
Any additional signals will be relayed to 71st Head quarters as necessary.
Special notes regarding the POA: A staunch defensive position will be
established at phase line Wolf. A concentrated effort will be made to maintain a
Russian presence in sector Kilo 1 for the duration of Day One. Casualties will
occur during this defense. The degree of the casualties will depend on when the
Germans reach phase line Wolf and with how many resources the German command
engages our defenses at Phase Line Wolf. An E&E maneuver will be executed before
the unit integrity of our position is compromised.
Commander Misfit; 71st Guards Reconnaissance Platoon
July 6 1943
Battle Update / Flash report From Misfit HQ
The Russian courier bursts into 71st Guards Rifle HQ, "Commander Olafski, the
Germans have begun their attack on Beresowka! Reconnaissance Platoon commander
sends his spirited regards." the courier thrusts you a sketched map and a scrap
of cloth with some notes jotted down on it along with a German helmet with a
bullet hole in it. Before you can review the items the courier interrupts your
thoughts; "With your permission commander, may I return to my platoon?" "Not
just yet soldier," you motion to an aide and a bottle of schnapps is produced;
"drink first, and rest a bit, I might need to send word to commander Misfit."
You look over the contents of the couriers package, ....
"Commander, My sabotage unit was able to slip forward and gain valuable Intel
from the Germans rear as well as keep the southern flank territory outside of
the strong points in Russian control. They were engaged by multiple SS Grenadier
Units and even eluded pursuit by a SS Mark III, before hiding out in an
abandoned building. hey reported spotting 6 German ss Grenadier gruppes, 1 ss
MarkIII, and 1 German Tiger Tank operating in the rear guard of the German
positions. The Germans advanced quickly and extended to phase line Wolf. Upon
arriving at phase line Wolf the enemy was engaged and the assault stalled as my
squads delivered accurate small arms fire into the advancing units. You will see
documents attached detailing the battle casualties, current force strength and
available reserves as well as the map and the areas of German occupation after
the battle. I will send word as the situation develops."
To: Commander Olafski; 71st Guards Rifle Head Quarters
From: Commander Misfit’s Field Headquarters; 71st Guards reconnaissance Platoon
July 07, 1943
Upon further surveillance of the current Russian occupied positions in sector Kilo1 Commander Misfit has concluded that the strongest position for the 71st Guards Reconnaissance Platoon is to make another concentrated defensive stand along phase line Wolf near hill 132 and along the eastern edge of Beresowka. The Germans continued offensive operations will be directed at clearing sector Kilo 1 IOT (in order to) continue their push eastward. To accomplish this task the German forces will either: 1) Spend time securing their flanks from Russian counter attack, while barraging the Russian strong hold near hill 132 with one or two compliments of mortar ammunition and indirect fire, then engage the lone Russian strong point in force. It is my opinion that the terrain and structures in Russian control provide adequate cover and concealment to withstand a recon by fire mission of the aforementioned type. 2)Another scenario offers the Germans will mount a massive initial attack on the lone Russian stronghold while leaving minimal guard units at the German held strongholds in and around Beresowka to eliminate any Russian sapper team activity in the area. If this attempt occurs, the attacking force will not be at full strength and any initial casualties suffered by the advancing German forces will have to be reinforced from their rearguard positions. In this instance it is my opinion that my concentrated forces are capable of defending phase line Wolf against such an attack. If I am able to catch the Germans operating at less than full force strength I will be able to overwhelm them. This position also affords me the option of a tactical withdraw with minimal loss of men and material should the situation deteriorate to such a degree that phase line Wolf must be abandoned.
I currently have adequate force strength to refit my platoon and be TOC before the day’s battle begins. Even after my Platoon is reinforced I will still possess supplies in reserve for your arrival in the AO (area of operations) on day three. I intend to add 1 more AT cannon to my defenses as well as another American supplied bazooka team. By concentrating my force strength to the North East corner of sector Kilo 1; I in essence double my force strength while limiting the German advance to 2 primary avenues of approach which can be covered by preplanned AT, MG, and supporting arms fire. I will again deploy 1 Misfit saboteur team that will have the primary mission of remaining hidden until the day draws to a close; the team will then attempt to regain one of the German strong holds within Kilo 1. This team is a back up measure to maintain a Russian presence in Kilo 1 should phase line Wolf collapse.
It is the opinion of Misfit HQ that the only attack that the 71st Guards Reconnaissance Platoon is incapable of defending phase line Wolf against is a concentrated German offensive launched from the South East and directed up and through phase line Wolf. It is believed that the Germans will be unable to conduct such an operation as it would risk exposing their rear echelon to enemy infiltration. The state of the German offensive is such that they must clear sector Kilo 1 on day two but they must also maintain their current holdings in Beresowka IOT accomplish this. It is also believed that the Germans will bring up one or even two mortar sections to deliver suppression fire into the Russian stronghold near hill 132. Misfit HQ has determined the enemy will advance with no less than 4 German panzers (2 were spotted earlier on day one of the German attack and S2 reports more will be brought up from reserve positions to make sure that sector Kilo 1 is clear), one of which will be of the Tiger variation. This calculation accounts for approximately six of the advancing enemy units; the rest of the attacking force will be of infantry, MG, and command elements. Divided or dispersed and attacked in segments this enemy force should be held in check, as mentioned earlier only a concentrated direct enemy attack in force will cause alarm among the Russian defenders maintaining phase line Wolf. In the early moments of the conflict the German Commander’s intentions should be revealed and Misfit HQ will issue orders accordingly IOT preserve the Russian force strength while inflicting as many enemy casualties as possible. If an immediate withdraw from phase line Wolf is necessary the order will be executed IOT conserve our force strength at the cost of abandoning phase line Wolf. If it appears that the German commander is sweeping Kilo 1 prior to a German attack an effort will be made to hold phase line Wolf.
