Day four of the offensive saw pressure intensify along the north of the line, giving X Korps little time to reorganise. Successive waves of Soviet infantry crashed into the main and reserve lines in numbers that made a breach somewhere in the line inevitable.
Heavy artillery support added to the defenders’ misery.
When the breach came, it was from a stream of Soviet armour “swarming across the Steppe like rats” with tank riders dropping from the hulls to engage the hard-pressed Axis infantry, and keeping them away from the tanks that rumbled through the positions.
This mass of men and vehicles heading west needed some co-ordination. Phil’s modelling skills were up to the task, ensuring priority for a steady stream of heavy metal heading into the enemy rear.
A stream of Landser began to head for VYSHNY VOLOCHYOK to reorganise in the security of the town.
In one of those serendipitous wargaming moments, Phil remarked that this was rather like the scene in Cross of Iron, where Sergeant Steiner waits a whole day to lead his platoon across a road being heavily trafficked by enemy troops. Twelve bases were involved, so I rolled 2D6 to see how many made it across. The score was 11, so the last lonely base will for ever more be known as “Steiner“!
Some Game Reflections.
Despite the massively compressed ground scale that made this look more like a Hollywood Star Wars re-run, the narrative flowed in a coherent manner.
The decision reached on use of tank riders was that defending infantry small arms could selectively choose to attack tank riders as the attackers closed to win the firefight.
Tanks could ignore losses to riders and still break into a position, even if their losses to riders was higher than losses to defenders (normally this would cause the attackers to go to ground until reinforced).
Once on the position, tank riders could prevent defending infantry attacking tanks that remained on the position as light targets.