Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Camp Cromwell 06/11/07

Battle of Isdonisgrad Concluded

We resumed on the Axis' 10th turn. Following their regroup after stomping on some Fucilieri last turn the 3 remaining KVs were grouped so all fitted under a template. The Guastatori moved up within assault range and Gandini pointed every tube they had at the Bolshie behmoths. The Italian 100's fired first, ranged in, hit the two unbailed ones, both threw 1's for armour saves, firepower killed one & bailed one. The 105's, 75's, heavy mortars & MkIVs all missed. But the Guastatori passed tank terror, got some hits & the 3 bailed KV crews were captured. That was the critical moment of the battle - the loss of the KVs stopped the Bolshie attack & removed their chance of overunning the Ities. But the Axis didn't have time to take the Russian objectives either so the batttle petered out into the artillery picking off targets of opportunity - with the Axis doing rather better out of it.

At then end of turn 12 nightfall ended the battle. Under the campaign rules this made it a draw, but the Axis as the attackers must fall back & the Russians hold Isdonosgrad. Both sides can get 1/3 of their losses as stragglers are rounded up, slightly wounded patched up, and equipment salvaged. It is now the Russian's campaign turn 2.

The pic is taken from behind the Axis right. The dead KV platoon is on the far left.

Except from the Gandini Papers:

8 Sept 1942

Herr Hitler,

I am pleased to report that Isdonisgrad is a now graveyard for the Bolshevik army. Their dead infantry are piled high, their batteries and their mighty KV tanks are smoking heaps of junk.

My plan was to hold our left flank with the Fucilieri while the Grenadiers and Panzers smashed the Russian left. As expected, the Bolsheviks made a ferocious attack on the Fucilieri Coy with massed infantry supported by KVs. The Italians fought like Lions, giving ground to draw the Bolshevik tanks into range of our guns. The Italian artillery softened them up and a counterattack by the Guastatori finished them off. Without their tanks to hide behind the Bolshviks turned to water and their attack petered out.

Meanwhile on our right the Bosheviks ran in panic before the Panzers. Only nightfall and fast running saved the Bolshek army from destruction.

In order to minimise casualties to our irreplaceable infantry I did not launch a direct assault on Isdonisgard itself. But while Isdonisgrad has not yet fallen, I have achieved my objective of weakening the Bolshevik army. Overnight I am regrouping our forces.


Maharajah 2007 EF2

James' Gernadiers v. Barries' British Guard Rifles
2000 pts LW Encounter battle.

Both sides dug in on their objectives, but James bravely sent his Tigers forward on their own to wreak havoc on the British artillery. The Typhoons failed dismally to stop them, as did 2 so called Tank Destroyers - which the Tigers disposed of. Barrie's armour arrived and his Firefly took on and beat the Tigers. But James' Stugs were also rushed forward as soon as they arrived and the Firefly ran out of luck - as did two of the Shermans. The British armour is reduced to just 1 bailed up Sherman (which did at least pass morale), but the Germans have 4 Stugs left & thats' the only serious armour left on the table. Casulties to the artillery and infantry also favour the Germans at this stage. Time ran out & the battle was adjourned until next Tuesday.
The pic shows the Tigers emerging from a smokescreen to take on the Tank Destroyers.

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