These are the thoughts and summations of the current situation in sector Kilo 1. Misfit HQ will keep you informed as the battle continues.
71st Guards Reconnaissance Platoon
Reply From Olafski HQ
From: Commander Olafski; 71st Guards Rifle Head Quarters
To: Commander Misfit’s Field Headquarters; 71st Guards reconnaissance
Agreed on all points.
Intended Acquisitions of further AT weaponry herewith approved. An
additional mid-/ late-war command team might also be in order, but the small
size of the area to be defended should enable the command radius of the
primary command staff to suffice.
Keep in mind the special mortar vulnerabilities of some of various AT
weapons as already mentioned...
Best of fortune,
July 10, 1943
Beresowka; Sector Kilo 1
On the morning of July 9, 1943 fierce fighting broke out around the 71st Guards Reconnaissance Platoon defensive positions along phase line Wolf outside the town of Beresowka. The Russian strong hold in sector Kilo 1 was being threatened. Field Commander Misfit had deployed his platoon in a strong defensive arc around the base of hill 132. The crafty German commanders began shelling the Russian lines early, the nail biting barrage poured into the Russian positions for most of the early morning. Commander Misfit ducked between blasts among the positions of his Russian defenders; the field commander’s presence kept the troopers calm and motivated.
Just before mid day the barrage tapered off and smoke rounds began screening the southern avenue of approach along the base of hill 132, Misfit knew the time to test the mettle of his position had arrived. He rose among his men and encouraged his forces to wait until the Germans were on top of them, then let loose with all the fury of Thor! Morale was high as trigger fingers shook in anticipation. Then to the south the rumble of heavy panzers could be heard. The earthen positions that the Reconnaissance troopers held began to vibrate as the German armor drew closer. The smoke screen on the southern end of hill 132 was thick and the sounds of infantry breaking brush in the forest could be heard. Suddenly the Russian defenders let loose a deadly swath of MG and small arms fire sending several of the advancing German infantry to the ground writhing in agony. The German panzers pressed the point and fire spewed from the belly of one of metal monsters. One of the Russian rifle squads took 99% casualties from the blast, Commander Misfit rallied his men as the second line of defenders braved the attack. The air around the base of hill 132 was full of machine gun bullets, white smoke from the German screen still lingering in the air, mixed with wafts of black smoke rising from the flames of burning corpses, then, just as the mighty German Tiger was busting into the first line of defenders on the western edge of hill 132 the Russian 57 AT cannon ripped a gaping hole in the back of the beast sending it bursting into flames, as the crew bailed out among the Russian positions they were instantly gunned down amid their burning Tiger coffin. Only a few moments earlier on the east side of the hill the German MkIII Flame Panzer met a similar fate as it pressed the Russians on the east side of phase line Wolf. The German ‘dragon’ had all but destroyed two rifle squads when it lumbered into range of the tightly hunkered down Russian engineers, just as the armored beast was turning its fiery death toward the engineers position the brave engineer Sgt. Had his squad engage the vulnerable beast. A few explosive charges and a burst from the teams own flamethrower sent the panzers crew to a very ironic death; those who had burned the Russian riflemen were themselves burned. At this point in the battle the fighting spirit of the German infantry was broken, as the scattered SS and Heer soldaten scrambled to find cover the rest of Misfits forces opened fire. Those who were not shot instantly by the heavy volume of Russian fire quickly surrendered. Then as quickly as it had begun an eerie silence settled over hill 132. A few rifle cracks and smg burst broke the silence as Russian soldiers gunned down the random German soldaten scampering for cover. A quick assessment of the battle revealed that Misfits 71st Guards Reconnaissance Platoon was still at 86% TOC. The Russian Commander was pleased as he gripped his smoking smg. The German attack was fierce but Misfit’s defenses along phase line wolf had held firm. As Misfit was reorganizing his defenses the roaring sound of a third German panzer lumbering up the road at high speed could be heard. Misfit quickly assumed cover and gave the order to again lay low. The trees along the southern edge of hill 132 began busting over as a second German Tiger began breaking through the forest to the south east of hill 132. Misfits engineer team again lay in wait. As the sun was setting the German panzer broke through the forest. The Russian engineers quickly sprung their ambush and swarmed the lone Tiger. The mighty German armor fell into Russian hands as the engineers overwhelmed and captured the prized German panzer.
Commander Olafski’s command team had been securing positions to the West of hill 132 in Beresowka with a squad of Marines, as the second Tiger was moving into position Olafski’s Command team spotted a German MG and mortar team moving in the open. Olafski directed MG and small arms fire that quickly put down the German forces. With that the German attack was defeated and the Russian position in sector Kilo 1 was secure.
Commander Misfit praised his men for maintaining fire discipline and holding their positions amid extreme German pressure. As darkness embraced the defenders on hill 132; Misfit gazed up at the full moon and silently thanked his God for the day’s victory. As commander Misfit moved off to his CP he began the task of preparing the positions for 71st Guards Rifle Company. It would be a long night of preparation as the main body would be arriving in the morning to assume control over sector Kilo 1. The task was undertaken with renewed spirit by the Russian forces as the days victory had greatly increased Russian morale. For two long days the men of the 71st Guards Reconnaissance Platoon had held the German offensive along phase line Wolf. The day’s victory would be savored but already the thoughts and preparations for the Platoons next struggle occupied the mind of Commander Misfit.