Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Camp Cromwell 30/11/07

Isdonisgrad continues

The usual incompetent Russian staffwork meant we had a late start after they turned up without the extra troops needed & had to go home & get them.

When the battle finally got underway, the Russian reinforcements came on so thick & fast on the Italian left flank they couldn't find space for them on the table. The 1st Fucilieri were overwhelmed, but the victorious Strelkovy were then too scared of Axis firepower to come out of the woods. Russian Anti-tank guns took on the MkIIs but the MkIIs won with a bit of help from mortars & Guastatori. But the gunners got lucky before the end and took some invaluable Guastatori with them.

On the other flank, the Panzers arrived eventually and the Militia on the Russian left were retreated off the table to cut their losses (one wonders what Uncle Joe's going to say when he hears about that manoeuvre - what happened to Not One Step Back ?)

Meanwhile the KVs advanced relentlessly on the Italian centre. One was destroyed by the 100s, another bailed by the 105s. But they destroyed the 2nd Fucilieri & the Itie anti-tanks guns, while the 3rd Fucilieri fell back before them with heavy losses.

While all this was going on, the artillery of both sides blasted away, mostly ineffectually, but with an occasional big hit.

When we adjourned again, it was the end of turn 9 & the battle remains in the balance. The KVs are close to the Itie objective, but they are on their own as the Strelkovy were too scared of the MkIIs, HMGs & artillery to come up in support, while the MkIVs have been turned left & are racing to assist the Ities. A decisive result is unlikely with both sides' rights being too strong to lose, but the attrition could be significant either way in the end. The KVs are the key - they have dominated the battle so far - but how long can they survive the relentless artillery barrage ?

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