NQM Soviet Spring Offensive 1943 (Part 18) – RYAZAN Falls

35 Infantry Division in RYAZAN

RYAZAN lies on the west bank of the River OKA, and by this stage of the spring offensive sat at the southeastern edge of what was beginning to look like a pocket, bounded north and east by the OKA and 13th Army.

8 Rifle Division 15 Corps 13 Army on the E Bank of the OKA

Attacking from the south-east was 42 Corps (16 Lithuanian, 202 and 399 Rifle Divisions) from 48th Army.

48 Army - 42 Corps 16 202 399 Rifle Divisions advance to contact

61st Army comprising 9 Guards Rifle Corps (12, 76 and 77 Guards Rifle Divisions) and five more rifle divisions (97, 110, 336, 356 and 415) marched rapidly to close the pocket along the southern border.  The sprawling town¹ boasted its own Kremlin but was otherwise undistinguished beyond being the birthplace of the famous psychologist Ivan Pavlov. Guarding RYAZAN, was 35 Infantry Division. This unit, comprising troops from Baden and Württemberg, had been in continuous action since 1940 on the west front, and then in the drive to MOSCOW, where it had suffered heavy casualties in the winter of ’41-42.

Further losses followed in the retreat from MOSCOW, and by now the division was burned out and Commanded by Major General Baron Rudolf von Roman.²

48 Army Recce meeting engagement

The opening round of the battle commenced with 48th Army scouts clashing with the forward defensive line south of RYAZAN. They were repulsed with significant casualties, forcing 16 Lithuanian Division to deploy and mount a formal attack.

16 Lithuanian Division Deploys for a formal attack

This eventually succeeded, as 202 and 399 Rifle Divisions worked their way around the west and north of the town to surround it.

16 Lithuanian Division drives in the German outpost line

The Commander of 42 Corps was in no hurry, waiting for his corps artillery to position itself before launching a heavy bombardment prior to a well-coordinated simultaneous assault from three sides of the town.

RYAZAN is surrounded and surrenders

The defenders, already low on ammunition, with failing morale, had been pushed beyond the limits of endurance and surrendered.³

Game Notes:

1. I rated RYAZAN as a medium defensive position.

2. The Germans were rated as Regular (3morale steps), the Soviets Conscript (two steps).

3. The Germans failed their first morale roll spectacularly, with a one!

4. I fought this as another solo game, thinking it would not hold much interest, other than as part of the campaign.

5. The Front Scale Orbat (FSO) was used for this game.

6. I shall take the opportunity whilst the toys are out on the table to do some more detailing and sticking magnetic tape onto bases.


  1. This didn’t stop me using the heavily industrialised IKEAGRAD on its first outing on the wargames table.
  2. Hence the regular rating, rather than veteran.
  3. The artillery rolled a one first time around! The town had no integral logistics to replenish losses, and the division could not trace a line of supply back to a railhead, due to being surrounded. I was surprised by how quickly the Germans folded, but they had already taken over 50% casualties from the preliminary bombardment.


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Axis War Diary, Eastern Front, Soviet Army, Soviet War Diary, Wargames, Wehrmacht, WWII

11 responses to “NQM Soviet Spring Offensive 1943 (Part 18) – RYAZAN Falls

  1. What rules do you use? I’ve always been interested in this level of game but my brain tends to start melting with the complications.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting. I used the Front Scale Orbat version of Not Quite Mechanised (ibid).
      https://notquitemechanised.wordpress.com/nqm-free-umpire-guidelines/ – nobody uses them without substantial alteration, not even me 🙂 – see also Tim Gow’s Megablitz, and Bob Cordery’s WW2 Portable Wargame Rules, both excellent sets. NQM works at Front Scale – one Flames of War stand = a regiment or brigade, Corps Scale where 1 stand = a battalion, Divisional Scale, where two stands = a battalion or finally Regimental scale, where six 30mm squares equal a battalion, with the battalion support modelled in more detail.
      The only brain melter for most people is letting go of the tactical chrome, it’s why the tabletop is deliberately abstract. I’ve been following your simple toy soldier rules with great interest, with a view to doing something with Pigs in Space in 15mm 🙂

      Regards, Chris.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great Battle report and thanks for the link to the rules.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The Russians are gaining ground! 🙂 I did recognise IKEAGRAD making its debut!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That looks like it was fun- small solo game or not.



    Liked by 2 people

  5. It was surprisingly satisfying to get a quick result on a mismatched battle. The real 35 Infantry Division had an equally hard time during the war. A couple more games will be needed to tidy up the front in the wake of the breakthrough armies, Pete.

    Regards, Chris.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great looking game and really decisive result! I really appreciated the historical background too (or was that your campaign history?).
    Regards, James

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, James. The unit histories are out of Mitcham, and Nafziger, so are historical, but the battle itself is part of the campaign.

      Regards, Chris.


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